More SAA rot revealed

When SAA appears in Parliament on Thursday, 3 August, the DA will interrogate it on the awarding of an apparent fraudulent R1 billion contract to SAA subsidiary, SA Airways Technical (SAAT).
We will also submit a written question to the Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, to obtain the full details of this deal as well as what action is being taken to prosecute those who benefitted unduly.
The revelation of this contract follows hot on the heels of the SAA taxpayer bailout of R2.3 billion.
It seems that the awarding of this contract was aided and abetted by senior SAAT managers and illustrates the depth of mismanagement of SAA and its subsidiaries, starting from the top with Board Chair, Dudu Myeni.
SAAT has contributed to the overall SAA losses and posted losses of around R122 million in 2014 and R260 million in 2015. These losses, given the revelation of the R 1 billion deal, may well have been the result of corruption and not only mismanagement.
Even Mango, the low-cost subsidiary of SAA, posted a loss of R 40.5 million in 2016, despite having the benefit of leasing aircraft from SAA, its mother company, at rates that were apparently way below the actual costs incurred by SAA.
The national carrier is losing R370 million monthly. That is over R12 million per day. The mismanagement crisis at SAA is getting out of hand.
It is now clear that the rot has permeated throughout the SAA group of companies. The mess that is SAA must be cleaned up immediately.

DA to report Bell Pottinger to international PR bodies for unethical behaviour

The DA has written to the UK-based Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) as well as the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) to lodge formal complaints against Bell Pottinger on allegations that they promoted racial hatred in South Africa.
Duduzane Zuma, in his capacity as a Gupta employee, procured the services of Bell Pottinger in what seems to have been an attempt to divide and conquer the South African public by exploiting racial tensions in a bid to keep Jacob Zuma and the ANC in power.
Bell Pottinger is a member of the PRCA and the CIPR. Both have a clear a code of conduct that PR firms must adhere to.
According to Section 4 of the PRCA Professional Charter pertaining to discriminatory conduct, “[a] member is required to take all reasonable care that professional duties are conducted without causing offence on the grounds of [..] race [..] or any other form of discrimination or unacceptable reference”.
Moreover, Section 1(a), (c) and (d) of the CIPR Code of Conduct, states that “[m]embers of the [CIPR] agree to: a) maintain the highest standards of professional endeavour, integrity, confidentiality, financial propriety and personal conduct; c) respect, in their dealings with other people, the legal and regulatory frameworks and codes of all countries where they practise; d) uphold the reputation of, and do nothing that would bring into disrepute, the public relations profession or the [CIPR]”.
In a leaked Gupta email, Nick Lambert, a Senior Advisor at Bell Pottinger, identifies “key moments” in a speech which was delivered by ANC Youth League Leader, Collins Maine. These key moments include the following quote: “those who want to disrupt the State of the Nation speech must prepare themselves for a civil war”.
It is disturbing that the incitement of a civil war in South Arica is identified as a “key moment” by a Bell Pottinger advisor.
Furthermore, in another email, Bell Pottinger’s Financial and Corporate Partner, Victoria Geoghegan, met with Duduzane Zuma, to strategise a campaign aimed at marketing a “narrative that grabs the attention of the grassroots population who must identify with it, connect with it and feel united by it”.
From this correspondence, it is seems as though Bell Pottinger was likely requested by Mr Zuma, to undermine the ANC’s communication on policies in order to benefit the Gupta family.
The DA has now written to these bodies to lodge formal complaints against Bell Pottinger as it has seemingly violated the Codes of Conduct of these regulatory bodies and behaved in an unethical manner.
We urge the PRCA and the CIPR to fully investigate these allegations, as any attempt by a PR agency to ferment racial divisions in South Africa cannot be tolerated.

