BOKAMOSO | Why you should vote DA in 2019

This newsletter is the final in a four-part series that explains why, for anyone who dreams of a prosperous, united South Africa, voting for the DA is a far more powerful action and a much safer bet than “voting for Ramaphosa”.

The best way to advance South Africa is to support the DA in 2019. This is true even for those who wish to support Ramaphosa’s reform agenda.

The DA is the most powerful political force for economic growth, good governance and unity in SA today. The stronger the DA, the stronger the force for a market-driven economy within a non-racial, constitutional democracy.

The obvious first question to ask when considering which party to vote for is: Which party will govern best? (When it comes down to it, the reason we vote is to ensure the best possible government so as to improve life as much as possible.) The answer here is unequivocally the DA.

Objectively, the DA’s track record of improving lives is leagues ahead of our competitors. The DA-run Western Cape Province leads in every metric of good governance.

According to StatsSA, over half of all jobs created in the past 12-month period were created in the Western Cape, even though the province only constitutes 12% of South Africa’s labour force. That’s 95 000 out of 188 000 new jobs.

In the past decade, employment grew by 19.8% in the Western Cape, well ahead of second-placed Gauteng at 7.5%. These successes are the result of the province’s economic strategy – Project Khulisa.

Job creation is the issue South Africans care most about. And rightly so. Rapid, job-creating economic growth is the only way to reverse our current vicious circle of mounting poverty, unemployment, inequality and debt.

The Western Cape leads because people feel confident to invest there, whether it’s building a house or building a business. Why? Because the DA-run government does the hard, honest work of spending public money on public services, be it education, healthcare, roads, water and sanitation, electricity, transport or communications.

According to the Auditor General, the province achieved 83% clean audits in the most recent year, far ahead of second-placed Gauteng with 52%. This proves that we spend public money, efficiently, on the public, rather than wasting or looting it.

That’s why the Western Cape consistently leads in education, with the highest retention of learners in the system and the best maths, science and overall matric results. It is why we have the best maintained roads, the highest connectivity, and the best service delivery to the poor.

And it is why the province has the most functional healthcare system, producing the highest life expectancy in the country. Since the DA took over in 2009, life expectancy there has increased from 59 to 66 years and from 64 to 72 years for men and women respectively.

If voters give us the mandate, we will apply this same approach to Gauteng, where the only outright DA-governed municipality, Midvaal, is already leading with the lowest unemployment levels in the province and five consecutive years of clean audits.

In Johannesburg and Tshwane, DA-led coalitions have ended billions of rands of corrupt contracts and put both cities firmly on the path to financial sustainability, economic growth and better service delivery.

Under a DA-led coalition, Nelson Mandela Bay metro went from second least trusted to second most trusted metro in the country (after Cape Town).

Aside from track record in government, a good second question to ask is: Which party is best placed to unite the country?

The DA is unequivocally the most diverse political party in South Africa, comprising young and old of all races. This reflects our commitment to building one South Africa for all and our conviction that we South Africans are better together.

The 2019 election comes at a time when the world is questioning a very important value: human solidarity. Forces that seek to divide humanity along national, ethnic or racial lines are in the ascendant. The DA is fighting back. We stand for human solidarity and nonracialism.

Unlike most SA political parties, the DA does not seek to represent or enrich any particular group in society at the expense of any other group. Rather, we seek to unite people around shared values: a deep commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law (including zero-tolerance of corruption), non-racialism, a market-driven economy and a capable state. We are committed to governing for all.

A third consideration should surely be: How committed is the party to economic reform?

Once again, only the DA is unequivocally committed to the deep structural reforms required to achieve rapid economic growth and job creation, such as ending Eskom’s monopoly on power production, selling SAA, standing up to SADTU, and reforming labour legislation.

But a proven track record of best governance, proven commitment to governing for all, and a solid commitment to reform may not be enough for those voters who wish to vote “strategically”, with an eye on the current constellation of political power in SA. Yet even a “strategic” vote is best placed with the DA, as Helen Zille pointed out this week.

Imagine the DA at one end of a see-saw, representing a strong reform agenda towards a market-driven economy within a nonracial constitutional democracy. And the EFF at the other end, representing a strong populist agenda towards a state-led economy within a racial kleptocracy. A factionally divided ANC straddles the pivot point, but with far more weight on the EFF side. Ramaphosa may be on the DA side, but the bulk of the ANC is not. Therefore, voting ANC will not tip the balance from kleptocracy towards reform. The most leverage you can possibly get for a reform agenda is to vote for the DA.

The most recent example of this is today’s North Gauteng High Court ruling that the state cannot fund Jacob Zuma’s legal fees in his defence of his role in the corruption that has afflicted our country. This is a victory for South Africa and the DA. Left to President Ramaphosa, the state would have continued to fund Jacob Zuma’s legal defence. The DA’s court action compelled him to do the right thing.

