NCOP outcome on Tshwane intervention is driven by political maneuvering

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is dismayed by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP’s) announcement in favour of the dissolution of the Tshwane Council by the Gauteng Provincial Government without due process.

It is clear that the outcome was politically driven and that the NCOP is caught in the web of lies the province is weaving.

The DA vehemently disagrees with the decision to put the City of Tshwane under administration.

The matter will be heard in court on 24 March 2020 and we are confident that it will be set aside.

This is a principled fight that concerns the preservation of our democracy and democratic processes.

This outcome sets a dangerous precedent where municipalities that do not have an outright majority will be forced to go to elections every 90 days if parties do not agree in council.

Alternative solutions are required as this may become a prevalent occurrence after the 2021 local government elections.

Section 139 (1) (c) of the Constitution should be the last resort and in fact more emphasis should have been placed on Section 154 that indicates assistance to a local sphere from provincial and national spheres of government.

The report tabled by the NCOP today is factually flawed and is a clear indication that the NCOP and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Minister Nikosazana Dlamini Zuma failed to hold Gauteng COGTA MEC Lebogang Maile accountable for the misleading information he continues to dish out to the public.

The sudden rush to have the NCOP certify the Gauteng Provincial Government’s intervention in the Tshwane Municipality is nothing short of political exploitation and an incorrect interpretation of the Constitution.

This intervention was only referred to the NCOP last week, leaving the Select Committee on COGTA with very little time for adequate engagement.

During its submissions to the NCOP yesterday, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) noted that new elections could result in no party obtaining a majority, risking a hung Council, with no political leadership. If the MEC was serious about assisting the City of Tshwane and not attempting a power grab through the backdoor, it should have approached SALGA to assist in finding solutions and lobbied all parties to work together.

Tshwane: how the ANC behaves when they lose elections

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes today’s press conference held by Premier David Makhura. The ANC has taken illegal actions which will be challenged.

The simple truth is that when the ANC fails to win an election, it resorts to undemocratic and non-procedural means to get back power; what has happened in Tshwane demonstrates this.

There has been a decline in ANC support over several elections and this trend has continued.

Therefore, after the 2021 Local Government Elections, there will be scores of municipalities around the country that will find themselves in a minority situation as has been the case in Tshwane.

We cannot allow the ANC to use untruths, half-truths and outright subversion to undo democratic decisions. Because if we fail now, the consequences for municipalities around the country after the 2021 Local Government Elections will be dire.

In his media conference today, the Premier misled the public.

We will hold a press conference to unpack every untruth and half-truth.

MEC Maile has ignored the reply by Council to his letter in terms of Section 139 of the Constitution; here are four short examples:

  • There was no engagement between the Provincial Government and the City of Tshwane, except for the notification where the Provincial Government expressed the intent to place the City under administration.
  • Service delivery concerns:

– Water in regions 5 and 7 was capped by Rand Water because the Vaal Dam was running blow acceptable capacity levels;

– A contract has been signed with ERWAT to address the water issues in Hammanskraal;

– The water treatment plan in Region 7 is back to its normal operations since Saturday, 14th December 2019;

– The letter further indicated that Senior Managers in the Service Delivery Cluster for both Roads and Transport and Human Settlements were suspended and this had an impact on service delivery. The truth is that these managers have been reinstated and are back at work; and

– The deterioration of the Wonderboom airport has been resolved.

  • The letter stated that the pollution of the Hartbeespoort Dam catchment area is attributed to sewer spillages from the urban and industrial zones of the Gauteng Province and does not indicate what Executive obligation the City of Tshwane is unable or unwilling to fulfil. To date, no further explanation has been issued by the Provincial Government as to what intervention is expected.
  • The City has embarked on standard and annual processes as determined by National Treasury and Section 19 of the 2019 Division of Revenue Act and Section 38 of the MFMA to comply with the regulations with regards to underspending by the City of Tshwane and the extension of grants. This is a standard procedure across all municipalities.

It is clear that the City of Tshwane had the full intention to work with the Provincial Government but was declined the opportunity for political gain. We will continue to air these truths as we get legal advice on our course of action.

