Three big reasons to register to vote DA

Fixing South Africa starts with fixing our towns and cities and growing local economies. Local government is where the foundations for a prosperous future are built. A good local government can protect citizens from a failing state and bring progress for local residents even in a country sliding backwards.

The local government election on 1 November is shaping up to be a historic turning point for South Africa. The stars are aligned for millions more South Africans to be freed from the catastrophic failure that is ANC local government. With the ANC bankrupt and in complete disarray and the DA’s campaign 100% on track, we have a golden opportunity to bring good government to many more towns and cities across South Africa.

The crucial step you must take now if you want to fix South Africa is to make sure you are registered to vote. If you haven’t yet done so, this weekend is your last chance to register.  After Sunday, the voter’s roll will be closed and there will be no further opportunity to register. So why exactly should you register and vote DA? Three key reasons.

Only the DA is big enough to win

A vote for the DA is the most powerful body blow you can deliver to the ANC because only the DA is big enough to beat the ANC. Ward elections are based on a first-past-the-post system, meaning the party with the greatest number of votes wins the ward, even if that number is much lower than 50%. So if you splinter the opposition vote, you strengthen the ANC.

Dividing the opposition by voting for dozens of smaller parties may be your democratic right, but all this does is strengthen the ANC’s position relative to any of the opposition parties. So if you want to use your vote in a way that will make a realistic difference – and the very biggest difference possible – then you should vote for the DA.

Voting for smaller parties also strengthens the position of the EFF, who would love nothing more than to see their biggest competitor weakened by a splintered vote. In wards where the ANC wins, splitting the opposition vote risks making the EFF the official opposition. In wards where the ANC loses or can’t contest at all, splitting the opposition risks handing the ward to the EFF.

So a vote for the DA gives the greatest possible leverage in fortifying local governments against the ANC and EFF. When you split the DA vote, the ANC and EFF stand to benefit most, so it is ultimately self-defeating.

The ANC is a dying party of empty promises. It is in irreversible decline. The future is a fight between the DA and the EFF, which is fundamentally racist and will destroy South Africa. They have also proven themselves to be fundamentally corrupt, by stealing from poor, rural pensioners in the VBS scandal. Only the DA is big enough to stop the ANC and EFF and secure your future here in South Africa.

Only the DA has proved it can govern effectively

The DA is also the only party that gets things done in government. There is plenty of hard evidence that when we get a strong enough mandate, we clean up a town, stabilise its finances, plan and invest for the future, and improve service delivery for all residents and businesses, creating jobs in the process.

The DA cares about all race groups. We are a party that brings people of all races together around winning principles. And we are a party that delivers to all.

You need only look at our delivery successes in Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay, Midvaal, Stellenbosch or Kouga to see that we have a strong track record in government. No other party listed on the ballot paper can claim this. So, if you want the greatest chance of real delivery that improves the material conditions of people’s lives, there is no question that the DA is the party to vote for.

The effect of solid DA delivery in these municipalities has been to form a protective barrier for residents, securing their future in South Africa. By contrast, scores of municipalities across the country are entirely dysfunctional, with business and factories literally moving out – such as Clover from the North West town of Lichtenburg – to escape the ravages of a failed state, leaving a trail of joblessness behind them.

However, the experience of Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane since 2016 shows that where voters fail to give the DA a full mandate to govern, progress is slower and subject to the ever-present risk of interruptions. This was the big lesson for us in this last election cycle. To make rapid, lasting progress, we need an uninterrupted period of governance.

We have a saying in the DA that the only thing worse than losing an election is winning it and governing badly. We will therefore not go into coalition with any party that does not share our winning principles, which are a commitment to the rule of law, a social market economy, and a capable state that delivers to all, which requires appointments on merit rather than political loyalty.

Mayors and councillors must be fit for purpose. You cannot expect delivery from officials who are appointed for reasons other than their ability to deliver. The DA would rather be a strong, principled opposition than be in government but not able to deliver to our own high standards. Therefore every single vote is going to count in getting us over the 50% mark.

The DA is the strongest opposition to the ANC

While the DA is the party that can win and be an effective government for all, we are also the party that will be the best and strongest opposition to the ANC, if we lose.

Just as the DA has a solid track record in government, so we also have a solid track record in opposition. We fight hard for our winning principles. We believe strongly that there should be one set of rules for everyone. That is what the rule of law is all about. That is why we have defended former president Jacob Zuma’s illegal medical parole. And why we oppose the IEC giving the ANC a second chance to register candidates.

We have also been the strongest supporters of a capable state, by leading the fight against cadre deployment. It was our action that led to the establishment of the Zondo Commission. And our suggestion that led to the Zondo Commission obtaining the ANC’s deployment committee minutes that laid bare the ANC’s modus operandi for state capture. And it is our bill, the End Cadre Deployment Bill, that will ensure a capable state staffed by people appointed on their ability to deliver.

Conclusion

The bigger the DA, the more secure your future is here in South Africa. Only the DA can beat the ANC. Only the DA can keep the EFF out of official opposition. Only the DA can prevent state failure. Only the DA can deliver in government. Only the DA gets things done. So please don’t waste this golden opportunity to replace the ANC. Please make sure you and your family and friends are registered to vote DA.

