ANC government efforts to move BRICS summit are a cowardly cop out

 “This last-minute scramble by the ANC is nothing more than a desperate attempt to dodge accountability.” –  Emma Powell

Information that points to Cabinet today taking a decision to move the upcoming BRICS Summit to a secondary country is the clearest indication yet that the ANC government is simply unwilling to uphold their legal obligations and arrest the alleged war criminal, Vladimir Putin.

The anticipated announcement is nothing but a cop-out that will give the ANC cover to continue kowtowing to their cadres in the Kremlin, putting their party interests ahead of South Africa’s.

Any decision to move the BRICS Summit instead of exercising its legal obligations to conduct an arrest will have the effect of directly aiding and abetting Putin’s continued reign of terror in Ukraine.

South Africa has already forked out millions in preparations for the summit, which may now be entirely wasted. Moving the summit to a secondary nation is nothing other than a false flag, designed to send the impression that South Africa is non-aligned.

The reality is that the ANC are simply unwilling to uphold the law because their electoral fortunes in 2024 are directly tied to continued favour with Russia.

The ANC’s on-going dalliance with Moscow has already had dire consequences for South Africa. Formula 1 (F1) is now reported to have pulled the plug on hosting this prestigious event in South Africa as a result of its failure to denounce Russian aggression in Ukraine. Hundreds of millions of rands worth of foreign direct investment and advertising revenue for South African firms have already been lost as a result.

This disinvestment will continue until such time as South Africa is willing to join the global community of democracies in standing firm on our constitutional values and denouncing unprovoked Russian aggression in a sovereign state.

Municipalities spent R1.6 billion on consultants in 2020/2021

The Auditor-General presented the 2020/2021 Local Government Audit outcomes in Parliament yesterday and the findings confirm the DA’s views that most municipalities lack financial planning, have inadequate financial controls, lack of internal skills capacity and an overall lack of accountability.

The result of poor planning negatively impacts finances and municipal service delivery; in the year under review112 (44%) of municipalities passed unfunded budgets.

Consultant fees amounted to R1.6 billion or 13% of the total financial reporting cost of R12.3 billion. The lion’s share was spent by 3 provinces:

  • KwaZulu-Natal (48 municipalities) – R309,26 million,
  • North West Province (20 municipalities) -R282,33 million
  • Limpopo (26 municipalities) – R263.18 million

Poor payment practices resulted in 84% of municipalities being unable to pay their creditors within the 30-day period as prescribed by Treasury Regulations.

The average creditor payment period is 258 days. The highest outstanding creditors are:

  • Eskom- R36.36 billion
  • Water Boards- R14.34 billion
  • Water losses -R11,91 billion

Estimated revenue not collected amounted to R112.88 billion including a debt write-off of R39.63 billion.

The DA calls on COGTA Minister, Thembi Nkadimeng, to reduce the overreliance on consultants through the termination of cadre deployment, a recommitment to Operation Clean Audit that would have seen all municipalities achieve clean audits by 2014 and the appointment of internal audit committees by the national fiscus to prevent cadre appointments.

Government spends R734k on R957 Digitech website: DA calls for accountability

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Natasha Mazzone MP

The recent revelations regarding the Digitech website and app store have once again exposed the blatant disregard for taxpayer money by the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) and the ANC government. The fact that R743.644.95 was spent on redesigning the site raises serious questions about the allocation of funds and the competency of those involved.

It is shocking to discover that the Digitech website, which cost taxpayers a significant amount, was built using a mere $49 (R957) template. The question that begs to be answered is: what happened to the remaining R742.687? The Democratic Alliance has previously exposed the exorbitant fees paid for this website/app store, which was a dismal failure from the outset when it was created by the State Information Technology Agency (SITA).

Not only did the ANC deem it acceptable to pay a contractor an exorbitant fee at the expense of the taxpayer, but it was also discovered that the site did not even function properly. Anyone could access the administrator function using the generic username and password “admin.” This level of incompetence and negligence is completely unacceptable.

