Digital Vibes report: Criminal investigations must be launched against Mkhize and senior DOH officials

Please find attached a soundbite by Siviwe Gwarube MP

  • Please see a link to the DA’s press briefing today. 
  • Find attached an Afrikaans soundbite by Werner Horn MP. 

The criminal syndicate that is the ANC of today must be voted out in this election. The Special Investigative Unit (SIU) report into Digital Vibes shows the depth of corruption in the governing party – present in all fields and spheres of government. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has sat on the report for a full 3 months and has used delaying tactics to not make it public. President Ramaphosa must take full accountability for this scandal. He publicly thanked former minister Zweli Mkhize when he stepped down in light of this scandal, despite having this report in his possession and knowing the scathing contents thereof.

We call on the National Prosecuting Authority to pursue criminal investigations and prosecutions against the “Digital Vibes 4” which includes Mkhize, Director-General, Dr Sandile Buthelezi as well as the Deputy-Director General, Dr Anban Pillay, and the Department’s CFO, Ian Van Der Merwe.

Further to this, on 3 June 2021, the DA laid criminal charges against both Mkhize and Buthelezi. We call on the police to give us feedback on our criminal charges and to supplement their investigation to include Pillay and Van Der Merwe who have been identified by this report.

The DA also calls on the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, to clean up the rot in the Department of Health with the immediate removal of all those implicated in the Digital Vibes corruption scandal pending a criminal investigation.

The report has confirmed what we have always known: that all those who have been implicated in this corruption scandal must be criminally investigated and prosecuted.

The SIU report, which was a culmination of an investigation into the awarding of the Digital Vibes contract which was deemed irregular, has proven that many within the Department of Health, including the former minister Mkhize and senior management were involved in the awarding of this contract and are possibly guilty of corruption.

Instead of taking action against Mkhize and Health Department officials when the irregularities were first flagged, the President chose to conceal this report from the public in order to hide away this abhorrent and brazen display of ANC corruption.

The DA lodged a PAIA application on 27 July to gain access to the SIU report. Last month, the Presidency requested an extension of 30 days to engage with the people implicated in the report.

The President continues to seek political solutions for criminal problems.

This flies in the face of every commitment that the President and the ANC government have made about fighting corruption. In fact, based on this government’s track record, it is clear that they have become the home of the corrupt and unscrupulous.

Key findings from the SIU report demonstrate how deeply the rot of corruption has seeped into the workings of the Department of Health. The findings include the following:

That former minister Mkhize lied about not having benefited from the Digital Vibes contract. In fact, both he and his son benefited according to the SIU.

  • R300 000 was transferred to Mkhize’s son.
  • R160 000 transferred to a car dealership. The care was registered in the name Mkhize’s son.
  • Digital Vibes paid for repairs to Mkhize’s home whilst he was still minister.

There was a complete lack of oversight on the part of the minister:  

  • Service Level Agreements (SLA) were only signed after money had been paid to Digital Vibes. This was a major red flag.
  • Mkhize went above Cabinet’s decision to allow GCIS to handle the NHI media campaign and then sanctioned Digital Vibes to take over this responsibility.
  • It is inexplicable as to why the then minister would have allowed the “extension” of the Digital Vibes SLA with the department in respect of the NHI media campaign to include the Covid-19 media campaign. It would have been far more cost-effective if the GCIS had rendered the required services.
  • The department spent approximately R 125 million in respect of its Covid-19 media campaign, despite a quotation of only approximately R35 million for these services had been approved.
  • Mkhize claimed that costing was done for the Digital Vibes contract however the SIU saw no evidence of it. Therefore, the price was clearly inflated from R35 million to R125 million under Digital Vibes.

Department staff have also been implicated:

  • The SIU report found that Dr Buthelezi contravened provisions of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).
  • The report also found that Dr Pillay contravened the PFMA, committed fraud and there was a recommendation for a criminal investigation.
  • The Department’s CFO, Van Der Merwe, was also identified for contravening the PFMA.

