The DA’s Rescue Plan for South Africa

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen, during the launch of the DA’s National Manifesto 2024, at the Union Buildings in the City of Tshwane, Gauteng. 

Fellow Democrats, fellow South Africans,

I’m speaking to you today from an auspicious location.

Directly behind me, you will see the Union Buildings.

The seat of government, at the heart of our capital city.

These buildings should be the pride of every South African.

But, over the past decades, these buildings have come to mean something very different.

It is inside these buildings that the ANC executed the plans that created the world’s highest unemployment rate, unleashed violent criminals on innocent people, and captured the state.

It is inside these buildings, that the dreams of Tintswalo, and millions of other hopeful young people, were betrayed.

The same buildings that once served as a symbol of hope when President Nelson Mandela assumed office here, have been turned into a crime scene.

So our meeting here today is no accident.

Our meeting here today is a signal of intent.

The Democratic Alliance is launching our 2024 election manifesto from the Union Buildings to send a clear message.

That in this election, we are in it to win it.

That in this election, we must rescue the Union Buildings from the clutches of a corrupt government, and restore them to their rightful place as a symbol of pride for all South Africans.

In every previous election since 1994, everyone knew that the ANC would win.

The only question was by how much.

As a result, in every previous election, the DA’s primary task was to consolidate the strongest possible opposition to the ANC.

To prevent the worst from happening to our beloved country.

But all of that changes, today.

Today, we embark down a new path, and towards a new objective.

In this election, the DA is not going to oppose the ANC.

In this election, the DA is going to defeat the ANC.

For the first time in our democratic history, support for the ANC is set to crash well below 50%.

It is a party in terminal decline, being ripped to shreds from all sides.

The ANC was already on its knees when Jacob Zuma’s MK Party entered the fray.

As we speak, MK is devouring millions of ANC votes.

And the ANC only has one man to blame for its demise: Cyril Ramaphosa, who, for decades, did everything in his power to enable and protect Zuma.

Ramaphosa even freed over 15 000 criminals just to keep Zuma out of prison.

The very same Zuma is now helping to evict Ramaphosa from the Union Buildings behind me.

The demise of the ANC has opened the door for the DA to achieve what was once considered unthinkable: to enter national government.

In this election, for the first time ever, the DA has a clear path to victory.

Many of you were at the DA’s Federal Congress in April last year, when I first announced the DA’s commitment to the formation of a Moonshot Pact to rescue South Africa.

By bringing an end to opposition infighting, and consolidating likeminded parties into a cohesive bloc, this formation – now known as the Multi-Party Charter for South Africa – offers voters the best prospect for political change since 1994.

The DA feels a profound sense of responsibility towards the Charter.

Given our size, our proud track record of clean and accountable government, and our success in delivering services and jobs where we govern, the DA is committed to becoming the strong, stable anchor party at the heart of a new multi-party government to rescue South Africa.

But, in the DA, we do not pursue power for its own sake.

For the DA, winning elections and entering government is a means to the ultimate end.

That ultimate end, is to serve all the people of South Africa by making their lives better.

That is why I am proud today to launch the DA’s Rescue Plan for South Africa, our manifesto for the historic 2024 election.

This manifesto is the outcome of the most comprehensive policymaking process in the history of our party, built upon a raft of updated policies we adopted since 2019.

In this election, a vote for the DA is a vote for a party with a clear plan to rescue South Africa.

As the anchor tenant in a new multi-party government, the DA’s key priorities during the 2024 to 2029 term will be to:

1. Create two million new jobs;
2. End loadshedding and water-shedding;
3. Halve the rate of violent crime, including murder, attempted murder and gender-based violence;
4. Crush corruption by abolishing cadre deployment in favour of merit-based appointments and a capable state that delivers for all;
5. Lift six million people out of poverty;
6. Triple the number of Grade Four learners who can read for meaning; and
7. Ensure quality healthcare for all, irrespective of economic status.

Unlike most other parties contesting this election, the DA’s Rescue Plan for South Africa is not pie in the sky.

Frankly, it is easy for parties that have no track record in government to get on a stage and read out a list of impossible promises that they know can never be delivered.

But South Africans are tired of empty promises.

They are tired of hearing about bullet trains when the trains they used to take no longer run.

They are tired of hearing about industrialisation plans when the factories where they used to work have closed due to loadshedding.

They are tired of hearing about smart cities when they don’t even feel safe walking the streets where they live.

What the DA offers you today, are not populist promises, but solemn pledges.

We will focus our time in government like a laser beam on implementing these seven key pledges, because we understand that if we do not fix these seven things, South Africa does not have a future.

Unlike Cyril Ramaphosa’s desperate efforts to whitewash his government’s failures, the DA’s manifesto is rooted in the reality of what South Africa is in 2024, not in the memory of what it promised to be in 1994.

In 1994, our South African dream was for a country where the lives of this generation would be better than the lives of their parents, and that their children’s lives would be better still.

But, in 2024, the nightmare that confronts us is that the lives of our children could be much worse than our own.

For the ANC has so utterly betrayed our nation, that we are now further from fulfilling the dream of 1994 than at any other point in our democratic history.

On Thursday, Ramaphosa used a handful of successful young people to try and defend his claim that South Africa under the ANC is some kind of heaven-on-earth for Tintswalo and her peers born after 1994.

Don’t get me wrong: I salute each and every one of those young people for helping to build South Africa.

