Sterk momentum van die DA op die eerste dag van spesiale stemmery

Vind asseblief aangeheg ’n klankgreep van Cilliers Brink LP.

Soos die eerste dag van spesiale stemming ten einde loop, is die DA tevrede dat die proses met minimale inmenging verloop het, behalwe vir enkele ontwrigtings wat deur die Onafhanklike Verkiesingskommissie (OVK) in KwaZulu-Natal aangemeld is.

Die DA het kennis geneem van die spesifieke stemlokale waar hierdie ontwrigtings plaasgevind het. Alhoewel ons glo dat daar geen rede is om nou aan die OVK te twyfel nie, sal ons die stemprosesse fyn dophou om te verseker dat elke stemgeregtigde Suid-Afrikaanse kieser die geleentheid het om vry en regverdig te stem.

Die DA is verbind daartoe en onderneem om alle verkiesingsreëls na te kom en ons geskiedenis wys dat ons altyd volgens die reëls speel.

Vandag kon DA-partyleiers en burgemeesterskandidate sonder voorval stem. Benewens die drie DA provinsiale leiers wat in hul onderskeie provinsies gestem het, het vandag se program ingesluit:

  • DA federale raadsvoorsitter Helen Zille het gestem by Hoërskool Pinelands, Kaapstad;
  • DA burgemeesterskandidaat vir Ekurhuleni, Refiloe Nt’sekhe, het by Hoërskool Jeugland, Kempton Park getem; en
  • DA KZN-leier, Francois Rogers, wat by die Kokstad-stadsaal gestem.

DA-leier, John Steenhuisen, wat vergesel is deur die DA se burgemeesterskandidaat vir die Stad Kaapstad, Geordin Hill-Lewis, het kiesers aangemoedig om hulle stemme te gebruik om DA in Kaapstad te herverkies sodat ons selfs meer in die Kaapstad kan vermag.

Vir Suid-Afrikaners wat aan die ontvangkant van die ANC se verwoesting in munisipaliteite was, is die DA die oplossing met ’n regeringsmodel om korrupsie uit te roei, dienste te lewer en dinge gedoen te kry. Dit is die boodskap wat DA provinsiale leiers en aktiviste in hul ontmoetings met kiesers regoor die land gelewer het.

Môre, op die tweede dag van die spesiale stemming, sowel as Maandag op stemdag, sal jy die DA by stemlokale regoor die hele Suid-Afrika sien, en ons nooi jou uit om na die DA-tafels te kom waar die DA jou kan help.

Die DA het ’n kandidaat in elke wyk in Suid-Afrika – dit beteken dat die DA hierdie naweek en op stemdag in elke uithoek van die land teenwoordig is.

Die plaaslike verkiesing is ’n verkiesing met gevolge wat die volgende vyf jaar gedra sla word. Die DA moedig alle Suid-Afrikaners aan om hul stem dik te maak deur te stem vir ’n party met ’n bewese rekord van regering het. Die land, en veral ons plaaslike regerings, kan nie nog vyf jaar van ANC-korrupsie en -wanbestuur bekostig nie.

DA satisfied with progress on the first day of special voting

Please find an attached soundbite by Siviwe Gwarube MP 

As the first day of special voting draws to a close, the DA is satisfied with how the process unfolded with minimal interference, save for a few disruptions that were reported by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in KwaZulu Natal.

The DA has taken note of the specific voting stations where these disruptions occurred. As a member of the IEC Party Liaison Committee, we will play our part to ensure that the IEC provides the affected voters an opportunity to cast their votes.

The DA commits to absolute adherence to all electoral rules as a party that abides by the Constitution.

Today DA party leaders and mayoral candidates were able to cast their special votes successfully and without incident. In addition to the three DA Provincial Leaders who cast their votes in their respective provinces, today’s programme included:

  • DA Federal Council Chairperson Helen Zille who cast her vote at Pinelands High School, Cape Town;
  • DA City of Ekurhuleni Mayoral Candidate Refiloe Nt’sekhe who cast her vote at Hoërskool Jeugland, Kempton Park; and
  • DA KZN Leader, Francois Rogers, who cast his vote at the Kokstad Townhall.

DA Leader, John Steenhuisen, who was accompanied by the DA’s mayoral candidate for the City of Cape Town, Geordin Hill Lewis, was on the ground encouraging voters to go out in their numbers and re-elect the DA back into government to get more done for the City.