We urge law enforcement agencies to pursue the Digital Vibe 4 and their associates without fear or favour. The DA will not let this matter go until justice is served for those who lost their lives when the country battled this pandemic while government facilitated grand theft of resources.

This election is about stopping the death spiral of SA municipalities

Last week Stephen Grootes wrote a piece for Daily Maverick in which he analysed the the prospects of the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the 2021 local government election. In essence he says that the DA’s message of service delivery won’t resonate with everyone, a point we readily concede. He also argues, as many other commentators have done, that the DA’s rejection of race-based policy will undermine our message and limit our appeal. Our response, which the Daily Maverick declined to publish, is that the unfolding reality of municipal collapse vindicates the DA’s stand on policy and our offer to voters.

The DA’s message in this election is that we get things done. We are playing to our strengths, including a record of service delivery. We’re connecting what the DA has to offer with what we believe South Africa desperately needs. Grootes is quite correct that this message will not resonate with everyone, especially a commentariat of soft ANC supporters unable to let go of the party core ideology. We also don’t expect hard ANC supports to become DA overnight. That’s not the pattern of political change in SA.

What the DA is aiming for is a beachhead — a chance to show more and more people that everyone is better off with councillors, mayors and municipalities that work for non-racialism, a capable state, a social market economy, the rule of law and property rights. These are principles long abandoned or never held by the ANC. Our long-term bet is that as things get worse under a national ANC government, DA-led provinces and municipalities will be able to protect communities against some of the worst consequences of state failure.

Everyone complains about the perilous state of service delivery and municipal finances. But few realise how short the runway is for most municipalities, including a few metros. The repetitious old story of mismanagement and decay will have an ending, probably sometime in the next decade. And it’s not going to be pretty. The country’s most dysfunctional municipalities aren’t just running out of cash — the result of decades of corruption, cadre-deployment, and bad value BEE procurement. These municipalities are losing the ability to generate an income of their own.

The assets meant to yield an income for municipalities — in return for the delivery of what is called ‘trading services — have been neglected or destroyed. The prodigious amount of taxpayers’ money that local ANC bosses have blown on show projects or otherwise siphoned off is money that hasn’t been spent on replacing old water treatment plants, electricity substations, lines, pipes and other parts of the machine that deliver services at a tariff. A municipality can only charge tariffs for water, electricity and other services actually delivered. The moment those services stop, so do payments (and the cross-subsidy of services to the poor). Over time the interruptions add up.

At some point local businesses pack up, taking with them jobs and opportunities for young people living in the community, as Clover did in Lichtenburg. Property owners stop paying property rates, because a municipality that doesn’t deliver services at a certain level can hardly rely on the threat of cutting those services in response to non-payment. And so the money to pay salaries and contractors to attend to power outages and pipe bursts will run out, with no prospect of a national bailout (Eskom and SAA having already emptied the fiscus).

This is the death spiral of local government, starting with smaller rural municipalities, but spreading to large towns and metros. If only someone could stop this from happening, which is exactly what the DA intends to do. The top municipalities in the country all have councils with DA majorities, as confirmed by audit reports, ratings agencies and objective measurements like water and electricity distribution losses. Most importantly: to the poorest of the poor, DA-led governments offer the highest level of services compared to the rest of the country.

Not that DA governments are flawless, or that DA councillors and mayors don’t make mistakes. It also doesn’t mean that the Western Cape and other DA governments like Cape Town, Midvaal and Kouga can completely escape of the consequences of past injustices or a decade of economic stagnation. But if these devolved DA administrations can get the basics right, which they already do, they can offer communities a refuge against state collapse and an alternative future for towns and cities. This is certainly one factor that accounts for the Western Cape having a far higher rate of employment than the rest of the country, and why people continue to move to the Western Cape in hope of better prospects.

Gradually capable DA-led towns, cities and provinces can take over the delivery of services that the national government seems to have given up on. This includes the deployment of law enforcement, not just to police by-laws and issue traffic fines, but to do hard police work like fighting gangs and drugs. In Cape Town the province and the city is already stepping into this breach, having deployed more than 1000 law enforcement officers on the streets of especially poor communities like Bonteheuwel.

