My fellow South Africans,
Our country is standing on the brink of the biggest change it has seen since the 1994 elections. People have run out of patience with the ANC government. They realise they are not going to get what they were promised by them and so, across the country, people are mobilising for change.
In many places, this change has already started. A year ago, the DA won several new metros and municipalities from the ANC. We made promises to the people of these towns and cities that we would make a difference in their communities. And if we didn’t, we said they should vote us out of government again.
And so these new DA governments wasted no time. We knew the clock was ticking, and we knew what people expected from us. We immediately started cleaning out the rot and reversing the damage caused by years of neglect.
It’s not surprising at all that the people of Kouga turned their back on the ANC. This municipality came to a standstill over the past decade. Nothing happened – hardly any maintenance of older infrastructure took place and no new projects were launched.
Did you know that in the past eleven years, no new RDP houses were built in the entire Kouga? Not one. But Mayor van Lingen’s government has already turned that around. Right here in Pellsrus, they’re about to start casting foundations for 220 new houses. Not far away, in Kruisfontein, they have also launched a new housing project where the foundations have been cast for 391 new houses.
Mayor van Lingen’s team has also launched an extensive clean-up programme across many of Kouga’s communities, and various new refuse trucks, grass-cutting equipment and skip bins have been bought for the municipality. This clean-up operation has also meant hundreds of fixed-period jobs for the people here.
Then here are the wastewater treatment plants at Kruisfontein and Hankey that have been completed, as well as an upgrade that has been planned for the plant at St Francis Bay.
The informal settlement at Donkerhoek had its main access road upgraded, and electricity has already been switched on at 247 of the sites. The budget to electrify the remaining 116 sites there, as well as at the Ocean View settlement, has now also been approved for next year.
We are aware of the challenges when it comes to schooling in the area, and Mayor van Lingen’s government has successfully sorted out the delays in new school construction projects.
The site of the Andrieskraal Primary School has been handed over to the contractors. This build will include a new hostel. And a new school building at Sea Vista primary was completed and handed over this past year.
My fellow South Africans, this is what real progress looks like. And the Mayor assures me there is a lot more to come.
I know that there is still much to be done here. I have visited houses here in Pellsrus this morning and I have spoken to residents. I know how hard it can be when there are no jobs. I know what the high crime rate does to a community like yours. I know about sewage leaks and dirty streets.
And I assure you, all those things are on the Mayor’s list. You will not be forgotten here like you were under the ANC government.
If we have achieved so much here in Kouga in just one year, imagine what a difference we can make in five or ten years. We can bring back investment into this municipality. We can make it an attractive place for businesses and tourists alike. And with them will come the precious jobs that this community so desperately needs.
But to really be effective, we are going to need your help. Because there is only so much we can do in local government. The real change – the forward-looking plans to create job-creating growth in our country – have to come at national level.
Your vote in 2019 can make that happen. Each of you has the power to say: I don’t want a government that steals my money. I don’t want a government that only cares about itself. I don’t want a government that can’t keep one single promise. I want a fresh beginning under a new government.
Give the DA chance in 2019 to run this province and the country. I give you my word, we will work as hard as we possibly can to improve every aspect of your lives here. And if we don’t, then you must fire us again with your vote. Because that’s how our democracy works. But first give us that one chance.