Defaulting municipalities will not face water cuts in the short term

The DA welcomes the decision by the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, to offer a temporary reprieve to the municipalities facing water restrictions for their failure to pay off their debt. This followed a robust debate in a Joint Portfolio Committee of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Water and Sanitation.
The committee agreed that no municipalities would be cut off or throttled in the short term and that an Interdepartmental Committee will convene, within 14 days, to consider a way forward.
This comes on the back of Minister Mokonyane’s deadline of 8 December 2017 within which the 30 defaulting municipalities had to honour their debt.
The deadline was impractical as these municipalities simply could not have collected enough revenue to honour their debts within this short period.
It was also resolved in the meeting that no equitable share would be utilised to pay the water boards before the join portfolio committees meet in March to reconsider the matter.
The DA is satisfied that this decision re-affirms that innocent South Africans and businesses that will not be cut off from water by the ANC’s mismanagement and inefficiencies, for now.
 

DA reveals deep corruption at SITA

Astonishing replies to the DA’s cross examination of government’s State Information Technology Agency (SITA) in Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) today exposed that no valid process was followed when Forensic Data Analysts (FDA) were appointed to maintain ROFIN, NIKON and Spheron products bought by the South African Police Service (SAPS).
This process is required by the Constitution, the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and National Treasury.
SITA is responsible for maintenance and the upkeep of products belonging to the SAPS.
The DA will therefore ensure that the current forensic investigation at SITA continues until a full investigation into all SITA business with FDA, Unisys and EOH is completed. Our call extends further than forensic equipment and extends to the provision of IT infrastructure and architecture at SAPS, which has cost R5 billion to date.
We will also continue to push that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to continue to investigate SAPS members involved in this fraudulent behaviour, and that they regularly update SCOPA as to the progress they have made.
The DA wrote to the SAPS, before they appeared in SCOPA, to ensure that they provided the following information today:
• All procurement details for 3 573 forensic equipment items;
• A verification of the amount of members using this forensic equipment;
• A list of case numbers where forensic equipment was used; and
• The full 108 SAPS records relating to what forensic equipment is issued to individual members of the SAPS.
Despite our timely request, none of these documents were provided and it is highly suspicious that SAPS ignored our demands.
We even presented photographic evidence of FDA and Unisys directors entertaining Supply Chain Management (SCM) SAPS members at Old Trafford Football Stadium in the United Kingdom in October 2011 where FDA owner, Keith Keating, was present. This is watertight proof that SAPS’ relationship with FDA is entirely improper, inappropriate and possibly illegal.
The DA also strongly questions the need for expensive maintenance contracts to maintain the 3 573 items of forensic equipment at a cost of R9.7 million per month. It is a completely superfluous contract because most of the items are maintenance free, the contract has two years to run and is still worth R234 million.
We are therefore deeply concerned that while millions has been splurged on maintaining thousands of forensic equipment devices, there has been no substantial improvement in prosecution rates.
The DA is confident that these investigations will reveal yet more evidence of possible corruption and we will not rest until the questionable SITA contract is cancelled and the money paid to FDA is recovered.