But the cold, hard truth is that young people in this country do not succeed because of the ANC.

They succeed in spite of it.

If Ramaphosa wanted to honestly reflect the lives of young people in this country, then for every three employed people, he would show us the seven who have never had a job in their lives.

If Ramaphosa was not trying to deceive us, he would admit that for every five young people who finish matric, there are five others who failed or never even made it to matric.

If Ramaphosa was honest about the crime crisis in this country, he would acknowledge that the dead bodies of the people murdered while he was President would fill nearly two FNB stadiums.

After all the damage and destruction wrought during the fifteen wasted years under Zuma and Ramaphosa, the 2024 election is sadly not yet about truly fulfilling the dream of 1994.

Instead, this election is about survival – the survival of our South African dream.

It is also a shame that the ANC chose to focus only on Tintswalo.

No matter what your name is, no matter how old you are, no matter where you come from, I want to say to you: over the past thirty years, we have all grown up as democracy’s children.

But we should probably not be too surprised that Ramaphosa excluded from his speech Aunty Fatima from Eldorado Park, farmer Johan from Citrusdal, and Keshav, the entrepreneur from Chatsworth.

After all, this is the same man who deliberately excluded Dricus du Plessis from recognition as our country’s first-ever mixed martial arts world champion, purely because he refuses to keep quiet about ANC corruption.

Dricus, the DA salutes your courage, inside and outside the octagon – just like we salute Bafana Bafana, the Springboks, our under-19 cricketers, and every other sportsperson who keeps the hope alive that we can be a winning nation.

Wanneer ons binnekort in regering is, gaan ons vir jou en al ons sporthelde die erkenning gee wat jul toekom.

Want die ANC weet nie wat ons weet nie.

My fellow South Africans,

The only way to keep our South African dream alive, is by creating millions more jobs, including for our young people.

The only way to keep our dream alive, is by ending loadshedding and water-shedding, and by winning the war on crime.

The only way to keep our dream alive, is by abolishing the evil and corrupt system of cadre deployment, which locks qualified people out of jobs and destroys service delivery.

The only way to keep our dream alive, is by lifting millions of people out of the desperate poverty in which they still languish, to create schools that teach our children, and to build hospitals that heal the sick.

The DA is the only party with the proven ability to deliver on all of these pledges.

Where we govern in the Western Cape, eight out of ten people are employed, and we create more jobs than in any province.

Where we govern in places like Cape Town, we are already reducing loadshedding while providing the cleanest drinking water and the best sanitation services in the country.

Recently, DA-led Cape Town rolled out a ground-breaking new initiative that enables any household with solar panels and a bi-directional meter to become a “prosumer” by selling electricity back into the grid.

This same policy sits at the heart of our manifesto’s solution to loadshedding for the whole country.

Mark my words: the DA’s work in Cape Town is going to lead to an energy revolution, and it will all be thanks to the implementation of DA policies.

Where we govern, we have also enhanced local policing through the LEAP programme that has reduced violent crime by up to 40% in some of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in the country.

And even before we have entered national government, the DA is already abolishing cadre deployment – whether Cyril Ramaphosa and Gwede Mantashe like it or not.

I have some breaking news in this regard.

As you all know, the Constitutional Court has given the ANC until Monday to hand over complete records of its cadre deployment committee dating back to 1 January 2013, when Ramaphosa became its chairman.

After delaying for more than three years following the DA’s initial request for these records to be made public to expose Ramaphosa’s role in state capture, the ANC yesterday came crawling back to the DA, begging us to give them more time.

I’d like to take this opportunity to respond to Ramaphosa and the ANC directly.

No, you cannot get more time.

Not to hand over these records, and not in government.

You have wasted South Africa’s time for long enough.

You will comply with the Constitutional Court’s order by handing over these records by 5pm on Monday.

If you fail to do so, the DA will use the precedent set in the Zuma case to go back to court for a contempt order that includes prison time for each and every one of the ANC’s leaders.

The ANC is so desperate to hide Ramaphosa’s cadre secrets that they are now threatening to trigger a constitutional crisis to protect him – just like they did with Zuma.

The DA does not just talk about fighting corruption and building a capable state.

Despite not even being in government yet, the DA is already doing more to rescue the state from total collapse than any other party in this country.

Fellow South Africans,

Built upon our proven track record, the DA’s Rescue Plan for South Africa will shine a bright ray of light into the darkness that threatens to blind us all.

It will not solve all of our problems overnight.

But it will fundamentally restore our country back onto the path of promise, and give us all permission to believe in our great South African dream again.

Instead of a government that tells you it’s not the end of the world when loadshedding makes you unemployed or destroys your business, you can vote for a new government that ends loadshedding.

Instead of a government with a cowardly leader who is probably busy shredding the rule of law alongside his dirty cadre secrets as we speak, you can vote for a new government with zero-tolerance for corruption.

Instead of a government that normalises gender-based violence, gang violence and farm murders, you can vote for a new government that respects and values our women and children, fights gangsterism, and protects our farmers.

As I speak to you today from the seat of national government, I can say unequivocally: the DA is ready to take up our rightful place in the Union Buildings behind me.

Make no mistake about it: the ANC knows this too.

This past week in Parliament, they repeatedly told us that the Moonshot is their single biggest fear.

They are so obsessed by their fear of the DA that some of them even said: Dubulu inyanga.

Dubula inyanga – that is exactly what we are going to do in this election.

