DA’s Manifesto centred on building One South Africa for All

Today, Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, kicked off the Party’s manifesto mobilisation week in his hometown of Soweto, Gauteng, ahead of the party’s Manifesto Launch at the Rand Stadium in Johannesburg this Saturday, 23 February. Maimane went door-to-door, engaging with residents and encouraging them to join this coming Saturday where we will make history and unveil our agenda for change. Pictures are attached here, here, here, here and here.

Our manifesto is grounded on our offer to bring immediate change that builds One South Africa for All where there’s a job in every home, our communities and streets are safe, our borders are secure, basic services are delivered to all, and corruption is crushed. The manifesto is a strong plan with implementable solutions to rescue our economy, and we believe that our offer will resonate with South Africans who want immediate change.

Over the coming days, DA public representatives, MPs, MPLs, Mayors, Councillors, and activists will cover every corner of Gauteng mobilising citizens to fill the Rand Stadium this coming Saturday.

The choice that lies before South Africans when they cast their votes on 8 May this year is a choice between another 5 years of talk shops, summits, corruption and empty promises from the ANC, or DA’s agenda for immediate change that builds One South Africa for All.

Eskom Crisis: While Mr Ramaphosa talks, the DA has a plan of action

The following remarks were delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, on the steps of the National Assembly in Cape Town. The Leader was joined by DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Natasha Mazzone, and DA Western Cape Premier Candidate, Alan Winde.

This afternoon, President Cyril Ramaphosa will address Parliament and deliver his response to the debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA). The President’s response will undoubtedly be overshadowed by our nation’s current energy crisis, demonstrated by stage 4 load shedding across the country over the past days.

The doors to hospitals, businesses, and key industries have been shut due to rolling power cuts by Eskom, with the entity in R400 billion of debt and reportedly having only two months left before being declared bankrupt. The situation is dire, and there is no time for complacency. Like every fundamental challenge our country faces, tinkering at the edges won’t solve the underlying causes. We require complete overhaul and reform.

South Africans are well aware as to why we find ourselves in this mess. For the past decade, the ANC in government has repeatedly put Band-Aids onto the bullet wounds in our energy sector – most notably at Eskom. And the result today is a national power utility that is on its knees, threatening to take the entire country down with it.

What we need now is bold, immediate action to reform the energy sector in South Africa before it’s too late. In this light, the DA proposes the following interventions which are immediately available to the President:

  • Reject pressure from the ANC’s union allies opposing the introduction of Independent Power Producers (IPPs). IPPs are producing energy as we speak, and must be allowed to sell power to the grid immediately. Ramaphosa needs to pursue the interests of South Africa, not the interests of his union allies;
  • Instruct Eskom to immediately freeze the build on the last two outstanding units at Kusile, and instead look to bring on more IPPs to provide power. Eskom’s debt is spiralling due to cost overruns on the two big coal builds, while the units are not running at full capacity due to design and build flaws.
  • Ensure Eskom’s coal procurement policy is immediately changed to allow Eskom to procure coal from any source;
  • Reaffirm Eskom’s engineering and maintenance employees as an “essential service” that cannot enter into strike action;
  • Immediately review all Eskom’s diesel contracts to ensure the cheapest diesel is sourced from professional and reliable sources; and
  • Instruct PetroSA to supply Eskom with diesel at tax-free cost prices to avert a crisis in the short-term.

Over the medium term, the DA would implement the following interventions:

  • Privatise the generation entities of Eskom, allowing a diverse range of energy to enter the grid, increasing competition and lowering the cost;
  • Commence with a drastic salary restructuring of Eskom’s executive;
  • Audit all middle management and begin the process of cutting ‘dead weight’;
  • Instruct municipalities to start a “name and shame” campaign for non-payers of electricity. In short, to release the names of the main offenders that are non-paying to the municipality website and local papers making sure communities know who is skipping on payment. This would be similar to the City of Cape Town’s water saving “name and shame” campaign.
  • Install major smart meters for municipalities to force municipalities to collect revenue timeously. The top 5 worst municipality offenders at the end of last year were (in millions): Maluti A Phofung, Free State – 2 809; Matjhabeng, Free State – 1 815; Emalahleni, Mpumalanga – 1 667; Ngwathe, Free State – 940; and Emfuleni, Gauteng – 872.