DA refers Multichoice to ICASA following fresh kickback allegations

The DA can reveal SABC board minutes dated 6 June 2013 suggesting that Multichoice sought to pay the SABC R100 million for its 24-hour news channel in exchange for the public broadcaster’s political influence over digital migration.
The minutes form part of hundreds of documents provided by the SABC in December 2016 to the Ad Hoc Committee on the SABC Inquiry, and support allegations in media reports last week that Multichoice paid Gupta-owned ANN7 millions in exchange for similar influence over government’s position on set-top boxes.
The minutes reveal a “clandestine” meeting attended by former SABC board members and executives, including Ellen Tshabalala, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, Lulama Makhobo and Jimi Matthews, with the then CEO of Multichoice, Imtiaz Patel.
Patel was at pains during the meeting to explain that Multichoice does not ordinarily pay TV stations for their news channels to be aired on DSTV, but he would be able to convince the Multichoice board to pay for the SABC’s 24-hour news channel, if a set of “deal-breaker” conditions in Multichoice’s favour were met.
One of the conditions was changing government’s position on set-top boxes to favour Multichoice.
During the meeting, Patel informs the SABC:
We would not normally pay for a news channel. Ok. We don’t. There’s a unique relationship with eTV that everybody espouses etc. It’s got unique conditions. They’re supposed to supply us with many more channels and it’s quite tricky at this point in time. But, besides that we don’t pay for any other news channel, anyway, ok.”
He goes on to state:
“…we need to justify to our Board to say why would we pay you R100m a year which is a lot of money. Ok. It’s after tax money. To make R100m net you have to make R150m or R200m, R300m in turnover. We are looking for the excuse and the excuse for us is to be able to justify to our Board that you are giving us something in return. What are you giving us in return for the R100m? We’re saying you giving us a news channel, you’re giving us a general entertainment channel from your archives, your old, you know. We are less focused on the core elements of it being new content. And we’ve been sort of quite open about it with Lulama, saying even if it’s old stock. And thirdly, we are saying we also need to justify this problem of conditional access [unencrypted set-top boxes] is a big problem. And in order to justify that we’re saying in addition to that, your additional channels will be available on our platform.”
Patel also says:
So, in addition to the R100m in cash, you will be getting a lot of advertising revenue, probably the equivalent, even more, I don’t know, I don’t know the details, I don’t know to what extent, you know, given that kind of base, how much you can monetise it. In return, we can justify to our Board that, we are paying this extraordinary sum of money but we are getting something for it. That was the simple logic that we applied in our own minds. So I’m giving you a sense and therefore I’m hoping that if we can co-create a solution, we are also happy to co-create a solution. We are not coming here saying this is, you know, this is the be all and end all, you know. But I must say though, Lulama, that this is the very important point for us. It’s a deal breaker point, I’ll be honest. And I have re-iterated it. I have said this to you before. 
The implications of Multichoice paying kickbacks in order, to not only solidify its dominance in the pay-TV sector, but also secure influence over government policy in its favour are serious.
It speaks to a company willing to stop at nothing, including paying kickbacks to the Gupta family, thus supporting State Capture, in order to get its way. (It is an undisputed fact that two years after this meeting, and the payments to ANN7, digital migration policy was changed to Multichoice’s favour).
The DA believes that while companies should be allowed the space to conduct business in a free market system, there must be adherence to business ethics and the law.
This matter, and in particular the payments, now require thorough investigation by South Africa’s broadcasting regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). The DA has today written to ICASA requesting an investigation in terms of Section 4B(1) of the ICASA Act.
The DA had hoped that following the media reports about ANN7 last week, Multichoice would take the opportunity to play open cards by revealing all. It refused to do so. It is now left to ICASA to reveal the truth.
We hope that ICASA will finally flex its muscle and take a clear stand against what appears to be seriously unethical conduct by a company it regulates.

