The speech below was delivered by Bobby Stevenson MPL and Eastern Cape Deputy Provincial Leader at the Freedom Day celebrations at Vuyisile Mini Square, Nelson Mandela Bay Metro City Hall this morning.
Freedom Day is a celebration of hope. Hope that the future can be better than the past. Hope that we can believe in a South African dream whereby, through hard work and a good education, we can uplift ourselves so our children can do better than we ever did. So our children can inherit a country where we can hold our heads up in pride amongst the nations of the world. Where its people are united and galvanised behind a vision of building an inclusive, prosperous future for all its citizens.
We believed in this dream in 1994 and under the Presidency of Nelson Mandela. Here, in Nelson Mandela Bay, that dream has become re-ignited under the DA-led coalition government. In the Eastern Cape, change has also occurred in Kouga where we are in government. The winds of good governance flowing from these two municipalities are going to blow throughout the province. They are the launching pad for winning many more municipalities and becoming the new provincial government.
Everything rises and falls on leadership. Under Mayor Athol Trollip corruption is being fought, service delivery is improving, and jobs are being created. Where good governance takes place, freedom is advanced.
In other parts of South Africa under President Zuma’s ANC, the opposite is happening.
If we want to create good jobs, the ANC must fall.
If we want to cut corruption, the ANC must fall.
If we want better healthcare, the ANC must fall.
If we want a decent education, the ANC must fall.
If we want to eradicate crime, the ANC must fall.
It is simplistic to believe that just President Zuma must fall. The organisation that allowed him to rise to that position and keeps him there must fall as well. The ANC has lost its way, has lost its heart, has lost its soul and has lost its moral compass. And the future of South Africa is fast becoming lost under an ANC government.
There is no real freedom in a society when that freedom is shackled by poverty, unemployment, poor healthcare and education and crime.
The time is coming when South Africa will be set free from these evils so all of us can aspire to a tomorrow that is better than today.
Our dream in South Africa must be to turn political freedom into economic- and other opportunities.
Change is a source of hope and change has occurred in Nelson Mandela Bay and many other places where the DA governs. There is a rising mood for change in this country. The marches, the demonstrations, the calls by religious and other civic leaders are a testimony to this.
Hope is a positive force because something better is always possible if you stand up and fight for it. Hope allows us to rise above fear, anger, despondency and division.
Hope energises our dreams and beliefs, and inspires us, that collectively, we can move this country forward again.
2019 is coming. And the DA can become part of the national government. But you must dream it. You must believe it. You must see it. Can you visualise President Mmusi Maimane entering the Union buildings? To achieve this, we must win in 2019.
I believe we can! I believe we must! I believe we will! — Bobby Stevenson MPL, deputy provincial leader