Cricket SA: Withdrawal of Section 13(5) intervention a step in the right direction

The DA has noted that the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, has withdrawn his previous decision to invoke his powers in terms of Section 13(5) of the Sports Act to officially strip Cricket South Africa (CSA) if its national recognition.

We believe that this was the correct decision to make as the future of South African cricket was hanging in the balance.

The decision to reverse the Section 13(5) intervention was no doubt influenced by the recent vote by the the CSA Members’ Council to adopt the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI), intended to introduce a more independent governance structure at CSA, which they previously opposed.

The DA calls for the MOI to be tabled before Parliament and that the CSA board and executives present on how these new strategies will be implemented.

While the adoption of the MOI is a step in the right direction, we remain concerned about the unprecedented political interference and power plays demonstrated by Minister Mthethwa.

This level of political interference in the independent processes of sports bodies, creates a dangerous precedent and leave us concerned that it can result in future political interference in other sport federations.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

Serious allegations of corruption and harassment at PACOFS need urgent investigation

The DA has submitted written parliamentary questions to the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, regarding a number of serious allegations that was raised during the parliamentary portfolio committee on sports, arts and culture’s oversight visit to the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (PACOFS) in Bloemfontein this month.

During this visit, the committee was made aware of a number of allegations of corruption and harassment against the top tiers of management at PACOFS, as well as accusations that reports from whistleblowers and unions are routinely ignored or swept under the carpet.

The DA’s questions deal with:

  • Whether the disciplinary actions recommended in the Morar and Bonakude reports were implemented as undertaken by the PACOFS council in their response to the committee;
  • Has PACOFS established a clear policy for procedures, checks and balances for business dealings between the Centre and its board members regarding delegation of authority, conflict of interest and a code of conduct;
  • Has a policy for the appointment of artists for PACOFS shows been created;
  • Whether the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture has done as promised and reviewed its policies on council members serving on multiple councils within the same sector, especially if they have been implicated in some sort of malfeasance as serving board members; and
  • How the Department intends to address the serious allegations of harassment and corruption.

The arts and culture sectors have been hard hit by the continued Covid-19 lockdown that impedes those in the sector from earning a living from their craft. PACOFS has not managed to avoid the economic devastation either, but its core problems seem to spring from a more insidious source – poor management and corruption. Instead of using its steady government funding to build the creative community in the years preceding the Covid-19 pandemic, the funds that weren’t allegedly used to harass and harm whistleblowers of corruption at the Centre through drawn out legal processes, were seemingly looted.

Many small, independent theatres did not have PACOFS’ same luxury of funding and had to permanently close their doors due to the economic devastation to the sector, and indeed the country, brought on by irrational regulations and mismanaged relief funds. The contribution of these independent theatres to arts and culture in South Africa is immeasurable.

It is time that the PACOFS management and board learn one of the most important lessons of this time; no institution has a guarantee of continued existence. Unless they urgently pull their socks up and root out corruption and harassment within the institute, there is no guarantee that the once proud Centre will survive.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

DA Court Watching Briefs Unit in Mpumalanga to closely monitor Piet Retief murder-case

The DA has taken note of the decision by the Piet Retief Magistrate’s Court granting bail to the five men accused in the murders of Mgcini and Zenzele Coka on a farm in eMkhondo.

The DA’s local Court Watching Briefs Unit will be keeping a close eye on the developments of this, to ensure that both the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) do a proper investigation of events so that justice can be served.

We call for this investigation to be completely beyond reproach and reiterate our call on Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole to send reinforcements to ensure a speedy and in-depth investigation into the incident that led to the death of two people and the injury of three others.

It is of utmost importance that the investigation is completely transparent as contradicting reports of what happened are rife.

Tensions in the community are still very high and only a transparent investigation and course of law will bring eventual peace.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

Mantashe’s fishy powership deal

Like Zuma’s dodgy nuclear deal, Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe’s powership deal is deeply suspect and frankly reeks of corruption.

It locks South Africa into a 20-year contract to purchase expensive, dirty power when the cost of clean renewable energy is falling every year. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has estimated this deal will cost South Africa R218 billion over 20 years. That is a truly vast commitment.