The parasites of State Capture get richer and the poor remain poor

Madam Speaker,
Imagine the shame of a country when the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) announced in October of this year, that the South African Word of the Year was “State Capture”.
The once glorious Rainbow Nation, now sold off, piece by piece, to a certain family and various multinational companies all for the political and financial gain of a few people who were happy to see our beautiful country brought to its knees.
State Capture can only be described as a plan, so demonic in its structure, so intricate in its rollout and so deliberate in its purpose that it is truly one of the greatest heists of all time.
Right under the noses of South Africans, various politicians were being bought off to ensure absolute loyalty to the cause.  These politicians then in turn and per instruction began to purchase certain key role players in various state-owned entities (SOE) and government departments to ensure their absolute loyalty to the cause.
These purchased individuals, now slaves to State Capture, then began the deliberate and systematic breaking up of state-owned entities and various government departments so that this newly created beast could begin gorging on billions and billions of South African Rands.
This beast has now been identified, it has been given a classification and its extinction is now imminent. Those that helped grow this festering, parasitic-filled monster are now also being identified and they will soon learn, first hand, what it means to have the full might of the law thrown at you.
State-owned entities, that should be South Africa’s pride and joy, are now nothing more than shameful shells – their interiors sucked dry by the monster and only their bare bones left holding up their stripped and shaky skeletons.
Not only has this monster cost us the reputation of our country, it has caused a near economic crash of the economy.  When those brave enough to take on the monster were caught by the beasts feeding it, they were systematically set aside and replaced by puppets and willing participants in the mad feeding frenzy.
Downgrade after downgrade, Finance Minister after Finance Minister, board executive after board executive, so the monster continued the devastation, and here we are.  We can safely say that we no longer confront the elephant in the room, but rather the monster that is state capture.
Finally, Parliament showed it’s muscle.  It showed itself not to be a toothless rubberstamping machine that simply went through the motions. Parliament stood up and did what it should – it began to hold the Executive to account.
It took time and it took a lot of work, but finally, a Constitutionally mandated Committee took up the task of being the first line of defence against the monster. Not unlike the Game of Thrones term “winter is coming”, this Committee adopted the term “not on our watch”.
One would imagine that everyone who took the oath of office to serve our country would have been delighted that this committee had taken up the defence of our country.  This was sadly not the case.  Despite numerous attempts to shut down the Inquiry, the Committee fought back, no MP, no State Attorney, no Mickey Mouse militia and certainly no little press conference called by five little men was going to stop us from doing our job.
To say that the revelations that have already come out of the Inquiry are startling, is an understatement.  The scary part is that deep down, we all knew what would be said, but actually hearing people verbalise the atrocities shock us all to the core.
Imagine the shame of a country when Parliament plays out like a sordid soap opera, with a malicious storyline and the bad guys actually being those that should be looking after the people.
Someone asked me over the weekend, “When does the Inquiry finish?” My response, “We have only just got started”.
As we can see from the first part of our three-part Inquiry: Eskom, Denel and Transnet are all linked, the players are all the same, the modus operandi almost identical and the goal always the same.  Those who suffer are the people of South Africa, while the rich get richer. The parasites of State Capture get even richer and the poor remain poor.
As South Africans, we have an absolute right to be outraged.  Our country has been systematically sold off to the highest bidder, without resistance and with no conscious.
We, the people of South Africa have now said NO, it has gone this far, but it will not go any further.
While we fight to regain the lost billions that parasites have taken from our fiscus, at least the tap has been switched off.  Not a move can now be made without us seeing it, investigating it and uncovering every piece of information around it.
The power belongs to this Parliament, we are the voice of 54 million South Africans who are depending on us to defend our country and save it from the parasitic scourge of State Capture. We hold the Executive to account, not the other way around.  We will not be pushed around by a corrupt few, we will honour our oath of office and we will exercise our oversight role, robustly.
This is no easy task, but I call on South Africa to join me as I proudly say, “Bring it on!” If not us, then who? if not now, then when? You want to threaten us, I proudly say, “Bring it on!” You want to run to high office to try and stop us, I proudly say “Bring it on!” “You want to use little henchmen to try and intimidate us, I proudly say, “Bring it on!”. Now is the time that we as South Africans must unite, stand firm and proudly say together “BRING IT ON!”
Now is the time that we as South Africans have OUR spring, now is the time as South African that we rise and at the top of our voices sing “let us live and strive for freedom in South Africa, our land, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika!”.