The DA has led the charge on ways to fix Eskom over the last year, with the introduction of the Independent Systems Market Operator (ISMO) Bill or “cheaper electricity bill”. The bill seeks to break Eskom into two separate entities –  a generation and transmission/distribution entity. Our offer would see the generation entity privatized in an effort to break Eskom’s monopoly on production of energy, allowing independent power producers to compete on an equal footing in the generation sector.

With the splitting off of the generation part of Eskom, they could look at selling off power stations to different IPPs. This will reduce the debt component and create competition within the generation sector. The transmission/distribution entity would manage the grid as an independent operator and source power from IPPs and Eskom generation.

Lastly, the bill allows for well-functioning metros to source energy directly from independent energy suppliers.

Where the DA governs, we are way ahead of the rest of the country in terms of renewable energy readiness. 85% of municipalities in the Western Cape already have legislation in place to allow for independent solar energy generation, and most of them are geared to sell clean energy back into the grid.

Just last week, Mayor Herman Mashaba unveiled the R1.2 billion Sebenza Power Station Project in Johannesburg. It is the biggest sub-station in the Southern Hemisphere now stabilising electricity supply to the North Eastern quadrant of the City. This was completed both on time and under-budget. These are the kinds of solutions we should be looking at to make our country more energy secure.

The inconvenient truth is that as Deputy President from 2014, Ramaphosa knew – and was part of – many decisions that have brought South Africa’s energy sector to its knees. As far back as March 2015, he was there and headed up a ‘war room’ to oversee Eskom’s turnaround.

He was there during the board and executive appointments that helped collapse Eskom. He was there as Head of the ANC’s deployment committee from 2012, deploying the likes of allowed Brian Molefe, Anoj Singh and Matshela Koko to Eskom. And he was there as the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

As next week’s Budget fast approaches, ratings agencies will be watching the action President Ramaphosa’s government will take with almost R3 trillion in projected national debt. Moody‘s has warned that South Africa’s sovereign rating will be downgraded if State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) like Eskom raise government’s debt burden any higher.

The President has an array of options at his disposal that could end the energy crisis. It is now time for the President to find the political will, stand up to his allies, and do what is best for South Africa.

South African schools need teachers, textbooks and toilets – not tablets

The following speech was delivered on the second day of Parliament’s debate of the 2019 State of the Nation Address.

When the curtain falls on the one-party reign of the ANC, the measure of the government it has run will be how it treated the most vulnerable of South Africa’s citizens.

The ANC’s treatment of learners is shocking to say the least.

The greatest failure of the Department of Education in the last decade is its inability to provide learners with safe toilets.

Not only because of the tragedy of loosing the lives of two learners who drowned and died in pit latrines, but because all Presidents who sat on this very seat since the dawn of democracy promised to eradicate in appropriate structures.

The most profound speech was made in 2004, by then-President Thabo Mbeki who said; “By the end of this financial year we shall ensure that there is no learner and student learning under a tree, mud-school or any dangerous conditions that expose learners and teachers to these elements.”

That was 15 years ago.

Last year, President Ramaphosa told us all ASIDI projects would be finished by March 2019. You mislead the house then and you continue to do so now. To garner votes! Just like you are trying to garner votes now with tablets!

Mr President,

  • We need toilets now, not tablets.
  • We need teachers now, not tablets.
  • We need textbook, not tablets.
  • We need you to deal with SADTU, not tablets.

Show leadership! Be resolute with SADTU! The Minister will thank you for it!

Mr President you announced that 699 schools were provided with safe and adequate sanitation since the launch of the SAFE Initiative in June last year. We need specifics: When, where, how, by whom because a price-tag of nine toilets costing R4.5 Million, at Myolwa Primary, Lusikisiki, EC.

How did you pull that miracle in seven months? with a fraction of the budget on sanitation? Remember R7.2 Billion (don’t be shocked) from the school infrastructure was moved to higher education, and now there is another budget cut on 2nd year mid term budget– but we need tablets, is it really tablets for learners or to line the ANC pockets – where are your priorities!

You say you care about Education. We just celebrated 78% pass rate in Matric but actually it is 37.6% because we had a drop-out rate of 52% which no one can account to!

