DA confident about Gauteng victory

The DA Federal Executive has, this past weekend, reviewed the party’s prospects in the upcoming elections in Gauteng and we remain convinced that the ANC’s dismal record of empty promises, endemic fraud and failed delivery means that the we can form the basis of an alternative government that puts the people first after the forthcoming elections.

We fully back and are deeply appreciative of Solly Msimanga’s commitment to the people of Gauteng, which was so evidenced by the personal sacrifice he has made in announcing his resignation as the Mayor of Tshwane. Solly is very clear – both Tshwane and the City of Johannesburg can only be fully turned around if the DA governs the entire province.

Msimanga will now be freed up to focus his full energy on bringing change to the province and will prioritise fighting corruption; bringing about an honest and professional police service; fighting the scourge of drug abuse; providing fair access to jobs and ensuring that we never have a repeat of the deep injustice that was the Life Esidimeni tragic deaths.

The Federal Executive has full confidence in Msimanga as our Premier Candidate. The ANC’s transparent attack on Msimanga is the clearest sign yet that they are rightly concerned about losing the province.

#Bosasagate: DA’s legal team approaches President Ramaphosa for independent audit on all ANC government contracts with Bosasa

Former Bosasa COO, Angelo Agrizzi’s testimony before the Zondo Commission shattered the myth that corruption in the ANC was simply a feature of Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family. A system of corruption that builds a wall between insiders and outsiders – the “haves” and the “have nots” is in the very DNA of the ANC.

It should come as no surprise that the awarding of ANC government contracts to Bosasa is tainted with allegations of bribery, corruption and fraud. Many of these contracts remain active.

In this light, the DA’s legal team has written to President Ramaphosa, to immediately:

  • Instruct Cabinet to audit individual government departments’ contracts and deals with the state;
  • Instruct functionaries to investigate the contracts’ legitimacy and terminate the contracts and/or approach the Court to set aside these agreements where necessary;
  • Direct the SAPS/Hawks to investigate the allegations with the requisite professionalism; and
  • Ensure that internal disciplinary action against all implicated ANC members are instituted with immediate effect.

We have requested that the President respond with these undertakings by no later than 29 January 2019 as this matter is urgent. Criminal charges should be brought against CEO Gavin Watson with haste.

In answer to my Question in Parliament on 6 November 2018, the President assured me that he:

‘… asked him [Andile Ramaphosa] at close range whether this money was obtained illegally, unlawfully – and he said this was a service that was provided. To this end he actually even showed me a contract he signed with Bosasa. The contract also deals with issues of integrity, issues of anticorruption, and all that. On this one, I have made sure that I get as much information that I can. He is running a clean and honest business as an advisory as he has been trained as a consultant with his business science qualification…’

Agrizzi’s testimony that Bosasa dispensed dirty money to the ANC for electioneering in the North West and Western Cape, that R3 million was shared between Lindi Gouws and the President’s son, Andile Ramaphosa, who banked R500 000, and that payments were made mostly in monthly installments indicates that the President may have lied to Parliament. The Public Protector is currently investigating this following my complaint lodged last year.

The President cannot continue to sit on his hands, being selective on investigating corruption.  Swift action is required.

If the President will not act, the electorate have the opportunity to punish the ANC government at the polls in the coming months.

A DA government will bring change that builds One South Africa for All. Bosasagate offenders will be first in line and find themselves behind bars for 15 years in prisons that Bosasa and ANC government facilities management still hold the keys to.

ANC water boards rake up R833 million in irregular expenditure

Annual reports tabled in Parliament reveal a financial crisis in South Africa’s water boards, collapsing service delivery and in a tragic case last weekend, of a child losing their life.

Together, the ANC-run water boards have racked up an astounding R833 million in irregular expenditure for 2017/18 and another R49 million was deemed completely fruitless and wasteful.

Water delivery is the most critical service delivery role that government plays – without it, the country cannot function. Yet the ANC has allowed corrupt ANC cadres to hollow out the department and boards that are supposed to deliver this essential resource. At the same time, ANC-run municipalities are simply failing to pay for their water, forcing water boards to cut or reduce their supply to those residents.

Mhlathuze Water, formerly chaired by Dudu Myeni, is the worst offender with R265 million in irregular expenditure and R25 million in fruitless and wasteful spending. The Public Protector is investigating Mhlathuze for blowing R185 million in drought relief funding for KwaZulu-Natal in 2015-16, without having much infrastructure to show for it. The entity was without a permanent board from 2016 until a new selection of members was installed in December last year.

