'The EFF are an important political ally' - The UDM's Kwankwa answers your questions

2019-05-03 10:57

The UDM's deputy president Nqabayomzi Kwankwa answers your questions ahead of the elections. It's a live, online interview led entirely by YOU as a citizen!


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Last Updated at 03:15
03 May 12:39

03 May 12:12

A final message:

Fellow South Africans, the UDM is the only party in South Africa that can introduce an industrial policy and strategy that will ensure that firstly we increase and improve inter Africa trade, that we rebalance trade between SA and its trade partners to create jobs here at home rather than creating jobs elsewhere in the world. We are the only party that truly cares about clean governance. We are the only party that espouses our constitutional values of building a democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa and would call upon you to vote for the UDM so that together we can all work together to build a South Africa where we all look forward to the sunrise of our tomorrow.

03 May 11:55

03 May 11:29

03 May 11:18

03 May 10:21

Kwankwa: The influx of fellow brothers and sisters from the continent, especially those who come into the country illegally are a reflection of the failure of the AU and regional bodies to deal with the conflicts on the continent. The member states of the AU are accountable to those institutions for their actions especially when the countries become undemocratic. That is why we find ourselves where we are today.

During our fight for freedom we were helped to a great deal by our brothers and sisters, especially when you consider the role of the front line states in the struggle. There's no reason why the South African state can't make sure that those who come into the country do so legally. Because it is unsustainable that we have open borders and people can just come and go. It does place a strain on the country.

We can't keep on just discussing issues of trade and say we want to ease trade regulations becasue we want the products but not the people. We need better standardisation of migration systems on the continent that ensures people's dignity as human beings. But the AU should hold members to account. Impose sanctions. If they need to suspend a member in order to make a political point, do so. But because it's a big boy club, they decide to side with despotic regimes. As long as countries like South Africa don't speak up on these issues people will gravitate to where the economy and political situation is stable. It's a failure of the SA government to play a prominent role in the leadership of the continent.

People often talk about we should be moving to a united Africa. We agree with that emphatically. But it can't just be in South Africa. For instance in Ghana, there's an investment act, where they say certain sections of the economy is reserved for locals only. This thing needs to be approached from regional and continental level. 

03 May 10:13

We all agree that South Africa needs economical growth in a big way to create jobs. Unfortunately South Africa has one of the highest crime and murder rates in the world, chasing away investors. What would the reason be that the UDM do not make a firm stance on bringing back the death penalty? It will surely take care of South Africa's murder problems and have an extremely positive influence on crime in general? - Deon

Kwankwa: Crime fighting needs a multi-pronged approach. We are not convinced that the death penalty will effectively reduce crime. You will recall when Mandela was still president they introduced the RDP policy. He said we require an RDP of the soul. We come from a very violent past. Even a protest about a basic issue turns violent. We have to do the RDP of the soul. What are the issues? What is it about us that increased our propensity for violence as a solution to our problems? That is a dialogue we need to have.

What emboldens criminals is the lack of effectiveness and weakness of law enforcement agencies. People start with petty crime and get away with it and before you know it the situation has evolved. The UDM would have a crime prevention ministry where crime fighting and law enforcement would be coordinated by one ministry so that the left hand knows what the right hand is doing. If you look at security in the Jacob Zuma era, law enforcement was fighting politicians'. Look at what happened to IPID, they too were caught up in the factional battles of ANC. When they tried to improve efficiency, they too were drawn into the fights.

You can't have a succesful crime fighting strategy with this level of infighting.

To say you're going to reintroduce the death penalty... Even if you killed someone, the police won't know who did it, you won't be found guilty in court and you'll walk free because of lack of efficiency in law enforcement.

03 May 10:07

Will UDM go in coalition with EFF if need be? - Mandla Mayisela, Facebook

Kwankwa: The EFF are an important political ally. We work well together. Because our policies are about ensuring that we adopt pro poor policies that redistribute income from the haves to the haves not.

So, the answer is an emphatic, yes. But any coalition has to be dealt with from a policy and programme point of view... You have to ask what is the key issues in that area. You must consider what your manifesto and policy statements put emphasis on and what the bread and butter issues are. That would inform your coalition programme. You then enter into negotiations with people that are willing to compromise even if you are idealogically poles apart. So, yes we work with them well in NMB and in the National Assembly, but we will also be willing to work with other parties as long as the focus is bread and butter issues and service delivery.

We'll make life difficult for the DA. Because throughout their campaign they tried to decampaign smaller parties by saying a vote for a smaller party is wasted vote. And I'm sure after the election they will want to go into coalition with us. From where we're sitting opposition parties' focus must be to destabilise the ANC. When we decampaign each other it is counter productive. 

03 May 10:01

Kwankwa: The youth were not protesting for attention. They were trying to defend a constitutionally enshired value of multi-party democracy. If you were to go to Chapter 1, the very first section of the Constitution, that deals with the founding provisions of the Constitutions. Subsection A says SA will be founded on the values of human dignity, the attainment of equality, the advancement of human rights and freedom. The second is non-racialism and non-sexism. The third value is supremacy of the Constitution. The fourth value is about universal suffrage, a national common's voters' role, regular elections and a multi-party democratic government to ensures accountability and responsibility and openness. It's not the UDM that says that, it's the South African Consitution that says that.

In 2014 South Africans gave meaning to that by saying we want to have 13 political parties. Who is eNCA to say that we are no longer going to respect the will of the people. Had eNCA not invited us to that debate what happened last night would not have happened. They invited us, we accpeted, and made the necessary arrangements. I even flew to Johannesburg. When media houses invite us, they think all we do is say yes, but influences your entire campaign programme. That influenced my entire campaign schedule.