The Multiple Examination Opportunity Policy intended to advantage learners is bound to be exploited by teachers, principals and Provinces. Limpopo sitting 25% of progressed learners the highest in the Country! And Western Cape on a mere 6.3% the lowest in the Country. The DA delivers!

But the ANC’s disdain for South Africans is not only limited to the children of our country. The distribution of social grants has all but collapsed under the mismanagement and corruption in the Department of Social Development.
South Africans eventually had to turn to the courts to prevent Minister Dlamini from halting social grant payments through her dodgy deals with CPS.

Why didn’t you fire the Minister for such failings?

You recently, commended the Department of Social Development for complying with the Constitutional Court order. Since when do we congratulate a government for following the law?  You should have begun with a sincere apology to the millions of South Africans that wait in queues for hours on end, uncertain about whether they will be able to feed their children each month.

If you ever needed an indication of how little the ANC thinks of the plight of women in our country, it is this: the President rewarded the person who destroyed our social grants system by making her the Minister of Women. In her, we are unlikely to find the champion for women that South Africans so desperately need.

It is true that the President spoke on Friday of wonderful plans and summits to tackle gender based violence, but on the ground, the government actively contributes to the risks women face. In the specialist units that deal with sexual offences and family violence, the most vulnerable victims of such crimes were exposed to even more criminals. The DA uncovered that 57 officers with serious criminal records, including culpable homicide and assault, are working in SAPS FCS units. This seems to be par for the course with the ANC government.

This is hardly surprising, considering how the ANC backed a deputy minister caught on camera assaulting a woman.
In stark contrast to this, the DA has always places the protection of rights and quality service delivery at the centre of everything we do.

The DA provides the best quality basic education in the country, by the DBE’s own inclusive basket measure. The Western Cape has run a world class infrastructure project, which is why no school in the province is without safe sanitation.

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has expanded services by 176%. The DA has tripled the number of social work professionals and offices in the province. We deliver services to more at risk individuals than the ANC ever could.

And the DA demands a professional, honest police force – exercising proper oversight and forming innovative community partnerships to fight the scourge of gender-based violence.

Fact: you cannot trust the ANC to protect your rights and bring you a better future. It’s been 25 years of promises that have been broken, and sometimes of outright lies.

Only one party has demonstrated that they put service delivery for all South Africans first, and that is the DA.

ANC selling dreams and lies, while DA delivers over 110 000 title deeds to South Africans

The following speech was delivered on the second day of Parliament’s debate of the 2019 State of the Nation Address.

Considering the hype around expropriation of land without compensation in the recent past, Madam Speaker, we would have expected President Ramaphosa, in his State of the Nation Address, to give us more clarity on time-frames and a high-level framework around the envisaged implementation process of this policy. The only relevant statement he made was the identification of state land parcels for redistribution, something the Democratic Alliance (DA) has always advocated. This lack of clarity points to an absence of consensus and direction in the ANC government around the policy of expropriation of land without compensation, proving that it is indeed being used as an election gimmick by the ANC, and something to rally around, thus creating a false sense of unity in the party.

Professor Ben Cousins writes, and I quote, “The expropriation without compensation debate is essentially a distraction. It is not the main issue in land reform. The real question is: who do we want to give land to? For what purposes? How are they going to hold that land – with what property rights? And how are we going to support them? How do we secure the rights of the 60% of South Africans who hold land and housing outside the formal system?”.

He hits the nail on the head as a majority of South Africans already own land under customary, communal and traditional law in our rural areas. As Professor Cousins opines the challenge is to formalise these customary land holdings using a recordal system that will “give legal recognition and support to existing local processes”. Amending the Constitution will not have any beneficial impact on these rural communities.

By promoting a populist stance on expropriation without compensation, the EFF-led corrupt coalition with the ANC is furthering a narrative that says the majority of black people are hungry for agricultural land. Nothing could be further from the truth. 92% of land claimants chose monetary compensation over land in the finalised restitution claims between 1995 and 2014. Most of the farms that were transferred to claimants as going concerns are now lying fallow due to a lack of post-settlement support from the ANC, and a lack of knowledge, resources and passion to farm from the claimants.