STRAIGHT TALK: SONA and Ramaphosa: the night and knight of delusion

Long and well-spun as it was, Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address can be distilled down to a single naked fact: it didn’t deliver the reforms we need to reverse South Africa’s slide into bankruptcy. It didn’t even come close.

“Gradually and then suddenly” was Hemingway’s description of how you go bankrupt. We’re entering the “suddenly” phase, with our credit set to be junked soon after Mboweni delivers his budget speech later this month.

Yet Ramaphosa missed his Rubicon moment to fix the fundamentals.

He failed to administer even the basic CPR required to stabilise the patient. If the DA were in government, this is the shock treatment we would have delivered last night.

  • Solve our energy crisis by committing to 1) break Eskom’s monopoly entirely by opening the energy market to full competition, allowing companies and households to generate and sell electricity unhindered by the state, 2) sell off Eskom’s power stations to pay off its R450 billion debt, 3) free Eskom’s leadership to drive operational efficiencies.
  • Rapidly revive investor confidence by decisively walking away from expropriation without compensation, national health insurance, nationalising the Reserve Bank, and forcing pension funds to invest in state-owned companies.

And Ramaphosa denied our economy the treatment – long prescribed by the DA – that would nurse it to long-term health:

  • Make bold changes to our labour legislation to unleash entrepreneurship and job creation.
  • Stand up to SADTU to end their stranglehold on our basic education system, so that teachers can be properly trained, monitored and incentivised.
  • Do away with cadre deployment and BEE so that the appointments and tenders are on merit and in the best interests of the poor. This would do far more to fix our health system than will NHI.
  • Devolve SAPS powers to the provinces and metros as per international best practice.
  • Commit to reining in the public sector wage bill, by freezing wages for all managers and administrators for three years and reducing the number of such managers earning over a million rand a year by a third.

Though not nearly enough to arrest South Africa’s slide, we welcome the commitment to add additional energy to the grid and to back the DA’s long-fought proposal to allow municipalities to procure their own power from independent producers.

But mostly, we were dished up delusion: a state bank when the post bank is already unable to do its job; a sovereign wealth fund when the government already spends R1000 million more per day than it gets in taxes; a smart city when most municipalities are bankrupt or dysfunctional or both; coding and robotics for kids who can’t read; a capable state with cadre deployment.

It would be funny if it weren’t ruining millions of lives and destroying our future.

Ramaphosa’s problem is that for every major policy decision confronting him, he must choose between his party and his country. Either he goes the route that provides patronage and populist support to his party (NHI, EWC, SADTU etc) or he goes the route that generates inclusive growth for South Africa.

He chooses the ANC over South Africa every time.

It’s time for South Africans to wake up. Cyril is not the knight in shining armour that came to save us. We need to build a new majority for reform in South Africa. The DA will be at the forefront of this charge.

Joy for new Home Owners in DA-run Drakenstein

“Secure tenure and access to opportunities.” That, said Executive Mayor of the Drakenstein Municipality Conrad Poole, was what their title deeds will mean to beneficiaries who received ownership of their homes in Gouda.

Joined by Western Cape Provincial Human Settlements Minister Tertius Simmers, Alderman Poole handed out 150 title deeds to jubilant residents. The handover was the highlight of the first phase of a project that will see the construction of 372 homes and provide the occupants with title deeds.

To date, all 150 homes have been constructed and all beneficiaries have taken occupancy.

The Executive Mayor advised beneficiaries not to sell their homes but to keep it as a legacy for their families or use it as collateral to raise loans to educate their children or grandchildren. A title deed, said the Mayor, could help secure the future of a family, a community and even a Municipality.

The project started in 2014 and created job opportunities and skills transfers during construction. The project also caters for people with disabilities and special needs.
It has brought about a definite improvement in the quality of the living environment of the beneficiaries, creating the necessary conditions to lead a dignified life, create a vibrant community and contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty.

It also provides people with secure tenure and access to opportunities which is in line with Drakenstein’s vision to be a “City of Excellence”.

Minister Mbalula confirms that 39% of PRASA managers’ qualifications could not be verified

In response to a question by the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Parliament this week, the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula confirmed that the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) could not verify the qualifications of as many as 39% of all managers at the Passenger Railway Association of South Africa (PRASA).

