At long last 2020 is almost over. It was a dark year for the world and a particularly difficult year for South Africa.
It was a complicated year with previously unheard-of restrictions, uncertainties, sadness, fear, anger, frustration, loss, polarisation, challenges and problems.
South Africa is in big trouble. The state coffers have been emptied out, the economy is in a recession, unemployment has reached a critical point and the need for services and social relief is on the rise. We have fallen over the edge and now find ourselves in a dark tunnel with very little hope of finding light at the end as long as the ANC is in control.
It is an accomplished fact that the current fiscal and economic crises were not caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It no doubt made matters worse, but the country was already in serious trouble long before Covid-19 came onto the scene.
Crime is out of control as this year robberies at residential premises increased with 8,5% and farm murders with 62,5%.
Never before has our country been as polarised as it is now. And amid these serious crises, the ANC government is still obsessing about moving so-called Apartheid statues. In addition, the ruling party has locked its focus on redistribution and
it is proceeding with the process of amending the Constitution so as to make provision for expropriation without compensation. It comes down to nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
After a year like 2020, it might feel like there is no hope for the future.
The wonderful thing, though, is that just before the end of the year we have Christmas. In these hopeless and uncertain times, we need the message of Christmas more than ever.
As believers, it is important to remember what Hebrews 11:1 states: "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."
Christmas is a joyous celebration that brings a message of hope. Every Christmas, God confirms his message of hope. God sent His Son to the world to die so that our sins will be forgiven. If Jesus is our source of hope, there will always be a light at the end of every dark tunnel.
During this difficult year, the FF Plus worked hard to promote the interests of our voters. Our public office bearers assisted voters with a myriad of problems and helped to find solutions under difficult circumstances.
The way the government handled the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated how a state of disaster can be exploited and it has exposed the flaws in the current Disaster Management Act. Cabinet abused its power and implemented irrational restrictions without any parliamentary oversight.
That is why the FF Plus tabled a Private Member's Bill in Parliament to amend the Disaster Management Act so that there will be more parliamentary oversight and transparency in decision-making about regulations at times when a state of disaster is declared.
A highlight for the party was the removal of the struggling Mangaung Metro Municipality's Mayor, Mss Olly Mlamleli, by means of a motion of no confidence tabled by the FF Plus.
We also kept the momentum of our tremendous 2019-growth going and in the by-elections that took place in various municipalities across the country, we won two more wards.
Another ray of hope in 2020 was the long-awaited settlement in the Transnet Pension court case, which brought relief to many pensioners. The FF Plus had been involved in the case for many years and we are grateful that it had a positive outcome in favour of the pensioners.
In the course of the year, the FF Plus also presented a successful self-determination conference to reaffirm our mission. The government's blanket approach with the lockdown and the accompanying restrictions once again highlighted the need for the decentralisation of power. We are committed to finding feasible solutions and promoting minority rights.
Next year will no doubt bring challenges of its own. The fight against expropriation without compensation continues.
Next year the general municipal elections will also take place and we will, therefore, have the opportunity to break the ANC's power. The FF Plus will be an important coalition partner to keep the ANC out of a position of power in even more municipalities.
The solution to many of our problems lies in standing up for what is right, standing together and standing strong. Through absolute dependence on our Heavenly Father, each and every one of us can offer hope to those around us.
I want to thank every single FF Plus supporter for their continued support.
On behalf of the FF Plus, I wish you a Blessed Christmas and a prosperous new year. Enjoy the festive season with your loved ones and may we tackle next year's challenges with renewed courage.
And let us never, ever lose hope. Benedict of Nursia once said: " Hope is hearing the melody of the future and faith is dancing to that melody in the here and now."