A powership is a ship on which a power plant is installed. They anchor just offshore to provide ship-to-shore electricity to countries unable to generate enough of their own. These are generally failed or failing states such as Ghana, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Senegal, Sudan, Beirut, Iraq and Pakistan which are currently using powerships on contracts of two to five years.

Under Mantashe’s deal we’ll be paying R2.30 per kilowatt hour while Saudi Arabia has just signed a power purchase agreement for solar power at a record-low $0,0104 per kilowatt hour which is equivalent to 15c per kilowatt hour in South Africa.

Worse still, this price will most likely increase over time in real terms because the liquified natural gas we’ll be importing to fuel these ships is priced in dollars and linked to a carbon tax, both of which are likely to push the price up in South African Rands.

Consider how it will impact South Africa’s ability to compete globally and create jobs locally when we are paying high and rising prices for dirty power while other countries are paying low and falling prices for clean power.

There is no doubt that South Africa urgently needs to secure additional power supply. We face a 4000-megawatt (MW) shortfall over the next 5 years. Almost any solution will be preferably to load-shedding, which is estimated to cost our economy R1 billion per stage per day, amounting to a loss to SA of at least R59 billion in 2019.

Electricity from powerships will cost us about 30% less than that of our current emergency supply system, Eskom’s open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) which burn diesel. Mantashe is hanging is hat on this argument.

However, there are alternatives to powerships that are cheaper, cleaner, less risky and more job-creating.

Renewables provide a cheaper, cleaner solution that involves more fixed local investment. Energy experts say solar and wind power, in combination with battery storage could provide the same amount of power that Mantashe’s powership deal can provide, and with the same lead time.

Self-generation – allowing and incentivising businesses and households to generate electricity which can be fed into the grid – has the potential to add 3 400 megawatts of electricity supply within two years and create over 30 000 construction jobs, according to the CSIR. In Vietnam, self-generation produced 7,200MW of generation capacity from the private sector in just over a year.

Hydrogen fuel cell technology could start supplying the grid with significant additional power within just two years. It is estimated that the local market for “green hydrogen” could be R140 billion and the export market R1.5 trillion per year by 2040.

Unforgivably, the ANC government has dragged its heels on all of these.

Mantashe has sat on his hands for over a year refusing “to be rushed” into opening bid window 5 for renewable energy independent power producers (IPPs), without any reasonable explanation for the delay. In fact, bid window 5 for renewables was originally intended to be opened in 2016.

He has outlawed self-generation of more than 1MW and only recently and with some reluctance called for public comments on the raising of the threshold to 10MW, itself a ridiculous limit when there is no technical reason to cap it below 50MW.

Government has also been “extremely slow” to support the development of green hydrogen generation capabilities in South Africa.

Which begs the question: Why? Why has the ANC government been so reluctant to enable these decentralised energy solutions?

There is almost certainly a hidden agenda here. The best way to get to the truth is to follow the money. As Kgalema Motlanthe warned in 2007: “Almost every project is conceived because it offers opportunities for certain people to make money.”

With PPE looting, the ANC used a national crisis to milk the state.

In the case of power shortages, it seems the ANC has created a national crisis in order to milk the state. Mantashe’s powership deal has corruption written all over it, albeit corruption lent legal and moral authority by BEE legislation. So the broad-based poverty that will come from higher electricity prices and fewer jobs is packaged and sold to the nation as “transformation”, because it enriches a few ANC-connected cronies.

Having stalled long enough to create an emergency requirement for additional energy supply, Mantashe could then justify the need for a Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP).

Karpowership SA was the most successful bidder, winning two-thirds of the power generation capacity in the programme (1,220MW of the 1,845MW) with its bid to moor three Turkish powerships off the coast of South Africa, for 20 years.

Karpowership SA is 51% owned by Turkish Karadeniz Energy Group. Its 49% BEE partner in this deal, Powergroup SA, was only established in March 2020 and brings no skills or expertise to the table, having no prior experience in energy generation. Former special advisor to ex-State Security Ministers David Mahlobo and Bongani Bongo (themselves both deeply implicated in state capture and corruption), Thabo George Mokoena, is reportedly a 20% shareholder in Powergroup SA.

