Mantashe contradicts Ramaphosa (again!) on moving away from fossil fuels

Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Kevin Mileham MP

President Cyril Ramaphosa should clarify comments by Mineral Resource Minister Gwede Mantashe that African nations “unite” against the global move away from fossil fuels.

The Minister’s comments come days after the announcement that South Africa had secured R131 billion in financing to accelerate South Africa’s path towards renewable energy.

Minister Mantashe’s comments at the African Energy Week today are therefore not only regressive as it relates to South Africa moving towards cleaner and more diverse energy sources, but also go directly against President Ramaphosa’s statements last week that this investment would speed up the country’s shift away from coal.

Mantashe and Ramaphosa are clearly not on the same page. The DA therefore calls on the President to urgently clarify whether the Minister’s seemingly anti-clean energy views are in line with the government’s position. Or whether the multi-billion Rand agreement, announced with much fanfare last week, was just another smokescreen to distract the public from the rolling blackouts his government has inflicted on the nation.

DA‘s alternative 2021 MTBPS provides a framework for a post-pandemic economic recovery

This statement follows the DA’s Alternative Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) that was delivered today. The accompanying DA MTBPS briefing document is available here

Today, we presented the DA’s alternative Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) for 2021 which focuses on providing a pathway towards a post-pandemic economic recovery for South Africa.

This year’s alternative MTBPS builds on the DA’s alternative budget proposed in February and sets the scene for our alternative budget in February 2022.

The DA’s core expectations for Minister Enoch Godongwana’s maiden MTBPS include:

  1. Accelerating the post-pandemic economic recovery
  2. Reducing gross national debt and managing expenditure
  3. Supporting the vulnerable
  4. Committing to no tax increases
  5. Leveraging pension fund assets

Accelerating the post-pandemic economic recovery

New Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s first Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, to be presented on Thursday, will be a key determinant of the pace at which South Africa’s post pandemic economic recovery will unfold.

Structural weaknesses in the economy severely constrain our ability to emerge from the devastating effects of the pandemic. Without an acceleration in economic growth, the rate of unemployment will spiral upwards and GDP growth will remain tepid at best.

Government has demonstrated, over and over again, that an incapable state at the centre of our economy is unable to generate growth. Active steps are required to enable the economy to grow by removing the barriers that government has imposed.

The greatest barrier to economic growth, a prime example of our incapable state, remains government’s inability to provide a reliable power supply. Power failures are costing our economy in excess of R100 billion per annum.

Eskom remains on the brink of collapse, with outdated infrastructure and budget overruns in excess of R300 billion at Medupi and Kusile power stations.

Without a solution to the energy crisis, government will remain unable to create an environment conducive to economic growth and will remain unable to tackle our high levels of unemployment and poverty.

It is time for Treasury to enable South Africans to become independent of Eskom through a 100% solar power rebate. Eskom’s debt must be paid off to the extent that it has at least a 2:1 asset-to-liability ratio, after which it must be split up into three separate entities – generation, transmission, and distribution – and privatised as much as is reasonably possible.

Urgent steps need to be taken to stimulate economic activity, especially in the small, medium and informal sectors. More detailed proposals will be included in our Alternative Budget in February 2022.

A growing economy increases revenue, reduces unemployment and poverty and will enable us to avoid the looming debt trap that will result in significant hardship for all South Africans.

Reducing gross national debt and managing expenditure

The 2021 MTBPS should provide a clear fiscal departure away from emergency budgeting, implemented to address the short term effects of the pandemic, towards a resilient fiscal framework that is focused on a balanced budget, economic growth and drivers of job creation.

While the recent cyclical commodities boom has provided temporary reprieve to the fiscus, in the form of improved revenue, it is imperative that Minister Godongwana sets the country on a path of continued fiscal consolidation, sustainable public debt management and accelerated structural economic reform.

In order to ensure that this resilience building focus is sustainable, it is important that South Africa urgently addresses its twin challenges of a high debt burden and stubbornly low economic growth rates.

