DA Debate Speeches: 16 Days of Activism

The following speeches will be delivered in Parliament on Thursday, 02 November during the debate on 16 Days of Activism of No Violence Against Women and Children. 

Luyolo Mphithi MPWe need 365 Days of Activism to keep women and children safe
DA Shadow Minister on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities
079 551 9791

Nazley Sharif MP – We are sick of meaningless debates and empty promises
DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities
079 875 4930

Introducing the 27 DA mayors

The following remarks were delivered by the DA Federal Leader, John Steenhuisen MP in Bruma, Johannesburg. 

Good afternoon, and thank you for taking the time to come out here to Bruma and meet our team of newly-elected mayors.

We are truly excited to introduce them to you, because we know we have brought together an excellent crop of public servants.

We wouldn’t have asked you to come here on a Friday afternoon if we didn’t think it was important. But 30 months out from the next national election – and with the ANC’s destructive dominance under threat across the entire country – these men and women are going to play a critical role in shaping the immediate future of our country.

We’d like you to meet them face to face, introduce yourselves, ask them questions and get a sense of where they and the DA intend to steer their municipalities over the next five years.

But I also want to state upfront that we are mindful of the enormous challenge that lies ahead of us, particularly in the hung metros and municipalities where we are going to have to quickly establish good working relationships with our new co-governing parties.

Having been through similar scenarios in both Johannesburg and Tshwane after the previous municipal elections, we know only too well how precarious such minority governments can be.

But this will not deter us from our commitment to the people of these towns and cities, and it will not cause us to compromise our principles as a party in any way. If that refusal to compromise should mean that any of these governing arrangements are short-lived, we will still spend every single minute in office in service of the people.

I also want to assure our co-governing parties that we will do all we can to foster a productive and mutually respectful environment. We owe it to the millions of residents in these cities and towns, and to every voter who made it possible to remove the ANC there, to prove that multi-party democracy works for them.

Importantly, this team of men and women you see here today – who have been tasked with charting the way forward in 27 municipalities, including four of South Africa’s eight metro municipalities – are a team that is entirely focused on the future.

Given our country’s enormous challenges, we simply cannot afford to indulge a government that lives in the past and clings to its fading history. That will not solve our problems.

Former Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, once said, “If what you have done yesterday still looks big to you, you haven’t done much today.” He could easily have been talking of the ANC there.

And that is why voters finally cut them off in so many different places on the first of November. There was a realisation, 27 years down the line, that a liberation movement doesn’t necessarily translate into an honest, capable government.

Citizens deserve better, and now voters have chosen better. And that is why these 27 men and women now have an opportunity to help write this new chapter in our history.

You will know many of them, but I am sure there are some names here that will be new to you, and we thought it was important that you had the opportunity to meet them – to put faces to the names, and to hear from some of them what they have in store for these municipalities.

As you can see, this is a group that reflects not only the incredible diversity of our party, but also of the communities we serve. This diversity includes a healthy mix of youth and experience, including the City of Cape Town’s youngest ever executive Mayor, the very capable Geordin Hill-Lewis.

And as we say goodbye to one youthful and highly competent mayor in Midvaal’s Bongani Baloyi, we welcome another young, energetic and very talented DA mayor to the fold in uMngeni’s Chris Pappas.

You will also see here in this group the first ever women to wear the mayoral chains of both Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni metros – Dr Mpho Phalatse and Tania Campbell.

We have mayors here of three places where the DA has never governed before – KZN’s uMngeni, Gauteng’s Ekurhuleni and the Eastern Cape’s Beyers Naude municipality. This gives us the opportunity to introduce residents for the first time to what we call The DA Difference.

It also has to be said that the challenges before these mayors differ considerably. These municipalities range from settled four-term DA governments to first-time DA governments.

Twelve of these municipalities have outright DA majorities, while fifteen of them have either a DA-led coalition or a minority government in which the DA is the biggest party.

This is why our coalition negotiations these past few weeks have been of such critical importance, because we need to hit the ground running in all these municipalities. We also think the public should be privy to these coalition agreements, and we have committed to publishing all of them on our website as they are signed off. You can already access some of them on da.org.za

I also want to point out that our talks with other parties that haven’t signed coalition agreements are still ongoing. We are reaching out to these parties as we try to establish majority coalitions in these hung councils. This will be critical if we want to create stable governments that are able to best serve residents.

Maintaining this momentum through stable governments will also help us to not waste this historic opportunity to chart a new course for our country.

What happened on the first of November, and in the three and a half weeks since, has been a watershed moment in our country’s history as a democracy. I think the significance of these developments is yet to fully sink in, and it will require some passage of time and a slightly wider vantage point to truly grasp what we are going through right now.

In short, the past month has seen our country step off the edge of a quarter of a century of one-party dominance and into a brand new future that is, to borrow that well-worn slogan, “alive with possibilities”.

We have often spoken of this moment in the past – of a post-ANC South Africa where the liberation movement finally makes way for a healthy and truly multi-party democracy. That moment has arrived.

What this means is that, not just our party but indeed the whole country, is going to have to get a lot better over the next five years at collaborating. We have now entered the era of coalitions and cooperative governance, and this calls for a maturity in our politics that has often been missing until now.

The days of operating in political silos are over. The sooner we can figure out who our allies are in this mission of building better cities and towns, and building stronger and safer communities, the better off everyone will be.

And so I want to say to our mayors: You will find these allies all around you. They might sit in the council chamber under the banner of a different party, but many of them want to see the same improvements to people’s lives as you do.

We have to find ways to still remain firm and true to our principles, while building and maintaining bridges with council colleagues from other parties. Nowhere is this more important than in the minority governments – and particularly the Gauteng metros – where we are going to have to write a whole new chapter on selfless and cooperative public service.

Then you will have allies outside of politics, but your cooperation with them is no less important. Reach out to NGOs, to civil society, to churches and to educators. Pay attention to groups and individuals who approach you with suggestions – be open to ideas.

You’ll have allies in the world of business and industry too. You’d be amazed at how many businesses genuinely want to be part of the solution – and are willing to share their time, money and expertise – but either don’t trust political parties, or have been ignored or dismissed in the past.

You will also find that your towns and cities might have a wealth of talent and expertise that has already entered retirement, but sill has a lot to offer. Don’t let this treasure chest of experience go to waste.

In short: Look beyond your own benches, form partnerships and take help when it is on offer. You have a massive responsibility, so don’t try to do it all by yourself.

A fair bit of that help will also come from the DA itself, which is what today is about. We have brought all our mayors together to meet with the party’s leadership as well as our governance unit, to outline the critical work that needs to take place in the coming months.

Each mayor will receive the DA’s Ready To Govern guide – which our governance unit has been painstakingly compiling over several years – and which covers critical parts of the job such as legislation, budgets, appointments and caucus management.

