DA would speed up land reform, says Maimane
Hammanskraal - The Democratic Alliance would hasten the land reform process in South Africa if it were to come to power, party leader Mmusi Maimane said on Monday.
“Democrats, people are going to talk, saying the DA doesn’t want the land reform. What now? We have already advanced the land reform in the Western Cape faster than any other province. But we can’t just talk about rural land reform, we must also talk about urban land reform,” Maimane told supporters after a walkabout in Ramotse village in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria.
“Going into this place, the people here don’t own their homes. We are here to say, under the DA, we will accelerate land reform but we will also make sure that people in urban cities have title deeds. When you have title deeds, then you are an owner. We don’t want shacks. We want people to know that where I stay, I own.”
Maimane said government’s empowerment policies particularly the BBBEE (broad-based black economic empowerment) only benefit a few politically connected individuals - like the wealthy Gupta family, who are close to President Jacob Zuma.
Also read: #RegisterToVote, says Maimane
“We want to talk about a BBBEE which says when you work, you must be the first to get shares from that company. We want a BBBEE which says people like Herman Mashaba are not the exception but they are the rule. Why should it be that black South Africans are still only employees and not employers? We want a fair South Africa with opportunities for everybody.”
“What the ANC did with BBBEE is to capture it, so that it benefits the politically connected and the elite. We must talk about real economic empowerment. We are opposed to a BBBEE that is captured and benefits those who are politically connected and the Guptas. We want a BBBEE that speaks to South Africans. We talk about a real, substantive transformation of society and a diversification of workplaces.”
Turning to lingering racial division in South Africa, Maimane said all racists should leave his party.
“I don’t care whether you are white or black, but if you are racist the DA is not your place. You must go somewhere else. Maybe you should start wearing the beret,” Maimane told supporters at the launch of the party’s #FairSA campaign, in a clear reference to the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters who sport red berets.
“If you are racist, you must go there. Here we are not a party for racists.”
The DA has previously been accused of habouring racists by other political parties, particularly the African National Congress.
On the racially-charged unrest witnessed at South African universities, Maimane said the students had been neglected by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.
“You know the students are fighting? It is because Blade Nzimande has forgotten them. Blade forgot that he must increase NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme) funds so that the children can go to school. So we must fight for an increase in funding,” said Maimane to loud cheers.
“While we fight for an increase in funding, we can’t burn the universities. We must stand together and say ‘South Africa is for all of us’. Universities belong to all who can get access to them - black or white. I’m here to say, whatever language you speak, we will protect it.”
He said “beating up others” at university was not in line with building a fair South Africa.
Maimane later told reporters that problems in the universities are linked to the shortfall of funding at the NSFAS.
“It (NSFAS) has failed to keep up with the demand, while we have a cabinet that spends R4 billion every year just on security alone. We should have done the proactive thing and increased NSFAS progressively,” he said.
“President Zuma announced a cap in the (university fee) increases but he has failed to lead the process beyond that and so has Blade Nzimande. Instability at the universities must be put at the door of the ministry of higher education.”
He said incidents of racism in the universities must be strongly condemned.
The DA said its #FairSA campaign provides the party’s vision for what a “fair South Africa” would be under a DA government.
African News Agency
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