DA reveals Home Affairs applications deleted due to loadshedding

The DA has discovered that Home Affairs applications are being deleted due to loadshedding. The possibility that this is also the case in other state departments is extremely concerning and the DA will be doing oversight in the coming weeks to ascertain whether it is indeed the case.

I have written to Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, to urgently address this issue.

When visiting the Bronkhorstspruit Home Affairs office with ward 105 DA Councillor candidate Lida Erasmus, it was found that there are cases where citizens apply for an ID document or passport, complete the application and receive a valid receipt. A few weeks later when they return to the office to find out why the documents are not ready they find that the application was completely deleted due to load shedding that causes the system to go offline.

These residents are then required to reapply. This is a completely unacceptable waste of time for these residents. There can be no compromise on database replication and power failover systems in place for secure systems that contain such sensitive information.

The Minister has to date failed to answer a DA parliamentary question posed in October 2022 requesting a list of the home affairs offices with no functioning generator or uninterrupted power supply system and by when emergency power supply systems will be installed in each of these offices.

A detailed report presented to Home Affairs as far back as 2019 already highlighted electricity and environmental issues as major causes of system downtime including uninterrupted power supply devices not kicking in, no power backup or not having fuel in generators when power fails.

The lethargy in having these issues addressed is difficult to understand, given the severity of their impact. Ministers enjoy generators at their residences at taxpayer expense and are completely disconnected from the effects of load shedding.

The DA will be following up to ensure that this issue of applications being deleted due to loadshedding is addressed without delay.

Doctors should not have to march to be employed

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Michele Clarke MP.

It is shocking that more than 1 000 doctors were forced to take to the streets today in order to try and remedy the critical shortage of doctors in South African hospitals.

Last year, the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, revealed a vacancy for 1 339 doctors in the public health sector, as well as 10 831 vacancies for nurses. In December, the South African Medical Association Trade Union (Samatu) said that at least 225 post-community service doctors had yet to find employment.

Since it has become crystal clear that the ANC government is either unwilling or incapable of addressing this critical shortage, the DA has taken matters into our own hands. We will be bringing a Private Members Bill (PMB) before Parliament to change the way medical students and doctors are placed for the internships and community service years.

The placement of community service doctors has never run smoothly. Every year, scores of doctors are left in limbo by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) putting 8 years of hard work in jeopardy.

And the issue stretches further than the chaotic placement of community service doctors. Last year 94 doctors who qualified at foreign universities, sued the HPCSA for seemingly hindering their registration to enable medical practice in South Africa. The Council also failed to provide the doctors who wrote the board examinations with exam scripts and marking memoranda, despite being ordered by the Public Protector after an investigation.

It is unfathomable that the ANC government refuses to address the country’s doctor shortage (0.31 doctors per 1 000 patients), especially given the large number of qualified doctors that seek employment.

In an interview last year Dr Nicholas Crisp, the deputy director-general for the Department of Health (DoH) responsible for the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, blamed the failure to fill posts on the annual decrease of budgets and the rising cost of employment. Yet the 2021/22 annual report revealed that R42 655 000 of the Department’s dwindling budget was spent on just 44 NHI posts.

And to this day, the Department has failed to provide an NHI financing plan. To add insult to injury, the Minister and Dr Crisp have not managed to come to an agreement on how the NHI would be funded with everything from introducing additional taxes, possible increases in value-added tax (VAT), changes to general taxation, adding a payroll tax to the reallocation of funds being touted.

Today’s march has illustrated the Department of Health’s clear disdain for South Africa’s medical professionals and the people they serve. Instead of prioritising front line health care by capacitating the public health system, the ANC government is wasting money on an ill-conceived idea that will inevitably fail and erode the little that’s left of the country’s health care.

It is time the NHI was scrapped entirely, and the money reprioritised to employ nurses and doctors.

Loadshedding crisis: DA again calls for bone-in chicken to be zero-VAT rated

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Noko Masipa MP.

Permanent loadshedding is having a devastating effect on the poultry industry.

This week the poultry producer Astral Foods said that they expect their earnings for the first half of this financial year to be “decimated” by loadshedding disruptions. These blackouts brought on by the ANC government are causing the poultry industry to fork out millions on diesel to power generators. The ANC government unashamedly failed to respond positively to a request for diesel rebates to farmers to save the sector and protect food security.

