Ministers must ensure Gupta extradition request is translated urgently

Please find attached soundbite by Adv Glynnis Breytenbach MP.

The DA will write to the Ministers of Justice, Ronald Lamola, and International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, to ask that the translation of the official extradition request of the Guptas into Arabic be done as a matter of urgency.

South Africa only has 60 days from the Guptas’ arrest on 2 June 2022 to submit the formal extradition application as per the country’s extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In answer to a parliamentary question from the DA, Minister Lamola revealed that the UAE authorities informed him of the arrest on 6 June 2022. On 8 June, the Justice Department received a request from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for the provisional arrest of the Guptas, which was then sent to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO). On 10 June, the department was advised that the Investigating Directorate (ID) within the NPA was finalising the extradition request, and this would subsequently be translated into Arabic.

We urge the Justice Department and DIRCO to facilitate the translating of the official documentation without further delay, as a failure to do so could result in the derailment of the Gupta’s extradition.

The crimes the Guptas stand accused of are not trivial. South Africa suffers daily from the results of the widespread corruption and State Capture. It is of utmost importance that the Guptas stand trial and government ineptitude must not stand in the way of justice.

DA’s sustained pressure ensures extension of BELA Bill submission period

Please find attached English soundbite by Baxolile ‘Bax’ Nodada MP, and Afrikaans soundbite by Desiree van der Walt MP, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Basic Education.

The DA welcomes the parliamentary portfolio committee on basic education’s announcement that the submissions period for the Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill has been extended to 15 August 2022.

The DA had numerous concerns regarding the initial call for public participation. Only the English call was published in a national newspaper, while the call in the other official languages were merely published in regional newspapers. The English call for submissions were also published earlier than in the other languages not allowing indigenous language speakers the same amount of time to submit their concerns.

The DA calls on the Department of Basic Education to ensure that the extended call for public participation is flawlessly executed and that all languages would receive equal and ample notification.

The DA has a number of concerns regarding the BELA Bill, which ‘Lesufi-clauses’ seek to disempower school governing bodies (SGBs) with regards to language and admissions policies. We believe the power should remain with the SGBs who know and understand the needs of their communities and have their best interests at heart.

Given the potential growth of these forms of schooling, the Bill also misses the opportunity to ensure the effective regulation of blended and online learning. Greater consultation is also needed with the home schooling sector before determining the accountability measures to ensure quality education standards.

The Bill also fails to address the serious practical concerns of making grade R compulsory and the impact this will have on the current infrastructure and human resources available.

We call on the public to submit their concerns in writing to Llewellyn Brown, the secretary of the parliamentary portfolio committee via email to or online at or via WhatsApp: +27 60 550 9848 by no later than 15 August 2022 at 16:00.

President Ramaphosa must provide concrete plans for implementation of electricity emergency plan

Exactly 50 days since the DA asked Cabinet to promulgate an Electricity Emergency Response Plan (EERP), anchored on a State of Disaster declaration on Eskom in the electricity sector, we welcome news that Cabinet is giving due to consideration to “…options that would give the government the emergency powers to suspend red tape to get more power onto the grid urgently”.

While we are encouraged by the decision taken by Cabinet to take the DA’s call for an electricity emergency plan forward, the State of Disaster on Eskom and the electricity sector should only be for a limited time and ring-fenced around electricity generation, storage, transmission and distribution.

The DA now calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the nation on the specific details and associated timelines contained in his Cabinet’s proposed electricity emergency interventions. A timeous release of these interventions would provide an opportunity to all stakeholders across the country to make informed input and participate in their expeditious implementation, as well as allowing Parliament to hold the executive accountable for making sure that it happens.

With ministerial indifference and lack of action having contributed towards the worsening loadshedding crisis, the DA holds the view that Ministers Gwede Mantashe and Pravin Gordhan should not play any role in the implementation of any emergency response to the electricity crisis, and indeed that the President should fire them for non-performance in terms of their Ministerial Performance Agreements.

Mantashe’s obstructive and combative attitude against sound advice to open up the grid to Independent Power Producers has put South Africa on the backfoot in renewable energy generation when compared to other emerging economies and left South Africa lacking in generation capacity in the midst of this generation crisis. His counterpart, Pravin Gordhan, has been missing in action while Eskom struggled with red tape restrictions, labour issues, a rapidly failing power generation fleet and acts of sabotage at its power stations.

While the DA cautiously welcomes the revelation that the project management unit in the Presidency is leading discussions on the emergency response to the electricity crisis, it is critical that Ramaphosa plays open cards on any decisions taken by this unit.

