ANC jobs bloodbath continues

The rise of the unemployment rate to 27.7% is a damning indictment of how the ANC has prioritised the looting of our country over the creation of jobs for the more than 9.3 million unemployed South Africans.
The project of all-out state capture by the ANC-Gupta cabal has resulted in more and more South Africans losing their jobs because of our economy being decimated and now recently downgraded to junk status.
It is clear for all to see: The ANC acts on the Guptas instructions, devastating our economy, and now 9,3 million people remain without work.
The official unemployment rate has gone up to 27.7 % – this is the highest level since March 2003. This is the first time in 14 years that our country’s unemployment rate has risen to such a devastating level.
The ANC’s jobs bloodbath is continuing and showing no signs of coming to an end.
Our country is being governed by a shadow Mafia state operating from Saxonwold. There is simply no way to expect jobs growth in an economy that is tanking under Zuma’s ANC.
However, the DA-governed Western Cape has the lowest unemployment rate in the country. This is the DA difference. Where the DA governs we create jobs.
In fact the Western Cape added 67 000 new jobs during this period, showing that the DA’s efforts to grow investment and create jobs are reaping rewards.
The ANC has failed our people. In 2019, the people of South Africa can put a stop to this destruction and vote the ANC out of power.

This ANC government has failed women and children

The following speech was delivered in Parliament today by the DA’s Shadow Minister of Police, Zakhele Mbhele MP, during the debate on violence against women and children.
This debate is important because women and children in our country deserve to live in safe homes and to be able to walk in safe streets. This debate is important because gender-based violence and domestic abuse is a violation of rights and it is a failure of the ANC government to protect women and children.
This debate is important, particularly to me, because this scourge in our society is one that I take personally. My own mother’s passing six and a half years ago in a brutal murder means that I have directly and deeply felt the trauma that the evil of this femicide epidemic wreaks on our nation.
On Saturday 20 May, I attended the #NotInMyName March in Pretoria along with DA Shadow Minister of Justice, Glynnis Breytenbach. The march was an important expression of outrage from men to other men about the unacceptable violence that is perpetrated against women and children on a daily basis.
It is high time that combating gender-based violence shifted from simply lamenting and condemning it, to men playing the key role of calling each other out and holding each other accountable for sexist, misogynistic and otherwise generally patriarchal attitudes that enable violence against women.
We must seek to deter this scourge in two ways: firstly, through a more effective criminal justice system that won’t let perpetrators get away with it and secondly, also through building new social norms of gender equality and stigmatising violence against women and children as well as the men who commit it.
Two departments in this ANC government exist to do exactly these things, so why are they failing to do so?
The change we need means having Ministers who do not blame the victims of gender violence for their own death. The change we need means having Ministers who do not reduce abusive relationships to flippant advice to women that leaving a man the first time he hits you will solve the problem.
If we are to challenging centuries, if not millennia, of deeply entrenched social codes and conventions we need leaders in government who themselves are committed to this change.
It means taking on and challenging the manner in which these social codes and conventions are transmitted intergenerationally and how they are internally conditioned in our psyches and worldviews. It means facing up to the ways in which patriarchal ideas are held and reinforced by both men and women.
It also means confronting all dimensions of how these ideas and attitudes manifest, including as hate crimes against lesbian women and transgender people. Activism against violence directed at women and dismantling patriarchy is also a fight against homophobia and transphobia.
The scourge of violence is made worse by ineffective policing and police indifference to many cases and victims.
In this debate, we need the Police Minister, the Justice Minister and the Minister of Women in the Presidency to account for the failures of organs of state that are meant to play a key role to keep safe the most vulnerable in our society. Ministers Mbalula, Masutha and Shabangu must, here and today, tell the nation their government’s plan to make our country safe for all women.
South Africa needs an emergency plan on women’s safety. We do not need more empty promises.
They need to start with capacitating the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Units in the South African Police Service (SAPS). These units on average remain under-staffed and under-resourced and there simply are not enough of them.
Today police have one hand tied behind their back when trying to combat violence against women because the officers themselves are stretched too thin. We need swift, quality investigations, that secure high conviction rates, and we need a plan from Minister Mbalula to ensure this.
While the police cannot by themselves prevent domestic violence or rape, they can and they must take each case seriously. This means a new level of training, on gender and sexual crimes must be implemented, and we await to hear Minister Mbalula’s plan on this.
However, effective policing cannot be realised while many stations do not have victim-friendly rooms and rape test kits. Effective policing can also not be realised when, as often happens in much of the country, there aren’t enough vehicles to undertake visible patrols or respond to emergency call-outs.
Sex trafficking syndicates who prey on vulnerable girls and women in this country will not be tackled and defeated without an effective Crime Intelligence division. Unless we boost our Detective Services, those who commit violence against women and children will know that they can do so with impunity and little to no chance of getting caught and facing the consequences of their crimes.
South Africa demands that justice is served for every victim and that every perpetrator can be made an example of. This is the responsibility of Minister Masutha, from whom we expect a clear direction on improving prosecutions for sexual violence. Our courts must also be ready to better manage protection orders, and more quickly dispense them – for this Minister Masutha must answer to this House.
The last 23 years of ANC governance have shown that the ANC is incapable of making our country safe for all women.
That is why the time for change is ripe. That change will come through a new government led by the DA from 2019, when we will demonstrate our resolve to bring safe streets and safe homes to all communities, where everyone, especially women and children, can live with true freedom.