In municipalities like Stellenbosch, Mossel Bay and Overstrand DA-led councils are investing in own energy generation, so that they can become less dependent on Eskom. These projects might be in their infancy, but they are credible, and they offer the promise to the rest of the country: the stronger the DA’s hand in your local council, the better the chance of a municipality that gets things done. As an alternative the death spiral of municipalities – the guaranteed result of continued ANC predominance – this is the most compelling political offer of 2021.

10 reasons to vote DA to keep your lights on and affordable

Voting DA is your best guarantee of an uninterrupted supply of electricity at the lowest cost possible. DA-run municipalities are taking 10 steps to ensure a reliable, cheapest-possible supply of electricity to residents and businesses.

1.Purchasing electricity directly from independent power producers (IPPs) to protect residents and businesses from Eskom load shedding.

Through its Energy Resilience Project, the DA is putting in place measures to enable six DA-run municipalities to purchase electricity directly from IPPs. This will protect them from load shedding and ultimately end their reliance on Eskom altogether. These municipalities are Stellenbosch, Drakenstein, Mossel Bay, Overstrand, Saldanha Bay and Swartland. Once the model has been perfected with these six “pilots”, we will roll it out to all DA-run governments.

The DA fought hard for five years for this right to purchase power directly from IPPs. Independent producers are incentivised through competition to keep their prices as low as possible, their supply as reliable as possible, and their power as clean as possible. Eskom’s monopoly, on the other hand, has fostered the complacency and failure that has put the utility into its current death spiral.

2.Paying Eskom on time for bulk supply, so that Eskom never cuts supply due to non-payment by the municipality

Municipalities purchase electricity in bulk from Eskom and then sell it on to local residents and businesses. Many ANC-run municipalities keep selling electricity to residents and businesses, but stop paying for it. Eskom eventually responds by cutting off bulk supply to the municipality, plunging even paying households and businesses into darkness, and denying poor households their constitutional right to free basic electricity.

This never happens in DA-run municipalities because DA councils always pay Eskom on time. There has literally never been a single incidence where power has been cut to a DA municipality because of failure to pay Eskom. Where we inherit large debt, such as in Modimolle-Mookgophong Municipality in Limpopo and Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape, we take immediate  steps to remedy this.

The situation of non-paying ANC municipalities has become so bad that the matter was challenged in court, with a Concourt ruling this week finally setting a legal precedent that no paying end users may be denied access to electricity due to non-payment by municipalities.

3.Storing low-cost, off-peak energy to avoid load shedding and reduce costs

DA-run Cape Town manages to avoid at least one stage of load shedding compared to the rest of the country through its well-maintained pumped-storage hydropower station at the Steenbras Dam. This city-owned power station can generate electricity during peak periods to make up for supply shortfall from Eskom. During periods of peak demand, water from the upper dam is channeled through turbine generators to the lower dam, to generate electricity. The water is then pumped back up to the upper dam at night using low-cost surplus national generating capacity. This innovation reduces the economic impact of load shedding and saves on the cost of buying electricity at peak rates.

DA-led Drakenstein’s Leliefontein pump-as-turbine station, the first of its kind in SA, uses low-cost, off-the-shelf equipment to generate clean power, using potential energy in their existing infrastructure. The same equipment is used to pump water and to generate electricity by reversing the flow through the pumps.

4.Maximising municipal energy efficiency to minimise costs to residents and businesses

DA municipalities are the most energy efficient, with the highest proportion of municipal facilities, streetlights, and traffic lights using LED bulbs and low-energy appliances. DA-run George Municipality has installed a 300kW solar plant on top of covered parking bays that powers the main municipal building. DA-run Hessequa has the country’s first solar-powered desalination plant.

Cape Town is the most energy efficient city in SA, with over 231 GWH of electricity saved in 10 years, enough to power 35 clinics for 10 years and avoiding 230 000 tons of carbon emissions. The City has retro-fitted energy-efficient lamps in all traffic lights and 34% of streetlights to date. City buildings have over 563 kWp of rooftop solar PV systems installed.