The DA gets things done. Exhibit A – Cape Town

National elections get most of the attention, but it is at local government level where the foundations for a prosperous future are built. A good local government can go a long way to protect citizens from a failing state. A very good local government can buck the trend entirely and move a city forward in a country sliding backward. Nowhere is this more evident than in Cape Town, the best-run metro in South Africa.

Record of delivery

In a country regressing under the weight of ANC failure, here is a city that is working, building a secure future for all who live there. The DA has run Cape Town for fifteen years now – the first five in coalition and the last ten with an outright majority. In so doing, we’ve produced a track record of consistent delivery that we can put forward to voters as proof of our offer to get things done for them. No other party on the ballot paper can do this.

Good governance

Sustained delivery is only possible on a foundation of clean and effective governance. DA-run Cape Town has achieved 15 consecutive unqualified annual audits due to a strong anti-corruption stance – the only metro in SA that has achieved this. All suppliers are paid withing 30 days and those who fail to deliver to residents are blacklisted from doing business with the City.

Which is why Cape Town has been voted the most trusted metro in the country for seven years in a row in the Consulta Citizen Satisfaction Index. Its 98.9% average payment collection rate for municipal bills is evidence of the trust residents have in the City’s service delivery and governance.

Resilient

In July 2020, the Ratings Afrika Sustainability Survey rated Cape Town the only metro that could be considered sustainable, with the capacity to absorb the financial shocks associated with the pandemic. Walking the talk in tough times, the City cut R460 million from staff-related expenditure in 2021/22 and is the only metro to publish covid-related procurement online, in line with its commitment to transparency and accountability.

Pro-poor

The City has a pro-poor delivery record, with 40% of households receiving free basic water and sanitation services, double the national averages of 21.8% and 18.7% respectively, with Gauteng at 15.6% and 17.4% (StatsSA). Likewise, 27% of city-supplied households receive free basic electricity against a national average of 16.7%, with Gauteng at 15.4%.

Building buffer

Going forward, three key DA offers to Cape Town residents is to fight crime, end load shedding and create jobs. The City is already delivering on each of these fronts, with plans for much more in future, so as to protect residents from national government delivery failures.

Fighting crime

Law Enforcement has tripled the arrest rate since 2016, following a 55% increase in the safety and security budget in the past five years, and the R3bn Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) to put more boots on the ground.

Together with communities, the City and provincial government have been building Cape Town’s neighbourhood watch (NW) network for 15 years, including training, accrediting and equipping them to serve as “force multipliers” together with SAPS, Metro Police, Law Enforcement, and private security in a seamless functional system. Cape Town is the only metro, in the only province, empowered by legislation to accredit, equip and train NWs. The City and Province are together supporting 197 accredited NWs in the metro, totaling 8000 trained members.

To keep school children safe, the City has a Walking Bus programme in 75 areas, with over 2000 parents and volunteers from the community ensuring learners travel safely to 222 schools. It has also deployed over 50 dedicated School Resource Officers to improve safety at high-risk schools.

The City has doubled the number of surveillance cameras in Cape Town since 2016, from 433 to 835 CCTV cameras, with a record 15 390 incidents captured and 267 arrests in 2020/21. Since 2016, Metro Police have made almost 7000 drug arrests and confiscated 113 460 drug units, while traffic services have made over 13 694 drunk driving arrests and impounded 22 114 taxis for various offences.

Cape Town received ‘role model city’ status from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. It is South Africa’s leading City for firefighting services, with 32 fire stations, over 1210 firefighting and operational staff, and a 350-strong fleet bringing 95% of all wildfires under control within the first hour of reporting.

Ending load shedding

Cape Town is the only metro able to protect residents and businesses from Eskom’s load shedding. It does this through the city owned and operated Steenbras hydroelectric pumped storage scheme.

During periods of peak demand, water from the upper dam is channeled through the turbine generator to create electricity. This water is then pumped back up to the upper dam at night using low-cost surplus national generating capacity.

The spare electricity generated is used to make up for supply shortfalls from Eskom, reducing load shedding by one stage or avoiding it altogether. This innovation mitigates both the economic impact and inconvenience of load shedding and saves on the cost of buying electricity at peak rates.

Cape Town is also leading the charge to diversify energy supply and is the most energy efficient city in South Africa, with energy-efficient lamps in all traffic lights and 34% of streetlights.

Creating jobs

Cape Town has the lowest broad unemployment rate of all metros, consistently over 10 percentage points lower than Gauteng and 14 percentage points below the national average.

Despite a net outflow of foreign direct investment from South Africa, Cape Town is one of the world’s fastest-growing regions for foreign direct investment, according to the African Tech Ecosystems of the Future 2021/22 report. This is due to its good investment incentives policy and reliable service delivery.

Cape Town is ranked the top financial centre in sub-Saharan Africa and is the tech start-up capital of Africa, with about 50 000 people employed in this sector, more than Lagos and Nairobi combined. It was named World’s leading Festival and Events City in the World Travel Awards in 2018 and 2020. The Air Access initiative secured 22 new international air travel routes and 26 route expansions, doubling the international seat capacity of Cape Town International Airport prior to the pandemic.

Conclusion

Local government is the coalface of delivery. The effect of solid DA delivery in Cape Town has been to form a protective barrier for Cape Town residents, securing their future in South Africa.

Mayoral candidate, Geordin Hill-Lewis, has the vision and the drive to take Cape Town from good to great.

