The Conman who quit on South Africa

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered by the DA Federal Leader John Steenhuisen during the Presidency Budget Vote Debate in the National Assembly this afternoon. 

Honourable Speaker,

I’d like to take this House back to 2019. Looking back from the winter of 2023, it can be difficult to recall what things were like back then.

But, if we are to chart a course away from the dangerous trajectory this country is currently on, then it is essential to understand how we got here.

Let’s go back to some excerpts from President Ramaphosa’s inauguration speech, delivered almost exactly four years ago to the day – and I quote:

“Let us declare our shared determination that we shall end poverty in South Africa within a generation.

That there should be no child who goes hungry.

Every school child will be able to read, and every person who wants to work will have a reasonable opportunity to find employment.

Let us build a truly non-racial society, one that belongs to all South Africans, and in which all South Africans belong.

It is to this brighter day that we now turn our eyes, to a vista rich with the hues of hope and promise.

A new era has dawned in our country.”

Soaring rhetoric, to be sure.

But instead of inspiring hope as they once did, hearing these words today leaves one with an altogether different set of emotions.

Despair. Betrayal. Anger.

We now know that the New Dawn was a deceitful campaign designed to present Cyril Ramaphosa as the one thing he never was, and never could be: a leader.

And, to be fair, it worked like a charm.

Millions of South Africans put their faith in Ramaphosa.

The respected international magazine, The Economist, even proclaimed that – and I quote – “To stop the rot in South Africa, back Cyril Ramaphosa.”

However, four years later, the President has broken every single one of the promises he made in his inaugural speech.

In fact, he lately seems barely interested in the job.

Like someone who quiet quit a long time ago.

Let’s remind ourselves of what he promised versus what he actually did.

He promised to end poverty. What he did has increased it dramatically.

He promised clean and accountable government. What he did was stuff Dollars in his Phala Phala couch.

He promised that no child will go hungry. What he did was to ban food distribution at schools during lockdown.

What he did caused child hunger to skyrocket by 50 percent, with one in three children now going to bed hungry.

What he did was plunge South Africa into stage six load shedding, because corrupt cadres have to eat while the people starve.

What he did caused our currency to lose over 40% of its value against the Dollar since the day he was inaugurated.

He promised that every school child will be able to read.

What he did has increased illiteracy, to the point where 81% of grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning.

What he did was spend millions on fumigating cockroaches in ministerial mansions while children die in pit latrines.

He promised that everyone who wants to work, will have a reasonable chance to be employed.

What he did has increased unemployment from 10 million people to 12 million people.

He promised to tackle crime and gender-based violence.

What he did has increased the number of people murdered per day from 57 to 76, and the number of women raped from 114 to 120 per day.

He promised a united non-racial society.

What he did was introduce race quotas that will cause 600 000 people to lose their jobs on the basis of their skin colour, and ban entire groups of South Africans from working in certain sectors and provinces.


After four years of deceit, it is now time for some hard truth.

The truth is that life in South Africa today is far worse for everyone than it was even during the lowest point of the Zuma years.

The truth, Mr President, is that you fooled the people of South Africa into believing that you could lead our country to better days.

But you are no leader.

What you are, is a confidence trickster.

A political swindler who milked your connections to become a billionaire and then left South Africa down and bleeding in the dirt once you were done with us.

But the jig is up, Mr President.

The businesspeople who once sang your praises cannot walk away from you fast enough.

The Reserve Bank that breathed a sigh of relief when you were elected is now warning that your love affair with a warmonger could soon result in sanctions.

Your legal advisers have told you not to challenge the High Court ruling that the Phala Phala report stands, because you will lose.

And on top of all that, the EFF is busy executing a reverse takeover of your party.

Now, we all know that you will return to this House tomorrow with red herrings like grandstanding and point scoring.

But the cold, hard truth is that, in the end, Mr Ramaphosa is just another ANC cadre who betrayed our country.


There is no more space for us to delude ourselves into believing that a cadre in shining armour is coming to save this country.

South Africa is in this disaster because we got carried away by empty promises.

If we are honest with each other, there was never any concrete evidence that Mr Ramaphosa could deliver any of the things he promised.

