Corruption is ‘new oppression in SA’
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.”