This is a shocking statistic, especially given the dire straits the entity finds itself in. Furthermore, it only exposes PRASA to all manner of risks and the entity simply cannot afford any more blunders, especially not ones as costly as the 13 ill-fitting Afro-4000 locomotives.

The fact that SAQA cannot verify the qualifications of 39% of PRASA’s managers, is further evidence that corporate governance at the entity has been systematically eroded to such an extent that seemingly every Tom, Dick and Harry can be hired to perform very critical technical work that requires special artisan skills.

This also means that the Minister cannot guarantee the safety of our commuters who desperately rely on trains. We have seen constant delays in trains, constant breakdowns and passengers getting stuck on railways which in some cases have resulted in major accidents. This comes at the backdrop of thousands of graduates who are struggling to find work, yet their jobs and opportunities are essentially are occupied by unqualified personnel at PRASA.

The DA calls on Mbalula to expedite the skills audit process at PRASA and ensure that all posts are filled by qualified individuals who are fit for purpose.

DA welcomes the removal of the most destructive mayor in Nelson Mandela Bay’s history

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the removal of the United Democratic Movement’s Mongameli Bobani, as executive mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay.

In his fifteen months in office Bobani has been the most destructive mayor that this Metro has ever seen, and has single-handedly run this City into the ground. It comes as no surprise that every other party present voted to remove him.

The question still needs to be asked at a national level why UDM leader, Bantu Holomisa, who has a reputation for fighting corruption, did and said nothing against Bobani’s reign of terror in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Under Bobani’s watch:

  • National Treasury has threatened to withdraw and recall in excess of R3-billion in funds made available since the inception of the IPTS conditional grant allocation, because these funds have been used outside the framework stipulated in the Division of Revenue Act (DoRA).
  • The Hawks have raided his mayoral offices twice, which is unprecedented.
  • SMME’s have literally gone to war over a dubious drain cleaning tender, with people losing their lives.
  • Bobani refused to sign the drought declaration for months, while taps across the Metro ran dry and dam levels continued to drop.
  • He spun in his mayoral chair, while service delivery in the Metro ground to a halt.
  • The City is dirty, as refuse is not being collected on a regular basis and illegal dumping is a massive problem.

This is in sharp contrast to the 24 months where the DA led coalition was in charge, with a host of successes, including among others:

  • The City was financially liquid with over R2 billion in the bank and received a AAA credit rating;
  • Achieved annual financial statements that indicate the administration has achieved record levels of spending in the financial year 2017/18;
  • Boasted one of the best Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) spending performances in the country at 100%;
  • Tripled the number of annual jobs created by the EPWP (Expanded Public Works Program); and
  • won environmental prizes in 2017 and 2018 for our efforts at cleaning up the city

Now that Bobani has been removed, hopefully we can return to putting the people of Nelson Mandela Bay first.

Minister Mbalula confirms that the Moloto Railway Corridor is a pipe dream

In response to a question by the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Parliament on Tuesday, the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula finally confirmed that the Moloto Rail Corridor project was nothing but an election gimmick and a pipe dream.

In his response to the DA, the Minister said “the National Treasury declined a Public-Private Partnership TA1 application by PRASA on the 3rd of December 2015 on the basis that the project was mainly unaffordable, and the unlikelihood of the project yielding the social economic and developmental benefits as envisaged in the feasibility study”.

This essentially confirms a long held view of the DA that the project was nothing but a scheme to solicit votes for the past decade. For the past 12 years, the ANC has promised the Moloto Rail Corridor in what is clearly an attempt to dupe voters and play on the emotions of the people of Siyabuswa, KwaMhlanga, Moloto and surrounding areas in Mpumalanga. The DA will continue to seek accountability for this project, given the fact that in the 2013/14 financial year the Department of Transport (DoT) had already spent more than R10 million on the project and a further R7.6 million in the 2014/15 financial year on undertaking a detailed feasibility study that was concluded in October 2014. This will constitute a R18 million in taxpayers money that has gone down the drain for this “pie in the sky” project.

DA ready to deliver change and renewal to the Eastern Cape

The speech below was delivered by DA Eastern Cape Premier Candidate, Nqaba Bhanga, during the party’s Provincial Manifesto launch in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape. 