5.Assisting residents and businesses to go off grid and sell their excess power to the grid

Cape Town is incentivising solar PV users to feed power back into the grid, with on of SA’s highest feed-in tariffs.

6.Investing in infrastructure

DA-run governments lead in investing in the bulk electrical infrastructure needed to ensure uninterrupted supply.

7.Supplying poor households with free basic electricity

In Cape Town, 27% of City-supplied households get 60kWh of free basic electricity monthly. This is almost double the Gauteng average of 15.4% and the national average of 16.7%.

8.Addressing cable theft

DA-run Cape Town refuses to simply accept the failure of SAPS, and so has a dedicated Metal Theft Unit to protect infrastructure including electrical lines. It also supports the removal of illegal electrical connections. On Sunday night, the DA’s mayoral candidate for Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis, went on patrol with the unit and witnessed it catching three suspects red-handed stealing electrical cable.

9.Connecting more households to the grid

The DA leads in connecting households to the grid. For example, since the DA won the Eastern Cape municipality of Kouga in 2016, 1 791 households there have received access to electricity for the first time. DA-run Cape Town supplies the highest level of access to electricity in SA. 98% of City-supplied informal settlements have access to electricity where it is possible to connect.

10.Rapid resolution of electricity faults for residents and businesses

DA governments lead in the rapid resolution of electricity faults. DA-run Cape Town fixes 80% of electricity faults in under 3.5 hours and 99.9% within national Quality of Service timeframes. DA-run Swartland Municipality attends to 84% of electricity faults within 1.5 hours, almost 3 times more than the NERSA requirement of 30%.


The DA gets things done to ensure reliable, affordable electricity. Take your power back by voting DA on 1 November.

Mthethwa’s briefing on artists’ Covid funding does not go far enough

Please find attached soundbite by Tsepo Mhlongo MP.

The DA calls on the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, to make public the full report on the forensic investigation which revealed instances of misconduct and wrongdoing by some members of the National Arts Council (NAC) concerning the disbursement of Covid-19 funds to artists.

Yesterday Minister Mthethwa held a media briefing wherein he presented the findings of the independent forensic investigation into the stimulus package the NAC was tasked to disburse to artists whose income was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mthethwa’s briefing appears to be more of an attempt to whitewash the corruption at the NAC.

Chief among the findings is the involvement of five NAC members, whom the Minister refused to name, who contravened the NAC Act by adjudicating applications for the Presidential Employment Stimulus Package (PESP).

However, the briefing by the Minister does not go far enough and is scant on detail. For instance, there is little mention of the CEO’s alleged involvement in financial mismanagement and the report says nothing about other NAC members who benefitted in this malfeasance and who are still part of NAC structures.

Furthermore, the briefing leaves more questions in terms of what will happen to thousands of artists who were left behind without receiving a cent from the stimulus package. These men and women have waited for over 60 days only to be greeted by system issues and administrative blunders that led them to not receive the funds which they desperately needed.

EFF and ANC lift lockdown on themselves: It is time for all South Africans to enjoy the same freedom

Please find attached a soundbite by Natasha Mazzone MP.

On Sunday and Monday numerous images and video clips circulated in the press and across social media of the EFF and ANC’s campaign events which clearly displayed a disregard for lockdown regulations such as the 500 person outdoor limit, mask-wearing and social distancing.

The ANC has clearly exempted itself and the EFF from lockdown regulations but is imposing it on everybody else, to the detriment of the economy and individual rights and freedoms.  This double standard cannot continue.  We cannot have one set of rules for the ANC and EFF and another set of rules for everyone else.

For nearly two years the ANC government has cracked down on South Africans’ civil liberties in their obsessive pursuit of centralising power. Our oversight institutions such as Parliament have been rendered almost toothless by the ongoing State of Disaster.

If the ANC cannot adhere to its own senseless rules, then it cannot expect South Africans to continue to live under those rules either.

Beskou Nzimande en die ANC die diverse Afrikaanssprekende gemeenskap as ‘uitheems’ in Suid-Afrika?