We cannot and will not stop fighting for our mothers, sisters and children

The following speech was delivered in Parliament today by the DA’s Shadow Minister of Social Development, Bridget Masango MP, during the debate on violence against women and children.
Chairperson,
The atrocious abuse of women and children has been covered widely and deeply, with staggering statistics and anecdotes of untold brutality hogging headlines as the country tries to come to terms with this scourge.  Some cases have even secured slots in court rolls and perpetrators having their days in court.  This is showing that something is done, although it is way too late for the victims, most of whom lose their lives, and for families who have to pick up the pieces of their lives with the loss of their loved ones.
There are stories which never reach the media.  Stories whose impact on the lives of those close to these tragedies is unimaginable.  At the centre of these stories are women and children. Women because they lose their children and children because they lose their mothers.
During a march I attended in Temba, Hammanskraal, I came face to face with the picture of the trail of abuse.  On the programme was Doreen Khalo, a mother who lost her daughter in 2011.
Doreen had in her possession a worn out green plastic bag that contained the letter her daughter wrote before she died, a document with a case number and a letter from an authority absolving itself from the responsibility of bringing the perpetrator to book. The contents of this bag were not just ‘papers’, but they detailed a harrowing tale of a mother who had not only lost her child to senseless violence.
Doreen reached out to the police, but they failed her.  She reached out to the prosecuting authorities and again she was failed.  In her quest for justice, Doreen was failed by the very system that was meant to protect her, and indeed her daughter. She received no counselling, and was forced to bear the grief on her own.
The moment she started speaking, tears streamed down her face. She wanted to share her grief, anger and sadness with the marchers who had come to stand with her and others like her. Her pain and anguish permeated through the crowd and seemed to be as fresh as though she had lost her daughter yesterday.
Yet, in between the heart-wrenching sobs, Doreen’s strength and resilience as a mother shone through. “I will not stop fighting for my girl,” she exclaimed.
This is the message that needs to resonate with us and our nation today. We cannot, and will not, stop fighting for our mothers, sisters and children.
As the Democratic Alliance, we will not stop calling on government to take responsibility and implement its own plan of action to protect the lives of women and children.
What has happened to the government’s Integrated Programme of Action for Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) which was developed by the Inter-Ministerial Committee?
Despite it being lauded from a policy perspective when it came to implementation, the plan was however criticised for not being costed.  How then could it be taken seriously without the necessary budget?  The fact that the country is still experiencing heightened levels of VAWC calls into question the government’s ability to perform one of its most fundamental functions: that is, to protect its citizens.
What then has gone wrong, Chairperson?  Are we continuing to put the lives of women and children at risk while we develop documents that are launched and never implemented?  Are we paying lip service at the expense of lives that are being lost on a daily basis?
As the DA, we will endeavour to empower the vulnerable and give voice to the voiceless.  Our vision for South Africa is one which seeks to build a society that values and expresses the humanity inherent in all women, men and children.

