DA notes Ramaphosa booed out of Soweto

Please find attached a soundbite by Natasha Mazzone MP

The ANC’s precarious position in this election has been underscored by the Naledi community in Soweto, who booed and chased President Cyril Ramaphosa out of the area during the ANC’s voter registration drive today.

This comes at a time when the ANC has consistently been polling below 50% for months and failed to register candidates in 94 municipalities around the country due to internal disorganisation and failure to pay their staff.

Election 2021 stands to be the moment of reckoning for the ANC, as voters use the polls to boo the ANC out of office in cities and towns throughout South Africa.

The DA is more ready than ever to negotiate new coalitions where it is possible for us to implement the DA’s manifesto pledges.  If the voters want to turn from the failing state, to a path of recovery, the DA offers them that chance as the only party big enough to beat the ANC.

Protests are part of a democracy, but they do not change governments.  Votes do.  That is why this registration weekend is so important. It is the last opportunity to register before the election on 1 November.

Register to Vote this weekend, so that you can vote out the ANC.

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

IEC’s technical issues should not discourage South Africans to register in their numbers

Please find attached an English soundbite by Siviwe Gwarube and an Afrikaans soundbite by Cilliers Brink

The DA calls on all voters to go out to register to vote this Registration Weekend. This is the last chance to register to vote.

We urge South Africans to not be discouraged by the IEC’s technical issues. In some places, the IEC systems are not performing perfectly, but this should not discourage voters. We cannot allow the IEC to keep South Africans from registering.

The DA calls on South Africans to insist that the IEC registers them and to check the voter registration status when they arrive at a voting station.

The DA will keep pushing the IEC to solve their problems and keep their systems running. The DA is on the side of all South Africans to make sure that the IEC works efficiently.

As we enter the first of two voter registration days, the DA urges South Africans to come out in their numbers to register to vote and to check their voter registration information.

This weekend is the final opportunity for South Africans to register to vote before the upcoming Local Government Elections and we urge all South Africans to come out in their numbers and do so.

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

DA welcomes ConCourt directive

The DA welcomes the directive issued by the Constitutional Court today that it will decide our challenge against the IEC bending the rules to favour the ANC, on the basis of the court papers.

This means that the court will not call for oral argument.

This court challenge was initiated by the DA to stop the IEC bending the rules of the Councillor Candidate nominations, to benefit the ANC who missed the deadline of 23 August.

There is precedent in which parties who have previously missed such deadlines have been excluded from the relevant elections

The Court’s directive today that it does not require oral argument before deciding the case, is encouraging.

We look forward to the judgment and we will continue to ensure that state institutions serve all South Africans without fear or favour and do not bend the rules to suit the ANC.

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

DA stands ready for our biggest Registration Weekend effort ever

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

The DA is ready for Voter Registration Weekend.

Our party is prepared, our structures are energised and across South Africa we stand ready to help and assist voters to Register and Re-register.

Thousands of DA activists, public representatives, leaders and staff are ready to hit the ground early tomorrow morning as voting stations open. We will be present and ready in our numbers to welcome voters to voting stations.

For the first time in the DA’s history, we have fielded a candidate in every ward across the country. This is a significant symbol of our complete national footprint.

Having a DA candidate in every Ward also means that for the very first time, in this Voter Registration Weekend, a DA councillor candidate will be available to voters in every Ward of South Africa to help and assist them to register correctly.

All across the country, DA leadership, mayoral candidates, councillors and activists will be out in force to encourage South Africans to check their voter registration status. This makes our effort this weekend the biggest in our party’s history. I am proud to lead this growing party into the field this weekend, to get the job done.

While other parties were scrambling to submit candidates to the IEC after advocating to postpone the elections, only the DA has been fighting for the right of every South African to cast their vote.

We, therefore, urge South Africans to not let this opportunity to register to go to waste. To see change come after this Election, to elect a government that gets things done, you must be registered to vote.

For South Africans to be liberated from the ANC’s suffocating stranglehold on local governments, you must be registered to vote.

Where the DA governs, it is simply unquestionable that things get done, government works, delivery improves, jobs are created and life gets better. Only DA governments care about you and your future.

The DA is ready for Voter Registration Weekend, and we call on all voters to be ready too.

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

DA petitions IEC for EFF funding probe

The EFF’s election campaign is clearly amply funded. However, their declaration to the IEC, stating that they have received no significant campaign donations, contradicts the evident campaign expenditure we are seeing.