Vind asseblief aangeheg ’n klankgreep van Dr Leon Schreiber LP.

Die DA staan sterk ter verdediging van die eenvoudige waarheid dat Afrikaans ’n inheemse taal is ná die minister van hoër onderwys, Blade Nzimande, se nuutste lafhartige aanval op die sprekers van die taal. In reaksie op die DA se klagte wat gister by die Menseregtekommissie (MRK) ingedien is, het minister Nzimande vandag sy departement se taalbeleidsraamwerk vir hoër onderwys, wat Afrikaans haatlik en ongrondwetlik as ’n “uitheemse” taal klassifiseer, verdedig.

Dis skandalig dat Minister Nzimande probeer insinueer dat die DA se strewe om Afrikaans, nes ander Suid-Afrikaanse tale, tereg as ’n inheemse taal te laat erken, op een of ander manier “rassisties” is en tot “uitsluiting en onderdrukking” sal lei.

Nzimande se aandrang dat Afrikaans “uitheems” is ondanks die onbetwisbare wetenskaplike feit dat die taal in Suid-Afrika ontwikkel het en feitlik uitsluitlik in hierdie deel van die wêreld gepraat word, laat die vraag ontstaan of Nzimande ook die sprekers van die taal dus as “uitheems” beskou?

Nzimande is duidelik skuldig aan die propagering van dit waarteen regter Steven Majiedt gewaarsku het in sy uitspraak waarin Afrikaans weer by Unisa ingestel word, waarin Majiedt die “wanopvatting dat [Afrikaans] ‘die taal van blankes’ en ‘die taal van die onderdrukker’ is”, as’t ware verwerp as “’n onregmatige uitbeelding van die taal en die ware oorsprong daarvan”.

Majiedt het verder opgemerk dat “Afrikaans vandag oorwegend deur swart mense gepraat word. En nie net deur deur swart mense in die sogenaamde ‘bruin’ buurte, maar ook in baie swart woonbuurte in verskeie streke in die land. Dit is die taal van prinse en armes, wat gemaklik bestaan in die akademie en beroepe aan die een kant, sowel as in alledaagse taal andersyds”.

Gegewe dié feite, is dit tyd vir Nzimande om oop kaarte te speel oor die ware motiewe agter sy onlogiese aandrang om die Unisa-uitspraak te verontagsaam deur Afrikaans as “uitheems” te klassifiseer. Is dit omdat hy en die ANC-regering sprekers van die taal en hul kultuur as vreemd tot Suid-Afrika beskou? Glo die ANC dat die sprekers van Afrikaans nie ’n gelyke bestaansreg hier het nie? En is die praktiese doelwit agter hierdie ongrondwetlike klassifikasie van Afrikaans as “uitheems” om die taal in sy geheel uit instellings van hoër onderwys te dwing?

Die DA sal meedoënloos ons stryd voortsit om antwoorde op hierdie vrae te kry, en ons aanhou werk om te verseker dat alle inheemse tale erken en beskerm word vir die kulturele skatte wat hul is.

Does Nzimande and the ANC regard the diverse speakers of Afrikaans as “foreign” to South Africa?

Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Dr Leon Schreiber MP.

The DA stands firm in defense of the truth that Afrikaans is an indigenous language following the latest cowardly attack on the speakers of the language by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande. Responding to the DA’s complaint filed with the Human Rights Commission (HRC) yesterday, Minister Nzimande today defended his department’s Language Policy Framework for Higher Education, which hatefully and unconstitutionally classifies Afrikaans as a “foreign” language.

In a disgraceful manner, Nzimande went on to imply that the DA’s quest to rightly recognise Afrikaans as an indigenous language alongside other South African languages was somehow “racist” and would lead to “exclusion and oppression”.

Nzimande’s blind insistence that Afrikaans is “foreign” despite the indisputable scientific fact that the language developed in South Africa and is spoken almost exclusively in this part of the world begs the question of whether Nzimande thus regards the speakers of the language as “foreign” to South Africa?