He made us believe, because we wanted to believe. And then he mercilessly dashed our hopes.

What we need to do now, is look to hard evidence of delivery when choosing who to vote for in next year’s election.

That is precisely what my party, the Democratic Alliance, is offering.

You don’t have to believe our promises. All you need to do is believe your own eyes.

Where the DA governs, we are actually lifting people out of poverty.

The DA-run Western Cape has the lowest rate of poverty and unemployment in the country.

Where the DA governs, food distribution to hungry children continued throughout lockdown, despite the national government’s efforts to stop it.

It is the DA that is fighting to address the cost-of-living crisis by cutting fuel levies and expanding the basket of basic foods – including chicken, beef and baby food – that are exempt from VAT.

DA-run Cape Town is on track to become the first city to meaningfully cut load shedding.

In fact, Cape Town’s investment in infrastructure is now bigger than Johannesburg’s and eThekwini’s combined, with 73 percent of the entire city budget targeted at the poorest residents.

In the DA-run Western Cape, double as many schoolchildren can read for meaning compared to the rest of the country, and we are investing R1.2 billion to reverse learning losses from the Covid lockdown.

In the previous quarter, the Western Cape created 98 percent of net new jobs in South Africa, while the eight ANC-run provinces together only added 2 percent.

Ratings Afrika recently confirmed that all five of the top performing municipal governments, as well as the top-rated metro in this country, are all run by the DA.

And, just yesterday, we received the spectacular news that the DA-run Western Cape has reduced the murder rate by an unprecedented 14% over the past year, while sexual offences are also down over 10%!

The DA’s R1 billion investment into the LEAP programme to make up for the failure of the national police is literally saving lives every day!

The DA may not be perfect and our job is far from done. But these facts speak for themselves.

It is important to recognise that none of these facts came about by accident.

They are the result of sensible policies combined with committed servant leadership from a party that actually cares about the people.


In that 2019 article endorsing Mr Ramaphosa, The Economist also had this to say, and I quote: “The DA has the right ideas for fixing South Africa, but it is in no position to implement them.”

It said that, because the DA had no clear path to victory, it was better to cross our fingers and hope that Mr Ramaphosa would fix the ANC.

But, fortunately, this is no longer the case.

As we head into the 2024 election, the DA – together with our partners in other parties – can indeed offer the voters of South Africa a clear path to victory.

The nine parties that are currently in discussions over forming a pre-election Pact garnered 35 percent of the vote in 2021.

By working together, we can grow by the 15 percentage points required for the Pact to take power nationally.

In addition to a solid DA majority in the Western Cape, the latest opinion polls already put the Pact at 43% in the Northern Cape, 45% in KwaZulu-Natal, and at 48% in Gauteng.

Unlike in 2019, voters no longer need to be deceived by Mr Ramaphosa’s smooth-talk or just hope for the best.

For the first time since 1994, the credible alternative our country has been yearning for, has arrived.

The Pact will combine the DA’s proven track-record of delivery and clean, accountable government with the diverse strengths of our partners across other parties.

To the voters who were deceived by Mr Ramaphosa in 2019, I say: don’t let him fool you twice.

To the 14 million registered voters who have stopped voting, I say: it’s in your hands to save your country, so switch your vote to the only credible alternative with a clear path to power.

To the 13 million more people who are not even registered to vote, I say: you matter, your voice must be heard, and your vote can save the country we all love.

Even if you think you’re not interested in politics, load shedding and hunger has shown that politics is interested in you.

As for Mr Ramaphosa?

To you I simply say: you have a great future behind you.

We all know that you quiet quit on us a long time ago.

But next year, the people will elect a new Pact government that refuses to quit on South Africa.

Thank you.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, register correctly to vote now at

DA Budget vote debate speeches 31 May 2023: The Presidency

Please find below the Budget Vote Debate Speeches delivered in parliament Today, 31 May 2023, embargoed until delivery.


Budget Vote 1: The Presidency


Zak Mbhele MPSpeech 1

DA Shadow Minister in the Presidency

083 600 2349


Joe McGluwa MPSpeech 2

DA Shadow Deputy Minister in the Presidency

084 213 3811


Samantha Graham-Maré MP- Speech 3

DA Additional Deputy Member in the Presidency

083 409 9196

Municipal Audit Outcomes – High performing DA governments provide proof that South Africa can be saved in 2024

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Eleanore Bouw-Spies MP.

