DA Speeches- 16 days of Activism for no violence against women and children

The speeches below were delivered during the debate on 16 Days of Activism for no violence against women and children in the National Assembly on Wednesday, 30 November.

Solly Malatsi MP–  Government failures are creating an enabling environment for GBV to thrive

Annerie Weber MP16 days of activism against gender-based violence – to end the violence against women and children

Karabo Khakau MPPresident Ramaposha chose Mr Bheki Cele over the Safety and Lives of Women

DA debate on land ownership

The speeches below were delivered during the land ownership debate in the NCOP on Thursday, 10 November 2022

-Roy JankielsohnDebate on ensuring complete ownership to land reform beneficiaries and ownership to those living on trust land within communal areas.

-Willie AucampDebate on ensuring complete ownership to land reform beneficiaries and ownership to those living on trust land within communal areas.

-Mbulelo BaraDebate on ensuring complete ownership to land reform beneficiaries and ownership to those living on trust land within communal areas.

DA Debate Speeches: Thursday 10 November

The speeches were delivered during mini-plenaries in the National Assembly on Thursday, 10 November.

MINI-PLENARY 1

Just energy transition in SA

Kevin Mileham MPIt’s time for South Africans to face reality

Cheryl Phillips MPA Just Energy Transition must not become another phrase

Ghaleb Cachalia MPA Just Energy Transition is an ambitious project

The state of coalitions in local government

Siviwe Gwarube MPLegislation needed to stabilise coalitions in SA

Cilliers Brink MPHow to protect coalition governments against sabotage 

Solly Malatsi MPDA-led coalitions survive despite ANC’s desperate power grabs

MINI-PLENARY 2

Building a culture of accountability and responsibility

Alf Lees MPScopa failure to hold executive accountable

Eleanore Bouw-Spies MPRunning a municipality is not Rocket Science!

Zakhele Mbhele MPSouth Africa needs a dedicated Presidency Portfolio Committee 

Prevalence of corruption, poor management and incompetence in public healthcare

Michele Clarke MPNo accountability in the Department of Health

Haseena Ismail MPThe impact of corruption, poor management and incompetence in public healthcare violate the Constitutional right to healthcare 

Lindy Wilson MPDeath by medico legal claims 

The DA’s 5-point plan to stabilise coalitions ahead of 2024

Download pictures from the media briefing here and here.

Through three Private Members Bills, the DA will be introducing legislation to stabilise coalitions after the 2024 national and provincial elections.

Part of the DA’s legislative agenda in the run up to the 2024 elections is to prepare parliament for the likelihood that for the first time in 70 years, the era of one-party domination is coming to an end. We need to prepare for coalition politics. South Africa’s electoral legislative frameworks needs to catch up with the state of our democracy and current South African reality.

This legislation is not a fix to a DA problem with coalitions. It is a fix to a South African problem with coalitions. Any party wishing to be part of a coalition government after 2024 should welcome the stability promoted by these legislative changes.

The ANC is in a downward spiral and is currently taking the country down with it. The situation is very bad and getting worse, with poverty, service delivery failures, crime, corruption, debt and unemployment running out of control. We cannot afford to replace failing ANC governments – whether at national, provincial or local level – with unstable, cumbersome coalitions.

Yet this is exactly what happened in Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and Nelson Mandela Bay metros after the 2021 local government election. In these metros, residents face the constant risk of disrupted service delivery. If the current state of metro coalitions is replicated at national and provincial government level post 2024, it will lead to permanent instability, with South Africa possibly even becoming ungovernable.

If coalitions are to be the future in South Africa, then Parliament needs to take the necessary legislative steps to ensure that they are stable and able to deliver. Many other countries have done just this, and are governed by successful, stable coalitions. If we fail to stabilise coalitions, poorest communities will bear the brunt of their dysfunction, since they are most reliant on government services.

With this in mind, and considering international best practice, the DA has developed five proposals. None of these ideas is set in stone. They are a starting point for consultation with other political parties and broader society, to help find consensus on legislation to ensure stable, successful coalitions.