For South Africans who have been at the receiving end of the ANC’s wrecking ball in municipalities, the DA stands ready to offer a governing model that is anchored on rooting out corruption, delivering services and getting things done. It is a message that DA provincial leaders and activists delivered in their meet-the-voter ground activities across the country.

Tomorrow, on the second day of special voting, as well as on voting day on Monday, you will see the DA at polling stations across South Africa.

The DA has a Candidate in every Ward across South Africa – that means that the DA is present in every corner of the nation this weekend and on voting day.

LGE 2021 is a consequential election and the DA is encouraging all South Africans to make their voices heard by voting for a party that has a proven track record in government. The country, and especially our local governments cannot afford five more years of the ANC corruption and mismanagement.

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

Bid Window 5: DA vindicated on renewable energy costs

Please find an attached soundbite by Kevin Mileham MP 

The DA’s long held position that renewable energy sources should be a key source of supply for South Africa’s future energy needs was vindicated in the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP) 5 announcement made yesterday by the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe.

Not only are the new renewable energy sources announced yesterday significantly cheaper per kWh than what Eskom produces, they can be brought online much quicker than fossil based power plants. With the lowest prices for solar at 37,5c per kWh and 34,4c per kWh for wind, Bid Window 5  offers the cheapest energy costs of all bid windows to date.

This about turn in energy procurement focus is a welcome development in that it would go a long way in addressing South Africa’s ongoing electricity crisis. The announcement clears policy inconsistences that have come to characterise Mantashe’s vowed disregard for green investment.

Just recently, Mantashe made the curious claim that the quickest route to decarbonisation was ‘going to be nuclear’. Notwithstanding the fact that a new nuclear build programme is a fiscal impossibility in South Africa’s current economic situation, Mantashe’s obsession with nuclear energy has already been discredited by energy experts as not being the most cost effective way to meet climate policy goals.

Mantashe’s out of touch disposition to South Africa’s energy crisis is hardly surprising. In his announcement on preferred bidders for Bid Window 5 yesterday, he made a false claim that loadshedding only takes places at night, implying that its impact is negligible. This is not only astonishing, but captures the full extent of the ANC government’s indifference to loadshedding’s impact on businesses, jobs and investment.

Now that there is a renewed focus on renewable energy at a national level, it is imperative that the government speaks in one voice and prioritises scaled up investments in this sector. Municipalities in good standing, most of which are DA run, should be provided with the requisite resources to lock in direct power purchase agreements with independent power producers, to isolate them from the vagaries of Eskom’s unreliable supply.

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

A vote for ActionSA may well be a vote for the EFF

Please find attached soundbites by Thomas Walters; DA Johannesburg Mayoral Campaign Manager, Mike Moriarty; and DA Mayoral Candidate for Johannesburg, Dr Mpho Phalatse.

The DA has made it abundantly clear that it will not enter into a coalition or governing agreement with the EFF in any municipality. We are fundamentally two completely different parties, which are moving in completely different directions.

The DA is a party with a track record of excellence in service delivery and getting things done where we govern. While the EFF is a party of anarchy, violence and chaos.

While the DA will not, under any circumstances, cooperate with the EFF post-elections – we must warn voters that by voting for ActionSA they could well be opening the backdoor for the EFF in municipalities and metros across the country.

The DA can today reveal that ActionSA has a host of ex-DA members who have colluded with the EFF in the past and who could most certainly not hesitate to get into bed with the EFF despite the mandate they received from their voters.

Hermann Mashaba recently said that he would not go into coalitions without first consulting the voters. However, the DA can today tell voters that in 2017 Mashaba, as a DA member, used his position as Johannesburg Mayor to lobby for the EFF to be given the mayorship of Metsimaholo. He proposed giving away a municipality to the red berets to manage in exchange for support somewhere else. It must be noted here that the DA did not bend to his will, and eventually he left.

