CEO of Sanparks dismissed following GVB findings against him

After a 10-month disciplinary hearing Sanparks CEO, Mr Fundisile Mketeni has been found guilty on 6 charges brought against him and dismissed.

This follows an incident in May 2021, when a young woman was assaulted for allegedly refusing Mr Mketeni’s advances. It is alleged that Mr Mketeni was joined by two colleagues who also participated in the assault.

Sanparks appointed independent lawyers to conduct the internal disciplinary hearing. The Labour Appeal Court makes it clear that sexual harassment is a scourge in the workplace and that employers have a duty to make the workplace safe.

Mr Mketeni was found guilty of sexual harassment, assault, abusive language, a failure to report someone missing in dangerous circumstances and a failure to report the incident to his superiors timeously.

In their findings, they further held that Mr Mketeni has embarrassed and damaged the name of Sanparks, both in the media and with its stakeholders.

Furthermore, they concluded that the relationship of trust between the Employer and Employee has been broken and that summary dismissal was the appropriate sanction.

Dealing with GBV in the workplace takes very long and this process needs to be streamlined to ensure that it becomes much more expedient.

The two colleagues alleged to have participated in the assault are awaiting the outcome of their disciplinary processes.

It is about time that men in high positions be held accountable and that they assist to root out the disease of GBV. Women are not their subjects – they are equal to men and should be respected as such.

The DA condemns the behaviour of Mr Mketeni and congratulates Sanparks on dealing with the very serious issue of GBV in the workplace. The DA will never condone GBV under any circumstances and reiterates its call for perpetrators to be held accountable.

The DA would like to commend the young woman in this case for standing up and not giving up. She is a role model and a beacon of hope in the sea of GBV.

SASSA leaves grant recipients in the lurch – once again

Please find attached soundbite by Bridget Masango MP.

The DA has received many complaints that recipients of the old-age grant have been left stranded by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) partnered disbursement outlets such as Pick n Pay, Boxer, Shoprite, Checkers and Usave merchants.

In an attempt to solve the chronic problem of long queues, inefficiency, staff shortages and an outdated technological infrastructure, the Department of Social Development (DSD) and SASSA shifted the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant disbursement mechanism to partnered pay points.

The DA has been inundated with messages and calls exposing the chaos experienced in grocery stores. Reports have highlighted that technical errors on SASSA’s side resulted in the old-age grant payment being brought forward from the 3rd to the 2nd of June. As a result, funds are unavailable. This has left many pensioners waiting for their disbursements.

Additionally, reports have highlighted that there is a national error with regards to disbursements via Pick n Pay outlets. Funds are unavailable leaving many recipients having to stand in long queues in grocery stores, unsure of when the payment error will be resolved and their grants will be paid out.

These issues arise out of the discontinuation of payment of the R350 SRD grant from South African Post Office (SAPO) branches. SAPO has revised their application and disbursement mechanisms for the SRD grant, which now requires beneficiaries to collect their funds at partnered pay points. This has caused confusion and chaos.

Every month, vulnerable South Africans struggle to access their grants due to a technical glitch, systems crashes, and changes in grant qualification requirements. Millions of vulnerable South Africans rely on these grants to support their families, and every month there is uncertainty on whether their grants will be disbursed and accessed on time. The DA will continue to fight for systems to be updated and streamlined so that millions of vulnerable South Africans are not left in the lurch.

Agriculture Department fails farmers who struggle to redeem their PESI vouchers

Please find attached soundbite by Noko Masipa MP.

The DA will write to the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, to urgently address the serious concerns that subsistence farmers and their suppliers have with the Presidential Employment Stimulus Initiative (PESI) vouchers.

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) launched the PESI vouchers with the intention of supporting smallholder farmers. This programme had a number of problems, including the suppliers who served as middlemen taking more than the agreed upon fee. This has led to the Department withdrawing the voucher programme.

Both commercial and emerging farmers have already indicated that they are struggling to afford input costs. The increases in fuel price is just going to add to the misery. A study concluded by Dr Kandase Cloete before the fuel hike, revealed that one in five farmers intend to leave farming in the next 10 years.

