Guest Column

In response to Melanie Verwoerd: Numbers don't lie

2018-11-23 08:00
(Gallo Images)

(Gallo Images)

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In her attack on the DA, former ANC MP Melanie Verwoerd resorts to a great deal of crude exaggeration, the very thing of which she accuses us. Her two biggest beefs with the DA seem to be that we are "fearmongering" by warning people of the risks associated with the ANC and EFF's intention to amend the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation, and our "disastrous year of infighting".

Any opposition party that did not point out the dangers of populist politics and how they lead to the disaster that is Zimbabwe, would not be worth its salt. The ANC/EFF effort to change the Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation is a terrible idea for South Africa. The erosion of property rights has caused only more poverty wherever it has been attempted.

The ANC should be decisively rejecting these 1970s socialist ideas, but instead it has outsourced policy making to the EFF. It is our duty to warn South Africans of the dangers that lie down this path. We will mobilise public opinion against these proposals as much as we can. It makes sense to warn people of the potential risk before that risk becomes inevitable. Time will tell how prescient our warnings are, just like we warned the country to "Stop Zuma" in 2009. 

If "infighting" is Verwoerd's other big beef with the DA, I'd ask her to name a party anywhere in the world that doesn't have internal contestation. It's perfectly normal in political parties, and frankly, the DA's well-mannered debates are all mild beer compared to the chair-throwing mayhem and murder that now characterises ANC conferences. 

Then consider the difference in the nature of these divisions.

ANC infighting is first and foremost a fight over which faction controls access to state resources, for the purposes of looting and dispensing patronage to consolidate their power base. That much should be clear to anyone who has followed the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture or who is aware of the political killings in parts of the country.

The R500 000 that Cyril Ramaphosa has admitted to receiving towards his ANC presidential election campaign from Bosasa, a company that has R10bn of government tenders, was paid to secure future tenders in the event that Ramaphosa prevailed. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded.

(Likewise, co-operation between the ANC and EFF, such as on the issue of expropriation without compensation and in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro, is aimed at retaining and securing access to state resources. Neither moves has anything to do with improving people's lives.)

In stark contrast, the divisions in the DA's Cape metro caucus arose precisely because the vast majority of our councillors are committed to good, honest government. History will show that the DA was right to hold the former mayor to account, no matter how inconvenient and difficult.

Verwoerd may be interested to know that despite it all, the DA-run Western Cape still achieved 83% clean audits in the past year, far ahead of second placed ANC-run Gauteng at 52%. 

In this year, over 50% of all jobs created in South Africa were created in the Western Cape (95 000 out of 188 000), even though the province is home to only 12% of SA's labour force. 

Numbers don't lie, exaggerate or fearmonger. They simply tell us that if voters want honest government that enables job creation, they should vote for the DA in 2019.

- Hill-Lewis is chief of staff in the DA leader's office. 

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

Read more on:    da  |  politics
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