DA removes KZN posters

The Democratic Alliance is in the process of removing posters in KZN, which have inadvertently caused offence.

In my sincere effort to honour the bravery and heroism of law abiding citizens who were left to fend for themselves during the July riots and insurrections, the posters have regretfully caused hurt to some people. I am deeply sorry and apologise for this.

As these posters were unsanctioned by the DA leader, party structures and party campaign leadership, I am arranging the removal of these posters today.

Sometimes in politics our words may be poorly chosen, but I wish to assure the public, without contradiction, that my intentions are always sincere.

My intended message was that in the massive void created by a failing state, unable to secure South Africans’ homes and businesses during the riots, some heroic residents were forced to stand up and do what the police and army were unable to do. This action was met with allegations of racism from the ANC.

At no point did I, nor the DA, and at no point would I or the DA ever condone or support those who undertook vigilante actions. In fact, I once again condemn those who undertook vigilante actions which cost lives and damage to property.

The DA is a party of non-racialism and it was never my intention to cause any other perception.

I remain steadfastly committed to all people in South Africa, united in our diversity, and our campaign will continue to show South Africa that only the DA can and will get things done.

My singular focus is to continue to guide KZN towards the election in three weeks’ time.

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DA announces 7-point plan to end load shedding in Cape Town

Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Geordin Hill-Lewis, and pictures here, here, here, here and here.

The DA is proud to today announce the fifth of our seven pledges to the people of Cape Town: we are ready to end load shedding.

Over the past thirteen years, Capetonians have demonstrated tremendous resilience in the face of the devastating load shedding crisis. In fact, so well has Cape Town learned to live with load shedding that too many of us have quietly given up on the idea of ever having a reliable and sustainable supply of electricity ever again. After more than a decade of broken promises by the national government, when the lights go out, many of us now dutifully light the candles or switch on the generator without even giving it a second thought anymore.

Load shedding is not normal

But load shedding is the single most urgent crisis faced by our country and city, and Capetonians dare never accept load shedding as “normal.” The inability of a society to provide enough electricity is completely abnormal in the year 2021. And the costs are simply too high to bear for a country with 75% youth unemployment.

During the last round of load shedding in June this year, South Africa lost R500 million per stage, per day. In just two weeks, R25 billion in value was wiped from the South African economy. Multiply this figure at least thirteen times over and add the hundreds of billions wasted on trying to keep the dying dinosaur called Eskom on life support, and one quickly sees that the collapse of Eskom has likely stolen just as much from South Africa as state capture.

But there is good news: by re-electing the DA on 1 November, the people of Cape Town will have the peace of mind knowing they have a government committed to ending load shedding and reducing reliance on Eskom. We are ready to prove to the people of this city – and to the rest of the country – that load shedding is not some fact of life that we must just quietly accept. Instead, it is time for us to stand up and protect our city from the failure of Eskom.

Thirteen years too late, the ANC national government finally admitted that their ideological obsessions with centralised state control has completely failed when reality finally forced them to amend the Electricity Regulation Act to enable municipalities to procure electricity directly from independent private producers. Recent amendments they were forced to make have also enabled private companies to install up to 100 megawatts of electricity without the need to obtain a licence.

The DA in Cape Town will show what a future without Eskom looks like

These amendments have opened the door for well-run municipalities like DA-led Cape Town to work with the private sector to end load shedding by reducing our dependence on Eskom. The door is now wide open. And the DA in Cape Town intends to kick down that door to demonstrate what a future without Eskom and ANC central control looks like.

Under the DA’s 7-point plan to end load shedding in Cape Town, we will:

  1. Break the Eskom monopoly by procuring electricity directly from Independent Power Producers;
  2. Invest the Steenbras hydroelectric plant and build a modern energy utility for Cape Town;
  3. Empower residents and businesses to generate their own electricity and sell excess supply via the City;
  4. Invest in smart infrastructure and take city-owned buildings off the Eskom grid by installing rooftop solar panels;
  5. Reduce Cape Town’s carbon footprint by lowering our dependence on Eskom’s dirty coal;
  6. Lower the cost of electricity over time by increasing supply; and
  7. Advocate for load shedding rules that don’t penalise metros that proactively diversify supply.

The people of Cape Town can rest easy knowing that this promise is credible and entirely doable, because years of maintaining and expanding the Steenbras hydroelectric scheme has already enabled us to eliminate one entire stage of load shedding in Cape Town. Our past track record at Steenbras and our present pledge to eliminate load shedding is, in fact, the perfect illustration of what the DA means when we say that Cape Town works, and that we are now ready to do even more.

