Over the past two days, the Federal Executive (FedEx) of the Democratic Alliance (DA) convened in Cape Town to attend to a number of pressing matters concerning the country and the Party. This statement serves to communicate the outcomes of this weekend’s meeting.
This Thursday, 3 August 2017, marks the one year anniversary of the 2016 Local Government Elections, in which the people of South Africa voted to remove the ANC in major cities and municipalities across the country, and voted in DA-led coalition governments.
Over the past year, DA-led governments have been working tirelessly to bring real change to the lives of South Africans who put their trust us. And the fruits of this relentless hard work are now showing.
Yesterday I met with the mayors of DA-run metros of Cape Town, Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay, who each provided a thorough update of the state of their administrations, including progress on key job-creating and service delivery objectives, and the extent to which the manifesto of the Party is being implemented.
Despite the complex and difficult task of having the fix an inherited mess from the ANC, our governments are bring real change. Johannesburg has made a solid start on fighting crime and corruption in the city, Tshwane has done great work in attracting investment and delivering basic services, and Nelson Mandela Bay was recently ranked second most trusted metro in the country, up from second last just a year ago. Since being given a fresh mandate to govern in the 2016 elections, Cape Town has continued it pro-poor service delivery agenda, and remains committed to creating jobs and boosting regional economic growth.
Mayor Mashaba has committed himself to fixing the billing crisis in the City of Johannesburg. The Mayor will ensure that the MMC for Finance addresses this issue with the urgency it deserves, so that the residents of Johannesburg can feel confident in the accuracy of the bill they receive, and that the City is available and responsive to complaints.
In Cape Town, Mayor De Lille outlined her plan to mitigate the devastating situation in Imizamo Yethu after a fire caused widespread destruction of homes and property earlier this year. The City’s rebuilding plan is well underway after intensive community engagement. Mayor De Lille also outlined the City’s plan to mitigate the current water crisis in Cape Town, and supplement water supply in the city. We once again call on all residents to use water sparingly.
The DA recognises that there is still much more to be done to bring justice and redress, to open access to opportunities – especially for the poorest, and to promote freedom. The most important element in the lead up to the 2019 National Elections is governing well in every town and city where the DA has been elected to serve. Governing the municipalities where we have won is both a privilege and an incredible opportunity for our party to demonstrate what positive change can happen when voters choose differently, and elect a clean, well-run, and service delivery orientated government.
In this light, the instruction from the FedEx to all DA-led governments is clear: govern with honesty and humility, so that all can see the difference a DA government makes to people’s lives, especially the lives of the poor.
On Thursday 3 August, I will mark the one year anniversary of the 2016 Local Government Elections by addressing a press conference outlining the progress being made over the past year in DA-run metros to deliver services to all South Africans, to create jobs and attract investment, and ensure the people’s money is spent diligently. I will be joined by the mayors of Cape Town, Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay. The details of such press conference will be communicated in due course.
Motion of No Confidence
The Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma, which I tabled in March this year, is set to be debated and voted in 10 days’ time – on 8 August. This motion comes at a critical juncture in our country’s young democracy. The political tide in South Africa is beginning to turn; the ANC has never been weaker and we are on the cusp of change and renewal. Since this motion was tabled, South Africans from all walks of life, political parties, NGOs, religious bodies, and civil society at large have united behind the call to remove Jacob Zuma and his continued corrupt, irresponsible and reckless leadership.
The DA will mobilising en masse outside Parliament on the day of the Motion of No Confidence, calling on ANC MPs to do the right thing and vote to remove Zuma – whether by secret ballot or not. We plan to fill the streets of Cape Town, and we call on all South Africans to join in support of this motion to remove Zuma. This is not a political matter, it’s a South African matter. If you are a South African, this motion of no confidence affects you and your future.
We once again call on the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to stop dithering on this matter and make a decision on the secret ballot as prescribed by the Constitutional Court. The DA’s stance on the motion is clear: Secret ballot or no secret ballot, the DA MPs will be voting with their conscience and voting to remove Jacob Zuma once and for all. The country expects ANC MPs to do the same.
In particular, the Deputy President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, must put action to his words and vote to remove Zuma on 8 August. The Deputy President has been vocal in his condemnation of state capture, looting and grand corruption within the ANC and in government. However, for this to not just be a handy tool in his campaign for ANC presidency, Mr Ramaphosa must give effect to the will of the people and vote Zuma out, unlike on previous occasions when he showed his true colours, when he voted against a MONC. He cannot talk about rooting out corruption, while protecting and endorsing Jacob Zuma in the upcoming vote of no confidence. In so doing he is showing that the ANC cannot be rescued from itself, it puts individual ambition and enrichment ahead of the needs of ordinary South Africans.