But today is also about establishing working relationships between the mayors themselves. So much of the work we do in government relies on experience and institutional knowledge. While we thrive on the fresh energy that our young leaders bring, we’d be lost without the wisdom and knowledge of those who have seen it all and done it all.

Sessions like these allow us to spread this wisdom and knowledge, along with all the little tricks of the trade that make running a government or managing a coalition possible.

And it lets us reaffirm what the DA brand means in government. When we say on our posters, billboards and TV ads “The DA gets things done”, it means nothing if that’s not also what residents see in their communities.

When we, quite rightly, point out that DA governments are far and away the most pro-poor governments in the country, we need that to be the lived experience of all residents across all communities of all the towns and cities where we are in charge.

This cannot be lip service and campaign slogans.

Which is why the immediate task before these 27 mayors and their administrations is to give life to the line that we get things done, and particularly in our country’s most vulnerable communities.

Of course, this challenge differs greatly in these different government situations.

Where we’ve had stable governments with solid majorities over multiple terms, resulting in healthy finances and proper budgets, our plans can include big innovations and investments.

But where we are stepping into vulnerable governments – and where the municipal finances have been neglected and depleted over the years – there has to be a more incremental and conservative approach to turning things around.

In these vulnerable metros and municipalities, our mayors are going to have to focus first and foremost on strengthening workable coalitions, drawing up a short-term plan for urgent delivery, and obtaining a detailed picture of the municipality – from its financial status, debt and income to its infrastructure backlog, service delivery arrears and current projects.

This team of mayors knows what is expected of them in the coming months and years. They know that this important moment in our country’s history comes with great opportunities, but also great risks.

They know that any DA government or DA coalition doesn’t merely assume the regular duties of a local government, it also takes on the responsibility of shielding residents from the failures of national government.

It goes beyond the call of duty to keep residents safe where SAPS has failed.

It goes beyond the call of duty to fight for control of passenger trains where PRASA has failed.

It goes beyond the call of duty to fight for control of the ports where Transnet has failed.

It goes beyond the call of duty to make its town or city loadshedding-proof where Eskom has failed.

And it takes on the responsibility to grow the local economy and create jobs despite the continuous failure by national government to do so.

These are big responsibilities, but each and every mayor here has gladly shouldered them. And that fills me with hope and inspires confidence for the next five years.

I now call on some of our newly elected mayors to briefly introduce themselves, and to give you a short overview of their vision and plans for their municipality, starting with Cape Town’s new Executive Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis.

Thank you.

Go and make your mark, or you will regret it for the next five years

Please find attached soundbite by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance John Steenhuisen MP.

Pictures are attached here, here, here and here.

This morning I cast my vote in the 2021 Local Government Elections at the Northwood Boys High School in Durban North, as I have done since I was first eligible to vote many years ago.

I was extremely heartened to see so many people out in the queue at the voting station, and in such high spirits. Everyone I spoke to there was in agreement that the only way we could save and protect our great metro of eThekwini was through the ballot box. Of all the mechanisms of participation and accountability provided for in our democracy, this once-in-five-years event is the one that really counts.

There was also a real sense of urgency and belief that this year’s election could be a watershed moment – not only in eThekwini, where the ANC’s majority is under real threat for the first time, but across the country as the inevitability of failure under an ANC government has become undeniably clear. I was proud and excited to be part of this wave of change this morning.

I would urge every South African who is eligible to vote today and who has not yet done so to put your shoes on, grab your ID and your mask, and head on down to your voting station right away. We dare not waste this momentum. Our country is ready to break with decades of corruption, mismanagement and failure and set course for a new and better future, but citizens have to choose that future themselves.

To do so, you need to be smart with your vote today. With so many conflicting appeals from so many different parties, it is critical that voters are able to see clearly what is at stake here and what these elections are about. This is not about ideology, or race, or culture or a distant struggle history. A local government election is about one thing only: Getting things done. It is about managing your town or city so that services are delivered, infrastructure is maintained and every cent of public money is looked after. Everything else is a distraction.

It is about realising that by Wednesday, when the votes are all tallied, you will wake up in either a DA-run municipality or an ANC-run municipality. It is about looking critically at what the average DA-run municipality looks like, and what the average ANC-run municipality looks like. And it is about knowing that every single vote that doesn’t go towards securing a DA majority will strengthen the ANC’s claim to that municipality’s local government.

So get out there and vote smart, South Africa. We have a chance today to defeat the ANC and cut them out of our towns and cities. But that will only happen if enough people get behind the only party that can and will defeat them, and that party is the DA.

Let’s protect the progress Cape Town has made, and let’s do even more!

The following speech was delivered by DA Federal Leader John Steenhuisen at the Let’s Do More Final Rally in Cape Town.

Pictures are attached here, here, here and here.

Good morning, Cape Town!

Thank you for coming out here today to hear all about the DA’s plans to take this amazing city to even greater heights.

Because that is what today is all about: the future of Cape Town, and the next steps in its evolution towards a truly world-class 21st Century city.

This is not just about what the DA has already achieved here in Cape Town, although it is that too.

It’s not just about the fact that this metro is already head and shoulders above any of the other seven metro municipalities in South Africa, on every single measure. Although that does also matter.

It’s not just about the fact that Cape Town is already seen as a place of hope and opportunity – a city with the lowest unemployment in the country, and where new businesses see potential and safety for their investments. Although that is clearly important too.

Today is about how we take advantage of that running start and then launch Cape Town even further ahead.

There is a good reason why we have called this the “Let’s Do More” rally, and if you have followed the campaign of Cape Town’s next mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, you will know that this has been the central theme of his campaign.

Cape Town clearly works – better than any other city in the country – but that is not enough. We can and we must do more. And Geordin Hill-Lewis has a plan to do just that.

A plan that says: Cape Town already delivers more basic services to its residents – and particularly its poorest residents – than anywhere else. But clearly there are still people who need better access to basic services. And this is how we’ll achieve it.

A plan that says: As long as poor people still live far away from work opportunities and transport routes, we cannot truly say that all this city’s people are economically free. So this is how we’ll tackle the legacy of apartheid spatial planning and create thousands of well-located, low-income housing opportunities.

A plan that says: Being a better investment option or having a lower unemployment rate than an ANC-run metro is not good enough. That cannot be our benchmark. So this is how we will cement Cape Town’s rightful place among the greatest cities in the world.

And, importantly, a plan that says: This city will not allow its residents to be victims of a failed national government. So even when the failures fall well outside the responsibilities of a local government – such as electricity provision, commuter rail and policing – we will not sit back and accept it. We will fight to take on those responsibilities too.

That is what today is about, and that is what Monday’s vote is about – making the most of a solid foundation laid down by fifteen years of DA successes to build an even better future for this metro.

Cape Town is a city that always looks towards the future. A city that constantly finds ways to do more with less, to spend its budget where it has the biggest impact and to sell itself, both here and abroad, as the one place in South Africa that is truly open for business.