Ending load shedding will secure Cape Town’s future

Because load shedding is the most urgent crisis faced by our city, solving this crisis is also the single most powerful thing we can do to improve the lives of every single person who lives in Cape Town. Ending load shedding will be a nearly unprecedented win-win scenario in Cape Town. It is the single most important thing we can do right now to secure our city’s future against the collapse of the national government.

For business-owners, it will mean that the money currently spent on things like generators and diesel can instead be invested productively to expand businesses. The thousands of working hours lost to load shedding over the past thirteen years will be a thing of the past, which will directly translate into increased productivity and profits for the private sector.

In turn, the growth in private investment – along with the hundreds of companies that will move here as Cape Town becomes the only energy secure city in South Africa – will create thousands of new job opportunities for the people of Cape Town. I have already pledged to run the most entrepreneur-friendly administration our city has ever seen. This pledge, together with the undertaking I make here today to end load shedding, will trigger an economic boom that benefits all Capetonians.

But even more important is the fact that breaking Eskom’s stranglehold over our city will dramatically and immediately improve the lives of Cape Town’s poorest residents.

As an example, just think about how load shedding compounds the disadvantage suffered by a poor university student living in one of our city’s poorer neighbourhoods. After already struggling to make ends meet and attend class regularly while also working to support their family, this student comes home every night and is forced to study by the dim light of a candle when the power goes out. If they come home after dark, they are forced to walk home in fear of criminals from the bus stop or taxi rank, because load shedding has killed all the streetlights. And if they do heroically manage to graduate despite all of these challenges, they may not be able to find a job, because load shedding caused the company where they were going to work to shut its doors.

And if all of that is not enough, ending load shedding is also the single most impactful thing we can do to lower Cape Town’s carbon footprint as our contribution to the global effort to combat climate change. Largely thanks to Eskom’s reliance on dirty coal, South Africa is currently the 12th biggest source of greenhouse gases in the world, with Cape Town producing over 22 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. But 64% of this is due to our reliance on Eskom. Replacing our reliance on Eskom coal with renewable sources like solar and wind energy will enable us to significantly reduce Cape Town’s carbon footprint over the next five years.

Restoring a reliable and sustainable power supply that embraces renewable technology and over time lowers the cost of electricity will trigger an economic boom in Cape Town. Our poorest citizens will have better access to opportunities. Our streets will be safer. Our residents will find work in a growing economy. Our environment will be cleaner. Our entrepreneurs will expand and invest in their thriving businesses.

Breaking our dependence on Eskom by procuring and generating electricity locally is the first step in securing South Africa’s future against the collapse of the national government.

And it is right here, in Cape Town, that the DA will show what that brighter future looks like.

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

Funding for SANDF’s extended deployment in Mozambique must be clarified

Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Kobus Marais MP

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Thandi Modise, should immediately provide clarity on how the South Africa National Defence Force’s (SANDF) extended deployment in Mozambique will be funded.

In a communique issued after the Extraordinary Summit of the Organ Troika of SADC by President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, the mandate of the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAIMM) was extended indefinitely.

SANDF is part of SAIMM and its mandate is to support Mozambique in combating acts of terrorism and violent extremism in the Cabo Delgado region.

What is not clear is who will foot the bill for the current and extended deployment and for how long. Minister Modise should publicly clarify whether the South African taxpayer will be shouldering the financial burden for this deployment or SADC will use its own financial resources.

To be clear, it will be reckless to expect the extended deployment to be funded from the current 2021/2022 budget. There is simply no room in the current budget allocation to expend on this deployment given that costs for operation prosper in KZN and Gauteng are yet to be factored in the Department’s operational expenditure.

While it is undeniable that South Africa is a regional geopolitical power, the South African taxpayer cannot always be expected to carry the cost of maintaining peace and security in the region. As it is, the SANDF itself is currently faced with chronic underfunding and structural decline as a result of constant budget cuts, and overspending of especially cost of employees.

Modise has an obligation to lift the veil of secrecy around the Mozambique deployment and explain how the operation will be financed as required under the Public Finance Management Act.

Before the latest extension, the media was replete with stories of SANDF members complaining that they were not being adequately compensated for their service. It’s only fair that our dedicated service members are not subjected to the same challenges on this extended deployment due to an information blackout from the Department of Defence on how it will be funded.

