The Potential of Africa

Maimane explains in 2015 TED Talk the potential and accomplishments of the African economy. Six of the ten fastest growing economies are in Africa. One of these economies, Botswana, has the fastest growing GDP. Twelve countries in Africa have a GDP growth of over 6%. Trade between Africa and the rest of the world has doubled while foreign debt has decreased by 25%. The potential for Africa’s growth was evidenced by Barack Obama spending R 1 billion in a trip to Kenya.

That is not to say Africa does not have problems, but Maimane believes they are solvable. In Botswana, a comprehensive HIV program has increased the life expectancy by fifteen years. Kenya is becoming the “silicon valley” or “silicon savannah” of Africa. According to Mail and Guardian, the Kenyan tech sector has grown from L 11 million to L 300 million from 2012 to 2013. M-Pesa, the Kenyan equivalent to PayPal, is growing like mad. The tech boom was sparked by a government initiative to increase fiber optic cable infrastructure in the country.

Maimane lists a few commonalities in African economic success stories. He creates the following list of principles to build the economy.

  • Educated for the Economy. Particularly in the technology sector
  • Hold leaders accountable and cut corruption
  • Support trade. Especially among Africans by creating a Southern African visa
  • Build Infrastructure

Government and Private Business

The role of government is to build the best environment for private business to thrive. At the same time, government expenditures should be kept to a minimum to allow low taxes that benefit businesses and private individuals. In addition to reducing government waste, a crackdown on corruption will also reduce government expenditures. Maimane will build a small, effective, capable state through the DA.

The current government tender system provides an avenue to decentralize government. If private businesses are allowed to compete to provide services to the government, then the government will not need a large workforce paid for by the taxpayer. Again, reducing corruption in the tender system (equivalent to the American government contract) will reduce cost and time of implementation.

Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) is a system of racial, economic redress in RSA. It is similar to American Affirmative Action, but it is far more extensive. BEE is a voluntary program. If a company decides to participate, they can earn a BEE certificate that will give the company preference during solicitation for government contracts called tenders. The certification evaluates ownership, management control, skills development, enterprise and supplier development.
Maimane feels BEE needs to be reformed, as BEE stands now it only benefits a small, well-connected elite. The system must be changed to help poor black South Africans. The reformed program will be called Bokamoso. It will begin with an Employee Share Ownership Schemes which will give employees representation on the board and grow black equity. The second will be to recognize all human development efforts. Thirdly, companies will be rewarded for creating black entrepreneurs. Lastly, companies will be rewarded for growing their workforce. Maimane did mention expanding BEE to include poor whites in a Watchman on the Wall Interview, but it appears the inclusion of poor whites was never made into DA policy.

Changing Perception

The ANC has often billed the DA as the party of white oligarchy. A vote for the DA is a vote for the apartheid past and that all the accomplishments of ending apartheid will be removed. The ANC bills itself as the only wall between black South Africans and subjugation.

Maimane looks to change this perception not by attacking the ANC, but by properly governing of the municipalities and provinces. Helen Zille of the DA currently governs Capetown. She received the 2008 World Mayor Prize. Cape Town boasts the best Water Management system in the world in 2015. Cape Town also has the most reliable electrical grid and largest Mass Transit system in RSA.

Helen Suzman started the DA and was the sole opposition to apartheid in the 1970’s. Suzman made many trips to Robben Island to have discourse with Nelson Mandela. She fought tirelessly to expose the injustice in South Africa. Mandela welcomed her to the table to aid in ratifying the Constitution. Maimane reminds audiences of this history often.

The youth of South Africa present the largest opportunity for DA growth. The young did not grow up reversing the ANC and can more rationally evaluate which party can take RSA into the future. Maimane works to present the youth with DA plans and illustrates how the methods will result in real change in their life.

The Notion of Race

In an interview with IOL Maimane was asked about the concept of race. He says not to see his race is not to see him. He understands how systematic oppression has shaped the society in a way that disadvantages black people. He says that people must join a project of reconciliation.