It does not help that government has consistently missed its own fiscal targets on debt containment.

South Africa cannot afford to keep going down this path of a debt based fiscal policy. The policy has only succeeded in saddling the country with high interest rates on debt repayments, slower economic growth and fewer resources to spend on growth drivers.

The DA’s modelling, presented in our February 2021 Alternative Budget, provides a clear blueprint for getting national debt under control sooner than government proposes while protecting essential social spending for the poor and most vulnerable.

The DA model demonstrated that by implementing these changes to expenditure, notwithstanding any changes to revenue, government can go from a forecasted primary balance deficit this year of R474,8 billion, to a primary balance surplus of R4.3 billion by 2023/24.

In addition, targeted spending cuts and priority spending proposals can, whilst still protecting essential social spending and frontline staff wages, help turn around debt by 2024/25 and at 2.5 percentage points lower than the ANC.

To achieve these outcomes, the DA’s proposed cuts to the public wage bill will yield R116,7 billion over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

Additional revenue and savings amounting to R30,1 billion can be realised from items that include, but not limited to, VIP blue light security, shutting down the NYDA and auctioning digital spectrum.

Supporting the vulnerable

Rising food and fuel costs have seen inflation rise to 5% in September which, according to StatsSA, is significantly higher than the average inflation rate of 3,3% in 2020. This has potentially devastating implications for low income households, especially those that rely on social grants.

The MTBPS should make provision to cushion the poor and vulnerable against inflationary pressures. To this end, a clear effort must be made to protect social spending by increasing direct social support to the poor.

Within the current fiscal framework, the DA model budgets for social grant increases of R30,1 billion over three years to keep in line with inflation.

The DA does not support a permanent expansion of the grant system at this stage. Due to increased revenue from the commodity boom, there may be fiscal space to extend the relief grant temporarily. However, in the medium to long term South Africa’s approach should focus on reforms which will boost growth. In an environment of strong growth, and reduced corruption and wasteful expenditure, expansion of social support as a dividend on growth and good governance could be possible.

Committing to no tax increases

Households are already heavily taxed with minimal return from government. The DA will not support tax increases or any new taxes.

The DA expects Minister Godongwana to provide finality on e-tolls, especially how the bonds that were used to build the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) will be settled. We remain guided by our long held position that the obligation to repay these bonds should not be passed on to road users nor should it be financed through a state bailout.

South Africans are already paying a high price on fuel and transport costs. What they do not need is an additional tax to be added to their cost of mobility in the form of e-tolls. To avoid further uncertainty on the issue, the Minister should take a bold step and ring-fence a portion of the fuel levy to pay for e-tolls.

Based on renegotiated terms with the e-toll bondholders, government can use the ring-fenced portion of the fuel levy to settle the outstanding amount over a fixed term period not exceeding 20 years.

Leveraging Pension Fund assets

The DA is encouraged that our proposal to accelerate the pace of reform in the pension sector has finally gained traction. We expect some major announcement in the MTBPS.

The Pension Fund Amendment Bill, which I introduced in the National Assembly on 2 November 2020 as a Private Members Bill, seeks to amend the Pension Funds Act of 1956 to enable pension fund members to leverage a portion of their pension fund before retirement as guarantee for a loan. Loans will be subject to repayment affordability and surety amounts will remain invested in the fund.

National Treasury appears to favour a “two-pot” approach that will permit a once-off withdrawal of a portion of the member’s pension fund asset, either while the member is currently employed or when they leave their employer. The remaining portion will be “locked in” until retirement, even if a member leaves employment before their retirement age. Thus, a compulsory preservation.

The Minister in his MTBPS should strike a balance between allowing pension fund members to leverage their asset in the form of a loan, a pre-retirement partial withdrawal and the preservation of pension funds as a long term investment vehicle.


The DA’s alternative MTBPS for 2021 sets out a clear path for a resilient post pandemic economic recovery for South Africa that will drive growth and ensure fiscal sustainability.