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To properly replace old water infrastructure with new, Gauteng voters must properly replace the ANC with the DA

The following speech was delivered by the DA Federal Leader, John Steenhuisen, at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.

Pictures are attached here, here and here.

Today we are at Gallagher Estate, where the National Minister of Water and Sanitation will be meeting with all Gauteng mayors to discuss Gauteng’s water problems.

Even though the Vaal Dam is over 80% full, Gauteng households and businesses are continuously subjected to water restrictions and water outages, which are becoming more and more frequent across the whole province, and beyond.

Water outages are disastrous for people, for households, for businesses, for jobs, for mines, for industry, and for municipal income.

We are here to highlight the real causes of Gauteng’s water problems. Because a proper solution requires a proper diagnosis of the problem. It is not only incorrect, but self-defeating, to blame the DA council in Tshwane for problems that are province-wide and decades in the making.

There are three main causes of Gauteng’s collapsing water supplies, and all come down to ANC mismanagement.

The first is failures of the ANC national Department of Water and Sanitation, whose responsibility it is to provide bulk water to all the reservoirs of the metros and municipalities in Gauteng. This is compounded by the ANC’s Eskom failures, since pumping and purifying water requires a reliable supply of electricity.

The second cause is that water infrastructure in all three Gauteng metros is crumbling under the weight of two decades of ANC neglect. The major reticulation networks that take water from reservoirs to end users are old and breaking.

The third cause is that the ANC provincial government in Gauteng has done nothing to stop ANC Mayors from destroying local water infrastructure.

Water experts have been warning for years that the ANC’s failure to maintain, replace or upgrade water infrastructure would lead to taps running dry. And now it is happening. And will only get worse over time if voters keep voting the ANC back into government.

Billions of rands that were meant to go to fixing or replacing or upgrading water infrastructure in Gauteng metros and municipalities over the past two decades instead went to feeding the ANC’s patronage network of deployed cadres. The ANC has broken Gauteng and the situation has now become untenable.

Residents need to be realistic. No new council is going to be able to fix this water problem overnight. It is going to take billions of rands and many years to replace old and broken infrastructure. So the sooner voters install an honest local government that spends public money on public infrastructure, the sooner they start securing their water supply.

Where the DA governs, we invest in infrastructure, to ensure sustainable delivery of basic services. Which is why the taps don’t run dry in areas where the DA has been in government for extended periods of time.

When Western Cape dams were at 12%, the DA managed to stop taps running dry. When Gauteng dams are over 80% full, there is water-shedding. Join the dots.

The DA in Tshwane made real progress on replacing old water infrastructure. Before the DA-led council in Tshwane was illegally dissolved and placed under administration by the ANC-run Gauteng Provincial Government, we installed over 600km of new water pipes. We also connected over 12 000 households to water and sewerage networks. The DA gets things done.

Since the DA took back government in November 2020, after winning the court case against the Gauteng Provincial Government, we have repaired over 20 000 water leaks. The DA gets things done. Imagine how much more we could have achieved if we had had 5 uninterrupted years with a full majority.

Securing a municipality’s water supply is not just about replacing infrastructure. It’s also about managing demand until adequate supply is restored. The DA has proved during the once-in-a-century Western Cape drought that we are up to this challenge. In fact, our interventions to avoid Day Zero then are widely considered world best practice. The DA gets things done.

The DA can protect communities from national and provincial water failures because we get the basics right at the local level, the coalface of basic service delivery. But for best results, we need an uninterrupted five years of outright DA administration.

This is why DA-run Midvaal manages to stop taps running dry, even though it is also in Gauteng and also at the mercy of failing ANC national and provincial government. After 19 years of uninterrupted DA government, 19 years of public money spent on the public, Midvaal residents enjoy strong DA protection against ANC failures. The DA gets things done.

And we can do the same for residents of metros and municipalities across Gauteng.

Let’s be clear. Water security is not just a Tshwane-specific problem, it’s a Gauteng problem and a national problem. It’s not just a short-term problem with short-term solutions. It’s a long-term problem with long-term solutions. Quite simply, it’s an ANC problem with DA solutions.

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

Evidence shows DA-run municipalities best at delivering to poor households

There is often a ‘but’ which follows any testimony to the effect that people should vote for the DA because it governs well. “But not for the poor,” chimes the rebuttal.

