National

'Watch your back', DA warns Blade

Miranda Andrew

The dominant faction of the ANC believes in state capitalism, Democratic Alliance MP Tim Harris said on Sunday.

The DA, led by Helen Zille, said on Sunday it would break up parastatals such as SAA, parts of Eskom, the SABC and Denel and distribute the shares to ordinary South Africans.

"...The state acts as the dominant player, and uses markets for their own political gain," he told delegates on the second day of the party's federal congress in Boksburg.

"This is the version of Malusi Gigaba and Ebrahim Patel's New Growth Path and the motivation behind the idea of a state mining company, a state bank and a state housing company."

He said the DA's vision was for an open society.

"The DA would give more money and more power to the competition authorities than this government does," said Harris.

The opposition wanted to break up the most monopolistic companies in the country.

"Yes we would break up parastatals like SAA, parts of Eskom, the SABC and Denel and distribute the shares to ordinary South Africans through the 2,5-million stokvels across the country."

He said the DA had three main critics, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Pallo Jordan, and Minister for Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande.

"To Mr Gordhan I say: 'We have never promoted unfettered markets ...'. To Mr Jordan I say: 'Shame on you for questioning the role Helen Suzman played as the lone opposition voice in the apartheid Parliament."

He said Nzimande had also squealed about how the DA was a party for whites.

"He's like the frog in the pot of water oblivious to the rising temperature. To Mr Nzimande, I say: 'Watch your back."

'Land to the people'

The congress resolved to campaign for the upgrading of informal settlements.

"People who live in informal settlements are the most neglected in South Africa," the party's Gauteng caucus leader Jack Bloom told delegates on Sunday.

"Even in Gauteng, people still have to use buckets for toilets ... this is inhumane."

He said "land to the people" should actually be the party's slogan.

The congress resolved to campaign for upgrading the living environment in settlements, including access to water, sanitation, electricity and title deeds.

Property rights

The second resolution adopted by the party was to ensure that property rights are enjoyed by all South Africans.

The party resolved to continue driving through Parliament the Private Member's Bill, which outlines a legislative framework to replace the Communal Land Rights Act (ClaRa), with security of tenure as its fundamental pillar.

ClaRa was found to be procedurally unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court.

DA MP Athol Trollip said at least 21-million black South Africans in former homelands lived on communal land under the trusteeship of chiefs and traditional leaders without any security of tenure, which resulted in agricultural land remaining unproductive.

The party resolved to adopt a formal party policy to ensure greater security of land tenure away from communal tenure to individual land ownership with title deeds. - Sapa

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