This is my last newsletter of 2019. I wish you all a peaceful and safe festive season. Travel safely and get lots of rest because 2019 is the year we start building one South Africa for all.

Court ruling on Zuma legal fees a victory for SA and DA

Today the people of South Africa have achieved a great victory in the battle for accountability. The North Gauteng High Court has ruled that the state will not fund Jacob Zuma’s legal fees, in his defence of his role in the corruption that has afflicted our country. And it has ordered Jacob Zuma to pay back the money already incurred by the state for his pending cases.

The Democratic Alliance has always maintained it was wrong of President Mbeki to decide that the public should pay for Zuma’s defence, and we argued that President Ramaphosa should have cancelled this illegal deal immediately. Sadly President Ramaphosa chose to help Jacob Zuma instead of standing up for accountability for corruption. We are thrilled that our court action has been successful. Of course, it should never have come down to a legal battle. Ramaphosa should have done the right thing and made Zuma pay for his own defence, without the people and the courts forcing him to do so.

The system of corruption where those who loot the state are then able to defend themselves using public money has been stopped today. This case sets an important precedent, and we will take this fight further to those people complicit in state capture.

The DA is committed to seeing justice done, and we will continue to fight for accountability at all levels of government. The people of South Africa can rely on us to fight in their corner.

VBS mayors’ termination welcomed, but more action needs to follow

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the fact that after our relentless pressure, action is finally being taken against some of the mayors involved in the VBS scandal. Shamefully, action has not been taken against all implicated individuals.

No action has been taken against mayors in Gauteng, which is an absolute disgrace. There has also been no action taken against the municipal managers or the chief financial officers of the implicated municipalities.

Most disgraceful is that there has been absolutely nothing done against the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Zweli Mkhize, who has been implicated in the saga, and who has criticised the DA’s decision to lay criminal charges against all implicated individuals, including himself.

The DA calls for the mayor of Merafong, Maphefo Letsie, and the mayor of the West Rand District Municipality, Boyce Maneli, to be fired immediately along with all the municipal managers and chief financial officers that allowed these illegal investments to take place.

The Merafong Municipality illegally invested R55 million with VBS under the watch of Letsie. The money that was invested was from conditional grants which were meant for infrastructure, water service infrastructure and housing as confirmed by COGTA to Parliament.

The West Rand District Municipality on the other hand illegally invested R77 million with VBS under the watch of Maneli. As a result, the municipality was forced to stop multiple projects such as the Construction of Roads and Maintenance Project and the Droogehheuwel Bulk Water Supply Programme.

The VBS heist demonstrates the extent of mismanagement and a deep administrative crisis at local government level, where municipal managers and the chief financial officers of the implicated municipalities were complacent and/or colluded with the corrupt ANC and EFF politicians.

The VBS heist has impacted thousands of South Africans. Service delivery is being delayed, and businesses have been affected by the failure of some municipalities to pay invoices to local businesses.

The local economies of these municipalities have been stunned in terms of creating jobs as projects had to be stopped.

All the implicated individuals, including those that stepped down or have been fired, must still be held accountable and criminal prosecutions need to take place. The DA will continue to fight corruption, and hold those robbing people of their dignity accountable.

Under a DA government, anyone found guilty of corruption will be sentenced to 15 years in jail and we will ensure that all public money is spent on the people.

DA calls on failing ANC to suspend Mabe

The DA notes ANC Spokesperson Pule Mabe’s decision to take leave following a sexual harassment complaint lodged against him by a party staffer. This is, however, not enough given the seriousness of the accusations.

We, therefore, call on the failing ANC to place Mabe on suspension until investigations into the matter are concluded. The allegation shows that the sex-for-jobs scourge is endemic in ANC structures and it extends all the way to the upper echelons of Luthuli House.

Mabe is not the first senior ANC official accused of sexual misconduct. Former Western Cape ANC Chairperson Marius Fransman allegedly touched his assistant inappropriately in January 2016. We welcome the National Prosecuting Authority’s decision to prosecute Fransman.

Nearly 10 million people are unemployed in South Africa and, instead of remedying this, the ANC is adding to the problem by failing to act against officials who demand sexual favours from our people in exchange for jobs.

A DA national government will create fair access to jobs and ensure that the predatory sex-for-jobs practice is done away with. For too long, unemployment has oppressed South Africans and the ANC has failed to intervene. In 2019, citizens can change this by removing the failing ANC from power.

Let’s make what we learnt in 2018 count in 2019

Note to Editors: the following remarks were delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, during an address to the Team One SA campaign staff at the party’s national headquarters in Gauteng, Nkululeko House.