State Capture remains a serious concern for South Africans

The following speech was delivered in Parliament by the Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen MP, during the debate on The scourge of State Capture.
 Madam Speaker,
The Gupta Gang of Six
If ever there was a reason for this house to be having this debate today it was confirmed in glorious Technicolor yesterday evening. Watching the clip from Gupta TV of the gang of 6 ANC MPs defending state capture and tearing viciously into their own Chief Whip and their colleagues on the Public Enterprises Committee and threatening that this debate would not go ahead proved why this debate today is so essential. I think that we should start, as the honourable Gordhan has said before: “join the dots” .
When you do that you do have to ask; whose interests these members are serving? Certainly not the people of South Africa, certainly not our democracy’s and definitely not this Parliament’s. It was nothing more than a poorly executed dance of subservience to the Gupta masters who are no doubt carefully choreographing this charade from the confines of their Saxonwold Shebeen.
Headlining this sordid spectacle was none other than Mr. Loyiso Mpumlwana. Members may remember him, because apart from last night’s performance, he also had some other headline performances:
–   sacked by the TRC in 2009 for fraudulent misrepresentation;
–   withdrawn as a candidate for the Human Rights Commission; and
–   more recently, defended Grace Mugabe by saying that it was acceptable for her to beat up a young woman in his culture. With this past, his convoluted jargon last night and his weird legal interpretation, I wouldn’t have the good advocate represent me in an uncontested divorce!
Public trust in our institution
Just last week, the High Level Panel, headed by former President Kgalema Motlanthe, released its report. It’s a fascinating document which should be compulsory reading for every member. It is an indictment on the failures of this house and a major wake up call for all of us.  The panel calls on us for much more effective oversight of the executive and for a more activist Parliament not simply a rubber stamp processing the work of the executive.
But perhaps most worrying, and something which should concern every member off this house, is the section dealing with trust in institutions. Public trust in Parliament declined massively from 65% in 2009 to just 38% in 2015. And the question we have to ask ourselves is why? Well when you begin to “join the dots’ it’s easy to see: in 2009 Mr. Zuma was elected as the President and set about turning this Parliament into his poodle and adding it to his growing collection of captured institutions.
Since then we have experienced the SABC crisis, the mining crisis, Visagate, Nkandlagate, Nenegate, Sassagate, and at each step of the way this house has rolled over and simply allowed the executive to ride roughshod over it. Attempts to hold the executive accountable have been thwarted by ministers who don’t appear, don’t answer questions and don’t feel they are accountable to  Parliament, choosing overseas trips over their constitutional obligations to account.
Let’s not forget that it was this very Parliament that, without calling him to account before a single committee, shamefully absolved the President of any wrongdoing on Nkandla. It was up to the Constitutional Court to do our job for us and hold the President accountable.
And it’s not like this house has learnt a single thing from it: just last week at this podium the President, on one of his paltry four visits a year, was able to get away without answering a straightforward question that was on the order paper and that he had for over two weeks. Where was the sanction from the Deputy Speaker? Where was the accountability?
Because you see the executive are aided and abetted in this by presiding officers who see their role as one to protect the executive rather than to protect the members of this house as they discharge their oversight and accountability role. Last night the Speaker was on Radio 702 waxing lyrical about the President’s dignity – dignity? When is the Speaker going to start standing up for the dignity of this house which has been systematically abused by an executive and Presidency that have gone rogue.
It’s little wonder that the people, as the high level panel report affirms, are losing faith with this house as it continues to break its covenant to serve the people’s interests and instead serves the executive.
#GUPTALEAKS
Despite all this, I don’t think that anything could have prepared us for the revelations that emerged through the Gupta leaks. Finally the vast network was laid bare for all to see, the tentacles of influence, subversion and deceit extending from Saxonwold through the union buildings, into government departments, through them into our state owned enterprises and deeper still into our provincial and local governments.
Flurries of emails, databases and communications exposed each terrible tentacle sucking up opportunity and huge sums of public money, away from its intended purposes and into the pockets of the Guptas, the Essas, the Ngubanes, the Hlongwanas and the Zumas. While the people of the Vrede Dairy project languish in abject poverty the money intended for them was used to pay for a wicked wedding, for champagne and caviar which these obscenely rich individuals and families quaffed back, all the while laughing whilst the poor suffer.
Parliament’s response: The case of the Curates egg
And what was this house’s response to the daily barrage of revelations of captured ministers, put in place as we read in the shocking revelations in the book “Enemy of the People” not to be faithful to the Republic as they swore in their oath, but rather to be faithful to the interests of the Gupta family?
Well, a whole six months ago the House Chairperson wrote to the chairs of four portfolio committees, Home Affairs, Public Enterprises, Transport and Minerals & Energy instructing them to “urgently probe the allegations”
Rather like the curates egg, the response has been excellent in parts but bad in others.
Only the Public Enterprises Committee seems to have acted with any urgency in dealing with this matter and not without significant resistance from many on these benches. Members of all parties on this committee must be complimented on their bravery, work and dedication to date in difficult circumstances. They have been relentlessly attacked by members of the executive hell-bent on ensuring that the truth does not come out. And as late as yesterday evening by their own six colleagues.
