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Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Dr Pieter Mulder on the state of South Africa

Source:

Speech by the Freedom Front Plus leader in parliament, February 9 2009

Madame Speaker, Hon President.

(After the election some of us will be back to continue with the debates here, others will retire and others will not be re-elected again.) For five years, we as 400 Members of Parliament debated with each other like this.

My question is: Do we understand each other better after five years? Are the problems of the country after five years fewer or more?

In education it is estimated that every year 1,1 million children start grade 1. Last year only 590 000, approximately half of them, wrote matric. What happened to the other half of the children?

Crime: Only about 10% of all crimes committed in a year lead to a conviction. That mean 90% of all criminals walk free among us.

Justice system: On average only six cases are completed monthly in every court in South Africa. Regional courts sit on average only three and a half hours daily.

Are the problems of the country after five years fewer or more?

There are more problems and then I have not even mentioned service delivery, corruption, water pollution, Zimbabwe and Cholera.

Do we understand each other better after five years?

I do not think so.

The Mbeki years had high points but many low points. Some of the low points included the continued political attacks on whites. Attacks which blame the whites for all the government's mistakes; attacks which typified whites as disloyal; attacks which described whites as unpatriotic because they dared differ from government.

What do whites hear when the ANC in their newsletter and the State of the Nation Address talk of "accelerated implementation of affirmative action" and "Black Economic Empowerment"?

They hear that for a long time still to come they will be discriminated against on the basis of their race. They hear that their skills and contribution toward the development of this country is not needed.

I asked last year why South Africa is the economic giant of Africa? Is it because we have so many minerals?

No. Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have more minerals than South Africa.
Are we the economic giant of Africa because we can produce oil from coal? No. Sasol's little oil is a mere drop in the ocean in comparison with Nigeria 's huge amounts of oil.

Are we the economic giant because we have such good agricultural circumstances in South Africa?

No. All climate studies show that South Africa is a semi-dry desert country with few agricultural opportunities. Countries such as Mozambique , Zimbabwe and Malawi , with ample fertile land and consistent rainfall, have much better agricultural potential than South Africa .

Nigeria with its oil and Egypt with its tourism - are their economies not stronger than South Africa's?

No. South Africa is economically[1] twice as strong as Nigeria and nearly three times as strong as Egypt. South Africa's economy is 80 times stronger than the average African country. In addition to that we have the best roads, power and telephone networks in Africa - nearly half of all tarred roads in Africa, are found in South Africa . (The DRC is twice the size of South Africa with 3 000 km tarred roads; South Africa has 73 000 km tarred roads. Nigeria has three times our population but only one tenth of our electrical power.)

If South Africa does not have the wealthiest minerals, the most oil or the best agricultural circumstances in Africa, why are we the economic giant in Africa ?

Because over many years black and white have each made their own unique contribution and in so doing developed South Africa . I am proud of this achievement and of Afrikaner's contribution to this.

Whites did not do it all on their own, but neither did blacks.

Have you recently been in Dubai ? The leaders of Dubai realize that oil will not fore evermore bring wealth. That is why they decided to make Dubai one of the best tourist destinations and investment markets in the world.

In the Dubai dessert they built an indoor skiing slope with fresh snow daily; they created a palm tree-shaped artificial island to broaden the number of beachside properties for development; they created water-worlds and the world's tallest building.

The Arabian leaders do not have the skills for all theses developments, but they do have the money. They use Arabian money, European architects, Malaysian engineers, Indian workers and Chinese building contractors to develop Dubai.

In South Africa the government is so caught up in political ideologies of affirmative action, black economic empowerment and all the restrictive labour legislation that it is impossible to copy Dubai.

As a result of this we are busy losing our position as economic giant of Africa . One example: South African farmers have always produced so much food that we were a food-exporting country. Last year, due to the government's land and agricultural policy, SA had for the first time became a food-importing country with nearly 20 000 commercial farmers that stopped farming because of this government's policies.

Unlike Dubai , the government is forcing skilled people out of the country through its political statements and affirmative action. The Congo and other African countries are now recruiting these farmers.

Another example: A couple of years ago I told president Mbeki of a young Afrikaner who had completed his doctorate degree in clinical psychology and had completed his community year in the Defence Force. When Minister Lekota asked that whites join the Defence Force, he applied to be appointed on a permanent basis in his position. It was refused as it would have skewed the Defence Force's affirmative action quotas. His post is, as far as I could establish, after several years still not filled. He had no other choice but to go and look for work somewhere else. In Britain , where he is presently working, they scooped him up. He is planning to return to South Africa and therefore wishes to participate in this year's election. There is a voting poll in London at the embassy.

But what message does the government send him? This government first sent him a message that they could do without his skills. Now the government is sending him a further message by fighting the court application. A message that they would do everything within their power to also take his right to vote away from him.

When the prisoners fought for their right to vote, this government did not oppose it. Now that South Africans living oversees want to vote, the government is opposing it. What message does it send to all South Africans oversees?

(When Dr. Buthulezi, as Minister of Home Affairs, took the Electoral Act and specifically section 33 to Cabinet, he proposed that all South Africans living oversees should vote. In the Cabinet, the ANC ministers changed it that some South Africans are allowed to vote oversees but not others.)

Against this injustice the FF Plus will now fight in the Constitutional court. I am happy to announce that the FF Plus this morning in the Pretoria High Court won their case about the right of oversees South African citizens to vote abroad.

As this court case proves, it is in South Africa 's interest that the ANC's 70% power monopoly and arrogance to force their will on everybody, is reduced. With this election it is possible. Responsible cooperation between opposition parties after the election can prevent the ANC from governing in all nine provinces.

The DA puts up posters with the slogan "Vote to win" and then the DA predicts that they will beat the ANC in this election in certain provinces on their own and that they will win the election of 2014 on their own. No opposition party will be able to win on their own. But such predictions make voters disillusioned and make them apathetic when it is proven to be wrong after the election.

The FF Plus's cooperation model proposes that opposition parties each participate in the election under their own party names and secure the maximum support from their niche markets. After the elections such parties then cooperate responsibly without one party being swallowed up by another party.

I clearly remember the picture on the TV in 2004 when president Mbeki and Mr. Zuma triumphantly announced the ANC's 70% election victory, their hands interlaced and raised above their heads. Mr. Lekota as number three in the ANC appeared on the TV with them.
No political commentator could have foreseen the situation between those three top ANC leaders could have changed so drastically by 2009, a mere five years later. If it could change so much in five years, how much could SA change politically in another five years?

As this court case has proven, it is in South Africa's interest that the ANC's 70% power monopoly is reduced. It is possible with this election. Responsible cooperation between opposition parties after the election can prevent the ANC from governing in all nine provinces.

[1] For such an economic comparison the GDP of the countries were compared with each other.

This is the prepared text of the speech by Freedom Front Plus leader, Dr Pieter Mulder, on the president's state of the nation address, February 9 2009

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