Fellow Democrats,

With 2018 fast drawing to a close, it gives me great pleasure to address you here in our beautiful new Gauteng home and campaign headquarters, Nkululeko House.

Let me start by thanking you for your efforts this year. The work done by our professional staff, our activists and our public representatives is what sets the DA apart. No other party has a professional machine and a ground force quite like ours.

No other party engages voters like we do. No other party has daily conversations with ordinary South Africans about their challenges and frustrations, but also their hopes and dreams, the way the DA does.

We’re the only party that takes our country’s constituency system seriously by having weekly meetings in most communities.

And all of that is down to our relentless blue wave – our army of staff, activists and public reps who spend every single day spreading our message of One South Africa for All to every corner of the country.

I know you rarely get the acknowledgement you deserve, but you truly are the engine that keeps our party moving forward. Thank you. You have my deepest appreciation.

As we now prepare to take a short break before hitting the campaign trail with renewed intensity in January, I want to briefly reflect on the year we’ve had, before looking ahead to the election.

I don’t need to tell you that 2018 was a tough year for the DA. Over the past twelve months our party’s resolve was tested in every way imaginable.

But we were not alone in dealing with adversity. Parties like the DA are facing strong headwinds throughout the world as populists rise up. Just look at what Macron is facing in France. Look at Brexit.

It is becoming increasingly hard to run a non-racial, inclusive movement when the world is becoming more and more racialised by populists. There is a reason why people like Trump and Bolsonaro of Brazil exist. There is a reason why the EFF exists here, and why the ANC has chosen to follow them.

The forces of populism are trying to unstitch our 1994 Constitutional arrangement, and it has fallen to the DA to fight against this attack. And it is hard.

We need to recognise this moment in history, and recognise that the DA is not alone. But over and above this global trend, we’ve had our own unique battles to fight this year.

From the three-year drought in the Western Cape, which finally broke when the rains came in the autumn, to the drawn-out process to install trusted, credible and corruption-free leadership in the City of Cape Town, we have faced challenge after challenge this year.

In Nelson Mandela Bay, we fought hard to keep the new ANC/EFF/UDM coalition of corruption away from the Metro’s budget and contracts. Our setback there is temporary. I assure you, NMB will have a DA government again.

Elsewhere, in Johannesburg and Tshwane, we continue to face daily challenges in keeping our fragile coalitions and cooperation agreements intact. But our mayors have done an outstanding job in these cities to dramatically improve service delivery and clean up the mess left by the ANC.

Yes, 2018 has been hard on the DA. But we weathered the storm like no other party could. And from this adversity, we have grown stronger and more resolute than ever before.

Cape Town survived the drought and kept the taps open thanks to a herculean effort by the City, the Province and millions of residents who did what no other city in the world has done.

What happened in the City of Cape Town and the replacement of the Mayor was an extremely tough chapter for the DA, but it was something we had to do.

If we were to be true to our manifesto and our promise to root out corruption and improve service delivery, then we had no choice but to act. Even if this meant taking on someone with a “good brand” and popular support. We had to put the people of Cape Town first.

Today a new Cape Town Mayor leads both a united DA caucus and a Metro council that continues to set the benchmark in good governance.

For the first time in decades Johannesburg and Tshwane have responsive, accountable governments. And the networks of corruption that were put in place in these cities over years of ANC government are finally coming down, piece by piece. Now we wait for the NPA to act on the many corruption charges delivered to them.

It was a year in which we continued to fight for South Africans, inside and outside of Parliament. And an important highlight has been the progress we have made in securing ownership of land for the Gwatyu community in the Eastern Cape.

2018 was also the year of our Federal Congress, and it was an historic one because it was at this gathering that we confirmed the value of diversity in our party.

This sparked an important debate in the DA about the concept of B-BBEE and the meaning of a non-racial South Africa. Some tried to paint us as a party divided, but this was not the case. We were simply having a crucial conversation about the future.

That’s what we do in the DA. We don’t shy away from a contestation of ideas. We air our issues, we debate them and we reach consensus.

2018 may have been a tough year for the DA, but it was a year in which we came of age as a party. We demonstrated that we could handle setbacks, that we could survive internal contestation and debates, and that we could emerge united and stronger than before.

By remaining true to our core values, we took the best our opponents could throw at us, and we emerged standing.

But more importantly, we took plenty of justified criticism from the public and the media this year, and we responded in true DA fashion: with introspection and a resolve to do better.

We learnt that it’s often not enough to just be right – we must also be clear in our actions and communication. We learnt that, in future, we must take the public into our confidence sooner and speak with more clarity on such complex and emotive issues.

Yes, we could have dealt with this better, and we have certainly learnt some tough lessons.