It is three days to go until registration weekend. Please make sure you are registered in the ward where you live to vote DA in the local election on 1 November. Because only the DA can prove that we get things done. Only the DA can secure your future in South Africa. Only the DA offers both effective government and strong opposition. Only the DA has a record of action, and a promise of more.

Give us an end-date for all lockdowns and the State of Disaster

Please find attached soundbite by DA Leader, John Steenhuisen MP. 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes President Ramaphosa’s announcement of a move to Lockdown Level 2. And while we welcome this easing of restrictions, we call on him to go further and commit to an end date for all lockdown restrictions as well as the State of Disaster.

The only possible reason for any further restrictions would be to allow everyone over the age of 18 the chance to get vaccinated. And since the 18–35-year-old group have had access to the vaccine since 20 August, this deadline must now be well within our sight. At the very latest, this should happen by mid-November, which would give this age cohort a full 12 weeks to get both jabs.

This deadline needs to be announced now so that businesses affected by lockdown restrictions can plan accordingly. It is not something that can be decided and announced at the last minute, as this would put even more businesses and jobs in jeopardy. If business owners know that there will be no more restrictions and curfews on the 15th of November, they can try to make plans to bridge their business over the period until then.

If President Ramaphosa does not think this is what needs to happen, he must give his and his government’s reasons why not. South Africans have made extraordinary sacrifices in order to comply with restrictions and regulations that are seldom explained or justified. The president needs to take citizens into his confidence and let them know precisely why these sacrifices must continue.

Specifically, he must set out the criteria his cabinet requires to be met for the State of Disaster to be lifted so that everyone can know whether these are rational and fair decisions. I asked him this very question – whether there are specific conditions which must be satisfied before the State of Disaster can be lifted and, if so, what they are – almost four weeks ago on 17 August in a written parliamentary question and I am yet to receive his reply.

That is not good enough, particularly when government’s decisions around lockdowns and economic restrictions already have so little credibility. It is also not good enough for the president to say “as soon as everyone has been vaccinated” when speaking of our return to normality, as we will never get to a point where everyone has had the jab.

Furthermore, until such time as all restrictions are finally lifted, it is crucial that we start applying a regional model for these restrictions based on the healthcare capacity of the region. Infection trends and vaccination rates differ greatly across different parts of the country and there is no single, neat wave that applies to the entire country, or even entire provinces.

Coupled with this, some areas have sufficient hospital capacity to no longer warrant restrictions. It is extremely selfish to subject South Africans to more unnecessary economic hardship when the local conditions do not justify this.

Citizens cannot be held to ransom by the whims of a group of people obsessed with central command and control of the economy – people who have never run a business themselves, never created a single job and whose own jobs and salaries are never at stake no matter how badly they get their Covid response wrong.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.

Letter: Ramaphosa, you need to explain why you appointed Arthur Fraser

Dear President Ramaphosa

The people of South Africa need to know whose president you are – theirs or the ANC’s? Because it is clear you cannot serve both. The objectives of the ANC as an organisation are incompatible with the wellbeing of our citizens and the stability of our country. The degree to which the law needs to be twisted – or, in many cases, entirely set aside – in order for the ANC’s objectives to be pursued will ultimately tear our democracy apart.

More specifically, you owe South Africans an explanation for your role in the appointment of Arthur Fraser as National Commissioner of Correctional Services back in 2018, and his subsequent granting of medical parole to former president Jacob Zuma last week, which happened against the recommendation of the Medical Parole Advisory Board and with your full knowledge and blessing.

It is also important to note that I speak here of your “role”, because you are normally criticised for the exact opposite – your lack of action. But this myth that you are a president who never knows anything, never does anything and therefore cannot be tied to anything needs to be put to bed once and for all. The deployment of Arthur Fraser and the unlawful granting of medical parole to Jacob Zuma has your personal fingerprints all over it. For once you’ve been a man of action.

You don’t need me to join the dots in this story because you wrote the whole thing. But, for the sake of the other readers of this letter, allow me to recap:

In 2018, near the start of your presidency, you took the executive decision to transfer Arthur Fraser from his position as Director General of the State Security Agency to the post of National Commissioner of Correctional Services. This particular cadre deployment, to use the ANC parlance, was entirely yours. For once you cannot hide behind the ANC’s favourite smokescreen: The Collective.

When you did this, you knew exactly what Fraser stood accused of. You knew the allegations of corruption and nepotism. You knew of the hundreds of millions of rands of State Security Agency money misappropriated on his watch. You knew of the Principal Agent Network – the parallel intelligence network set up by Fraser to serve the interests of Jacob Zuma. You knew that Fraser had shut down an internal investigation into him by revoking his Inspector General’s security clearance. You knew of the National Intelligence Agency’s forensic investigation into Fraser and others which found that criminal offences had been committed.

And still you deployed him to serve as the prisons boss.

The report by the Mufamadi High-Level Review Panel into the criminality at the State Security Agency would confirm to you all these allegations against Arthur Fraser, as well as others like David Mahlobo whom you also chose to redeploy rather than fire. When the DA challenged Fraser’s clearly irrational transfer to Correctional Services, your answering affidavit read like a fawning letter of reference for Fraser. This from a president who can’t stop vowing to clean up his government and the state.

