Mayor Williams will restore DA stability, good governance, and service delivery to Tshwane

The Democratic Alliance (DA) congratulates its candidate Randall Williams and his team on his election as Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane at a Council meeting today after months of turmoil and uncertainty in our nation’s capital.

This follows the Supreme Court of Appeal ruling on Tuesday, which affirmed the DA’s position that the City had been illegally placed under administration by the Gauteng Provincial Government. Tshwane has suffered months of governance paralysis due to the ANC having continuously rendered the council ungovernable.

The SCA ruling proved what we have been saying all along: that the illegal administration in Tshwane was nothing more than a desperate power grab by the ANC.

Randall Williams’ election is a vital step in putting Tshwane back on the right track under a competent DA-administration, and I am delighted that we can now carry out the mandate of the voters in our nation’s capital to bring the change its residents so deserve.

During the 8-month period of administration, the City of Tshwane has gone down a path of regression and deterioration as services have stagnated. From ongoing power failures, water outages, and refuse removal coming to a complete standstill – service delivery has completely declined under the ANC-administration.

Today, the people of Tshwane can rest assured that good, clean, and effective DA governance is back in town. Today, we begin the hard work of bringing stability and service back to our nation’s Capital. Today we set things right.

Mayor Williams’ focus is to fix and perfect basic and essential service delivery, and lay down the foundations of a strong and capable administration to best serve and provide for the city and its residents. This will include:

  • Fixing streetlights;
  • Fixing potholes and painting road markings;
  • Making sure people have access to water, especially in Hammanskraal; and
  • Cleaning up the City.

This is the DA’s promise to the people of Tshwane. When we get the basics right, businesses thrive, communities become safer, and residents have a better quality of life.

Mayor Williams has also committed himself to rooting out the challenges left by the Gauteng Provincial Government’s illegal administration in Tshwane, and sweeping clean city departments to restore financial stability and transparency.

I have every confidence that Mayor Williams will again lead Tshwane into prosperity and good governance and demonstrate to the city’s residents what the power of a DA vote means. I look forward to getting to work so that we can turn the City of Tshwane into yet another bastion of DA excellence.

DA Congress 2020 – Live Broadcasting

After months of detailed planning and preparatory hard work, the Democratic Alliance (DA) is ready to hold its first virtual elective Federal Congress this weekend. This Congress is a technological trailblazer for South African politics.

This Congress will not only be the biggest ever for the Party, but also the largest online congress of any political party in South Africa. The combination of proven technology with national hybrid venues, will ensure that delegates of all communities have an opportunity to cast their vote.

The Congress commences at 9:30 tomorrow morning and will conclude with the announcement of the newly-elected leadership on Sunday afternoon.

Live broadcasting of the opening ceremony will be at 9:30 on Saturday 31 October and the announcement of the newly-elected leadership at 14:00 on Sunday 1 November and will be available on the following TV channels:

  • SABC 2
  • SABC News (DSTV Channel 404)
  • eNCA (DSTV Channel 403)
  • Newzroom Afrika (DSTV Channel 405)

The Congress may also be viewed via a live-stream on the website:

We are delighted that these television stations have agreed to broadcast the opening and closing ceremonies of our Congress live. This means that the DA’s message of ‘Real Hope. Real Change. Now.’ will reach millions of South African directly tomorrow and on Sunday.

DA condemns potential Barclays loan to SAA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will write to the Group CEO of Barclays, Jes Staley, to implore that his banking group does not supply short term bridging finance to the South African Airways (SAA) at the apparent behest of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The continued efforts by government to fund this defunct State-owned entity at the expense of the South African public is morally reprehensible and should be opposed at all costs. The DA plans to do just that when Parliament votes on the budget in November.

SAA has not been a viable business for many years and the DA has campaigned South African commercial banks since December 2018 to stop giving government guaranteed loans to the airline or suffer reputational damage.

SAA has already received R27 billion from Treasury just this year. And that during a pandemic that left millions of people without jobs and money to put food on the table. In a year where the Covid-19 pandemic exposed the deep socio-economic fault lines still rife in the country, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has reneged his promise to prioritise people over a dead duck that will realistically never fly again.

Instead of funding the police, education, health or other vital sectors, Treasury’s continued bailouts is bleeding the country dry.