The DA has today formally petitioned the IEC to investigate the disjuncture between the EFF declaration and their significant campaign expenditure.

The IEC is compelled by law to investigate a complaint where such prima facie evidence exists.

Every day the EFF election campaign shows signs of expensive spending on big campaign events, vehicles, advertising and branding. This includes voter registration events. These undermine their declaration to the IEC that they have not received any donations.

In the recent past the EFF has been linked to dubious and questionable sources of funding, including gangsters, cigarette smugglers and the looting of a bank meant to protect the savings of pensioners.

The DA does not accept that the EFF has honestly portrayed its financial incomes, and we demand a full investigation into the EFF’s finances.

Any hiding of funds or failure to declare them would amount to a criminal offence.

The DA has, in compliance with the Political Party Funding Act, made a full and honest declaration of all donations which we received during the applicability of the Act. We believe in the rule of law, and fair play.

Should there be any shortcoming with the EFF declaration, we will not hesitate to move for the de-registration of the EFF as a political party.

The EFF will play by the rules, or they will not remain in contention for this election.

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

Houses for the people, not politicians

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

  • Please see pictures here, here, here and here.
  • Please see below a map of Acacia Park and the surrounding national government-owned land:

Today I am announcing the third of my seven pledges to the people of Cape Town: the Democratic Alliance (DA) is ready to release city-owned land in well located areas to unlock more affordable housing options, and social housing, for Capetonians. And we are ready to take the fight to the national government to release the vast tracts of land it owns in Cape Town, so that the private sector can build thousands of new, more affordable homes for Capetonians.

We remain solely focused on what we will do to secure Cape Town’s future. Our commitment to more affordable accommodation for Capetonians is firm.

We will:

  • Cut red tape to empower the private sector to build thousands of more affordable homes;
  • Make it easier for micro-developers to build more rental units;
  • Audit and release city-owned land for social housing development; and
  • Harness modern technology to improve housing construction.

But even when we achieve these things, it will not be enough.

Cape Town’s affordable accommodation shortage means that we must be able to use the massive plots of land owned by the national government. But despite years of asking, by successive mayors, the national government refuses to free up these under-utilised mega properties.

Nowhere is the obstinance of the national government’s refusal to release state-owned land more glaring than at Acacia Park, a massive 56.8-hectare plot of land that is currently used to provide housing to politicians rather than to the people. I visited Acacia Park earlier this morning to see for myself how releasing this vast piece of well-located land – and other national government-owned sites like it – could transform the housing landscape in Cape Town.

Acacia Park already contains hundreds of houses and apartments, as well as infrastructure like a school, swimming pool, sports fields, parks and a community hall. It also has its own train station, is located adjacent to both the N1 and N7 highways, and lies within 10 kilometers of major shopping and business districts. Just like other national government-owned sites, including Culemborg and the Ysterplaat, Wingsfield and Youngsfield military bases, much of Acacia Park lies undeveloped while Cape Town faces an escalating housing crisis.

Instead of empowering the private sector to build homes for Capetonians at Acacia Park, Public Works Minister in the ANC government, Patricia de Lille, recently announced that R88 million would be spent on upgrading accommodation for Members of Parliament (MPs), most of whom are currently housed at Acacia Park.

It is a slap in the face of Capetonians that De Lille and her ANC government colleagues continue to waste money on accommodation for MPs at Acacia Park when DA-led Cape Town is ready to work with the private sector to develop the site for the benefit of thousands of Capetonians in urgent need of housing. It would be vastly cheaper to simply provide MPs from other parts of the country with housing subsidies that they can use to rent their own private accommodation when in Cape Town.

Acacia Park is a giant 568,000 square meter symbol for how De Lille and her ANC colleagues are holding back housing development in Cape Town.

That is why I have today written to De Lille, requesting her department to immediately terminate its lease over Acacia Park so that the City of Cape Town can undertake negotiations to buy the site from its owners, after which the land must be released to the private sector to build hundreds of affordable housing units.

The DA is ready to do more than ever before to fight back against a national government that is hell-bent on preventing us from empowering the private sector to build more homes for Capetonians. I will go toe-to-toe with the national government until we see cranes going up all over Cape Town, as we massively increase the supply of housing by releasing state-owned land for affordable development.

Our Mother City must become one big construction site as we build a future of shared prosperity. And that future should start by turning Acacia Park into housing for the people, rather than for politicians.