Fast-forward three years, and it has become clear why Arthur Fraser was the perfect cadre for this deployment. Having already served Zuma and the ANC at the expense of his country in his previous role as spy boss, he would now be called upon to do it again. He would be expected to disregard the rules by vetoing the Medical Parole Advisory Board’s finding that Zuma should not be eligible for medical parole, and he would do this knowing upfront that you were informed and that you gave this decision your blessing.

We also know that you personally welcomed Zuma’s release from prison, despite his sentence being a legitimate outcome of our court system, and despite the fact that you knew his medical parole was a complete sham. In other words you welcomed the setting aside of the law for the benefit of the ANC.

And that’s really what this is all about. The ANC is very clearly in trouble on many fronts. But particularly in KwaZulu-Natal heading into elections with Zuma behind bars. And it is precisely for this kind of scenario that compromised, corrupt, unethical – but politically loyal – cadres are deployed to key positions across the state. This is precisely why you need to “control all levers of power”, to borrow the ANC’s own argument for cadre deployment from your 1997 Mahikeng conference.

Arthur Fraser is a textbook example of ANC cadre deployment – how it works and why it should be banished forever.

You recently sat in the witness stand at the Zondo Commission and vacillated between claiming you feel bad for all your government’s failures that were being laid bare, and staunchly defending the destructive practice of deploying ANC cadres to every part of the state. Even begging Judge Zondo not to take your cadre deployment away.

I understand the difficult position you’re in. I imagine it’s not easy playing these two roles at once – trying to come across as a remorseful and introspective president who serves the people and vows to do better, and being the leader of a party that cannot survive without the criminal capture of the state and has to fight for the very mechanism that makes this state capture possible.

That is why I ask you: Which of the two is more important to you? Would you rather serve your party or would you rather serve your country, as you raised your hand and swore to do when you took your oath of office?

You have to choose one because they are mutually exclusive, and South Africans need to know where you stand.

Yours sincerely,

John Steenhuisen
Leader, Democratic Alliance

Politiek opwindend met verswakte verdeelde ANC

Hierdie opiniestuk deur DA MP Cilliers Brink verskyn oorspronklik op Netwerk24 op 8 September 2021.

Verlede week se uitspraak van die konstitusionele hof het soos ’n bom in die ANC se gesig ontplof. Dis nog te vroeg om te sê, maar die skade is dalk onherstelbaar.

In die laaste munisipale verkiesing in 2016 het die DA die ANC verbygesteek in Tshwane en Nelson Mandelabaai, en die ANC tot onder 50% gedruk in Johannesburg en Ekurhuleni.

Maar in 2021 kan die ANC, by verstek, wyke en hele munisipaliteite verloor omdat die party nie genoeg kandidate benoem het nie.

Dit sal afhang van die vertolking van die konstitusionele hof se uitspraak, veral die vraag of die ANC toegelaat sal word om sy kandidatelyste aan te vul.

Hoe dit ook al sy, die ANC is só deurmekaar en verdeeld dat hy kwalik sy getrouste kiesers kan begeester om in groot getalle te gaan stem.

Dit maak die politiek baie opwindend.

En so sien die Demokratiese Alliansie (DA) ’n kans om ons winste van 2016 te konsolideer en 50% plus een te kry in verskeie voormalige ANC-rade.

Maar opposisiekiesers moenie te gerus raak nie. Die ANC is verswak, maar nog nie verslaan nie. Die ANC het steeds sy tentakels in die meeste staatsinstellings en staatskaste.

Kaders en comrades word beloon met poste en tenders. Arm kiesers word óf omgekoop met kospakkies óf afgepers met die afsny van welsynstoelaes.

En dan is daar oorgenoeg kommentators en beriggewers wat meer belangstel in die splinter in die DA se oog as die balk in die ANC se oog.

Onbekwaam vang sy baas

Ondanks sy klomp voordele kon die ANC nie volledige kandidatelyste opstel en betyds indien vir vanjaar se munisipale verkiesing nie.

Die probleem het egter vroeër begin. Nog voor die derde vlaag van Covid-19 en die KZN-onluste kon die ANC nie ’n kiesersregistrasieveldtog van stapel stuur nie.

Terwyl die sukses van enige politieke party tot ’n groot mate afhang van hoeveel van sy ondersteuners hy by die stembus kan kry, het ’n mens skaars ’n ANC-plakkaat gesien wat registrasie aanmoedig.

En in ’n stadium het ANC-leiers besef dat dit hulle nie sal pas vir Suid-Afrikaners om vanjaar te stem nie.

Covid-19 was die verskoning, nie die rede nie. Soos gewoonlik was daar oorgenoeg nuttige idiote wat saamgesing het in die ANC-koor.

Die ANC het dus gereken op die krag van sy tentakels. Die grondwet sou gebuig word om die ANC te pas.

Die Verkiesingskommissie (nee, nie “onafhanklik” nie) was inskiklik. Maar die grondwetlike hof was nie.

En selfs al is daar ’n skuiwergat in die uitspraak wat die ANC sal toelaat om sy kandidatelyste aan te vul, sal die poespas binne die ANC die party steeds stemme kos.

Maar die ANC het twee baie goeie vriende in hierdie verkiesing wat hom dalk net genoeg hulp sal verleen om sy magsposisie in baie dorpe en stede te behou.