And it is the only metro in South Africa that can realistically hold such a forward-looking view. Because before you can even think of the future, you need to survive the present.

You have to be financially sustainable. That is the term used to describe whether a municipality or metro can pay for itself – in other words, generate enough income to be able to afford its service delivery programme, its infrastructure programme, and to pay its suppliers and its debts.

It is the single most important aspect of running any municipality, and particularly a metro the size of Cape Town.

If you get clean audits, if you banish corruption, if you are open and transparent about tenders and if you collect payment for municipal rates and services, you can then provide all the services a local government is meant to offer its residents.

But if you cannot do those things, your municipality or metro enters a death spiral, where nothing gets fixed, suppliers don’t get paid, Eskom and water debts pile up and all this debt is simply kicked over to the next year.

This death spiral quickly accelerates to the point where service delivery just stops altogether. This has already happened in dozens of ANC-run municipalities, and dozens more are on the verge of collapse.

And as much as Monday’s vote is about realising Cape Town’s enormous potential, it is also about keeping out the party that leaves this kind of destruction in its wake.

There are only two kinds of ANC local government: those that have already failed, and those that will fail.

They are a party that simply doesn’t understand the principle of financial sustainability. They spend what they don’t have, and they put off paying what they owe until everything comes crashing down.

Now, there are many ways to see whether a municipality or metro is sustainable. Does it manage its cash-flow well? Does it collect payments? Does it allocate budgets sensibly? Does it spend the right amount on infrastructure development and maintenance?

And fortunately there is an independent organisation called Ratings Afrika that collects all this information in an annual index where it ranks all 278 of South Africa’s municipalities according to their sustainability.

This index consistently puts DA-run municipalities right at the top. In the latest report, all five best performing municipalities were DA-run. And when I say DA-run, I mean outright DA-run, not in coalitions or partnerships. Because that’s an important point too.

Where the DA alone looks after public money, where the DA alone decides on budget allocations, where the DA alone handles the tender process and where the DA alone rolls out a service delivery programme, it outperforms ANC local governments by a wide margin.

This Ratings Afrika index also rates the City of Cape Town as the most sustainable metro in the country, with 16 unqualified audits and an unmatched revenue collection rate of 95%.

In fact, according to the index, it is the only metro in South Africa that can be considered financially sustainable. Its score is so far ahead of the rest that it seems to be operating in a different league.

And there is only one reason for this: fifteen consecutive years under a DA government, of which the last ten were under an outright DA government, with no flip-flopping coalition partners and no power-hungry parties compromising the metro with their demands.

Now consider that this performance came as the city was trying to recover from several years of crippling drought and then went straight into a global pandemic.

On top of this it had to operate in an economic climate paralysed by a failed national government, and with three things absolutely critical to the functioning of a city – electricity provision, commuter rail and policing – effectively sabotaged by the ANC government.

Just imagine where the City of Cape Town could have been without the anchor of the ANC national government dragging it back.

Well, that is precisely what Geordin Hill-Lewis did. He imagined a Cape Town where the residents and the local economy were insulated and protected from the worst failures of the ANC. A Cape Town where the local government not only did the job of a local government – and did it very well – but also stepped in to take over where national government failed in its duties.

And that is what he built his plan for this city around. A city that not only continues to raise the bar when it comes to the things it is meant to do, but also steps in to take over the things others were meant to do but failed.

And we’re not talking about one day in the distant future here. Parts of this plan have already kicked off.

Cape Town is already compensating for national government’s policing failures by deploying a thousand of its own LEAP officers to augment visible policing in the city’s worst-affected gang and crime areas.

And it won’t stop there. The plan is to train and deploy hundreds more law-enforcement officers. Because the DA can’t just put up its hands and say “sorry, not our problem – SAPS is a national government responsibility”.

We have a duty to protect people from the ANC’s failures.

The same goes for the collapsed Metrorail here in Cape Town. We cannot simply wash our hands of it and say “PRASA is the ANC’s problem”, because that would leave thousands of Cape Town commuters in the lurch and our local economy on the ropes.

We have to step in and fight for local control of Metrorail – as we are already doing – and we won’t stop until we’ve won this fight.

But until we are able to get more Capetonians back onto Metrorail trains, we still need to ensure that our public transport networks serve our communities as best they can. And here I’d like to highlight the excellent work that the DA-run provincial government, through the Department of Transport and Public Works in the Western Cape, has been doing with the taxi industry.

They worked closely with the industry throughout the initial stages of lockdown to develop the ground-breaking Red Dot programme, which helped solve a desperate challenge that our healthcare workers faced during the height of the pandemic.

In doing so, they supported the minibus taxi industry in a way that national government has never worked with the industry before.

Building on that momentum, the department has now launched the Blue Dot programme which is incentivising the minibus taxi industry to provide safer and more dignified services to the majority of our citizens, where Metrorail has failed them.

They have built a strong working relationship with the taxi industry in the Western Cape and count them as valuable partners in their efforts to provide affordable and dignified transport so more Capetonians can access opportunities.

But perhaps an even more pertinent example of stepping in to protect residents from ANC national government failure is the provision of electricity.

Right now our country is in Stage 4 of Eskom load-shedding. This is a disaster that our economy cannot survive for much longer.

But DA governments refuse to be dragged down by a failed ANC national government. Where the DA governs we are putting in place plans to ween ourselves off this dependency on Eskom, and move towards a far healthier and more diverse energy mix.

In fact, there is a pilot programme underway as we speak in six DA municipalities in the Western Cape to put in place the legislation and the technology to buy electricity straight from independent power producers.

Once this pilot is completed, we will expand it to all DA local governments. Bit by bit we will cut the rot of Eskom and the ANC out of people’s lives.

You will see that this independence from Eskom is an important part of Geordin’s plan for Cape Town. It also includes empowering residents and businesses to generate their own electricity, as well as taking city-owned buildings off the grid by installing solar panels.

He also has plans to invest even more in the Steenbras pumped storage hydro power plant, which already spares Cape Town residents at least one stage of Eskom load-shedding.

Because if we rely on Eskom and the ANC, our country will fail. But if we put our collective trust – and our votes – behind the DA and its energy plan, our country can survive this period.

These past few days provided a perfect example of this.

As Eskom announced intensified load-shedding, you might have seen two announcements by two different metro municipalities about what they were doing – or supposedly intended to do – to protect their residents from the impact of these black-outs.

The first came from the City of Johannesburg, where City Power said it would protect residents from what was then Stage 1 and Stage 2 load-shedding, as well a statement from the city’s ANC Mayor, Mpho Moerane, in which he flat-out rejected Eskom’s load-shedding.

The second came on Wednesday from the City of Cape Town, following the announcement of Stage 4 load-shedding nation-wide. The City announced that it would keep its customers on Stage 3 – one stage below the national level.