As the country begins to exit the short term emergency budget instruments that were meant to address the economic impact of the pandemic, a resilient fiscal framework that focuses on growth, jobs and an energy secure future is imperative.

DA welcomes COP26 announcement of Green Financing deal but some questions remain

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the recent announcement at COP26 of a 129-billion rand grants package designed to accelerate a transition away from coal power towards renewable alternatives.

South Africa and other developing countries are set to benefit greatly from this programme as the current costs of the transition are difficult for most developing countries to afford.

The DA would like to thank the countries involved in sponsoring this agreement for taking cognisance of the economic and structural challenges faced by the developing world in moving away from coal power.

Earlier this year the DA called for the developed world to do more to assist poorer countries and it is fantastic to see the progressive moves that are now taking place. It is important however not to get too excited until we know all the details as to how the proposed funding will be spent and what the long term implications will be.

South Africa currently generates the vast majority of its electricity from coal with the beleaguered state-owned ESKOM continuing to break down on a regular basis after many years of ANC mismanagement and neglect.

ESKOM alone produces over 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions in South Africa and up till now the ANC has not only failed to maintain the power plants, they have also failed to effectively begin any sort of effective transition towards renewable energy.

South Africa has some of the highest solar potential in the world and the existing grids in the Northern Cape are already unable to fully cope with the amount of energy being generated by solar installations. If we wish to move away from our reliance on dirty energy, we need to ensure that we have the systems and networks in place to get the energy to the citizens and markets where it is most needed.

The recent announcement at COP26 of a Green Grids initiative, spearheaded by the Climate Parliament is another step in the right direction. DA members are part of the Climate Parliament and were honored to participate in a virtual session at COP26 on Tuesday where the Green Grids initiative was announced and supported by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Indian Prime Minister Nerendra Modi.

The question on everyone’s lips at COP26 is how the planet and its people will adapt to our fast changing climate.

The time for dithering and debating about climate change is over and we have to now speed up and intensify our own move towards cleaner energy which will not only help save our climate, but will also help create thousands of new jobs. It is important to recognise that we will not create these new job opportunities through state interventions alone.

Government must embrace greater private sector involvement to ensure that any new initiatives are rolled out with speed and efficiency and not used to simply benefit connected tenderpreneurs. Government must start dismantling the power and patronage networks that exist within national state institutions and devolve more and more authority to functional local governments and the private sector. 

As welcome as this deal is, it raises a number of questions. The first, and foremost among these is: how exactly is the deal to be structured? Will it be a loan or a grant? If the former, can South Africa afford to incur more debt on its already strained fiscus – especially when some of that debt will have to be used to service the floundering ESKOM.

Secondly, what conditions will be attached to the funding? What are the expectations of the developed nations who are providing this valuable resource? What do we have to commit to, in order to get the money?

Thirdly: how exactly will it be implemented? If the proposal is to prop up ESKOM, that raises the very ugly spectre of state capture and maladministration all over again. It is essentially pouring money down a black hole, hoping for some kind of miracle.

If, on the other hand it is to expand the reach of independent power producers (and more specifically renewable IPPs), what will be done to speed up the independence of our transmission grid operator, to create a level playing field between IPPs and ESKOM?

And then there is the issue of oversight. Who will administer this funding? The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has demonstrated its complete inability to properly manage the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme.

What makes us think they will do better this time? What role will Parliament play in ensuring transparency and accountability in the process? How will it be measured?

Finally, how does this funding address the move away from coal, and more specifically, how will it address the impact on coal miners? What’s the transition plan for them?

The lack of clarity on the above issues needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. President Ramaphosa has a golden opportunity to reign in his recalcitrant Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, and build a cleaner, more efficient and hopefully cheaper energy supply sector. Is he up to the task?


The DA has turned a corner and will form the core of a new majority in 2024

As the final vote tallies are confirmed and signed off and the dust settles on the 2021 Local Government Elections, South Africa can mark this week as an historic milestone in the development of our young democracy. Because on Monday, South Africans signalled the beginning of the end of the ANCs political dominance and ushered in a new and hopeful era for our country.