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

Three big reasons to register to vote DA

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

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

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

Only the DA is big enough to win

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

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

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

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

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

Only the DA has proved it can govern effectively

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The DA is the strongest opposition to the ANC

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

President Ramaphosa ought to keep these attributes in mind when appointing the new Chief Justice

Please find attached soundbite by Adv Glynnis Breytenbach MP.

The DA welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new approach in replacing the outgoing Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng whose term ends on 11 October 2021, by calling on nominations from the public.

The DA has been calling on the President to follow a similar process of appointment of the new Chief Justice to the process adopted by former President Nelson Mandela in the appointment of Chief Justice Ismail Mahomed in 1996. Former President Mandela also called for independent nominations and fostered a transparent appointment process.

The DA encourages the public to make full use of this opportunity and submit their nominations after truly applying their minds as to who would be best suited to serve justice in South Africa. It should be kept in mind that the statutory requirements for a Chief Justice in terms of Section 174 and 176 of the Constitution are:

  • An appropriately qualified woman or man who is a fit and proper person and a South African citizen;
  • The nominee must be a judge at the time they are appointed to the Constitutional Court; also
  • Remember that a Constitutional Court judge holds office for a non-renewable term of 12 years, or until they are 70 years old, whichever occurs first, except where an Act of Parliament extends the term of office of a Constitutional Court judge.

The following attributes should be non-negotiable in Chief Justice nominees:

  • Someone with at least 10 years experience on the Bench;
  • Experience in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) and/or the Constitutional Court;
  • An unblemished record of integrity – moral fortitude;
  • Managerial exposure;
  • Suitable qualifications;
  • Respect of their peers;
  • Able to modernize the judiciary while staying true to its mandate; and
  • Be able to restore the integrity of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and maintain discipline and disciplinary processes within the JSC.

All nominations, together with the required supporting documents, must be sent to angeline@presidency.gov.za and cjnominations@gcis.gov.za by 1 October 2021, and must include:

  • A nomination letter, including the contact details of the nominator;
  • The nominee’s acceptance of the nomination and their contact details;
  • Letters of support for the nomination, including contact details of persons or entities that support the nomination, including at least one letter of support from a professional body of legal practitioners, non-governmental organisation working in the field of human rights, or other legal field; and
  • Any additional documentation that the person nominating the candidate for Chief Justice deems relevant.

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

Ramaphosa fails key test on structural reform with proposed new SOE

Please find attached soundbite by Ghaleb Cachalia MP.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has failed his first key test on economic structural reform after it emerged that the Department of Public Enterprises plans to create a new investment State Owned Enterprise (SOE) to manage other SOEs, with a direct reporting line to the President’s office.

The DA rejects this. Ramaphosa’s much vaunted push for structural reform is clearly a mirage because, not only does he want to keep dysfunctional SOEs plugged into to the state for endless bailouts, his ANC government has no intention of opening up the SOE sector to private investment. Apart from anything else, this would close the taps for cadres and the loyal elites who depend on ANC largesse.

Media reports indicate that the Department of Public Enterprises is working on a plan to create a new investment company called the ‘Asset Management State Owned Company’ that will manage government’s stakes in SOEs such as Eskom, Denel and Transnet. The company will be 100% owned by the government and is expected to report directly to the Presidency.

That this proposal is even being considered as a solution to ailing SOEs reveals the depth of policy deficit besetting Ramaphosa’s false ‘new dawn’. Recently, we have watched in dismay as the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, did everything in his power to thwart and delay the opening up of the energy sector to Independent Power Producers.

SOE’s have failed and the market failure of this state model is plain for all to see. Creating a separate slush fund to massage failure is bad policy and will continue to keep the South Africans taxpayer responsible for endless bailouts. Allowing private sector investment in SOEs will lessen their reliance on the fiscus while opening up opportunities for efficiency and competitiveness.

SOEs were at the heart of State capture during the Zuma years. Any intervention to reform the sector should be to reduce State involvement and not create more opportunities for abuse by corrupt politicians.

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

If you want what Stellenbosch municipality has, register to win, vote to win and let the ANC dominoes fall

Please find attached a soundbite by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen MP and pictures here, here and here

Today we are in the town of Stellenbosch which, together with Franschhoek and Pniel, form the Stellenbosch municipality – what we consider to be a true flagship DA municipality.