Amatola Water received a damning finding from the Auditor-General, who isn’t sure that the water board can remain a going concern – it posted a R134 million loss for 2017/18. Despite blowing the budget, only 41% of their performance targets were met, explaining the dismal state of the Eastern Cape’s water supply.

Lepelle Northern Water was also flagged for a lack of financial sustainability. Its failure to pay contractors on the R3 billion Giyani Water Project left a hazardous rain-filled ditch into which Nsuku Mhlongo fell and drowned. The project now needs another R420 million to achieve basic functionality, meaning the people of Giyani simply have to continue their decade-long wait for the ANC to deliver on its provinces.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) continues their investigation of Lepelle Northern and will now investigate Umgeni water over allegations of political corruption. The DA calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to revive the previous investigation into Mhlathuze, as well as authorise new probes into the other collapsing water boards.

To allow for the continued corruption and maladministration at these collapsing water boards is a crime against all South Africans. The simple fact is that the ANC will always prioritise cadres looting over the needs of our country.

Waiting around for the ANC to change after decades of maladministration is not going to improve the situation – only the DA will put the needs of all South Africans first and deliver services where they are desperately needed.

DA to approach the ICC over human rights violations in Zimbabwe if Ramaphosa fails to act

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to re-consider his ‘Quiet Diplomacy 2.0’ on Zimbabwe and intervene directly to stop the ongoing human rights violations by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

If Rampahosa fails to intervene and advise Mnangagwa to stop the military clampdown on civilians, the DA will be left with no option but to approach the International Criminal Court (ICC) to consider a preliminary investigation into these violations as outlined in the Rome Statute.

The ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor is empowered by the Rome Statute to “…determine whether there is sufficient evidence of crimes of sufficient gravity falling within the ICC’s jurisdiction, whether there are genuine national proceedings, and whether opening an investigation would serve the interests of justice and of the victims”.

The DA strongly believes that the human rights crisis currently obtaining in Zimbabwe is of sufficient gravity to warrant an ICC investigation because, according to the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, at least 12 people have been killed, 78 shot at and 240 faced “assault, torture, inhumane and degrading treatment”.

President Ramaphosa and his government seem intent on sitting on their hands over the Zimbabwe crisis in much the same manner as Thabo Mbeki’s failed diplomacy. In 2008, people were attacked and murdered with impunity in another state sanctioned military clampdown targeting innocent civilians after a disputed election.

Mbeki’s silence only served to worsen the human rights climate in Zimbabwe and led to a collapse of the economy, whose consequences are still being felt to this day with thousands of Zimbabweans flocking to South Africa to seek economic refugee.

The DA will not stand by while Ramaphosa repeats a “Quiet Diplomacy 2.0” strategy that is sure to produce the same results as Mbeki’s ill-thought foreign policy.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s claim that the internet shutdown in Zimbabwe, which was implemented by their government after protests broke out over fuel increase early this week, was an internal matter, fails to appreciate that the blackout was used as a cover to unleash the military in residential areas to beat, torture and kill innocent civilians.

Like the ANC, the ZANU-PF government is quite simply the same bus filled with empty promises being driven by a different driver who has no power to steer the party in the right direction. The very same people who terrorized Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe are still in charge under Mnangagwa. The people of Zimbabwe were promised a new dawn when Mugabe was ousted, much like South Africa when Jacob Zuma stepped down. Both have proven to be myths.

The era of comradeship between Ramaphosa’s ANC government and Mnangagwa’s ZANU-PF government, while human rights are being trampled on with impunity, is over. President Rampahosa is faced with an easy choice, either he intervenes to stop civilian abuse by the military in Zimbabwe or his government will be one of the parties that will answer to the ICC on why they failed to act to stop the human rights violations.

All silent on the ANC front regarding filling of SABC board vacancies

Find attached a soundbite from the DA Shadow Minister of Communications, Phumzile Van Damme MP

Despite an undertaking by the Portfolio Committee of Communications last year that the process of filling the 8 vacancies would begin in early January 2019, this has not happened.

I wrote to the Chairperson of the committee, Dr. Hlengiwe Mkhize twice, first on 13 January 2019 and again on 15 January requesting an update on the dates set for beginning the process of filling the vacancies and have received no response from the Chairperson or the members of the ANC serving on the committee.

In November last year, given the urgency of filling the vacancies on the SABC board, the committee resolved that the process of filling the vacancies would begin in mid-January with shortlisting of candidates and interviews in late January.