Because the DA has the size, we have the people, we have the experience, we have the track record, and we have the plan to rescue this beautiful country before it is too late.

These aren’t empty words.

The DA is present in every town, every village and every city across this country.

And we are led by the strongest leadership collective in our party’s history.

I’d now like to invite onto stage our federal leadership.

Our premier candidates.

Our provincial leaders.

Our provincial chairpersons.

And members of our federal executive.

To Tintswalo, to Fatima, to Johan and to Keshav, I say: help is on the way.

If you want the DA’s Rescue Plan for South Africa to sit at the heart of a new multi-party government, then you must vote for the DA to carry this manifesto into that government.

If you want to rescue South Africa from unemployment, from loadshedding and water-shedding, from crime, from corruption, from poverty and hunger, from failing schools and from broken hospitals, then you must vote for the DA.

If you want to rescue the Union Buildings behind me from the corrupt clutches of those who plunged our country into hardship, then you must vote for the DA.

So come on Mr President, stop cowering away, and call this election.

Because the Democratic Alliance is ready to fight, so that South Africa can win.

Thank you.

Let’s “make a plan” to rescue KwaZulu-Natal from spiralling water crisis

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen, in Durban today.  

  • eThekwini is on stage 16 water-shedding.
  • DA Leader John Steenhuisen to lay South African Human Rights Commission complaint against eThekwini Municipality for violating the constitutional right of access to water.
  • Steenhuisen set to embark on a nationwide campaign against the spiralling water crisis created by the ANC.

South Africans have gotten used to living without things that are taken for granted in other democracies.

We have gotten used to living without a government that cares about us, and that values the taxes we pay.

We have gotten used to living without critical services, reliable public transport, or safe roads.

We have gotten used to living without a police service to keep us safe.

We have gotten used to living without job opportunities, without good schools, and without working hospitals.

Most recently, we have even been forced to get used to living without reliable electricity.

While the things we have lost under the ANC would cause riots and revolution in other countries, we instead adopted the most South African attitude of all: we made a plan.

For each of these things that the ANC destroyed, we made a plan.

Those who could afford it, made a plan to move to gated estates, and to pay for private security and medical aid.

Those who could afford it, installed solar electricity and sent their children to private schools.

Of course, the vast majority of South Africans cannot afford these private solutions.

But the poorest members of our communities also made a plan.

They made a plan to create stokvels that fund emergency medical expenses and school fees.

They made a plan to use minibus taxis after the trains stopped running.

They made a plan to create community policing forums and neighbourhood watches when the police stopped coming.

There is a uniquely South African resilience reflected in the phrase “make a plan.”

And we can be proud of it.

But it’s also time to face up to the other side of this coin: for decades, the ANC has cynically exploited the resilience of South Africans for political gain.

Among the many empty things that you will hear Cyril Ramaphosa say, is his claim that South Africans are “resilient.”

Let me tell you today: he does not mean it as a compliment.

When the ANC praises the “resilience” of South Africans, they are actually laughing at you.

They are laughing because they know that you will “make a plan” to simply work around their failures.

The ANC have convinced themselves that South Africans will never hold them accountable for everything that they have taken away from us.

But I am here today with an urgent warning.

There is one thing that the ANC is busy taking away from the people of eThekwini, of KwaZulu-Natal, and of the whole of South Africa.

This is something that we will not be able to live without.

It is something that we cannot just work around.

This latest thing that the ANC is busy taking away from you right now, is water.

We all know that water is life.

It is the one substance without which no living creature can survive.

Without clean water, we cannot grow food.

Without clean water, we cannot wash or stay healthy.

Without clean water to drink, every single person here will die.

Without reliable sewerage systems, illness spreads and life becomes unbearable.

It does not matter if you are rich or poor, black, white, Indian or coloured, whether you live in a township, on a farm or in a suburb.

Without clean water, you will die.

By taking away your access to water, the ANC is directly threatening your life and the lives of your family members.

This latest crisis created by the ANC could not be more urgent.

A human being can stay alive without many of the things the ANC has destroyed.

It may not be a life truly worth living, but it is technically possible for you to remain alive without most other basic services.

But it is not possible without clean water.

Here in eThekwini, the ANC water crisis is not theoretical.

Under the ANC, eThekwini is already on stage 16 water-shedding.

The community of Bester, in KwaMashu, has not had piped water for 14 years.

It has made life in Bester a living hell, where elderly people are forced to spend their meagre SASSA pensions for people to carry water to their homes.

Instead of fixing infrastructure, the eThekwini municipality has handed out tenders for water tankers that often don’t arrive, putting at risk the lives of infants, the elderly, and the sick.

The use of contaminated water tankers and containers to transport water into the community can cause serious illness or even death.

And it’s not only Bester.

The residents of Tongaat have not had water for 90 days.

In Phoenix, residents protest daily because there is no water, and only one or two water are allocated to wards with twenty thousand residents.

In Durban North, one hundred thousand people went without water for weeks on end last year, dealing another painful blow to the tourism sector.

It’s also not only about drinking water.

This past December, the beaches of Durban were empty.

I remember growing up in this city when it was the premier tourist destination in South Africa.

Now, you are more likely to find human faecal matter on the beach than a tourist.

Our rivers have become conveyor belts for deadly pathogens, and it is only a matter of time before eThekwini and KwaZulu-Natal face a deadly outbreak.

In this city and in this province, the fight for access to clean water and sanitation has become a life-and-death battle.

