Address at a UDM rallly in East London by the UDM President (01 December 2008)

Ladies and Gentlemen

I arrived on Friday in the Amatole region and have been working in various rural areas and small towns. It was the first time that I have been able to visit many of these areas and I can report that the reception was good wherever I went; I left a great deal of UDM campaign materials behind.

This afternoon I am happy to address this meeting in East London, and tomorrow at 10am I will be meeting King Sandile and all the chiefs that fall under him at his Great Place. We will be talking about the state of the province and the state of the nation, as well as the issues relating to the future of his kingdom, and indeed the issues relating to the future of Traditional Leadership.

Here in East London you may have noticed that we had to resort to advertising in the Daily Dispatch to notify you of this meeting. This is because the posters advertising this meeting throughout the city and townships were vandalised, we assume by our political opponents. I have taken the trouble to look throughout the city and I see only ANC posters; yet I know that the UDM and other political parties put up posters for voter registration as well as political meetings. One can only assume that the ANC is displaying a culture of intolerance. But we will resort to other means to reach the voters, even if they are costly.

We are meeting here today to prepare for the elections next year. When one considers the current level of campaign activity it seems as if the election date has already been announced, when in fact it has not. This just demonstrates the amount of interest among voters and political parties and I predict that the voter turnout will be very high, which is good for democracy.

It is during this period where you as voters will suffer from a lot of noise pollution, because this is the period of promises. Even the people who in the past were accused of wrongdoing will be moving around the country painting a rosy picture of how they will deal with crime and corruption.

Let everybody know that next year's election will be about trust.

Voters will ask: who can we trust in this confusing state of affairs?

They will ask questions such as: Can we trust the ruling ANC when they promise to uphold the rule of law, whilst they have been campaigning to systematically undermine the institutions of our democracy?

Can we trust the ANC when they say they will bring the lawbreakers to justice, when they are campaigning to have the charges against their leader dropped?

Will we trust them to deliver services to the people of this country, when they continue to appoint people who are incompetent in key positions just because they are 'comrades'?

Will we trust them that they will invest on teacher education for those who are expected to educate our children, when the self-same ruling party has closed colleges of education?

Can we trust them when they say they will fight crime, when they appoint people in authority in the SAPS who have no experience of policing?

Can we trust them when they say in the next five years they will create 5 million jobs, when in the past 15 years they have destroyed hundreds of thousands of jobs with their economic policy?

The list is endless.

From the UDM's policy point of view, this country needs to do what other successful nations are doing. Let us return to the policies that are being implemented in countries as diverse as America and China, where the Government does more in the economy to protect domestic jobs and businesses. The Matanzimas, Sebes, Dqozos and Holomisas of this area - when it comes to employment - were doing far better that is happening under the ANC. We never introduced a culture of dependence, or a culture of entitlement; everybody had pride and dignity. It was a responsibility of the Government and private sector to ensure that when children left school there were jobs waiting for them. We ensured that businesses were incentivised, for example with tax breaks, to create a lot of employment opportunities.

I'm sorry to say that the kids of this region and this province have lost hope, and everybody is cueing for grants, or searching for an excuse to access a grant.

The UDM policy is let us implement what is workable. The macro-economic policy of the ANC has only perpetuated the continued accumulation of wealth among a few. Even the latest business surveys indicate that very few blacks have any significant ownership or control of business; the vast majority are just window-dressing and fronts.

Under the old Transkei government people were empowered because we ensured that at least their property belonged to them and had economic value.

Today I can go to Oxford street and ask how many blacks have been empowered to own property in the past 15 years, and the answer will be very few. I'm sure the same answer will apply in Johannesburg.

The macro-economic policy of the ANC has locked the majority of South Africans out of the economic mainstream.

For that reason the UDM's policy calls for a national economic indaba, like a CODESA-type of summit, to seek ways in which to grow the economic cake and ensure that all South Africans can participate in the economy.

Today we talk of predicted shortages of 90 000-plus teachers, and 50 000 teachers, because the ruling party thought they knew it all. They wouldn't listen to anybody else, so they closed down the training colleges and now we are facing a big crisis as a country.

For this province to address its social ills, the first thing that must be done is for you to vote for parties like the UDM. That is how you can make sure that you gain what you want.

Let us make sure that this time around the voters don't put all their eggs in one basket. How many times have budgets to build schools, clinics and HIV treatment been returned to Pretoria unspent because of incompetence? On what basis can we say the ruling party deserve another chance in government?

This service delivery crisis has been worsened by the infighting by a group of disillusioned ANC members clubbing together to remove other for office, so that they can have their turn to loot the resources of the state.

Therefore we call on you to vote for the UDM in East London and this province.

When you go to the UDM list conferences ensure that you nominate people who are competent.

Bisho must be taken away from the ANC so that we can begin to heal the neglect of the Eastern Cape. We can only do that if we bring people into Government who are competent and dedicated to uplifting the people.

I thank you.

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