'Know your DA' campaign: We are committed to BEE

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille. (Gallo)

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille. (Gallo)

"We want to send out the clear signal that we are completely committed to redressing the legacy of apartheid. We fought apartheid for nearly 50 years, and we are fighting its legacy today," the DA said on Monday, after launching the second phase of the "Know your DA: The untold story of our fight against the legacy of apartheid" campaign. 

READ: The DA's discussion document on economic inclusion

Talking on the the party's policies, the DA highlighted its backing of social grants, land reform and black economic empowerment (BEE), saying: "The DA supports social grants. We support social grants because they are vital to protect the poor from the impact of extreme poverty.
The DA supports land reform. We support land reform because we must correct the evils of the apartheid system that reserved the best land for whites only.

"The DA supports black economic empowerment. We support broad-based black economic empowerment because we want to build an inclusive economy in which everybody has a fair chance of getting ahead in life."

In its statement, the DA said it is committed to BEE or B-BBEE "as one of the most important ways of redressing the wrongs of the past". But added: "This does not mean that we agree with the way that the government has implemented B-BBEE. And it does not mean that our version of B-BBEE is exactly the same as the governments.

"Our frustration is that, up until now, black economic empowerment has focused on the transfer of lucrative shares to a small number of politically connected individuals who have become very rich without starting new enterprises, adding new value or creating new jobs."

ANC's response
The DA launched phase one of its "Know your DA" campaign in April when it showed an embrace between Nelson Mandela and Helen Suzman to fend off the idea that it would bring back apartheid if it were to govern nationally. But the ANC did not respond well to this.

ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza at the time said the DA did nothing to end apartheid and took a swipe at Suzman, saying she "enjoyed the comfort of apartheid Parliament" and "didn't take any action" against apartheid.

"Apartheid is ingrained in their DNA and they cannot change. Look at their structures and how they govern. They have a couple of blacks as window dressing but the real power is still in the hands of white Afrikaners," said Khoza.

Despite backlash from the ruling party, the DA said the response to the first leg of its campaign was well received.

"The response to the 'Know Your DA' campaign was overwhelmingly positive," it said in the statement. "After being subjected to our opponents' propaganda for so long, many people were astonished to learn the truth.

"Now that we have set the record straight about our past, we are moving into the next phase of 'Know Your DA'. In this phase, we are correcting another falsehood peddled by our political opponents: the lie that we want to bring apartheid back."

The launch of the second phase of the "Know your DA" campaign also caused a stir on Twitter, with many picking sides ... or just poking fun at the DA.

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