Freedom means nothing unless you can use it to build a better life, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said on Saturday.
“Freedom means little if you cannot find a job. Freedom means even less if our children have no textbooks,” she told delegates at the party's federal congress in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.
“Freedom means nothing if it gives politicians license to steal people's money.”
Zille said freedom lost its value when people lived in constant fear of criminals, and those who suffered under apartheid remained trapped in poverty.
She said there were many people who had not yet used their freedom.
“Many of them are unemployed. Some live in informal settlements without services... Intlupheko ibuhlungu poverty is painful and the gap between the rich and poor is much too wide.” she said.
Zille said if somebody gained a little more freedom, they were to use it to build a better life and to transform society.
She said there was a myth that Cape Town was more unequal than other South African cities.
“This is not true. Dis eenvoudig nie waar nie. This is simply not true.”
She told delegates the United Nations had published a report last year which showed there was a smaller gap between rich and poor in Cape Town than in any other city in the country.
“There is a long way to go but we are closing the gap between rich and poor. We will not stop working until everybody in South Africa has freedom they can use. -Sapa