Currently, the cost of poultry production exceeds the price at which the chicken meat is being sold.

The economic principle dictates that poultry farmers must increase their prices in this instance to cover their costs. However, consumers can no longer afford these price hikes, especially for a staple item in most households, and food security. In many rural and urban areas poor citizens rely heavily on poultry meat and egg for safe nutrient proteins in their daily diets. This poses a huge threat to national food security.

The DA therefore reiterates its call for bone-in chicken to be zero-VAT rated. Removing VAT on bone-in chicken would benefit the poorest 50% of South Africans who are already battling to put food on the table – now exacerbated by permanent loadshedding.

It is every government’s duty to protect its poor citizens through the protection of its agriculture commodity group instead of exposing it to market forces that will lead to its demise.

Currently, the government of South Africa and Eskom is doing the opposite.

The current ANC-engineered Eskom destruction of agriculture is a disaster for the entire economy. Whilst agriculture’s contribution to the GDP is 2%, the entire value chain of agriculture contributes up to 30% to the GDP. This applies to all sectors inclusive of the poultry industry. If these actions of Eskom and the ANC do not stop, the economy in no time likely to bleed double the digit of the GDP which shall be disastrous to all planned infrastructural plans.

Rural towns are rapidly becoming ghost towns due to Eskom’s loadshedding. The Democratic Alliance has written to the chairperson of the portfolio, requesting him to invite Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), Ms Thoko Didiza and Eskom management to appear before the portfolio committee to provide the committee with a plan to avert potential food security disasters and job losses.

Loadshedding does not discriminate and neither must Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Jan de Villiers MP.

The DA welcomes the announcement by the Department of Small Business Development that they are working on a loadshedding relief package for the SMME sector. However, 8 days has lapsed since the announcement, and SMMEs need aid immediately as the ANC-induced power outages are wreaking havoc on the sector and small businesses are battling to keep their doors open.

The economic impact of loadshedding on small businesses has been severe, and many of them are struggling to stay afloat. The DA looks forward to an announcement that is practical and easily accessible to all small businesses, and we trust that the pronounced relief will not be dependent on whether a business meets the requirements set out by BBBEE legislation.

Loadshedding does not discriminate on race and neither must the government when providing relief. The past actions of the previous Minister of Small Business Development, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, using BBBEE racial requirements in the provision of relief to small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the announcement by the previous Minister of Tourism, Kubayi-Ngubane, that the Tourism Covid-19 relief fund would be guided by BBBEE legislation, were unacceptable, illegal and must be not be repeated.

Even during a pandemic – when businesses that are owned and operated by people of all races suffered and many had to close their doors permanently – the ANC government still prioritised its racial agenda.

We call on the Department of Small Business Development to stop stalling and take immediate action by providing relief to all SMMEs who are suffering as a result of loadshedding. The government must ensure that relief is distributed in a fair and transparent manner, without any discrimination. We trust that the department will take this into consideration when finalizing the relief package.

The DA strongly opposes any presupposition based on race and will fight the decision if the department bases access to the relief on racial quotas. All SMMEs are equal victims of loadshedding and deserve equal access to relief.

We call on the Minister and her Department to act swiftly and provide relief to small business owners who are suffering as a consequence of ANC incompetence. All SMMEs deserve equal access to relief, regardless of their race or compliance with BBBEE legislation. The DA will continue to fight for the rights of all small businesses and ensure that they receive the support they need to survive and thrive.

DA to meet ANC head-on in court again on Monday

Note to editors: Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Dr Leon Schreiber MP.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) can announce that we will be taking on the African National Congress (ANC) about its corrupt cadre deployment policy in court once again on Monday, 30 January. This will be as part of the DA’s ongoing effort to ensure transparency over the role played by cadre deployment in promoting state capture, corruption and service delivery collapse. Through this case, the DA aims to obtain and expose complete records and minutes from the ANC’s cadre deployment committee dating back to 1 January 2013, when President Cyril Ramaphosa became its chairperson.

This case, which will be heard in the Johannesburg High Court on Monday, has taken on new significance following the oral evidence presented by the ANC this past Monday and Tuesday as part of the DA’s separate application to declare cadre deployment unconstitutional. During that earlier hearing, the ANC argued that cadre deployment constitutes “free speech.” Yet the absurd nature of this claim is belied by the fact that every single decision ever taken by the ANC’s cadre deployment committee is a closely-guarded secret.

