Ladies and Gentlemen,
However unusual it may be to start this way, I would like to ask you all to stand for a moment of silence for the over 6000 South Africans who were murdered and 13 000 women who were raped in the 1st quarter of this year.
It gives me immeasurable pride to be here in the Eastern Cape with so many great South Africans working to fix their country and to fix their province.
In ActionSA we love our country and we hate what has been done to it and we are here to fix it.
When I think of the party ActionSA was just 18 months ago, and I see what we have become today, it is deeply moving. South Africans have taken this project, they have invested their our time, money and resources and they built ActionSA in their communities, towns, villages and cities.
We emerged from Nov 2021 elections after contesting only 6 municipalities out of 278 and we emerged as 6th biggest party in South Africa. Wherever ActionSA contested the ANC is below 50% and in Gauteng the ANC is far below 40%.
We achieved strong results in what used to be the strongholds of the ANC like Soweto, Hammanskraal and Tembisa. We achieved strong results in what used to be the strongholds of the DA of Sandton, Waterkloof and Benoni.
In the past 2 months we fought by-elections in the farming community in the north of Pretoria and we fought a by-election just this week in Soweto.
In Pretoria, in an Afrikaans speaking community, we grew from 6% and the 5th biggest party to 22%, becoming the 2nd biggest party.
In Soweto, we grew from 12% to 21%, and brought the ANC down from 59% to 32%.
We are building a multi-racial party, diverse as the people of our country, that must be a home FOR all of the people of our country. No other party can match these achievements as a party building a home for South Africans of all backgrounds.
It is the winning of votes from the ANC that I take greatest joy in. The ANC cannot be removed by opposition parties fight one another. The ANC can only be removed by a party that wins the support away from of the ANC and ActionSA has already proven to be this party.
However, we do not live on our past achievements, there is just too much to be done. It is with pride I declare that ActionSA will contest ALL 9 provinces in the 2024 General Elections.
We are here to launch our Project to Fix the Eastern Cape and we are blown away by how ActionSA has been received by the people of this beautiful province.
We see structures of ActionSA launching in the cities of Nelson Mandela Bay and here in Buffalo City.
We see them in rural towns and villages of Ngcobo, Bizana, Umtata, Butterworth, Mount Ayliff and so many more.
We see them where young people study at NMU, Rhodes University and Fort Hare.
And why is this happening?
Because South Africans, young and old, black and white, want a party they can believe in, a party that will Fix our Country.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are that party and we are going to Fix South Africa.
Already we are commencing plans for a national policy conference which will bring together our party with the teachers, doctors, nurses, policemen and women, prosecutors and business owners big and small who know what must be done to Fix South Africa.
We will forge the solutions to South Africa’s problems that are pragmatic and not academic or ideological. These solutions will tackle the most important challenges in our country:
Our economy because we need businesses that grow and people who have the dignity of work. This must be achieved though clear economic direction, repealing draconian labour laws, removing the trade union veto on our economic direction, increased support to small business and stabilizing our electricity supply.
A focus on rural economies because can’t just rely in cities to grow our country. Towns and villages must grow and thrive and farmers must be supporters to feed our country and export to the world.
Our education system must be overhauled because the schools in townships and suburbs must be equally good. They must have high quality teachers and principles, a new curriculum, and end of an era of SADTU’s control over our children’s education and school inspectors.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we must invest in our schools.
How many universities have been built in our country in the last 28 years? The answer is pathetic.
ActionSA will build universities, colleges, TVETs and artisanal schools because we need a country that prioritises education and skills development above everything else.
Infrastructure has to be a priority in our country. We cannot continue to have so many people unemployed and infrastructure that has not grown to meet the needs of a growing country. These two problems must be brought together through massive infrastructure investment.
South Africa must become a construction site where cranes appear on the horizon and the sound of construction remind us daily of our new direction with roads, power stations, schools, dams, water pipes and railways being laid everywhere.
And it must be an act of treason against South Africa to steal or damage this infrastructure.
The safety of South Africans has to be a top priority in our country. Yesterday we saw how more South Africans were murdered in the 1st quarter of 2022 than ever before.
We need more policemen and women, better resourced detective units, more courts and judges to hasten the delivery of justice and specialized units and courts to tackle priority crimes like corruption, cable theft, illegal immigration and GBV.
We will continue to be the reasonable middle ground on illegal immigration. We are not against immigration, we are against illegal immigration. We do not blame foreigners, we blame government. We do not take the law into our hands, we campaign to win so that we can implement the rule of law.
The center of South African politics has been abandoned.
The ANC has moved to the left to combat the EFF and the DA has moved to the right to combat the VF Plus.
This abandoned center is where the majority of good, freedom-loving, law-abiding and family-oriented South Africans and we are the party that will give them a political home.
ActionSA will occupy this space, we will produce reasonable solutions, we will campaign on their doorsteps and we will offer them the hope that they have lost in the failed political establishment.
Above all else, we will deliver hope and we will deliver solutions.
We will not campaign to tell South Africans what they already know. South Africans do not need to be told what is wrong with the ANC. South Africans do not need to be told that crime is a problem, or that unemployment is bad or that corruption is out of control.
South Africans need solutions, they need hope and they need it from a political party that they can believe in and party that can win support away from the ANC.