Molweni My Democrats

As I welcome you here today, I want to say that you will not find a more beautiful part of the country than the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape. Or a more strong and resilient people.

The people of the Eastern Cape have accomplished great things, despite the hardships we have endured. I want to start by acknowledging some of these extraordinary individuals,

Like the young Siyabulela Xuza, from the townships of Mthatha, who developed his own rocket fuel.

Like Siya Kolisi, who rose from the dusty streets of Zwide, to become the first black Springbok captain in South Africa.

Like Sinowhetu Mfedu, who is the third best matric performer in quintile 1 in the country, despite having to walk 30km to and from her school in Bizana every day.

Like young Avukile Nkayi, from Elliot, whose mother makes a living as a street hawker, that bagged seven distinctions, making him the second-best learner in quintile 2 schools, in the country.

But today, I also want to acknowledge each and every single individual here. As I look at the crowds gathered before me, I can see that there is a blue wave of change sweeping through this province.

It is no accident that we have chosen this venue to launch our provincial manifesto. You see, for far too long, the rural people of the Eastern Cape have been forgotten by the government, who do not care about you.

Let me say that again, the Government does not care about you.

But we have heard your cries for change.

For the past six months I have travelled the length and breadth of the Eastern Cape, listening to the cries of our people.

I have seen first-hand how you are being deprived of basic services, roads are disintegrating, there is NO water, NO electricity, NO houses, NO jobs, NO opportunities.

I am here to tell you NO MORE!

Recently I visited Myolo Primary School in Kwanyathi Village Lusikisiki where almost R3 million was wasted on constructing 9 pit toilets of shoddy workmanship. What happened to this money, money that should have ensured our children’s health and safety?

Last year five year old Lumka Mthethwa drowned in a pit toilet at the Luna primary school in Bizana.

Yesterday I met with the families of six children from Popopo Primary who lost their lives when they were washed away in a flooded river near Matatiele. Our children are literally being forced to risk their lives on a daily basis just to get their basic education.

I went Engobo, Nkhonkota – where two children drowned. When it rains, the children cannot get to school for two weeks. Instead of acquiring school certificates, they are getting death certificates

I have seen children going to bed hungry, because there is no work, which means no money for food.

Families are being ripped apart, as breadwinners leave to seek work elsewhere.

Just this week, while walking the streets of Mthatha, I saw young people struggling to make a living. They told me that they are desperate for work, because they do not have the necessary education.

Mthatha was once the economic hub of the old Transkei, but it is no longer the case, the infrastructure has collapsed, the sewerage is running down the road and the water is contaminated.

I have seen how crime has destroyed the lives of our women and children, who are raped and murdered every day.

Lutho Qudalele, a 19-year-old who was brutally raped and murdered – this happened in Engcingana, Dutywa at the preschool.

Two great South Africans, Nicola Irvine and Fezeka Mbiko, who worked together to build a multi-purpose centre, using eco-friendly construction including plastic bottles and fish net.

I sat in the PE Magistrates court, beside a family that have been robbed of a loving son, Zavier Jassen, as the man who is believed to have brutally gunned him down in front of his family home last year made his first appearance.

As I have said, it is no coincidence that we have chosen the Wild Coast as the venue for our Provincial Manifesto Launch.

The DA is working towards building One South Africa For All and the principles of Team One SA is rooted here.

At university I learnt about how, three hundred years ago, a ship ran aground, and a young white girl named Bessie, was washed up on these shores. Bessie was taken in by the local tribe, given the name Gquma, the Roar of the Sea, and was raised as one of their own.

This girl was treated no different than any other, was seen as an equal, and went on to marry a local chief, and bore him many children.

This, my fellow democrats, is just one example of how we can live together in harmony, regardless of race, gender or background. 300 years ago, we lived together. We have done it before, we can do it again.

We, the DA, are here today to tell you that we have heard you. You are not the forgotten people of the Eastern Cape.

You are in our thoughts when we say that the Eastern Cape NEEDS change.

We need to change the way things are done in this province, we need to take away the power from the failing ruling government who do not care about the people.

We need to tell the government NO MORE!