Currently, the SABC board is inquorate, a high-risk position for the public broadcaster to be in as it faces staff retrenchment and a cash flow crisis.

It should be all hands on deck, with a full board with the best minds working to steer the SABC to calm waters.

It is clear that the filling of the 8 vacancies on the SABC board is not a matter of priority for the ANC, as it has claimed.

We trust that the ANC will now stop hiding and hoping the situation will go away by ignoring it. The DA will keep the pressure on.

The DA stands firmly against the appointment of an interim board. The process for the appointment of an interim board is not as rigorous and open as it is for a permanent board, political parties simply bring names forward and an interim board is constituted.

Going into an election, this would allow the ANC space to insert individuals onto the SABC board who would be at the beck-and-call of Luthuli House. The DA wants an independent board, interviewed and appointed in a process fully open the public, and candidates’ qualifications, independence and experience thoroughly assessed.

The SABC board shortlisting, interviewing and approval by the National Assembly of permanent SABC board must happen as a matter of high urgency, and the DA will not rest until this is done.

The DA gets stuff done

The following speech was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at the DA’s East Region Voter Registration Rally in Oudtshoorn, Western Cape.

Fellow South Africans,

We are here in the lovely town of Oudtshoorn today to tell you that election 2019 is your chance to bring real change to the whole of South Africa.

The DA is on a mission to build one South Africa for all.

What do I mean by that? I mean that right now, there are two South Africas. One for those with jobs and connections and access to great schools. And another for those who are locked out of the economy and have no chance of accessing the opportunities to get ahead in life.

A South Africa of “haves” and a South Africa of “have-nots”.

Fellow South Africans, our beautiful country will never move forward in peace until we have just one South Africa, in which opportunities are extended to all.

Mostly importantly, we need a job in every home across the country. Just think what a difference it would make to millions of households if they have the dignity and security of an independent income.

The DA has a plan to put a job in every home in South Africa and we know we can do it. You know why? Because the DA gets stuff done.

Most important of all, we get jobs created. Say what you want about the DA but the fact is, where the DA governs, jobs get created.

More than half the jobs created in SA in the past year were created in DA-run Western Cape Province. Even though only one eighth of SA’s population lives in this province. That’s 95 000 jobs created here, out of the 188 000 that were created in South Africa. And we’ve achieved this despite a crippling drought and despite a hostile national regulatory environment.

I’m not saying the DA created those jobs. Not at all. Those jobs were created by entrepreneurs and investors and business people and traders.

But I am saying that the DA government here in the Western Cape created the conditions that made it attractive for people to invest. In the Western Cape, we’ve created an environment that gives people confidence to invest. We’ve done that by getting stuff done.

By getting old roads fixed and new roads built.

By providing the best healthcare of any province in the country.

By keeping more kids in school than any province in the country, and by delivering the best quality education to those kids than any province in the country. And the best afterschool programme.

We’ve done it by rolling out broadband more extensively, to more schools and libraries and other places than any province in the country.

In fact, the DA-run Western Cape Province leads on every single metric of good governance. (Except crime, and that’s because the national government is 100% responsible for SAPS. They control the entire SAPS budget, so our hands are tied there.)

This province leads because the DA government here spends public money on the public, rather than wasting it or stealing it. The DA-run Western Cape government has the cleanest audit outcomes by a country mile. Last year, our government departments achieved 83% clean audits. We came miles ahead of second-placed Gauteng who only got 52% clean audits.

We spend public money to get stuff done. That’s why the Western Cape’s expanded unemployment rate is a full 13 percentage points lower than the national average. (23.7% vs 37.3%.)

This proves beyond doubt that the DA’s approach to job creation works.

The 2019 election is your chance to bring real change to SA. If you want the DA to put a job in every home, please check that you are registered to vote by going to check.da.org.za.

This coming weekend (26-27 January) is the final registration weekend. If you are a first-time voter or are not yet registered, please make sure you visit the voting station in your voting district between 8am and 5pm on either the Saturday or the Sunday, with either your green ID book, your smartcard ID or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate.

Register to vote DA!

Register to put a job in every home!

Register to bring change that builds one South Africa for all!

ANC confirms it will protect those found guilty of corruption at Zondo Commission  

ANC national spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, has reportedly stated that the party will not account for its members who have been implicated in corruption and wrongdoing in their personal capacities. This admission proved beyond any doubt that the ANC is not even prepared to pay lip service to a fight against corruption. 