Only one of these announcements was true, the other was telling a lie. An election-inspired lie. And I suspect you know which is which.

Turns out the City of Johannesburg had no power to reject Eskom’s load-shedding, and no means to protect its residents. It had to meekly retract its statement later that same day and accept its load-shedding like everyone else.

The City of Cape Town, however, was telling the truth. In fact, on Wednesday it even managed to keep residents two stages below the national level for most of the day.

Those two announcements – one dishonest and the other truthful; one entirely impotent and the other a powerful intervention – are a perfect metaphor for the choice that lies before us here in Cape Town, and in other towns and cities across the country.

No matter what the ballot paper looks like with its endless list of small parties, this is just a two-horse race. By Wednesday you will either wake up under a DA government, or you will wake up under an ANC government.

Your choice is simple: On the one side you have the abysmal, failed track record of a party that just never made the transition from liberation movement to government, and on the other you have a party that has shown, in municipalities, metros and a province, that it is able to outperform the ANC by a massive margin.

That is what is at stake here in Cape Town. If you don’t help keep the DA in government here with your vote, you will end up with the ANC.

You might think that a vote for a new party, or one of the dozens of existing smaller parties, is the same as voting to keep the ANC out. But that’s simply not true.

Almost every vote that doesn’t go to the ANC or EFF, and doesn’t go to the DA either, ends up strengthening the ANC. They would love nothing more than to see their opponent’s vote fragmented among a host of smaller parties. Because that just strengthens their own share.

The only way to keep Cape Town on the path to progress and take the city into a bold new future is by uniting behind the only party with the numbers, the plan and the track record to do so.

With our country in such a precarious state, now is not the time to play with fire and to gamble with your vote.

Now is not the time to vote for a personality, or to vote based on race, language or culture.

Now is not the time to try something new and untested.

What Cape Town needs now is firm, principled leadership combined with a big, ambitious view for the city. And I can assure you, Geordin Hill-Lewis has both those things by the bucketful.

On Monday, let’s go out and secure this great city’s future for another five years.

Let’s vote to protect the incredible progress Cape Town has already made, and then do even more.

Let’s vote for Cape Town’s place not only at the top of the pile here in South Africa, but among the greatest cities in the world.

That means voting for the only party that gets things done: The Democratic Alliance.

Viva DA! Viva!

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

Only the DA can save Sol Plaatje Municipality

The following speech was delivered by DA Federal Leader, John Steenhuisen at a rally in Kimberley today. See voice clips attached in English & Afrikaans and pics here, here, here and here

Good morning fellow South Africans, goeie môre.

Dis regtig lekker om weer hier in Kimberley te wees, en dankie vir die wonderlike ontvangs by die lughawe vanoggend. Hierdie plek weet beslis hoe om mens welkom te laat voel.

‘n Paar weke gelede was ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa hier in Kimberley. En toe doen hy iets wat nie gereeld gebeur nie: hy praat Afrikaans! Maar terwyl hy hier kom witvoetjie speel het, is sy eie Minister Blade Nzimande besig om Afrikaans as ‘n “uitheemse” taal te klassifiseer!

Terwyl Ramaphosa maak of hy skielik Afrikaans ontdek het terwyl hy eintlik die taal probeer doodmaak, en terwyl ander partye net praat oor taalregte, is die DA die enigste party wat besig is om terug te veg teen Nzimande! Ons druk hom al vir ‘n jaar lank om Afrikaans as inheems te erken. Ons het briewe geskryf, klagtes by die Menseregtekomissie gelê, en ‘n petisie aan hom oorhandig.

Ons gaan nie rus totdat ons die Stomp Blade gedwing het om Afrikaanse te erken nie, want die DA praat nie net nie: ons kry dinge gedoen!

But I’m here today to speak about service delivery. The local government election is, after all, just six days away.

This coming Monday is a hinge of history moment for Sol Plaatje Municipality.

It is the one day every five years that residents get to change the direction the municipality is moving in. The one day that you have your hands on the joystick and can decide whether to take Sol Plaatje up or down.

This decision will impact every day of your lives for the next five years as you go about your daily routine. Opening taps, switching on lights, walking about town, paying your bills, going to the park, seeking employment, driving to work, running your business.

One minute to place your cross. Five years to live with the consequences.

Let’s face it. Sol Plaatje is sliding backwards and has been doing so for many years now.

Kimberley cannot afford another five years of ANC running it (into the ground).

This town looks dirty and neglected and unloved.

Your beautiful Diamond City has lost its sparkle.

Many of your streets are strewn with rubbish. Your Diamond City is becoming a Slum City.

But I suspect water is your biggest problem.

Every Northern Caper knows how precious water is, and how essential it is to every aspect of our lives, be it cooking, cleaning, or running a business.

You’ve already suffered prolonged water cuts, but this is going to get much worse in the coming years.

Sol Plaatje’s water infrastructure is so old and broken that you are losing 60% of your water to leaks.

Sixty percent! And don’t think it can’t get higher. It will if your council fails to replace worn out pipes and valves.

And as water losses grow, so the cost of water will climb.

That is, when there is water available to be sold.

Worse than expensive water, is no water at all. When this happens, the real trouble starts, because then three things happen that spell the end.

One. The municipality goes bankrupt because you can’t charge for what you can’t deliver. As taps dry up, so income dries up. And Sol Plaatje is already deep in debt, owing R320 million to Eskom and R80 million to water boards.

Two. Ratepayers start moving away because it becomes unsanitary and unsafe to stay. This means council has less income to cross-subsidize your poorer households.

Three. Businesses start closing down or moving away, because no business can thrive without a reliable water supply. So jobs dry up along with municipal income.

Residents suffer – especially the poorest – because there is less and less money for service delivery.

Infrastructure suffers because there is less money for maintenance.

And it’s not only the municipality that gets poorer. Property owners get poorer, because nothing falls faster than the value of property when there is no water and when people are moving away.

This is the downward spiral that Kimberly is in.

Next week, you have a once in five years opportunity to stop this downward spiral.

And let’s be clear. The DA is the only party that can secure Kimberley’s clean water supply.

We’re the only party that has proved it can keep the taps running for residents, with a reliable and affordable water supply.

Where we govern, our leak rate is far lower, because we continuously repair and upgrade pipes and other water infrastructure.

Compare Sol Plaatje’s water leak rate of 60% with DA-run Drakenstein and Witzenburg Municipalities which have a leak rate of 17%. Almost four times lower.

Between 2016 and 2019 the DA in Johannesburg replaced 325km of pipes, reducing water leaks from 29% to 19%.

When the DA took over Nelson Mandela Bay metro at the end of last year, they tripled the rate of water leak repair from 300 leaks fixed per week then to 900 per week now.