It is hard to conclude anything other than that, as with the rampant looting through PPE contracts, ANC-connected cadres are going to be raking in huge profits while adding absolutely no value. This is what happens when a political party captures the state through cadre deployment.

This is not black economic empowerment, it’s broad-based black economic impoverishment. The poorer people are, the larger the share of their meagre budgets that goes to food and electricity, both of which will see ever-inflating prices under this deal. So the 30 million South Africans living below the poverty line stand to lose the most, and 99.8% of them are black. There’s also the indirect harm to poor people as South Africa’s employment figures continue to fall as SA industries becomes less and less competitive.

Unsurprisingly, there has been the usual lack of transparency around the RMIPPPP process. The DA has submitted several Parliamentary Questions, including requesting that the records of the bid adjudication process be made public. Failing that, we will invoke the Promotion of Access to Information Act to request the details.

Yesterday, the ANC prevented the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy from performing basic oversight, by refusing an investigation into the processes followed and the scoring in the RMIPPPP. The DA will now approach the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) to obtain the information we seek.

The DA will use every mechanism available to us to get to the bottom of this fishy deal, and to fight for the lowest-cost, cleanest, least risky energy supply for South Africa. In the local government elections on 27 October 2021, a vote for the DA will be a vote for honest government that puts South Africa first

DA requests Zondo Commission to urgently subpoena ANC cadre deployment records

In the light of ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa’s insultingly evasive testimony in front of the State Capture Commission yesterday, the DA reiterates our call on the Commission to use its legal powers to urgently subpoena the full records of decisions made by the ANC’s cadre deployment committee since Ramaphosa became its chairperson in 2013.

Ramaphosa yesterday doubled down on ANC cadre deployment even though this evil system is the very foundation of state capture, corruption and collapsing service delivery. When asked whether his deployment committee backed the appointment of a long list of people like Dudu Myeni, Hlaudi Motsoeneng and Brian Molefe – who led the charge of plundering our state and SOEs – Ramaphosa vaguely suggested that his committee was somehow “bypassed” in these cases.

Ramaphosa is clearly trying to evade responsibility for his role in using the evil cadre deployment system to appoint the people who robbed South Africa blind. That is why the Commission must urgently obtain a full record of all decisions taken by Ramaphosa’s cadre deployment committee. These records will provide hard evidence of all the cadre deployment decisions that Ramaphosa was involved in, and will prevent him from further running away from accountability.

We already know these records likely do exist, because the DA previously sought to obtain the ANC’s cadre deployment records through a Promotion of Access to Information (PAIA) request. The ANC denied our request, which clearly indicates that these records contain information that they are determined to hide. We have also twice written to the State Capture Commission requesting it to use its powers of subpoena to obtain the relevant records. Ramaphosa’s testimony will be wholly incomplete if he is not forced to answer for specific instances where he helped deploy the state capture crooks into positions of power.

The DA will today, for a third time, write to the Commission requesting it to subpoena the full set of ANC cadre deployment records. These will provide solid and direct evidence of how the ANC, under the leadership of Ramaphosa, systematically and deliberately circumvented appointment processes in the state to appoint the ANC cadres that captured our state. Ramaphosa must be called to account for these decisions at his next appearance in front of the Commission.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

ANC nixes investigation into electricity bidders

The ANC today prevented the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy from performing its basic oversight, by refusing an investigation into the processes followed and the scoring in the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producers Programme (RMIPPPP).