Op moedverloor se vlakte

Eerstens hoop die ANC dat opposisiekiesers nie sal stem nie omdat hulle reeds ANC-oormag aanvaar het, of gewoon nie meer glo in die moontlikheid van verandering by die stembus nie.

In plekke waar die DA in 2016 nie kon wen nie of op onbetroubare koalisies moes steun, hoop die ANC dat opposisie-kiesers moed verloor het.

“Die ANC sal altyd wen”, en “niks sal verander nie” is baiemaal selfvervullende profesieë, veral in munisipaliteite waar die meerderheid na enige kant toe kan swaai soos Potchefstroom (JB Marks), Krugersdorp (Mogale City) en Sasolburg (Metsimaholo).

Spits ook jou ore vir stellings soos “alle politieke partye is dieselfde”, veral as dit op SABC-radiostasies gemaak word. Dis ANC-verskansingspropaganda.

Versplintering

Tweedens sal die ANC reken op die versplintering van die opposisiestem. Hoe meer mededingers die ANC het, hoe minder hoef die party hom oor elk van hulle te bekommer.

’n Scenario waar Afrikaanse kiesers, Engelse kiesers, bruin kiesers, Christen-kiesers en Moslem-kiesers elk vir ’n afsonderlike party stem, is presies wat die ANC wil hê.

Die meeste randpartye groei ten koste van die DA, nie die ANC nie. In baie gevalle is hulle ook reeds ANC-koalisievennote.

Good se leier dien in pres. Cyril Ramaphosa se kabinet. Die Patriotic Alliance en Al Jama-ah hou die ANC aan bewind in Johannesburg.

Dieselfde rol word in Ekurhuleni deur Izak Berg se Independent Ratepayers Association (IRASA) gespeel. Vir sy gedienstigheid is Berg met ’n komiteevoorsitterskap beloon. Daar sal baie Berge in hierdie verkiesing wees.

Wie bly dan oor in die townships?

Vanuit die ANC se oogpunt het die versplintering van die opposisiestem egter ’n onbedoelde gevolg: net die EFF bly oor om ANC-stemme in die townships op te raap.

Die EFF is meer van ’n ANC-faksie as ’n opregte opposisie-party, en as die randpartye die DA in sy eie wyke besig hou, is dit die EFF wat in groot getalle aan swart kiesers se deure gaan klop.

Maar dit hoef nie so te wees nie. Die beste reaksie op ’n verswakte ANC is ’n versterkte DA wat opposisiekiesers kan verenig en wen.

Ready to campaign, ready to govern.

The 2021 Local Government Elections are shaping up to be a historic turning point for South Africa. The stars are aligned for many municipalities across the country to finally free themselves from the ANC’s destructive grip and to start seeing progress under DA governments or DA-led coalitions.

The DA is ready to campaign and ready to govern. For the first time ever, we have registered a candidate in every single ward in the country. Our lists are submitted, our manifesto is written, our posters are printed, and we are ready to bring one powerful message to every corner of South Africa: the DA gets things done.

We have truckloads of evidence to support our claim that we are the only party in South Africa with a track record of delivery in government. Over the next seven weeks, we will tell the stories of our many governing successes, so that come election day, no one will be in any doubt as to which party they can rely on to get things done for them.

In recent newsletters, I have set out our governing successes in Midvaal, Kouga and Nelson Mandela Bay, and how the DA does more for young people than any other party. And we have many more good stories to tell, especially where the DA has had a full mandate to govern.

Voters can be sure that we will not be making the mistake again of going into coalition or governing arrangements with parties that do not share our four non-negotiable governing principles: commitment to the rule of law, nonracialism, a social market economy, and a capable state that delivers to all.

The DA is feeling extremely upbeat, and this at a time when the ANC’s cancerous policy of cadre deployment is destroying the party itself. It has turned their electoral process into an intense and protracted battle for who gets to steal rather than who gets to serve, leading to them missing the IEC’s deadline to register candidates in 93 of South Africa’s 257 municipalities.

The DA’s state of readiness and the ANC’s state of turmoil mean that this election, for the first time since 1994, is wide open, with the real prospect of widespread change in local governments from ANC to DA.

This will bring real material improvements to many people’s lives and some relief at this time of great suffering. It will also give the DA a golden opportunity to earn the trust of people in provinces other than just the Western Cape ahead of the 2024 general election, when South Africa needs the ANC swept from power if the country is to stop its downward hurtle towards a captured and failed state while there is still something left to save.

The Constitutional Court this week dismissed the IEC’s application to postpone the elections, ruling they must be held within the constitutionally mandated period, which is on or before 1 November 2021.

This is an important judgement and a great victory for democracy, for the Constitution, and for the DA, which fought hard in court for this outcome. It sets an invaluable precedent for upholding voters’ rights, no matter how inconvenient for the ruling party and the IEC.

Zambia’s recent successful election shows that campaigning and voting can happen safely if we follow all the precautions that we’ve become accustomed to taking, such as wearing masks, sanitizing, and social distancing.

But don’t be fooled. The real reason for the IEC’s application to delay the election had little to do with the pandemic and much to do with the fact that the ANC needs more time to get its house in order. Specifically, it needed the candidate registration process to be re-opened.