Right now, the Vaal Dam is over 80% full, yet residents of ANC-run Gauteng are suffering frequent water outages. When the DA-run Western Cape dam levels hit 12% during the three-year drought, the taps never ran dry, because the DA worked overtime to augment supply while managing demand.

And don’t for a minute think the DA only delivers to wealthy households.

StatSA’s census of municipalities released in March 2021 reported that the Western Cape delivers free basic water services to 44% of households, double the national average of 22% and the Northern Cape’s average of 20%.

This is what we mean when we say THE DA GETS THINGS DONE.

This is not an empty promise. It’s a statement of fact. And no other party can claim it.

And if you’re not convinced by this argument, then let’s talk about electricity.

Last year, Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said that Sol Plaatje had the highest mark-up of electricity in the country, at 84%.

Yet still many residents suffer frequent power outages, over and above Eskom load-shedding.

Compare this to DA-run Cape Town, which protects residents from one level of loadshedding through their hydroelectric scheme, and which has a dedicated metal theft unit to protect residents from electricity outages due to cable theft.

Compare it to Stellenbosch, which is set to become SA’s first municipality to end load-shedding altogether, by buying electricity directly from independent producers.

This is what we mean when we say THE DA GETS THINGS DONE.

And when a council gets things done, it attracts investors and tourists.

Kimberley has a fascinating history and wonderful people. Yet it is not welcoming to investors or tourists.

For example, I’ve just visited Docs Coffee Shop next to the famous old Halfway House Pub. There is a massive hole there, which I am told has been there for ages. It’s ugly and dangerous and growing.

Kimberly should be known for one hole, not many of them.

Some roads are so pot-holed you can hardly drive on them.
Compare this to Tshwane, where the DA-run council filled potholes at an average rate of 83 per day for their first 6 months in office.

THE DA GETS THINGS DONE.

And we are very keen to get things done here in Sol Plaatje too.

So when you cast your vote on Monday, remember that ONLY the DA has a proven track record of service delivery, of job-enabling policies, and of corruption-free government.

ONLY the DA has a ward candidate in every single ward in the country, chosen in a thorough selection process.

ONLY the DA has fought to protect Afrikaans as an indigenous language.

ONLY the DA is big enough to beat the ANC and keep the EFF out.

The EFF is the only party to the left of the ANC. So when you vote for a small party or an independent, you split the DA vote not the EFF’s.

This strengthens the ANC and EFF relative to the DA. And the stronger the EFF, the more the radical and racial the ANC becomes.

The most sensible and powerful use of your vote is to consolidate the DA vote.

Believe me, if you aren’t going to vote for them, the ANC wants you to vote anything but DA.

Ward councillors are at the coalface of delivery. Here, voting for smaller parties or independents is particularly beneficial to the ANC.

In Metsimaholo Municipality in the Free State, for example, the ANC won just 34% of the vote but 76% of wards. That’s what happens when you split the opposition.

Democrats, the DA is the smart vote and your best chance of success.

So let’s unite to win.

The DA runs the 5 top-rated municipalities in SA.

The DA runs the top-rated province in SA – the Western Cape.

The DA runs the top-rated municipality in the Eastern Cape – Kouga.

The DA runs the top-rated municipality in the Gauteng – Midvaal.

And if you vote DA on Monday, then in five years’ time, there’s a good chance the DA will run the top-rated municipality in the Northern Cape too – Sol Plaatje!

Only the DA can put the sparkle back into your Diamond City.

This is it for 5 years, democrats. So unite to win!

Vote smart! Vote to win! Vote DA!

Stem nou! Stem blou! Stem DA!

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

Help us restore dignity and freedom in Steve Tshwete Local Municipality

The following speech was delivered today by DA Federal Leader John Steenhuisen in Doornkop, Mpumalanga.

Pictures are attached here, here, here and here.

Fellow Democrats, fellow South Africans

If you’ve come out here today to listen to the DA’s offer ahead of the upcoming elections, it means you are most likely an engaged citizen. You’re an active participant in the democratic process of your country.

It means you are the type of person who cares about your neighbourhood and your community. The kind of person who is concerned about what the future might hold for your family.

And it shows that you’re not only aware of the problems here, you also want to be part of the solution.

By coming out here to listen to what the DA can do for this Steve Tshwete Local Municipality – and specifically for your community here in Doornkop – you have already taken the first step towards fixing what is wrong here.

I hope I will give you some of the answers you are looking for today, because I can assure you there is a DA government just waiting for the opportunity to step into office here and tackle each and every issue that makes your life hard.

There is a DA government-in-waiting here that wants to do for Steve Tshwete Local Municipality what other DA governments have already done for many other municipalities across the country

All we need is the go-ahead from you.

I know how poorly you have been treated by your current local government. I have seen for myself the neglect of this area.

I have spoken to my DA colleagues here about the massive service delivery issues that have plagued the communities of Doornkop and Mampimpane for years now.

I know all about your ongoing battles to secure reliable running water. About the insufficient taps far from homes.

I know about the water tanks that are meant to be filled by contractors appointed by the ANC government, but are often left empty for days, even weeks, at a time.

I know about the poor water quality, and of the long distances some of you have to walk to collect water in containers.

These things are not right. Your local government has had 27 years in which to sort this out, and yet here you are – no closer to having your water issues sorted out than you were two decades ago.

Of all the basic services a local government is meant to deliver, clean drinking water is surely the most important. It is so important that it is written into our Constitution as a human right. They have to supply it to you or they will have failed in their Constitutional duty.

It is entirely unacceptable that so many communities across our country continue to be plagued by poor access, and in many cases no access, to water when this is not the fault of a drought.

If a local government cannot guarantee this basic human right – if it cannot install the taps, fix the pipe leaks, maintain the infrastructure and replace the stolen cables – then it has no business being in government. Then it must make way for one that can do these things.

Because, let me tell you, it is not impossible. Every DA local government manages to do these things. In fact, even when the rains stayed away for years and Cape Town was faced with its worst drought in recent history, the DA government managed to keep the taps running.

And just yesterday I was in Modimolle, a town in Limpopo that used to have an ANC government until 2016, when a DA-led minority government took over. And the very first thing they did when they took office in 2016 was to start fixing the town’s water issues and dealing with the water infrastructure backlog.

That’s because DA governments understand that dignity and quality of life are impossible without access to water and other basic services.

And here I’m not talking about putting in a few standing taps along the road.

I’m not talking about a few water tanks filled every now and then by well-paid ANC cronies.

I’m not talking about water points that require residents to push wheelbarrows for kilometers to fill their containers.

I’m talking about clean, running water right near your home. That’s your right, and that is what a DA government will deliver.

And we will do the same for electricity provision. And refuse removal. And flush toilets. And street lights. And road resurfacing. All the things that will make your life here liveable.

But we will not stop there. Because, while the delivery of basic services is the main function of a local government, there is so much else that we can do for this community by just doing the basics right.