Furthermore, it is deeply concerning that when the website/app store was operational, there were no downloadable apps available. This raises further questions about the purpose and functionality of the site. The DA consulted with reputable IT companies who confirmed that this project was charged at least ten times higher than what should have been the reasonable cost.

It is clear that this project was nothing more than a cash cow handed to a connected cadre for their loyalty to the ANC. The DA is demanding that the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Mondli Gungubele, be summoned before the Portfolio Committee on Communications and Digital Technologies to provide a thorough explanation of this debacle.

We have written to the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, urging them to take action and hold the Minister accountable. The DA demands answers regarding the authorization of this contract, whether proper tender procedures were followed, the identities of the company directors who were awarded the contract, and the potential consequences, such as disciplinary actions or recovery of funds, for this failure and waste of taxpayer money.

The DA will not tolerate the reckless mismanagement of public resources. We will continue to fight for transparency, accountability, and the responsible use of taxpayers’ money. South Africans deserve better than this, and it is our duty to ensure that those responsible are held to account.

Are the Russians prospecting in Antarctica? 

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Dave Bryant MP.

The DA has noted the response from Minister Barbara Creecy confirming that the South African government is opposed to alleged Russian energy prospecting in Antarctica. The Minister has confirmed in her response that “no prospecting activities should be taking place in the Antarctic region” and reaffirmed that this longstanding ban also applies to Russia.

The Minister has further stated however that it is her opinion that no evidence exists of Russian prospecting in Antarctica and therefore South Africa was not obligated to raise the issue at the recent Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Helsinki, Finland. The question has to be asked though: what then is ROSGEO, a Russian geological exploration group doing in Antarctica and why are Russian exploration ships being allowed to dock in South African harbours?

The Antarctic region is a very delicate natural environment and any prospecting for energy resources in the area is completely banned. Any steps taken by Russia or any other country to prospect for resources in the area should be vehemently opposed by the South African government and should evidence emerge of prospecting by Russia, the ANC government would be compelled to take direct action, which would curtail the working relationships between South African and Russian scientists.

Well-known civic groups such as the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) have made numerous public pronouncements pointing the finger directly at Russia for seismic prospecting in the Antarctic region and they are confident of these claims. It is now essential that any evidence relating to illegal prospecting in the region be provided urgently so that action can be taken to prevent any illegal prospecting from taking place. The ban on prospecting in Antarctica has been in place since 1977 and no country should be exempt.

Cadre deployment with a vengeance: Chapter 10 institution compromised

The Democratic Alliance (DA) firmly opposes the appointment of Mr. Errol Vincent Magerman as Commissioner of the Public Service Commission (PSC). The appointment will be another instance of flagrant cadre deployment by the ruling party. We urgently call on the President to reject his recommendation as a suitable candidate for commissioner.

The PSC, as a knowledge-based institution, plays a critical role in upholding the constitutional values and principles of public administration within the public service. Therefore, it is essential that the individual appointed to lead this commission possesses the necessary qualifications and competence which Magerman does not. Mr. Magerman failed to meet the basic criteria agreed upon by the sub-committee.

During the interview process there were better candidates than Mr. Magerman. In fact, he ranked among the poorest-performing candidates.

He did not demonstrate extensive knowledge and understanding of the public service and the PSC, which is a fundamental requirement for this role. Furthermore, his lack of appropriate and relevant work experience is evident, as he has primarily been employed by the ANC throughout his adult working life and this is revealed in his curriculum vitae.

Mr. Magerman’s ill-conceived appointment stems from the absence of clear requirements for the position of national commissioner at the PSC in the Constitution and the Public Service Commission Act. This legislative gap has left the sub-committee responsible for recommending a candidate with significant discretion and opened the door for ANC cadre deployment.

The PSC needs to be staffed by competent, experienced, and qualified individuals who actively contribute to its existing knowledge base. It is imperative that the independence and impartiality of the PSC are upheld by appointing individuals who meet these criteria.

