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It is with great pleasure that we inform South Africans that the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and the Congress of South African Students (COSAS)have agreed on a strategic alliance in terms of which the two formations will co-operate on specific issues in which they have common agreement.

A couple of years ago the UDM advocated a political re-alignment in South Africa which would see the changing of the political landscape with the ultimate objective of providing an alternative government to the African National Congress. Such an alignment of political forces who share similar and identical visions would dislodge antiquated groupings previously founded under a now defunct dispensation in which they addressed problems peculiar to that period. The new formations will take the South African society forward and target the burning issues of the day such as education for empowerment of previously disadvantaged communities, wealth creation and equitable distribution of same, so as to narrow the gap between the haves and the have-nots, job creation and improvement of social services etc.

To achieve this it has become imperative that we embrace meaningful and fundamental transformation which alters the existing social and power relations of the present status quo. This will be a departure from the cosmetic trappings of change which have retained the structural relations of the old order and benefited a handful of party cronies.

Today's announcement signifies the march to that goal. The strategic alliance of these two organisations spearheads the cherished goal of realignment as mentioned above. COSAS is the youth of this country and therefore represent the future. Consequently it is imperative that their voice must inform our future decisions.

In the same breath the UDM in terms of its policies and vision, will provide the home for the future leaders of this country through identification of common areas of agreement, nurturing and political guidance.

The UDM salutes the courage, imagination, integrity and resolve of COSAS who had to break ranks with a formidable and resourceful political party, the ANC.

The two formations are committed to consolidate and take forward a programme of effective and relevant education which will equip our youth to take their place in the social and economic life of the country. To this end, early in the New Year we will intensify the "BACK TO SCHOOL" campaign, effective teaching and ensuring the companies that were awarded book tenders comply with the delivery timeframes.

COSAS and the UDM propose the convening of a National Conference on Education which should be attended by all stakeholders to determine a suitable education system acceptable to all, and wrest this initiative from an esoteric clique who want to foist their pet theories down the mouths of South Africans.

COSAS and the UDM will campaign for the channelling of resources to the upgrading of educational infrastructure such as classrooms, furniture, software, educational aids etc.


Chris Luthi
COSAS Secretary General

G Vukela
COSAS Deputy-President

Malizole Diko
UDM Secretary General
083 759-6637

Bantu Holomisa, MP
UDM President

19 December 2001

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