But I also know that no other party in South Africa would have taken on and handled these issues the way the DA did, and I am incredibly proud of the role each and every one of you played.

We have now drawn a line under 2018, which means we can focus all our attention on the mammoth task of next year’s elections.

My fellow Democrats,

The next six months will be a crucial period in our country’s history. It will certainly be the most important election campaign any of you have ever worked on.

When we return in the New Year, we’ll have to hit the ground running. January will see both our registration campaign as well as our policy launch, followed by four months of intense campaigning.

At stake is far more than just a good result for the DA. Our country’s very future depends on the outcome.

If South Africa is to succeed, the DA will have to do well. And the reason for this is that we carry, in our DA values and in our DA policies, the hope for a better South Africa.

Any future political realignment to save South Africa will have to take place around the non-negotiable values that we hold dear as a party: Constitutionalism, The Rule of Law, A Market Economy, Non-Racialism, A Capable State and a Zero Tolerance for Corruption.

Each of these is essential, and no other party is fighting for them. And so it will have to be the Democratic Alliance that forms the core of such a political realignment.

You and I, along with our colleagues in the provinces, our colleagues in the various DA caucuses and our fellow Democrats who volunteer their time as activists in communities across our country, have six months left to make a case for the South Africa we want to see.

During this time we will have to take our message to every community in every city, town and village. We will have to reach and speak to every single South African, whether face-to-face, in a town hall meeting or on a phone call.

And when we do this, we need to paint a very clear, very compelling picture of the South Africa we want to build.

I sketched such a South Africa three and a half years ago, shortly after being elected DA Leader in 2015.

In a speech in Soweto I spoke of the DA’s vision for a South Africa under a caring government – a government inspired by the extraordinary potential of ordinary South Africans.

In this vision of our country, people felt safe in their communities because they had a highly trained, well-equipped and motivated police force on their side.

In this vision, corruption had all but disappeared because government had adopted an absolute zero-tolerance approach with harsh sentences.

In this vision, we all stood equal before the law, whether you were the president of the nation or any other citizen. Our justice system worked, and it worked for all.

I spoke of a society that had made big strides in reversing the spatial and structural inequalities of Apartheid.

I spoke of a vastly improved education system, which played an integral part in a steadily growing economy – growth on par with the top performing nations in Africa.

I spoke of our country as a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship, and the millions of jobs created in this modern economy of ours.

I pictured opportunities for all, but also an extensive social safety net for those unable to take advantage of these opportunities.

I sketched a trimmed-down government that was lean, efficient and citizen-oriented.

In this country I spoke of, South Africa was a beacon of hope and humanity on the continent, with a foreign policy that placed human rights above all.

Today, three years on, I still believe in every word I said back then. I still have the same vision of the same prosperous, safe and inclusive South Africa.

But I also know that we have made no further progress towards becoming that country since then. If anything, we have fallen further behind.

The number of unemployed South Africans is now fast approaching 10 million, and we have the highest youth unemployment rate in the entire world. Half our people live below the poverty line.

And, on our current trajectory, we have very little prospect of recovery.

Our economy has dipped in and out of recession this year, our national debt is an anchor that is dragging us back and the massive liability that is Eskom threatens to sink us completely.

We are heading in the wrong direction, and our government cannot turn us around.

Regardless of new dawns and new presidents, they are incapable of managing the problems our country faces. They simply do not have the solutions we need.

While we need to free up our economy and make it possible for businesses large and small to create millions of jobs, the ANC is pushing for tighter control and more ownership by the state.

While we need to reform our labour regime to make investment attractive and feasible, the ANC relies heavily on the unions for support and cannot stand up to them.

While we need a government that unites us across races, religions and languages, the ANC is increasingly using our differences to divide us and turn us against one another.

While we need to act firmly against the scourge of patronage and corruption, the ANC’s sole reason for seeking power today is the accumulation of wealth.

While we need protection of our constitutionally-enshrined rights, such as the right to own property, the ANC is trampling on these rights as they go in search of quick populist wins.

Fellow Democrats,

What our country needs to recover will not come from within the ANC, no matter who occupies the top office.

If we are to realise our vision for South Africa, it will be through the values and the policies of a DA-led government.

Swapping factions within the ANC will not be enough. The only way we will succeed is by swapping governments.

As we build towards the election, we need to make this clear to South Africans.

We need to explain that their choice is between South Africa’s current trajectory under the ANC, and an entirely new road under a DA government.

Their choice is between the ANC and EFF’s coalition of corruption, and the DA’s record of clean, accountable government that speeds up service delivery for all our people.

Their choice is between the zero percent growth of an out-dated, state-led ANC, and the high-growth that is only possible through the DA’s market economy and business-friendly approach.