Nzimande is clearly guilty of propagating that which judge Steven Majiedt warned against in his unanimous judgement reinstating Afrikaans at Unisa, whereby Majiedt struck down the “misconception that [Afrikaans] is ‘the language of whites’ and ‘the language of the oppressor’” as “an iniquitous portrayal of the language and its true roots”.

Majiedt went on to note that “today, Afrikaans is spoken predominantly by black people. And it is spoken by black people in not only so-called ‘coloured’ townships, but also in many African townships in several regions in this country. It is the language of prince and pauper alike, existing comfortably in academia and the professions on the one hand, and in every-day parlance on the other”.

Given these facts, it is time for Nzimande to play open cards about the true motivations behind his illogical insistence on defying the Unisa ruling by classifying Afrikaans as “foreign”. Is it because he and the ANC government regards the speakers of the language and their cultures as somehow “alien” to South Africa? Does the ANC believe that the speakers of Afrikaans do not equally belong here? And is the practical purpose behind his unconstitutional classification of Afrikaans as “foreign” to eradicate the language entirely from public higher education institutions?

The DA will not relent in our battle for answers to these questions, and in our quest to ensure that all our indigenous languages are recognised and nurtured for the human treasures that they are.

Ramaphosa’s racialised and false speech rejected by Tshwane

The DA rejects Cyril Ramaphosa’s racialized and deceitful speech yesterday at the ANC’s unimpressive manifesto launch in the City of Tshwane.

Ramaphosa attempted, but failed, to create a narrative about the DA’s governance of the City of Tshwane.

No doubt Ramaphosa chose racism and lies because the ANC is desperate to take back the City of Tshwane by whatever means necessary.

We saw this in 2020 when the ANC Gauteng provincial government unlawfully dissolved the Tshwane Council to remove the DA and placed the city under administration. The President stood back and did nothing as unelected ANC administrators were imposed upon the residents of Tshwane.

ANC administrators who in just 8 months brought the city to its knees before they were removed due to the court action brought by the Democratic Alliance, leaving us with an R4.3 billion deficit on their way out.

The DA in Tshwane will always stand against the continued efforts by the ANC to undermine governance in the capital.

Yesterday, in his efforts to drive the ANC’s political agenda it is telling that Ramaphosa choose to openly lie about the state of governance in Tshwane.

The first issue he chose to politicise and misrepresent is the water issues in Atteridgeville and Laudium where communities in these areas have grappled with water issues for well over a week due to the failures of Rand Water.

Indeed, there are communities across Tshwane and Gauteng grappling with water shortages, but it has nothing to do with the Tshwane municipality.

It has everything to do with the ANC-run Rand Water which is failing dismally in its efforts to ensure adequate supply of water to the major metropolitans in Gauteng. Just last week, Rand Water issued a communication that they are “Running out of Water” yet it seems this news did not reach the President.

I would advise Cyril Ramaphosa to proactively consult with the Minister of Water, Senzo Mchunu who we met with last Friday in order to get him to assist in resolving the issues at Rand Water.

The Tshwane municipality is not cutting water to our residents Mr. Ramaphosa, it is your ANC-managed Rand Water that is leaving our people dry without water and destitute.

But let me tell you Mr Ramaphosa, in Tshwane we are getting things done: in the eleven months that we have been in office we have fixed over 30 000 potholes, responded to 20 000 water leaks, cleared over 10 000 illegal dumping sites, fixed over 150 000 streetlights, and cut millions of square metres of grass across every part of the City of Tshwane.

We have introduced maintenance schedules and weekly tracking on all our daily operations, and we are aggressively tracking frontline service delivery performance. Systems that don’t even exist in ANC-run municipalities which we see are collapsing across the country.

It is telling how you seek to openly racialise your speech Mr. President, it is clear that the ANC has well and truly abandoned non-racialism and will do and say anything to claw back power. Only the DA stands up for a non-racial future for South Africa.