From the very start, this procurement process has raised eyebrows. While there is an undoubted urgent need to bring additional electricity generation capacity online quickly, this programme appears to have been tailor-made for certain outcomes and with certain bidders in mind. A number of questions have not been answered to the satisfaction of the DA. These include:

  • What role does political connections play in awarding these bids? This question arose after former advisor to ex-State Security Ministers David Mahlobo and Bongani Bongo appeared as one of the key beneficiaries in the 20-year powership deal – estimated to be worth R218 billion over the lifespan of the project.
  • What is the incremental cost of BBBEE requirements to each project? What is the impact of this on the price the bidder charges for electricity?
  • Why is there a need for a 20 year contract in the case of the powerships? The Department of Energy claims this is to amortize capital costs, but in the case of the powerships, these are leased, so capital costs are negligible to the total cost of the project.
  • What consideration was given to the fluctuations of the Liquified Natural Gas price (purchased on the international market) and to exchange rate fluctuations, in determining a price for electricity? How will such fluctuations impact the price the consumer pays?
  • Who ultimately decided on the winning bids, and how were they scored?

The lack of transparency on the RMIPPPP prompted the DA to call for an investigation in to the process and how the winning bids were determined. The ANC members of the committee would have none of this, claiming that “it isn’t in the committee’s mandate to investigate procurement” and that “these are mere allegations”. It was suggested by one ANC MP that the appropriate place to conduct such investigations was through the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) or the courts. This is a blatant abrogation of their responsibility as members of parliament and as members of this committee, which is charged with oversight over the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.

With our request for the committee to investigate the matter having failed, the DA will now approach SCOPA with an eye to obtaining the information we seek, and to place this matter firmly in the public eye and will draw the attention of Chairperson of Committees, Cedric Frolick MP, to the portfolio committee’s failure to adequately interrogate this matter. We reserve our rights to refer the matter to the Public Protector and/or the Hawks, should answers not be forthcoming.

Members of parliament have been found wanting in their oversight in the past, with Speaker Thandi Modise admitting that “No committee has an excuse for not asking pointed questions… for not summoning people” to the Zondo Commission on State Capture. South Africa cannot afford another Medupi, Khusile or Nkandla, where the ANC sits idly by and watches as state capture occurs.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

DA calls on Minister Sisulu to reverse appointment of Cuban engineers

The DA calls on the Minister of Human Settlements, Water & Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, to reverse the appointment of 24 Cuban engineers to assist the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) to solve problems related to water infrastructure.

This comes after the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) has confirmed that international engineers working in South Africa are only allowed to carry out work if they apply for professional registration with ECSA.

Given that the jury is still out on whether the Cuban engineers meet the necessary legal requirements to work in South Africa, the Minister must do the right thing and send them home.

ECSA has 34 000 registered professionals, of which more than 14 800 are registered professional engineers. This confirms that South Africa has numerous skilled engineers who are able to the assist the DWS with its infrastructural challenges. Yet, the South African government chooses to pay millions of Rands in accommodating and paying Cuban engineers, at the expense of accredited, experienced and unemployed engineers already registered in South Africa.

Clearly Sisulu and her Department is out of touch with reality, and it is for this reason that the DA will also write to her to request the convening of a National Engineering Indaba.

South Africa’s deepening water infrastructure crisis requires leaders from government, business, labour and civil society to deliberate on a way forward to build capacity at both provincial and national level to address water challenges.

The DA believes that through meaningful public-private partnerships a solution can be found. And a National Engineering Indaba offers an opportunity to put outside our differences and work towards rebuilding our failing water infrastructure.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

D-day for President Ramaphosa to come clean on Cadre Deployment

Today is D-day for President Ramaphosa to give a full disclosure at the Zondo Commission of his role in the capture of the state through his party’s policy of cadre deployment. The sole purpose of this commission is to expose State Capture in its entirety, from its inception right up to individual incidents of corruption that flowed from this. It is therefore crucial that the genesis of the project is revealed in full, and not merely the symptoms. 

President Ramaphosa was not a powerless witness to this process. During the worst period of State Capture he was at the very heart of it, heading up the ANC’s Cadre Deployment Committee from 2013 to 2018. He directly oversaw the deployment of compromised individuals such as Brian Molefe, Shaun Abrahams, Arthur Fraser, Lucky Montana, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, Dudu Myeni, and Busisiwe Mkhwebane. The Zondo Commission will have failed in its mission if it allows Ramaphosa to dodge accountability for this critical step, and for the convenient myth of a bad ANC and a separate good ANC to persist.