The day the taps run dry across most of this city of over four million people, it will descend into chaos that will eclipse even the horror of the July 2021 looting.

There are not enough water tankers on earth to provide emergency access when the system finally collapses completely.

While the decline of this beautiful city is a cautionary tale, this horror story is not only playing out in eThekwini.

Across South Africa, including in the most densely-populated province of Gauteng, taps are running dry, water pumps have gone quiet, and people are thirsty.

The crisis has accelerated in recent years, as load shedding causes pumps and other infrastructure to fail faster than bankrupt ANC municipalities could ever fix it.

The lack of clean water will also exacerbate the hunger crisis in our country, as crops cannot grow without it.

The ANC government has set our country on a track to become a hungry and thirsty wasteland.

And let there be no doubt of the cause for this escalating water crisis.

The cause is three letters: A N C.

We have seen this movie before.

At Eskom, the ANC was so busy looting that they ignored warnings about load shedding.

For years, they were so preoccupied with eating that they never even looked up from the trough to see the lights go out.

Today, South Africans are forced to “make a plan” to deal with crippling load shedding that has destroyed our economy.

But now, the ANC is busy doing to the water system what they already did to Eskom.

They have deployed their corrupt cadres to loot from water boards across the length and breadth of this country.

Right here in eThekwini, they are blowing the city’s annual R60 billion budget on alcohol, parties and concerts.

There is always money for cadres to live in the lap of luxury, and then they tell us there is no money to fix waterpipes.

But what the ANC forgets is that South Africa is a constitutional democracy.

The Bill of Rights in our Constitution grants every South African the right of access to “sufficient food and water,” as well as the right to human dignity, health and a clean environment.

It commands the government to take actions to achieve the “progressive realisation” of these rights.

But what is happening in KZN, is the opposite.

Here, we have seen the “progressive un-realisation” of the right to water.

With every pipe that is destroyed, every pump that fails and every tap that runs dry, the ANC, EFF and the other members of the coalition of corruption are progressively “un-realising” your right of access to water.

The DA will not tolerate this intolerable situation.

We are not like Cyril Ramaphosa who just stands idly by as things fall apart.

The DA takes action. We get things done.

That is why I can today announce that the DA is filing a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission against the eThekwini Municipality, for its flagrant violations of the Bill of Rights.

The right to water, to human dignity and to a liveable environment have been shredded in this city.

In addition to taking the fight to the eThekwini council, the DA is also preparing for a nationwide campaign on the urgent threat posed to every citizen by the ANC-engineered collapse of our water infrastructure.

The latest Blue Drop report indicates that the majority of our country’s water systems “fail to produce compliant final water quality.”

Over 40% of all the water in this country falls into the very worst category for microbiological compliance.

This is an issue we will take up nationwide.

And it starts right here in eThekwini, today.

For many years, the ANC believed that the South African spirit of resilience expressed through “making a plan” worked in their favour.

They simply accepted that the people would “make a plan” in response to everything they took away from us.

But I am here to say that it is time to turn the tables on them.

When it comes to the water crisis, we will indeed make a plan.

But that plan is not what the ANC expects.

The plan we will make to avert a water catastrophe, is to get rid of the ANC.

In as little as four months from now, we can make a plan to rescue KwaZulu-Natal!

That plan is simple: vote DA to rescue KZN and to rescue South Africa!

The upcoming weekend of 3 and 4 February will be your last chance to register so you can vote in the upcoming election.

If you’ve already made another plan for that weekend, simply go to check.da.org.za today to get help registering.

Not a single one of us can live without water.

If you want a new government that will get your taps running again, that will clean up the filth from your sewerage systems, waterways and beaches, and that can recue you from thirst, you must vote DA.

And we really can do it.

Because in this election, for the first time ever, the DA can win in KwaZulu-Natal.

Working together with our partners in the IFP and the Multi-Party Charter, the DA is perfectly poised to take advantage of the ANC’s collapse in this province to form a new government to rescue KwaZulu-Natal.

The water crisis in eThekwini shows us the thirsty future that awaits all of us if we don’t remove the ANC right now.

So let it be right here in eThekwini that we today start the process to rescue KwaZulu-Natal before it is too late!

Thank you.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at check.da.org.za

Response to unfounded allegations against the DA Leader

I would like to address recent statements made by Ms Mbali Ntuli, a former member of the Democratic Alliance (DA), regarding alleged misconduct during the 2020 leadership campaign. It is essential to set the record straight and provide accurate information to the public.

The DA takes all complaints of possible misconduct seriously and handles them in accordance with our Federal Constitution. In the case of Mr Tsepo Mhlongo, he was given a fair opportunity to address the serious allegations against him during a formal hearing, where he was found guilty of misconduct based on dishonesty in the performance of his duties. It is important to note that ongoing disciplinary processes involving other members do not imply preferential treatment; each case is thoroughly investigated, and due process is followed.

Ms Ntuli, who has not been a member of the DA for the past 20 months, continues to comment on the party’s affairs. This seems to reflect more on her unresolved sentiments regarding her unsuccessful bid for the Federal Leader position than on the internal processes of the Party or the conduct of Federal Leader John Steenhuisen.

While the DA and Mr Steenhuisen acknowledge the scrutiny that comes with leadership roles, the recent unsubstantiated allegations made by Ms Ntuli are false, defamatory, and will lead to legal consequences. The DA condemns baseless accusations and will take action against those who spread false information for personal gain.