Women are not weak, Minister. Our government is weak

The following speech was delivered in Parliament today by DA Shadow Minister of Women, Denise Robinson MP, on the Debate on Violence Against Women and Children
Honourable Speaker,
Today we are united in mourning the tragic loss of life of many women and children through brutal rape, violence and murder in this country.
On behalf of the DA, I wish to express my sincere condolences to all who have suffered loss.
We as parliamentarians and particularly the Executive should be taking the lead in trying to find solutions to this tragic situation where the sanctity of life seems to mean nothing.
In the words of Professor Amanda Gouws, a former commissioner of the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), “more political will is needed to transform the justice and policing system so that the horror of abuse can end”.
Members, let us today get the political will to address violence against women.
Throughout the ages in our tumultuous history, South African women have been seen as brave and strong – supporting the struggle for freedom and independence.  From the riveting account of a  Zulu family set in 1879, “Eyes in the night” by Nomavenda Mathiane tells of the battle for  survival during the Zulu conflicts;  to the women who bravely marched to the Union Buildings in 1956  demanding their rights, to those who penned the Women’s charter in 1994, and wrote:
“We, Women of South Africa, claim our rights to full and equal participation in the creation of a non-sexist, non-racist democratic society.”
Yet, women’s subordination and oppression has taken many forms under patriarchy, custom, tradition and racism.  Oppression has continued unabated as today we have to face the fact that women are brutally murdered and raped on a daily basis.
Women should not have to live in fear, yet this has become the reality for every woman in South Africa.
Now those brave activists who marched to the Union Buildings in 1956 , chanting  “wa thinta abafazi wa thint imbokodo’” have been reduced to a tame ANC Women’s League which now tows subserviently to the patriarchal attitudes of the “BIG MAN”  defending him before and during his rape trial when “Kwezi”, the daughter of his friend, had to submit to his sexual demands.
Instead of standing up for the rights of the victim Kwezi, the ANCWL mocked and derided others who supported her and eventually drove her out of the country.
The once proud ANCWL has been reduced to the ANC JZDL, the ANC’s Jacob Zuma Defence League, instead of being defenders of the victims of abuse.  Tragic indeed!
Last week our current minister, Susan Shabangu made the shocking statement after the murder of Karabo Mokoena, saying that she was “weak” and hence became the victim of violence.
How dare she say that to the grieving family when Karabo had been strong in reporting previous abuse, and assisting in shelters to help other victims?
I was at the court, I spoke to Karabo’s broken and traumatised family.
No parent should have to go through that anguish and then have an unsympathetic comment like the one made by the Minister for Women, who is supposed to champion the cause of women.
What about providing solutions, Minister?
What about helping children to be prepared for life to be able to discern psychological abuse?
What about encouraging everyone to speak out and not remain silent when there is gender violence and abuse taking place within the home?
Women are not weak, Minister- our government is weak.
We urge government to support programmes from organisations like Family South Africa (FAMSA), The Parent Centre and Sonke Gender Justice and to make them accessible to all so that our hurting families and society can be healed.
Unfortunately, our government has reduced the funding for many non-governmental organisations (NGO) that are doing valuable work, due to financial constraints.
How about cutting down on your frequent visits to the very expensive Oyster Box Hotel, Minister Dlamini and making more money available for NGOs or SASSA grants.
One also has to ask, what are the police and government going to do to prioritise the safety of women?
In many occasions, there are no J88 forms and rape kits available at Police Stations or Clinics.
At 189 Police Stations, there are no Victim Friendly Units for interrogation.
Under a DA Government, we will go back to the basics. We will increase the visibility of SAPS with more patrols on the streets.
We will encourage women to speak out and we will ensure that women are no longer victimised when they approach police officers for help.
The Victim’s Charter needs to be prominently displayed at police stations.
Government needs to increase the number of Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) units so that the areas of operation are reduced in size, with decent vehicles, thus promoting greater efficiency.
More Thuthuzela Centres and shelters should be built throughout the country, especially in rural areas where they currently aren’t accessible.
The DA envisions a country built on the values of freedom, fairness and opportunity.
A country where girls are seen as being equal to boys in every aspect of life.
A country where women will yet again feel safe and no longer fear for their lives.
We urge every South African to vote for the country we envision in 2019 which will be a turning point, with safety and security of persons uppermost, protected by the rule of law and our constitution.
I thank you