The Virtual Congress is the DA’s most inclusive gathering to date

Political parties must always be at the forefront of finding innovative solutions for emerging realities. Whether in opposition or government, political parties must embrace innovation to remain relevant in an ever-evolving political environment. Additionally, they must be agile enough not to be caught flat footed when these new realities emerge.  Few things challenged the capacity of parties to achieve this, more than the corona virus pandemic.

If it were not for the disruption inflicted on humanity by the outbreak of the pandemic, the DA would have held its elective congress, in person, as early as May. Prior to the announcement of the national lockdown, our preparations were all but finalized. However as soon as it become clear that a face-to-face gathering would be impossible at that time, the party initiated the process of exploring the practicalities of hosting an online congress.

For some context it is useful to trace back the origins of the decision to go to an early elective congress.  That decision was one of the key recommendations of the review panel appointed by the former leader of the party to investigate the cause(s) of the party’s loss of votes in the 2019 elections.

Last year, this time, the leader and chairperson of the party resigned simultaneously following an extraordinary federal executive meeting.

At the time many naysayers jubilantly predicted the decimation of the party. On the contrary and true to the resilient character of our organization, we weathered the storms with resolve to keep the party completely functional through one of its most difficult phases in history.

So much so, that a year later, virtually to the day, the party will host the largest virtual political gathering in South African history. The fact that such a gathering is made possible is due to a massive collaborative effort between a resilient administrative team and an inventive digital media unit, backed by a political leadership team making its decisions by relying on evidence-based research.

The decision to proceed with the early elective congress in a virtual format rather than wait to do so in person whenever that would have been allowed was part of the party’s wholesale migration of its administrative, professional and political operations virtually in response to the new normal working environment imposed on all of us by the corona virus pandemic.

In May 2020, we successfully held our Local Government Election workshop with over 200 participants taking part virtually. This was our first real test of our organizational capacity to host and manage such large scale virtual operations. It was a great success.

More recently, between 06 – 07 September we concluded our policy conference wherein we refreshed our policies and outlined our unequivocal Values Charter to settle some of the ambiguous policy positions which were the source of frequent polarising debate in the organization. Just last week, we concluded a well-managed dry run wherein we tested all the aspects of the congress without any glitch.

A total of 2089 delegates are accredited to participate in the proceedings of the congress. 1114 of these delegates are public representatives; in the form of serving Members of Parliament, Members of Provincial Legislatures and Councillors. The balance of 975 consists of representatives of our branches across the country, which amounts to 47% of the total size of the delegates.  This makes the upcoming congress one with the largest representation of ordinary branch members to date. Comparatively, the previous congress only had 33% of non-public representatives as delegates.

In order to guarantee the optimal inclusion of all delegates, the party is subsidizing those delegates with less resources than others with data so that they too, can participate in the congress smoothly.

While the majority of the delegates will be connected to the congress from the comfort of their private spaces, there will be over 39 hybrid venues available for delegates to join across the 9 provinces, with the Western Cape constituting the largest portion with 14 hybrid venues and Mpumalanga with a single one.

Extensive background work has been conducted in the lead up to this weekend to ensure that all the hybrid venues will operate smoothly, and comply with all the required Covid-19 regulations to safeguard the health of our delegates in those spaces. Two provinces – Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga  – and several other regions in Gauteng and the Western Cape, have all held their leadership elections virtually without any incident, underscoring our faith in the systems and processes we have put in place to deliver a legitimate, and smooth operation at congress.

From the composition of the delegates, the extent of hybrid venues, the expansive technological subsidies that the party is providing to guarantee the participation of delegates from remote areas to the increased size of the number of delegates who are non-public representatives makes; this will  be the most inclusive congress in the history of the DA.

To address some of the concerns about the security of online voting for a congress of this magnitude, the party will be using the OpaVote online voting platform to allow delegates to cast votes for their preferred candidates. Once a delegate registers, he or she, will receive a unique code to enter on the system that will allow them to cast a single ballot.

OpaVote uses 128-bit encryption to secure the unique code that allows a delegate to vote. At the point of voting a delegate’s vote is then entirely secret. The technical team, presiding officers and auditors will only know that someone has successfully voted, but no one will know how that individual delegate have voted.