The DA’s petition to remove Zuma has now reached over 1 million signatures. As such I will this coming week hand deliver every signed petition to the Deputy President, calling on him to heed the will of the people and vote to remove the President. If Mr Ramaphosa is serious about becoming ANC President, he must follow the will of the people and vote Zuma out.
Removing Jacob Zuma is the first step in turn our country’s fortunes around and reigniting the dream of ’94 – a united, prosperous and non-racial society for all.
Moreover, FedEx resolved that if Jacob Zuma is removed as President through our Motion of No Confidence, we must go to the polls and hold an early general election. Parliament ought to be dissolved and the choice must to be put to the people as to who their next president and national government should be. Indeed, the sooner the electorate can elect a new government the better.
FedEx considered the ongoing scandal involving the Guptas and London based PR Firm, Bell Pottinger. It is greatly encouraging that our call for the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) to launch a disciplinary inquiry into Bell Pottinger’s racially fuelled propaganda campaign was heeded, and the inquiry will start on 18 August 2017. We have insisted that this inquiry be open to the public. This will ensure that Bell Pottinger faces legal consequences for their actions, and that justice will be served for their promotion of division and racial hatred for cheap political gain in a still deeply divided society. The DA will have public and legal representatives present at the hearing.
Moreover, I have also personally written to a list of companies who procure the services of Bell Pottinger, urging them to terminate their relationship with the firm. Though legal action is effective, corporations respond to their bottom line faster than they do to judges.
Bell Pottinger must face consequences for their collusion with the Guptas using a hateful and divisive campaign to divide South African along the lines of race. This was coordinated campaign to further Gupta financial interests, and ensure the captured ANC continued to provide lucrative contracts that lined Gupta pockets.
South Africa is not a political playground where international corporations can disregard ethics to turn a profit. Bell Pottinger’s unethical compliance in these projects is unacceptable and the DA has taken steps to ensure they are held to account.
FedEx addressed the current ANC-created economic meltdown our country finds itself trapped in. We are now firmly in a technical recession after half a year of negative growth, which has already begun to affect most South Africans – especially the poor and jobless.
We resolved that certain immediate steps ought to be taken in order to reverse this situation, and get our economy back on track. These include stimulating micro enterprise, dealing with corruption and political instability, and stabilising SOEs across the board.
Moreover, we must safeguard the independence of our Reserve Bank. Its constitutional mandate to maintain price stability is crucial in the achievement of balanced and sustainable economic growth in South Africa. Any assault on this independence is an assault on our country’s future, and as such we will fight for the Reserve Bank’s institutional independence from government and from any political party.
Political party funding
FedEx considered the recent developments around a renewed call for a fully transparent approach to political party funding.
Last month, the DA supported the establishment of an ad hoc committee in parliament to consider the funding of political parties.
In practice, the disclosure of opposition donors may well pose a major threat to multiparty democracy. This is often not understood by well-meaning groups and individuals, who are unaware of the chilling effect full disclosure might have to democracy. This is because a strong opposition is vital to any flourishing democracy. However complete transparency of all political party funding means that companies and individuals that do not fund the governing party, and choose to fund opposition parties, are at risk of being bullied and victimised by government. Examples abound where such punitive actions have been taken by the ANC and the fear this creates in potential donors is real. This is further evidenced how opposition parties in the SADC region have been punished by similar such legislation implemented by governing parties.
In addition to this, we object to the ANCs submission for an increased allocation of government funding to political parties. The only motive behind this proposal is to save the ANC from bankruptcy, because its performance in government and its protection of corruption and patronage networks, has led to financial support for the party drying up. It must also be noted that through its investment arm Chancellor House, the ANC abuses state tenders to enrich itself.
At the heart of the issue is whether there is any possible corrupt activities as a result of party funding, and at present the legislation governing such corrupt activities provides for strong action to be taken. The fact that little or no action has been taken is more a reflection of the failings of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) than the legislation itself.
We will continue to ensure that vibrant multi-party democracy is defended and that the fig leaf covering the ANC’s real intention – to hobble opposition parties is exposed.
The fight for an alternative, post-ANC South Africa is in full swing. We are forging ahead in creating a shared future for all South Africans. Between now and 2019, we will use every opportunity in government, every single day, to win the trust of voters, and to show South Africans that there is another choice; a better choice, and that choice is the Democratic Alliance.