Icace gca ukuba abantu bakuthi bafuna imisebenzi, bafuna unikezelo ngenkonzo ezifana namanzi, umbane, iindlela, iclinic, bafuna abantwana babo bafumane imfundo esemgangathweni, bakwafuna nokhuseleko, nokunqandwa korhwaphilizo. Ewe siyavuma, abantu mababuyiselwe imhlaba yokhokho babo, kodwa imidaka emininzi ifuna ookwezindlu ezibhadlileyo netitile zazo! Urhulumente we ANC woyisakele! Kuleminyaka emashumi amabini nesihlanu abantu basahlala emikhukhwini ngeloxesha iDepartment ye Public Works ihleli nezakhiwo ezixabisa R7,5 billion yamarand ezingahlali mntu. Kutheni zingalungiswa nje zinikwe abantu abadingayo?

The Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) report into widespread and endemic corruption in the government’s land reform programme, is yet more proof that we don’t have a Constitutional problem, we have an ANC problem. The SIU report has been gathering dust on President Ramaphosa’s desk for nearly a year, confirming that he has no intention of fixing the rampant corruption and real issues in land reform. The President is in denial that this policy has had, and will continue to have, a negative impact on investment. This, despite concrete examples from countries that have walked this path before, such as Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

This is why the DA opposes the amendment of our precious Bill of Rights. And we will continue to fight it in the highest court in the land. The DA will not allow the ANC and the EFF to trample on the rights of South Africans. If we want to steer South Africa on a better path we need to send a clear message this year that corruption will not be rewarded. Sonele! We need to expropriate power from the ANC and vote for a party that believes in giving people title to their land – the Democratic Alliance.

A DA government will deliver a land reform solution that works. We have already done so in the Western Cape where there is a 62% success rate on land reform projects as compared to 8% countrywide. We will continue handing out title deeds – so far 103 000 in 10 years in the Western Cape, and 6000 in Gauteng since Herman Mashaba became Mayor. We will fast track the over 6000 outstanding restitution claims and give tangible tenure to rural communities and farm-labour tenants. All government residential property and farmland will be offered to qualifying people under a grant and equity scheme.

SiyiDemocratic Alliance sakha iSouth Africa enye kawonke-wonke! Please, do the country a favour and vote DA.

Enkosi.

Onder die ANC regering is ons `n nasie op `n verlate stasie

The following speech was delivered on the second day of Parliament’s debate of the 2019 State of the Nation Address.

Agbare Speaker, Lede en Suid Afrikaners;

Die staatsrede van 2019 was om die minste te sê teleurstellend en verbeeldingloos. Die indruk wat dit in baie Suid Afrikaners se gedagte gelaat het was dat onder die ANC regering is ons soos `n nasie op `n verlate stasie.

Net soos verlede jaar het ons weereens gehoor hoe President Cyril Ramaphosa en die ANC Suid Afrikaners belowe vir nog vergaderings sonder veranderings, berade sonder dade, direktorate sonder kragte, konferensies met meer wensies en seminare vir al die jare. Die mense van Suid Afrika wil aksie sien. Aksie wat hulle lewens sal verbeter.

Hulle is moeg vir leë beloftes en klets winkels.

It was disappointing to note that, while the President spoke of South Africa advancing peace on the continent, he completely failed to mention the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.

The President also missed an opportunity to address South Africans on the issue of illegal immigration during his SONA speech this year. This is an issue that millions of South Africans are complaining about on a daily basis and the ANC government chooses to ignore it. Ignoring this issue will not make it go away.

That is why I am proud to say that the DA is the only party brave enough to take on this issue. No country in the world can allow its borders to be a free for all. Whether you are from Swaziland or Switzerland, you must be documented if you want to stay in South Africa.

It is not a priority for the ANC, although the Health Minister warned in November that Foreign Nationals are placing an extra burden on the already overcrowded hospitals.

Our borders are so porous, you might as well say that we do not have borders at all. People are coming in and out of our country as they please. Among those crossing our borders undetected are drug smugglers, illicit goods, human traffickers, the list goes on.

Our Home Affairs offices are so poorly equipped that our poor officials cannot do their jobs to the best of their abilities. They do not even have uniform or appointment cards for almost eight years now.

Our SAPS members at border posts feel their lives are in danger because they have to face syndicates with far more advanced weapons. I feel sorry for these government servants. Most of them try their best under the worst circumstances.

The President failed to make mention of the Department of Defence, the South African National Defence Force, and the issue plaguing these institutions. Our defence force members must patrol our borders with very little resources and technology. All they ask for are drones, cameras and other surveillance equipment to support them in their efforts to properly secure our borders with limited human capacity.

