The United Democratic Movement (UDM) was launched at the World Trade Centre, in Kempton Park, on 27 September 1997. Bantu Holomisa was elected the party’s first president at its first national congress in June 1998.
At the party's recent, twentieth anniversary celebrations, party leader, Holomisa said the political market in South Africa was tough to enter. Other opposition parties have struggled to survive, but the United Democratic Movement (UDM) has continued to stand strong 20 years later, he added.
CapeTalk and 702 host, Eusebius McKaiser chats with Holomisa about why his party seemingly isn't the obvious go-to opposition party for most South Africans amongst other things.
McKaiser says he inclined to believe the Holomisa appears to be doing better as an individual brand compared to the UDM.
In South African politics, political leaders of various parties tend to do better than their parties. responds Holomisa.
What we needed to do if we had resources, was to appoint consultants because other political parties do that. The UDM has been growing by mere word of mouth.— General Bantu Holomisa, leader, United Democratic Movement (UDM)
Holomisa goes on to say the African National Congress (ANC) is one such party that makes use of consultants especially during the elections. He says that is a luxury the UDM cannot afford because it does not have that kind of money.
Floor crossing handicapped us both financially and in human resources. We saw in the 2014 that the results of the IEC showed that there were only two parties that displayed growth, the UDM and Democratic Alliance.— General Bantu Holomisa, leader, United Democratic Movement (UDM)
Speaking on what the UDM's place is in local politics, Holomisa says his party 'doesn't oppose anything that moves'. but rather takes a constructive approach. Even when criticising government it tries to offer solutions.
Holomisa says to reverse the rot at the heart of the state would need a skills audit to review the role of the public service commission. He adds that the public service commission needs to be responsible for employing government employees.
No government employee must just go and be a director without doing a director's course. With the exception of a director general, you can have a political appointment, but deputies must rise through the ranks so that they may have institutional memories of each department.— General Bantu Holomisa, leader, United Democratic Movement (UDM)
A culture of ownership would need to be promoted.— General Bantu Holomisa, leader, United Democratic Movement (UDM)
For the full interview, listen to the audio clip below:
This article first appeared on 702 : Why Bantu Holomisa has a stronger brand than his party the UDM