Cor­rup­tion is ‘new op­pres­sion in SA’

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - BALD­WIN ND­ABA

DA LEADER Mmusi Maimane has warned that “cor­rup­tion is the new op­pres­sion in South Africa” and ac­cused the ANC gov­ern­ment un­der Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma of be­ing sim­i­lar to the apartheid gov­ern­ment.

“The rich are get­ting more rich in South Africa. The face of poverty in our coun­try is largely black.”

These were the con­cerns raised by Maimane when he ad­dressed thou­sands of his party’s sup­port­ers dur­ing the Gaut­eng DA’s pro­vin­cial elec­tive con­fer­ence at Gal­lagher Con­ven­tion Cen­tre yes­ter­day.

At the congress, John Moodey was re­tained as pro­vin­cial party leader for the third suc­ces­sive time fol­low­ing a fierce bat­tle with party new­comer and MP Ghaleb Cachalia. Mike Mo­ri­arty was elected DA pro­vin­cial chair­per­son, re­plac­ing Tsh­wane’s Solly Msi­manga, who wanted to put his fo­cus on the city.

Maimane urged the vic­tors and losers to set their sights on win­ning Gaut­eng in 2019, say­ing the gov­ern­ment had failed the peo­ple. “When our coun­try left the bru­tal­ity of apartheid be­hind and took its first steps as a democ­racy, South Africans were promised a bet­ter life. They were promised a chance to take con­trol of their own lives through qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion, through ac­cess to eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties, through own­er­ship of prop­erty,” he said.

How­ever, for mil­lions that promise never ma­te­ri­alised.

“It is not the South Africa Madiba wanted and it is not the South Africa He­len Suz­man wanted,” Maimane said.

He said more than 30 mil­lion South Africans now lived be­low what is known as the up­per poverty line. One in seven faced ex­treme food poverty and the coun­try’s ex­panded un­em­ploy­ment rate was now sit­ting about 36%.

Maimane said the sit­u­a­tion was wors­en­ing be­cause the econ­omy was paral­ysed and there was no growth.

“For­get about the ANC’s De­cem­ber con­fer­ence – noth­ing that hap­pens there will make any dif­fer­ence to the predica­ment we find our­selves in. We must fo­cus on build­ing our econ­omy. If Eskom de­faults on its spi­ralling debt and the cap­tured Malusi Gi­gaba is forced to bail them out, it will cer­tainly mean a fur­ther down­grade.”

Maimane saidt those who were go­ing to be hard­est hit were the most vul­ner­a­ble, say­ing “life for poor, black South Africans is get­ting tougher by the day”.

“The face of poverty in our coun­try is still largely black. These peo­ple are not poor be­cause they are black. They are poor be­cause apartheid de­lib­er­ately kept them away from op­por­tu­ni­ties and de­lib­er­ately un­der-ed­u­cated them.

“To­day they re­main poor be­cause a cor­rupt sys­tem, de­signed to look af­ter the elite at the ex­pense of the poor, keeps them in poverty. Cor­rup­tion is the new op­pres­sion.”

Mmusi Maimane

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