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The United Democratic Movement (UDM) looks forward to the New Year and we share the hopes and dreams of all South Africans and the UDM commits itself to actively work towards reaching the goals of our nation.

We challenge the ruling party to show their so-called commitment to clean governance. What will President Mbeki promise in his speech this year? What victories will he claim for his government? What failures will he acknowledge? Will he admit that instead of jobs, skills development, education, health care and basic safety and security, the Government managed to fantastically justify the purchase of very expensive submarines and fighter aircraft?

Will President Mbeki stubbornly maintain his strange stance on HIV/Aids - which he has successfully imposed the ministers of Health and Finance and the entire ANC National Executive Committee? Whilst this mulish attitude achieves nothing, our people are dying.

Although the UDM is encouraged that more of our matriculants passed their examinations this year, we still worry at their prospects of gaining employment. The UDM maintains that the dignity and self-esteem that our nation so desperately needs, comes with a proper job - to have the means to feed one's children and to provide them with an education and a future.

During the past few months, the South African political landscape has been thrown into turmoil, but this very turmoil has given us the opportunity to work toward true political realignment. We call upon South Africans in all political formations, civil society, the business sector, academics etc, to take stock and concede that we should leave the baggage of the past behind and embrace the opportunity to carry our society forward and write a new chapter in our history.

The UDM has started to lay the foundation for our campaign for the 2004 elections; we will now consolidate and work towards building a strong alternative. We will actively engage the ruling party on all levels of government, to fight for the bread and butter issues that concern all South Africans. Together, armed with the new ideas of our policy review, we can win the hearts and minds of all South Africans. We can offer a real alternative to the ANC.

The UDM implores all our citizens to be responsible road users, to be patient and obey the law and to return home safely.

We wish all South Africans a prosperous New Year.

Bantu Holomisa, MP
UDM President

29 December 2001

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