In response to these defamatory statements from individuals like Ms Ntuli and Mr Mhlongo, legal action will be pursued. It is time to hold accountable those who spread fake news and make wild claims without evidence. The DA will not stand idly by while its leaders are unjustly slandered by individuals driven by personal resentment rather than factual evidence.

We remain committed to transparency, accountability, and the principles that guide our party. The DA will continue to focus on serving the interests of the South African people and promoting a fair and just political landscape.

ActionSA attacks foundation of multi-party coalition in Tshwane

Today, ActionSA has stabbed Tshwane Executive Mayor Cilliers Brink in the back and have pulled the rug from under coalition’s feet.

Without consulting the Multi-Party coalition, ActionSA submitted an urgent motion to the Speaker of Council that seeks to compel the Executive Mayor to negotiate with striking workers as well as for the Mayor to consider what it calls the legitimate demands put forward by labour unions. These demands include adding R600 million to the wage bill, paying striking workers who have disrupted services for residents, and reinstating workers who have engaged in assaults and intimidation against Tshwane employees.

The foundation of ActionSA’s motion lacks substance. The City of Tshwane has made numerous efforts to engage with the unions involved in the ongoing strikes, and ActionSA, having 2 MMC positions, are aware of these engagements. Between July 27th and August 8th, the City of Tshwane held five meetings with union leadership and engaged with the CCMA on August 3rd. ActionSA seems to be playing opposition politics while in government, clearly attempting to score political points.

Furthermore, as the unions have distanced themselves from the strikes in Tshwane, ActionSA’s motion essentially calls on the mayor to engage with the criminal elements who have held this city hostage through violence and destruction.

Over the past nine weeks, the multi-party coalition has been locked in a battle for the financial future of Tshwane. This struggle has witnessed the destruction of municipal infrastructure, assaults on municipal employees, and even the shooting of a municipal worker. Supporting this motion would essentially condone violence, destruction, and intimidation.

ActionSA’s motion displays a lack of foresight. Granting wage increases in Tshwane would inevitably come at the expense of resources designated for essential services to residents. If this motion were to be accepted, creating the illusion of ending the strike in the name of resuming service delivery in Tshwane, it will lead to a long-term decline in the quality of services provided to Tshwane residents.

The DA and VF have initiated a dispute against ASA, which, in accordance with the Coalition Agreement, compels them to withdraw the item and have it discussed at the CMC. If consensus cannot be reached, the DA is ready to escalate the dispute with ASA for discussion at COG amongst Party’s National Leaders.

Under no circumstances will the DA endorse a motion that could result in the financial ruin of the City of Tshwane. Nor will the DA support a motion that harms the residents of Tshwane to appease those responsible for the destruction of municipal infrastructure, assaults on, and shootings of municipal employees.

The DA is a party guided by principles. If ActionSA chooses to engage in politics that undermine the coalition and potentially return the city to the ANC, the DA Caucus will persist in fighting for residents from the opposition benches.

DA extends condolences to victims of Johannesburg fire

On behalf of the Democratic Alliance, I would like to extend our sincerest condolences to all the individuals and families affected by the horrific fire in Inner City Johannesburg that has taken over 50 lives so far and devastated many more.

This is a catastrophe for our nation, causing unimaginable pain and suffering to innocent people.

The DA mourns this tragic loss and we pray that emergency services in Johannesburg will work swiftly to prevent any further loss of life, and to bring comfort to those affected by this tragedy.

The DA’s public representatives in Johannesburg will be on the ground do what we can to assist those affected, and we will continue to push for safer living conditions and the provision of adequate housing for inner city residents.

Now is the time for South Africans to stand together for better and safer living conditions for all.

DA writes to Ramokgopa to unblock Frankfort’s bid for energy independence

Note to Editors: Pictures from the DA Federal Leader’s visits to the solar plants Frankfort and Tweeling are attached hereherehere and here

Democratic Alliance Federal Leader, John Steenhuisen, today met with Rural Maintenance in the town of Frankfort in the Mafube Local Municipality as part of the party’s civil society outreach project.

In its pursuit of energy independence from Eskom, Rural Maintenance has been subjected to a long and deliberately drawn-out process in which collusion between Mafube and Eskom continues to deny Rural Maintenance and Frankfort’s residents the authority to generate their own electricity, manage the town’s loadshedding schedule, and ultimately help solve South Africa’s electricity crisis.

Accompanied by DA Free State Provincial Leader, Roy Jankielsohn, and DA Free State Provincial Chairperson, Werner Horn, Steenhuisen visited two of the Rural Maintenance solar plants built to allow the town of Frankfort to become energy independent.

However, by using their licensee privileges and transmission monopolies, Mafube and Eskom have locked Frankfort into Eskom’s loadshedding vice grip and frustrated any attempts by organised communities to generate electricity, wheel it back into the grid, and ease the effects of load shedding on residents.

Given that this untenable dispute has now reached a stalemate at the hands of Eskom and ANC obstinance, the DA will now be writing to the Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, to urgently intervene in the matter as per his mandate to provide for private sector participation in South Africa’s new electricity generation capacity.

Frankfort is now ground zero for energy independence in South Africa, and the DA is firmly on the side of a decentralised approach which empowers independent power producers to generate and sell electricity as a means to augment supply across the country and end load shedding.

Eskom and ANC governments across South Africa must, according to Section 34(2) of the Electricity Regulation Act, facilitate new generation capacity, in consultation with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), to address severe supply shortages which have led to 15 years of rolling blackouts.