The truth is though that they still have a long way to go, they have dealt with Eskom only, they still haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on Transnet and Denel where even further indications of the rot of state capture reside.
But what has happened outside this committee?
The Home Affairs chairperson has done everything he can to thwart efforts by members to conduct a probe into the Home Affairs related aspects of State Capture. To date former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has not once, been called to explain why he used executive privileges to grant citizenship to Gupta family members when the original sponsor and applicant, did not compete the process?
– What progress has the Transport Committee made in dealing with allegations?
– The Minerals and Energy Committee is being led a merry dance of evasion and obfuscation by one of the chief protagonists in this sage, Minister Mosebenzi Zwane.
–   And what too about the revelations that fall outside these committees are we simply going to ignore the revelations that have emerged around South African Airways and the Gupta involvement there in trying to snaffle the lucrative Mumbai route.
–   Why has the State of Capture report by the Public Protector not been referred to a single committee?
–   What too about the revelations that the Guptas were provided with a secret cabinet memorandum by a former Communications Minister?
–   Why has Minister Des Van Rooyen not been called to explain what happened in the 4 short days he was the Finance Minister
–   And most importantly why has the President not appeared before a single committee of this house to account for a single one of the serious allegations?
The struggle against state capture starts in Parliament
There are some today, like the gang of six last night, who will no doubt argue that it is not this houses responsibility to investigate and hold the executive accountable.
They will argue that the proposed judicial commission of enquiry should do this (funny though that it is the very same people who, when the opposition beats them in court, argue repeatedly that the judiciary shouldn’t do Parliaments work)
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Constitution of the Republic makes it clear:
–     section 42(3) “scrutinising and overseeing executive action”
–     Section 55(2) “ the National Assembly must maintain oversight of the exercise of national authority….and any organ of state”
And this was confirmed by the Chief Justice Moegeng in the Nkandla judgement : “ Scrutinise means subject to scrutiny. And scrutiny implies a careful and thorough examination or a penetrating or searching reflection”
 This Parliament is mandated by the Constitution to do the job that is required to get to the bottom of the scourge of sate capture.
It is provided with all the tools both constitutionally and within our rules to perform the functions that it needs to in holding the executive accountable.
And, it is obliged to do the job because as the peoples parliament  it has the duty to act in the interest of the people of South Africa.
Because, in the final analysis, if we don’t act who will?
One can only wonder if the situation would have actually got so bad and run so deep if the Scorpions had not been shut down in an act of complete political treachery led by Mr. Yunis Carrim, who now tries to shamelessly re-style himself as the political sands have shifted, as a champion of justice. Thanks to him and his underhand efforts at the time we are now bequeathed the moribund Hawks, who do not leave their perch unless it’s to pick on an identified enemy of the State Capture brigade.
It’s unlikely that the NPA are going to come to our rescue, they have been so captured that in this whole year of damning revelations, so much time has elapsed since the revelations first came to light that three books have been published, yet not a single page criminal indictment has been written or investigation concluded. The NPA seem to spend more time arguing why accused persons should NOT be charged than building cases against criminals. The lights may be on at the NPA, but clearly nobody is home, they too don’t leave the office unless it’s to pick on an identified enemy of the State Capture brigade.
It’s even more unlikely that the State Security Agency, which should be guarding the sovereignty of our state are going to come to our rescue. They too have been so captured that they are used as a tool to protect and entrench the very people responsible for state capture and pose the biggest risk to its sovereignty. Events of the last year show clearly that they only act to smear and undermine with trumped up “intelligence reports” any identified enemy of the Sate Capture brigade.
And SARS is also not going to help, their systematic capture has led to a situation where good stewards of public finances have been pushed out and replaced with the very allies of the State Capture crew. Their transgressions? Going hard after those people who themselves are the perpetrators of State Capture, The Guptas body refunds, Edward Zuma’s illegal cigarette enterprises and Khulubuse Zuma’s asset stripping and fraud. Tom Moyane’s SARS is not interested in pursuing anybody outside of identified enemies of the State Capture brigade.
And it’s certainly not going to helped by the keyboard warriors and twitter activists that currently occupy the ANC benches. Those members like Mr. Derek Hanekom and many others who were or are still part of the cabinet and have been for the past 8 years, serving President Zuma slavishly and loyally and who now feign surprise at the scourge of State Capture as though they didn’t know what was going on under their very noses and around the cabinet table. They turned a blind eye for years and now try to reshape themselves as pillars of virtue.
There is no charge office on Twitter, there is no such thing as a Facebook arrest and no courts of law operate on Instagram. If we want to do something then this house must do its job, every member I this house must do their job and act without fear and favor and ensure that those responsible are held fully accountable.
This house cannot be one of the “Presidents Keepers” or become an “Enemy of the People”
Refusing to act on State Capture, denying the duty of this Parliament to exercise oversight and accountability over the President and his cabinet and turning a blind eye to the wrongdoing that has been going on and defending those who have looted the resources and opportunity of our country will be the grossest dereliction of duty and history will judge this house harshly.