This admission comes a week after the party launched its manifesto which promises to: “put an end to state capture, restore the integrity of public institutions and tackle corruption”. There was never any intention to abide by these commitments in the manifesto. We have seen this with the issue of prescribed assets and the independence of the reserve which the governing party wants to tinker with. This will no doubt have catastrophic consequences to the country’s economy which is already on its knees. 

The ANC is quite simply the same bus filled with empty promises being driven by a different driver who has no power to steer the party in the right direction. The very same people who terrorized this country by looting the public purse are still calling the shots under President Ramaphosa. This is why there will never be any policy certainty within the organization.

Over the past week, the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture once again revealed how deep the rot of corruption truly runs in the ANC. They do not care about integrity and good governance, they care about looting and lining their own pockets. 

The DA is the only party big enough to truly clean out the rot of corruption in our institutions and most importantly the only party that is truly committed to the fight against the cancer of corruption that is killing South Africa. We have demonstrated this within our own organisation. Under a DA government any person found guilty of corruption will  be sentenced to 15 year in prison. 

Don’t let anyone derail the dream of One South Africa for All

The following remarks were delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a public address in Potchefstroom, North West.

Fellow South Africans

Our history in this country is one of pain and segregation.

Last month we commemorated the 160-year anniversary of the abolition of slavery in South Africa. Known as Emancipation Day, around 39,000 slaves were freed on 1 December 1838.

Centuries of colonialism, apartheid, nationalism has delivered to us a society that is profoundly unequal.

We were then, and we are still today, a nation of insiders and outsiders. We all call ourselves South Africans but we live in two separate worlds.

Some of the borders of these two worlds are physical. Apartheid laws put us in different places – opposite sides of towns, highways and railway tracks – and today most of us are still confined there.

But there are other non-physical walls between us that keep us divided into our separate worlds. And one of these walls – arguably the highest and strongest of them all – is the inequality in our education.

We are blessed with some wonderful schools in South Africa – schools that can hold their own with the best in any country. But we also have schools where many of our children receive an education that ranks among the very worst in the world.

That’s why four out of five children in our country cannot read – and understand what they’re reading – by the time they get to Grade 4. That’s why half our children drop out of school before they reach their matric exam.

Nothing determines your path in life more than the quality of your schooling. And nothing entrenches the divide in our country more than our failed education system.

I think of this every time I drop my children off at their schools. I think of how incredibly fortunate they and their classmates are to go to schools that will give them every possible chance to get ahead in life.

And then I think of the millions of children in rural villages and townships who will never know this kind of education. Boys and girls who will walk to school hungry, sit in overcrowded classrooms in mud schools, be subjected to dangerous and inhumane pit toilets and whose teachers are unable to teach them the very basics of the curriculum.

What chance do they have in life? When even those with a good education struggle to find work, what must these children do one day?

Apartheid used Bantu Education to deliberately miseducate people. It was a tool of oppression that sought to keep people “in their place”.

But when we got rid of Bantu Education we failed, for many people, to replace it with a system that could lift them out of this place. It pains me that our children still die in pit latrines.

Surely this is our greatest challenge today – to ensure that we don’t pass on the legacy of poverty and inequality to yet another generation, and then another after that.

I, for one, accept this challenge. I want to take up a big hammer and help smash down the walls that keep half our country locked out.

I want to be part of a movement that fights for a future that works for everyone, and not only those already on the inside.

I’m not satisfied with the results of our struggle for freedom. Yes, the laws that kept us apart are gone, but that’s not enough because we still live with the legacy of these laws every single day.

We see this legacy in the places we live, how we commute, where our children go to school. We see it in the queues at clinics, the queues for social grants and the queues to collect water from solitary stand taps.

We also see this legacy in our attitudes toward one another – how we remain deeply polarised on issues of race. Our instinct is still to retreat into our corners of racial solidarity whenever we feel challenged or threatened.

This is one of the most damaging effects of our history.

When people speak of the scars of our past, this is what they mean. The way we still allow ourselves to become “us” and “them” in times of crisis. How we often cling to the idea that life here is a zero-sum game – that for every winner there has to be a loser.

If we want to break free from our past, then this is what we need to urgently fix.

And it is possible. We can stand united and work together, even in times of great distress. Right at the birth of our democracy we saw this for ourselves.

When Chris Hani was gunned down by a right-wing extremist in his driveway, one year before our first democratic election, our nation was plunged into crisis. People were ready to take up arms against each other. Some said civil war was unavoidable.

