BOKAMOSO | Why you should vote DA in 2019

This newsletter is the final in a four-part series that explains why, for anyone who dreams of a prosperous, united South Africa, voting for the DA is a far more powerful action and a much safer bet than “voting for Ramaphosa”.

The best way to advance South Africa is to support the DA in 2019. This is true even for those who wish to support Ramaphosa’s reform agenda.

The DA is the most powerful political force for economic growth, good governance and unity in SA today. The stronger the DA, the stronger the force for a market-driven economy within a non-racial, constitutional democracy.

The obvious first question to ask when considering which party to vote for is: Which party will govern best? (When it comes down to it, the reason we vote is to ensure the best possible government so as to improve life as much as possible.) The answer here is unequivocally the DA.

Objectively, the DA’s track record of improving lives is leagues ahead of our competitors. The DA-run Western Cape Province leads in every metric of good governance.

According to StatsSA, over half of all jobs created in the past 12-month period were created in the Western Cape, even though the province only constitutes 12% of South Africa’s labour force. That’s 95 000 out of 188 000 new jobs.

In the past decade, employment grew by 19.8% in the Western Cape, well ahead of second-placed Gauteng at 7.5%. These successes are the result of the province’s economic strategy – Project Khulisa.

Job creation is the issue South Africans care most about. And rightly so. Rapid, job-creating economic growth is the only way to reverse our current vicious circle of mounting poverty, unemployment, inequality and debt.

The Western Cape leads because people feel confident to invest there, whether it’s building a house or building a business. Why? Because the DA-run government does the hard, honest work of spending public money on public services, be it education, healthcare, roads, water and sanitation, electricity, transport or communications.

According to the Auditor General, the province achieved 83% clean audits in the most recent year, far ahead of second-placed Gauteng with 52%. This proves that we spend public money, efficiently, on the public, rather than wasting or looting it.

That’s why the Western Cape consistently leads in education, with the highest retention of learners in the system and the best maths, science and overall matric results. It is why we have the best maintained roads, the highest connectivity, and the best service delivery to the poor.

And it is why the province has the most functional healthcare system, producing the highest life expectancy in the country. Since the DA took over in 2009, life expectancy there has increased from 59 to 66 years and from 64 to 72 years for men and women respectively.

If voters give us the mandate, we will apply this same approach to Gauteng, where the only outright DA-governed municipality, Midvaal, is already leading with the lowest unemployment levels in the province and five consecutive years of clean audits.

In Johannesburg and Tshwane, DA-led coalitions have ended billions of rands of corrupt contracts and put both cities firmly on the path to financial sustainability, economic growth and better service delivery.

Under a DA-led coalition, Nelson Mandela Bay metro went from second least trusted to second most trusted metro in the country (after Cape Town).

Aside from track record in government, a good second question to ask is: Which party is best placed to unite the country?

The DA is unequivocally the most diverse political party in South Africa, comprising young and old of all races. This reflects our commitment to building one South Africa for all and our conviction that we South Africans are better together.

The 2019 election comes at a time when the world is questioning a very important value: human solidarity. Forces that seek to divide humanity along national, ethnic or racial lines are in the ascendant. The DA is fighting back. We stand for human solidarity and nonracialism.

Unlike most SA political parties, the DA does not seek to represent or enrich any particular group in society at the expense of any other group. Rather, we seek to unite people around shared values: a deep commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law (including zero-tolerance of corruption), non-racialism, a market-driven economy and a capable state. We are committed to governing for all.

A third consideration should surely be: How committed is the party to economic reform?

Once again, only the DA is unequivocally committed to the deep structural reforms required to achieve rapid economic growth and job creation, such as ending Eskom’s monopoly on power production, selling SAA, standing up to SADTU, and reforming labour legislation.

But a proven track record of best governance, proven commitment to governing for all, and a solid commitment to reform may not be enough for those voters who wish to vote “strategically”, with an eye on the current constellation of political power in SA. Yet even a “strategic” vote is best placed with the DA, as Helen Zille pointed out this week.

Imagine the DA at one end of a see-saw, representing a strong reform agenda towards a market-driven economy within a nonracial constitutional democracy. And the EFF at the other end, representing a strong populist agenda towards a state-led economy within a racial kleptocracy. A factionally divided ANC straddles the pivot point, but with far more weight on the EFF side. Ramaphosa may be on the DA side, but the bulk of the ANC is not. Therefore, voting ANC will not tip the balance from kleptocracy towards reform. The most leverage you can possibly get for a reform agenda is to vote for the DA.

The most recent example of this is today’s North Gauteng High Court ruling that the state cannot fund Jacob Zuma’s legal fees in his defence of his role in the corruption that has afflicted our country. This is a victory for South Africa and the DA. Left to President Ramaphosa, the state would have continued to fund Jacob Zuma’s legal defence. The DA’s court action compelled him to do the right thing.

This is my last newsletter of 2019. I wish you all a peaceful and safe festive season. Travel safely and get lots of rest because 2019 is the year we start building one South Africa for all.

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