Their choice is between the spiralling unemployment of the ANC, and the proven track record in job creation where the DA governs, where half of all new jobs last year were added in the Western Cape.

Their choice is between the division and mistrust of the ANC’s nationalism, and a DA government that believes our diversity is our biggest asset.

That is the choice that we need to paint over the coming months.

I know it is a huge and daunting task, but I believe we can do it. And the reason I believe this is because we, in the DA, know exactly what we are fighting against.

We understand who and what our enemy is.

This enemy was not Jacob Zuma. And it was not the Guptas, or any of the other parasites that fed off the state at the expense of poor South Africans.

These people, along with all the remnants of their network that still remain in office today, are simply symptoms of a government gone wrong.

Our real enemy, which stands in the way of our progress, is the poverty that still denies millions of South Africans a life of dignity and independence, 24 years into our democracy.

Our enemy is the unemployment that keeps almost 10 million South Africans locked out of the economy and opportunities.

Our enemy is the unfair society of insiders and outsiders created by decades of ANC patronage.

Our enemy is a stalled economy, weighed down by state-heavy policies that belong in a time-gone-by.

Our enemy is the corruption that steals our country’s future. Not the corruption of one president or one family, but a system of corruption that continues to poison our towns and cities, our government departments and our State-Owned Enterprises.

Our enemy is the crime that makes good people prisoners in their own homes, and terrifies them in their own streets.

These are our enemies, and as long as they exist, our fight is far from over.

That is why we will go out there, every day until voters go to the polls in May, and tell South Africans about the country we hope to build with them.

That is why our election campaign message speaks about the things that matter most to ordinary South Africans:

A clean government that fights corruption at every level, and sends those found guilty to jail for 15 years.

A police service that is well-trained, well equipped and staffed by motivated individuals, so that South Africans can take back their streets and their neighbourhoods from criminals.

A system whereby jobs can be accessed fairly by all, and not just those on the inside. Where you won’t be expected to prove your party membership or sleep with someone in order to get work.

A country with secure borders and a clean and efficient Home Affairs, so that all those who want come here legally can do so easily, and those who want to enter illegally are kept out.

And a government committed to radically speed up the roll-out of basic services to all communities across South Africa.

That is the South Africa we must speak about, every day, everywhere.

A South Africa with opportunities for all her people.

A South Africa that once again becomes the beating economic heart of our continent.

A South Africa of the 21st Century with a modern, innovative economy.

A South Africa that looks ahead, towards the future, instead backwards at its past.

But above all, one united South Africa that works for all her people.

Thank you.

Failing ANC has no plan for creating jobs

The latest employment figures promises a bleak Christmas for 16 000 South African families, and confirms that the failing ANC has no plan for our economy.

The latest employment figures released today by Stats SA show that the economy has shed another 16 000 jobs in the third quarter of 2018, this on the back of shedding 69 000 jobs in the second quarter. This means that in 6 months, South Africa has lost 85 000 jobs.

The manufacturing sector lost 7000 jobs, construction lost 5000 jobs, mining and quarrying lost 2000 jobs, 1000 transport jobs were lost, and a further 1000 jobs were lost in the field of community service. Far from delivering on the promise of a growing, job creating economy, the ANC is causing more damage to the economy through disastrous economic mismanagement.

In contrast, DA governments are responsible for 50% of all new jobs in South Africa this year, despite only constituting 12% of the labour market. That is because we have a clear plan to grow the economy, and a clear track record of doing so in government.

The failing ANC has become complicit with no plan to get the economy growing and with no plan to create jobs that South Africans can access.

The DA is the only party serious about building a modern, successful economy that opens access to real, long-term jobs. The DA is bringing change that builds One South Africa for All.

Andile Mngxitama charged for incitement to violence

Yesterday, the DA opened a case against BLF leader, Andile Mngxitama, at the SAPS Potchefstroom, for his racially charged calls inciting violence against white South Africans made during a rally he addressed at Ikageng Stadium this past Saturday. The case number is 199/12/2018.

Calling on people to join a militia outfit and inciting violence against individuals or groups of South Africans goes against the very grain of our constitutional order. This sort of behaviour seeks only to divide our nation on the basis of race and threatens the gains we have made towards reconciliation and truly building One South Africa for All.

Mngxitama’s dangerous rhetoric must be condemned and rejected in the strongest terms, and the relevant authorities have a duty to act against Mngxitama and his pseudo-revolutionary grouping.

The DA will not idly stand by and allow those who wish to dump this country back into the darkness of Apartheid to do so unopposed. The SAPS should investigate these charges, which would be an easy exercise to do, as evidence of Mngxitama’s incitement to violence is well documented and in the public domain. Mngxitama should be quickly prosecuted.