South Africa is in the middle of an electricity crisis. Unless urgent steps are taken to remove existing red tape for IPPs, there is a high probability that South Africa could face another decade of continuous loadshedding.
The country is in desperate need of lowest-cost, source-agnostic generation capacity while existing plants are secured operationally. The private sector is pivotal to ensuring this and avenues of access must be accelerated.

The ANC government has almost 4000 vacant properties, but still wants to expropriate yours

Please find attached a soundbite by Samantha Graham-Maré MP.

The ANC would rather expropriate your property than attempt to repurpose its own properties.

This is evident from the response of Patricia De Lille, Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure to a Democratic Alliance parliamentary question.

In her answer, the Minister stated that the ANC Government owns a total of 3742 properties which have all been standing vacant – some for as long as 10 years. These properties have not been utilised at all nor is there any immediate plan to utilise them.

Of great concern is that these empty properties are costing the taxpayers R15.2 million a year on private security alone. And despite these exorbitant amounts, the vacant properties are being vandalised, unlawfully occupied and used for various nefarious purposes, often to the detriment and security risk of the neighbouring private properties.

The Expropriation Bill, which is currently before the Public Works and Infrastructure Portfolio Committee, is further evidence of the complete lack of regard the ANC has for the protection of private property rights. Or, for that matter, the rule of law.

Despite the fact that Parliament failed to pass the 18th Constitutional Amendment to allow for specific instances of expropriation without compensation as an addition to Section 25 of the Constitution, the ANC in the Public Works and Infrastructure Portfolio Committee are determined to push through on expropriation without compensation.

While the DA believes that the government must do more for land reform, human settlements and to create an enabling environment for job creation and business development, threatening private property rights is not the answer, especially if, as we believe, it is unconstitutional.

Instead, the government could look at its own properties to meet accommodation needs and to provide mechanisms for SMMEs to grow and thrive.

Suitable vacant properties can be converted into shelters. If each property could house between just 10 to 20 people each, that would mean that up to 70 000 homeless people could potentially be kept off the streets and have their dignity restored each year.

Instead of paying R15.2 million for private security, this could be used to fund these shelters.

Alternatively, the vacant properties could be advertised for use by NPOs or business start-ups, with the money spent on security used to by the Department to subsidise rentals for a certain period as a tangible commitment to supporting their sustainability.

In putting these properties to more productive use, the savings on security, alone, could be used to create up to 120 RDP houses per year.

In a time where the people of South Africa are struggling to make ends meet or are already having to live on the streets, the ANC poverty cabinet should refocus its obsession with the unsustainable populist agenda of expropriation without compensation and instead focus on actually housing its citizens in homes that are already available in the very backyard of the ANC.

The DA calls on Patricia De Lille to confirm whether her department will be willing to make some of these vacant buildings available to the homeless, NPOs and business startups and cease with the expensive private security costs. Or whether she and the ANC will continue to allow some South African citizens to remain without dignity, unemployed and mired in poverty and on the streets, because it is easier for her department to do nothing.

DA welcomes progress on Rooiwal forensic investigation

Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Cilliers Brink MP, DA Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the progress that has been made by the Tshwane coalition government in investigating the Rooiwal matter.

Earlier this year Mayor Randall Williams ordered a forensic investigation into the first phase of project to refurbish this waste water treatment plant.

Mayor Williams’ decision was a response to findings by the Auditor-General into the appointment of the contractor on the project.

The investigation is now underway, and Mayor Williams will today ask the municipal council to give forensic investigates six weeks to complete their work.

It is essential that this investigation be completed, and that no further time is wasted in ensuring that the long-standing problems at Rooiwal be resolved.

If any improprieties were committed in the awarding of the Rooiwal contract, this investigation is what will unearth the necessary evidence.

We welcome the example of openness and accountability set by Tshwane and Mayor Williams.

Motsoaledi must open remaining closed border posts without further delay

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

The DA calls on the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, to open the remaining closed border posts without further delay.

When the DA questioned Minister Motsoaledi on why smaller border posts such as Stockpoort remain closed, he responded that Port Health is not there and therefore they cannot implement Covid-19 protocols.

However, a full week after the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, announced that all Covid restrictions have been removed, including those regarding people entering the country, South Africa’s smaller border posts remain closed, with devastating economic effects on local communities.

The DA Shadow Minister of Health, Michele Clarke, questioned the Department of Health on where these Port Health officials are and when they will return to their posts, but the Health Department have been unable to provide a simple explanation for several weeks.

Who is in charge of our border posts? The Border Management Authority? Home Affairs? The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS)? Port Health?