Manipulative Moyane turns a blind eye to Makwakwa investigations

Today’s Standing Committee on Finance meeting not only revealed that the South African Revenue Service (SARS) splurged R930 000 on the SARS Chief Officer of Business and Individual Taxes,  Jonas Makwakwa’s, bonus but it is now also clear that SARS Commissioner, Tom Moyane, failed to place any emphasis on the ongoing investigations.
When the Committee reconvenes on Thursday, the DA will again grill SARS to get clear answers about:

  • Why Makwakwa’s suspension has been lifted without being cleared from criminal investigations;
  • Why he received a lucrative and unauthorised handout before his suspension; and
  • Why Moyane is not taking the allegations and subsequent investigations into his right hand man, seriously.

The SARS investigation into Makwakwa did not focus on the allegations of criminal activity.
Makwakwa’s suspension has been lifted based on an investigation report conducted by Hogan Lovells which did not deal with any criminal allegations as raised by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC). In addition to the Hogan Lovells investigation there are still pending investigations, one of which is being conducted by the Hawks.
It is therefore mind boggling that Moyane has lifted Makwakwa’s suspension without these investigations being concluded.
Moyane’s continued obfuscation and refusal to provide full answers during the Committee meeting is deeply concerning as it indicates that he may not believe that he is accountable to Parliament.
The credit ratings agency’s recent announcements incontrovertibly confirmed that under Moyane, SARS has experienced severe institutional decay.
It was even implicit in National Treasury’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) document that the responsibility for the colossal R50.8 billion revenue shortfall is in part due to the poor performance of SARS and their effectiveness at collecting revenue under Moyane.
SARS is vital for the South African economy to function. However, further weakening of SARS will create an even greater trust deficit which the South African economy simply cannot afford.
The DA will continue fight to restore SARS to the quality institution that it used to be.

DA 2017 Parliamentary Review: Tackling self-generated crises and confronting State Capture

It is with great pleasure that I present a review of the parliamentary activities of the Democratic Alliance for 2017. As we have done in the past, we table this document with the purpose of accounting to the people of South Africa on what we have done as the Official Opposition during the course of the last year.
Without a shadow of doubt, this year was dominated by President Jacob Zuma and his many acolytes who broke the law and violated the Constitution to capture our state institutions for their own nefarious purposes. Despite this, the Democratic Alliance has again emerged as the peoples’ champion in Parliament, ensuring that the Executive is held to account, the rule of law is upheld and that the corrupt are criminally prosecuted.
South Africa was beset with unprecedented crises in 2017. Nearly all of these were self-generated by an ANC-led government at war with itself, headed by a compromised President, and aided and abetted by those obsessed with succeeding him.
From Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini’s pathological drive to sabotage social grants, to President Zuma’s two disastrous Cabinet reshuffles, to the #GuptaLeaks revelations and the ANC’s desperate efforts to block and frustrate an investigation into allegations of State Capture.
Indeed, 2017 will be remembered as the year in which the final veneer of legitimacy still surrounded the ANC-led government faded amid chronic mismanagement of the state and an avalanche of corruption scandals. It will be remembered for Jacob Zuma’s arrogance in Parliament and his contempt for the Constitution. It will be remembered for the ANC Caucus’ deliberate and dogged defence of Zuma and their unwavering allegiance to a compromised President.
However, 2017 will also be remembered for the work done by the DA in Parliament. Through our efforts, the corruption of the ANC-led government has been laid bare and the self-created crises of this tainted administration have been tackled head-on.
This parliamentary year will be remembered for many things – including the stellar work done by the Ad Hoc Committee on the SABC Board Inquiry, the Portfolio Committee on Social Development and SCOPA’s handling of the social grants crisis, and the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises’ Eskom Inquiry. It will be remembered for our Motion of No Confidence in President Zuma which was supported by no fewer than 177 MPs from every party.
The DA has remained steadfast and unwavering in its commitment to the Constitution and to making Parliament work. Once again, we took up the fight on behalf of the people of South Africa and forced Government to confront and deal with the many crises confronting it. Using the country’s apex institution, Parliament, we have held the Executive to account and found solutions.
We will continue to resist efforts to side-line the Legislature, by those who resent and reject accountability. We will continue to stand up for our Constitutional democracy and for the people of South Africa.