It was always a question of when, and not if, South Africa would outgrow its liberation movement government. And now, after 27 years in power, the ANC has finally been brought below 50% for the very first time. If this were a national election, they would no longer be in government. The hallmark of a stable democracy is that government changes peacefully through the ballot box.Achieving this has been the DAs central objective over decades, and we are now far closer to this goal. Thats why this election – for all its logistical and legal challenges and despite its low voter turnout – is such a game changer.

Bringing the ANC below 50% has been a lifelong project of the DA because we recognised, very early into our democracy, that our country will never thrive under an ANC government. Election by election, for the better part of two decades, this project has seen the DA steadily chip away at what was once considered an unassailable ANC lead. The reality now is that the ANC has ended on around 50% or lower in five of the nine provinces (Western Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Free Stateand Northern Cape), which represents around two-third of South Africas population. Everything is now in play for 2024.

In terms of the DAs own progress, these elections have given us much to feel buoyed by, as well as areas for us to look at critically and honestly so that me may make improvements. Every election has its wins and its challenges. We know which communities and which regions have sent us a message, and we will do everything in our power to reconnect with the people in these places so that we can bring our project back on track there.

One such a message has certainly been that people do not like unstable coalitions that compromise service delivery. The message voters gave us in Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Johannesburg confirmed the lessons wed learnt in those metros over the past five years around coalition agreements and the conditions that need to be met for such governments to work. This can be summarised as: Never let short term advantage get in the way of longer-term objectives.

Desperation to get into government and stay there can sometimes lead to bad coalitions that ultimately result in a loss of trust among voters in the very idea of a coalition government. In its negotiations, the DA is prepared to speak to everybody, but not to act out of desperation. It is better to be a good opposition than part of a bad coalition.

This is why our Local Government Coalition Agreement, which all coalition partners will have to sign, very clearly sets out the non-negotiable principles in its preamble. They are the following:

  1.  A culture of accountability, transparency and good governance will form the foundation of all work to be performed in the municipality.
  2. All coalition members acknowledge the value of openness and will ensure the accessibility of information to residents of the municipality. 
  3. All coalition members shall be accessible and responsive to all residents of the municipality.
  4. All coalition members shall endeavour to eliminate corruption and maladministration within the municipality, including a non-negotiable commitment to the rule of law and constitutionalism.
  5. The separation of party and state will be strictly adhered to by all coalition members.
  6. All coalition members shall champion inclusion, redress, and reconciliation within the municipality.
  7. All parties shall endeavour to expand opportunities for all, and oppose any forms of racial, gender or other quotas.
  8. All parties shall uphold non-racialism.
  9. All parties shall avoid the politics of patronage, nepotism, or self-enrichment.
  10. All coalition members shall ensure the municipality is driven by the pursuit of excellence, this includes merit-based appointments and policymaking guided by evidence and the objectives set out in this agreement.
  11. No party to this agreement shall enter any other coalition which is inconsistent with this agreement.

With these principles locked in place, we are confident that we can avoid a repeat of the instability, flip-flopping and paralysis that often characterised the governments of the affected metros and ended up hampering service delivery. Importantly, we will also make public all our coalition agreements so that voters are brought along with us in the process. It is, after all, their votes that are being represented in these negotiations and agreements.

But an even more important message we received from voters is that, where we govern outright and govern well, people want more of the same. That is why municipalities such as Midvaal, Mossel Bay and Stellenbosch gave the DA such a strong mandate to continue our work there. And that is why Cape Town backed a DA mayor and a DA government for the fourth consecutive term, and the third outright term. When we dont have to fight the conflicting interests of uncooperative coalition partners, we get a lot more done, and voters appreciate this.