1. Set an electoral threshold

Implement an electoral threshold of 1 or 2% (pending consultations with other political parties and broader society) for national, provincial and local governments. This would require a political party to secure 1 or 2% of the overall vote to qualify for seats in a legislature or council.

Proportional representation electoral systems tend to encourage a fragmentation of politics into a large number of parties. In South Africa this is particularly extreme because a party can get a seat in a legislature with just 0,2% of the vote. Yet even a party this tiny, with minimal electoral support, can bring down a government if that party’s seat is needed to make up 50%-plus-1 in the coalition.

As “king makers”, tiny parties can wield power that is far out of proportion to their electoral support. This makes them vulnerable to being bribed by larger parties that need their support to get into government, posing huge risk to the stability of coalition governments.

Tiny parties with minimal electoral support should not be able to determine whether the ANC or DA runs a government. That is a subversion of democracy. Yet this is currently the case. We have seen this play out in many local governments recently, most notably in Johannesburg last month. The effect will be even more disastrous at provincial and national level.

Other countries with Proportional Representation electoral systems, such as Germany, Denmark, Austria, Belgium and Greece, have avoided this instability by setting electoral thresholds. In Germany, parties require a minimum of 5% of the electorate’s support to get into national government while in Denmark it is 2%, Austria 4%, Belgium 5%, and Greece 3%.

By preventing a proliferation of tiny parties, an electoral threshold also prevents cumbersome coalitions consisting of large numbers of parties, such as those currently in place in Ekurhuleni (10 parties), Tshwane (7 parties), and NMB (10 parties). Decision-making is naturally more cumbersome and large coalitions battle to act with common purpose.
Inevitably, delivery is compromised, hitting vulnerable households hardest, since they are most reliant on government services.

We recognise that electoral thresholds involve a tradeoff, since they compromise on pure proportionality. This is why the DA suggests a very low threshold. However, with so much at stake, we do not believe that no threshold at all is tenable. The reality is that we’re going to have to trade off some degree of proportionality for workability.

The Constitution specifies that elections “must result, in general, in proportional representation” (section 46 (1) (d). The exclusion of minor parties under the percentage threshold will still satisfy the requirement for “general proportionality”, because the vast majority of voters will still have their chosen representatives elected.

2. Formalise coalition agreements

To avoid conflict, disruptions and instability, the concept of public coalition agreements should be formalised. There must be a legal requirement that coalition agreements are drawn up and clearly set out the principles that partners must adhere to, including the conflict resolution procedures that must be followed in the event that disagreement arises. Coalition agreements must be made public, and coalition partners must be legally required to publicly commit to honouring the coalition agreements.

Coalition agreements, across all spheres of government, should reflect the coalition partners’ genuine commitment to multi-party government and should enable the maintenance of the coalition over the course of the term of government.

There is currently no legislation that regulates coalitions or that stipulates what must be included in a coalition agreement to make it valid. There is also no oversight body or institution which holds and publishes these agreements. A coalition agreement is currently merely a document of goodwill between parties, with no consequences for breaching it.

South Africa can learn from Kenya where political parties who negotiate to enter into a coalition are required, by Kenya’s Political Parties Act of 2007, to deposit their written political agreement with Kenya’s registrar of political parties.

3. Establish an independent Registrar of Political Parties

To entrench public accountability in coalition governments, South Africa can benefit from the Kenyan concept which includes an independent Registrar of Political Parties and a Political Parties Disputes Tribunal to address any disputes that may arise during the lifespan of the coalition agreement.

South Africa could establish a Registrar of Political Parties to impartially administer coalition agreements and ensure that coalition partners commit, to the fullest extent possible, towards the maintenance of the coalition agreement. The registrar should be a politically independent individual of high standing such as a retired judge.

4. Extend time period for election of mayors

The DA believes that the time allowed for President, Premiers and Mayors to be elected should possibly be extended from the current 14 days from the declaration of the election result. This is to give parties sufficient time to negotiate functional, binding coalition agreements.