SAA bailout a blow to credibility of SAA board and National Treasury

Today’s announcement that SAA has been bailed out from the National Revenue Fund to pay Standard Chartered Bank the loan amount of R 2,207 billion is a blow to the credibility of both the SAA board and to National Treasury.
Only three days ago when I asked National Treasury whether they were ready to meet the guarantee obligations both SAA and National Treasury reassured the parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance that the plans were in place to meet the R 9,0 billion SAA loan payments by 30 June 2017. This was clearly not the case.
It is deeply ironic that it has been necessary to announce a R2,3 billion bailout for the national airline in the middle of the ANC’s National Policy Conference 2017 which is heavily focused on economic policy, including stabilising zombie state-owned enterprises such as South African Airways.
Standard Chartered Bank evidently has no faith in the leadership, management and strategy of South African Airways.
The payment to Standard Chartered has been made in terms of section 16 of the PFMA which makes provision for the use of funds in an emergency situation as follows:
“[T]he use of funds from the National Revenue Fund to defray expenditure of an exceptional nature which is currently not provided for and which cannot, without serious prejudice to the public interest, be postponed to a future parliamentary appropriation of funds.”
The PFMA requires that such a payment must be reported to Parliament within 14 days and must be included in an adjustments budget within 120 days of the Minister authorising the expenditure.
This emergency funding for SAA indicates the serious crisis that SAA has been mismanaged into.
This taxpayer bailout makes no difference to the cash crisis at SAA. SAA is losing in the region of R370 million every month and is apparently scratching for cash to pay salaries.
We look forward to the Minister’s report to Parliament within 14 days. This report must give details of why this expenditure was authorised as being an emergency situation.

Those who deprive you of water belong in jail, not government

The following remarks were delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, in Zinyoka Village, King William’s Town, Eastern Cape. Maimane was joined by DA Eastern Cape Leader, Nqaba Bhanga.
My fellow South Africans,
Water is a basic human right, guaranteed in our Constitution. Failure to ensure that all South Africans have access to clean drinking water is a failure of the core function of any government.
But even worse than a failure to deliver clean water is the deliberate withholding or sabotage of a community’s water supply for political purposes. And we have every reason to believe that your community has fallen victim to this.
These water tanks here were meant to be a temporary solution to a temporary supply problem. But almost two years later they remain your only source of clean water, with the regular taps standing dry more often than not.
During this time we’ve seen the very worst of the ANC’s patronage politics, with drivers of water trucks allegedly instructed last year by ANC leaders to withhold water from those residents who didn’t vote for the ANC.
Some of the water tanks were deliberately placed inside the homes of ANC voters, giving them the power to refuse water to non-ANC voters, which they regularly do.
It is hardly surprising that this business of only delivering water to ANC houses came to a sudden end when the then independent candidate and now DA councillor reported it to the media and it got splashed onto the front page of the Daily Dispatch.
It is equally suspicious that the water in your municipal taps seems to flow in the build-up to elections, but then stops shortly afterwards. One has to ask why this would be the case.
Why should it take two years to fix a broken pump so that your municipal water supply can be restored? The only people who benefit from this situation are those who have the lucrative contract to truck water into this community week-in and week-out.
This ANC government has sunk to new lows. Deliberately withholding water as punishment for voting for the opposition is one of the worst crimes a government can commit.
Water can never be used as a political tool. Anyone who deliberately deprives people of this basic human right deserves to be in jail, not government.
No one deserves such a government. The people of Zinyoka Village certainly don’t.
You deserve a government that cares about your wellbeing. A government committed to improving the life of each and every member of the community. A government that doesn’t wait for election time before it turns the taps on.
You deserve a government with policies and programmes that will open opportunities for you and your children right here in Zinyoka Village.
As we speak, the ANC is busy with its own policy conference in Gauteng. But we all know nothing good will come from it. And what is the point of this conference anyway, when their policies are all made in Saxonwold and Dubai?
My fellow South Africans, the future of this country will not involve the ANC. We are already busy preparing for a post-ANC South Africa, where a coalition of different parties led by the DA will bring about real change.
This future is not far away. In two years’ time we will elect new national and provincial governments. The ANC know they stand to lose these elections because of the way they have neglected people like you and allowed your money to be stolen by their rich friends, the Guptas.
They can see this change coming, and there is little they can do to stop it. The power is now in your hands, not theirs.
If you want a government that brings real development and jobs to the Eastern Cape, a government that fixes rural schools so your children have a chance in life, a government that spends every cent of the people’s money on the people, then you will have to choose this government yourself.
I am here to tell you today that the DA can do these things for you. But don’t just accept what I say. Instead, look at what the DA has done where we already govern.
In DA-run towns and cities, life is better than under an ANC government. It is better because we don’t tolerate corruption, we don’t tolerate waste and we know what it takes to attract and support job-creating businesses.
If you are prepared to lend the DA your vote in 2019, we will bring that kind of government to the Eastern Cape, and here to Zinyoka Village.