We also call on the Minister of Public Service and Administration to address this issue by including provisions on minimum qualifications, skills, and work experience for commissioners in the forthcoming PSC Bill. Such provisions will ensure that only qualified, skilled, and experienced individuals are recommended for this senior position within the Commission, considering the significant annual salary it commands. Failure to implement these provisions will perpetuate a situation where recommendations for the PSC commissioner are left to an ANC-dominated sub-committee whose primary mandate is to deploy cadres seeking positions in the PSC.

The DA remains committed to safeguarding the integrity and effectiveness of the PSC and, therefore, rejects Mr. Magerman’s appointment as Commissioner. We urge the Minister to take immediate action to rectify the current situation and ensure that the PSC is led by a capable and qualified individual who can fulfill its crucial mandate.

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DA to launch High Court challenge against ANC race quotas

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

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will this week approach the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to declare various sections of the Employment Equity Amendment Act (EEAA) unconstitutional and invalid.

The draft form of the regulations issued in terms of section 15A last month, will as a result also fall.

In our submission, the DA will demonstrate that the term “numerical targets” used by the Act is a misnomer and that, in reality, the Act sets rigid racial quotas for four different job levels across 18 economic sectors. The Act empowers the Minister to determine quotas that specify the particular demographic composition that designated employers must achieve, on pain of severe penalties – including the inability to do business with the state, the cancellation of existing state contracts, compelling orders, and fines. These quotas amount to job reservation based on race on a scale last seen before 1994.

The scheme violates the constitutional rights to equality, to freedom of trade, occupation and profession, as well as the original Employment Equity Act’s own prohibition on quotas.

The amended Act represents a radical, unconstitutional and dangerous intensification of the ANC’s race-based social engineering. It provides no flexibility to employers to determine what is feasible in their own business environment, instead centralising power in the hands of one Minister to dictate the racial composition of workplaces across the country. In some provinces and sectors, it sets the quota for coloured and Indian South Africans at 0.0% and 0.1%. In other cases, such as in the Northern Cape, companies would be in violation of the law if it employs “too many” black women.

This approach is at odds with the basic economic reality that different employers in a particular sector have different employment needs and face different labour markets. One employer might need electricians. Another might require coders. Another fitters and turners. But section 15A of the Act would permit the Minister to lump all of these employers together and force them to hire the same specified ratios of various race combinations.

We cannot allow this draconian race-based legislation to stand. It will not only directly lead to mass job losses. It will also accelerate capital and skills flight at a time when our economy is already in a deep crisis brought about by load shedding and economic mismanagement. Ultimately, all South Africans will suffer as unemployment and poverty grows beyond already catastrophic levels.

The ANC’s race quota law is clearly designed not to grow the economy, but to sow racial division for political purposes. This means that, in addition to legal challenges, we also need to meet this political ploy head on through the ballot box. If we allow an ANC-EFF Doomsday Coalition to come to power next year, these draconian race quotas will only be the beginning of the destruction of our economy.

The DA is committed to work with all partners – both in political parties and civil society – to ensure the victory of the Moonshot Pact over the Doomsday Coalition in 2024 to inaugurate a new government that assigns race-based legislation to the dustbin of history.

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Sub-optimal GDP growth a consequence of government inaction

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

Today, the ANC government’s inability to respond to a rapidly deteriorating economic landscape is reflected in the dismal 0.4% growth in our gross domestic product (GDP) over the first quarter. This tepid performance is edging us closer to an economic brink. Although we narrowly avoided a technical recession, these grim figures are alarm bells on a faltering economy that government cannot ignore.

The National Treasury’s 2023 Budget estimated a growth rate of 0.9%, a target that, even though low and uninspiring, now appears overly optimistic given our dismal start.

Our greylisting in February; record-breaking electricity blackouts; pro-Russian foreign policy and lack of fiscal response to the inflation fuelled cost of living crisis, will prevent recovery. Our economy will not grow at the projected 1.4% over the medium term. This means that revenue is overstated in the budget and less money will be available for service delivery.