In Maimane’s understanding, reconciliation can not happen with a significant income/wealth disparity. For the races to reconcile the economic playing field must be leveled. If society excludes a black student from achieving his dream because schools in his town are underfunded, he will grow to resent society. Maimane supports programs such as BEE, that give black South Africans a leg up.

The Steve Biko quote of “The greatest weapon of the oppressor is the mindset of the oppressed” is used by Maimane when describing many of the problems with race in South Africa. He wants South Africans to know marrying a white woman does not mean you lose or deny your ancestry. His children are not aware of race and are also not concerned with it. South Africa can learn from his kids. Once we heal ourselves, people will primarily identify with being South African. Ethnicity, sexual orientation, and tribal affiliation will be second.

Zuma and the ANC

Maimane called for the impeachment of Jacob Zuma for corruption in 2016. A reporter from Al Jazeera asked if it was an astute political move. In the interviewer’s estimation, if Maimane calls for impeachment and Zuma is not convicted or tried, then Maimane looks weak. Maimane replied that the call for impeachment was a test to see if the ANC cared more about Zuma or the health of South Africa. ANC decided to defend Zuma, showing RSA that a leader is more important than the country. The National Protector or various other judicial committees can still try Zuma with or without legislative approval. Maimane did expect the ANC to care more about the constitution than Jacob Zuma.

In the speech in which Maimane calls for Zuma’s impeachment, he accuses Zuma of state capture. The first part of state capture was hand picking various law enforcement organization heads to be favorable to him and allowing wealthy friends to influence his decisions. Zuma’s corruption is well known to the international financial community. The corruption then leads to foreign divestment in South Africa, the fall of the Rand, and the downgrade of RSA bonds.

In a speech Maimane gave in 2016, he accused Zuma of being a puppet to the Guptas. He also said that Zuma gave the Guptas permission to use the Air Force Base to land a plane of guest for a wedding. There are no court documents or police reports that can confirm Zuma allowed the plane to land at the Air Force Base. Maimane also accused Zuma of allowing the Guptas to pick the Minister of Mineral Resources, again an accusation not proven in court.

In the eyes of Maimane, the ANC was a great organization during the fight against Apartheid. The ANC produce many leaders that people of all races admire today. However, once the ANC got into power, it partnered with private interest for individual wealth. Maimane quotes Charles Hani. Hani often warned that any liberation movement could become corrupt and forget about the people.

A liberation movement becoming corrupt once in power has happened in Senegal and Kenya. Both countries had opposition political movements that won the election and removed the corrupt party. Once the ANC is out of power, right leaning members will join the DA. The EFF will gain left leaning members. A reduction in corruption will facilitate foreign and domestic investor growth.

The people are starting to realize the ANC is no longer serving them to the fullest. ANC voting has declined 10 % nationally over presidents Zuma’s administration with the removal of Kwa-Zulu-Natal data.

Faith and Politics

Mmusi Maimane is a senior pastor at Liberty Church. The church has an Orthodox Christian theology. In a 2015 sermon, Maimane said: “I want to make friends with sinners. I am a sinner, so I hope people will be my friend. My friends include gays, Muslims, Buddhist, etc.” He also detailed a story of a Christian that went to a gay man’s funeral accidentally due to being given the wrong address. The Christian stands up and reads a bible scripture to console the grieving friends. The gay men thank him for bringing a piece of G-d with him. The point of the sermon was that Christians should leave their “comfort zone” and love everyone. A few in the media misconstrued what he said to mean that he thinks gays and Muslims are sinners.

The controversy did allow for Maimane to clarify his views on LGBT rights. Maimane says as an MP and agent of the government he is to uphold the Constitution. The Constitution expressly stated the rights of LGBT South Africans. However, if a person wants to believe that the practice of homosexuality is against the teachings of the Bible, they have the right to do that. Maimane also says that marriage and civil unions are distinct entities. Maimane never expressed his personal views on homosexuality.

The Christian faith helps Maimane persevere against political opposition. In Parliament, opponents have insulted his wife, read bible scriptures on false prophets, and undermine his authority. Being Christian helps him to forgive and focus on building South Africa’s future. Faith also gave Maimane confidence to venture into politics despite not being connected or wealthy. Maimane believes that G-d has a divine plan for everyone’s life. He feels his political failures and successes are part of this divine plan.