It is unfathomable that in the midst of an electricity crisis, the ANC and Eskom would obfuscate the work of willing residents and communities to solve the problem.

Eskom had previously granted a request by Rural Maintenance to generate and wheel electricity into the grid, but not without the concurrence of the Mafube Local Municipality as the holder of the licence or Electricity Supply Agreement.

It is now alleged that Mafube is stalling and trying to cancel the agreement initially signed.

Instead of partnering with Rural Maintenance to protect Frankfort’s residents from the debilitating effects of Eskom’s load-shedding, Mafube has chosen to sit back and watch a major investment to end load-shedding go to waste.

We can no longer allow the very same ANC policy and state monopolies which created South Africa’s electricity crisis, to now prevent tangible means to solve it.

Minister Ramokgopa must urgently intervene in this matter if he is truly committed to ending load shedding.

As part of the DA’s Whole-Of-Society approach, we believe that civil society and organised communities such as Rural Maintenance have a vital role to play in governance and service delivery across the country.

It is these kinds of partnerships that will help rebuild South Africa under a new national coalition government in 2024, where dedicated residents will have to plug the gaping skills and expertise holes in South Africa’s public service left by rampant ANC corruption and cadre deployment.

The work undertaken by Rural Maintenance in Frankfort is a prime example of this project.

The project undertaken by Rural Maintenance and the residents of Frankfort is one which should be supported and replicated in municipalities across South Africa.

Only by diversifying South Africa’s energy market and opening up the generation capacity, can South Africa truly work towards ending load shedding.

Frankfort will be the pioneer in this fight and the DA will continue to support a free and competitive approach which wrestles power away from Eskom and the ANC and places it in the power of South Africans where it belongs.

The best defiance campaign against ANC race quotas, is to register to vote DA

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered today by the DA Federal Leader John Steenhuisen during a march against ANC race quotas. 

Goeiemôre, good morning, molweni,

It’s great to see so many democrats out on the streets of the Mother City today.

Dis te danke aan julle as DA ondersteuners en aktiviste, dat hierdie die bes-regeerde stad en provinsie in die hele Suid-Afrika is!

Ladies and gentleman, we know that South Africa is in the midst of the world’s biggest unemployment crisis.

Seven out of ten young people in this country – many of them graduates – cannot find work.

The national expanded unemployment rate is over 40 percent.

There are now more South Africans who are forced to survive on meager grants of R350 per month, than there are people who work and earn a decent salary.

On top of this jobs crisis, South Africans are facing the biggest cost of living crisis in a generation.

Let me ask you.

How many people here today are paying more to feed their families now than two years ago?

How many people here are paying more to get to work or school than two years ago?

How many people here feel poorer than they did two years ago?

And what is the ANC national government’s response to the unemployment and food crisis that threatens the survival of millions of South Africans?

They introduce a Race Quotas Act that could cost up to 600 000 jobs and kill any hopes of increased investment or economic growth.

They introduce race quotas for access to water that will destroy the farms and the livelihoods of the farmers and farm workers who feed all of us.

How many of you know Pick n Pay?

Well, allow me to read to you the warning issued last week from the chairman of Pick n Pay, Gareth Ackerman, about these race quotas.

Here is what he had to say.

The Race Quota Act, and I quote, “would have the effect of making large numbers of qualified people unemployed and substituting them with unqualified people. It is very probably unconstitutional, and could ruin many productive companies and foreign investments on which the economy depends.”

About the race quotas that will prevent farmers from obtaining water licenses to grow the food we all need to survive, Ackerman has this to say:

“The new provision for race-based water rights has huge potential to impact food security. This could ruin or close many of our farms and undermine the value of all existing farms, thus also creating a banking crisis.”

Democrats,

The Race Quota Act will completely ban the employment of coloured and Indian South Africans in certain provinces and sectors.

It says, in black and white, that the quota for the employment of coloured people in the agricultural sector in Limpopo and Mpumalanga is 0.0 percent.

What about here in the Western Cape?

According to research done by Solidarity, the ANC’s race quotas will force one out of every three coloured people working in skilled occupations in this province to lose their jobs.

One out of three.

Ons almal onthou hoe die ANC ‘n paar jaar gelede gesê het bruin mense is “over-represented” in die Wes-Kaap.

Hier sien ons nou die gevolge van die ANC se rassisme.

But let’s be clear: this law will hurt every single South African family, no matter their race and no matter where they live.

In Gauteng, approximately 85 000 coloured workers, 50 000 Indian workers and 220 000 white workers will have to be removed to meet the ANC’s quotas.

The number of coloured people employed in Gauteng will have to be reduced by an incredible 73 percent to meet the quotas.

Now, many of you know that I grew up in the beautiful province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Daar het ons nou wel nie ‘n Tafelberg nie, maar ons het darem die Drakensberge!

I was recently back in KZN, where I visited the vibrant market in Chatsworth in a part of the province that is home to nearly one million South Africans of Indian descent.

The market is filled with the most wonderful family-run shops, restaurants and stalls, owned and operated by the local Indian community.

The ANC’s race quotas will destroy that market and the community it sustains.

Even though more than 60 percent of the people who live in Chatsworth are Indian, the quotas say that less than 2 percent of people working in the retail sector in KZN are allowed to be of Indian background.

And before the ANC comes with the lie that these quotas will benefit black people, let’s look at some examples of how it will actually affect black people.

