Click here to watch this week’s Bokamoso video.
My fellow South Africans,
At the dawn of our democracy, the father of our nation, Nelson Mandela, said:
“We are not yet free…We have merely achieved the freedom to be free”
Tata Madiba always reminded us that “our single most important goal is therefore to help establish a social order in which the freedom of the individual will truly mean the freedom of the individual.”
Democrats, we are gathered here today to launch our vision for a non-racial, inclusive and prosperous South Africa.
A South Africa whose people are truly free. The fair South Africa Madiba dreamed about. A South Africa of access to opportunities for all.
We come together today, standing on the shoulders of giants who dedicated their lives to helping the DA get to where it is today.
They would be moved by today. Moved to see a united, diverse Democratic Alliance. And inspired by our commitment to building a better tomorrow for all: one nation with one future, built on the values of freedom, fairness and opportunity.
It is an exciting time to be a member of the Democratic Alliance. And it is an exciting time to be a citizen of this great nation.
Over the last month, I have met so many South Africans on the Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity Tour, in all nine provinces.
I have felt the pain of unemployed young people I have met in every township; young men and women who just want a chance to work so they can be the best they can be.
But I have been inspired by those who fight every day to make their lives better.
And I have been humbled by the children who walk kilometres to school every morning, because they know that a good education is their ticket out of poverty.
Democrats, I don’t know about you, but I feel energised by a new mood I sense sweeping across this nation.
People are beginning to reject the political straitjacket of the past.
They are starting see a new future, with new possibilities.
They want a country where people work hard, play by the rules and respect each other.
These are the values I learned as a child, growing up not far from here, in Dobsonville.
I was not born into wealth or privilege; in fact our family didn’t have much. My parents worked hard so that my brothers and sisters and I had the opportunities they were denied under Apartheid.
Apartheid systematically denied access to opportunities to black South Africans. And a lack of opportunities continues to be the reality for far too many in Dobsonville and the rest of our beloved country.
Apartheid also systematically broke down families, depriving many young South Africans of the support they required to realize their potential.
My friends and I followed a different path in life primarily due to the type of education we received.
My mother worked as a cashier while my father worked at the local lock-making company. These were not fancy jobs, but they were enough to provide for us.
My parents worked hard. I recall my own Father saying that he would prefer to go without socks so that we could have a decent education.
The school I attended had dedicated teachers who cared about us, taught us about the world and opened up our minds to new ideas.
At home, my parents treated us fairly and made sure we learnt from our mistakes. We were taught right from wrong and to take responsibility for our actions.
Because of the sacrifices my parents made, I had the opportunity to go to university where I was able to broaden my knowledge about the world and how it works.
I was able to get to where I am today because of loving parents, a supportive family and dedicated teachers.
My parents had to fight against an Apartheid government to ensure that their children would have an opportunity for a better life.
But today, parents should never have to fight against a government so that their children can follow their dreams.
I want what I had for each and every South African child.
I want to see the structural inequality of our past removed.
I want a child born in Alexandra to have the same opportunities as a child born in Sandton.
I want a child in Hammanskraal to receive the same standard of education as a child in Waterkloof.
In a nation led by a DA government, every child would have the opportunity to realise their potential.
I want to show you what life would be like in such a nation. So here is the story of Thandeka who is born and raised in a free and fair South Africa governed by the DA.
This is what every South African deserves. We want to make it possible.
WATCH: DA #Vision2029: The Journey
Thandeka’s journey represents the vision the DA has for South Africa. This can be a reality for our children.
My fellow South Africans, all our children should have the opportunity to walk the same path as Thandeka.
It is a journey that starts with quality education in a safe community, with each generation better off than the next.
A journey enabled by a capable state that acts honestly, transparently and in the best interests of all South Africans.
Our generation has this dream, and I share it for my own two children.
They already have opportunities today that I didn’t have when I was growing up. But they deserve more than just a government that is democratically elected.
They deserve a government that embodies the founding principles of our Constitution and works to uphold the Bill of Rights for all South Africans.
They deserve a government that sees the Bill of Rights as a call to action.
They deserve a government that works to enable freedom they can use.
No person can be free if every day is a hard, long battle because they have no water, no lights, no protection from criminals and no way to support their family.
For us in the DA, freedom means far, far more than casting a vote. It has to be freedom that gives you access to opportunities in life.
It has to be freedom that gives our children the chance to be who they want to be. Whether they come from Constantia or Gugulethu, Summerstrand or New Brighton.
When I was young, I looked up to leaders like Nelson Mandela and felt inspired by his message of freedom and equality. It is a great tragedy that the party he once led has been unable to live up to his ideals.
