The affordable education loan option
Pretoria - About 300 people turned out on Wednesday when Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele visited Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria.
After lending her ear to some of their daily problems, Ramphele said Agang SA was responding to a failure to build on South Africa's 20 years of democracy.
“We are responding to the failure to build for 80 percent plus of South Africa's people,” she said in the Hammanskraal community hall.
“We are here to give notice to South Africa. We are here to restore the power to the people.”
Greeted by cheers, Ramphele, who wore a shiny purple suit, entered the hall through a back door, escorted by three bodyguards.
Before going on stage, she walked through the singing crowd, shaking a few hands, and continued to dance on the stage amid cheers. Many people were wore white T-shirts bearing the party's yellow and green logo.
Before she spoke, resident Kenny Mogale, a member of the party, said there were problems in Hammanskraal with education, sports grounds, and sanitation.
“We have to stand up. This is our time to say enough is enough. We are saying to you, get up and fight for yourself,” said Mogale.
Agang SA needed to be recognised, he said.
“Today we are making a symbol to all our people that we are here. We are making a mark to all political parties that we are here,” he said to applause.
“If people cannot maintain leadership, let them come down to tell us so we can know. We will make it a point and teach them.”
Ramphele said it was time to build functional education systems, clinics, police stations, and to provide basic services for people, otherwise the sacrifices of people like former president Nelson Mandela and former African National Congress president Oliver Tambo would have been in vain.
Twenty years into democracy children still went to mud schools and some people were without toilets, said Ramphele.
People needed to vote to exercise their power. Political parties distributing food parcels was an insult to people's dignity.
“Imagine the indignity. People don't create an environment for jobs for decent livelihoods and then they come with food parcels once in five years.
“It's an insult to the dignity of the citizens in this country. The money from those food parcels is stolen from taxpayers. They are stealing your money to buy your vote.”
Ramphele said corruption was destroying the country and South Africa needed competent people in charge. Corruption was a tax on the people.
Leaders unwilling to disclose their wealth and how much they owned should not be allowed in government because one was not sure what they had stolen, Ramphele said.
She revealed in August that she had a net worth of R55.4 million.
“Those who are found guilty of corruption or are suspected of corruption should not be allowed to serve in the government of this country.
“We are the only country in the world where someone (who) faces 700 plus charges of corruption can successfully become president,” she said.
Ramphele said people not voting was part of the problem because millions of the people registered to vote did not do so in 2009.
“Agang SA is the fresh start South Africa needs, because after 20 years you can't still be learning.
“We have the power to change South Africa in 2014. It starts with you and I today refusing to give our minds to people who just want to abuse us.”
Led by Ramphele, the crowd chanted: “Enough is enough” and “Down with the corrupt people, down”.
Earlier, programme director Kenny Mokgele asked people to move their cars inside the community hall's yard after other political parties intimidated its members.
He said Agang SA was not afraid. It was a legitimate party and had the right to address residents and hear their problems.