What we also learnt from this election is that our project of stabilisation and consolidation of the DA is very much on track. While many analysts choose to look only at how parties performed in these elections compared to the last local government election in 2016 – since campaign issues and factors such as voter turnout often differ from a national election – the DA has had a unique journey over this period that makes the 2019 figures particularly relevant. Because, following a disappointing showing in 2019, we chose then to reset our party, reconfirm our values and reconnect with voters. For this reason, that third datapoint of 2019 tells a critical story when it comes to support trends, and particularly when viewed against the other two big parties over the same period.

What these trends tell us – when you add 2019s results to the graph – is that two of the big three parties are heading down, while one hit its low in 2019 and is heading back up again. Of all the big parties with a truly national footprint, only the DA has shown growth since 2019. And this bodes very well for 2024 – for our party, but more importantly for our country – as the DA will form the core of a new majority that will unseat the ANC nationally.

We have also seen some very encouraging bounce back from by-election losses in recent years which, if you were to believe every analyst at the time, signified the supposed terminal decline of the DA. Equally encouraging has been our growth among peri-urban and rural black voters, where a sample of over 3000 voters showed our support doubling from 3.2% to 6.4% in this segment. And of course, there is our first ever outright win in KwaZulu-Natal, in the midlands municipality of uMngeni. We now intend to transform uMngeni into the best-run municipality in the province, just as we did with Kouga in the Eastern Cape and Midvaal in Gauteng.

While a superficial analysis might conclude merely that the DAs support dropped from 2016, a deeper look reveals that our party has indeed stopped its free-fall and is heading in the right direction again, and at a critical time for our country. Once we have finalised our coalition negotiations, all our attention will turn to the next national and provincial elections in two and a half yearstime.

The road to 2024, where South Africans will finally push off the yoke of ANC dominance, has already begun.

Cape Town is the city of hope for South Africa’s future

Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Geordin Hill-Lewis 

With the results now nearly finalised, the Democratic Alliance is proud to announce that the people of Cape Town have elected a new DA government with a strong, outright majority.

Our projection of the results show that Capetonians have strongly affirmed the DA’s track record of delivering the best basic services to all residents, that they trust the DA to get things done, and to do more to secure Cape Town’s future.

Projections indicate that we will win around 58,5% of the vote, nearly 40 percentage points ahead of the second largest party.

I sincerely thank the people of Cape Town for putting their trust in me and the Democratic Alliance for the next five years. We are humbled by this show of faith, and we will work tirelessly to make every Capetonian proud to live in this city under a DA government that cares for them and works for them.

Our purpose in government is simple: to improve the living conditions of the poorest residents, to roll back poverty, to spread opportunity, to grow the economy, to deliver excellent basic services, to inspire optimism, and to be an example to the country.

Cape Town must be the city that inspires hope for South Africa’s future. This means we must move boldly to protect Cape Town from the failures of service collapse at a national level – in electricity, in policing, and in public transport.

This was our clear offer to voters in this election, and it is our commitment going forward. Nothing exemplifies this commitment more than our determination to end load shedding in Cape Town over time. As if to confirm the urgency of this task, rolling power blackouts returned on the very same day that it became clear that the DA had won a renewed majority in Cape Town.

But the DA’s work to protect Cape Town from the collapse of the national government does not only matter for the people of Cape Town. The success of our project to secure Cape Town’s future also matters profoundly for the rest of the country.

The main national story of this election is quickly shaping up to be a dramatic falling away of support for the ANC, which has for the first time fallen well below 50% voter support in the country. This is a profound turning point moment and is very good news for South Africa.

Millions of South Africans have taken the bold first step into a new future free from the ANC. The DA’s task now is to turn Cape Town into a shining example of what is possible when voters who are done with the ANC take the next step by choosing a better alternative. We must be that alternative.

Together, we will secure Cape Town’s future, and show the rest of South Africa what is possible when voters take the courageous step of replacing ANC failure with DA progress.

DA reiterates call for new fuel pricing model to protect consumers

Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Kevin Mileham MP.

The DA wrote to the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, in August this year to propose a review of the current fuel pricing model, following yet another round of fuel price increases. Minister Mantashe not only ignored the DA’s letter and suggestions, but barely 2 months later fuel prices have been increased to another record high.