Find full report card booklet here

Defence Department overspends by R35 million on VIP flights

A reply to a DA Parliamentary Question has revealed that the Department of Defence (DOD) has blown their budget for Very Very Important Person (VVIP) flights in the 2015 – 2018 period by R22.5 million and in the 2016/17 year, by an astounding R35 million.
The DOD is mandated to transport the President, Deputy President and other principles in a manner which guarantees their safety as well as ensuring their on-time arrivals for appointments at various destinations, internationally and domestically.
The DA will now ask further Parliamentary Questions to determine exactly which VVIPs were transported, whether or not they were on official business and who accompanied them.
The reply also shows that at least three big-ticket VVIP Charter flights alone collectively cost the Department more than R12.5 million in the 2016/17 financial year.
This is what happens when President Zuma refuses to fly on the perfectly functional Presidential Jet, Inkwazi.
The failing ANC government could have used the R35 million to supply 3 500 flush toilets to indigent communities or built nearly 270 Reconstruction and Development Programme homes.
The DA will not sit idly by while the ANC continues to waste money on luxuries for the political elite at the expense of millions of South Africans who are forced to survive without the most basic of services.

Mdantsane oversight reveals shocking allegations of ANC councillors selling unoccupied government houses

During an oversight visit to the Mdantsane’s Unit P housing sites in the Buffalo City region, the DA was shocked to find how ANC councillors and municipal officials are allegedly selling unoccupied government housing.
Upon our arrival we were met by a group of concerned residents who shared heart breaking stories of how corrupt ANC councillors and some construction workers selling unoccupied governement houses, denying the rightful owners the opportunity to live in the houses that were supposed to be theirs.
The DA has seen video footage and documents supporting these claims.
We saw rows of abandoned houses which have become dilapidated and in some cases, dumping sites. Every day, for the past 9 years Mdantsane residents have had to look at the empty houses that were supposed to be their homes.
The DA has now resolved to conduct a petition on behalf of the residents of Mdantsane to submit to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements for urgent investigation.
The DA is also gravely concerned that in Potsdam, 154 houses have been vacant since 2013. It is totally unacceptable that 23 years into our new democracy and there has been little to no action by the ANC government to decisively address the backlog of 600 000 houses in the Eastern Cape.
The housing backlog in the Eastern Cape has been further exacerbated by the 258 units across the province that have remained unoccupied for years. This is indicative of a dire state of affairs, and can only be blamed on the ANC’s poor planning which has subsequently resulted in the stalling of housing allocation.
Instead of carrying out their mandate of providing homes to poor South Africans who still don’t know the dignity of owning a home, they are busy looting the state and fighting internal battles.
The ANC’s indifference and the lack of urgency to expedite this process, has led to houses already built being vandalised.
The DA will continue to expose the ANC’s lack of political will to provide proper housing for the poor people of this country and we will continue to fight to provide our people with the dignity they deserve.

Minister van Rooyen must immediately trigger section 139 interventions for defaulting municipalities

Today Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane gave the 30 defaulting municipalities which have failed to honour their debt to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) a deadline of 8 December 2017 to pay off their debts.
Should these municipalities fail to meet this deadline, innocent South Africans and businesses will face water restrictions.
This water debacle is reflective of poor financial management and seeming corruption at the hands of the ANC at both national and municipal level. Had proper checks and balances been in place, this debacle would not have happened.
The DA will now write to the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Des Van Rooyen, to request that he immediately implement Section 139 of the Constitution. This section provides for interventionist measures to be put in place which allow for financial recovery plans in each of these municipalities, or failing which, place them under administration.
This follows the Minister of Water and Sanitation’s announcement today that the defaulting municipalities owe R3.9 billion to the Water Trading Entity (WTE) and R6.8 billion to the various water boards. It comes hard on the heels of the ESKOM municipal debt crisis, which is still not satisfactorily resolved.
Water is a basic human right and innocent South Africans and businesses in these municipalities should not have to bear the brunt of the ANC’s mismanagement and inefficiencies.
The DWS must be held accountable for their lack the lack of accountability and political will to arrest the situation to get to this point.
Minister Mokonyane has failed in her obligation to ensure that water supply to residents is not affected, and Minister van Rooyen in his responsibility to ensure the financial viability and competency of municipalities.