Our communities next to border posts are living in fear. Syndicates threaten their livelihoods. They fall prey to hijacking syndicates running cross-border operations. This government is well aware of these problems but chose to do nothing about it.

We have hotbeds of drug-related crimes, notably Kempton Park, which has seen drug related crimes spike to six times the 2010 levels.

The president spoke of the impact of substance abuse, drug trafficking and crime on communities. We cannot discuss drug trafficking and the impact of substance abuse on communities without a frank conversation about where the drugs flow to and from, how they get into and out of the country, or how they are related to human trafficking and international criminal syndicates running cross-border operations.

Understandably, to a billionaire President, stock theft might appear a minor crime. But to the farmers affected, stock theft has a significant impact on their businesses. It threatens their livelihoods. And the livelihoods of their employees in a country short on alternative work opportunities.

The Zondo Commission of inquiry has highlighted to us that criminality is not limited to drug kingpins or human traffickers. This government has placed the care of detained undocumented immigrants in the hands of a crime ring linked to President Ramaphosa.

Perhaps that is why the President failed to make mention of human rights abuses against foreign nationals at Bosasa-run Lindela Repatriation Centre which have long been reported by civil society. Human dignity and human lives have been lost in order for Bosasa bigwigs to eat, for ANC cadres to enrich themselves and the President’s campaign machine to get its funding.

Die ANC regering is soos n luis kombers wat onse regering bedek. Hulle byt ons, hulle is parasiete wat die laaste bloed uit ons suig. Hulle suig die laaste sent uit ons en onse regering. Ons moet van hierdie luis kombers ontslae raak. Ons kan nie aanhou so gebyt en droog gesuig word deur hierdie parasiete nie. Jy kan nie n luis kombers was nie. Daai luise sal nie heeltemal weg gaan nie.

Die enigste ding om te doen is om daai luis kombers veld toe te vat en daar te los.

Suid-Afrika, ons het nog ‘n kans. Wanneer julle stem op 8 Mei, help die DA om daai luis kombers van ons mense en die regering te vir eens en vir altyd te verwder.

Stem DA vir ‘n skoon regering wat vir jou sal werk!

Baie dankie.

While Ramaphosa was trying to sort out his party, the DA was creating jobs

The following speech was delivered on the second day of Parliament’s debate of the 2019 State of the Nation Address.

Madame Speaker,
Honourable President,

Your speech dished up ladles full of syrupy hope, but all of the spun sugar won’t be enough to make the country forget what the ANC has done to South Africa these last 10 years.

  • From the largest economy in Africa to third
  • The highest youth unemployment in the world
  • 9,7 million jobless people
  • Increased electricity prices by 356%, and still bankrupted Eskom, and still can’t keep the lights on

And let’s not forget, the whole time you were building a criminal syndicate fronting as a political party. And now you want to expropriate the pension savings of the hard working public to bailout the SOEs that you bankrupted. The message is clear: The ANC eats, the public pays.

Through it all, no one has gone to jail. No one!

No jail time state capture!
No jail time for Life Esidimeni!
No jail time for Marikana!
No jail time for Jacob Zuma!

You see, the truth cuts through all the candy-floss, sir. The truth is that the ANC set the house on fire and is now asking for five more years to put the fire out. While the President peddles hope, the country is asking, how did we get here, who got us here, and, Mr President, what were you doing when you were there all that time?

If voters are looking for hope in action, they need only look to the one province in South Africa governed by the DA.

Where the DA governs, jobs are created. In the 10 years of DA government in the Western Cape, job growth has been triple the next best province. That equals 640 000 new jobs, more than the entire population of Mangaung, in new jobs. Unemployment where we govern is 14% points lower than the rest of the country.Out of all the jobs that were created in the whole country, 53,3% are from the one place where the DA governs.

Citizens know that they can get a fair chance under the DA. They don’t have to pay anyone to get a job, or sleep with anyone to get a job, or show their ANC card to get a job.

The DA makes sure that jobs are available fairly and equally to all. While you were trying to sort out your party, we were creating jobs.

While Zondo was showing the world the ANC’s criminal heart, we were creating jobs. While your son was doing business with Bosasa, we were creating jobs. That is what the DA does. We get things done, for the people, not for the politicians.