Since the Cadre Deployment policy was adopted by the ANC in 1997 – with its openly stated intention to “control all levers of power” – the DA has warned of the dangers of capturing the state through the deployment of party loyalists. Two decades ago these warnings were dismissed as racist and anti-transformative, but it has now become clear to all that we were right all along and that cadre deployment would inevitably lead to the large-scale exploitation of this captured state.


Contrary to the common narrative, State Capture is not just the looting of the state by families like the Guptas or companies like Bosasa. They simply saw the opportunity to exploit an already-captured state by cosying up to weak and greedy leaders. If it wasn’t them it was going to be someone else. With this Commission we now have the opportunity to expose the full rot and alter our course. If President Ramaphosa doesn’t answer frankly and honestly today, that window of opportunity will close and our country will continue to suffer under a dysfunctional, corrupted government.


Ever since taking office President Ramaphosa has spoken incessantly about cleaning up his government, but to date we have seen no evidence of this. His appearance at Zondo also happens to coincide with the deadline set for ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule to step aside due to pending corruption charges. This, too, is a critical test of the Ramaphosa administration’s determination and ability to deal with the rot in the ruling party. If they were to allow Magashule to remain in his position, it will be another nail in the coffin of the ANC’s credibility.


Yesterday, during Freedom Day celebrations in Botshabelo in the Free State, President Ramaphosa called on South Africans to punish corruption, theft and the mismanagement of public money with their votes in the upcoming local government elections. He rightly pointed out that the vote is the most powerful weapon in the hands of citizens. And while it is bold of him to urge voters to punish his own party for their ongoing failures, he needs to realise that it’s not only the voters who have a responsibility to deal with the corrupt. He and his party have this responsibility too. Talking about it is not enough. South Africans need to see action, and that starts with both his honest testimony at Zondo today, and the enforcement of his party’s step-aside rule for Magashule.


Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

DA welcomes High Court interdict of Tourism Equity Fund

The DA welcomes the decision by the North Gauteng High Court to interdict the disbursement of government’s R1.2 billion Tourism Equity Fund.

We have long advocated for this fund to be more inclusive of all businesses in the tourism sector that have been affected by the economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, and not just those that are 51% black-owned.

The DA extends our congratulations to AfriForum and Solidarity in working to reverse government’s irrational racial barriers to relief funding. These barriers exclude many South Africans from receiving vital funding to save their livelihoods, their businesses and their employees from the growing lines and inconsistent payments of social grants.

Instead of doing everything in its power to offer relief to businesses during an economic implosion of its own making, the ANC government is pushing increasing numbers of South Africans into poverty. Millions of South Africans have already lost their jobs since the start of lockdown, the majority of those due to irrational regulations imposed by a callous government only interested in lining their own pockets and those who are politically connected.

The ANC government has had 27 years to enact economic transformation and has largely failed in doing so, because it lacks the political will to look beyond its own stomach and address the suffering of South Africans. The employment of racial criteria to relief funding is further evidence that the only the ANC elite and their cadres were ever meant to be economically empowered.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

Freedom is never a guarantee. Greed is the enemy of freedom.

My fellow Democrats

What a wonderful city to celebrate Freedom Day in. Nelson Mandela Bay is a truly special place, and home to some of our country’s friendliest and most welcoming people. I always love visiting the Bay.

Today we celebrate 27 years since our very first free and fair election as a democratic nation. Anyone who voted in that election back in 1994 can tell you exactly where they were and what they did that day. The moment was so big it made a lasting impression.

On that day, and for many years after, millions of South Africans were filled with genuine hope for a better future. Putting a cross on that first ballot paper symbolised the freedom that so many had fought and sacrificed for.

But I think you will agree with me that this symbolic freedom of 1994 has not yet translated, for most people, into real economic freedom. The freedom to access opportunities, the freedom to earn a decent wage, the freedom to pursue big dreams and ambitious goals, the freedom to raise your children in a better world than the one you perhaps grew up in.

The struggle for democratic freedom may have ended in 1994, but the struggle for economic freedom is still far from won. For many it is yet to begin.

