The political elites and the business elites remain in bed with each other, serving their own narrow interests at the expense of the excluded and marginalised, writes Mmusi Maimane
Dear Fellow Activists
Today I launch my weekly newsletter entitled “Lixesha Lethu” – which is isiXhosa for “It’s Our Time”.
The purpose of this newsletter is to initiate an ongoing conversation with all current and future activists of our One South Africa Movement – the vehicle we are building to bring about real political, economic and social reform that changes the fortunes of our nation and sets it back on track to achieve the dream of 1994.
It is no secret that SA’s political system is broken.
Public representatives and politicians are not held accountable for their work and their actions, and the events in Parliament during yesterday’s State of the Nation debate proved just that.
While MPs again engaged in mudslinging, hurling insults at each other and using gender-based violence as a political football, the people’s interests were forgotten.
The truth is our young democracy has been captured by a small political elite who are out of touch with the real needs of the citizens of this country.
The political elites and the business elites remain in bed with each other, serving their own narrow interests at the expense of the excluded and marginalised.
Now is our time to change this broken system. Now is our time to forge a new consensus that brings about real, structural change to our beautiful country.
That is why we have established the One South Africa Movement, an extra-political, grassroots based activist movement that disrupts the status quo and ushers in change that materially improves the lives of all South Africans, especially those left behind due to the lingering legacy of our evil past.
This past weekend, our inaugural Council met in Johannesburg and made several decisions around the Movement’s founding principles.
– To build and nurture a thriving movement focused on uniting South Africans from all walks of life and serving as a voice for diverse groupings of citizens from civil rights organisations, religious bodies, cultural groups, sports clubs and any other group or individual who identifies with our pact;
– To achieve broad consensus on a citizenship pact that commits all South Africans to active participation in building the future;
– To energise our people into active participation in solving the challenges facing their communities; and
– To fight for those excluded and left behind.
In line with these founding principles, the Movement will focus on championing the following five goals:
1. An inclusive economy that is open to all, not reserved for a small elite. A focus on mass scale job creation that aligns with the skill-set of the country and addresses the rigid economy that excludes millions by design. This includes structural reforms to SMMEs, State-Owned Entities (SOEs) and the rules governing the labour market.
2. Electoral reform to ensure citizens can directly elect their public representatives at local, provincial and national level and in turn hold them directly accountable. This includes amending the Electoral Act.
3. The pursuit of justice and reversing the systematic and structural barriers which were put in place before the dawn of democracy in 1994. This includes education, land ownership and economic exclusion.
4. A culture of accountability in the public and private sectors where effective punishment for corruption is instilled.
5. A flexible, pragmatic future focused approach to solving issues including technological advancement and climate change.
The Council also resolved to hold a national launch in the coming weeks, with the exact date to be communicated and made public in due course.
We have now established presence in all nine provinces, headed up by provincial coordinators, and in the next while will send you details of community meetings. For further updates, please follow the handle @OneZAMovement on Facebook.
To date we have held numerous strategic meetings with religious bodies, civil society groupings and business. Our vision is resonating with South Africans from all walks of life.
The pursuit in building One South Africa is much bigger than any one individual. We are all activists in this Movement, and each one of us holds equal responsibility in this regard.
I look forward to keeping our conversation going as we build up to our national launch and beyond. Let’s charter a way forward, together!
Be strong and keep the fight for One South Africa alive.
Chief Activist: One South Africa Movement