In the last 11 months, the DA in Tshwane has brought this city back from the brink of ruin, turning around the financial deficit that was left by your ANC administrators and restoring core service delivery to our municipality. Service delivery focussed on all areas of the city, where we continue to promote active citizenry while showing that we care about all people living in our beautiful city. We chose to bring people together through our ongoing monthly Tswelopele clean-up campaigns instead of dividing people.

We will remain unrelenting and undeterred in our commitment to take Tshwane into the future and do all we can to prevent the ANC from ever returning to loot and collapse the capital city again.

Mr President, charge and prosecute public servants who unlawfully apply for and/or receive social grants

Please find an attached soundbite by Dr Mimmy Gondwe MP

Yesterday morning, in his weekly newsletter, President Ramaphosa informed the country that government has officially launched a new Public Administration Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit (Unit). The President further informed the country that the Unit will, amongst other things, capacitate government departments to institute disciplinary proceedings in cases of misconduct and refer cases of corruption in the public service to government’s Anti-Corruption Task Team and follow up with government departments to ensure criminal cases involving public servants translate into disciplinary cases.

 In March this year, a response by the Department of Social Development (DSD) to a written question by the Democratic Alliance (DA) on the number of public servants that had applied for and received the Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD grant) revealed that close to 40 000 public servants had applied for the SRD grant and a further 241 public servants received the SRD grant for the month of May 2020. 

Last week another response by the DSD to a follow up written question by the DA, on the number of public servants who had applied for and received social grants (other than the SRD grant), revealed that over 170 000 public servants had applied for and received social grants at a staggering cost of R200 million (paid during July 2021) to the South African tax payer.

 As such, because of unrelenting efforts, on the part ofthe DA, to expose and to lift the lid on corruption in the public service, the President has finally addressed the issue of public servants unlawfully applying for and/or receiving social grants and further clarified the role of the Unit in rooting out corruption and other forms of unethical behaviour in the public service. 

Although the Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the official launch of the Unit, it calls on the President and the Minister of Public Service and Administration to ensure that public servants who unlawfully apply for and/or receive social grants face the full wrath of the law and are charged and criminally prosecuted for theseblatant acts of corruption and theft.  

It will take more than the establishment and the involvement of the Unit in cases of corruption within the public service to completely rid the public service of corruption.  

Public servants applying for and/or receiving social grants, must be charged and prosecuted, for corruption, in an effort to rid the public service of corruption. In other words, public servants who unlawfully apply for and/or receive a social grant must face the full wrath of the law and until such a time as this happens, public servants will continue to get away with all manner of corrupt and unethical behaviour.  

To date, not a single public servant has been charged and prosecuted for unlawfully applying for and/or receiving an SRD grant, despite the revelation, on more than 40 000 public servants having applied for the SRD grant, coming to light a good 6 months ago.

 It therefore remains to be seen whether the R177 108 public servants identified as having applied for and receiving social grants (other than the SRD grant) will be charged and prosecuted in this regard.

New city proposal shows that ANC isn’t serious about fixing local government

Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Cilliers Brink MP.

The ANC proposal for the construction of a new “smart city” on the KZN South Coast shows that the party is not serious about fixing South Africa’s dysfunctional municipalities.

The country does not need a new city, we need investment in service infrastructure in our existing towns and cities – where real people with real-life problems currently live.

The proposal, which has its origin in speeches made by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Parliament, is worse than a flight of fancy. It’s a blatant attempt to cover up the ANC’s record of failure in municipalities under the party’s control.

Most municipalities that cannot manage their finances, ensure a reliable supply of water and electricity and where sewage systems are collapsing, are ANC controlled.

ANC cadre deployment, BEE procurement and outright corruption have broken hundreds of municipalities across the country, rolling back the frontiers of development.

The essence of the ANC’s proposal seems to be: if we break towns and cities, we’ll just build new ones, similar to the ANC strategy of renaming towns and streets where it has failed to get things done.

If the ANC really wants to do something for the people of the KZN South Coast, their councillors and the KZN provincial government can start by addressing the water crisis in the Ugu Local Municipality.

Ugu is a monument to the failure of the ANC in government, and a warning to many other towns of cities of what is to come if ANC councillors aren’t voted out of power.