Amidst the chaos and economic sabotage brought about by the ruinous ANC government, the Auditor General (A-G), Tsakani Maluleke, has once again reaffirmed the undeniable truth that the DA runs the best municipalities in the country.

The positive performance report on DA governments from the 2021/2022 municipal audit outcomes, presented today in Parliament, comes a week after a similar verdict from the 2022 Municipal Financial Sustainability Index (MFSI) by Ratings Afrika. The Index listed DA-run Midvaal and Saldanha Bay as the best-run municipalities in the country, with Cape Town standing emerging as the only financially viable metro in South Africa.

South Africans can now say with confidence that the DA is the only party with a solid track record in government to save South Africa in 2024 and bring the country back from the brink of becoming a failed state. Of the 38 clean audit outcomes reported by the A-G, 23 were from DA-run municipalities. Most importantly, the City of Ekurhuleni obtained a clean audit due to the work of the DA coalition before it was removed by the ANC/EFF coalition of corruption. The sad reality is that, Ekurhuleni will in all probability regress because the cadres have their hands at the till again.

The Western Cape has once again outperformed the rest of the country, with 21 DA municipalities receiving clean audits which is more than the rest of the clean audits in the country combined. In Gauteng, the DA-run Midvaal municipality continues to be a leader on good governance outcomes as the municipality bagged another clean audit, repaying the confidence that residents have in DA-led administration.

Despite spending a combined R1,6 billion on consultants, ANC municipalities have not only regressed in terms of their overall financial health, but 70 of them were also flagged by the A-G as facing significant risks to continue functioning as going concerns. This after R5 billion was flagged for fruitless and wasteful expenditure and another R5 billion was the estimated loss from non-compliance and fraud. The A-G’s verdict on failing municipalities is ominous – these municipalities are financially distressed to the extent that they will continue to struggle to deliver services, responsibly use & account for taxpayers’ money.

While good governance continues to be the hallmark of DA governments, we are equally concerned about the welfare of South Africans who live in badly run ANC municipalities, some of which are on the verge of collapse. It is for this reason that last week, I wrote to Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Thembi Nkadimeng, and the acting head of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), Mthobeli Kolisa, requesting that they convene a “Best Practice Summit on Municipal Governance”. DA-run governments that have been cited for good governance will then use this platform to share best practices and key lessons on how to improve governance outcomes in failing ANC municipalities.

Both Minister Nkadimeng and Mr Kolisa have acknowledged receipt of my correspondence and I hope they will act in the best interests of the country to convene this summit as a matter of urgency. The DA is the only party with the governance experience and national footprint to save South Africa from the ANC wrecking ball that has collapsed municipalities across the country.

DA condemns state-sponsored homophobia

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Emma Louise Powell MP.

The Ugandan Parliament has recently passed a deadly bill that now makes engaging in acts of homosexuality a crime punishable by death. The Act not only criminalises conspiracy to engage in homosexuality but further stipulates a 20-year sentence for “promoting” homosexuality.

Earlier this year, the Ugandan President and homophobe-in-chief, Yoweri Museveni, referred to homosexuality as a “deviant proclivity”. This, despite 15 global leaders in science having written an open letter to the President stating that, “homosexuality is a normal and natural variation of human sexuality. The science on this subject is crystal clear and we call on you in the strongest possible terms to veto the bill in the name of science.”

The African Union’s Agenda 2063 envisions a continent in which there is a universal culture of respect for human rights. The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights seeks to uphold these rights, and any member state of the African Union can make referrals to the African Court on Human Rights where a state is actively violating this Charter.

Last week in Parliament, in responding to a question from the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Deputy President, Paul Mashatile, not only refused to condemn Uganda’s state-sponsored homophobia, but further refused to confirm whether South Africa would be willing to demonstrate leadership on the African continent and refer this matter to the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.

South Africa was one of the first countries to decriminalise same-sex relationships. As a Constitutional Democracy and a leader on the African continent, South Africa now has a moral and legal duty to take measures to support and defend the rights of all minorities throughout the African Union.