The DA is not in the business of releasing its internal information, but we have a redacted version of a letter – in which Mr Mashaba says to the DA Federal Executive (FedEx):

  • “Whether we like it or not, the EFF is a strategic partner of the DA to save SA. We can’t do it on our own. Clear FACT.” – Mr Mashaba clearly sees the EFF as a partner, not a danger to the future of South Africa. EFF policies would take SA down the road to ruin, but Mr Mashaba sees them as a partner;
  • “My personal view is that if we don’t support them in this matter, I then don’t see why they must support us somewhere else. We would have demonstrated to them and some people of this country that we are an arrogant party that does not respect other political parties. It would be about narrow DA principles.” – Mr Mashaba here clearly does not think that DA principles such as the rule of law or the protection of private property matters. Furthermore, it shows his willingness to do whatever it takes to be in the good books of the EFF;
  • “I would like to close by appealing to us to use this EFF arrangement in Metsimaholo, to strengthen our relationship with them and our other coalition partners. EFF is going to rely on us to assist them to succeed.” – Mr Mashaba clearly articulates his desire to see the EFF succeed, while the DA wants the EFF to fail so South Africa can succeed.

For his part, ActionSA’s John Moodey, while still at the DA in 2019, tried to convince the DA FedEx to give the EFF two senior positions within the Johannesburg government. To quote the minutes of that meeting, “The Gauteng leader, Mr John Moodey, proposed that the Party offer the EFF two positions on the mayoral committee and noted that it is unlikely that voters will notice or remember said appointments as MMCs are not well known.” The DA did not bend to his will, and he left to join ActionSA.

From these excerpts it is clear that the ActionSA leadership believe that the EFF is a crucial partner in the future of South Africa. The DA believes that voters have the right to know if the party they are voting for will allow their vote to push the EFF into positions where they will govern.

Why does that matter? Because the EFF is a threat to the future of South Africa. The EFF would much rather see our country divided along racial prisms for their own narrow political outcomes. The EFF thrives on violence and chaos. It is a party that wants control and expropriate the property and possessions of South Africans. And they want to come for South Africans’ pensions, medical aids and investments.

This is the type of party that ActionSA may be willing to get into bed with. A vote for ActionSA may well be a vote for the EFF.

The DA calls on voters to use their power on 1 November to vote for a party that will protect their property rights, and defend the Constitution, the rule of law and a free market. There’s only one party that is big enough to take on the ANC and keep the EFF out and that party is the DA.

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

DA to monitor Home Affairs over election weekend

Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Adrian Roos MP

The DA will be monitoring Home Affairs offices over the voting weekend after reports of unusual levels of downtime at several Home Affairs offices over the past week, most notably in Somerset West and Stellenbosch.

The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has announced that Home Affairs offices will be open during the same hours as voting is open for identity document applications. The DA calls on the Minister to ensure that there is not a repeat of registration weekend where Home Affairs offices were offline for almost an entire day due to a challenge with the temporary identity certificate payment system.

This downtime prevented citizens from applying for temporary identity certificates and similar downtime on election weekend could result in South Africans being unable to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. It cannot be as on registration weekend when it took virtually a whole day to resolve an issue.

The DA calls on the Minister to ensure that service providers are on standby to resolve downtime issues timeously and should the payment system be down that the temporary identity certificate fee be waived.

The DA will furthermore be monitoring issues where Home Affairs offices are closed when they should be open and incidents where South Africans are unfairly turned away from Home Affairs offices. On registration weekend people attempting to apply for a temporary ID reported being turned away from Benoni Home Affairs with claims that the office was only processing identity documents for ‘the youth’.

Citizens are encouraged to report any issues experienced to DA volunteers at their nearest voting station.

We will be monitoring Home Affairs to ensure free and fair elections and call on South Africans to vote for the party that gets things done, the DA.

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

Let’s protect the progress Cape Town has made, and let’s do even more!

The following speech was delivered by DA Federal Leader John Steenhuisen at the Let’s Do More Final Rally in Cape Town.

Pictures are attached here, here, here and here.

Good morning, Cape Town!

Thank you for coming out here today to hear all about the DA’s plans to take this amazing city to even greater heights.

Because that is what today is all about: the future of Cape Town, and the next steps in its evolution towards a truly world-class 21st Century city.

This is not just about what the DA has already achieved here in Cape Town, although it is that too.

It’s not just about the fact that this metro is already head and shoulders above any of the other seven metro municipalities in South Africa, on every single measure. Although that does also matter.

It’s not just about the fact that Cape Town is already seen as a place of hope and opportunity – a city with the lowest unemployment in the country, and where new businesses see potential and safety for their investments. Although that is clearly important too.

Today is about how we take advantage of that running start and then launch Cape Town even further ahead.

There is a good reason why we have called this the “Let’s Do More” rally, and if you have followed the campaign of Cape Town’s next mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, you will know that this has been the central theme of his campaign.

Cape Town clearly works – better than any other city in the country – but that is not enough. We can and we must do more. And Geordin Hill-Lewis has a plan to do just that.