The ANC’s approach to solving the electricity crisis has proven grossly inadequate as load-shedding and widespread corruption in the energy sector continues to deal crippling blows to economic activity while casting a vast shadow on small businesses and multinational corporations alike. This load-shedding crisis is nothing short of a litmus test for ANC’s failings in governance.

Markets have reacted to government’s pro-Russian stance on Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, with negative sentiment resulting in capital outflow, depreciation in the rand, and an increase in inflation. Markets have offloaded South African shares and bond and are already behaving as if sanctions are in place. If government does not actively demonstrate a return to a “non-aligned” position, South Africa faces the real risk of further isolation on global financial markets.

These policy missteps impact directly on vulnerable South African households, already reeling under the yoke of a government-induced cost-of-living crisis and a brutally high unemployment rate. This is the grim reality of an economy suffocating under the ANC’s iron grip at the centre of our economy.

Earlier this year the DA presented our Alternative Budget for 2023, a blueprint for virtuous growth, that remains possible. To establish resilience and stimulate economic growth our Alternative Budget proposes innovative solutions to attract foreign capital, encourage domestic savings, revitalise state-owned entities, fix our crumbling infrastructure, enhance labour market participation, secure our social net, and facilitate the expansion of both the small and large business sectors.

The DA pledges to continue applying pressure on the ANC to adopt effective economic fiscal strategies and urgently address the burgeoning cost-of-living crisis. We will work tirelessly to change the government at the ballot box next year. That is the only way to change the current trajectory that will result in the economic failure of our country.

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DA calls for Commission of Inquiry into farm murders

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Noko Masipa MP.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is deeply saddened and disturbed by the heinous farm murders that occurred over the weekend in both Limpopo and the Western Cape, resulting in the loss of innocent lives. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims during this incredibly difficult time.

The brutal murder of a prominent businesswoman and her family member at a farm in Limpopo, where their bodies were set alight while they were still alive, is an appalling and shocking crime. Such acts of violence have no place in our society, and those responsible must be apprehended swiftly and brought to justice.

Additionally, the murder of Pierre and Belinda De Kock on their farm in Aurora, Western Cape, adds to the growing concern about the safety and security of our farming communities. We express our deepest sympathies to their loved ones and condemn this act of violence in the strongest possible terms.

The DA is gravely concerned about the rising number of farm murders in our country, which further underscores the urgent need for effective action to address this issue. It is deeply troubling that there have been a total of five farm murders this weekend alone. We cannot stand idly by as our farming communities live in constant fear for their lives and face the devastation of losing loved ones. These farm murders threaten the country’s food security.

Bheki Cele and his SAPS is clearly failing people in rural areas despite an existing rural safety plan.

Considering these alarming incidents and in line with our Congress Resolution that was adopted with a resounding majority, the Democratic Alliance will write to the President to request the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into farm murders. This independent inquiry will allow for a thorough investigation into the underlying causes of these crimes and provide recommendations for comprehensive measures to safeguard our farming communities.

The DA strongly believes that the safety and security of all South Africans, regardless of where they live or work, is of paramount importance. We will continue to advocate for effective and proactive measures to combat crime, strengthen law enforcement, and ensure justice for the victims and their families.

We call on all South Africans to stand united against this wave of violence and support the efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice. Together, we must work towards creating a society where every citizen feels safe and protected.

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BELA Bill: ANC up to old tricks at NC public hearings

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Marina van Zyl MP.

This weekend’s public participation process for the Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill in the Northern Cape was marred by what was clearly an ANC attempt to influence the community’s inputs.

Instead of the allocated 3 minutes, the Northern Cape Basic Education MEC, Zolile Monakali, was given 7 minutes to deliver a speech touting the benefits of the Bill. This despite the fact that the acting Chair of the parliamentary portfolio committee on basic education, Nombuyiselo Gladys Adoons, was alerted that his 3 minutes had expired.