This pervasive sentiment is at odds with various metrics, accolades, and rankings heaped on DA-run municipalities and the City of Cape Town in particular.

Municipalities in the Western Cape support proportionately more indigent households than other provinces:

The 2019 Non-financial census of municipalities published by Statistics South Africa reveals that across key service delivery metrics: i.e. water, sewerage and sanitation, electricity, and waste management, the municipalities in the Western support a greater share of indigent households (see tables 1-4).

Municipalities use different criteria to define who qualifies as indigent, i.e. severely impoverished, but a large proportion of municipalities in the Western Cape use a higher Rand cut-off point, meaning a greater share of households can be captured than if they used a lower cut-off point (see table 5).

This data is self-reported by municipalities, but the most interesting data is from Gauteng which comes second to the Western Cape in all areas of support to indigent households. The number of indigent households in Gauteng went from 825 836 in 2018 to 325 672 in 2019 despite it having a population approximately twice the size of the Western Cape. Of course, the decline in indigent households greatly improves the picture for Gauteng. Western Cape’s figures of indigent households have increased year on year from 370 639 in 2018 to 372 454 in 2019.

DA Municipalities on average offer more, in some cases up to double, the National Guidelines for a subsidized basket of services (R575,59). The DA run Drakenstein Municipality for example offers a basket of subsidized services of R1 407,30 (see table 6). These services include subsidized Water, Electricity, Property Rates, Refuse Removal, Sanitation and extend to Municipal Rental Stock, Bulk Services and Building Plan fee rebates.

Even if one wished not to over-extend themselves in giving credit to the DA, this data is enough to conclude that the DA is not a laggard when it comes to delivering to the poor. Yet the DA receives the most significant rebuke in this regard. It is worrying when it comes from the public, but irresponsible when it comes from journalists-cum-columnists or analysts. Voter behaviour is complex and the reason the DA remains an opposition party in many municipalities is not due to non-delivery to the poor. That’s a narrative which many are at pains to drive despite a great deal of evidence to the contrary.

Furthermore, indigent support for services is not the only way in which poor households are impacted by local conditions.

DA-run municipalities use taxpayer money more prudently than those not governed by the DA:

The latest Auditor-General (AG) report on municipal audit outcomes shows that DA-run municipalities in the Western Cape and Midvaal, remain the best run in the country. The AG data is more well known so there is no need to replicate it here. It is worth mentioning, however, because sound financial management is often dismissed as a box-ticking exercise which says nothing about commitment to delivery. The reality is that poor households suffer disproportionately when funds are misspent because they are more vulnerable to shocks in service delivery and they rely on cross subsidisation more than affluent households. Making sure that a municipality’s finance are prudently handled cuts to the heart of service delivery. When a municipality’s financial management falls apart either it is symptomatic of a deeper rot or everything else falls apart soon after.

Of course, even the best performing party must be held to account. The DA run municipalities with the lowest unemployment rates in the country will still have unemployed persons. And despite supporting the greatest share of indigent households as a province, the Western Cape will have indigent households who are not currently supported.  The concern is that the wrong conclusions are then drawn from these examples. Conclusions akin to:

  1. The DA does not deliver to the poor and is concerned only about wealthy residents.
  2. It doesn’t matter if the DA is better, it is still bad so there is no difference if you vote for the DA or any other party.

Even the best run cities in the world will have examples where they are falling short: Talinn in Estonia awarded as the greenest city in Europe by the European Commission still experiences protests related to the environment and will have areas in which they need to improve. Taking a camera to Talinn and documenting environmental shortcomings is fair enough but should not be without the context of it being the greenest city in Europe. That perspective is particularly important when voters have to make choices, which are about selecting the better choice.

The various rankings which get published placing the Wester Cape or the City of Cape Town on top are not compiled taking into account only the affluent areas. They include all areas, so there is no room to argue they are based on service provided to elite areas. The elite areas in the Western Cape are better than elite areas elsewhere, but so do poorer households fare better than they would elsewhere.

Providing services to poor households is a challenge across the country. It also often involves complex trade-offs. Incidentally the same voices who oppose evictions, which occur often because occupiers have settled on land unsuitable for settlement, then blame the DA government when the very thing a DA government warned would materialise then materialises e.g. lack of services, flooding etc. It is often these examples used as a rebuttal to the DA’s governance record.