A plan that says: Cape Town already delivers more basic services to its residents – and particularly its poorest residents – than anywhere else. But clearly there are still people who need better access to basic services. And this is how we’ll achieve it.

A plan that says: As long as poor people still live far away from work opportunities and transport routes, we cannot truly say that all this city’s people are economically free. So this is how we’ll tackle the legacy of apartheid spatial planning and create thousands of well-located, low-income housing opportunities.

A plan that says: Being a better investment option or having a lower unemployment rate than an ANC-run metro is not good enough. That cannot be our benchmark. So this is how we will cement Cape Town’s rightful place among the greatest cities in the world.

And, importantly, a plan that says: This city will not allow its residents to be victims of a failed national government. So even when the failures fall well outside the responsibilities of a local government – such as electricity provision, commuter rail and policing – we will not sit back and accept it. We will fight to take on those responsibilities too.

That is what today is about, and that is what Monday’s vote is about – making the most of a solid foundation laid down by fifteen years of DA successes to build an even better future for this metro.

Cape Town is a city that always looks towards the future. A city that constantly finds ways to do more with less, to spend its budget where it has the biggest impact and to sell itself, both here and abroad, as the one place in South Africa that is truly open for business.

And it is the only metro in South Africa that can realistically hold such a forward-looking view. Because before you can even think of the future, you need to survive the present.

You have to be financially sustainable. That is the term used to describe whether a municipality or metro can pay for itself – in other words, generate enough income to be able to afford its service delivery programme, its infrastructure programme, and to pay its suppliers and its debts.

It is the single most important aspect of running any municipality, and particularly a metro the size of Cape Town.

If you get clean audits, if you banish corruption, if you are open and transparent about tenders and if you collect payment for municipal rates and services, you can then provide all the services a local government is meant to offer its residents.

But if you cannot do those things, your municipality or metro enters a death spiral, where nothing gets fixed, suppliers don’t get paid, Eskom and water debts pile up and all this debt is simply kicked over to the next year.

This death spiral quickly accelerates to the point where service delivery just stops altogether. This has already happened in dozens of ANC-run municipalities, and dozens more are on the verge of collapse.

And as much as Monday’s vote is about realising Cape Town’s enormous potential, it is also about keeping out the party that leaves this kind of destruction in its wake.

There are only two kinds of ANC local government: those that have already failed, and those that will fail.

They are a party that simply doesn’t understand the principle of financial sustainability. They spend what they don’t have, and they put off paying what they owe until everything comes crashing down.

Now, there are many ways to see whether a municipality or metro is sustainable. Does it manage its cash-flow well? Does it collect payments? Does it allocate budgets sensibly? Does it spend the right amount on infrastructure development and maintenance?

And fortunately there is an independent organisation called Ratings Afrika that collects all this information in an annual index where it ranks all 278 of South Africa’s municipalities according to their sustainability.

This index consistently puts DA-run municipalities right at the top. In the latest report, all five best performing municipalities were DA-run. And when I say DA-run, I mean outright DA-run, not in coalitions or partnerships. Because that’s an important point too.

Where the DA alone looks after public money, where the DA alone decides on budget allocations, where the DA alone handles the tender process and where the DA alone rolls out a service delivery programme, it outperforms ANC local governments by a wide margin.

This Ratings Afrika index also rates the City of Cape Town as the most sustainable metro in the country, with 16 unqualified audits and an unmatched revenue collection rate of 95%.

In fact, according to the index, it is the only metro in South Africa that can be considered financially sustainable. Its score is so far ahead of the rest that it seems to be operating in a different league.

And there is only one reason for this: fifteen consecutive years under a DA government, of which the last ten were under an outright DA government, with no flip-flopping coalition partners and no power-hungry parties compromising the metro with their demands.

Now consider that this performance came as the city was trying to recover from several years of crippling drought and then went straight into a global pandemic.

On top of this it had to operate in an economic climate paralysed by a failed national government, and with three things absolutely critical to the functioning of a city – electricity provision, commuter rail and policing – effectively sabotaged by the ANC government.

Just imagine where the City of Cape Town could have been without the anchor of the ANC national government dragging it back.

Well, that is precisely what Geordin Hill-Lewis did. He imagined a Cape Town where the residents and the local economy were insulated and protected from the worst failures of the ANC. A Cape Town where the local government not only did the job of a local government – and did it very well – but also stepped in to take over where national government failed in its duties.