This never happened though, and there are several reasons for this. But I’d like to think one of them was perhaps the fact that Nelson Mandela reminded us that it was a white woman who took down the registration number of the car, which led to the arrest of the killer, Janusz Waluś.

In our very darkest hour, with a race war looming, we got a tiny little glimpse of the kind of cooperation that could just rebuild our country. A reminder that we are indeed better together.

We are not each other’s enemies. Our real enemy is a system that still divides us into insiders and outsiders.

Our enemy is the violent crime that causes so much pain and heartbreak for farmers and farm workers. This further divides us.

We need to rediscover the spirit of unity and cooperation, because, as a country, we are once again going through a painful moment.

Life has become extremely hard for millions of our people who cannot find work and who struggle to make ends meet, and this has put enormous strain on our society.

In particular, it has put strain on the relationships between us – between South Africans who come from very different places and are learning how to live together.

This relationship we have with each other is similar to a being in marriage. We may have come from different pasts, but 25 years ago we made a commitment to face the future together.

And just like any marriage, we need to continuously nurture and protect our relationship, or else we will end up hurting each other and driving each other apart.

My wife is a white South African, and I am black. Early in our relationship we drew many conclusions about each other – about our cultures and practices. She would use words and I would hear something else. I would say something and she would hear the opposite.

But here we are today – our marriage is strong and we are raising two beautiful children. And our union has given our children an opportunity to see our colour without ascribing prejudice. They will judge me on whether I am good father or a bad one, not whether I am a black father or a white father.

We must condemn the notion that if you’re white in this country, you must be a racist, and if you’re black you can’t be one. As Thuli Madonsela once said, systemic oppression does not absolve you from racism.

We must build society where it is only the content of your character that matters – not a society in which we live in our separate racial laagers, but a truly non-racial one. This is the future. Those who want to divide us are the past.

Right now we need to be more mindful than ever to get this right. Because of our perilous situation, we cannot afford to damage our relationship any more than we already have.

We must make a conscious decision to listen more and perhaps speak less.

We should try to understand why we so often see a situation in such contrasting light. What would it look like to me if I were someone else?

Areas of conflict should be opportunities for us to lay our concerns, our fears and yes, even our resentments, on the table without these being turned against us. These should be opportunities to grow closer together and not drift further apart.

We must be calm and rational. We must encourage tolerance of one another’s views.

But too often these days we end up doing the exact opposite. We allow the loudest voices to drown out the rational ones. We let those who don’t care for our future together dictate how we should feel and act towards each other.

And when we allow the extremists in our society to frame our conversations – when we let them reduce the most complex issue to a crude binary choice – we end up driving each other back into our little corners of racial solidarity.

We become “us” and “them” once more, and we do damage to our relationship that we may never fix.

That is what happened at the primary school in Schweizer-Reneke last week. We all saw an image that reminded us of the worst part of our history. It invoked painful memories of our brutal past.

Many responded in anger. This is our human nature.

However, what transpired at that school in the days that followed should never, ever be allowed to happen again.

Thugs storming the school grounds and jumping the fence, threats to burn the school down, parents arriving carrying firearms – how can this be acceptable in a place of learning? How do you explain any of that to those traumatised little children?

I understand the anger that this has caused in the community. I understand both the initial reaction to the photo, as well as the reaction of the parents, who instinctively wanted to protect their children.

We are humans and we react with human emotions.

What I don’t accept, though, is the actions of those who leapt in to inflame this situation for their own political gain. And here I refer to players on both ends of the political spectrum.

These actions of theirs come at a great cost – both to the community of this school, and to our society as a whole. What they might see as short-term political victories have profound ramifications.

There are victims all over this story. Clearly, the biggest victims are the children. But others include the suspended teacher, Elana Barkhuizen, who suffered the kind of swift mob justice that so often accompanies these stories.

The school itself has also suffered tremendously, as have the parents of the traumatised children.

A further victim in this story has been the DA Youth Leader, Luyolo, Mphithi, who has dishonestly been lumped in with the actions of the EFF and ANC, when all he ever did was commit to seek answers.

When others went to Schweizer-Reneke to inflame the situation, he went there to understand what had happened. To ask questions and to listen.

Which is precisely what he has done on many previous occasions, whether he was standing up for Indian people against the EFF’s racist attacks, condemning the racism of Adam Catzavelos, or speaking up for white unemployed youth excluded from government’s Youth Employment Service.

The attempt to now paint him as one of the villains in this story is nothing but cheap opportunism by those seeking political mileage from this issue. Those who would rather divide than unite us.