There are some (coincidentally not poor) who are cynical enough to say that better is not enough. Only someone who does not struggle to access services, such as water and electricity, or has the luxury to make a different plan could argue that nothing or the status quo is better than incremental improvement. The dire situation in many municipalities will not be turned around overnight but indeed through sustained and incremental gains. The DA is the only party which can provide evidence of making them.

Table 1

Table 2

Table 3

Table 4

Table 5

Table 6

DA to report Mkhize to Parliament’s ethics committee

Please find attached soundbite by Siviwe Gwarube MP.

Following the release of the damning Special Investigative Unit (SIU) report into the unlawful Digital Vibes contract, the DA will be submitting an affidavit and a complaint to the Executive Ethics Committee in Parliament.

The former health minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, remains a Member of Parliament, remunerated by the public, and is therefore still answerable to Parliament and by extension the people of South Africa.

Based on the SIU report, we make a case to the Executive Ethics Committee that Dr Mkhize has possibly violated Sections 2.3, 3 and 4 of the Executive Ethics Code by:

  • Acting in a way that is inconsistent with his position – In exerting his influence as the Executive Authority for the Department of Health to facilitate the awarding of a state contract, the conduct of the [former] Minister “was improper and at worst… unlawful”.
  • Using his position to enrich himself, his family and his associates – The SIU report states clearly that there is irrefutable evidence that the Digital Vibes owners were not only close associates of the former Minister but also routinely gave money to his family and made security upgrades to his home.
  • Failing to divulge a conflict of interest between his official responsibilities and private interests – The SIU report states clearly that there was a conflict of interest on the part of the former Minister who was not only known to the owners of Digital Vibes but had a close personal relationship with them spanning over years.
  • Receiving a gift which may have amounted to ‘improper influence’ and which amounted to more than R1 000 that is prescribed in the Executive Ethics Code

The Ethics Committee has an obligation to investigate this matter as a function of legislative oversight on the Executive and make a finding based on the evidence before it compiled by the SIU. There is precedent for this kind of work as was seen during the Dina Pule saga several years ago.

Parliament cannot be silent while state coffers are ransacked shamelessly. More so after the testimonies by the presiding officers of Parliament before the Zondo Commission; admitting that the legislature never exercised its duties to hold the executive to account during state capture.

Parliament can no longer be the dumping ground for failed members of the executive who will not be held accountable. We must do what the people of South Africa expect of us – be their representatives in the Houses of Parliament.

We trust that the Ethics Committee will take this complaint and the work expected of them seriously and act speedily.

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DA vindicated after DIRCO CFO is fired over R118m New York property debacle

The DA welcomes the dismissal of the CFO of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Caiphus Ramashua, over his alleged role in the R118 million fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the highly controversial New York Pilot Project. We still believe that there are more senior officials and politicians who are closely connected to the political elite in the ANC, who also need to face the chop.

The dismissal of the CFO, who supposedly believed DIRCO was his own fiefdom and that he was untouchable, was largely due to the continuous pressure by the DA in insisting that the initial dismissal of the former Director General, Kgabo Mahoai, was merely a smokescreen to protect other senior officials and politicians who were entangled in this corrupt deal.

The department had paid R118 million to the Simeke Group/JV Regiments Capital joint venture, who incidentally did not tender for the project. Minister Naledi Pandor had been very reluctant to take the Portfolio Committee into her confidence regarding the issues surrounding the investigations around the corrupt officials and politicians. Yet it was the oversight visit to New York, by MPs that resulted in exposing the R118 million corruption scandal.

The DA still demands in the wake of the CFO’s dismissal that President Cyril Ramaphosa recalls and suspend both Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane — under whose watch this New York Pilot Project were initiated and for failing to exercise her executive oversight — and Ambassador Jerry Matjila, who was the Director General during that period. We will write to the President in this regard.

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

Hate Speech Bill will undermine Freedom of Speech

The DA last week submitted our objections to the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill. If the issues identified in the Bill are not addressed during the legislative process, this Bill will have a chilling effect on freedom of speech.

The DA does not support the Bill in its current format. While we acknowledge the intention of combating hate crimes and speech as laudable, the Bill contains a multitude of legal flaws that require correction.

The Bill in its current from is unlikely to pass Constitutional muster as the definition of ‘hate speech’ is too broad, and does not meet the requirements set out in the recent Qwelane judgement. It needs to state that there must be a clear intention to: (i) be harmful or to incite harm; and (ii) promote or propagate hatred.

