The following remarks were delivered by the DA Leader during a community meeting in Nokaneng, Mpumalanga. The Leader was joined by DA Mpumalanga Provincial Leader, James Masango, and DA Mpumalanga Provincial Chairperson, Jane Sithole.
My fellow South Africans
Thank you for welcoming me into your community. I come here as part of my Change19 tour, where I've been speaking to many communities about how we can turn our country around in the 2019 elections.
It is possible to change the path we're on, but it will take the kind of commitment we have not seen from this ANC government.
Just this week in Parliament they had the opportunity to redirect more than R10 billion of the budget towards projects that would improve the lives of poor South Africans, including more money for poor students.
But they didn't. And not because they didn't agree with the changes. They didn't do it because it was just too much effort.
The suggested changes would have taken money from low-priority projects and channelled it into job creation, crime fighting, poverty relief and education. But the ANC could not be bothered and voted against it.
If they are not prepared to change how money is spent on poor South Africans simply because it is too difficult, then they cannot be the government that will lead us to a better tomorrow.
Fellow South Africans,
If we want a better future we are going to have to choose a better government. A government with a bold vision and a plan.
Because real change comes when you think and plan far ahead. When you invest in the projects and the people that will change the community forever.
And nothing brings about bigger change than investing in the youth. When you give young people opportunities in education and training, you make it possible for them to rise above their circumstances.
You make it possible for an entire generation to achieve what their parents never could.
That's how you break the cycle of poverty. That's real change.
But when you don't do this - when investing in the education of our children is not a top priority - you keep these children trapped in poverty.
When corruption distracts us and when the needs of a union are seen as more important than the needs of the child, you get what we have here at Mmamogaswa Primary School.
You get a school where eight learners must share one life science text book in June, after having been promised text books since January.
You get a school where hundreds of children must share a handful of filthy pit toilets.
You get a school with overcrowded classrooms, no sports facilities, no lab and no admin building.
You get a school where the SADTU strike has entered its third week - where teachers arrive for the first two hours of the day and then abandon their learners, day after day, week after week.
You get a school that is failing the children of Nokaneng and stealing their future.
Fellow South Africans
It's not impossible to turn things around here at Mmamogaswa Primary, but it will require a government that is prepared to work for you. And that government is not the ANC. They've broken too many promises to you already.
Not far from here lies what remains of the Maibuyele Emasimini Agricultural Project. This project, launched seven years ago, was meant to change the lives of emerging farmers in this region.
New facilities and equipment were going to give emerging farmers a foot-up. But like most ANC projects it was left to go to ruin before it even got off the ground.
Buildings and silos are vandalised and empty. And most of the tractors, which were bought at inflated prices from a company connected to DD Mabuza when he was still Agriculture MEC, now stand broken and abandoned.
It's a project that perfectly sums up this ANC government: All promise, no delivery.
Fellow South Africans,
If you want a better future for this community, for this school and for your children, then you are going to have to choose a better government.
I'm not saying the DA is perfect, but I can assure you we never stop trying to do what is best for the people of South Africa.
Lend us your vote in 2019. Let us prove to you what we can do. If we should disappoint you, then take your vote back. But first give us that one chance.
Together we can build the Nokaneng and the South Africa that we all want.
Ke a leboga. Thank you.
Source: Democratic Alliance