Issued by Change Starts Now movement
Roger Jardine, leader of Change Starts Now (CSN), has pledged that his party will fix the economy and create more jobs, make the country a safer place to live in, provide a safety net for those without income security, ensure decent basic services such as health, education, water, power, and sanitation and build a government that works for the people.
Launching the CSN vision, the prominent business executive and former government official said: “Our plan is straightforward: collaborate with business and other partners to create new jobs – especially for the youth, fix broken public and economic infrastructure – including Eskom, Transnet, and water; end corruption in public institutions, particularly in the police and prisons. Ensure accountability and protect Constitutional rights; explore comprehensive social security solutions and encourage innovation, imagination, and creativity in solving South Africa’s problems, restoring dignity, and building unity and national pride.”
“We aim to stop the disease that has plagued our nation and steer South Africa towards a future where the unemployed can find jobs; where the poor can escape their circumstances; where young people envision a prosperous future; where investors are drawn to our nation; where our firms expand, creating prosperity and jobs,” said Jardine.
VOTE FOR CHANGE
Flanked by other CSN leaders, Murphy Morobe, Nicole Fritz and Mark Heywood, Jardine told stakeholders and members of the media at the Women’s Jail in Constitution Hill that 2024 was the best chance to vote the ANC out of power.
“Can we really trust this government with another five years in office, when they have demonstrated zero ability or desire to focus on these simple, required steps to put us out of our misery? If the current government remains in power, rather than ending load shedding in 3-4 years, we will likely suffer under this crisis for a further 10 years… or perhaps forever,” Jardine said when lamenting load shedding.
“Our choice in this election is clear – we can choose more of this misery or we can choose Change with the promise of tightly managing our country’s return to a load-shedding-free society. Your vote will be a vote for a government that is committed to serving the interests of all South Africans.
“In 2024, we have the power to change this narrative. We must vote for change. It is time to put an end to the endemic corruption and elect leaders who prioritise the needs of the people over self-interest,” he said.
ANC 112 ANNIVERSARY
Challenging President Cyril Ramaphosa to a debate on the state of the nation, Jardine said the President needs to come out of hiding.
“He is the absent father of the nation! He has not given a proper press conference befitting a leader of a country. He has told us many times that his party is more important than we the people, and it shows.”
Jardine said the ANC leader’s speech at the party’s 112th Anniversary was shameless and displayed a stunning lack of self-awareness of the universal decline across every economic and social metric.
In the speech, President Ramaphosa said South Africans must separate those who are able to govern this country from those who can’t.
Jardine said there are reasons the ANC and current government belongs to the past:
- “As of 2021, 81% of Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning;
- “We do worse than Kenya or Tanzania on international learning assessments, which are much, much poorer countries than SA;
- “By the age of 18, experts estimate, the average SA learner has received only 5.1 years of actual learning, even though they have spent almost double that time actually attending school;
- “In the poorest 80% of schools, learners are on average 2.5 years behind the curriculum by the end of Grade 3. In other words, they’ve only learnt half the Grade 1 curriculum in 3 years and
- “Only 41% of Grade 6 maths teachers in SA were found by an international test to have “good proficiency in mathematics”, compared to 87% in Zimbabwe and 95% in Kenya.”
“We have arrived at a fork in the road to our future. We can choose to remain mired and stuck in a ditch after trying to evade the series of potholes that was once our paved path, or we can choose the other path, the on-ramp to the clearly sign-posted Change Lane, the highway to the South Africa of our dreams, the South Africa that we want. The South Africa that we deserve,” Jardine said.
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