Furthermore, the DA holds the view that the ‘hate crimes’ portion of the Bill should be abandoned, and instead be used as an aggravating circumstance in sentencing. In its current form, the Bill fails to address the root causes of prejudice in our society, it’s merely a cure to the symptoms rather than the cause of crimes motivated by hate.

The DA will continue to engage this Bill throughout the legislative process as it is imperative that we protect South Africans’ right to freedom of speech.

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8 reasons to vote DA for clean running water and decent sanitation

DA-run municipalities are taking 8 steps to provide a reliable supply of clean running water and decent sanitation to residents and businesses. These are things we are ALREADY doing – not empty promises for the future. Through these 8 steps, we protect communities as best as possible from the failing national Department of Water and Sanitation, whose responsibility it is to ensure bulk water supply.

1. Keeping water loss to a minimum by fixing leaks, responding rapidly to burst pipes, and regularly maintaining and replacing municipal water infrastructure

When the DA coalition came into government in drought-stricken Nelson Mandela Bay in January 2021, they tripled the rate of water leak repair from 304 per week then to 900 per week now. Between January and August 2021, 17 259 water leaks were repaired. This has helped to keep the taps running.

The water loss percentage in DA-run Drakenstein and Witzenberg municipalities is 17%, less than half the national average of 37%. In contrast, ANC-run Emfuleni Municipality loses 40-50% of its water to leaks, illegal connections and aging infrastructure before it even gets to residents.

Between 2016 and 2019, the DA-led Johannesburg replaced 325km of water and sewer pipes, which reduced water leaks from 29% to 19%.

Before the DA-led council in Tshwane was illegally dissolved and placed under administration by the ANC-run Gauteng Provincial Government, we installed over 600km of new water pipes. Since the DA took back government in November 2020, after winning the court case against the Gauteng Provincial Government, we have repaired over 20 000 water leaks.

City of Cape Town has reduced pipe bursts from 60 per 100km in 2010 to 27 per 100km in 2021, a 55% improvement.

2. Investing in wastewater and sewage treatment infrastructure

Where the DA is in government, we ensure our communities are not exposed to raw sewage and that there is no untreated wastewater contaminating the natural or built environment. We ensure that wastewater treatment works are well-managed and well-maintained, and that they are fully compliant. We invest in plant assets to ensure long-term sustainability of the sewerage system.

SA’s municipal sewerage system is collapsing in most ANC municipalities. The deteriorating state of municipal wastewater and sewage treatment management in SA is one of the largest contributing factors to the numerous pollution problems experienced in most parts of the country, and a major contributor to environmental and human health problems.

3. Connecting more households to water and sewerage networks

Before it was put under illegal administration, the DA-led government in Tshwane connected over 12 000 households to water and sewerage networks.

In the two years that the DA ran Nelson Mandela Bay before it was displaced in a council coup, we reduced the number of bucket toilets by roughly 60%, from about 16 000 to about 6 000.

At 98.8% of households, Cape Town has for years provided the highest level of access to piped water in South Africa (on property or less than 200m away). And 95.5% of households have access to adequate sanitation, with over 33 800 toilets installed in informal settlements in the past eight years. Cape Town is also the first municipality in South Africa to provide a dedicated janitorial service for toilets in informal settlements.

4. Supplying poor households with free basic water and sanitation

40% of households in Cape Town receive basic water and sanitation services free of charge, which is well over double the Gauteng averages of 15.6% for water and 17.6% for sanitation. (Data from StatsSA.)

5. Testing water quality regularly

Where we are in government, we conduct regular testing of water quality, to ensure that municipal water is safe to drink and to prepare food.

The City of Cape Town conducts ongoing water quality sampling at 120 inland points and 99 coastal points in the metro to ensure stringent SANS241 drinking-water quality, publishing comprehensive Inland and Coastal Water Quality reports to promote transparency of results. It achieves “Excellent” compliance status with prescribed national water quality standards.

6. Managing water demand and reducing consumption in water-stressed areas

DA governments are extremely successful at managing water demand using a combination of awareness campaigns, pre-paid water meters and incentives. We use pressure management to reduce water consumption and encourage solutions such as the use of low-flow, waterless or grey water toilet systems. Our interventions to beat Day Zero during the severe 3-year Western Cape drought (2015-2017) are widely considered to be international best practice, so we are well-placed to keep the taps running in other water-stressed parts of South Africa.