And that is what he built his plan for this city around. A city that not only continues to raise the bar when it comes to the things it is meant to do, but also steps in to take over the things others were meant to do but failed.

And we’re not talking about one day in the distant future here. Parts of this plan have already kicked off.

Cape Town is already compensating for national government’s policing failures by deploying a thousand of its own LEAP officers to augment visible policing in the city’s worst-affected gang and crime areas.

And it won’t stop there. The plan is to train and deploy hundreds more law-enforcement officers. Because the DA can’t just put up its hands and say “sorry, not our problem – SAPS is a national government responsibility”.

We have a duty to protect people from the ANC’s failures.

The same goes for the collapsed Metrorail here in Cape Town. We cannot simply wash our hands of it and say “PRASA is the ANC’s problem”, because that would leave thousands of Cape Town commuters in the lurch and our local economy on the ropes.

We have to step in and fight for local control of Metrorail – as we are already doing – and we won’t stop until we’ve won this fight.

But until we are able to get more Capetonians back onto Metrorail trains, we still need to ensure that our public transport networks serve our communities as best they can. And here I’d like to highlight the excellent work that the DA-run provincial government, through the Department of Transport and Public Works in the Western Cape, has been doing with the taxi industry.

They worked closely with the industry throughout the initial stages of lockdown to develop the ground-breaking Red Dot programme, which helped solve a desperate challenge that our healthcare workers faced during the height of the pandemic.

In doing so, they supported the minibus taxi industry in a way that national government has never worked with the industry before.

Building on that momentum, the department has now launched the Blue Dot programme which is incentivising the minibus taxi industry to provide safer and more dignified services to the majority of our citizens, where Metrorail has failed them.

They have built a strong working relationship with the taxi industry in the Western Cape and count them as valuable partners in their efforts to provide affordable and dignified transport so more Capetonians can access opportunities.

But perhaps an even more pertinent example of stepping in to protect residents from ANC national government failure is the provision of electricity.

Right now our country is in Stage 4 of Eskom load-shedding. This is a disaster that our economy cannot survive for much longer.

But DA governments refuse to be dragged down by a failed ANC national government. Where the DA governs we are putting in place plans to ween ourselves off this dependency on Eskom, and move towards a far healthier and more diverse energy mix.

In fact, there is a pilot programme underway as we speak in six DA municipalities in the Western Cape to put in place the legislation and the technology to buy electricity straight from independent power producers.

Once this pilot is completed, we will expand it to all DA local governments. Bit by bit we will cut the rot of Eskom and the ANC out of people’s lives.

You will see that this independence from Eskom is an important part of Geordin’s plan for Cape Town. It also includes empowering residents and businesses to generate their own electricity, as well as taking city-owned buildings off the grid by installing solar panels.

He also has plans to invest even more in the Steenbras pumped storage hydro power plant, which already spares Cape Town residents at least one stage of Eskom load-shedding.

Because if we rely on Eskom and the ANC, our country will fail. But if we put our collective trust – and our votes – behind the DA and its energy plan, our country can survive this period.

These past few days provided a perfect example of this.

As Eskom announced intensified load-shedding, you might have seen two announcements by two different metro municipalities about what they were doing – or supposedly intended to do – to protect their residents from the impact of these black-outs.

The first came from the City of Johannesburg, where City Power said it would protect residents from what was then Stage 1 and Stage 2 load-shedding, as well a statement from the city’s ANC Mayor, Mpho Moerane, in which he flat-out rejected Eskom’s load-shedding.

The second came on Wednesday from the City of Cape Town, following the announcement of Stage 4 load-shedding nation-wide. The City announced that it would keep its customers on Stage 3 – one stage below the national level.

Only one of these announcements was true, the other was telling a lie. An election-inspired lie. And I suspect you know which is which.

Turns out the City of Johannesburg had no power to reject Eskom’s load-shedding, and no means to protect its residents. It had to meekly retract its statement later that same day and accept its load-shedding like everyone else.

The City of Cape Town, however, was telling the truth. In fact, on Wednesday it even managed to keep residents two stages below the national level for most of the day.

Those two announcements – one dishonest and the other truthful; one entirely impotent and the other a powerful intervention – are a perfect metaphor for the choice that lies before us here in Cape Town, and in other towns and cities across the country.