What happened in that classroom still needs to be determined. If it was indeed a case of racism, then there must be consequences. But until we know, we need cool heads to prevail.

Our only goal now should be to resolve this situation calmly and away from these children, so that they can get back to doing the things that Grade R girls and boys do.

In seeking a resolution and the truth, we must guard against those who will try to continue to use this issue for their own populist gain. Because I can assure you, the plight of the children, their teachers and this school means nothing to them.

As we saw earlier with the Clifton beach story, there are many parties and individuals whose sole aim is to convince us we are enemies. For them there is nothing to be gained from a strong, united South Africa. Their entire political strategy is one of divide and conquer.

They are experts at manipulating emotions in our racially-charged society and finding easy scapegoats for our country’s problems.

Fellow South Africans,

If you’re looking to stoke fires, South Africa is not a hard place to do so. We are, today, the most unequal society in the world, with one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.

Every three months, as new jobs data is released, this number goes up. Today almost 10 million South Africans cannot find work.

As more and more people are shut out of the economy by this rising unemployment, the inequality in our society continues to grow. The chasm between the insiders and the outsiders is wider now than it has ever been.

In our towns and in our cities, this inequality is always on display. The resentment and the anger this has caused among desperate South Africans cannot be overstated.

They were led to believe, over the past quarter of a century, that life would get better and that opportunities would open up for them. They were promised that their generation would be better off than their parents.

But every time these promises of economic freedom were repeated and then broken, more and more fuel was added to the fire.

Today, 25 years into our democracy, this has become a powder keg waiting for a spark. The disappointment of broken promise after broken promise, along with the daily reminder of our nation’s glaring inequality, has made our situation extremely volatile.

Those intent on driving wedges into the centuries-old fault lines that still remain in our society don’t have to try very hard.

Now I know, when we deal with highly charged race issues, it is easy to become despondent. It is easy to believe that the idea of a South Africa that is reconciled and that belongs to all of us is beyond our reach.

But this is simply not true. There are many of us, from all political walks of life, who essentially want the same thing: a South Africa that we can share peacefully and safely. A South Africa that works for all. This is not an unattainable dream.

But if we are to achieve this, then our narrative must beat the one that says we cannot work and live together. We have make this centre ground of ours the strongest, and we have to find many allies in this fight.

There will always be those on the extremes who won’t want to be part of this project. Those who believe that South Africa must have winners and losers. And for them the fight will never be over until everything is either won or destroyed.

But the truth is, our country can only survive and thrive if we do it together. If we harness the power of our combined imagination and creativity and if we recognise that our very unique diversity is our biggest strength.

This means building schools that are diverse and inclusive.

It means developing our economy into one that is resilient and future-proof – an economy that is able to attract a vast diversity of skills.

It means building diverse communities where the spatial planning of Apartheid is reversed.

But if we want to do so, there are a few non-negotiable principles we must adhere to:

Firstly, we can never tolerate racism or racists, regardless of the colour of their skin.

Secondly, we must learn to listen first, before we react and shout at each other.

And thirdly, we can only build a reconciled nation through political parties that strive for this goal. No party that stands for nationalism – whether this is Afrikaner nationalism, Zulu nationalism, black nationalism or any other form – can possibly build one, unified nation.

We have to come together around common values, because values can transcend race.

This is the core of the DA’s offer. We aim to build a better South Africa for all people, on a foundation of our values: Freedom, Fairness, Opportunity and Diversity.

There is no other future worth pursuing. We are in this together – this marriage of ours – and we must do what it takes to make it work.

Twenty-five years ago we all shared a dream. We weren’t sure of all the details yet, or exactly how we would get there, but we knew it involved all of us.

We set off on a journey together towards the South Africa we wanted to build and live in, and everyone was excited about it.

But we lost our way since then and, sadly, many people have lost hope too. We have been drifting off course for so long now that many of you won’t even remember exactly what it was you wanted for our country.

We simply have to rediscover this. We have to remember what it was we were aiming for back then and chart a new course to get there.

There will always be those who’ll want to divert us from our course again, and turn us against each other. There will always be those who will blame others to mask their own failures.

We cannot let them win.

We simply have to make a case for a united, shared South Africa that is more compelling than theirs.

We have to imagine the country we want for ourselves and for our children – one South Africa for all its people – and we have to believe we can build it.

Thank you.

#Bosasagate: DA to report ANC election payments to IEC

The Democratic Alliance will be submitting a complaint to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) following more jaw-dropping revelations at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. Former Bosasa COO, Angelo Agrizzi, today revealed under oath that senior ANC officials requested cash from the company to be used for election campaigning.