But if we are to have any chance of victory in this struggle, we will all need to agree on what we’re fighting for. We need to agree what this freedom entails.

Now, many members of the ruling party seem to have a different idea of what freedom means. For many of them it clearly means freedom from accountability. Freedom from repercussions. Freedom from prosecution for crimes committed against the people of this country.

Many of them consider the ongoing looting of the state their legitimate reward. The spoils of war.

In two days’ time the ANC Secretary General, Ace Magashule, will reach the end of his 30-day grace period before he has to step aside due to the serious corruption charges hanging over his head. Why he was given 30 days in the first place is not entirely clear. His position was surely just as untenable 30 days ago as it is today. But nevertheless, that deadline will have come and gone on Thursday.

What happens when this deadline arrives is as significant for you as it is for the ANC itself.

The truth is that people like Magashule and every other ANC cadre who has stolen from the people, cheated the tender system and advanced the interest of their friends and family, have stolen the freedom of ordinary South Africans.

Corruption is not a victimless crime. Its victims are each and every man, woman and child whose dreams of a better life have been deferred, over and over again, because their so-called leaders can’t keep their hands off public money.

Greed is the enemy of freedom. The bigger the greed of the ruling elite, the more unattainable the dream of freedom becomes.

So tomorrow’s step-aside deadline isn’t just about one corrupt man’s desperate attempts to dodge his own party’s rules. It’s a test of the commitment of this government to the freedom of the people they swore to serve.

But Democrats, there is good news too. Your future and your freedom is not entirely in the hands of a corrupt government. You have a big say in it yourself.

There may be many things wrong with our country right now, but our democracy still works fine. And this means you have all the power you need to determine your own future.

Last week the date for this year’s local government election was announced. 27 October – go and put that in your diary. Or even better, write it in big letters and stick it on your fridge. Because that is the day you get to take back control of your future.

And if you’re still doubtful about the role a different government can play in your life, consider the independent report just published by Ratings Afrika which found that seven of the eight metros in South Africa were financially unsustainable. The only metro with sound finances was the DA-run City of Cape Town.

The same report found that almost all the non-metro municipalities that are financially stable are also located in the Western Cape. The notable exception being Midvaal in Gauteng, which also just happens to be governed by the DA.

There is no coincidence here. Where voters put their trust in the DA, the government functions and people are able to live better, more fulfilled lives. This is supported by evidence across every single criteria.

This is not to say everything is perfect wherever the DA governs. We know very well that there are still massive challenges and many areas that need improvement. But there is simply no comparison between DA-run towns and cities, and those run by the ANC. It’s two different leagues.

And I’m not only talking about these government’s financial management. I’m talking about every single measurement of a better life; every measurement of freedom.

Take jobs and unemployment. There is a reason why thousands of people leave their provinces and move to the Western Cape every month. If you look at the jobs data released by Stats SA every quarter you will see that your chance of finding work in the Western Cape is much higher than anywhere else in the country, and far fewer people there give up looking for work.

Even before people vote with their election ballots, they vote with their feet. Every man woman and child who moves to the Western Cape in search of better work opportunities, better schools, better healthcare or simply better access to services like water and electricity is casting a vote for the competence and success of a DA government.

But it is important to note that these successes don’t happen overnight. It took years to undo the mess inherited in the City of Cape Town back in 2006 and to turn the metro’s fortunes around. And the only reason the DA government there was able to do so was because, after an initial shaky period under a coalition government, they were given a full mandate from the voters in the next election in 2011.

Having such an outright majority frees you up to implement your whole plan without having to make compromises for coalition partners or worry about one or two disloyal councillors who might be tempted by offers and bribes.

Here in Nelson Mandela Bay you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Back in 2016 the DA came agonisingly close to securing such a full mandate. 12,500 votes – that’s all we were short to take full control of the government here and put in motion our plan to bring the DA difference to NMB.

And so we ended up with the next best thing – a coalition government in which we played the central role. But we all know how that story went. Barely two years into our first term in government here – and just as our plan for this metro was gaining momentum and bearing fruit – we were ousted in a council coup that saw NMB fall back into the hands of the people who had inflicted such damage here for two decades.