No matter what the ballot paper looks like with its endless list of small parties, this is just a two-horse race. By Wednesday you will either wake up under a DA government, or you will wake up under an ANC government.

Your choice is simple: On the one side you have the abysmal, failed track record of a party that just never made the transition from liberation movement to government, and on the other you have a party that has shown, in municipalities, metros and a province, that it is able to outperform the ANC by a massive margin.

That is what is at stake here in Cape Town. If you don’t help keep the DA in government here with your vote, you will end up with the ANC.

You might think that a vote for a new party, or one of the dozens of existing smaller parties, is the same as voting to keep the ANC out. But that’s simply not true.

Almost every vote that doesn’t go to the ANC or EFF, and doesn’t go to the DA either, ends up strengthening the ANC. They would love nothing more than to see their opponent’s vote fragmented among a host of smaller parties. Because that just strengthens their own share.

The only way to keep Cape Town on the path to progress and take the city into a bold new future is by uniting behind the only party with the numbers, the plan and the track record to do so.

With our country in such a precarious state, now is not the time to play with fire and to gamble with your vote.

Now is not the time to vote for a personality, or to vote based on race, language or culture.

Now is not the time to try something new and untested.

What Cape Town needs now is firm, principled leadership combined with a big, ambitious view for the city. And I can assure you, Geordin Hill-Lewis has both those things by the bucketful.

On Monday, let’s go out and secure this great city’s future for another five years.

Let’s vote to protect the incredible progress Cape Town has already made, and then do even more.

Let’s vote for Cape Town’s place not only at the top of the pile here in South Africa, but among the greatest cities in the world.

That means voting for the only party that gets things done: The Democratic Alliance.

Viva DA! Viva!

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

DA concerned about skills shortage at Koeberg

Please find attached an English and an Afrikaans soundbite by Geordin Hill-Lewis.

The DA in Cape Town is concerned about recent comments made by Eskom’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Jan Oberholzer, about the apparent lack of appropriate skills to manage the Koeberg nuclear power station. Should I be elected as Cape Town’s next mayor on Monday, I will convene an urgent meeting with Oberholzer to establish the true scope of this problem.

Protecting the operations of Africa’s only nuclear power station, located just outside Cape Town, is a matter of the greatest seriousness. If the DA is elected to lead Cape Town on 1 November, I pledge to support and assist wherever possible in helping to secure the necessary skills to ensure the safe operation of Koeberg.

On Monday, Oberholzer said during a press conference that he was “absolutely horrified” about the number of skilled employees who have left Koeberg. This not only raises legitimate questions about Koeberg’s safety and reliability, but also reaffirms the fact that Eskom and the ANC national government simply do not have the ability to ever end load shedding. Instead, as we have seen this week, the load shedding crisis continues to escalate further.

In the wake of the worrying developments at Koeberg and ongoing rolling blackouts, the DA reassures the people of  Cape Town that we have a clear plan and a firm commitment to end load shedding over time. The only way to do that is by lessening Cape Town’s dependence on Eskom, which is why the DA will procure electricity directly from independent producers, empower residents to generate and trade their own electricity via the city’s grid, and build on the success of the Steenbras hydroelectric scheme to expand our own generation capacity.

Let us heed the warnings issued by Eskom this past week, which confirm more clearly than ever that the national government can never end rolling electricity blackouts. By voting for the DA on 1 November, Capetonians can take control over our city’s destiny by electing a new government that will fix what Eskom has broken by ending load shedding over time.

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

Gordhan misleads the nation on loadshedding to appease the ANC 

Please find an attached soundbite by Ghaleb Cachalia MP 

Instead of providing an honest assessment of the true state of the grid, Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan made misleading promises on the steps that his Department and Eskom were taking to address the loadshedding crisis.

In his address, Gordhan gave the false assurance that 2000MW will be made available this morning as some units have been brought back online. He said this additional capacity would take the country to stage 3 of loadshedding.

Despite Gordhan’s assurance, South Africans woke up this morning to the same stage 4 rolling blackouts that they had been subjected to the previous day. It beggars belief that, instead of playing open cards with the nation during a crisis, Gordhan decided that it was better to mislead.

Then again, Gordhan’s misleading political speech was hardly surprising. Earlier in the day, the ANC had accused Eskom of using the blackouts to advance a political agenda. Disingenuously disregarding its culpability in the collapse of Eskom through state capture and corruption, the ANC now demands answers while fomenting conspiracies to protect its own electoral fortunes.