The current fuel pricing model is killing South African consumers. After years of economic decline due to ANC mismanagement, corruption and looting, and the harshest Covid-lockdown in the world forcing our economy to a near standstill, South Africans simply do not have the financial means to afford the fuel hike.

This will be an especially hard hit for the poorest households who don’t have access to electricity and rely on illuminating paraffin to light their nights. How are families reliant on social grants supposed to afford an increase of increase R1.45 per litre to a necessity?

South Africa has the highest unemployment rate in the world, and the blame for this fall directly on the ANC’s criminal implementation of their terrible economic policies. How are our unemployed people supposed to join the workforce when they can’t afford transport due to the ever fuel rising costs? Petrol and diesel have increased by R1.21 and R1.48 respectively.

It is clear that Minister Mantashe and his ANC government does not care about South Africans. It they did, they would give serious consideration to the DA’s suggestion to seek urgent inputs from major sector stakeholders to create a new fuel pricing model that recognises the impact of fuel prices on our economy (including high taxes and consumer and producer inflation).

The country’s economy cannot take many more hits like these. If Minister Mantashe does not reconsider, another downgrade might be in our future. He needs to take the needs of South Africans seriously and place the country’s interests above those of his corrupt cadres and party.

63% of Midvaal entrusts the DA with yet another five years in government

The DA is delighted to announce that residents of Midvaal Municipality in Gauteng have entrusted us with another five years in government. In fact, this vote of confidence was so emphatic that the DA’s share of the vote rose to 63%, up from 59% in the 2016 elections. This also included taking two wards off the ANC, and outperforming the EFF among black voters in the municipality.

There is only one reason why Midvaal voters would entrust the DA with the future of their municipality, and that is its track record in government there over the past two decades. Under an outright DA government – the only one in Gauteng – Midvaal has left its neighbouring ANC-run municipalities in its wake. For the past decade it has been rated as Gauteng’s best-run municipality, with an unprecedented seven straight clean audits and the lowest unemployment figures in the province.

Much of this success has been thanks to a committed DA administration under the capable guidance of outgoing Mayor Bongani Baloyi, who held the reins in Midvaal for the past two terms. Under Baloyi, Midvaal managed to put clear blue water between itself and the rest of Gauteng. With the handover to the DA’s new Mayor-elect, Peter Teixeira, Midvaal can expect a seamless transition as Peter aims to reach even greater heights over the next five years.

The most encouraging aspect of this comprehensive victory is that all the votes gained came from former ANC voters, who realised that there is no future for towns and cities under an ANC that has failed for two decades and counting. We’ve just seen a similar situation unfold in uMngeni, in KwaZulu-Natal, where the DA turned a former ANC stronghold into an outright DA government.

The reality is that the more places we govern outright, the more people realise that DA governments operate on a different level to ANC governments. And that is when voters give the DA a second or third term in office. This has just happened in Kouga in the Eastern Cape, on the back of the municipality’s first five years under an outright DA government. Kouga was recently recognised as the best-run municipality in the Eastern Cape, and as a result its residents have just entrusted the DA with a second term in government.

The DA now governs municipalities with outright majorities in three provinces other than the Western Cape. And in two of those provinces, these municipalities are ranked as the best-performing in the province. It is surely only a matter of time before uMngeni joins Midvaal and Kouga on that list.

We thank the people of Midvaal for their continued trust in our party. We will do our best to live up to their high expectations there.

DA secures a historic first KZN municipality as it wins uMngeni outright

In a historic first, the DA has won, outright, the municipality of uMngeni in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, taking 13 of the council’s 25 seats. This breakthrough victory in what has until now been an ANC stronghold is the first municipality the DA has ever won in KZN, and underlines our credentials as a party of government in multiple provinces.