I know what a huge problem unemployment is around here. Since I arrived here I have spoken to many people about their concerns, and almost all of them have told me that the lack of jobs is the single biggest worry in their lives.

Mothers and fathers don’t know how to provide for their families and cannot get by on their small monthly social grants. Young people, who have never had a job, do not see a future for themselves here.

It’s a desperate situation, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you want to create job opportunities, you have to make it possible and easy for businesses to start up and keep their doors open.

No business wants to operate where they’re not sure whether there will be water or electricity the next day.

No business can function where the roads are in a poor state, or where the traffic lights and streetlights don’t work.

No business wants to take risks where the crime is high.

And importantly, no business wants to operate where the government cannot be trusted. Corruption is the biggest investment killer of them all.

And that is why Steve Tshwete Local Municipality is in such a terrible state, and has such a high unemployment rate. Through years of neglect, its corrupt and uncaring ANC local government has chased away new investments, and made it very hard for existing businesses to survive here.

Investors and business owners don’t care for the ANC’s struggle history or any of its supposed “good stories”. They make rational decisions, and that is why they stay away from places like this.

The only way to start attracting new businesses here is by firing that local government and replacing it with one that understands what it takes to breathe life back into the local economy.

It is no coincidence that the only outright DA-run metro in the country – The City of Cape Town – has by far the lowest unemployment rate in the country.

It is no coincidence that the only outright DA-run municipality in Gauteng – Midvaal – has by far the lowest unemployment rate in Gauteng.

The simple and undeniable fact is this: More people find work in DA-run cities and towns because the cities and towns themselves work. While businesses are fleeing ANC-run towns, DA-run towns have opened their doors to business and are attracting new investments all the time.

This is because the DA is obsessed with lifting as many people as possible out of poverty and into jobs. We know that the only sustainable way to live a life of dignity is through earning an income.

Now this doesn’t mean that there is no place for social grants. There will always be a need for a social safety net for poor citizens, and the DA will fight to protect this safety net and ensure that everyone who needs it can access it.

But we also know that you will never truly get ahead in life when you depend on a small grant. Our mission is to free as many people as we can from that dependency, and give them the freedom and independence that comes with employment.

Once you do that – once you get young people working – you not only change those individual lives forever, you also fix so many of the bigger problems in the community: drugs, alcohol abuse, crime, teenage pregnancies – all these things start improving as more people step into jobs.

And that is what we want for your community here in Doornkop.

Now I know many other parties will also promise you jobs if you just vote for them. But you need to be smart when it comes to these promises. You need to decide whether those are real, achievable goals, or just election fantasies.

Both the ANC and the EFF seem to think that government can just snap its fingers and create millions of jobs. Their manifestos and their posters make those wild promises without any explanation of how they intend to do so.

The reality is that government cannot create jobs. Not sustainable, long-term jobs. And certainly not the scale that we need.

So when parties come to you with promises of government jobs for everyone, know that they are just making things up. They cannot ever deliver on those promises.

But if you look at the DA’s manifesto, every single pledge in there is anchored in the real world, and backed up by a track record of things we’ve already done.

We don’t promise the sun and moon, and then forget about those promises until the next election. We only promise what we know we can deliver. And when you look at the places we already govern, you know we keep our promises.

That’s all that matters when you go to the voting station on the 1st of November to choose your local government: Does this party do what it says it will do? Does it get things done?

There is only one party in South Africa that can answer yes to those questions, and that is the Democratic Alliance.

So help us bring progress to this municipality, and here to Doornkop.

Help us bring clean water, reliable electricity, dignified sanitation and the kind of good clean governance that attracts business and creates jobs.

By opening your mind and listening to this message today, you are already halfway there. Now, let’s finish the job on 1 November.

Go out and vote for a DA government that gets things done.

Viva, DA! Viva!

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

Give the DA five years on its own in Modimolle-Mookgophong to see the real DA difference

The following speech was delivered by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen, at the Ephraim Mogale Stadium in Phagameng, Modimolle, Limpopo. 

Pictures are attached here, here, and here.

My fellow Democrats,

Thank you for welcoming me to your beautiful corner of the country. This part of Limpopo is looking lovely, but it would look even better under an outright DA government for the next five years.

And that’s why these next two weeks are of such critical importance. We are now just two weeks away from what could be an historic moment for our country, and for the people of the Modimolle-Mookgophong municipality.

As municipalities across South Africa collapse, one by one, under the weight of their failed ANC local governments, South Africans have a once-in-five-years chance to secure the future of their towns or cities by electing a local government that does the exact opposite of these failed ANC governments.

This is the chance to elect a local government that truly understands that there can never be dignity without clean water, reliable electricity and sanitation.

A local government that understands what it takes to create jobs – that it’s not government itself that creates these jobs, but rather businesses that are able to thrive where government works.

A local government that goes beyond its job description and even fights to improve or supplement the services that are meant to be delivered by national government, such as visible policing, rural safety and electricity provision.

In short, a local government that gets things done. And if this is what you want for your municipality, there is only one party that ticks all the boxes and that is the Democratic Alliance.

Now, not all municipalities are ANC governed. Over the years the DA has grown from just an opposition party to a party of government in municipalities, metros and even a province.

In some of these places we govern alone, meaning the voters there gave us an outright majority to bring the DA difference to their town or city. In these places it is far easier for us to implement our vision and to make sure government remains accountable to the people.

In other places, the DA governs through coalitions or, as is the case here in Modimolle-Mookgophong, in minority governments, where no party has an outright majority and every decision and vote is subject to multiple players trying to pull that decision in different directions.

Don’t get me wrong – coalitions and minority governments can work. They must work, because this is going to be the future for many councils across the country. But where possible, an outright majority for a competent and ethical government is a far more effective way to ensure good service delivery and progress.

Since 2016, when a DA-led minority government under Mayor Marlene van Staden took over here in this municipality, a huge amount of progress has been made. This includes major improvements in access to water, as well as general basic service delivery.

In fact, I found it very amusing to hear that the Provincial Premier was upset at the lack of service delivery protests in this municipality since the DA-led government took over. Apparently he was not happy that there were regular protests back when the ANC ran this municipality, but these days they hardly happen.

The Premier should know that this is what’s known as the DA difference. It’s what we pride ourselves on, and it’s what we would like to build on after the 1st of November.

Another aspect of the DA difference is our zero tolerance for any form of corruption.

Wherever we come in to government, the very first thing we do is we cancel all the corrupt and irregular contracts that were signed under the ANC so that the municipality can start with a clean sheet under the DA. That’s the only way to ensure that residents get value for money from their government.

And that’s exactly what the DA did here in Modimolle-Mookgophong too.

Immediately after taking over in 2016, they lobbied National Treasury to pay for a forensic investigation of the municipality, and then implemented every single recommendation in that report, which included dismissing senior officials for gross financial misconduct.

