16 May 2019

Statement from GOOD Leader Ms Patricia de Lille

#ELECTIONS2019: GOOD MARCHING ORDERS FOR PARLIAMENT

Last week, millions of South Africans were exercising their democratic right to vote for a political party of their choosing. They had many options to vote for, with a clutch of new parties entering the race for seats in parliament and provincial legislatures.

GOOD is grateful and humbled by the support it received from South Africans who have grown wary of the old partes of corruption, anger and privilege. Much as it was a scramble for GOOD to prepare to contest elections just four months after being established, the real work starts now…

GOOD leaders have spent their time since the election considering how best to use the mandate the party received.

· I will return to the National Assembly, where I served for nearly sixteen years from 1994 to 2010. I will be joined in the National Assembly by Shaun August, our National Organiser.

· Brett Herron, our Secretary General, will take up the GOOD seat in the Western Cape Legislature.

· Our mandate to fight for spatial justice, social justice, economic justice and environmental justice. We have also identified a set of priority goals, and agreed that party representatives will adopt a generally positive, gracious and constructive posture in parliament and the legislature.

Priority goal number one is to address the fact that the face of poverty in South Africa is that of a woman of colour. This fact was underscored by the unemployment figures published this week by StatsSA. We know that women bear the harshest burdens of food, water and tenure security, and that their children – especially girl children – will also find themselves trapped in the cycle of poverty unless there is drastic intervention. When we affirm the role of women in society we will break the cycle.

We live in a country that doesn't consider it abnormal to witness thriving commercial farmers growing food for export, while their neighbours put hungry children to bed. There is a very simple and pragmatic response to this injustice in the GOOD Plan to Fix SA, involving subsidising commerical farmers to produce some food for local consumption.

We continue to occupy towns and cities characterised by radical spatial injustice, as if we have accepted that apartheid separation is normal… as if it is normal for the poorest people to live furthest from their places of employment and pay the highest commuting costs… as if it is normal that all desirable land in all desirable neighbourhoods should be considered “unsuitable” to house poor people of colour… as if societal integration is not of fundamental importance. GOOD has particular experience in this field from previous lives in the City of Cape Town, and will seek to hold the provincial government accountable for municipalities that are opposed to transformation.

It is time to stop talking and start doing.

Our new government needs a credible and competent executive, and we expect the President to appoint cabinet ministers who are capable of leading us out of our unemployment crisis and this economic injustice. If we are presented with acabinet that lacks credibility, we will be relegated to a peripheral and irrelevant investment destination and our newly elected government will fail us. The 6th parliament must demand of this government that it creates the environment of certainty and stability to make economic growth possible.

With regard to corruption, GOOD will use its mandate from voters to champion greasing the wheels of justice. We can’t just talk endlessly of good governance, as if the promise of it will feed the hungry and shelter the homeless. The ruling party’s internal difficulties to assemble a clean team cannot be allowed to derail the country. My advice to the governing party is simple, really: Corrupt politicians must be investigated, tried and sent to prison – not endlessly accused and sent to parliament.

We will use the 6th parliament to hold the executive to account for a growing economy that creates jobs and reduces inequality, for a spatially integrated South Africa, for a GOOD country of increasing equity where women and young people are not left behind, and for a country that honours our international climate change commitments.

Ends

Cameron Arendse