It's an unadulterated clap-trap. What the young people of the UDM did there... there was no violence. They put up clear placards that said what we are standing and fighting for. The young people of a party is the first line of defence. The young people of the UDM was our first line of defence and defended an important value of our multi-party democracy that was infringed upon. 

The battle needs to be taken forward. Once the results of the elections are declared, we need to ask, what do we mean by mutli-party democracy? Are we being true to respecting the will of the people? We can't have media houses that seem to be biased in favour of certain parties. If that's true, we're going to make it difficult for them to operate. Especially if they're going to do it in communities where we have people. 

03 May 10:00

Kwankwa: Traditional leaders are an important stakeholder in SA but unfortunately when they were created the were usurped by the local sphere of government. As a result the traditional leadership don't play such an instrumental role as in past towards social cohesion. But at the same time they have a critical role to play to ensure accountability of local municipalities.

Many local municipalities show very little respect for traditional leaders. They are the most legitimate and respected authority among people especially in rural areas. There needs to be a sharing of power in these areas. The traditional leadership have an important role to play to advise and guide. Currently the sustem is such that whatever input they make can just be ignored. We are saying as a UDM, we'll build systems and mechanisms that we'll empower that sector.

Remember in certain areas you won't even be able to go speak to people without the permission of the traditional leaders. You have to show respect to traditional leaders. The same way you follow protocol in any organisation. 

03 May 09:58

Cyril Ramaphosa recently asked young South Africans to stop leaving the country and those who have left, to come back. What is a message you would like to send those living abroad or those considering the move? - Marie Pattinson

Kwankwa: We would like all patriotic South Africans to remain in the country and help rebuild the country. After Jacob Zuma's eight wasted years we need people with skills and expertise in various strategic positions. The ANC needs to undo the damage it has done to state institutions over the years by cadre deployment. What we don't want is to lose the skills needed now to fix it. 

South Africa is in a very difficult political time where we need all hands on deck. We would like to call on all patriotic South Africans to remain in the country and help rebuild Africa's industrial capital. Young people in particular mustn't go. Obviously there are those who want to go to gain experience and so forth. But those who want to go because they are not patriotic, they must go.

03 May 09:57

How does the UDM plan to foreground environmental principles? What is your environmental policy? - Kate Davies

Kwankwa: Our policies have always been relatively in line with government's environmental policies, particularly because Mr Holomisa was deputy minister of environmental affairs during Mandela's government, so he had a lot of input into it. That translated into the UDM's policies years later. The problem we have is that there is a lack of implementation. The second issue is... you will remember the COP17 conference in Durban... most of the resolutions taken there have not really been implemented.

The discussion in the portfolio commission in Parliament, in which the president of UDM also sits, were centred around implementation. Some of them were just basic steps... Especially in provinces where the infrastructure is poor. You start taking care of the environment by taking daily steps.

03 May 09:53

Good day, I voted for DA then UDM in the '90s. I switched back to the DA but am disillusioned and considering going back to the UDM as I think Bantu Holomisa is a fair man whom I trust. 

Can the UDM take on the radical ANC? - Andrew Macfarlane

Kwankwa: Of course. I think if we have our own, different understanding of taking on the radical ANC. We have our own approach. Consider what we did when we took the speaker of Parliament to court to call for a secret ballot in the vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma. That was taking on the ANC for refusing to reprimand Zuma. If you consider the fact that it has led to the establishment of the inquiry into the PIC. That is the doing of the UDM. Mr Bantu Holomisa wrote to Cyril Ramaphosa and calling on him to investigate the matter. Later the commission of inquiry was established. In this way we are taking on the ANC and making sure there is clean governance. 

When Pansy Tlakula was heading the IEC and there were allegations of corruption, we took her on head on.

UDM is just not very good at blowing its own trumpet, but we do a lot behind the scenes, and we will continue to do that guided by our values on integrity.

03 May 09:50

Have you investigated if there is any cause for concern regarding whether Mr Bobani's continued occupation of the Mayoral Office in NMB serves the best interests of the community served by his office?  I admire the integrity of your party's leader. Can I be assured that your party has followed the prescripts of its code of conduct without fear or favour and how so? - Dawn Taylor

Kwankwa: Since we have no investigative arm in the UDM, or no law enforcement arm, we tried to do our own internal investigation with the limited resources we have and we could not find any evidence of wrongdoing.

We called on ordinary members of the public and said that if you have evidence against Mr Bobani, please bring it forward. And no one came forward. We have a responsibility as a party to treat him fairly. In the event where no one and even people in the DA... if no one is willing to come forward with evidence, it leaves our hands tied. You must be clear about the kind of evidence you have. Otherwise he might even take us to court and say we are treating him unfairly.

We are getting regular reports about service delivery issues in NMB and the consituents in the metro are happy with what he's doing because he's focusing on the previously disadvataged in that city. Obviously that is not going to make everyone happy.

03 May 09:47

There are several parties sowing divisions amongst the people of our country. How would the UDM unite us all as one South Africa? - Vusumuzi Gift Mathonsi

Kwankwa: Remember non-racialism and building a united SA are constitutionally enshrined values. Those values are in the founding provisions fo the Constiituiton in Chapter 1. If as a political party you subscribe to the Constitution, you can't pick and choose which you parts of it you support.

The founding values of the UDM, if you look at the progression, it's taken directly from the progression you see in the national flag of SA where it reflects the coming together of the different race groups united in their diversity.

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