We just didn’t have enough of a grip on this metro to prevent it from being taken back with the help of one disloyal councillor who found himself seduced by the offers of our opponents. It’s taken us a full two years to place NMB back in the hands of a DA-led government and under a DA mayor.

There have been many lessons for the DA these past few years here in Nelson Mandela Bay. Lessons about managing coalitions, and lessons about trust. But there has also been one very important lesson for you, the people of this metro, and that is the following: If you want your city run the way only the DA can run a city, you need to ensure that the DA is given a full mandate to do so.

Five years ago you very nearly did this, but you ended up 12,500 votes short, and the result has been five years of turmoil and chaos – two years of gains followed by two years of losses, and now finally some gains again as we try to clean up the mess and restart our projects.

Those missing 12,500 votes could easily have come from just a fraction of the voters who stayed away on the day, or who didn’t get themselves registered to vote ahead of the elections.

Just imagine how different things could have been today in this metro after five years under a DA government with an outright majority, followed by the prospect of another five uninterrupted years. Because, as we saw in Cape Town a decade ago, it is in the second term that the real progress is made.

I have no doubt that many of those absent voters from 2016 would have gotten themselves registered and voted DA in a heartbeat if they could do it all again, knowing what they know today. But without the benefit of a time machine, the next best thing is to set things right in the next election.

That is why I want to ask each and every one of you today – here in NMB and across the country – to think very carefully about the town or city you’d like to live in – the place where you’ll raise your family, or perhaps think of building a career or starting a business.

In an ideal world, what would this place look like?

Do things work the way they should?

Do you have dependable basic services?

If you were to fall ill or contract Covid, does this place have sufficient healthcare facilities?

If the rain stayed away and the dams threatened to run dry, is there a plan in place to avert disaster?

Do your children attend a school where you know they’re getting a decent education?

Do you see companies investing in this place?

Do you see yourself getting a job?

These are the questions you should ask yourself ahead of any election. Because only a committed, capable and accountable government can help tick all those boxes for you. If you don’t vote for such a government, you will end up with the exact opposite.

The Eastern Cape demonstrates this principle very clearly. Almost all the municipalities in this province are under extreme financial distress. Almost all of them owe massive amounts of money to Eskom. Most of them can’t pay their creditors. At least 14 of them are considered financially unsustainable.

Local government has all but collapsed across the entire province, except for one clear exception,  and that is just 80km down the road from us.

The municipality of Kouga has had an outright DA government since 2016, and the difference this has made to every single aspect of the municipality’s governance cannot be ignored.

Since 2016, almost 1600 households in Kouga have received electricity for the first time. New water treatment works have been constructed and old ones upgraded. Many kilometres of road have been resurfaced and tens of thousands of potholes have been repaired.

60 new vehicles were added to the municipality’s fleet and a further 130 vehicles and plant were refurbished.

In 2018 and 2019 alone, more than 1800 historic title deeds were handed over to rightful beneficiaries, and further 110 have been handed over so far this financial year.

Kouga now also has the country’s first eco-friendly road built with waste plastic, as well as over 1,000 streetlights and floodlights fitted with energy-saving LED lights.

And last year Kouga passed its first-ever billion Rand budget.

In a sea of local government failure in the Eastern Cape, Kouga stands out as an island of excellence. And again, this is no coincidence. Given a full mandate to execute our plan, this is what the DA does.

We don’t steal. We don’t empower our friends and family. We don’t protect the corrupt. We simply do the basics of good governance, and we do it well. And this means that wherever the DA governs, people have a better chance of building a life of value for themselves and their families.

A better chance at freedom.

If that sounds like the kind of place you would like to live in, you need to make the first move. You need to make sure your name is on the voters roll now so that you can cast your vote in October.

And when the 27th of October arrives, you need to go out and do your bit to ensure that your town or city ends up with a government that can deliver.

Don’t think the other voters will do this for you. Because that’s when you end up and handful of votes short of a proper government.

Yes, there is plenty a DA government can do for you, but the first move is all yours.

Thank you.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.