Yet, the public weren’t fooled by this blatant attempt to sway their views in favour of the BELA Bill, which will ultimately disempower schools and their governing bodies (SGBs) from determining admission and language policies and endanger learners’ constitutional rights to mother tongue education.

The majority of Northern Cape participants rejected the BELA Bill and highlighted the same concerns the DA has, including the lack of prior engagement with the home schooling sector, and the centralisation of power within the Department of Education.

The DA encourages all parents, educators, SGB and community members, as well as education stakeholders to raise their concerns and objections at the public hearings in the Eastern Cape this coming weekend (please see below for more information).

Our children’s futures need to be prioritised, and the BELA Bill threatens it.


Eastern Cape
Date Time District  Area  Local Municipality
Friday, 9    June 2023 14:00 – 18:00 O R Tambo (Inland) Mthatha King Sabatha Dalindyebo Local Municipality
Saturday, 10 June 2023 12:00 – 16:00 Chris Hani West Queenstown Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality
Sunday, 11 June 2023 12:00 – 16:00 Nelson Mandela Bay New Brighton, Ibhayi Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality

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South Africa continues to drown in plastic pollution while ANC dithers

Plastic pollution across South Africa is at epidemic proportions and is continuing to get worse in areas under ANC control. In these areas it is the local residents and NGOs who have to step in to assist, and many continue to fight an uphill battle without any support from ANC-led governments. Local residents and businesses deal with the impacts of plastic pollution on a daily basis and often it is the poorest of the poor who suffer the worst consequences.

The impact of plastic pollution on wildlife, in particular seabirds and fish is devastating and the ingestion of plastic products can lead to further risks to humans who eat the affected seafood. It is clear that ANC-run provinces and municipalities have no real plans to deal with the gargantuan scale of plastic pollution and this is exacerbated by a growing lack of landfill space and the complete breakdown of many recycling programmes in ANC-controlled areas.

Other African countries such as Kenya have been able to implement complete bans on certain types of plastic waste, while the ANC government has only been able to implement a tax on plastic bags. The plastic bag fund was subsequently found to have been pilfered and millions of rands stolen by corrupt officials.

Recycling is an important component of the fight against plastic waste, but the best way to reduce the amount of plastic is by curbing single-use plastics completely wherever possible. Whilst all South Africans can play a role in reducing their own consumption, a far more significant impact will come via the implementation of bold legislation on a National level. South Africa imports massive amounts of plastic waste from surrounding SADC countries but the ANC government is still only able to recycle less than 10% of our own country’s plastic waste. This is unacceptably low.

Forward thinking DA governments, such as those in the Western Cape are working via both our provincial and local administrations to reduce the amount of waste to landfill.

Our governments run award-winning awareness programmes to help empower local residents in an effort to reduce littering and dumping of plastic:

  • The DA-run City of Cape Town has developed a free app for residents showing buy-back centers, drop off points and recycling collectors across the metro, all of which are given constant attention and support from the municipality;
  • The City of Cape Town also runs the only free home composting programme in the country with thousands of free composters delivered to homes across the city;
  • The DA-run Stellenbosch municipality has opened a state-of-the-art waste material recovery facility, which was launched by Mayor Gesie van Deventer in 2021. This has helped to improve the quality of recycled products and provide a more central area for recycling activities to take place;
  • The DA-run government in Kouga built the first municipal road made from recycled plastic;
  • The DA-run Overstrand municipality showed incredible resilience in building back and further improving their recycling operation after the main facility was burned down during riots in 2018.

Even so, DA-run governments such as the City of Cape Town still have their hands full dealing with ongoing plastic pollution. In order for the fight against plastic pollution to succeed, we need the National government to act decisively.

A DA-run National Government will put an immediate focus on reducing the amount of single-use plastic products and will roll-out effective campaigns countrywide to rejuvenate our natural environment after so many years of ANC neglect. Ultimately, we need a government that will work together with all South Africans in the best interest of our people and our fragile environment.

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