Andrew Louw MPL
DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
Note: These are remarks made by DA Northern Cape Provincial Leader and Premier Candidate, Andrew Louw MPL, during a Debate on Human Rights Month in the Provincial Legislature, today 18 March 2014.
Fellow South Africans, good day, molweni, dumelang, goeie dag!
We live in a wonderful country. South Africa is a land of much beauty. Our rivers, oceans, beaches, mountains, plant life and wild life all bear testament to the beauty of our land.
South Africa is also the envy of the world because of the many things its people has gone through and achieved.
We are a special people. We have defied history’s odds to emerge a better nation. Together, we overcame apartheid and started to make things better.
But things have changed. We stand again at a vital moment where we have to overcome the odds.
The odds have been stacked against us, because of the actions of our president and his government. Our hope has turned to despair with the election of Jacob Zuma as President.
The last 5 years of this government have seen some of the worst human rights violations since the downfall of apartheid.
Speaker let me be clear and precise: on human rights, there is no good story to tell by this government.
In the Northern Cape the story is no different. The Northern Cape Government has a bad human rights record. Poor governance, poor leadership, government inaction, rampant corruption and crooked cadres. These things saw many residents be denied their human rights. Some are without water and proper education. Some suffer under the scourge of crime, gangsterism and drug abuse.
Speaker, do you remember the education crisis in Olifantshoek? A whole community of over 2500 young learners were denied access to their education. Let me remind the Hon. Premier and her cabinet that Section 29 of the Constitution declares that everybody has a right to a basic education.
In my campaign tour across the province the real story has emerged on how the denial of human rights has denied people of this province opportunity.
Under section 27 of the Constitution, every South African has a right to healthcare, food, water, and social security.
However under the Zuma ANC, people are turned away from accessing their right to healthcare.
At Pholong Clinic in Warrenton, a nurse declared the clinic an ANC facility and refused basic medical care to a resident who had sought treatment wearing her DA T-shirt. I’ve already written to the South African Human Rights Commission, requesting an investigation into discrimination on political grounds at Pholong Clinic.
But Speaker, the denial of human rights to residents doesn’t end there.
In Koeboes residents have not had running tap water since October 2013 and the water provided to them by the municipality is not of an acceptable standard.
People all over this province have expressed their fear at the corrupt government officials who abuse them and violate their human rights.
This provincial government has done very little to protect the LGBTI community, who are denied their right to freely and safely express themselves. The Premier has never publically addressed the matter, and allows the gay community to suffer alone.
The residents of this province deserve better, and the DA offers a better alternative.
The DA’s record in government is one of ensuring the human rights and dignity of South Africans is upheld through good service delivery.
One does not have to look far for examples. In the Hantam Municipality our DA Mayor, Abrie Fritz, in a short period of three years, has recorded province-leading service delivery improvements.
The DA has turned around a Northern Cape municipality inherited from the ANC, with crumbling infrastructure and debt, into a properly run town.
Our government has cut corruption and has created good governance structures.
We’re providing province-leading service delivery in water, sanitation, housing delivery, and development, meeting the human rights of all residents. The DA has created an administration able to efficiently allocate R101 million to current and recently completed infrastructure projects that deliver opportunities to Hantam’s residents.
Indeed Hantam is a shining example of what we can do when voted into government in the Northern Cape.
Speaker, ladies and gentlemen, the people of the Northern Cape have an opportunity to join the DA, and stand together for change and together for jobs. On the 7th May people will vote in a DA government that respects human rights and which will create an Open Opportunity Society for All.