Yesterday, IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini, a Zuma appointee and ANC acolyte, announced that the candidate registration process will reopen on 20 September. This is purely for the ANC’s sake and is an opportunity that has never been granted before to other parties requiring a second chance, including the IFP and the NFP in 2011 and 2016 respectively.

The DA will oppose this plan in court. There simply cannot be one set of rules for the ANC and another for the rest of the country. Some people have argued that giving the ANC a second chance will be good for democracy. Yet one set of rules for everyone is the very essence of democracy, while ANC capture of democratic institutions to subvert their purpose from serving people to serving the ANC is the very antithesis of democracy.

As are the ANC’s attempts to capture and influence the judiciary. We know this has happened. ANC-deployed Judge John Hlophe is a case in point. But thanks to Dr Sydney Mufamadi’s testimony at the Zondo Commission in January, we now also know about the intelligence slush fund that was used for influencing judges, amongst other purposes. And we know from the ANC’s deployment committee minutes, subpoenaed by the Zondo Commission at the DA’s request, that the committee influenced the appointment of judges during a meeting in March 2019.

It is therefore possible that the ANC’s sudden withdrawal of its court action to have the candidate registration process reopened was due to a tip-off by a judge. Clearly, the ANC must have believed there was an easier route, namely that the election date could be reproclaimed and potentially shifted out by up to 5 days, giving the ANC-captured IEC a smokescreen to reopen the process.

Deploying loyal cadres to the IEC and the judiciary to serve the ANC by granting them special favours, is no different from deploying loyal cadres to the Department of Correctional Services to serve the ANC by placing compromised ANC cadres such as Jacob Zuma on medical parole, to ease factional tensions in the party. The DA is fighting this move, too.

The DA has fought cadre deployment and its implications for two decades, and we will continue fighting it with every mechanism at our disposal, because it is the root of South Africa’s rot.

But even if the ANC and IEC succeed in their bid to give the ANC another chance to register its candidates, the ANC’s finances and systems are in a mess and this will reflect in the election result just as will the DA’s state of readiness.

The DA is ready to assist all our voters and potential voters to register during the registration weekend which has now been announced for 18-19 September. We are ready to hang our posters and launch our manifesto. We are ready to tell our good stories. Most of all, we are ready to get things done for the people of South Africa.

Western Cape moves one step closer to energy independence following launch of Energy Resilience Fund

The DA welcomes the Western Cape Provincial Government’s launch of the Municipal Energy Resilience Fund. The fund moves the province’s Municipal Energy Resilience (MER) Initiative one step closer to ensure an energy secure future for the Western Cape.

The launch of the fund last week by Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, will see R13 million made available to qualifying municipalities for  preparatory work, such as Electricity Master Plans and Cost of Supply Studies, to get renewable energy projects off the ground.

The ultimate goal of these projects is to protect Western Cape residents and businesses from Eskom’s rolling blackouts by helping municipalities build energy security through renewable energy sources.

The MER Initiative has already gotten off to a successful start after the request for information (RFI) period solicited information from more than 100 potential energy generation projects.

The DA congratulates the Western Cape Provincial Government and Minister Maynier on highlighting that where the DA governs, progress is being made towards freeing residents from Eskom’s monopoly over electricity generation.

Eskom has for years failed to produce enough electricity to meet the demands of its consumers, both households and businesses. The real cost of Eskom’s mismanagement is evident in the increases in electricity tariffs experienced by South Africans across the country.

Don’t think the judiciary can’t be captured

Helen Zille responds to the media push back against her comments on the ANC and the ConCourt.

“All Truth passes through three phases, first it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, third it is accepted as being self-evident.”

This profound insight comes from German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, and is as true today as it was in the 19th Century.

South Africa is a living testament to this insight.

An example: When the DA first raised the risks of ANC cadre deployment more than 20 years ago, and pointed to its inevitable trajectory from cronyism to corruption and finally the captured, criminal state, we were laughed out of court.

After all, it was the height of Mandelaphoria, and the great man himself had presented the cadre deployment proposals to the ANC’s Mahikeng conference in 1997, to (mostly) uncritical media acclaim.

Around 2016, two decades later, the media suddenly “discovered” state capture, and there has been a glut of reporting on it ever since, even though it is still poorly understood.

Most of them, to this day, erroneously think that state capture involves the Guptas “capturing” institutions of state. Not so. It is about the dominant faction of the ANC capturing nominally independent state institutions — from the National Prosecuting Authority, to the Police, the SABC, State Owned Enterprises, the Human Rights Commission etc — and bending them to the ANC’s will.

In recent days, I have resurrected a subject I have addressed repeatedly before — the ANC’s capture of the Judicial Service Commission, which has arguably the most crucial job in a constitutional democracy:- the nomination of senior advocates to serve as Judges, and to recommend senior Judges for appointment to the Appellate Division and the Constitutional Court.

My recent focus on this subject was prompted by the belated decision of the JSC (almost 20 years too late) to impeach Judge President of the Western Cape, John Hlophe, for “gross misconduct”. I wrote an analysis of the JSC’s profound failures in this recent article.

I myself served on the JSC during my tenure as Premier of the Western Cape — and saw it gradually degenerate into a cadre deployment arm of the ANC. More often than not, the ANC nominees and MPs arrived at these crucial meetings, with a “mandate”. They knew who to support, irrespective of the candidate’s track record. In sometimes became apparent that some ANC members of the JSC had not even read the preparatory papers before presuming to vote in support of aspirant Judges.

