Mon, 30 Nov 2020

Taking a leaf from his namesake John Lennon, interim DA leader John Steenhuisen is singing "Power to the people!" as the party's federal congress draws ever closer.

According to Steenhuisen, the biggest challenge facing the next DA leader would be to offer real and urgent solutions to the economic depression and poverty facing millions of South Africans. And he wants to do this by taking power away from the "incapable state" and giving it to the people.

In his weekly newsletter in the run-up to the federal congress, where he will be challenged for the party leadership by Mbali Ntuli, he said it was important not to lose sight of the bigger picture confronting South Africa.

"As I have discussed with many of you during the conversations we have had across the length and breadth of the country, I fundamentally believe that no single member of the DA is bigger than our party.

"By extension, this also means that no leadership contest - from branches all the way through to the federal level - must ever be waged at the expense of the DA's mission of building a new majority to save South Africa."

Steenhuisen said while campaigning, they should never forget the voters were also listening and the weekend of 1 November, when the new leader will be elected, was not the finish line.

"It should only be the starting blocks of the real race to give the DA the best possible chance to govern in more places.

"And it is precisely because I love the DA far more than I covet any leadership position that I have built my campaign around an economic offer that will reverberate far beyond the confines of the federal congress."

He continued:

The single most important challenge facing the next leader of the DA will be to offer real and urgent solutions to the depression and poverty facing tens of millions of people in our country. Rather than shying away from the economic challenges facing South Africa, my manifesto tackles them head-on.

Steenhuisen is convinced the country's economic decline is "fundamentally rooted in the failed ideology of ever-expanding state control".

He said this had systematically robbed private citizens of the agency they required to build lives of value in a growing economy.

"Citizens have been forced to sacrifice their innate abilities, talents and entrepreneurial freedoms at the altar of an incapable state that seeks to centrally plan every aspect of our society. Yet, the more the planners fail, the more the planners plan."

Steenhuisen added the only way to defeat the state control project was to offer voters a comprehensive alternative vision.

"The tyranny of state control can never be cured with meaningless platitudes or cosmetic changes. It requires a powerful and fast-acting antidote."

READ | Mbali Ntuli hits out at DA leaders, speaks of ' cult-like' culture and fear

His vision is to take power away from the "incapable state" and giving it to the people.

"Guided by this paradigm, my manifesto offers bold yet workable solutions to the decline triggered by decades of central state planning.

"We must give power to the people by breaking Eskom's monopoly on electricity generation and empowering private producers to use renewable energy to solve the electricity crisis created by the state.

"We must give power to the people by offering tax relief to massively overburdened taxpayers.

"We must give power to the people by replacing race-based policies with means-tested empowerment that will directly benefit the 30 million people trapped in poverty by the central planners, and by expanding private property rights instead of giving the state the power to confiscate private property."

According to Steenhuisen, only the DA's liberal paradigm could resuscitate the economy, alleviate the deprivation of millions on South Africans and put the country on the path towards prosperity.

Source: News24

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