Despite the Department’s assurance that the PESI challenges with farmers were resolved, it was recently reported that subsistence farmers in KwaZulu-Natal have been experiencing challenges to redeem their vouchers. Furthermore, there are suppliers in the Eastern Cape who complained that they were unceremoniously dropped after they were initially approved.

The Presidential Employment Stimulus Initiative was meant to create job opportunities and help retain jobs on farms. However, if government’s systems and processes fail those who are vulnerable and expect their support, where are these vulnerable farmers and suppliers supposed to go? It is, therefore, not surprising that black emerging farmers have decided to take to the street and march in protest against the lack of support from government.

The Department must run a transparent system of the support programme for farmers to ensure that their complaints and appeals are listened to and addressed.

The DA will engage with the recipients of the PESI voucher to understand these new emerging issues with the redemption of the vouchers.

Public Comments Open on 2 DA Bills: Keep Government Accountable

With only four days left until the closure of public comments, the DA calls on the public to make sure they provide their comments on two Private Members Bills before Parliament before the deadline of Monday 6 June 2022.

Both Bills aim to amend various sections of the Public Finance Management Act (“PFMA”) in order to keep government accountable and ensure good corporate governance.

  • The First Bill, [B41-2018], introduced by DA MP, Alf Lees, requires the Minister of Finance to table a report to Parliament anytime a guarantee or security has been issued to a public entity and would require the Minister to provide all relevant details of such guarantee or security within 30 days.
  • The Second Bill, [B13-2020], introduced by DA MP, Ghaleb Cachalia, aims to provide additional measures in instances where the executive authority has failed to table an annual report and financial statements in the relevant legislature on time. This amendment would then be in line with international financial reporting standards. Currently, the PFMA does not provide for any additional measures in instances where such reports and statements are not tabled. This flies in the face of transparency, governance, and oversight.

By passing both Bills through Parliament, the DA will be able to keep the executive in check and ensure that there are no reckless or dodgy background guarantees being issued to institutions that are endless and bottomless money pits.

Parliament will be able to effectively ensure an open and transparent government, so that things like state capture and rampant corruption will never happen again under its watch.

The DA calls upon the public to show their support for these Bills by no later than Monday 6 June 2022. Submissions can be emailed to Mr Allen Wicomb at and Ms Teboho Sepanya at

More than 120 000 support DA’s call to scrap tax levy on fuel

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

More than 123 000 South Africans have supported the DA’s call to cut the exorbitant taxes on fuel.

More than a third of the price South Africans pay for fuel is a tax levy intended to buffer National Treasury’s coffers. While that money could be spent on road infrastructure, education, health care or social development, it is in fact looted by corrupt cadres and comrades or wasted on vanity projects that have been captured by the politically connected.

The past 28 years under an ANC government have bled South Africans dry, and we simply cannot afford the exorbitant fuel prices and resulting increases on all other necessities. The coming months will see South Africans fall deeper into debt and hunger and hopelessness will soar.

It is time the ANC government scrapped the 33% tax levy on fuel; deregulated and reduced the fuel price; reformed or replaced the bankrupt and mismanaged Road Accident Fund levy; and introduced a comprehensive rescue plan for South Africa to reduce the cost of living on all fronts.

The DA will continue to fight the ANC government’s efforts to further impoverish South Africans. We are waiting in anticipation for confirmation on a date for our debate of national importance regarding the impact of continued rising fuel prices on the cost of living and what can be done to protect the poor and vulnerable.

The DA is also in the process of introducing a Private Member’s Bill to deregulate the fuel sector to encourage competition among fuel wholesalers and retailers.

Phone calls and emails are not being answered because half of Government Department Heads are sleeping on the job

Please find attached a soundbite by Dr Leon Schreiber MP.

Based on evidence provided by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), made available yesterday during a presentation before the Public Service and Administration Committee, the DA can confirm that part of the reason why phone calls and emails to government Departments go unanswered is because Director Generals and Heads of Departments are sleeping on the job.