If cadre deployment were truly a matter of free speech, why is the ANC opposing the DA’s court case to make public full and complete records of all the decisions made by the deployment committee? If cadre deployment is not corrupt, why is the ANC so desperate to hide the facts about it from the people of South Africa?

This genesis of this case lies in a request that the DA directed to the ANC in February last year in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA). The PAIA Act makes it clear that “a requester must be given access to any record of a private body if that record is required for the exercise or protection of any rights.” In the DA’s original application, we provided a detailed outline of the way in which ANC cadre deployment violates the constitutional right to equality by preferencing loyal ANC cadres for jobs in the public sector. We also outlined how cadre deployment corruption infringes on a range of other rights by destroying capacity in the public sector.

Despite now opportunistically claiming that cadre deployment somehow constitutes “free speech,” the ANC has been hellbent on keeping the records requested by the DA secret, leaving us with no choice but to approach the court to force the ANC to reveal full details of how cadre deployment promoted state capture while Ramaphosa was chairman of the committee.

If the ANC genuinely believes that cadre deployment is “free speech,” the DA invites it to drop its opposition to our PAIA case and provide us with the full and complete cadre deployment records we requested. Anything less would prove that its opposition to the DA’s war on cadre deployment is nothing less than desperate hypocrisy in defense of corruption.

ANC Government Ignores the Inflation Crisis

The ANC’s reckless economic policies have once again hit South African households where it hurts most – in their wallets. Today, the Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Committee announced an increase of 25 basis points in the repo rate, meaning the cost of servicing debt will increase at a time when our country is already reeling from an ANC government-induced cost-of-living crisis.

The announcement comes as a measure to contain the damage caused by the anti-poor fiscal policy framework of the ANC and the party’s failure to implement measures to combat rapidly rising prices. The shocking inflation statistics released last week reveal the true extent of the crisis – year on year inflation for overall goods has skyrocketed by 10.1%, with transport prices increasing by a staggering 13.9% and food and non-alcoholic beverages by 12.4%.

The price of bread, a basic food item, has risen more than 20% in 2022 alone.

But the ANC government doesn’t care. Instead of implementing fiscal policies to soften the blow of rising prices and continuous power outages, they have chosen to bail out bankrupt state-owned enterprises and prop up their patronage networks.

The Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana, has even rejected the DA’s much needed and practical proposals to cut the fuel levy, introduce a solar tax rebate, and expand the zero-VAT rated food basket to include essential items such as bone-in chicken, beef, tinned beans, wheat flour, margarine, peanut butter, baby food, tea, coffee, and soup powder. VAT on these items disproportionately impact the poorest 50% of South Africans who are already battling to put food on the table.

It is clear that the ANC government is far removed from the harsh reality of hunger and starvation in our country.

The DA will not stand idly by while they continue to play politics with people’s lives. We will increase pressure on the government to implement workable economic policies and urgently address the cost-of-living crisis, especially the cost of food.

The time for empty promises and electioneering is over. It’s time for the ANC to either take real action to address the plight of economically marginalised South Africans or step down and make way for a DA government that cares for all South Africans.

South Africans have spoken, Ramaphosa must come out of hiding and address the nation on the loadshedding crisis

Please find attached a soundbite by Kevin Mileham MP.

The DA would like to thank each and every South African who participated in the “Power to the People” mass protests against ANC loadshedding and unjust electricity price increases, in Johannesburg and across the country.

Thousands of our compatriots made their voices heard on the National Day of Action against the ANC for the role that the party played in collapsing Eskom and engineering the ongoing electricity crisis.

This is a first of many public action campaigns that the DA will be making until the ANC government wakes up from its slumber and fixes the loadshedding mess that they have created.

A few hours after the end of the DA’s mass action, Eskom escalated its loadshedding scheduling to stage 5 – further underlining the depth of crisis that the country is facing. Conspicuous by his absence in this worsening crisis is the ANC’s ‘Chief Slumberer in Chief’, who also moonlights as the state President – Cyril Ramaphosa.

It has become untenable for Ramaphosa to continue hiding behind the walls of the Union Buildings, while loadshedding is wreaking havoc across the economy, devastating people’s livelihoods and putting national security at risk. Ramaphosa cannot ignore the anger festering across the country and should now come out of hiding and address the nation on the escalating loadshedding crisis.