I wrote about that on several occasions too, including this article dated October 13, 2014.

No-one paid much attention at the time. The media was still at the “ridiculing” phase of Schopenhauer’s Truth sequence in relation to state capture.

The big problem in failing to spot these trends early enough, is that the rot accumulates silently, until suddenly, institutions crumble.

State capture happens, as they say, in two stages: First slowly, then quickly.

And, with the judiciary, the pace is quickening and becoming more visible — which is why suggestions to this effect are met with “violent opposition”, the second phase of Schopenhauer’s time series.

The interesting thing is that the ANC has never hidden its intentions of capturing the judiciary.

Way back in 1998, writing in the ANC mouthpiece Umrabulo, Joel Netshitenzhe described the movement’s aim “to extend the power of the national liberation movement over all levers of power: the army, the police, the bureaucracy, the intelligence services, the judiciary, parastatals and agencies such as regulatory bodies, the public broadcaster, the central bank and so on”.

There you have “state capture” in a nutshell. The ANC never hid its intentions. It is perhaps the only project the party has ever successfully undertaken. But, as I have learnt, if you even dare to insinuate that it may be succeeding, especially in relation to the judiciary, the woke media will more than fulfil Schopenhauer’s second-stage of “violent opposition”.

This, despite the fact that not too long ago, we heard before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry, that the ANC’s cadre deployment Committee discussed ANC deployees to the Judiciary (including, apparently, the Constitutional Court)!

Worse still, in his evidence before the Zondo Commission, former Minister Sydney Mufamadi, who had investigated the rot in the intelligence services, revealed that there was a secret State Security Agency Slush Fund, earmarked to buy-off judges.

That sensational revelation caused a mere ripple of concern, and a little red rash of reporting, when it should have been relentlessly pursued by the media, until they established what the money was used for, and if judges were paid off, who they were.

The crucial question also arises: why was Arthur Fraser, the alleged master-mind behind these “special projects”, not called to give evidence to the Zondo Commission and face cross-examination on the slush fund to buy-off judges?

While this earth-shattering revelation was allowed to die a gentle death, the woke media’s “violent opposition” was reserved for those who suggest that something may be rotting in the state of the judiciary.

Take the latest brouhaha over the ANC’s failure to meet the IEC deadline for the submission of its lists in 93 municipalities.

Claiming that the IEC’s technology and Covid 19 had thwarted them, the ANC lodged legal papers with the Electoral Court, seeking an order for the re-opening of the candidate nomination process.

Then inexplicably, within hours, the ANC withdrew its court appeal, without clarifying what had caused it to change its mind in the short space of time between the submission and the withdrawal.

The ANC merely said it would now wait for the Constitutional Court to rule on the IEC’s application to postpone the election to February 2022 — in which case the timetable will be changed and the registration period, both for candidates and voters, will re-open.

Die Burger, the only remaining readable Western Cape daily, ran a front page article the next day (1 September) speculating on the reasons why the ANC withdrew its appeal (in the absence of any credible explanation by the ANC itself) and quoted Professor Andre Duvenhage of the University of the Free State suggesting that the ANC must have received inside information that the IEC’s application to have the application postponed would succeed.

As the newspaper’s quote was confusing, I telephoned Professor Duvenhage myself, who unambiguously repeated this view to me. I also telephoned the journalist, Llewellyn Prince, who told me that the correct version of Professor Duvenhage’s quote had appeared in his original article, published by Netwerk24 and confirmed the Professor’s quote.

Armed with this background I posted a series of four numbered tweets summarising the situation:

1) Die Burger this morning doesn’t mince its words. In its headline it suggests that the ANC must have received inside information from the Constitutional Court, which led to the ANC withdrawing its case before the electoral court to re-open candidate registration.

2) The context is this. If the ConCourt enables the IEC to postpone the election, then it presses the “re-set” button and it issues a new timetable, which will enable the ANC to re-register its candidates. So the ANC would not have to get permission from the Elec Court.

3) The ANC’s withdrawal from the Electoral Court indicates that they have been tipped off that the IEC’s application to postpone the election was successful. If information is leaking from the Concourt to the ANC, it is nothing short of an Constitutional crisis.

4) If this is so, cadre deployment will have destroyed every institution, right up to the ConCourt, turning them into instruments of ANC power abuse, rather than protectors of the people against ANC power abuse. That is the crisis we are facing now. SAns must wake up.

Nothing in any of these tweets that had not been said before. But, the outrage manufacturers in the media went into overdrive.

I was more than a little bemused.

Why, I asked myself for the umpteenth time, don’t most of the media take the ANC’s stated intentions seriously until it is far too late?

The ANC has been entirely open about its plan to capture state institutions, including the judiciary, from the very start of our democracy.

Yet today, over 20 years later, if you dare suggest that the ANC may be succeeding in its quest to capture the judiciary, you risk howls of outrage from those self-same journalists who should have been exposing what has been going on for years, rather than excusing it.

Well, as they say, the truth will out, if not now, in the not too distant future. Then, tragically, we will reach Schopenhauer’s stage when the fulfilment of the ANC’s “state capture” strategy will all, very suddenly, be “self evident”.