Yesterday, my colleague, DA National Spokesperson, Solly Malatsi, reported the BLF and Mngxitama to the South African Human Rights Commission, as well as the Equality Court.

The DA remains the only party that seeks to bring South Africans from all walks of life together, united in our diversity towards a common goal, we can truly reach our maximum potential, building a society based on freedom, fairness, opportunity and diversity.

DA reports Mngxitama to Human Rights Commission over “kill whites” comments

The DA will be reporting Andile Mngxitama to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Equality Court in terms of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (PEPUDA) for comments in which he incites violence against white South Africans.

The Equality Court in terms of PEPUDA Chapter 2, sections 6 and 7, states that “no person may unfairly discriminate against any person on the ground of race, including – (a) the dissemination of any propaganda or idea, which propounds the racial superiority of inferiority of any person, including incitement to, or participation in, any form of violence; (b) the engagement in any activity which is intended to promote, or has the effect of promoting, exclusivity, based on race”.

Further to this, the DA North West Provincial Leader, Joe McGluwa, will lay charges against Mngxitima for incitement of imminent violence. We cannot allow Mngxitama’s comments and actions to go unchallenged.

Institutions of the state empowered to investigate and prosecute on matters of this nature have a duty to act.

In a speech delivered at a BLF rally in Potchefstroom on 9 December, and in a series of tweets thereafter, Mngxitama launched into a tirade against businessman Johann Rupert, saying inter alia “if he hires his taxi bosses to kill one black we shall kill five whites” and “[w]e will go to the white suburbs and avenge each black life.”

To view the video in which Mngxitama makes his comments, click here. Evidence of Mngxitama’s remarks on Twitter can be viewed here, here, here and here.

This will not be the first time BLF and their leader find themselves knee-deep in hate speech allegations. This behaviour is undoubtedly a trend characteristic of the BLF, as is clearly evident based on their track record over the past 2 years. In 2018 alone, the following comes to light:

  • The BLF have been accused of hate speech by the South African Human Rights Commission, who have simultaneously recommended that the party be prevented from contesting the 2019 elections on the grounds that they have made statements violating the Electoral Act;
  • Spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp has come under fire for his posting on both Facebook and Twitter that “I have aspirations to kill white people, and this must be achieved!”; and
  • Earlier this year, a female lawyer was branded racist by BLF members and attacked in Johannesburg – when EWN asked Mngxitama to comment on the incident, he responded by saying he did not know why she was labelled as racist by BLF members, but that he supported their actions in attacking her and believed whatever they had to say.

These acts follow the BLF’s behaviour patterns last year, namely in September 2017, when Mngxitama tweeted: “For those claiming the legacy of the holocaust is ONLY negative, think about the lampshades and Jewish soap”. This was followed with another tweet: “the aroma of the burning flesh from the furnace of the holocaust may wet the appetite of the SA cannibals”.

The national director of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) Wendy Kahn said the board was seeking orders from court to find Mngxitama in violation of the Equality Act for hate speech, harassment, and to find him guilty of unfair discrimination. Mngxitama responded to these moves by Kahn by stating that the SAJBD was displaying white supremacist tendencies.

South Africa belongs to all who live in it. There is no place for race-based incitement of violence and those who engage in hate speech should be investigated and prosecuted with the full might of the law. We cannot turn a blind eye to or diminish the seriousness of Mngxitama’s naked racism, hate speech and incitement.

The DA will continue to fight for the rights of all South Africans – black and white. We are the only party that will build One South Africa for All and bring the much-needed change South Africans so desperately deserve.

DA welcomes charges against ANC deployed Tau and Makhubo

The DA supports City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Herman Mashaba, who today laid fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering charges against former Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau and former MMC for Finance, Geoff Makhubo. This sends a strong message to those who use the people’s money to line their pockets while the people suffer.

Tau and Makhubo allegedly orchestrated a windfall of at least R30 million for Makhubo by letting him act as a broker for Regiments Fund Managers, which gave them unrestricted access to lucrative contracts within the City.

With the help of Makhubo and Tau’s interference, Regiments was allegedly able to facilitate a R290 million loan to Denel while receiving kickbacks of around R3.4 million from the beleaguered parastatal.

This matter is being referred to the Zondo Commission by the DA, to form part of the inquiry into the State Capture project which saw billions of rands of the people’s money lost through looting and mismanagement.

The DA-led City of Johannesburg has already requested a meeting with newly-appointed National Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Shamila Batohi. Now is the time for the National Prosecuting Authority to prove that it is dedicated to speedily prosecuting this case and many others uncovered by the Public Protector, Parliament and the State Capture Inquiry.

The DA has also requested a meeting with the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to provide an update on all the charges that have been laid by the DA in this regard, with no commitment received to date.