On Sunday, a DA research analysis into the most basic functions of any government department: answering the telephone and corresponding with the public via email, revealed that:

  • ANC cadre deployment corruption has led to a near-complete collapse in government capacity wherever the ANC governs, with 7 out of every 10 phone calls or emails to national or provincial departments run by the ANC going unanswered.
  • The only exception to this collapse is the one province where cadre deployment has been defeated, namely the DA-led Western Cape, where not a single call went unanswered.

Yesterday’s DPME presentation showed that, of the 111 DGs and HoDs in National and Provincial government Departments, only 62 (56%) submitted their performance agreements on time. 13 submitted late and 35 did not submit their performance agreements at all, in clear violation and non-compliance with the HoD PDMS Directive.

Although there is a consequence management procedure for DGs and HoDs who fail to comply with the PDMS requirement, there was no clarity if this has been effected for those who failed to meet the 30 April deadline to submit their performance agreements.

The DA will be submitting parliamentary questions to the Presidency, requesting that they provide clarity on:

  • Whether he has reported the non-compliant DGs and HoDs to Cabinet as required by the consequence management procedure;
  • Whether any HoDs have forfeited any incentives, including notch increment, after failing to comply with the PDMS requirement and as required by the consequence management procedure?

Poor performance management in the public service has grave consequences for service delivery. In national government departments, where ANC cadre deployment corruption continues to run rampant thanks to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s impassioned defence of this practice at the State Capture Commission, 59% of the 37 departments did not respond to any of the three emails. Additionally, 65% of the departments failed to even answer the phone after three separate attempts.

This even included the Presidency nor the Department of Communications, which both failed to answer the phone or respond to email.

The situation is even more dire in the eight ANC-run provinces, where cadre deployment corruption has hollowed out provincial administrations to such an extent that only 22% of the 91 departments in those eight provinces have the capacity to answer a phone calls after three separate attempts. In contrast, 100% of calls to the Western Cape Government’s 12 departments were successful.

Perhaps, the most striking of all is the finding that this damage was entirely reversed in the one province where the DA replaced the ANC as governing party. By replacing cadre deployment with professional, merit-based appointments in the public service, as the DA did in the Western Cape, we have been able to replace a failing state with a capable state that provides effective service delivery to residents.

The lack of accountability in the public service and poor performance management is testament to the collapse of the most basic tenets of service delivery under the full weight of ANC cadre deployment. For voters, the message is equally striking: in every upcoming by-election and in the 2024 national and provincial elections, vote to replace ANC cadre deployment corruption with DA good governance, so that we can fix what ANC cadres have broken.

DA wins ward off the ANC in Kareeberg, Northern Cape

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

The residents of Ward 4 in Kareeberg in the Northern Cape have placed their faith and trust in the DA.

In a stunning increase from 13.35% in 2021 to 42.77% in today’s by-election, the residents of ward 4 have voted the ANC out and sent a strong message that the time for empty promises is over.

With a convincing 72% turnout, the smaller parties virtually faded away while the ANC remained stagnant. Voters clearly united behind the DA and chose not to split the vote.

This is a very encouraging trend in the run-up to Election 2024, where the ANC can and must be voted out of government in the Northern Cape.

SAPS has no crime prevention strategy for tourists

In a reply to a DA parliamentary question, the South African Police Service (SAPS) revealed that it is unable to identify criminal acts involving tourists. This contrasts sharply with many countries around the world where illegal activities are routinely classified by police, law enforcement, and security agencies.

Government’s past rhetoric, particularly that of the SAPS ensuring the safety of tourists, appears to be mere words without action.

In his responses the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, highlighted that launching a search for tourism-related crime would “considerably and unnecessarily divert the SAPS’ resources away from vital operational activity.” Hence, “SAPS is unable to provide the requested statistics.”

This can only be interpreted in that crimes are not categorised and that the SAPS do not consider or understand the importance of doing so. Additionally, it appears that the SAPS do not consider this matter important or “urgent” enough. The fact that the replies indicate that the police are not prepared to “divert the resources of the SAPS” confirms this.

Crimes must be clearly categorized so that criminal incidents involving tourists, or any other grouping, are clearly identified. If this is not done, then how is it possible that the SAPS obtain and maintain statistics which in turn informs them of what crime prevention strategies in particular areas should be rolled out.