It’s telling that Gordhan only emerged from a period of inexplicable silence to address the nation when the ANC expressed concern that loadshedding was bound to affect its electoral prospects. Clearly, if there was no election on the horizon, Gordhan would have kept his silence and ignored the pleas of South Africans.

The real danger now is that, with pressure from the ANC to keep the lights on until election day on Monday, Eskom may be forced to stretch the generation units to breaking point, exponentially increasing the risk of grid collapse.

DA governments have come to the realisation that they need to free residents from a collapsing Eskom by increasing investment in renewable energy and purchasing power directly from Independent Power Producers. The DA leads the way – in this crisis even – by managing to keep the DA-led Cape Town at stage 3 loadshedding.

Now, South Africans have an opportunity, on November 1, to take the power away from the ANC in much the same way as it has taken electricity away from them.

Geordin Hill-Lewis introduces plan to devolve R1 billion in police funding immediately

Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Geordin Hill-Lewis. Pictures can be downloaded here, here, here, here and here.

Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) submitted a plan to Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana and the National Treasury that has the potential to revolutionise policing in Cape Town by bringing well-run law enforcement closer to the people.

In my current capacity as Shadow Minister of Finance, I have formally requested the National Treasury to create a brand-new municipal grant, financed out of the current VIP protection budget, to fund enhanced powers for local law enforcement and metro police forces in cities that have demonstrated that they have the capacity to run their own law enforcement operations.

The DA has consistently called for the R1.7 billion VIP protection budget to be slashed by at least half. South African taxpayers are currently forced to spend R8 million on bodyguards, weapons and equipment for each of the 209 so-called VIPs receiving personal protection. Under my proposed plan, R1 billion out of this R1.7 billion will be completely devolved away from VIP protection into the hands of competent metros, so that we can protect residents rather than politicians without costing taxpayers a cent in additional taxes.

This is the next important step along the pathway towards the DA-led City of Cape Town assuming more control over policing in Cape Town over time. The R1.5 billion Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP), which is jointly funded and managed by the Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town, was the first step on this journey.

Today, we outline the next step.

The DA makes no bones about it: the proposal we introduce today is part of our long-term vision to devolve policing to competent metros and provinces, so that the South African Police Service (SAPS) ultimately becomes the Cape Town Police Service (CTPS). Ours is a vision of the future where residents in need call on well-trained and equipped officers from their local CTPS who understand the needs of Capetonians and who have all the powers and funding they need to independently prevent, combat, investigate and solve crime.

The past 27 years have proven that SAPS, which is managed from 1 500 kilometres away in Pretoria under a rotating rogues gallery of the corrupt and the inept, simply does not have the capacity to keep Capetonians safe. Despite this, there are still many excellent and hardworking SAPS officers. They should be the first to take up new posts in the DA’s devolved metro-based and provincial policing plan that must ultimately become the CTPS.

According to the latest figures released by National Treasury, Cape Town is currently entitled to 14.4% of the total equitable share funding made available to South Africa’s 8 metros. Using that same breakdown, I have requested that National Treasury begin annually transferring R144 million of the R1 billion redirected from the SAPS VIP protection budget to Cape Town for us to launch a pilot project to take over more policing functions from SAPS.

Initially, this funding can be used to:

  • Establish Cape Town’s own forensic laboratory. We know that the DNA backlog at national government-run laboratories is currently almost 240 000. With our own forensics’ laboratory, DA-led Cape Town will work to reduce this backlog down to zero so that we can solve crimes faster;
  • Fund more boots on the ground, building on the success of our LEAP project; and
  • Conduct pilot research at individual police stations where the power to determine budget priorities and reporting lines is moved from the national minister of police to the Cape Town City Council.

Bheki Cele has proven over and over again that he will never be able to bring peace to the people of Manenberg, Hanover Park, Phillippi, Gugulethu and Grassy Park. Capetonianscannot afford for us to just keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.

If we are to ever win the war against crime, we have to fundamentally change the way we do policing by devolving power and funding away from the failing national government. There is no better place to pilot this revolutionary new approach to policing than right here in DA-led Cape Town, where our LEAP project has already led to the deployment of over 1 000 additional law enforcers.

DA-led Cape Town has demonstrated that we are serious about making Cape Town safer by fixing what SAPS has broken. With the support of voters on 1 November, we are ready to do even more to secure Cape Town’s future from criminals and the decline of SAPS.

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

Five days till we vote. Five years to live with the consequences.