They also immediately established a disciplinary committee to deal with all allegations against officials, and this has already led to steps taken against an official who made fraudulent claims for overtime and travel allowances.

They also got the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent to investigate all Municipal Infrastructure Grant projects – including the stalled Leseding Sports Facility – and this lead to the dismissal and blacklisting of the appointed contractor. This project has now been re-advertised and is once again underway.

Compare this to the scandalous R15m sports stadium built by the ANC in the Enoch Mgijima municipality in the Eastern Cape, which is little more than a rickety pavilion and a dusty athletics track.

And finally, the DA-led government also approved several new policies – including the anti-fraud and corruption policy and the whistleblower policy – which will help ensure clean and efficient governance for the people of this municipality.

Because we believe that every last cent of public money should be spent in service of the people, and this means putting in place every possible measure to hold government to account.

Democrats, what the DA-led minority government managed to achieve here since 2016 is just a taste of what we can do when we, alone, are in the driving seat. When there are no other parties yanking the steering wheel this way and that, or pulling up the handbrake on our vision to deliver better and more services.

That is the ultimate goal here – five years of uninterrupted, uncompromised DA governance. Because that’s when you really get to see and experience the DA difference.

Ask anyone who lives in South Africa’s best run municipalities, and they will confirm this. All the top municipalities in the country are DA-run, and all of them have had outright DA governments for multiple terms.

That is when you start to see the kind of progress that today separates places like Drakenstein, Stellenbosch, Mossel Bay, Swellendam and Midvaal from all the ANC-run towns and cities.

There was a time when voters in those towns also had to take a chance and switch their vote to the DA. I am sure this was not an easy decision for many people who had grown up believing they had to vote a certain way because their parents voted that way.

But they, too, grew tired of broken ANC promises and failed delivery, and chose to switch their vote to a party that came with a proven track record.

And in many of these places, that also meant a coalition or minority government at first. But what set these towns on the path to progress was their decision to then change that coalition or minority government into an outright DA government by the next election.

By giving the DA a full mandate to govern, on its own, they finally freed their towns from the corruption, the mismanagement and the sheer incompetence that had been holding them back all those years.

Now, I’m not saying everything is perfect in every DA-run municipality or metro. Running a government in these hard economic times and with our country’s many social challenges is not an easy job. But the DA knows where its challenges lie and it constantly strives to overcome them.

That is one of the biggest differences you’ll see under a DA government – we are never satisfied with the progress we’ve made. We always look to improve.

I assure you that this will be the case here in Modimolle-Mookgophong too. If you give the DA a chance to show what it is capable of, and to show that it never stops trying to be a better government, you will never go back.

All it takes is for people to open their minds to the possibilities of life under a DA government, and to stop listening to the lies that other parties tell about us.

And there are many such lies. I know there are people going around saying that you will lose your house or you will lose your grant if the DA gets into office.

None of that is true. In fact you are more likely to take ownership of a house, with full title deed, where the DA governs. And no one has ever lost a grant after the DA took over. It didn’t happen after 2016. It didn’t happen after 2019.

The DA believes our country needs a strong and secure safety net of social grants for everyone who needs one. But we also believe the best way to ensure dignity and progress is through a real, liveable income. And that is why our big mission is to lift people out of poverty and into jobs.

And we do that by doing the basics right. By ensuring reliable services, by keeping communities safe, by looking after public money and by staying on top of all maintenance and repairs to infrastructure.

When you do these things right, your town starts to attract new businesses, and this brings new jobs. It is a cycle of progress that starts with clean, efficient governance.

And that is what we want for the people of Modimolle-Mookgophong municipality for the next five years.

Give the DA a chance to prove what we are capable of on our own. If we then disappoint you, you can fire us again at the next election. But if we prove ourselves to you in those five years, you then have the opportunity to make it ten straight years.

That is how your town can end up as one of the best-run municipalities in the country. It all starts with your vote in two weeks’ time.

So go out and vote for a government that will put this municipality on the map – a government that gets things done.

On 1 November, vote for a DA government.

Viva, DA! Viva!

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

The sooner Thabazimbi elects a DA government, the sooner it starts fixing its water problem

The following speech was delivered today by DA Leader John Steenhuisen in Thabazimbi, Limpopo. Pictures are attached herehere and here.

Good morning, fellow Democrats, fellow South Africans

It is wonderful to be here in Thabazimbi, in the incredibly beautiful Waterberg District of Limpopo. I love it here. I just wish I could come more often and stay longer.

This is truly a spectacular part of South Africa. Wonderful climate, warm-hearted people, majestic mountains, lush vegetation, all in a strategic location at the edge of the Bushveld, on a wealth of minerals, near the economic heart of South Africa.

Thabazimbi absolutely bursts with potential. This municipality has all the ingredients for success.

Everyone living in this magical place could and should feel that there are plenty of opportunities here to build their lives and live life to the very fullest. Everyone who wants a job should be able to find one.

The local economy should be as strong as the “iron mountain” after which Thabazimbi is named, and next to which it is situated. The opportunities here – in agriculture, in tourism as a gateway to the bushveld, in mining – are exciting and endless.

But Thabazimbi has one major problem – its local politics. The local council is not delivering the conditions needed for the people of this Municipality to really thrive.

And so being in Thabazimbi fills me with a mixture of hope and frustration. The general “vibe” here should be growth and progress. Instead, it’s one of stagnation and unfulfilled potential.

Not only is Thabazimbi the gateway to the Bushveld, but it has the Marakele National Park on its doorstep too. Many tourists and hunters and weekenders visit this area, and many more would like to do so.

But let’s face it, this town needs to be cleaned up if it is to fulfil its economic potential as a visitor hotspot. Potholes need filling, streets need cleaning, littering needs to be dealt with.

But Thabazimbi has a far bigger problem than this. And that’s its water problem. We all know that no household, no tourism business, in fact no business at all, can thrive without water.

In this day and age, there should not be a need for water trucks to deliver water to JoJo tanks in the higher parts of town. This is a truly ridiculous situation, which should be unacceptable to anyone. And water shortages here have been going on for far too long.

Water trucks and JoJo tanks are short-term solutions to problems caused by a failure to plan for the long-term.

I’ve heard that the 10-million-litre Regorogile Reservoir has been 95% complete for the past 5 years. Residents have been looking at this Reservoir daily for 5 years but still have no water in their taps.

And even when this reservoir is finally completed – if indeed it is ever finally completed – that will not be the end of Thabazimbi’s water problems, although it is a very necessary project.

The fact is, Thabazimbi’s water infrastructure is aging. It is crumbling under years of neglect. Over 40% of water is being lost to leaking pipelines and faulty valves. That number is only going to grow.

Make no mistake, Thabazimbi’s growing water problem and its uncertain water future is an enormous issue that will ultimately decide whether this municipality succeeds or fails.