As more evidence of the failing ANC’s part in the State Capture project keeps coming to the fore, South Africans are starting to see the full extent of the ANC’s involvement. We are reminded, daily, of why the ANC and its leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, need to appear before the Zondo Commission to explain their role.

A DA government will build One South Africa for All and ensure that the corruption that has been allowed to flourish under the ANC government will end with 15-year jail sentences.

New Dawn, Same Darkness

The following remarks we delivered by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a presentation of the Party’s 2018 Government Review in Parliament today. Maimane was joined by DA Chief Whip, John Steenhuisen MP

It must be made clear up front that Andile Mngxitama’s recent remarks are a violation of human rights and tantamount to hate speech. On Human Rights Day, and every other day.

Section 16(2)(c) of the Constitution makes it clear that “advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm” is fundamentally a human rights violation.

Hate speech must always be spoken out against. Mngxitama’s comments cheapen people rights to human dignity which is a fundamental tenant of what liberal democracy depends on.

This guarantee exists because we are human beings. It does not exist because we belong to a group or because we are any one individual.

This is what the DA is fighting for and why South Africa needs reform. While President Ramaphosa may have tinkered, he has not reformed – it is easy to appoint new boards; electoral reform, less so.

In a year that was billed to be one of fundamental reform, the ANC has continued to fail South Africa. In government, all of the crises that existed at the end of the Zuma presidency have worsened in the first year of the Ramaphosa presidency. In parliament, the ANC has reverted to their default position of complete deference to the new President, rather than holding him and his government accountable.

In contrast, the DA has not allowed our work in Parliament and in government to be clouded by ‘Ramaphoria’. We have continued to hold the government robustly to account, and to deliver better services and cleaner government where we govern.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Ramaphosa is coming to the end of his first year in office. He came to office promising tough action on corruption, and to get the economy growing to create jobs. On both fronts, progress has been elusive.

Former President Jacob Zuma may no longer be in power, but he remains out of prison. The public continues to pay for Zuma’s defence costs, despite this likely-illegal arrangement being within Ramaphosa’s direct power to end immediately.

There have also been no further arrests or charges against anyone implicated in state capture, despite there being a surfeit of evidence of serious crimes having been committed. Indeed, the NPA announced its decision not to prosecute Ace Magashule for the Estina Dairy theft, just a week before the appointment of a new NDPP. We hope she will reconsider this decision soon.

State capture continues to be presented as an aberration of the Zuma Presidency, rather than a system of corruption that is the modus operandi of the ANC as a whole. The policy of cadre deployment, picking civil servants for political loyalty over merit, combined with the elevation of the party and its interests over the state, has opened the way for massive endemic corruption. State capture is not a Zuma phenomenon, it is the way the ANC works.

As if to prove this point for us, Ramaphosa confirmed in Parliament that he received a R500 000 donation for his ANC campaign from Bosasa, a company already implicated in widespread ANC corruption, and that his son has a ‘commercial relationship’ with that company. Neither Ramaphosa, his son, or Bosasa, have been willing to reveal further details of this relationship, but the DA will not let up until we get to the truth.

Ramaphosa’s Cabinet remains bloated and filled with delinquent Ministers, and his government has presided over the worst economic recession that South Africa has experienced since the global financial crisis.

Over the past year, it has become clear that the government has no plan on how to fix the economy, beyond talk-shops, conferences and photo-op summits. “Investments” announced were simply the re-announcement of old investments, unemployment has gone up and access to jobs is still manipulated to the benefit of connected ANC insiders, often including demanding sex or cash for jobs.

Compare this to the performance of the DA. Nothing shows the difference between the DA and the ANC better than our performance on job creation and combating corruption. Investment inflows, economic growth and ultimately new job creation has been higher in DA governments than in the rest of the country. In 2018, a full 50% of new jobs created in South Africa were created in the Western Cape. DA governed Midvaal has the lowest unemployment rate in Gauteng.

In Johannesburg, Mayor Herman Mashaba has continued his crusade against corruption. Nationally, the DA has continued to be the only organisation committed to seeing Jacob Zuma help accountable for his crimes. We have laid 10 different charges against SOE executives, board members, corporates and government officials implicated in state capture. We were one of the main driving forces behind the Eskom Inquiry into state capture, requested the Financial Services Conduct Authority investigate financial flows from state capture and wrote to the Reserve Bank of India and the Parliamentary Ethics Committee to probe the capture of the state.

We’ve also taken strong action against malfeasance in our own ranks when we’ve become aware of it, no matter how difficult. And we have resisted the ANC-EFF coalition of corruption in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and in Tshwane.

Parliament

Of the 15 debates that shaped the national agenda in Parliament this year, all confirmed an inconvenient truth: there is no “good” ANC or “bad” ANC, only the ANC. The outcomes of the debates on the recession recovery, fuel price increase and VBS Bank Heist continue to serve as the eulogy of the organization.