OpaVote platform is credible world class mechanism used by corporations and political parties all over the world to run secure, credible elections, and having successfully used the system at branch meetings and provincial congresses, we look forward to using it at our federal congress.

While many outsiders are largely interested in the leadership contests taking place, congress is much more than voting for leaders only. There will discussions on multiple constitutional amendments and resolutions on portfolio specific policy topics in addition to the debates on the party’s financial report and all the reports on the state of our ancilliary bodies; from DA Womens’ Network to DA Abroad.

The important lesson here is that organizations’ built on strong values and functional processes outlive temporary turbulent waves. Because if truth be told, no individuals or groups within an organisation, must be bigger than the organisation itself given the unavoidable reality that people come and go.

From Magaliesburg to Mgungundlovu, every DA delegate will have an equal fair chance to participate in the congress regardless of whether they are connecting on an IOS or Android device.  And notwithstanding the mammoth logistical operation it requires to prepare for a virtual congress with over 2000 delegates, we are confident that we will deliver a credible virtual congress with legitimate outcomes.

Mpumalanga Sunbirds: Transformation quotas for South African Sport all about optics

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, regarding reports that the Mpumalanga Sunbirds netball team lost points after their winning match in Section B of the National League because they did not have enough demographic quota players on the field during the second quarter of their game.

The DA has always been against using the quota system when choosing teams for sports in South Africa. As is the case with the Sunbirds, the quota system often discriminates against talented players and diminishes the accomplishments of players that have worked extremely hard to develop their talent.

According to a DA source there are direct and implied threats by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture regarding funding to federations and sporting bodies who are bullied and intimidated about achieving transformation goals regarding team selection. These federations are dependent upon funding from the Department and not in a position to stand against it.

While transformation in sports should be an ongoing project and goal, forced transformation is to the detriment of the players and the development of the sport itself. Transformation can only ever truly be successful if it’s done at grassroot level to ensure that all talent is developed and that players are chosen on merit when they reach provincial and national levels. Transformation in its current form is nothing but optics and does nothing to create more development opportunities for young players.

MTBPS: South Africans ‘thrown under the plane’ to pay for SAA

Two key things happened in today’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement:

  •  President Cyril Ramaphosa and Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, have retreated from their commitment to the “active scenario”, which lasted just 3 months.

Debt will not stabilise by 2023. In fact, it will continue to balloon to a massive 95% of GDP and will now only stabilise in 2025/26, with an extra R1 trillion in additional debt.

  •  The ANC government has chosen to cut essential services to the public – like education and policing – to fund another bailout of South African Airway (SAA). This is an indefensible, immoral choice. It amounts to throwing South Africans ‘under the plane’ to pay for SAA.

In summary, the Minister has abandoned his commitment to get debt under control by 2023. And he has abandoned his commitment to stop bailouts of SAA.

South Africans will continue to pay for a zombie state company, and will continue to suffer the consequences of ever-higher debt.

That is why today’s Medium Term Budget Speech must be considered a failure.


The granting of another R10.5 billion bailout to SAA, on top of R16.4 billion allocated in February’s main budget, shows the ANC’s disregard for poor South Africans.

Minister Mboweni should have held the line and refused this bailout.

He has made this an issue of principle in the past, and has repeatedly committed that no more public money would be wasted on SAA. But he has now capitulated, has broken that promise, and must now reconsider his position in Cabinet.

This new bailout to SAA is funded by (among others):

  • Cutting the policing budget by R1.2 billion;
  • Cutting the education budget by R1.4 billion;
  • Cutting the budget for the courts and the prosecuting authority by R1.2 billion; and
  • Cutting conditional grants to provinces and local governments, for things like new schools and health services, by R12 billion.

This is the immoral choice the ANC is making. They are choosing SAA over fighting crime. SAA over education. SAA over South Africa.

In contrast, this R10.5 billion could have paid for:

  • One month of additional TERS support for families who have lost income during lockdown;
  • 440 new community clinics;
  • 66 500 new RDP houses;
  • 130 new schools; and
  • 80 000 new teaching degrees, or 27 000 new medical graduates.

We will continue to mobilise against this bailout, and call on the public to take part in the budget process to make their voice heard in opposition to this.