We need to put an end to the corruption of the government, who take your money and eat it. Money meant to build your houses, your schools, your hospitals is being used to buy luxury cars, build mansions and buy cattle for the connected few.

We know that you, the people of the Eastern Cape, are fed up with the continual empty promises.

By voting for the ANC you are entering into a five year contract with them;

To say that you want your child not to have an education,

To say that you do not want work,

To say that you do not want basic services like water and electricity.

We are not making empty promises, we have a plan that will turn South Africa around, that we want to share with you today.

Our Federal Leader, Mmusi Maimane, will shortly lay bare all our plans to turn the country around.

But first, let me tell you how the Eastern Cape can untap its potential to become one of the economic leaders in South Africa.


  • Did you know that the Eastern Cape has the highest expanded unemployment rate in the country, which means that 1,2 million people are unemployed.
  • Those in power are exploiting this, demanding sex for jobs.
  • Recently, during a visit to Komani in the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality, I came across women who were told they cannot get EPWP jobs if they don’t sleep with officials.
  • What is even more shocking is that, in Komani, I was informed corrupt officials are also insisting on sex for houses.
  • The DA will criminalise sex for jobs. If you demand sex for a job, or a house, you are going to go to jail!


  • We will invest in our roads, because the roads are the veins of our economy, and the better the roads the faster we will grow
  • This wild coast with its natural beauty and friendly people could be an economic hub of the province, attracting tourists from all over the world, while creating jobs for local people
  • The Wild Coast has a special place in my heart. It is a place that has many special memories for me, but it is also a place of great sadness.
  • Three years ago, my brother came out here to explore the beauty of the wild coast, but he lost his life when he drowned in the ocean.
  • I cannot help but wonder, if the infrastructure was better, he might still be with me today


  • Corruption is out of control in this province.
  • Local government has been crippled by billions of rands of corruption.
  • I have seen first-hand the impact corruption has had on municipalities such as Makana; Ngqushwa; Enoch Mgijima; Emalahleni; Intsika Yethu; Great Kei and Dr Beyers Naude.
  • And right here, in Ngquza Hill!
  • The DA will strengthen our finance procedures across the board, to ensure that money for the people is spent on the people, and those who steal it, go to jail!


  • As I have said, my fellow democrats, crime is out of control. 10 people are murdered in this province every single day, and it is getting worse!
  • The Eastern Cape also has the second highest recorded murders for women and children in the country, with 550 women and 180 children murdered last year.
  • The DA will expand the number of sexual offences courts and will train the people to treat victims better.


I am here to tell you NO MORE!

No More will we allow our women to be exploited for sex!

No more will we allow our children to die in pit toilets!

No more will our children drown in raging rivers!

No More will we be deprived of basic services!

No more will be deprived of opportunity!

No more will we be the forgotten people of the Eastern Cape

My fellow democrats we the DA say no more!


No More!

City repairs over 3 000 potholes in the month of February

Rainy season in Johannesburg is beginning to wind up, however the heavy rainfall we’ve experienced has wreaked havoc on our roads. Usually, cracks are formed because of the regular – and notorious traffic in our city – which means that, when the rainy summer months come around, rainwater seeps into the asphalt and the underlying layer and causes the cracks to widen, which causes further damage.

Consequently, the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA), which is the custodian of the road network in the City of Joburg, typically receives higher numbers of reports of potholes from residents around this time of year. This has been the case again since the turn of the New Year.

The preservation of the existing road infrastructure is very important to the City of Joburg. It allows for improved movement of traffic and pedestrians flow, and of course, reduces the risk of all vehicles being damaged by potholes and other road defects. In the month of February, the JRA repaired a total of 3045 potholes across the City; with Region A being the best in terms of completion rate (92%).

It is our responsibility to maintain public infrastructure. We are well aware of the formidable work that lies ahead of us. We also know we have to carry out the repairs and maintenance of roads at a quicker rate – for this reason, the JRA has been testing the Jetpatcher road rehabilitation solution system.

The Jetpatcher system is not there to replace the current workforce, but to assist the JRA to accelerate the patching of potholes and the current workload, as well as upskill the existing workforce on the use of new technology.