And where are the Immigration and Port Health officials that are supposed to be working at these border posts, while businesses around border posts such as Stockpoort have closed their doors, the Bureau de change retrenched all their employees, and vegetable tunnels closed due to no sales across the border?

Our borders operate in a leadership vacuum, and it is the citizens of South Africa who, as usual, take the punishment.

Minister Motsoaledi claims we need a whole new immigration regime, but what we really need is competent officials at their posts doing their jobs.

Motsoaledi moet die oorblywende geslote grensposte sonder verdere versuim oopmaak

Die DA doen ’n beroep op die minister van binnelandse sake, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, om die oorblywende geslote grensposte sonder verdere versuim oop te maak.

Toe die DA minister Motsoaledi ondervra het oor hoekom kleiner grensposte soos Stockpoort gesluit bly, het hy geantwoord dat grensgesondheid (Port Health) nie daar is nie en daarom kan hulle nie Covid-protokolle implementeer nie.

’n Hele week nadat Dr Joe Phaahla, die minister van gesondheid, aangekondig het dat alle Covid-beperkings verwyder is, insluitend die met betrekking tot mense wat die land binnekom, bly Suid-Afrika se kleiner grensposte egter gesluit met verwoestende ekonomiese uitwerking op plaaslike gemeenskappe.

Die DA skaduminister van gesondheid, Michele Clarke, het die departement van gesondheid gevra waar hierdie grensgesondheidsamptenare is en wanneer hulle na hul poste sal terugkeer, maar die gesondheidsdepartement kon vir ’n paar weke nie ’n eenvoudige verduideliking gee nie.

Wie is in beheer van ons grensposte? Die grensbestuursowerheid? Binnelandse sake? Die Nasionale gesamentlike operasionele en intelligensiestruktuur (NATJOINTS)? Grensgesondheid?

En waar is die immigrasie- en grensgesondheidsbeamptes wat veronderstel is om by hierdie grensposte te werk, terwyl besighede in grensposte soos Stockpoort hul deure gesluit het, die Klassifikasieburo al hul werknemers afgelê het, en groentetonnels gesluit is weens geen verkope oor die grens?

Ons grense funksioneer in ’n leierskapsvakuum, en dit is die burgers van Suid-Afrika wat, soos gewoonlik, die las dra.

Minister Motsoaledi beweer ons het ’n hele nuwe immigrasieregime nodig, maar wat ons regtig nodig het, is bekwame amptenare in hul poste wat hul werk doen.

DA proposes three steps to fix consular services for South Africans living abroad

Pictures from the DA Federal  Leader, John Steenhuisen’s oversight visits to the South African Consulate and Regional Home Affairs Offices in London, United Kingdom are attached here and here

Over the past two days I have concluded a successful oversight visit to the Department of Home Affairs office at the South African Consulate in London, accompanied by the DA’s Deputy Chief Whip, Siviwe Gwarube, and the DA’s Shadow Minister of Finance, Dion George, to determine how consular services can be improved for South Africans living abroad, affording every citizen their constitutional right to citizenship and service delivery. This included a fruitful meeting with the outgoing South African High Commissioner, Ms Nomatemba Tambo.

Of particular concern in London, is difficulties that South Africans living in the UK are experiencing in receiving passports, identity documents, retention of citizenship letters and in registering births, as well as long waiting times for all services.

Our oversight visit gave us valuable insight into the root causes of the backlogs and delays being experienced. Three main solutions became apparent.

1. All South African Home Affairs offices abroad need upgraded systems linked to the online system used in South Africa, including a digitised biometric system for scanning fingerprints directly into soft copy. The London office of the South African Department of Home Affairs and its counterparts in China, the US, Europe and Australia are using offline, archaic systems where staff have to take fingerprints and perform other such functions manually.

2. All South African Home Affairs offices abroad need a full staff complement. The Home Affairs office in London is severely understaffed.

3. An SMS or WhatsApp system is required for efficient communication with clients. Currently, there is a severe lack of communications, with clients not receiving, confirmation of receipt of application, progress updates, or notification when their documents are ready for collection.

Following this oversight visit, and having identified the issues with the consular services linked to the Department of Home Affairs, I will be writing to the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, to request a meeting with him to address concerns around why these systems have not yet been digitised, why offices are understaffed, and why there is a lack of communication with clients, and when we can expect these problems to be resolved. The DA will also be taking further parliamentary action steps in this regard.

We have raised these issues with Ms Tambo for her to take forward and pass on to her successor, Mr Kingsley Mamabolo. We also wish Ms Tambo well in her new posting.

The millions of South Africans living in the United Kingdom and elsewhere abroad deserve to get the quality services for which they are paying through their taxes. It is their constitutional right to have South African citizenship, a sense of identity, and the right and ability to vote in the upcoming General Election.