The DA will now write to the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, requesting that South Africa initiate steps via diplomatic channels to hold Uganda to account in passing this horrific and brutal law.

The DA further calls on all member states of the African Union (AU) and representatives of the Pan African Parliament to initiate consequence management in relation to this atrocious attack on the fundamental human rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.

WC the only province to prioritise safe school infrastructure

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Baxolile ‘Bax’ Nodada MP

From a presentation by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to the parliamentary portfolio committee on basic education yesterday, it is clear that the DA-run Western Cape is the only province that understands the value and benefit of safe school i nfrastructure and have found innovative ways to invest in and provide good quality schools, classrooms and hygiene facilities.

Of the nine provinces, only the Western Cape has made significant investment from its equitable share, providing R1 626 195 compared to the R1 290 062 it receives from the Education Infrastructure Grant (EIG). The Eastern Cape, Northern Cape (NC) and North West (NW) prioritised no budget towards addressing their school infrastructure concerns, with the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) providing R1 396 and R2 177 to the NC and NW respectively.

It is clear that the EIG is inadequate to address all infrastructure demands, and that DBE should allocate available funding to provinces that have a proven track record of investing in and providing infrastructure. The Western Cape’s Rapid School Build programme built the Saxonsea Junior High School in just 65 days, while DBE’s infrastructure projects are delayed for an average 27 months according to the Auditor-General’s 2021/22 PFMA report. It is time DBE and the other provinces learned from the Western Cape on how to deliver quality services to the South African public.

In 2023, learners should not have to endanger their lives at the more than 5 000 schools that still have pit toilets or the 5 800 schools that do not have reliable water supply. 70% of South Africa schools do not have libraries – is it any wonder that 1 in 5 grade 4 children cannot read for meaning.

The DA should not have to haul the Department to the courts in order for them to provide safe infrastructure, yet this is exactly what we are now doing. The DA takes the safety of our children and the quality of their education seriously.

Eskom is a financial blackhole – Why increased tariffs and bigger bailouts won’t fix the entity

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Ghaleb Cachalia MP.

Eskom has just declared its largest-ever loss – R21.2 billion. This is despite successive tariff increases – the last one being 9.61%, with another scheduled to kick in at 18,6%.

The financial bleeding at Eskom is continuing despite the recent announcement of R254 billion Eskom debt assumption from Treasury, over the next 3 years.

The financial blackhole that is Eskom will only continue to get worse with the increased use of Open Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGTs) to burn diesel at record rates.

None of these measures are sustainable until a scalpel is used to eradicate corruption, address bloated worker levels and wage demands, eliminate useless cadres from the utility and the employment of seriously competent people to fix what is broken.

This needs political will, board support and an exco that is experienced and versed in all aspects of Design, Procurement, Finance, Projects Management, Construction, Commissioning & Testing and Operating & Maintenance. Moreover, it will require a CEO with the wherewithal to stand up to the powers that be – board and minister – on the basis of an iron grip of the competencies mentioned above.

In the absence thereof we will continue our passage into darkness and bankruptcy.

The DA has assessed the three candidates for CEO – the key position in this imbroglio – and is of the opinion that despite their varied competencies, some relevant and applicable and others not, and came to the conclusion that none will be up to the challenges, not least the ability to stand his/her ground.

What is needed is, as the DA said, when this crisis first raised its head, is the Red Adair of the Electricity Business worldwide to wade in and fix the mess, but that would need the chairman, his/her board and the minister to take a back seat and government to rise in support of his/her actions.

DIRCO confirms that diplomatic immunity will not apply to Putin and his arrest warrant remains enforceable

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Emma Louise Powell MP.

In clarifying the ambiguity that arose from its notice in the government gazette this week regarding Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges for the upcoming BRICS meeting in Cape Town and BRICS Summit to be held in Johannesburg in August, the Department of International Relations (DIRCO) has now made it clear that any individual who has a warrant against them will not be provided cover under the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act.

DIRCO has essentially confirmed that the arrest warrant issued against the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, remains in force and should he arrive in South Africa, he must indeed be arrested under the auspices of the Rome Statute and handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The DA now calls on DIRCO to follow through on its official statement and notify the Russian government, through its embassy in Pretoria, that the South African government will enforce the arrest warrant, should the Russian President attend the BRICS summit in August.

