This is an extract of a speech delivered by DA Leader Helen Zille in Mthatha, Eastern Cape Today.
We are only three weeks away from the most important national election in twenty years.
Team DA has travelled to every corner of the country delivering our message of hope.
We are doing this despite the ANC abusing all state resources at its disposal to prevent South Africans from hearing our message.
Last week, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) gave out blankets and food parcels at a rally ANC President, Jacob Zuma was speaking.
This week, the DA was informed that our election adverts will be pulled from both SABC radio and TV stations.
And don’t expect to see yourselves on TV tonight. According to reports in the newspapers today, SABC journalists have been instructed not to show pictures of crowds at DA rallies! This shows how afraid the ANC is of the blue wave that is sweeping the country in all it glorious diversity.
We will not stand by and let this election be stolen by the ANC. We will not give up without a fight – the democratic rights of every South African are at stake.
The ANC is very scared of the blue machine. That is why they use every public platform to attack us with lies. They are afraid because more and more people are seeing the truth. The DA is the most diverse party in South Africa. We deliver more to the poor where we govern than the ANC. And we are the only party with the policies to beat the legacy of apartheid and create the jobs our people so desperately need.
History can be made here in the Eastern Cape. I can feel it everywhere I go in this province. I see more and more blue people in the streets.
Recently we welcomed a new member to the DA family – Nqaba Bhanga. Nqaba was a Member of Parliament for COPE, but he saw, as are so many, that the DA is now the brightest hope for the future of our country.
I was not able to be at the rally in New Brighton when Nqaba was officially welcomed, so let me say again today how wonderful it is to have him with us. I have watched him in Parliament, and he is without a doubt one of the most exciting young leaders in the House. I know he has a wonderful future ahead of him in the blue family. Welcome to the DA!
But he is not the only one. Across this province, many people are saying ‘Yes!’ to the DA for the first time. Things are changing!
Just a few weeks ago Gwede Mantashe visited Sterkspruit but was chased out of the town because the residents were so angry. Almost exactly a year ago to the day, I visited Sterkspruit after the residents there invited me to see how bad things had got. I told them then that things did not have to be like that – that they could vote for a better government and reject their current corrupt government.
It looks like they took my message to heart! More and more people are taking that message to heart across the Eastern Cape, and across South Africa.
The good news is that you can change things yourself through your vote. Elections give you a chance to choose a party that takes your needs seriously. Your vote can bring about real change.
Your vote can bring a government in this province and in this country that is serious about fixing our economy and creating jobs.
Just think how a DA government would change the lives of people here.
The DA will budget R16 billion for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, to ensure that every single child that qualifies in matric would have funding for university. No one who works hard in high school and gets good marks should be left out or left behind. Even children from schools here in Mthatha could attend university.
The DA would provide 1 million internships for young job-seekers. We already do this where we govern, and it has helped thousands of young people in need of experience to get a foot in the door in the industries they have chosen.
The DA is the only party that actually has a plan to get the economy growing and to create millions of new jobs.
Last week Gwede Mantashe said that the ANC was the only party with a plan. They may have a plan for something – but it is certainly isn’t a plan to create jobs. President Zuma promised 5 million jobs in 2009. But now there are 1.4 million more unemployed people than when he made that promise.
In fact, President Zuma knows he doesn’t have a plan. That’s why the ANC is so nervous about the DA’s election campaign. They’ve been trying to block our campaign adverts and stop us from speaking to the voters, because they’re nervous of what they can see happening around them.
Just like here in the Eastern Cape, they can see that things are changing!
In the next few weeks, I know that the ANC will get even more nervous as we continue to grow. When that happens, they’ll start telling their old lies about the DA.
They will say that we want to take away people’s grants, or houses. When you hear them say that, just tell them that they are lying. Jacob Zuma’s ANC will do anything to stop you from voting for someone else, so that he can stay in power and get richer and richer.
We will never take away anyone’s social grants or houses. Where the DA governs, people’s lives are getting better and better. More money goes to the ordinary people because we are serious about stopping corruption and spending more money on delivering services.
There is no one anywhere in South Africa who has lost their grant because of the DA. No one!
And many, many more houses are built where the DA governs than where the ANC governs. And where the DA governs, we work hard to make sure that everyone who gets land or a house actually owns it – because we focus on giving people title deeds to their property.
So don’t listen to the lies of the ANC. You know, like all South Africans are beginning to see, that the ANC is not the same. It has changed too. ANC ayisafani.
The ANC of Tambo, Mandela and Mbeki no longer exists.
Jacob Zuma’s ANC today is not the same party as the party that liberated South Africa. This new party, the Zuma ANC, is not in politics to transform South Africa into a better place for all. It is in politics to enrich itself, its friends and its family. We see it every day in our communities – especially here in the Eastern Cape.
That’s why this election is so important. It is so important that we bring change to our country.
Things can change in the Eastern Cape. The DA is growing! We can bring change that stops corruption and creates jobs. We can bring change that opens opportunities to everyone, that improves education, that spends much more money on basic services for the poor, and that actually delivers the better life for all.
Every vote across South Africa and the Eastern Cape will count in this election. Stand with the DA in Mthatha. Stand with the DA in the Eastern Cape.
Together for Change, Together for Jobs.
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