Debt – The end of the “active scenario”:

The Minister’s “active scenario” died after just 3 months. The targets he committed to in July he has now retreated from. Debt will not stabilise in 2023, and will not stabilise at 87% of GDP. Instead, debt is now only targeted to stabilise in 2025/26,  and then only after ballooning to 95% of GDP. That means an extra R1 trillion in new debt!

The consequence of this retreat from the “active scenario” is that we will spend R271 billion on paying interest on our debt over the next year. We will now spend 21 cents in every rand of tax revenue on paying interest.

This means we will spend more on interest costs (R271 billion), than on:

  • Police – R104.7 billion
  • Healthcare – R231.3 billion

And because of the ballooning debt, interest costs will even overtake social grants in 2023.

This budget has undermined the credibility of the Finance Minister and the National Treasury. This credibility is further undermined when new commitments are made that are also unlikely to ever be achieved.

South Africans will continue to pay for a failing SOE, and will continue to suffer the consequences of higher debt.

That is why today’s Medium Term Budget Speech fell far short of expectations.

DA requests Speaker Modise to remove Bongani Bongo as Committee Chairperson – pending outcome of corruption cases

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, to request that she urgently removes ANC Member of Parliament, Bongani Bongo, as the Chairperson of the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee, pending the outcomes of his criminal cases, one of which he was arrested for on Tuesday.

We will also request that he is immediately removed as a Chairperson of any of the public participation hearings taking place across the country regarding the change to Section 25 of the Constitution.

During the DA’s Debate of National Importance on Covid-19 corruption yesterday we heard numerous speeches from ANC MPs informing the public that Parliament’s portfolios lead the charge against corruption.

How can committees lead the charge against corruption, when the very people heading them are accused and charged with corruption?

It is unthinkable that a Member of Parliament who has been arrested by the Hawks and, implicated numerous times during the Zondo Commission can remain a Portfolio Chairperson.

Bongo’s continued presence as Chairperson will only cast a cloud over the integrity of the work of the Home Affairs Committee as well as the work of Parliament in holding the Executive and public office bearers to account and in upholding the rule of law and the Constitution in South Africa.

Parliament needs to send a strong message to the people of South Africa, that those implicated in corruption and wrongdoing will be dealt with decisively by this institution.

Send them all to jail! 

The following speech was delivered during Parliament’s Debate of National Importance on Corruption related to Covid-19 tenders.


South Africans can be forgiven for having foreseen that months after the world’s most devastating global health crisis, this House would debate the theft and misuse of public money meant for our response to this pandemic. 

We would all be forgiven because history would vindicate us. 

We would be justified because true to form, the very people who are meant to have led us through this time would be the ones who would steal shamelessly from the public purse. 

The President has made strong statements against the corruption that has taken place over the past several months.

However, those are once again words that ring absolutely hollow. 

After all, he has – without a shred of irony – told the country the country that he will always choose the ANC over his responsibilities as the South African president. 

It is no surprise that he is not bothered about preaching brave words in his weekly newsletter while seated next to some of the most corrupt individuals both in this House and at Luthuli House. 

His loyalties are not to the people of this country. 

He is loyal to the interests of the ANC. 

This is exactly why we find ourselves debating corruption in Parliament while the real criminals roam around free in state-sponsored luxury vehicles and all the perks that come with being a member of South Africa’s political elite. 

We are truly not led. 

At a time when South Africa needed leaders with integrity who would step up to the challenge of saving lives and livelihoods, we were shackled by the liability that is our current leadership. 

While people of the Eastern Cape fought each other for mere oxygen in hospitals, comrades were stacking their pockets. 

While healthcare workers worked under the most strenuous conditions, valiantly saving lives, the politically connected pocketed government contracts in the millions. 

While many family members lost multiple loved ones to this pandemic, our government officials found loopholes in the emergency procurement processes to steal and loot. 

It truly is an indictment on this government. 

As a young leader in this country, I am deeply ashamed to be sitting across some of you who have the audacity to want to be called honourable members. 

There is nothing honourable about people who would rather get rich on the backs of the very people who elected you to serve them. 

Before many of you nizingombe isifuba ngoba ingenini ababe imali, you are all complicit. 

Each one of you would rather defend your comrades than call out criminality when you see it. 