The DA can now add uMngeni to the likes of Kouga in the Eastern Cape and Midvaal in Gauteng as examples of municipalities where residents have recognised that only the DA’s brand of clean governance, commitment to service delivery and zero tolerance for corruption can save their towns from ANC failure. Kouga and Midvaal – both outright DA-governed – are already recognised as the best-run municipalities in their respective provinces, and it is our prediction that uMngeni will soon stake the same claim in KZN.

Clearly, the people of uMngeni have had enough of the neglect and decay that have decimated their towns over the past two decades, queueing for hours yesterday at voting stations across the municipality to make their mark for the DA difference. These residents are the heroes of this election effort, and we thank them for their patience and perseverance. Future generations in uMngeni will owe them a debt of gratitude for halting the slide and setting the municipality on a different course.

Even the former ANC deputy mayor, Nompumelelo Buthelezi, recognised that there was no future for uMngeni under the ANC, when she joined the DA on the eve of the election. This is an important part of the DA’s mission as we seek to build a new centre in South African politics, focused on accountability and service delivery excellence, by drawing in people from elsewhere who share our vision for a South Africa that works.

uMngeni’s new DA Mayor-elect, Chris Pappas, knows that he and his administration have their work cut out over the next five years if they are to rebuild this broken municipality into the jewel of the KZN midlands, but this is what the DA does. It cleans out the rot, it stabilises the finances, it rebuilds the local government’s capacity and it puts the residents and their needs at the heart of everything it does.

Importantly, they will get to do this with an outright DA government, which means no fickle coalition partners constantly compromising the delivery project with unrealistic demands. History has shown that wherever the DA governs outright – and particularly where the DA is given multiple terms on its own – these municipalities pull far ahead of ANC-run municipalities on every single governance metric.

To the people of uMngeni we say: Thank you for putting your trust in the DA. We will not disappoint you. But know that your vote is just a five year contract, and that the DA will need to earn the right for that contract to be renewed in 2026. That is what we intend to do.

DA to keep delivering to Kouga, the Eastern Cape’s best-run municipality

Please find attached a soundbite by John Steenhuisen. 

The DA is delighted to have retained a full majority in Kouga, which News24 recently ranked as the best-run municipality in the Eastern Cape and one of the top performers in the country.

In 2016, the residents of Kouga rejected the ANC and decided instead to give the DA an opportunity to prove ourselves to them. Today’s outright win for the DA – 16 of the 29 seats in council – tells us that Kouga residents believe we pulled through for them and will do so again over the coming five years.

Our message to the residents of Kouga is that we will keep striving to live up to their expectations. We will keep doing our best to serve them with dedication, integrity and humility. We will keep getting things done for them.

The DA is excited and grateful to have this incredible opportunity to build on the foundation of good governance that we have laid over the past five years. We recognize that there is still so much to be done in Kouga. Our commitment now is to build on this progress so that we can take Kouga from good to great.

Kouga is a South African success story at a time when the people of this province need reason to hope, and proof that with good government, progress can be made.

Our sincere hope is that the story of Kouga will inspire residents in other Eastern Cape municipalities to give the DA an opportunity to bring our brand of good governance to them too. We would like to replicate our Kouga successes in more and more Eastern Cape municipalities.

When the DA took over Kouga in 2016, the municipality was in a state of decline. We stabilized Kouga’s finances and set about improving the capacity of the council to deliver to people. Our approach has been to build trust and partnerships with the community, placing people at the centre of everything we do. Today’s results show it is a winning formula.

Kouga successes 2016-2021:

Housing: The ANC-run council had neither built nor facilitated the building of a single house in Kouga since 2007. Since 2016, the DA-run council has completed 611 houses and another 3025 are in the pipeline while a further 2790 are being held up by land and infrastructure issues. This is against a backlog of about 15 000 houses needed, meaning that real progress is being made.

Home ownership: Since 2016, over 3 000 title deeds have been delivered to rightful beneficiaries.

Electricity: Over 1 800 households received access to electricity. Over 1 000 streetlights retrofitted with LED lights, to save money and the environment.