Agrizzi testified that he had attended a meeting in Rustenburg where he met with the MEC for Social Development from the ANC-run North West province. It was at this meeting that the request for money was made. Agrizzi testified that the request for money was motivated by the elections.

If Bosasa contributed laundered money to the ANC’s election campaign, the company must also be reported to the South African Police Service (SAPS) for violating section 3 of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act, sections 4 and 6 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, as well as sections 29 and 30 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act.

The DA will be laying criminal complaints against the company the moment the Zondo Commission releases the transcripts of today’s testimony.

Our complaints to the IEC and SAPS will supplement our Public Protector complaint against Cyril Ramaphosa, lodged after it was revealed that he lied to the National Assembly about a R500,000 contribution to his campaign to become ANC president by Africa Global Operations, formerly Bosasa. Responding to a question from DA Leader Mmusi Maimane on 23 November 2018, Ramaphosa assured South Africa that the payment to his son, Andile, was above board and related to a service contract he had seen with his own eyes.

Days later Ramaphosa revealed that the payment had nothing to do with this contract but rather related to a contribution by Bosasa CEO, Gavin Watson, to his election campaign.

It is essential that the IEC, SAPS and Public Protector prioritise these investigations as the allegations point to the subversion of our elections and is an assault on our very Constitutional democracy. Indeed, we repeat our call on Ramaphosa to immediately initiate an independent inquiry into Bosasa corruption.

The Watsons are the new Guptas; the Ramaphosas are no different to the Zumas; and the ANC of today is no different to the ANC of yesterday.

Only one party can bring the change South Africa needs. Rooting out corruption is a crucial part of building One South Africa For All.

The people have and will always come first in building One SA for All

Today, I announce my decision to resign as the Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane. My resignation will be finalised within the first two weeks of February. Up until the last hour, I will continue serving the people of Tshwane and putting their needs first.

This decision was not made lightly or hastily, and I have done so because I believe it best serves the interests of the people of Tshwane, and Gauteng as a whole.

Having led the multi-party coalition government in the City for the past two years I have seen first-hand the very devastating effects of ANC corruption and mismanagement of the country’s cities and towns. When I took office, Tshwane was effectively bankrupt and was being used as an ATM for corrupt activities, which robbed the people of a chance to live a life of dignity.

With every passing day, and with every community and resident of Gauteng I engage with, it has become clearer to me that unless the Democratic Alliance governs Gauteng with an outright majority, that the people of Tshwane will always be negatively affected by a corrupt, inefficient and uncaring ANC provincial government – no matter how hard we work to turn around the municipality.

This is why I have made the decision to step down as the Executive Mayor of Tshwane and to focus solely on my role as the DA’s Premier Candidate for Gauteng.

Traveling across Gauteng during the past several months, I am heartbroken to see that what the failing ANC did in Tshwane, they have been doing across the province. I am angered to see that the ANC has long forgotten its mandate to govern for people but have been focused on self-enrichment instead.

This is exemplified by the fact that my colleague, Johannesburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba, has in two years, uncovered over R23 billion of public money that has been lost to ANC corruption. This is billions of rands which could have been used to better the lives of the people of Johannesburg and Gauteng as a whole.

Despite this, I am proud of our record in Tshwane under the DA-led multiparty coalition government. We have started to systematically remove the rot that had been festering in the city and placed the delivery of basic services at the forefront of our agenda.

Notably, we:

  • Inherited a R2 billion deficit. We were able to correct this and show a surplus at the end of the first financial year in office in 2017;
  • Uncovered over R1.5 billion that was squandered by the previous ANC government. We were able to reduce unauthorized expenditure by over a billion rand and irregular expenditure by R100 million;
  • Managed to remove over 900 political appointees in the Mayor’s office who were glorified ANC cadres drawing millions of rands from the city;
  • Managed to sell the mayoral mansion inherited from the former ANC-led administration and used the R5 million from the sale to build RDP houses for 40 families in Attridgeville;
  • Supported real economic development by opening the EPWP programme to all residents, not just those who are associated or linked to the ANC, by adopting an open and inclusive lottery system. So far, we have provided the residents of this City with 16125 job opportunities and by the end of last year the City had registered over 120 000 people on the new fair lottery-based system;
  • The City has also given out bursaries. We began the Msimanga Informal Trader Bursary Fund which has made available R226 325 to settle outstanding fees for the 2017 academic year for ten existing beneficiaries;
  • Our efforts to attract investment have far exceeded our initial goals. TEDA has an investment target of R1.5 billion – the current investment pipeline amounts to R3.84 billion with a potential 1 850 job opportunities.
  • Ensuring the City received a credit upgrade from Moody’s and was assigned a stable outlook. Moody’s ascribed this upgrade to the improvement in the City’s operating performance and the strong liquidity position built up over the past two years. The upgrade means that those who want to do business with Tshwane, particularly local and international investors, will begin to offer discounted interest rates and better terms despite the recent rate hike by the Reserve Bank;
  • Launched an inner-city rejuvenation project to improve, among other things, the cleanliness and viability of the City for entrepreneurship and further investment.
  • The result of our efforts has been a R3.8 billion in investment with potential 1850 new jobs being created soon. There are 15 new projects in the investment pipeline worth approximately R2 billion, which include automotive suppliers, logistics projects, aviation and hi-tech manufacturing.

These achievements and material differences that we have begun to make in the lives of those who explicitly voted the ANC out of government and replaced them with the coalition government will require a strong successor who will carry on this important work.

The DA in council, along with our coalition partners will now begin the work of identifying a candidate who will not only continue this record in government but will accelerate the delivery of basic services. While much work has been done to turn this metro around after decades of ANC mismanagement, we must never forget the people whose lives still need to change drastically.

As difficult as it was to turn these metros around after decades of mismanagement, through sheer political will and commitment to serving the people who voted for us, we have managed to make significant inroads. This is my goal for Gauteng. It is crucial, if this province is to prosper and we are to lift the millions of people who live here out of poverty, that we bring on a DA government.

In the last few weeks, we saw the release of the 2018 matric results, where the real pass rate of the province is only 48%. This means that millions of learners who began grade one 12 years ago have been lost through the system and less than half of them make it through matric. This is a crisis. What is even more tragic is that millions of those who have passed matric are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed, trapping them in an impossible cycle of poverty. Gauteng is contending with a 30% unemployment rate which in will not positively change under the leadership of Premier David Makhura and the failing ANC.

In addition, more communities are becoming warzones in our province with unacceptable levels of crime; illegal immigration has led to a complete collapse of the system caused by our porous borders and dysfunctional Home Affairs; and the provision of basic services in too many parts of the province has come to a grinding halt.

A clear example of this is the flooding in the Sebokeng and Vaal area last week. This unspeakable damage to over 70 people’s homes can be traced back to a municipality that has failed to provide even the most basic service delivery functions. Premier Makhura is clearly out of his depth and cannot manage to hold local municipalities to account for the collapse of local governance and service delivery.

The failures under Makhura and the ANC in this province have a real and human impact. These are not simply governance failures that have allowed corruption to thrive. These are human lives which have been destroyed by an uncaring ANC government. It has been 2 years since the country and the world at large was shocked by the killing of 148 psychiatric patients through the Life Esidimeni scandal. If there was ever an example of government that is killing the very people it is meant to serve, it is the Life Esidimeni matter. There are over 200 families who have yet to receive their claims from the provincial government and hundreds of loved ones who are yet to find their family members after 2 years. To date 21 mental health patients who were discharged after the Gauteng Health Department cancelled its contract with Life Esidimeni have still not been found.

What is clear is that Gauteng is in a state of crisis. The province is too big and too crucial to fail. We need to usher in a capable government with a proven governance track record and one that is intolerant of corruption even when it occurs within our own ranks.

I am committed to ensuring that we take this message and call to action of building One South Africa for All to every corner of Gauteng. This move will allow me to extend the work that the DA-led administrations in Tshwane, Johannesburg and Midvaal have done, across the Gauteng. The people of this province deserve this after decades of ANC plundering.

It is our intention to elect a new mayor at a Council meeting as early as possible in February. The residents of Tshwane are assured that we will work tirelessly in order to ensure that there is a seamless transition.

I have every confidence that the DA will put forward an outstanding candidate who will carry on with the hard work of rebuilding the City and delivering on our manifesto commitments. I am hopeful in particular that the EFF will support our mayoral candidate, as they face a clear choice – continue to root out corruption and improve service provision – or hand power back to the corrupt ANC.

I would like to thank the people of Tshwane for entrusting me with the responsibility of bettering their lives. The progress we have made in the City will be emulated across the Province. It is possible to bring real change to Gauteng, and the power to do so lies in the hands of every voter in Gauteng.