The real tragedy of South Africa’s electricity crisis is that Ramaphosa has chosen to take the back seat and defer to his disastrous Minister of Energy, Gwede Mantashe. This lack of leadership on the electricity crisis has been at the center of the poor implementation of his Energy Response Plan, six months after it was launched in July 2022.

Ramaphosa’s hurried attempt to paint a positive picture on the progress made by his National Energy Crisis Committee (NECOM) on the implementation of his Energy Response Plan, failed to hide the undeniable reality that they missed key targets and could possibly be trying to save face amidst a progressively worsening electricity crisis.

The DA’s Energy Response Plan Implementation Tracker (hereafter referred to as the Tracker), launched a month after the release of Ramaphosa’s Energy Plan, reveals that practical interventions to increase generation capacity and increase energy availability have either stalled or completely gone off track. Stymied by a NECOM body that is constantly pointing fingers at imaginary foes, the plan has become a political football for the ANC’s warring factions with no clear path towards full implementation.

Amidst this lack of leadership, DA governments are showing the way on how to fix the electricity crisis. Recently, the City of Cape Town initiated a first of its kind initiative to buy electricity from homeowners and businesses who are privately generating power. This has the potential to provide residents with increased protection from loadshedding, in addition to the prevailing system where Cape Town has one stage lower of loadshedding than the rest of the country.

With the looming 2024 national elections, South Africans only have to look at the practical steps that have been taken by DA governments to address loadshedding. Only the DA has a plan to end the electricity crisis and give power back to the people.

PA extortion collapses Joburg coalition talks

In a repeat of the fate that befell Johannesburg last September, the Patriotic Alliance (PA) appears set to hand control of the city back to the African National Congress (ANC). This follows after the PA last night refused to support the current multiparty coalition government unless it got access to the city’s finances through control over the two most lucrative portfolios on the mayoral committee: economic and infrastructure development.

From the start of the current round of negotiations to stave-off a motion of no confidence in Mayor Mpho Phalatse, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has made it clear that we will not hand over the hard-earned taxes paid by the people of Joburg to a party that has patronage extraction as is its goal. Our concern over this possibility only intensified as negotiations progressed, with Gayton McKenzie repeatedly making it clear that his party has no interest in principled governance and exists solely to leverage and abuse any power it obtains to extract corrupt rents. As a result, the current round of negotiations were characterised by the PA’s constant extortionist tactics, apparently designed to play the coalition off against the ANC to get a better deal for itself.

Despite the DA’s concerns over working with a party that already betrayed the multiparty government last September in a failed attempt to let the ANC back into power, we nonetheless undertook weeks of negotiations to explore whether a solution could be found that met the following three conditions:

(1) Protect the multiparty government against a motion of no confidence;
(2) Prevent the PA from obtaining any control over finances and tender processes in Johannesburg; and
(3) Not amount to “rewarding” the PA for its earlier betrayal.

This culminated in an offer that would have placed the PA in substantially the same position it occupied in the coalition before it sold out to the ANC.

But the PA rejected the reasonable compromises that the DA was willing to make. Talks finally collapsed after it became clear that the PA’s only interest all along was to either obtain control over the coffers in order to rob Joburg blind, or to leverage its failure to obtain such control to get a better deal from the ANC.

It is also important to note that, as was the case last September, ActionSA (ASA) is once again complicit in the PA’s attempted extortion of the coalition. While other partners joined the DA in negotiating in good faith, ASA chose to dishonestly attack the DA in public before the negotiations even concluded. This exposes that, like the PA, ASA also abused the negotiating process with an ulterior motive: to score cheap political points against the DA.

It will be disappointing to residents of Johannesburg that ASA was not only willing to hand over control of Joburg’s coffers to the PA, but that it sided with the PA rather than the DA when it became clear that McKenzie’s party was using the negotiations to extort the coalition.

The DA painstakingly built this multiparty government to offer an alternative to ANC rule marked by zero-tolerance for corruption and dishonesty. We did not build it only to be extorted by the PA, aided by ASA, to surrender power over tenders and contracts to people who are every bit as corrupt and dishonest as the ANC.