Nonke niyafana. 

These are your colleagues, your comrades and the people who are quick to remind us that they fought hard for the liberation of this country. 

You may have fought diligently for this democracy but with every cent of public money stolen, that legacy is washed away. 

The legacy of this organization will be that of a political party etye imali abantu besifa. 

The arguments advanced here by the past speakers are disappointing but not surprising. 

What should have been said is an unequivocal apology to the people of South Africa. 

A commitment to ensure that every single one of those implicated in corruption to the tune of billions of rands is removed from leadership positions both within the ANC and in government; 

And an earnest undertaking to ensure that our law-enforcement agencies are empowered to arrest and prosecute corrupt politicians and public servants. 

We wanted to hear a unanimous call to arrest them all. 

Every single one of those who were entrusted with the keys to the public safe and abused the privilege should go to jail.

Send them all to jail! 

Instead what we got was platitudes; empty words and an unrepentant government that is bound to repeat the very abhorrent behavior that is being condemned here. 

The only way South Africa can be saved from the abuse we have endured by this government is its swift removal at the polls.

Never has something been more urgent. It is now clear that nothing is off limits from the ANC – not even the lives of the people of this country. 

Jail them all!

The real cost of corruption is far more than many believe it to be

The following speech was delivered during Parliament’s Debate of National Importance on Corruption related to Covid-19 tenders.


When the lockdown started, the President asked us to support this government and adhere to the regulations imposed by them. The country rallied. It’s what we do as a nation – we stand together in times of crisis.

At that time, Minister De Lille informed us that in order to protect our citizens from cross-border contamination, most of our Land Ports of Entry would be closed and our borders would be fortified – in particular, a 40km stretch around Beit Bridge on the border with Zimbabwe. She made it seem plausible.

And as lockdown continued, the people of this country suffered – socially and economically. But we rallied – strong in the belief that our government was acting in our best interests and in good faith.

And then the truth emerged that R40 million had been squandered on an ill-advised, rushed and woefully inadequate border fence that has come to be known as the Beitbridge Washing Line.

Minister De Lille went on the defensive (if you’ll excuse the pun). An investigation was underway. Heads would roll. The officials had overstepped. And not once, did she acknowledge that it was her directive that had set the entire process in motion. That her instructions were to expedite the procurement. That as a result, procurement processes were contravened. That a proper bidding process was circumvented. And that, as it turns out, this country was robbed of at least R14 million as a result. And that is merely the alleged overpayment on the project.

An SIU investigation is underway – at our cost. Three portfolio committees visited the washing line for oversight – at our cost. Legal processes have been instituted – at our cost.

It’s not just the incident of corruption that costs us. We pay for every case of corruption in myriad different ways. And it’s the people who pay. Not Minister De Lille who should already have been sanctioned by the President. But who continues to avoid answering the allegations as she passes the buck down the line.

We need to demand accountability from all our leaders for all forms of corruption, especially when so much has been asked of us and we have complied so willingly.

To quote author G Edward Griffin, “To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism.

I am a patriot. The people who suffered under the lockdown regulations, who lost their jobs, who had their incomes cut – they are patriots.

Mr President, Minister De Lille… Are you?

DA welcomes World Bank’s insistence that government commit to not bailing out insolvent SOEs using $2bn loan facility

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes reports that talks between the government and the World Bank over a   $2 billion loan facility have stalled. We welcome the World Bank’s insistence that government commit to not bailing out insolvent state-owned entities using the $2 billion standard loan facility it has applied for, as well as to cutting the public wage bill.

The DA has called for Minister Tito Mboweni to refuse any further public bailout of SAA. Such a bailout would be immoral, given the urgent social priorities in South Africa right now, and the need to bring debt under control.

It was inevitable that international lenders would begin to lose patience with the ANC’s unacceptably slow progress on needed structural economic reforms. The World Bank’s insistence on these obvious reforms is a clear warning to the ANC government: get public spending under control now, or face difficulty in borrowing money globally.

The World Bank has already shown good faith to South Africa by extending a $50 million unconditional emergency loan.

We urge National Treasury to heed the request of the World Bank if it is serious about both qualifying for the loan as well as effecting the urgent structural reforms that are necessary to revitalise the economy.