In the Northern Cape, the quota for black women in senior management in the real estate sector is 14.7 percent.

This means that a real estate company in Kimberley that is 100 percent black and female owned will be breaking the ANC’s Race Law.

Here in the Western Cape, only 18.6 percent of skilled health workers, like nurses, are allowed to be black women.

Just imagine, a clinic in Khayelitsha where 2 out of ten nurses are black will be breaking the law!

And make no mistake about it. The punishment for breaking the ANC’s race laws, are severe.

A company with more than 50 employees that fails to adhere to the race quotas, will be fined up to 10 percent of its annual turnover and will be cut off from doing any business with the state.

Democrats,

Black, white, Indian and coloured South Africans will all suffer enormously if we allow these race laws to stand.

But there is one group that will indeed benefit.

It is not the poor.

It is not skilled workers who are locked out of opportunities.

It is not our young people who spend a fortune to study, only to end up unemployed.

These laws are designed to benefit one group, and one group only: ANC cadres.

We already know that the ANC has used cadre deployment to loot, to collapse service delivery, and to reserve jobs in the public sector for their friends and family.

Now, the Race Quota Act will give the ANC enormous power over employment at private companies.

This Act is not about empowerment or equality.

It is about centralising the ultimate power in the ANC.

The power to decide who should be employed, and who should starve.

Hierdie wet se doel is om aan die ANC die mag te gee om vir besighede voor te sê wie ‘n werk mag hê, en wie moet honger ly.

We’ve already seen how organised Mafias have taken over economic sectors like the construction industry.

Mark my words: if these race quotas are implemented, you will soon see Mafias going to private businesses and telling them which cadres to employ, while honest and hard-working South Africans of all backgrounds are pushed even deeper into suffering.

My fellow South Africans,
success is zero’: D ANC’s bid to appeal cadre deployment ruling
We are here today to send a clear message.

That we reject these ANC race quotas with everything we have.

Today, I repeat my call that it is time for a new defiance campaign against these race laws.

The ANC is extending the same cadre deployment that has destroyed the state, and the same economic suffering, the same racist policies, the same job reservation, and the same group areas that we last saw before 1994.

That is why the DA has already gone to court to declare the Race Quotas Act unconstitutional.

But for guidance on what else we need to do, we should remind ourselves of a quote attributed to none other than Nelson Mandela.

In 1993, he said that if the ANC government ever does to you what the Apartheid government did, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the Apartheid government.

I say to you: with these race laws, the moment Mandela warned us about, has arrived!

It is time to defy the ANC’s race laws just like the defiance campaign undermined racist laws before.

Even more importantly, it is time to remove the ANC from government just like its predecessor was removed.

Now is the time for a new movement, like the old UDF, that includes political parties, civil society organisations, churches, sports clubs and businesses to rise up as one and sweep the ANC out of power.

The Moonshot Pact is this movement we have been waiting for.

The Moonshot Pact is the new UDF.

While the ANC divides us, the DA is working to form a Pact that unites us all as one.

Die doel van die Moonshot-Pakt is om opposisiepartye en die burgerlike samelewing te verenig teen die ANC en hul meelopers in partye soos die PA en GOOD, wat kiesers uitverkoop het aan die ANC.

Let’s be clear about one thing: next year, we must remove a rotten national government from power and elect a new DA national government.

And the DA’s Moonshot mission to remove the ANC from power starts right here in the Western Cape, where I call on you to go out in your numbers to register to vote DA.

In 2024, we need to send a clear message that we will not tolerate ANC discrimination and race quotas in this province!

The best way to send that message is to ensure that the DA wins its biggest ever majority here in the Western Cape.

Winning the Western Cape with an increased DA majority holds the key to launching our national Moonshot to rescue South Africa from the ANC’s destructive and racist policies.

I ask each and every one of you to join in this mission to rescue South Africa.

If every DA supporter helps their family and friends to visit check.da.org.za, we can get millions more people registered.

And then, when Election Day arrives next year, we must go out in our masses to vote DA.

Daarmee sal ons eens en vir altyd ‘n baie duidelike boodskap stuur.

Raskwota’s se moer!

Ons is almal Suid-Afrikaners en ons almal verdien om gelyk behandel te word!

It is our moral duty to defy these unjust race laws.

The single most powerful thing each of us can do for this defiance campaign, is to go out and register to vote DA.

We are all South Africans, united in our diversity – and we will not allow the ANC to divide us.

Let us all go out and register today to defy ANC race laws and rescue South Africa.

Thank you.

DA calls for Zuma’s detention without delay

Note to Editors: A voicenote from the DA Federal Leader, John Steenhuisen is attached here.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes a decision by the Constitutional Court today, dismissing an application by former president, Jacob Zuma for leave to appeal the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgement confirming that a decision by former National Commissioner of Correctional Services, Arthur Fraser’s decision to place him on medical parole was unlawful and set aside. This judgement now confirms that Mr Zuma belongs in jail, and that his vexatious litigation was a last desperate attempt to evade justice.

The DA’s lawyers are currently drafting a letter which we will submit to Mr Zuma calling for him to voluntarily surrender himself to arrest within a reasonable timeframe. Should Mr Zuma fail to adhere to this request, we will write to the National Commissioner for Correctional Services, Makgothi Samuel Thobakgale calling for him to arrest Mr Zuma, and return him to Estcourt Correctional Centre. If either of these parties fail to comply, they will be in contempt of court.