The DA commends the recent decision to outsource passport application services to VFS. We lobbied hard for that outcome, which we hope and expect will result in a swifter and more efficient service.

Hopefully this is the beginning of a new era of efficient delivery for this large and valued group of South Africans.

DA lays criminal charges against the ANC

Please find attached:

Exactly a week ago, the final part of the Zondo State Capture Commission Report was handed over to the President and made public.

Since then, South Africans, frustrated by Stage 6 loadshedding and the breakdown and corruption of state institutions, want to know: What now?

The answer is that the DA will fight to make these findings count for something.

We therefore today laid criminal charges, requesting that the ANC, that has acted like a criminal syndicate, be investigated for systemic and calculated racketeering activities over a multitude of years.

In March 2019, the DA wrote to the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shamila Batohi, requesting that the ANC be investigated for systemic and calculated fraud, racketeering, corruption, looting of public money and related offences over the past two decades.

More than three years later, the NPA has taken no visible action to investigate the ANC for these crimes.

But now, we have the evidence procured by the Zondo Commission, justifying such an invetigation and such a charge.

For the Zondo Commission to have any credibility in the eys of ordinary South Africans, criminal chages, arrests and prosecutions must now follow.

DA intervention stops eviction of family from a farm in the Eastern Cape

The DA has once again successfully defended the farming rights of a family that was on the brink of eviction from a farm near East London in the Eastern Cape.

After more than 2 years of constant harassment and possible eviction from a farm that they had lived on for years, the Moyeni family has now won a right to alternative accommodation through section 4 of ESTA (Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997) to continue with their farming activities.

Following a series of engagements with the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), the Department has purchased an alternative farm in the same area for the Moyeni family. They are now proud owners of a farm with title.

For more than 2 years, the husband to the MEC for Transport in the Eastern Cape, Ms WesizweTiakni-Gxothiwe, threatened the Moyeni’s with eviction after he had bought the farm from the previous owner. On one occasion, he told them that he had procured a TLB (tractor loader backhoe) to bulldoze their humble abode down. When they resisted, he confined them to a small portion of the farm and fenced them in with their livestock, in the process cutting off their water and electricity supply.

The Moyeni’s lost thity-eight of their livestock as they could not feed and water them adequately. When I conducted an oversight visit on the farm in April 2021, I was met by a sorry sight of carcasses of cows lying exposed on the ground. The small portion that they had been restricted to had no water, no toilet, no electricity and nowhere to source firewood for cooking.

The Moyeni’s had been on this farm since 1964 and the then owner , Mr Burger, had allowed them to share the grazing and water in peace. When the farm changed several hands over the years, the Moyeni’s found themselves at the mercy of not so kind farm owners.

Now that the DALRRD has finaly done the right thing the DA will make every effort to ensure that they are prioritized for government’s after sale support programmes. The Moyeni’s have a clear passion for farming and they should be given all the support to scale their agricultural activities.

DA Putting Final Touches on Fuel Deregulation Bill

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

The DA is putting the final touches on our Fuel Deregulation Bill aimed at deregulating the fuel price in South Africa, and will soon be ready to submit it to Parliament. This Bill will primarily amend the Petroleum Products Act which has been used by the ANC government to stifle competition, resulting in fuel prices being far higher than they need to be.

This Bill is a centre-piece of the DA’s all-out fight to slash fuel taxes and slash the fuel price.

The DA’s Bill will strip the ANC national government of its power to unilaterally determine fuel prices for our entire nation. Instead, a competitive fuel market will be established where retailers will be free to differentiate on pricing and services, and compete for motorists to fill up by lowering prices at the pump.

It is unconscionable that the corrupt ANC government still artificially sets the fuel price, centrally, and inflates it to a price that suits them to obtain maximum taxation. Talk of a fuel price hike that might see prices soar to R27 a litre in July would be devastating to South Africa, set by the ANC government.

The need to reduce the cost of fuel has never been more urgent, and the DA is pursuing every single possible angle.

South Africans across the board, whether drivers or passengers in public transport, are facing an unprecedented cost of living crisis, and the DA will lead the charge to reduce the cost and remove the inflated taxes that simply inflates government coffers.

It is time the ANC government got out of the way of ordinary South Africans and allows retailers to determine their own price levels, just like every other consumer good or service. Fuel is not ‘special’ – it is a consumer good. Motorists must also be free to choose the most affordable fuel retailer.

With further fuel price hikes looming on the horizon, the DA will be submitting our Bill to Parliament shortly, with the urgency this national crisis deserves. We will be communicating further details on our Bill in the coming weeks.