A final resting call where Parliament’s lights switched off while the Eskom inquiry report was being debated and the Constitutional Review Committee’s (CRC’s) report’s final words that the bedrock of people’s property rights are up for grabs. While the DA exposed how deep State Capture runs in the national power utility and voted against this dangerous Constitutional amendment, much of South Africa remains in darkness while the people’s Bill of Rights is being walked all over.

As unfair a burden placed by the government on ordinary South Africans has been the VAT increase, ballooning bailouts and spiraling cost of fuel. One might have hoped the recession recovery debate might have offered more responsible alternatives but is was not long until the House found itself processing how R2 billion was looted from VBS bank by the ANC and EFF.

Nothing has changed – the ANC acts only for connected insiders and poor and vulnerable outsiders come stone last. The DA’s laying of criminal charges against Minister Mkhize and former North West Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, for their involvement in the VBS scandal is only the beginning of our fight for the victims of this national sin.

Speaking up for the voiceless against an unchangeable ANC requires more than actionless debates – it demands the use of law as a tool to drive change. But rather than guiding South Africa’s true north, Parliament’s law-making function has regressed to the back of the national agenda where of almost 50 Bills introduced, the fiscal framework required as few as 10.

If any of these Bills should currently find themselves as South African priority number one, it is the DA’s “cheaper energy bill” which seeks to separate Eskom into separate electricity generation and transmission units, allowing Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to fairly compete with Eskom for power provision. This competition will reduce the leviathan monopoly Eskom has on electricity prices, make electricity cheaper and more secure and ultimately steer our country clear of the heart of darkness.

The DA’s Small Enterprises Ombud Services Bill should have found itself topping the national priority alongside our “cheaper energy bill”, offering an efficient mechanism to solve the late payments crisis with small businesses. Instead the ANC abused its majority to recklessly rush through the National Minimum Wage Bill which will lead to an expected loss of 750 000 jobs.

Where the ANC’s debate and legislatives processes failed the people of South Africa, Parliament had a lifeline to keep the Executive in check through oral and written questions. President Ramaphosa answered a total of 24 questions during four oral questions sessions in the NA and 6 questions during one appearance in the NCOP while Deputy President Mabuza answered 36 questions through six sessions in the NA and 18 questions on three occasions in the NCOP this year.

However, the Deputy President is meant be in the House one session per term and for all intents and purposes, Deputy President Mabuza has been an “absentee Deputy President” in the Fourth Parliamentary term. It is unlikely that he will resurface until late February or early March next year – an unaccountability that President Ramaphosa has allowed to happen.

The DA remains the last standing custodian for democracy and accountability in Parliament where we asked more than half of the 3 655 written questions asked in the NA at an average of 73 questions per opportunity or 23 questions per DA MP and 83.5% of the total 266 questions in the NCOP at an average of over 6 questions per opportunity or 17 questions per DA MP. The ANC submitted a paltry 1% in the NA and less than 3% in the NCOP, content with indifference as long as it limps along on the county’s inside lane.

The Communications (34%), Finance (34%), Water and Sanitation (32%), Social Development (28%) and Health Departments (28%) answered the least questions in the NCOP. It remains an offense to the democratic process that the worst performing ANC government departments have also been the least accountable.

Another season of debates that make a noise but no difference, out-of-touch legislation and unanswered questions in the sphere of government designed to hold the executive to account has come and gone. South Africa is nowhere closer to bringing change that builds One South Africa for all.

2019 Elections

It defies reason to award the ANC with a stronger mandate because nothing will change. Next year’s national election is about South Africa’s future, not the ANC’s.

The DA is currently rolling out an extensive registration campaign, because the only way to truly change the country for the better is if South Africans register and show their dissatisfaction with the direction of the country by voting against the ANC.

South Africans must unite to prevent an ANC-EFF two thirds majority in next year’s election. That result would be dangerous for our country. The ANC and the EFF have shown in 2018 that they will work together to protect corruption, for example in Nelson Mandela Metro, and to divide the country and undermine private property rights by trying to amend the Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation.

The DA will continue to create fair access to real and long-term jobs, fight corruption to ensure that all public money is spent on the people, overhaul the South African Police Service to become and honest and professional organisation that actually serves and protects South Africans, secure our borders and stop illegal immigration and speed up the delivery of basic services. If this offer resonates, the last weekend of next month is the final opportunity to register to vote for this change in the 2019 national election.

If 2018 began with the great hope of a new dawn, it ends with the growing realisation by more and more South Africans that it is the government itself that needs changing, not just the President.

Change that will builds one South Africa for all starts with registering to vote for it.