We call on Mr Thobakgale to act constitutionally, lawfully, and in a manner expected of him as National  Commissioner for Correctional Services and to act in line with his constitutionally-prescribed duty of office. Should Mr Thobakgale act irregularly or illegally or seek to delay the enactment of the Constitutional Court’s judgement, we will not hesitate to take further action to ensure that this judgement is upheld.

Mr Zuma must now pay the consequences for his flagrant disregard for the rule of law. This judgement must now also serve as an important legal precedent ensuring that any and all ANC members and public representatives implicated in state capture cannot ever abuse the medical parole process to evade accountability. It also sends a very strong message to corrupt ANC cadres that no amount of violence and unrest will deter South Africa’s institutions and authorities from upholding the principle of constitutionalism and the rule of law, and equality before the law.

Today’s judgement is a victory for the rule of law in South Africa and bears testament to the strength of our nation’s independent and impartial judiciary.

Furthermore, it is a poignant reminder of the crucial importance of our institutions to fight corruption and evade State Capture 2.0.

Aside from the Constitutional Court judgement confirming the illegal granting of medical parole for Mr Zuma’s 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court, the DA will continue to pursue a litany of charges which still remain against his name. Mr Zuma still faces close to 800 charges of fraud, corruption, and racketeering for which he must still answer to the people of South Africa.

The DA remains committed to holding the executive, both past and present, to account, and to uprooting the very foundations of state capture from South African society and our governments.

Today’s judgement is the start of the crucial project to rescue South Africa from the rampant and deeply entrenched corruption of the ANC, and to place South Africa on the path of prosperity and growth that our nation so deserves.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at check.da.org.za

Premier Alan Winde on concerns of doing business with companies allegedly involved in crime & corruption

Following on issues raised in the public and the provincial legislature two weeks ago on the Western Cape Government (WCG) doing business with companies alleged to be involved in crime and corruption I have today taken further steps.

This matter is of great concern to me and my government. We cannot be in a position where government tenders are being used to launder dirty money, but simultaneously we are a government that respects and promotes the rule of law, and that means that we all have the right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty.

However, our criminal justice system is failing us by not prosecuting glaring cases of alleged corruption, particularly emanating from the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

Further to this, I have been informed that one of the losing bidders in a recent tender issued by the WCG Department of Infrastructure will be challenging the decision in court.

I welcome this process and the scrutiny of our supply chain management processes. If any material irregularity or procedural error is confirmed or discovered in the process of preparing for the court proceedings, or the court process itself, we will ensure that the rule of law is enforced and the procurement process regularised, as is our constitutional obligation.

I have today met with members of our administration to finalise engagement and correspondence with the:

• National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)

• The Ministry of Justice

• National Treasury (NT)

• South African Police Services (SAPS)

Our purpose in writing and engaging particularly criminal and judicial entities is to highlight the significant risk that governments (national, provincial, and local) and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) across South Africa face due to the paralysis in the criminal justice system.

We are asking that they dramatically accelerate and capacitate the successful prosecution of criminal cases, particularly in matters that have arisen from and been flagged in the State Capture Commission report.

The danger we face not only here in the Western Cape but across South Africa is that if we do not urgently intervene, state capture and the tentacles of organised crime will reach deeper into government, and by extension continue to rob our country of meaningful economic growth and job creation.

We as the WCG must draw a line. Decisive action must be taken to root out entities and individuals implicated in corruption and stop them from infiltrating law-abiding companies which want to work with the provincial government in a transparent manner.

Only 48 functional ambulances for nearly 5 million people in Mpumalanga

The DA will write to the Health Ombudsman, Professor Taole Mokoena, requesting an investigation into the Mpumalanga Department of Health for not adhering to national guidelines concerning Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in the province. 

According to the department’s 4th quarter report of 2022/23, they have more broken ambulances working ones. They currently have 158 ambulances, but only 60 are in running condition. However, out of the 60 that are in running condition, 12 are not used due to staff shortages. 

This means that Mpumalanga has only 48 fully functional ambulances for a population of over 4.4 million; meaning that there’s only 1 ambulance serving 91 666 people. This is in contravention of the National Health Guidelines which regulate that there should be at least one (1) ambulance for every 10 000 people. The guidelines also state that there must be at least 95.9 registered emergency care personnel per 100 000 population, but Mpumalanga currently has an estimated 13.5 EMS personnel per 100 000 (according to the department’s reports). 

The department’s 2022/2023 reports also show that they have 141 posts for EMS shift leaders, however, due to budget constraints, these posts will not be filled. 

In last year’s budget reading, Provincial Health MEC, Sasekani Manzini, stated that R50 million will be set aside for computer-aided dispatch (CAD), a comprehensive EMS system needed according to the National Health regulations. However, the department decided to spend R33.4 million on a platform Vodacom app which is not an emergency management system but does call tracking and dispatch modules. 

They mentioned that R25 million will be spent in the new financial year to establish a centralised emergency communication centre. That remains to be seen. 

The department’s decision to deviate from the National Health Regulations will put more lives in Mpumalanga at risk.  Currently, there is also no system in place to monitor response times in rural and urban areas, yet the department reports this target as 100% achieved. 

Emergency care is viewed as a fundamental human right in South Africa’s constitution, EMS and its personnel have been subjected to long-term neglect. We therefore urge the Health Ombudsman to investigate the norms and standards that are not being adhered to.