This is an example of what is possible when a DA local government receives a strong enough mandate to clean up a town, stabilise its finances, plan well ahead and prioritise service delivery for all the municipality’s residents.

Having swung back and forth between DA and ANC governments for the first decade of this century due to floor crossings and defections, voters handed the DA an outright majority in Stellenbosch in 2011, and then strengthened this majority in 2016. The result today is a municipality that has benefitted from back-to-back DA local governments and is now seeing the rewards of a decade of long-term planning and projects, as can be seen in this impressive list of government successes.

This is a town that works, and the reason it works is because the DA gets things done.

This local government demonstrates the perfect blend of business-friendly efficiency and the kind of caring attitude that sees no resident left behind. And this is exactly what we want to bring to even more towns and cities on 1 November.

The story of Stellenbosch is evidence of what happens when you liberate people from an ANC government. Our mission now is to free hundreds of thousands – even millions – more South Africans from the catastrophic failure that is ANC local government.

As we head towards the elections in just over six weeks’ time, everything is in place for us to do so. The ANC’s failure to register a single PR candidate anywhere in the Western Cape means they now face the very real prospect of not winning a single municipality in the province, or even ending up as the strongest party in a coalition. This historic election could signal the end of the ANC in the Western Cape for good as they will not likely recover from such a sweeping loss.

This is very good news for the people of this province, but also elsewhere in South Africa in places like KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo, where they failed to register candidates.

The only tenuous lifeline the ANC is still clinging to is a decision by its deployed cadres at the IEC to set aside the agreed-upon rules and reopen the candidate registration process to allow it to re-register its candidates. A decision you can be sure the DA will fight till the very end. We will not allow elements in the IEC to ignore the rules in order to save the ANC from its own incompetence. They did not bend these rules for the NFP in 2016 or the IFP in 2011, and they cannot be allowed to do so now simply because the ANC demands it.

While the IEC fights to save the ANC, the DA is fighting to protect the fairness of the election process and the very foundation of our democracy, and to free South Africans from the ruin of the ANC.

But it is a fight we cannot win on our own. We can, through our legal steps against the IEC, ensure that every party has to play by the same rules and that the ANC has to live with the consequences of its own incompetence. And we can, by offering a competent and committed DA candidate in every ward, open the door to a future that is 100% ANC-free. But it is up to voters to step through that door and secure that future.

The rot of ANC local government needs to be removed or else South Africa will slide entirely into a dysfunctional and failed state. We’ve already seen a preview of this failed state in scores of floundering municipalities across the country, and particularly in the North-West, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape. The way this election is teed up now presents a once-in-a generation opportunity to cut out the rot in many more municipalities and usher in the kind of era of growth, positive forward planning and service delivery that Stellenbosch has seen these past ten years.

South Africa cannot waste this golden opportunity to rid itself of the ANC. While the DA asks the Constitutional Court to uphold the law and enforce the rules of this election fairly – a decision we are expecting within the next few days – it is up to voters to cast the corrupt and the incompetent out of their municipalities and metros for good. And the most crucial first step in doing so is to ensure that you are correctly registered to vote in the ward where you live.

There is nothing worse than being gifted the opportunity to oust the ANC from your town, but then discovering on election day that your name is not on the voter’s roll. That is why the Registration Weekend this coming Saturday and Sunday is of such critical importance. After Sunday the voter’s roll will be closed and no further names added. If you haven’t ensured, by Sunday, that you are correctly registered, you may have wasted the best opportunity you’ll ever have to turn your hometown into an ANC-free zone.

Today we are saying: Look at what a place like Stellenbosch has achieved under the DA in just one decade. Look at how it is fighting to be the first municipality to free its residents from the burden of Eskom load-shedding by putting in place mechanisms to procure its electricity elsewhere and generate its own. Look at the huge list of housing projects currently underway to offer the people of this fast-growing municipality the dignity of a quality home. Look at the big capital investments into water treatment, road upgrades, firefighting, public facilities and many, many more projects.

Look at what happens when you rid a town like Stellenbosch – or any of the DA’s other flagship municipalities like Mossel Bay, Swartland, Saldanha Bay, Overstrand, Midvaal or the City of Cape Town – of the ANC’s looting and mismanagement. The local economy is revived, services are restored and the town comes alive again.

That’s why the best thing any voter can do is to make sure they’re correctly registered so that they are able to give a DA local government a full mandate to implement its vision, and then to simply let the ANC dominoes fall.

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