DIRCO was unambiguous on its position, stating that the formalities of invoking the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act for the BRICS summit in August will “not override any warrant that may have been issued by any international tribunal against any attendee of the conference.”

DIRCO’s recognition that the invocation of diplomatic immunity does not override arrest warrants issued by the ICC is consistent with the legal precedent set in 2015 over the Al Bashir matter. When government attempted to justify its failure to arrest the former Sudanese President, citing Bashir’s immunities as head of State, the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal both rejected the government’s reasoning.

Both courts argued that the Government had acted unlawfully when it failed to arrest President Bashir, with the Supreme Court of Appeal finding that the failure was inconsistent with South Africa’s obligations in terms of the Rome Statute and section 10 of the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act 27 of 2002 (‘ICC Act’).

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has twice written to the Government to request confirmation that it will abide by its legal obligations in terms of the Rome Statute and the Implementation Act, but it has been ignored. The DA has therefore been left with no choice but to launch Court action, as the Party has now done.

ANC and DIRCO is courting economic catastrophe through Russian alignment

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Dr Dion George MP.

In the wake of the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) Financial Stability Review, the ANC government’s complacency towards global economic threats to our nation is laid bare. The SARB’s warning of the potential devastation, by means of secondary sanctions, to our financial system as a consequence of the ANC’s stance on the Ukrainian crisis is deeply alarming.

The threat of secondary sanctions could see South Africa banned from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system, which processes more than 90% of our international payments. The ANC’s imprudent alliances threaten to sever this critical lifeline and thereby jeopardise hundreds of billions of Rands in trade.

This precarious situation directly highlights how the ANC undermines the independence of the SARB, a principle that should remain inviolable and how the Government’s actions have indirect yet profound impacts on its operation. By failing to cultivate a favourable fiscal environment and tacitly endorsing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the ANC is sabotaging any effort to combat inflation, indirectly influencing Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) outcomes.

The ANC’s irresponsible stewardship clearly is the root cause of our economic woes, from our plummeting Rand to our heightened risk of sanctions. The party’s ill-advised decisions are not only further blunting our monetary instruments, but their political manoeuvrings have left the SARB’s primary tool, the repo rate, ineffective.

The irony of last week’s repo rate hike coinciding with a sharp depreciation of the Rand underlines the presence of destabilising factors beyond the control of monetary policy. The ANC’s mismanagement, their political posturing, and their dismal failure to control issues like the incessant load-shedding crisis, are these destabilising forces.

The party’s proclaimed ‘non-aligned’ position regarding Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine is nothing but a façade. Their abstention from UN votes denouncing Russia’s aggression, paired with the covert arms transfer to the Russian vessel ‘Lady R’, is a clear endorsement of Russia’s belligerence. This demonstrates the ANC’s misplaced loyalty to Russia, a loyalty that trumps the well-being of South Africans, and is hurtling us towards an economic catastrophe.

The DA’s commitment to the well-being and interests of the South African people remains steadfast. We remain unwavered in our mission to hold the ANC government to account. We have submitted written parliamentary questions to the Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana, pressing for a clear understanding of the potential financial repercussions of sanctions on South Africa. Moreover, we will write to the Minister, demanding a comprehensive strategy to shield our nation from the ANC’s detrimental policies and to avert an impending economic catastrophe.

Quarterly crime stats: schools are crime scenes

The fourth quarter 2022/23 crime statistics released by the South African Police Service (SAPS) revealed that little has been achieved in keeping learners safe from violent crime.

Between January and March this year, 8 murders, 14 attempted murders and 84 rapes occurred on the premises of educational facilities, including daycare centres and universities. There have been 238 incidents of assault and grievous bodily harm (GBH).

Given the high rate of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) in South Africa (969 women and 245 children were murdered in the fourth quarter), education facilities should be safe havens for learners and staff, not crime scenes.

The DA will submit parliamentary questions to determine how many of these heinous incidents involved learners, teachers and staff, as well as the measures the Department of Basic Education have put in place to ensure the safety and security of all individuals on school premises.