And there are no short cuts to fixing it. There are no quick-fixes. Thabazimbi needs to do the hard yards of replacing aging pipes and valves. Metre by metre. Kilometer by kilometer.

Let’s be clear. The only way to get the Regorogile Reservoir completed and the water pipes and other water infrastructure fixed is to fix the local government.

Thabazimbi won’t fix its water problem till it fixes its local government problem.

I am here to tell you that the sooner Thabazimbi elects a DA government, the sooner it starts replacing its water infrastructure and the sooner it starts thriving as a municipality.

Why am I confident to say this? Because the DA gets things done. We get things done because we have a recipe for success.

A simple but powerful recipe for success: we expect public servants to get things done for the public, and to spend public money on the public, and we hold them accountable if they don’t.

This is the winning formula which produces successful municipalities wherever the DA governs with a full majority for an extended period of time, such as Midvaal in Gauteng, and many, many municipalities in the Western Cape.

This is the winning formula which has ensured that the top five best-run municipalities and the best-run metro and best-run province in South Africa are all DA-run, according to independent ratings agency Ratings Afrika.

For the 2019/20 financial year, the Auditor General awarded clean audits to 18 of the Western Cape’s 30 municipalities, and they were all governed by the DA. Five of the seven municipalities that sustained their clean audit status over four years are DA-governed.

Clean audits mean local government are spending public money efficiently, and on the public.

This is exactly the opposite of how the ANC governs, which is to appoint political cronies, and to pay them whether they work or not, and whether they spend your money on you or not.

This is why the Special Investigating Unit was called in to investigate serious allegations of corruption and maladministration by the entire ANC administration in this Municipality, pre-August 2016.

But the municipality is so deep in debt to Eskom and Magalies that it cannot pay the R5 million needed for the SIU report to be released.

However, in August 2016, enough voters of Thabazimbi recognized the problem with the ANC to get them out of power.

Unfortunately, though, the DA only got 5 seats out of 23. Voters split the vote between too many parties, and so the only way to get the ANC out was for four very different parties to form a governing coalition.

This governing coalition inherited empty offices, no equipment, an enormous debt to Eskom, and a workforce with a typical ANC culture of: you get paid whether you work or not.

And I think you will agree that even though the coalition has managed to stay “together”, the last five years have not been a success story.

The problem is that these four parties are very different. The other three parties do not share the DA’s values, vision, commitment or work ethic.

The Administration still refuses to hold poor performance accountable. So we sit with municipal employees who know that whether they work or not, their job is safe.

This is a recipe for failure, not success. There is only one recipe for success, and that is putting people in the job who can deliver and holding them accountable if they don’t deliver.

I am here to tell you today that if you want long-term solutions to your water problem, if you want a government that gets things done, if you want to unleash the full potential of this incredible place, you need to give the DA a full majority here in Thabazimbi.

That’s first prize. If we don’t get a full majority, we at least need to be the largest party in the governing coalition, so that we have enough say to implement our values and our vision. Even taking just three seats off the collapsing ANC would make us the biggest party in council.

How will things change under a DA government?

Some change will be almost immediately visible, such as cleaner streets and fewer potholes.

But the reality is that it takes time to turn around a municipality’s finances. It takes time to weed out the council workers who expect to get paid for doing nothing and to fill positions with people committed to getting things done. It takes time to replace broken infrastructure.

Make no mistake. You will see the DA difference. Every day a little bit more.

But it takes time, so the sooner you vote in a DA government to get things done here, the better.

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

Keep corruption out of the Bay. Vote DA.

Please find attached pictures from the protest against rampant corruption here, here, here and here.

A soundbite from the DA Leader John Steenhuisen is attached here.

Today, the Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, Nqaba Bhanga, and I publicly signed a DA pledge in which we confirmed our party’s commitment to good, clean governance and the fight against corruption in the Eastern Cape.

While the entire country continues to suffer the knock-on effects of endless government corruption, the Eastern Cape in particular has had to bear the brunt of the ANC government’s greed.

The latest instance – whereby the Premier of the province, Oscar Mabuyane, along with his former Human Settlements MEC and now head of Public Works, Babalo Madikizela, benefitted from large chunks of the R3.3 million Rand looted from a memorial service fund for the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela – shows that absolutely nothing is off-limits when it comes to ANC corruption. Some of this money even made its way into the coffers of the provincial ANC itself.

Contrary to what some ANC leaders have tried to claim in the past, corruption is not a victimless crime. In fact, it is the poorest citizens – those who cannot afford to insulate themselves from failed government delivery and who rely entirely on the state for services – who are disproportionately affected by government corruption. It is the poorest of the poor who desperately need their governments – national, provincial and local – to be honest, accountable and committed to perform their sworn duty to the people.

Where the DA governs, we have already demonstrated the clear blue water between our party and the ANC when it comes to clean, accountable governance. And nowhere has this been more evident than right here in Nelson Mandela Bay, where the decrease, increase and then decrease again of corrupt activities in the metro perfectly match the DA taking office in 2016, then being ousted in 2018’s council coup, and then resuming office again in 2020.

By signing this pledge here in the Bay, we are saying to the people of Nelson Mandela Bay: Help us keep the corrupt out for good this time by giving us an outright majority to govern the way only the DA can govern.

As was set out in great detail in Crispian Olver’s 2017 book, How to Steal a City, Nelson Mandela Bay suffered for decades at the hands of a crime syndicate masquerading as its local ANC government. Through crooked tenders, kickbacks and the non-stop theft of public money through local government, this metro was bankrupted and bled dry by the time the ANC was finally kicked out by voters in 2016. The DA immediately set about cancelling corrupt tenders and shoring up the city’s finances, and in under two years turned a R2 billion debt into a R650 million surplus.

However, during the two years in which the metro fell back into the hands of the coalition of corruption, much of these gains were reversed again. And it is clear, from the ongoing scandals engulfing the ANC in the Eastern Cape, that this would be their modus operandi in Nelson Mandela Bay once more, should they ever be allowed back into office. One only need look at stories such as the shameless R10 million “scooter ambulance” project, the R10 million Nelson Mandela Funeral scandal and, slightly further afield, the embarrassing Enoch Mgijima sports stadium that supposedly cost taxpayers in excess of R15 million, to know just how safe public money is in the hands of the ANC in this province.

The Eastern Cape has been brought to its knees by decades of obscene looting by its various ANC governments. The strong correlation between service delivery collapse across scores of municipalities in this province and these same municipalities’ high incidences of corruption and failed municipal audits is proof that government corruption has a very real and immediate effect on citizens. The only way to shield them from this crime is by electing a government that has proven, again and again, that it does not tolerate any form of corruption whatsoever.

Today, by signing this pledge, our message to the people of Nelson Mandela Bay is simple: Keep corruption out of the Bay. Vote DA.

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.