Michele Clarke MPL
April 28, 2015

The MEC asked referring to the DA why we did not attend the President’s Freedom Day celebrations. MEC We would rather be working in our communities assisting them with service delivery issues for e.g. the community of Barcelona who still have no basic services after 21 years is that true freedom

Yesterday on the 27th April South Africans from all walks of life celebrated freedom day.  On this day 21 years ago, our nation participated in the first post-apartheid elections that heralded the dawn of truly, non-racist, non-sexist, all inclusive democracy.  It is always valuable, in fact it is critical that we reflect on the lives of the brave men and woman, through their selfless actions, delivered us unto a peaceful and democratic South Africa, ensuring that our freedom would be protected by one of the finest constitutions ever crafted.  Their efforts enabled South Africa to become a Country of opportunity and prosperity, allowing citizens to become the masters of their own destinies

Today, let us remember the contribution our beloved Tata Madiba made to ensure the freedom of our country.  21 years on, the colours of that rainbow dream has started to pale.  How free are we really under the current ANC Government?  It would appear that our alliances with freedom is slowly eroding.  A nation that was filled with hope and dreams of prosperity has been reduced to a grubby shadow of its former self.  Callous, barbaric attacks on our foreign brothers and sisters, bring back the haunting memories of violence that rocked the nation in the late 80’s and 90’s.  The actions of these opportunist criminals must be dealt with harshly.

High levels of unemployment, and a floundering economy has gouged the gulf of inequality ever wider.  For people to be truly free we need policy certainty.  The unemployment rate within Gauteng is around 29,6% with around 42% of the population living below the poverty line.

With the overwhelming amount of violent crime meted out on a daily basis, we have become a nation with an ailing psyche.  With no dignity, no opportunity and a low growth rate in our economy we are essentially devoid of leading meaningful lives.

All South Africans should be afforded the opportunity to contribute to the growth of this beautiful country.  Government must provide proper leadership, we must invest in knowledge, education and skills development.

While the ANC May have a notable history as a liberation movement, they have certainly failed to emulate their success as an inclusive government.  One need look no further but at the housing crisis in Gauteng.  Many community members have received RDP houses have not received their title deeds to prove that they are in fact the legal owners of these houses

Instead of having a foot up on the economic ladder, these piece meal offerings are of little substance or use.

21 years have passed since our democratic transition, and the ANC has failed to empower people to achieve the kind of freedom as enshrined in our constitution.

Bureaucratic and cumbersome red tape has stifled economic growth.  It must be easier for small businesses to establish themselves, allowing for broader participation with in the economy.  Entrepreneurs must be able to operate in a regulated framework that protects and promotes their interests.

Addressing these critical factors will enhance the freedom of our people.  Government must create an environment conducive to stimulating growth resulting in much needed job creation in the province, jobs not limited only to the few well connected.   While aggressive steps must be taken to deal with corruption, strong punitive action must be taken against those involved in nefarious activities to safe guard the public purse

The freedom that we celebrate today is a precious gift.  We earn freedom by protecting it, we win our freedom by ensuring that our children have the opportunities to live lives free from poverty and inequality.  Tata Madiba said that “for to be free is not merely the cast of ones chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”  We have the ability to meet this end, but to do so, we must be the sum of our Provinces parts.

I thank you.

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