Water: The council built a new state-of-the-art waste water treatment works and is upgrading its three other waste water treatments works, one of the many ways this municipality is working to ensure a reliable supply of clean water for residents.

Fleet: In 2016, only 4% of Kouga’s vehicle fleet was operational. Today, 96% of the municipality’s vehicles are on the road every day to service communities, and 57 new vehicles have been added to the fleet.

Roads: From 2011 to 2016, the ANC-run municipality spent an average of R3.5 million per year on road maintenance. The DA-run municipality has tripled that delivery rate, spending on average over R10 million per year on repairing and upgrading roads in the past five years.

Public amenities: In 2016, public amenities were in a state of disrepair with little to no maintenance happening. Since 2016, the DA council has undertaken a massive maintenance drive and upgraded community halls, ablution facilities, sports facilities, parks, and campsites.

Investment: By 2016, investment in Kouga had all but dried up and local businesses did not want to take on contracts for the municipality because of its reputation for non-payment. Kouga is now an investment hub. A brand-new hospital is being built in Jeffreys Bay, while R4 billion has been invested in two housing developments, and several large companies have set up in Kouga.

Innovation: The municipality won gold at the Eco-Logic awards last year for the first plastic road in Africa, built in Jeffreys Bay using recycled plastic (equivalent to 1.8 million plastic bags per kilometre of road). This revolutionary new approach to tarring could increase the lifespan of roads while reducing maintenance costs and plastic pollution. If ever there was hard proof that the DA goes the extra mile, this is it.

Environment: Kouga has its sights on becoming the country’s leading Bioeconomy Zone and already boasts a waste-to-energy plant, a solar plant, and a biochar plant that turns invasive alien vegetation biomass into “green charcoal” which has several environmentally friendly applications.

Finances: Kouga’s finances are in a healthy state. In 2016, Kouga was heavily indebted. Today, this debt has been paid off yet cash on hand is almost double what it was back then.

Go and make your mark, or you will regret it for the next five years

Please find attached soundbite by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance John Steenhuisen MP.

Pictures are attached here, here, here and here.

This morning I cast my vote in the 2021 Local Government Elections at the Northwood Boys High School in Durban North, as I have done since I was first eligible to vote many years ago.

I was extremely heartened to see so many people out in the queue at the voting station, and in such high spirits. Everyone I spoke to there was in agreement that the only way we could save and protect our great metro of eThekwini was through the ballot box. Of all the mechanisms of participation and accountability provided for in our democracy, this once-in-five-years event is the one that really counts.

There was also a real sense of urgency and belief that this year’s election could be a watershed moment – not only in eThekwini, where the ANC’s majority is under real threat for the first time, but across the country as the inevitability of failure under an ANC government has become undeniably clear. I was proud and excited to be part of this wave of change this morning.

I would urge every South African who is eligible to vote today and who has not yet done so to put your shoes on, grab your ID and your mask, and head on down to your voting station right away. We dare not waste this momentum. Our country is ready to break with decades of corruption, mismanagement and failure and set course for a new and better future, but citizens have to choose that future themselves.

To do so, you need to be smart with your vote today. With so many conflicting appeals from so many different parties, it is critical that voters are able to see clearly what is at stake here and what these elections are about. This is not about ideology, or race, or culture or a distant struggle history. A local government election is about one thing only: Getting things done. It is about managing your town or city so that services are delivered, infrastructure is maintained and every cent of public money is looked after. Everything else is a distraction.

It is about realising that by Wednesday, when the votes are all tallied, you will wake up in either a DA-run municipality or an ANC-run municipality. It is about looking critically at what the average DA-run municipality looks like, and what the average ANC-run municipality looks like. And it is about knowing that every single vote that doesn’t go towards securing a DA majority will strengthen the ANC’s claim to that municipality’s local government.

So get out there and vote smart, South Africa. We have a chance today to defeat the ANC and cut them out of our towns and cities. But that will only happen if enough people get behind the only party that can and will defeat them, and that party is the DA.