The ACDP has experienced a surge of interest this year and has been signing up new members across the Western Cape from most political parties, primarily the ANC, DA and COPE.
‘The voters response to the ACDP has been remarkable’, said Grant Haskin, ACDP Provincial Chairman for the Western Cape. ‘For example, in the last month alone in Mitchells Plain, the ACDP signed up over 500 new members just from the ANC and DA.’ Other areas include Atlantis, the greater Table View area, Durbanville, Blikkiesdorp, Mitchells Plain Khayelitsha and Langa in the City, and then in diverse towns including Vredendal, Swellendam, George and Knysna.
According to Haskin, the reasons these new members give for leaving the ANC and DA vary but can be broadly categorised into faith-based, race-based and development-based reasons.
Christians and church leaders are leaving these parties because they can see that the Western Cape and South Africa needs a genuine and lasting change towards Christian values and ethics (that are universally held) being reintroduced into political and social culture, government policies and engagement with affected communities. ‘Church leaders in particular are deeply concerned that the DA and ANC are threatening freedom of religion and its expression in South Africa. They confirm that the DA and ANC have policies that are contrary to the Bible and that government is undermining the family unit. The Hate Crimes bill currently before parliament will make it a crime to preach from the Bible. Church leaders are already being intimidated and even hauled before the Human Rights Commission for preaching the Bible where it is contrary to the government policies. These are supported by the ANC and DA and relate to interfering and dictating the role of the parents in disciplining their children, the rights of the unborn, the rights of 12 year old girls to have an abortion without even parental knowledge and consent, and without being educated properly as to the severity and implications of their decisions. More and more, “tolerance” as one of the core values of our constitutional democracy, means to the ANC and DA that, while Christians should tolerate and accommodate all beliefs and practices even when these violate their conscience, persons of other (or no) belief do not have to tolerate or accommodate Christianity. The hypocrisy of this argument is self-evident. And so the list continues.
Brown and black voters who are leaving the DA to join the ACDP confirm that the DA is just using them for their vote and their public image, but are not genuinely interested in working with them, developing their communities sustainably or seeing them elected into positions of leadership. ‘The DA wants to use us and tell us what to do, rather than listen to us and work with us’, new ACDP members in Mitchells Plain told the ACDP. Grant Pascoe’s move from the DA confirms this – he certainly was not the only person to leave the DA citing those reasons.
Those coming to the ACDP from the ANC cite the ANC’s divisive and abusive approach to race relations in the Western Cape, its condoning and coordinating of destructive and misleading service delivery protests which are destabilising communities and destroying service delivery in their communities. These members complain that the ANC’s political tactics are down-right unethical and aggressive.
Likewise, those joining the ACDP from the DA cite the DA’s false claims of racial unity and representivity, and untruthful service delivery claims in their areas. ‘The DA claims so many things that are just not true and evident in the communities the DA claims to have served, including the provision of basic services’, said Haskin. The entire Blikkiesdorp branch of the ACDP comprises former DA members who, according to Haskin, complain that the DA lied to them to get them there and are now lying to them to keep them there – over 5 years later, when they were only meant to be there a few months. ‘Instead of it being a temporary relocation area, which they were told, the DA is using Blikkiesdorp as a permanent dumping ground and has no clear plans to move families to formal human settlements with community amenities like schools, health services, churches, economic opportunities and transport infrastructure’, Haskin confirmed.
Our engagements with students at UCT, CPUT and Stellenbosch University have been very encouraging, with students even approaching us to start branches and representative bodies on campus, which we will launch after these elections’, said Haskin.
The ACDP offers a genuine solution to their disillusionment and anger, primarily because we are committed to upholding Christian values of honesty, integrity, openness, transparency and accountability in our political leadership of South Africa and the Western Cape, our relations and work with communities, our reliance on Gods Word and biblical Christian philosophy as the foundation of our policies, our 20 year track record of clean audits and no corruption, our 20 track record of producing leaders of integrity who have influenced government as an opposition party on crucial policies and our service delivery track record when we have been in government and where we are currently part of government.
Against this background, the ACDP has been urging Christians and communities to vote responsibly and wisely in this watershed election. The vote that citizens will bring out on 7 May, will put in place the leaders that will make our country’s laws for the next five years – laws that could forever change the fabric and the future of our nation. The ACDP is pleased that voters are understanding that depending on who they vote for, our country will either reflect god-fearing traits or god-less ones in which the generations to come will grow up under laws that are contrary to those of God and the Bible.