South Africa’s history is one of competing racial nationalisms. It is a history of the Dutch Settlers who came to the Cape of Good Hope, British Colonialism, Afrikaner Nationalism and now African Nationalism.
Ours is a history of a people being marginalised and excluded in the land of their birth.
My fight in South Africa today is to help write an entirely new chapter for our country, where competing nationalisms do not define the future of young people.
Nothing has undermined our new democracy more than the evil scourge of corruption, which has been underpinned by the grand project of capturing the state for the purposes of personal enrichment.
In developing societies, the state can be a powerful tool for spreading opportunity more fairly and alleviating poverty. But the state can also be used crudely to funnel money to the corrupt, and thereby to further impoverish and punish the poor.
We cannot secure a better future until we crush the evil of corruption in our present. This is why my party has been so devoted to this cause.
It is time for us to liberate ourselves from the liberators. We must break the cycle of corruption and maladministration before there is nothing left on which to rebuild South Africa.
The party I lead is committed to rebuilding South Africa into a strong and stable democracy with a robust and inclusive economy – a country that not only works for all its people, but also reaffirms its place in Africa and the world.
And while we know what a mammoth task this will be, we also know that we have the tools to succeed.
You see, the project of the DA is built around inclusivity. We don’t believe in the divisive rhetoric of failed liberation movements and radical populists. We don’t mobilise people around race and ethnicity.
Instead, we have a set of well-documented values. And our message to voters, to business, to civil society, to opposition parties and even to moral elements within the ruling party is simply this:
If you share our key values, then you can be part of this project.
These values are Constitutionalism, the Rule of Law, a belief in an inclusive market economy, zero tolerance for corruption, non-racialism and the building of a capable state.
I truly believe that if we succeed in rallying a majority of South Africans around these six values, we will be able to transcend the narrow Nationalism that has dominated our country for so long and build the South Africa we all want to see.