Pietermaritzburg – Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane on Sunday warned against political parties "that arise because they support a particular race, or culture, or language group".
"We cannot build One South Africa for All if we support political parties that only speak for some," he told supporters at the KwaZulu-Natal launch of the DA’s 2019 elections manifesto in Pietermaritzburg.
"I want to make it unequivocally clear, again, that I reject all forms of discrimination, be it on the colour of your skin, the language you speak, or the God you worship. There have been parties in this very province that seek to divide us on such bases. Some discriminate against Indians, and while others fuel hatred of particular people because of their ethnicity. And often this leads to violence – which has spread across this province at an alarming rate.
"Again, we call upon all public representative to advance peace and denounce all forms of violence, whether political or not. The people of this province still bear the painful scars of violence in the name of race, culture, and ethnicity. We must stand together and never let such violence occur again," Maimane said.
The "most important election in the history of the country" was just two months away. As always, there were people who wanted to tell the DA what it could and could not do; where it could and could not win, he said.
"But I promise you today: The DA will prove them wrong again as we have done in every single election. We will bring the change that our country so desperately needs. Change that brings jobs. Change that brings hope. Change that builds one South Africa for all its people. And if there’s one place that needs this change, it is KwaZulu-Natal."
The potential of the province was immense but was being wasted. It was being wasted through, among other things, a sugar tax that was killing the sugar industry in KwaZulu-Natal and threatening thousands of jobs. Introducing new tax upon new tax would not save the economy. "You cannot tax yourself to prosperity," Maimane said.
"I also believe we need to take certain functions away from national government and put these in the hands of our provinces because they are best placed to respond to the needs of the people. I believe provinces like Gauteng, KZN, and the Western Cape will be better off managing their own rail and ports, and we should, therefore, dissolve Prasa [Passenger Rail Agency of SA].
"I also believe we should introduce provincial police services to better serve our people and keep them safe. I’m talking about a police service with intelligence close to communities, and not miles away in a Pretoria headquarters.
"We need change and we need it now. There is only one party that can bring this change, and that party is the DA. I can say this with certainty because we have proven in the Western Cape, in several metros, and in many municipalities across the country that we have what it takes to build a better future for all our people. The DA is a party that gets things done. We don’t talk. We don’t promise. We do," Maimane said.
African News Agency (ANA)