Unless, of course, enough of us are prepared to do enough to stop it.

Which is why the DA (and I) will not hesitate to say what we believe to be true, and fight to set them right, whatever the consequences.

That is why we fight elections. And that is why voters, who once ridiculed the idea of voting DA, will suddenly come to the belated realisation that doing so should have been “self evident” all along.

Let’s continue to build Midvaal into the beacon of service delivery and good governance

Please see pictures of the event attached here, here, here, here.

Leadership of the Democratic Alliance, colleagues and residents, I am honoured to accept my party’s nomination to stand for Mayor of Midvaal Local Municipality.

I remember growing up in the streets of Meyerton, riding my bicycle as a young boy. I have watched our area grow from strength to strength under the strong leadership of the Democratic Alliance and my predecessors.

I am ready to build on the work that the DA has laid – of providing quality services to all of Midvaal’s residents.

I want to acknowledge and thank our outgoing Executive Mayor, Bongani Baloyi, and the administration for a stellar performance in Midvaal.

The municipality has been recognized as the best performing municipality in Gauteng and one of the top six in the country through its achievement of clean audits, excellent service delivery and commitment to good governance.

Service delivery excellence is the golden thread used to weave a tapestry of transparent, accountable, clean and good governance. The DA in Midvaal has brought accountability and worked hard to remove corruption.

While ANC-led municipalities across the country are marred by corruption and mismanagement, the DA has held on to its brand of good governance and service delivery.

As I accept my party’s nomination, I look forward to taking Midvaal to new heights while continuing to ensure exemplary governance.

I have gained invaluable experience through various positions within Midvaal ranging from being a ward councillor, Member of Mayoral Committee and Political Head. This has placed me in an opportune position to understand the holistic culture of Midvaal and the perseverance needed to keep the wheels of success turning.

I undertake to serve and lead Midvaal with integrity and pride. I undertake to make my family, the DA, residents and most importantly God, proud, as I journey down this path.

I would like to extend my condolences to those who have lost loved ones during this unprecedented global challenge we face caused by Covid-19 and wish a speedy recovery to those recovering from the virus.

This pandemic has forced us into a new normal, and, as public servants, we need to recognize the economic hardships that our residents are faced with. Hardships that pose a threat to not only the fiscal situation of the municipality but have had a severely negative impact on people’s livelihoods.

Ensuring financial stability while maintaining and expanding service delivery in this time is a daunting task, however, it is not insurmountable. Thinking out of the box, coupled with hard work and dedication will certainly make it possible.

The DA has already started with the groundwork to keep Midvaal DA. In the coming months, we will continue to engage with all communities to ensure that we gain support and continue to build on the good work we are already doing.

Democrats, I leave you with this quote from the former President of America, Barack Obama: “We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent. The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on”.

I thank you.

Geordin Hill-Lewis announces first campaign pledge: Let’s make Cape Town the easiest place to do business in Africa

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

Over the past week, I have visited businessowners and workers in communities across Cape Town. From informal traders at the Nonkqubela Link Centre in Khayelitsha to female entrepreneurs participating in the Women-in-Business program in Plumstead and the Furntech incubator in Nyanga that equips learners to open their own furniture making and upholstery businesses, it is clear that Capetonians across all communities want a government that gets more done to create thriving businesses and job opportunities in Cape Town.

That is why I am today announcing the first of my seven pledges as DA mayoral candidate is to make Cape Town the easiest place to do business in Africa. I will be announcing one pledge every week over the coming seven weeks.

We all know that Cape Town already does more than any other city to empower entrepreneurs. But in a country with an unemployment rate of nearly 35% and where four out of every five young people cannot find work, we must now do even more than ever before to protect Cape Town against the failing national government by attracting investors, empowering entrepreneurs, and getting Cape Town working like never before.

Given all the talent and resources at our disposal, we need to do much more to ensure that Cape Town overtakes cities like Nairobi and Kigali on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index. The Index indicates that it currently takes 88 days and thousands of Rands to obtain a construction permit, 37 days to have building plans approved, 14 days for a business owner to get a rates clearance certificate when registering property, and up to 97 days to establish a new electricity connection.

The DA will ensure that Cape Town becomes the most attractive investment destination on our continent by:

  • Relentlessly cutting red tape wherever it holds businesses back, including by making it easier and faster to obtain a construction permit, approve building plans, obtain a rates clearance certificate, register a business, establish a new electricity connection and comply with licencing requirements;
  • Creating a culture in the city administration of empowering and helping entrepreneurs rather than merely enforcing compliance;
  • Ending load shedding in Cape Town to ensure that every business has a reliable supply of electricity around the clock;
  • Doing the basics better so that every business owner gets quality basic services in exchange for their municipal rates;
  • Using every tool at our disposal to prevent destructive national government policies like expropriation without compensation from ever being implemented in Cape Town; and
  • Fighting for control over passenger rail so that workers and customers have access to reliable public transport to look for work, trade their goods and get to their jobs on time.

While the national government often treats entrepreneurs as a problem that needs to be dealt with, entrepreneurs are in fact the real heroes of our country because of the jobs they create. From the traders of Khayelitsha to the technology CEOs of the CBD and the craftsmen of Nyanga, the DA is determined to let every entrepreneur know that Cape Town welcomes them with open arms, and that this is the best city in Africa in which to start a business.