The DA condemns the PA’s greed and dishonesty in the harshest possible terms for putting the future of the multiparty coalition at risk. We will vote against the motion of no confidence in the mayor today, and will hold accountable any party that chooses to join the ANC at the feeding trough.

Only your vote can reclaim your power from the crooks in Luthuli House

The following remarks were delivered by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen MP, at the DA’s Power To The People march to Luthuli House in Johannesburg today.

Democrats, fellow South Africans,

I am so pleased to see so many of you out here this morning. You look magnificent.

While our country is going through an incredibly tough time, it is inspiring to see that you still have the spirit for this fight. You haven’t given up yet.

If we can keep that spirit alive, I promise you we will overcome not only this electricity challenge, but every other challenge facing South Africa today.

Together we will beat crime, together we will beat unemployment, and together we will beat poor service delivery.

But today’s challenge is the energy crisis, which threatens to derail not only our fragile economy, but our entire project South Africa. Because if we don’t solve this problem soon and end load-shedding for good, our society will start falling apart.

Already we are close to breaking point, and communities across the country have run out of patience. We have to restore power to the people before the situation explodes into chaos.

And that is what today’s march is about. It is about taking back the power from a small elite that has insulated itself from poverty, from crime and from load-shedding, and then placing that power in the hands of the people of South Africa.

That’s where the power belongs in a democracy – in the hands of the people.

So why are we here today, in Library Gardens, across the way from the ANC’s headquarters, Luthuli House?

Why are we not at the Union Buildings, as some have asked?

Why did we not march to Parliament, or to Eskom’s head office, Megawatt Park?

Why did we choose to bring the fight against load-shedding and the destruction of Eskom here to the ANC?

The answer is simple: If you are serious about tackling the problem, you need to go straight to the source. And that building there, Luthuli House, is ground zero of our electricity crisis.

That is where the destruction of Eskom was engineered through terrible, outdated policy, through disgusting greed and corruption and, above all, through the deployment of useless and often criminal cadres to the state power utility.

Almost every single problem that has beset Eskom and has brought about fifteen years of load-shedding can be traced back directly to the ANC’s cadre deployment programme.

By their own shameless admission, the intention of cadre deployment is to control every single aspect of the state from inside those party headquarters across the street. They deliberately set out to hijack for the ANC the power that belongs in our state institutions.

That is a blatant violation of the very first principle of our democracy: the separation of party and state. And they’ve never even tried to hide this.

What you see happening to Eskom now – the looting, the purge of skilled staff, the neglect of infrastructure and the complete lack of a long-term plan – is the only way cadre deployment could ever unfold. And the DA has been warning about this for decades.

Every decision to delay the building of new power stations or to delay the procurement of electricity from other sources, every decision to put off station maintenance until things started falling apart, every corrupt contract issued to a connected crony, was either made inside that building, or by an ANC cadre deployed by a committee that sat inside that building.

That is why we are here at Luthuli House today, and not at Megawatt Park or the Union Buildings, or Parliament.

Our country’s electricity supply wasn’t destroyed by Eskom Cadre Deployment, or by Government Cadre Deployment. It was destroyed by ANC Cadre Deployment.

And while that destruction was taking place, some people got very rich.

Most of you will know about the looting that took place – and still continues to take place – around the construction of South Africa’s two largest coal power stations, Medupi and Kusile. But it is worth repeating, now that we are standing at the very scene of the crime.

When those power stations were being planned, the ANC’s front company, Chancellor House, bought a stake in Hitachi Power Africa, and then quickly made sure Hitachi would get the mega-contract worth billions of rands to supply the boilers to those two stations.

It was reported all the way back in 2015 that this deal gave Chancellor House – or let’s just call them what they are: the ANC – a staggering 5000% return on their investment.

That’s a massive profit on the back of crooked contracts. And that wasn’t a government profit, or an Eskom profit. That was purely an ANC profit.

Today, fifteen years after those corrupt boiler contracts were awarded, these stations are still not fully operational. As we speak, Kusile is facing critical structural threats and has five of its six units out of commission.

Those two enormous coal stations were meant to solve all our energy problems, and nothing else was added to the grid in the meantime. But thanks to the greed, the incompetence and the ancient Cold War-era world view of the cadres in that building, Eskom now produces less power than it did before they started building them.

That’s why load-shedding has steadily increased every year for the past five years, instead of getting less.