7. Augmenting water supply

DA-led Nelson Mandela Bay is sinking groundwater boreholes to add 15 million litres per day by July 2022. They have a plan to ensure that groundwater supplies are used sustainably.

DA-led Hessequa Municipality built the country’s first reverse osmosis solar powered desalination plant in the town of Witsand, with a capacity to produce an average of 140 kilolitres of freshwater per day.
Cape Town’s New Water Programme (NWP) will deliver around 300 million litres per day by 2030 through groundwater abstraction, desalination and water reuse.

8. Clearing invasive alien vegetation from water catchment areas, dams, lakes and rivers.

DA-run Cape Town is targeting a 55 billion litre annual reduction of water losses by ramping up alien vegetation clearing. The City’s R50 million investment in the next two years will be matched by private donations and is set to increase clearing to 9 000 hectares per year from the current 1 250 hectares per year, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy.

Conclusion

The DA builds water delivery capability by basing public appointments on merit, the ability to deliver to residents, rather than on considerations of political loyalty and patronage. This, coupled with sound financial management and good governance, as reflected in our consistent delivery of clean audits, makes for local water departments that get things done for residents.

Water crises in municipalities across SA reflect national government failure at its most basic level. Water is essential to life, health and economic activity. The DA can protect your community from national failure because we get the basics right at the local level, the coalface of basic service delivery. For best results, residents need to give us an uninterrupted five years of outright DA administration.

On 1 November, vote DA for reliable clean running water, because the DA gets things done.

Constitutional Court rules in DA’s favour and affirms that the ANC power grab in Tshwane was unlawful

The DA welcomes the dismissal of Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC Lebogang Maile’s appeal and the long-awaited Constitutional Court judgment on placing the City of Tshwane under administration.

The Constitutional Court’s ruling vindicates the DA’s stance that MEC Maile’s decision to dissolve Council and place the City of Tshwane under administration was unlawful.

It was obvious from the court judgment that the ANC’s action to put the City of Tshwane under administration for a period of eight months, from March 2020 to October 2020 was a politically motivated power grab on the part of MEC Maile.

There was no justification for removing elected DA councillors from their positions and replacing them with administrators who left the City in chaos and near financial ruin.

The Constitutional Court has affirmed the original judgment by the Gauteng North High Court in April 2020 and the ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal in October 2020, affirming the following: “The running of the City of Tshwane by an unelected administrator is the very antithesis of democratic and accountable government for local communities, enshrined in s 152(1)(a) of the Constitution”.

The court’s order properly ensures that the councillors duly elected by the citizens of Tshwane in 2016 are allowed to resume their rightful constitutional role, powers and responsibilities.

The order gives effect to the rights of voters and preserves the autonomy of local government and it cannot be faulted.

For months the residents of Tshwane suffered under unelected and unlawfully deployed ANC administrators imposed by MEC Maile.

In just eight months, they brought the city to its knees, collapsing service delivery and incurring a R4.3 billion deficit.

During their tenure critical operations effectively came to a stop.

The City was totally unresponsive to the needs of its residents as their legally elected representatives had been removed from office.

After the City was placed under administration it became clear that there were major fractures within the ANC in Tshwane as their councillors contacted the DA to take the decision to court to have it overturned so they could return to their jobs.

For 8 months we fought in the courts to protect the rights of our residents and we succeeded, such that at the end of October 2020 we were able to return to the office. We immediately started work to stabilize the city’s finances and restore basic operations and service delivery.

This judgment is a victory for the DA, but more so it is a victory for our Constitution and local governance.

This ruling has ensured that our Constitution is protected and upheld and that the separation of powers between different spheres of government is entrenched.

Today’s judgement by the Constitutional Court will set an important precedent to protect municipalities from unlawful power grabs to drive political agendas.

The DA will ensure that MEC Maile is personally held to account for all legal costs and for wasting taxpayers money. MEC Maile must also be fired for his role in this.

The perilous state of chaos and mismanagement that we inherited in October 2020 is a direct result of the ANC’s unlawful actions and the incompetence of the administrators he deployed to the city.

Premier David Makhura should also use this court judgement as a learning experience, and demonstrate his seriousness about consequence management.

Residents of Tshwane deserve remedial action for the suffering they incurred during this period of the unlawful administration.

The DA was the only party that stood firm during this period of unlawful administration and fought against the ANC-led provincial government’s unlawful power grab.

We will always stand for the rule of law and fight for the rights of residents, and we will win because the DA gets things done.

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