Below is an extract of a speech delivered by DA Eastern Cape Provincial Leader Athol Trollip in Sterkspruit on Monday, 11 July as part of his provincial campaign road show.
The frustration of the Sterkspruit community with the lack of ANC government is so bad that they decided to take the fight to the polls with their own party, the Sterkspruit Civic Association (SCA). In Aliwal North, one of the area’s sure-fire job spinners, the Aliwal Spa, is in ruins while the government is spending R192-million on a new building for itself.
These are examples of how the ANC-government of Jacob Zuma has lost touch with the people it is supposed to serve. A caring government listens to the people and responds to their needs. Without sustainable work in our rural municipalities, poverty will never be eradicated.
The DA believes that investing in infrastructure-led growth is what provides an environment that is conducive to private sector investment that creates jobs. For this, we need well-run municipalities where next generation, fit-for-purpose municipal officials are ready to serve their communities.
In DA-run municipalities, we work with local small and micro enterprises, business chambers and regional development agencies to promote local business, we don’t establish “agencies” to benefit only a few connected fat cats. The Joe Gqabi Development Agency is a case in point.
Despite the Sterkspruit communities best efforts, little has changed for them, even after violent protests and the death of 15-year-old Nkosiyethu Mgoqi, whose family is still waiting for answers from the police.
Since 1994 we have made progress in many ways, but the ANC has changed and we are going in the wrong direction.
What we need to do is work together for an honest and responsive government that will stop corruption, provide better service and work had to create more jobs and opportunities for all.
We want to bring change to move communities forward again.