South Africans are tired and worn out by the unemployment, corruption, mismanagement, and general state failure to deliver on its role. This election can get South Africa back on track and stop the free-fall.

With better government, South Africa can be everything we want and need it to be. That change must start with local government, the coalface of delivery. All across the country, now is the time to elect local leaders that will work hard for you, be on your side, and secure your future.

The DA offers you a safe pair of hands.

Only the DA has a track record proving that life gets better for all people where we govern. Where the DA governs, jobs are highest, and unemployment is lowest. We spend public money on the public. We don’t steal or waste your money. We get clean audits every year as evidence of clean government. We are the only party with open tender processes where we govern, so everyone can see how we award tenders.

Where the DA governs, we hire competent people on merit. People who can get things done for you. We don’t appoint people for political favours.

Local government is all about service delivery. As per our manifesto, if you elect a DA local government, these are some of the things we’ll get done for you:

  • Ensure every community gets access to reliable, clean, running water and decent sanitation.
  • Bring regular waste collection and rubbish disposal to every community.
  • Work to free residents from Eskom load-shedding and enhance access to reliable, affordable, and sustainably electricity.
  • Invest in well-maintained roads, cleaning and upgrading of public parks and spaces, cut grass and maintain pavements.
  • Invest in sports & recreation facilities and libraries.
  • Work to integrate public transport and introduce a smart ticket across buses and taxis in our metros.
  • Bring down unemployment and grow jobs.
  • Build reliable metro police services where these are affordable, and launch specialized local policing units, like gang and drug units.
  • Install crime information systems, more CCTV, body cameras for police officers, and gunfire detection systems.
  • Release unused government land for housing development.
  • Ensure more people own their own homes through diversifying housing options and issuing title deeds.
  • Use fair and transparent processes to identify beneficiaries for housing opportunities.
  • Upgrade informal settlements where viable.
  • Help the homeless off the streets, with socioeconomic assistance.
  • Take legal action against illegal land invasions.
  • Work with NGOs to combat alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Introduce by-laws to prevent the pollution of our natural environment.
  • Introduce e-government services, to transact with your municipality online.
  • Keep staff costs down, to spend more on service delivery.

The DA is the only party with a trustworthy record of service delivery, job-creating policies, and corruption-free government. We run the top-rated metro in the country, the five top-rated municipalities in the country and the top-rated municipalities in the Western Cape (many), Gauteng (Midvaal) and the Eastern Cape (Kouga).

We are the only party that gets the basics done. And when you have a municipality that masters the basics, you can move to the next level. You can start to generate your own electricity and end reliance on Eskom. Only the DA can do this. Only the DA can protect you from a failing national government.

We can bring the DA difference to your town if we unite to win. The DA is the only party that can beat the ANC and we are the last bulwark against the rise of the EFF. A strong DA stops the EFF becoming the opposition. A strong EFF makes the ANC more radical, racial and populist in their bid to shore up support. This is why the ANC is supporting expropriation without compensation.

A vote for the DA packs the most punch against the ANC and EFF. That’s why, if you aren’t going to vote for them, the ANC and EFF want you to vote anything but DA. If you want to beat the ANC and keep the EFF out of official opposition, voting DA will give you maximum leverage for your vote. A vote for smaller parties or independents splits the DA vote, not the ANC or EFF vote. Therefore, the most sensible and powerful use of your vote is to consolidate the DA vote.

If you look at the best-run municipalities in SA, they all have a DA majority in council. Coalitions tend to slow down service delivery, and introduce the risk of interrupted delivery, as in Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane since 2016.

Another reason not to split the vote is to maximise the chances of beating the ANC in your ward. Ward councillors are at the coalface of delivery and are your first point of contact. Here, splitting the vote by voting for smaller parties or independents is particularly beneficial to the ANC, because the ward councillor is determined by a first-past-the-post system. The candidate with the most votes wins – no matter how low a percentage of votes they got.

A great example is the outcome of Metsimaholo Municipality’s re-election in November 2017. The ANC won just 34% of the vote but 76% of wards – 16 out of the 21 wards. That’s what happens when you split the opposition.

So, if you want the biggest chance of a local government and ward councillor that get things done, then you need to vote DA. Only the DA can secure your future. Voting for smaller parties at a time like this is simply playing with fire.

You have five more days to think about this, and five years to live with the consequences.

Vote smart. Vote with your head and your heart. Vote DA to get things done.