New leaked emails show up Eskom CFO as a Gupta proxy

The DA will be submitting an affidavit to the South African Police Service to include Mr Anoj Singh, the current Eskom CFO, in the charges of corruption and racketeering the DA laid on Tuesday 30 May against President Jacob Zuma, members of the Gupta family, several cabinet ministers and senior executives of State Owned Entities.
A chain of leaked emails in the DA’s possession reveal that Singh was whisked off on at least four suspiciously-timed Gupta-funded trips to Dubai during the period Transnet awarded a R1.8 billion tender to Neotel, resulting in a R36 million kickback to a Gupta company.
Singh was the Transnet CFO at the time.
The email chain indicates that under then-Transnet CEO Brian Molefe, Singh travelled to Dubai on at least four occasions while this R1.8 billion contract was awarded to the Gupta’s preferred bidder, Neotel.
Each trip appears to have been fully paid for by Gupta-owned company, Sahara Computers, which included five-star luxury accommodation at the Oberoi Hotel.
It was clear that the Guptas needed Neotel to win the contract as Gupta-run company, Homix, had a deal in place with Neotel agreeing to secure the contract with Transnet for them in exchange for the payment of 2% of the value of the contract – which totalled a kickback of R36 million.
This was the second agreement Homix and Neotel had struck, with the previous kickback resulting in a R30 million profit for the Guptas.
The timeline of Mr. Singh’s Dubai trips is as follows:

  • 6 – 9 June 2014: Singh travelled to stay at the Oberoi Hotel in Dubai with Rajesh (Tony) Gupta. This was during the time where the bidding process was open, and no preferred bidder accepted. (See booking confirmation here).
  • 7 – 12 August 2014: Singh travelled again to the Oberoi Hotel in Dubai. It seems not just coincidence that it was during this month that Transnet notified Neotel that it was the new preferred bidder. (See booking confirmation here).
  • 7 – 9 November 2014: Singh travels to Dubai again, staying at the Oberoi Hotel once more. Weeks later, Neotel was awarded the contract concerned, worth R 1.8 billion, and paid Homix the amount of R 41 million. (See booking confirmation here).
  • 24 – 26 February 2015: Once the R36 million was successfully paid to the Guptas, Anoj Singh was treated to a celebratory luxury trip to Dubai, once again in the five-star Oberoi, on the Guptas’ tab. (See booking confirmation here).

It is our view that this revelation directly implicates Mr. Singh, and as such charges must be brought against him. It is also impossible that this arrangement took place without Brian Molefe being aware.
This revelation shows quite vividly how the Jacob Zuma state capture project has infected all spheres of the state, and corrupt individuals are working to ensure a small group of connected individuals become rich. We will not stop until every individual involved in the capture of our state is brought to book.
Zuma and his friends cannot continue to steal from our people. We must earnestly focus South Africa towards building a prosperous nation, where jobs can be created for all.

Changes to DA Shadow Cabinet

Dr Wilmot James will be on sabbatical in order to take up a Visiting Professorship at the University of Columbia Medical Centre in New York. We wish to congratulate Dr James on this prestigious appointment, and wish him very well for his time at Columbia. His work on infectious diseases is a credit to South African health sciences and to the Democratic Alliance.
Due to this vacancy, and others, the following changes have been made to the Shadow Cabinet with immediate effect.

  • Patricia Kopane replaces Wilmot James as the Shadow Minister of Health.
  • Malcom Figg replaces Patricia Kopane as the Shadow Minister of Public Works.
  • Alan McLoughlin replaces Malcolm Figg as the Shadow Minister of Appropriations, with Brandon Topham as his deputy.
  • Ian Ollis replaces Gavin Davis as the Shadow Minister of Basic Education. Mr Davis will be focusing on policy development and communications ahead of the 2019 elections.
  • Michael Bagraim replaces Ian Ollis as Shadow Minister of Labour, with Derrick America as the Shadow Deputy Minister of Labour.
  • Dean Macpherson replaces Geordin Hill-Lewis as the Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry. Mr Hill-Lewis will be focusing full time on his work as Chief of Staff to the Federal Leader.
  • Ghaleb Cachalia assumes the position of Shadow Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry.
  • Mbulelo Bara replaces Tarnia Baker as the Shadow Deputy Minister of Human Settlements. Ms Baker will focus on her work as Shadow Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation.
  • Choloane Matsepe replaces Mr Bara as Shadow Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

The entire Shadow Cabinet can be accessed by clicking here.