The church provided Maimane and opportunity to hone his speaking and leadership ability at a young age. It also provided Maimane an outlet for community involvement. He hopes that other church leaders find people that could be a part of government from their congregation. Serving in government can be an avenue to serve G-d. Church leaders should encourage parishioners to be involved in government. Many laws impact the church, and the church chooses not to have a voice. The church should also hold government to account, similar to Nathan holding David to account in the bible.

Maimane is chiefly a constitutionalist. He feels the best way to destroy Christianity is to legislate it. Historically, the merger of church and state creates human rights abuses. Keeping church and state separate protects the Gospel and State. This logic leads him to support legislation that would protect the rights of prostitutes rather than fighting to keep prostitution illegal.

Those that view Christianity negatively use the apartheid state as an example of a Christian government. During the years of apartheid, many of the supporters justified the system as part of G-d’s plan. The use of Christianity to justify an immoral system serves as an example of what could happen if church and state merge. Justifying laws with Christianity will prevent the population from changing the laws when needed. When the law does need to change both the law and Christianity will be attacked and weakened.

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Sources

All Videos are on YouTube Playlist SD M Maimane

  1. Mmusi Maimane: divine nonsense to say I’m homophobic, anti Muslim http://www.biznews.com
  2. Why Kenya, home to Africa’s ‘Silicon Valley’, is set to be the continent’s ultimate tech hub http://mgafrica.com/
  3. The DA is completely committed to B-BBEE – Mmusi Maimane http://www.politicsweb.co.za
  4. BOKAMOSO | The DA’s version of BEE will deliver real Black Economic Empowerment https://www.da.org.za/
  5. The DA wants to change BEE laws here’s how https://businesstech.co.za
  6. To BEE or not to BEEE? The DA’s dilemma https://mg.co.za/article
  7. The Potential That is in Africa YouTube
  8. Session 5 Mmusi Maimane Planetshaker
  9. Talk to Al Jeezra – Mmusi Maimane “Fighting a System not a Race
  10. [Full Speech] The ANC is Dead. Long Live South Africa – Mmusi Maimane
  11. DA Mmusi Maimane Hitting Back at Jacob Zuma | SONA 2017
  12. Mmusi Maimane full speech: ANC Enemy of the People
  13. Mmusi Maimane 2017 SONA debate
  14. Natalie Maimane – nie net ‘n gewone huisvrou nie
  15. ‘n Halfuur met Hanlie | Mmusi Maimane en sy Natalie praat oor hul verhouding
  16. We Talk Ties and Socks with DA Leader, Mmusi Miamane
  17. Dinner Talk – Mmusi Maimane
  18. Watchmen on the Wall, exclusive interview with newly-elected DA Leader Mmusi Maimane
  19. Mmusi Maimane implying gays and muslims are sinners
  20. Mmusi Maimane on his church, gay rights
  21. Know Your DA The Story of the Democratic Alliance 1
  22. Wacth Maimane’s Full Speech calling for the impeachment of Zuma
  23. Jacob Zuma is a puppet to the Guptas. DA Mmusi Maimane
  24. Mmusi Maimane, DA mayoral candidate for the city of Johannesburg
  25. Message from Mmusi
  26. Mmusi Maimane on SABC Morning Live 20 – April – 2011
  27. Mmusi’s Flashmob in Maponya Mall
  28. SABC1 Election Debate (10 April 2011) with Mmusi Maimane- Part 1
  29. Who is Mmusi Maimane?
  30. Mmusi Maimane Interview on SAFM
  31. The DA’s version of BEE will deliver real Black Economic Empowerment
  32. Mmusi Maimane speaks on race and identity in South Africa
  33. Mmusi on Race Full Speech
  34. Maimane’s First speech as DA Leader Parts 1 and 2
  35. ANC Ayisafani – DA TV ad
  36. Ayisafani 2 DA TV ad
  37. DA suspends Zille
  38. Maimane and Zille hold joint press conference
  39. Mmusi Maimane on suspending Zille
  40. Maimane on coalitions, Zille and the ANC