My fellow democrats, it is time to defeat the enemies of progress in our country. The enemies of unemployment, inequality, crime and corruption.
Democrats, South Africans are waking up to new possibilities.
They are looking towards a new future where we can say we are defeating these enemies.
It is a future where our children will not be judged by their race or the circumstances of their birth.
It is a future where their potential will be determined only by the choices they make, and how hard they work to reach their goals.
It is a future South Africa under a DA government.
What does this country look like?
It is a country that is dynamic and vibrant.
A leading country in the developing world.
Led by a government inspired by the extraordinary potential of the South African People and which exists to serve the people.
Corruption is at its lowest level ever, due to government’s zero tolerance policies.
South Africans feel far safer than ever before, protected by a highly trained and equipped police force that is finally turning the tide against criminal syndicates.
The justice system works, inspiring confidence that all are equal before the law.
The barriers of our painful past have been removed through effective redress measures that seek to bury the spatial and structural inequalities caused by Apartheid.
The government’s focus on improving education and growing the economy, has seen South Africa, attain a growth rate of 8%.
South Africa is a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Millions of jobs are being created, filled by young South Africans equipped with the necessary skills.
Citizens feel more empowered and positive than ever before. They are seizing the opportunities presented by a growing economy, a world-class education system and a capable state.
For those unable to take advantage of these opportunities, there is a social security system that helps people stand on their own two feet.
There are increased child grants to give those less fortunate a decent start in life.
There is an efficient health system that treats people as human beings that deserve the very best care and attention.
In 2029, South Africa is on the up.
With just 15 Cabinet Ministers, the government is lean, clean, efficient and citizen-oriented.
With a foreign policy premised on human rights and an emerging, powerful economy, South Africa is a beacon of hope for the developing world.
Let’s now have a look now at the country we can be.
WATCH: DA #VISION2029
This can be our country. And, Democrats, we can make it happen.
The DA can lead the next government of our country.
Just look how far we have travelled together.
In the last twenty years we have grown our party from 10 seats in Parliament to more than 100.
In the 2014 elections, we won 4 million votes. That means that one in four South Africans – people of all races and backgrounds – are choosing the Democratic Alliance.
Last month, we held a historic Federal Congress in Nelson Mandela Bay. It was a game-changing event because we adopted a new Values Charter that now serves as the preamble to the party’s Constitution.
This Charter is inspired by the extraordinary potential of the South African people. It shows that we stand together with all South Africans who share the vision of one nation with one future, built on freedom, fairness and opportunity.
Democrats, we have the values and we have the vision to govern this country. And I know that if we work together we will govern South Africa.
We have been successful in opposition.
We have proven that we run good governments – for all.
We now need to show South Africa that we offer an alternative, a better future. In Tshwane, Tlokwe, Nelson Mandela Bay. Across the length and breadth of the country.
That is why, today, we launch our vision for South Africa. It is called Vision 2029 because it paints a picture of what South Africa could be like after ten years of a DA-led government.
A South Africa where there is freedom, fairness and opportunity for all.
Fellow Democrats, this can be our country.
We can reclaim our rightful position among the great nations of the world, once again serving as a defender of human rights and freedom.
We can rediscover that national pride and optimism we felt in the early years of our democracy.
We can be a country whose government serves as a platform for human development and enables South Africans to unleash their full potential.
It’s time to break the cycle of poverty and inequality that lives on more than 20 years after the end of Apartheid, and replace it with a cycle of upward mobility, growth and improvement.
It’s time to open up our economy to empower all South Africans. And create an economy that is truly transformed, so that the majority of South Africans have the opportunity to run and own businesses.
This is the DA’s dream, shared by the majority of South Africans.
This dream will begin to be realised when the DA takes the Union Buildings. And believe me, that day is not far off.
We will take our vision for South Africa to all corners of this great country so that more and more South Africans can unite behind the party that can build a better future for our children.
And we will unpack in detail the policies that we will implement to make our vision a reality when we are in national government.
Policies to get our economy growing and more inclusive. Policies focusing on land reform and BBB-EE. Policies that will make our country safer. Policies that will give our children the best possible start in life.
When the DA wins more municipalities in next year’s local government elections, it will be a milestone in the journey towards uniting all South Africans who believe in freedom; believe in fairness; and believe in opportunity.
Our vision for South Africa is to see a day when each one of these values are made a reality for all our people by a government that embodies them.
I see that day on the horizon and it fills me with hope. Change is coming!
Change that will see this great nation live up to its potential.
Change that brings freedom.
Change that brings fairness.
Change that brings opportunity.
Morena Boloka Setchaba sa heso
God seën Afrika
Nkosi sikelel’ iafrika
Let us live and strive for freedom, in South Africa our land.