South Africa is not a failed state as some people are claiming, and it can be changed for the better if the DA is voted into power, party leader Mmusi Maimane said on Sunday.
“South Africa is at a critical juncture in its history. Our economy is in crisis and is not creating the jobs required to address inequality [and] pull many South Africans out of poverty and move our country forward,” he said in statement following a Democratic Alliance federal council meeting.
“Dealing with the unemployment problem effectively, will require the requisite political will and leadership that is sorely lacking in the current government.
“The DA does not share the views of some who say that South Africa is becoming a failed state. But we do not have the luxury of time to get things right and fix our economy so that it creates the jobs required.
“South Africa requires a government that is committed to building a better future for all South Africans. And only the DA can form such a government,” Maimane said.
He said the party will “focus with laser-like intensity” on taking control of the Union Buildings in 2019.
He said next year’s local government elections would provide an opportunity for South Africans to bring “DA difference” to their municipalities.
“In metros such as Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and the City of Johannesburg, current market research shows that change is on the horizon,” he said.
He said the federal council reiterated that energy security was important for the economy, and that instead of investing in a trillion rand nuclear deal there should be more investment in renewable energy to break “Eskom’s monopoly”.
Maimane also said corruption and the “state capture” of institutions was the biggest impediment to South Africa’s progress.
“The corruption that holds back our country’s people stems from the top. President [Jacob] Zuma must be held accountable for this. And we will continue our fight to ensure that the decision to set aside the decision to prosecute the president be rescinded and charges reinstated,” he said.
“The DA will [also] not relent in our mission to uphold the Public Protector’s report into [Zuma’s homestead in] Nkandla. Nkandla is symbolic of the corruption that has plagued all levels of government. And the president must pay back a reasonable portion of the money spent on upgrading his private residence.”
The DA would announce measures in Parliament this week “to ensure respect for our critical institutions”.
“Despite our numerous problems, South Africa has the people to make this country great. What we need is a government that unleashes the potential of our people so that we can build a better future and make this country a dynamic, innovative beacon of hope for the developing world,” Maimane said.
“That government is a DA government. And change is coming to South Africa. Change that will start in next year’s municipal elections.”