It is therefore clear that there is no strategy to combat crimes involving tourists.

The DA will be submitting additional questions to Minister Cele in this regard.

The SAPS, and government must realise the good impact that tourism and the travel industry have on our economy and job creation. This is too important to be left unattended.

The failing SAPS costs South Africans an additional R11.8 billion per year 

Please find and attached soundbite by Andrew Whitfield MP.

  • See here for cost summary.

The DA can reveal that, due to the failure of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to effectively combat crime, government departments have, over the last five years, spent an additional R11 billion on private security to compensate for this failure. This expenditure is in addition to SAPS’ R100 billion annual budget.

The way in which government is increasingly reliant on private security due to a failing national police service was revealed in answers to a series of parliamentary questions from the DA, in which we asked each minister to provide their departments’ total expenditure on private security in the last five years.

This extensive use of private security by a government which is private sector averse is an admission of SAPS’ complete failure to deal with rising crime across the country and an admission that the private sector has a critical role to play in South Africa.

The question that needs to be asked, however, is why this additional R11 billion is needed when taxpayers already fund SAPS to the tune of R100 billion per year? If Minister Bheki Cele and the national police were doing their jobs effectively, this R11 billion would have been available to instead address any of the myriad crises our country faces – starting with reducing the fuel price and the cost of living.

But the duplication of spending does not end there. As SAPS fails to curb rampant crime and ANC politicians become increasingly terrified of the country they are supposed to govern, spending on VIP Protection has similarly ballooned to R1.8 billion per year.

Meanwhile, over the last 10 years, murders have increased by 37% while the police budget has increased by over 60%. Despite this increased spending, SAPS offices remain under-resourced while both private citizens and government additionally pays for private security.

The biggest spenders on private security include the Departments of Communications (R2.290 billion), Public Enterprises (R3.6 billion), Water and Sanitation (R 1.5 billion) and Transport (R1.6 billion). In the face of the failing SAPS, all of these departments are victims of theft and vandalism of public infrastructure on an enormous scale.

The DA will call the Minister of Police to account to Parliament for why both government departments and private citizens, on top of paying tax to fund SAPS, are forced to pay a second time for private security to do the job that SAPS is supposed to do. We will also interrogate the R11 billion spent on private security to ensure that departments get bang for taxpayer bucks.

ANC recommendation of Mashinini as IEC Commissioner a slap in face of those denied a vote in 2021

Please find attached English soundbite by Angel Khanyile MP, and Afrikaans soundbite by Adrian Roos MP.

The vote by the ANC to recommend Glen Mashinini as an Electoral Commissioner is a slap in the face of every South African who was denied their right to vote in the 2021 Local Government Elections (LGE).

The IEC Report on the 2021 LGE to the portfolio committee on Home Affairs on 20 May 2022 did not even mention voter management device failures as a challenge faced in the election. Failures in these systems resulted in around 140 000 voters who had changed their registration finding they had in fact not been changed and being unable to vote on election day. A huge number of first time voters were turned away on election day as their details did not appear on the voters roll.

Furthermore, the DA received complaints from over 150 voting stations on election day where the voter management devices failed causing long queues and leading voters to leave the queues in frustration.

The IEC admitted they first tested these devices on registration weekend, despite insisting before the elections that these devices had been tested and a backup process was in place.

Under Mashinini’s watch the IEC failed in its most basic task to manage voter registration and the election in such a way that every person entitled to be registered and vote is able to do so. This followed the washable ink debacle in the 2019 National and Provincial Elections as the latest of a series of events threatening the credibility of our elections. Queries on numerous reports of marked ballot papers that were found on dumping sites, have had no feedback to date.

The ANC decision seeks to ignore the unfair elections we have been subjected to. We have witnessed a number of complaints regarding IEC’s conduct during every election and our pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

Further to that, the voter turnout keeps decreasing. This is a clear indication that the IEC has no plan to encourage young people to vote.

The DA objects to the nomination of Glen Mashinini in the strongest terms. It shows that not only does the ANC not believe in accountability but there are no consequences for poor performance, even if it costs South Africans their right to vote.