Has our hard-fought democracy delivered the freedom that we all desire?

By Matlhodi Maseko MPP, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Human Settlements:

Statement in the House 7 May 2015:

Madame Speaker,

In the fight for freedom we fought against inequality and poverty, to become a capable and independent society. A society in which people can express themselves without being harmful to one another. South Africans fought for a country that embodies Ubuntu. A country that doesn’t look to see who you are connected to before you can get a job.

If we are honest about freedom, Speaker we are just not there yet. Yes as the country we have to celebrate our freedom to acknowledge where we come from, but more has to be done.

Western Cape is the best run province in the country compared to other provinces and by the way that is in the auditor general report not the DA report. The DA government is working day and night to build a government that has a self-explanatory slogan well known, Better Together.

The inability of ANC Government to deliver conditions for growth and tolerance in other provinces, is barring South Africans from empowering themselves. This is because their interpretation of freedom is one that encourages dependence on the state. Through its centralist policies, and centralist politics – power is kept in the hands of the few at the cost of the freedom of the many.

National Government cannot inevitably continue down this trajectory. At some point it will have to realise that it is depriving South Africans of freedom and it will have to realise that it is not fulfilling its mandate. Government must create a growth-enabling environment. It must deliver on basic services, so that people can be free to live lives they value.

Madam Speaker, in the Western Cape we are blazing the trail in delivering human settlements. We are equally strong in expanding the economic opportunities in our province. This combination is critical in eliminating the housing backlog as it means creating the opportunities for people to house themselves. However, we are swimming upstream because of the maladministration and crippled growth that has come to define the National Government.

The DA in the Western Cape inherited a botched ANC government when it took office in 2009. 76% of the Western Cape Government’s budget is spent on poor communities. This is our commitment to redressing apartheid’s most noxious legacy, poverty.

Our province is an example of what South Africa can become under a system of good governance. A system that the National Government currently doesn’t have.