That’s why we had 200 days of power cuts last year.

That’s why you now have to deal with Stage 6 load-shedding, week after week, and have been told to expect permanent power cuts for at least the next two years.

And that’s why you are expected to pay 19% more from April for the little electricity you receive, plus another 12% next year. You have to pay more to make up for their corruption, incompetence and failed policies.

That is the price of cadre deployment. That is the price South Africa has to pay for the party in that building.

But I’ll tell you who doesn’t have to deal with Stage 6 – or any stage for that matter – and who won’t have to worry about any tariff increases. President Ramaphosa and his cabinet of pampered ANC ministers, that’s who.

You see, while they’ve made you pay for their failures, they have exempted themselves from all these consequences.

ANC ministers don’t get load-shed at all at their official residences. And why not, you may wonder? Apparently because they are so important that they need to have power 24/7.

We are told that their need for uninterrupted electricity is in fact more important than that of hospitals, old age homes, businesses, schools or any of the things that keep our economy afloat and our people alive.

In addition, these pampered ministers all have generators purchased for them by Minister De Lille’s department and paid for by you, and she has given them hundreds of thousands of rands worth of free diesel to run their free generators.

And when Nersa says you must pay 19% more and then another 12% more, on top of 650% increase you’ve already paid these past 15 years, they don’t care. Because they don’t even pay for their electricity. You do, for all of it.

So why would these ministers feel any urgency to fix a situation that doesn’t affect them at all?

And why would the people inside that building stop doing what they’ve been doing all these years when it’s been so rewarding for them?

Why would they stop deploying crooks to Eskom who let the party get rich off Medupi and Kusile?

Why would they stop deploying the crooks who let the Guptas plunder Eskom for years?

And why would they stop deploying the crooks who still want to tie South Africa to the Russians for decades in a nuclear deal?

They won’t change a thing, because enrichment is the only reason they’re in government.

So that change is going to have to be forced by you.

It is a simple binary choice: Either the ANC, or a prosperous South Africa with electricity. You can’t have both.

Luckily we’re just over a year out from the most important election any of you will ever vote in, and that is where you will get to make this choice.

If we want to end load-shedding, we have to start ANC-shedding. And that will only happen if you remember on voting day exactly what they did to you.

Don’t be fooled if they run the diesel turbines for weeks around elections to temporarily halt load-shedding. Don’t be fooled if Stage 6 suddenly becomes Stage 2.

Remember them at their worst, because that is what it will undoubtedly return to if they are given another chance.

Today we say: No more. They’ve been given their last chance. They are finished.

Next year they can all clear out their offices at the Union Buildings. Next year we will be done with the ANC, and we will start building the South Africa we all want to see.

2024 is the year you take the power back.

Thank you.

Sergey Lavrov’s visit poses significant risk to South Africa’s economic and trade relations

The red carpet rollout for Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, at Waterkloof Air Force Base by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, is a dangerous foreign policy stunt that risks compromising South Africa’s diplomatic ties with our most important trading partners.

By acceding to Lavrov’s visit to South Africa as Vladimir Putin’s emissary, Pandor and the ANC government have dispelled any notion that they are a neutral arbiter on Russia’s unprovoked war on Ukraine. Pandor and the ANC have willingly agreed to become underwriters of Russian aggression in Ukraine – an invasion that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Ukrainians and damaged major power installations.

The dangerous message that the ANC government is communicating to our largest trading partners from the US, Germany, Japan to the UK is that South Africa is prepared to compromise relations with them in support of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Even if alliance with the Kremlin carries with it significant economic risk, the ANC is prepared to crater the South African economy in support of Putin’s imperial ambitions.

Thanks to the ANC, South Africa’s geopolitical gravitas has been severely compromised by this ill-advised walk of shame with Russia.

The DA has consistently said that withdrawal from Ukraine by Russia is non-negotiable and should be implemented as a matter of urgency. Instead, the ANC government has chosen to pander to Moscow based on some outdated ideology of ‘comradeship’ that does not serve South Africa’s interests in any way.

If there is any sense left in the ANC government, they should start acting in South Africa’s best interest and stop pandering to Russia’s silly war games. Now is not the time to appease Putin’s war mongering impulses, we need to stand with the people of Ukraine in resisting the madness from Russia’s Kremlin.