In the moth of February, the system was used to repaired 2 700 potholes i.e. big patches and potholes (of 1 square meter and potholes of less 0.5 square meters) – averaging just under 200 potholes per day. The testing took place in Region C, with Regions E and A to follow to complete the testing.

This is further proof of how this administration has gradually set about using existing and new techniques to help ease the mammoth service delivery backlogs it inherited within the City of Joburg. These are the product of years and years of neglect and they manifest in the daily service delivery issues that plague our communities.

Due to massive infrastructure backlogs, over 3 900kms of our roads had fallen into the classification of “poor” or “very poor” conditions. In addition to that, work continues in undoing the mammoth backlog in storm water drainage, which further exacerbates the state of our roads.

Indeed, most of the city’s roads have gone past their design lifespan, normally set at about 30 years, with factors such as traffic (loading), drainage system, floods etc., also contributing to the state of our deteriorating road network.

The JRA was allocated R1.2 billion to the capital budget. Within this budget was an allocation of R250 million for road rehabilitation and reconstruction. In addition to this, the entity also budgeted R181 million for the rehabilitation of bridges in 2018/19, up from R49 million in 2017/18. During the recent adjustment budget, an additional R135 million was made available for road rehabilitation.

All of these projects will take time to deliver. As Johannesburg is a large area, aside from the daily inspections and maintenance, I urge residents to be our eyes and ears by reporting issues that they notice to the JRA.

The JRA offers multiple channels that residents can use to log a road infrastructure related fault in the City of Joburg:

  • You can log a fault online via the website or via the Find&Fix app. Simply snap a picture of an issue on your mobile phone, choose the nature of the issue on the app, and use GPS to send through your location.
  • You can also call our customer contact centre on 0860 562 874, or report the issue on Twitter, Facebook or e-mail

#SAElection2019 – Last chance for South Africans abroad to register to vote

The DA Abroad is calling on all South Africans abroad, who are registered to vote, to submit the VEC10 form at South African foreign missions before the deadline at midnight (UTC +2:00) on the 13 March 2019.

South Africans living abroad will be casting their votes at foreign missions around the world on Freedom Day, 27 April 2019.

Even as submissions of the VEC10 forms continue to be received at foreign missions, it is concerning to note that only 13,316 VEC10 forms have been submitted by South Africans to notify the IEC that they intend to vote out of the country.

We believe that there are many more South Africans eligible to vote and this election presents them with a unique opportunity to make their voices heard.

As proud South Africans, who care deeply about the future of our country and where it is going, this election is the most important yet for our young democracy.

It is a referendum on whether we continue on the current path with a failing ANC government or we have a national renewal through a DA government that will ensure there is a job in every household, fight crime, secure our borders, improve service delivery and ensure that all South Africans prosper.

While the ANC government has tried to create obstacles and frustrate South Africans living abroad from casting their vote, we have nonetheless succeeded in lobbying the IEC for weekend voting. We will continue to fight for fair access to voting by making it easy for citizens to secure their IDs and passports.

In order to secure your vote, DA Abroad aims to have Party Agents at as many of the voting stations abroad as possible. We will observe that the voting process is administered correctly, that all votes are counted and put into the tamper-proof bags, and that they arrive safely at the IEC’s counting station in Pretoria where we will have DA Party Agents observing the opening of the bags and the counting of the votes.

For this election, the voting day abroad is considerably earlier than the election in South Africa in order to allow votes to arrive back in time to be counted.

Information on how to submit your VEC10 form today and cast your vote on 27 April 2019 can be accessed on this link:

We are also aware that many South Africans abroad are concerned that by submitting the VEC10 form they believe that the IEC will be sharing this information with SARS who intend to tax South Africans abroad with the new legislation coming into effect in 2020.

Firstly, you’ll note that when you fill in the VEC10 form they don’t ask for your residential address. This is because they IEC are not concerned with where you are currently residing abroad, they just want to know where you want to vote abroad.

Secondly, we have been assured in writing by the IEC that the voters roll is solely intended for electoral purposes, and will not be shared with SARS, and that they take the protection of your personal data very seriously.

Every vote can make a difference and the DA Abroad would like to encourage all South Africans abroad to complete their VEC10 form today and help build a One South Africa for All.