5. Limit Motions of No Confidence

In consultation with other parties, the DA will investigate limiting the frequency with which motions of no confidence can be brought within a legislature. This will be bearing in mind the Mazibuko vs Sisulu Constitutional Court case which dealt with MONCs in the National Assembly, and the provisions of the Constitution which may need to change (section 102 and 141). Setting a limit on the frequency of MONCs will give the governing coalition an opportunity to govern without the constant distraction and threat of being removed.

Private Members Bills

These 5 legislative changes would be implemented through the introduction of three separate Private Members Bills (PMBs).

  • The first bill will amend legislation relating to national and provincial governments. This PMB will amend the Electoral Act. This bill will only be introduced once the Electoral Amendment Bill has been finalised, so that there is legal certainty about what can and cannot be amended.
  • The second bill will amend legislation relating to local governments. This PMB will amend the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act. It will be undertaken in normal time frames.
  • The third bill will seek to amend the Constitution to regulate the frequency of MONCs and extend the timeframe for forming a government post an election.

Conclusion

In setting out these proposals, we hope to establish broad political and civil society support for the legislative changes required for stable coalition politics. We believe this matter is urgent and crucial for a successful, prosperous, united South Africa.

Expropriation Bill Debate Speeches

Please find attached the speeches that were delivered during the Second Reading debate of the Expropriation Bill, and adoption of the Committee Report on Wednesday, 28 September.

Samantha Graham-Maré MP- Legislating Expropriation without Compensation will not address past injustices

DA Shadow Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure

083 409 9196

Madeleine Hicklin MP- Expropriation Bill not a panacea to ANC’s land reform failure

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure

082 744 5155

Debate speeches on the establishment of the Phala Phala ad hoc committee

The following speeches were be delivered in Parliament on 27 September during the debate on the establishment of the Phala Phala Ad Hoc Committee.

John Steenhuisen MP- Don’t let Parliament’s shameful history repeat itself

Leader of the Democratic Alliance

Ryan Smith
Chief of Staff: DA Leader’s Office
072 385 1918

Siviwe Gwarube MP- Do we simply turn a blind eye to Phala Phala allegations because of party politics?

Chief Whip of the Official Opposition

076 055 6280

Werner Horn MP- Questions surrounding Phala Phala will not go away until answered properly

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services

083 262 2846

Debate Speeches: Solutions to address the worsening cost of living crisis in the Republic

The following speeches were delivered in Parliament on 22 September during the National Assembly’s debate on the cost of living crisis in South Africa.

Bridget Masango MP- The shrinking food basket and the DA’s proposal to get people out of poverty

DA Shadow Minister for Social Development 

082 761 2480

Sello Seitlholo MP- The cost of transport and the impact on people at home

DA Member on the Portfolio Committee on Transport

066 079 3648

Matthew Cuthbert MP- Failure to address the ongoing cost of living crisis will have dire consequences for social stability

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition

072 267 7759

Heritage Day debate speeches

The following speeches were delivered in Parliament on 19 September during the National Assembly’s Heritage Day debate.

Veronica van Dyk MP- Soos Solomon Linda, huil ons ook vir ons land

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture

083 236 2152

Denis Joseph MP- Celebrating the Legacy of Solomon Linda and South Africa’s indigenous music

DA Member on the Portfolio Committee of Sport, Arts and Culture

066 043 0250

Thamsanqa Mabhena MP- This Heritage Day we should be united in our differences

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Transport

074 938 7967

Debate Speeches: Children’s Amendment Bill

The following speeches were delivered in Parliament on Wednesday, 07 September during the debate on the Children’s Amendment Bill.

Bridget Masango MPWhy the DA will not support the Children’s Amendment Bill

DA Shadow Minister of Social Development

082 761 2480

Alexandra Abrahams MPBill may leave behind tens of thousands of children in the foster care system

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Social Development

082 335 7740

National Women’s Day Debate Speeches

The following speeches were delivered in Parliament on Wednesday, 31 August during the National Women’s Day debate.

Thandeka Mbabama MPWe need to empower rural women

DA Deputy Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

073 050 9467

Nazley Sharif MPWomen do not fight for themselves but for entire generations to come

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

079 875 4930

Luyolo Mphithi MPMen, we need more guts. We must challenge each other to bring change

DA Shadow Minister on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

079 551 9791