Now, the Leader of the Opposition has said that the DA aspires for every home to have at least one person who is employed – a job in every home. I thought it would be difficult to find statistics on this, but actually, open the StatsSA General Household Survey, and there it is!

I am happy to report that the DA is already delivering on this goal. Nationally 20.1%, or 3.2 million families, rely on grant income alone. But where the DA governs, this number is 9%, less than half the rest of the country. 91% of families where the DA govern have at least one job.

We are on our way to getting this done too. That is what we do. We roll back poverty, we unlock enterprise, we free small business to thrive, we spread broadly the ownership of secure private property.

We do this because we love our country and its people; and because South Africa deserves better than a party asking us to give it another chance to solve problems that it has caused.

The ANC destroyed the Scorpions and defanged the NPA. Now the ANC is reopening the Scorpions. The ANC imposed e-tolls, then the ANC marches against e-tolls. The ANC owned Hitachi Africa that built the boilers for Medupi. Now that the boilers are failing, the President tells us he is “shocked and angry” at load-shedding.

This is the consequence of what was state capture, long before the term was coined. The President says he is “shocked and angry”, but his party has literally profited from destroying Eskom. Every time the lights go out, jobs are lost. Load shedding is job shedding!

And on the 8th of May, there’s going to be Stage 4 ANC vote shedding.

It is like being on a never-ending rollercoaster of bad Marxist policies which hurtle inevitably towards collapse and corruption, and then spin at the last moment into new proposals to fix the old ones. With each convulsing corkscrew, people’s lives hang in the balance. At the end of each loop, the ANC is forced to adopt a solution that the DA offered at the beginning.

Specialised gang and drug units. Splitting Eskom. The Youth Wage Subsidy.

But even today Luthuli House says they won’t let you split Eskom. This just confirms – they hired you as the new face of the criminal syndicate, but its the same criminals still running it. This is not a 9 year Zuma phenomenon, it is the permanent character of the ANC. It is the only possible consequence of the ANC’s dogma of state control and the quashing of free enterprise, under which no country can ever prosper.

The President quoted two American Presidents in his speech, JFK and Teddy Roosevelt. Those men made their country prosper by pursuing enterprise, competition, individual liberty and security of widely-owned private property. But the ANC rejects all of these values.

That is why South Africa cannot thrive under the ANC. The bus is broken, and a different driver can’t fix it. South Africa must be lead by the DA’s values because it is the only way our country can be lead. So, while the President may wish for a national suspension of disbelief, voters will look to a party that has proven hope in action.

“Hope in action” that our national decline is not inevitable and is not irreversible.

“Hope in action” to get more people into work and a job in every home.

“Hope in action” to bring our country together and build one South Africa for all.

And with the support of the wonderful people of our great country, “hope in action” for victory on the 8th of May.

We need concomitant action to combat crime and corruption

The following speech was delivered in Parliament’s debate of the 2019 State of the Nation Address

Madam Speaker,

While the President announced some laudable objectives in his SONA address last Thursday, perhaps the most glaring disappointment was the way in which he simply glossed over the crisis of crime sweeping our nation.

Every single day across South Africa, while the President tells us to watch this space, 57 of our citizens are brutally murdered, 137 women are sexually assaulted , 685 homes are violated. This is a national crisis on a grand scale, our citizens are not safe on their streets, in their homes, on their farms and in their workplaces.

Now the President exhorted communities to tackle crime, and yes, partnership policing is important, but communities cannot be expected carry the burden alone, they also cannot be expected to partner with a police service that is understaffed, under equipped, undertrained and unprofessional.

Last year during the SONA the President promised that the key focus for 2018 would be “the distribution of resources to police station level. This will include personnel and other resources, to restore capacity and experience at the level at which crime is most effectively combatted.”

The reality however is that the police to population ratio actually worsened to 1 police officer for every 375 citizens leaving communities even more vulnerable and unsafe.

But it’s little wonder this government doesn’t take policing seriously, and do you want to know why? It’s because they are frankly immune to the war zone of crime raging on our streets and suburbs. A reply to a DA parliamentary question in July last year revealed that there were 81 presidential protection officers for every one of the 17 politicians it protected.

Whilst our communities are locked in the brutal grip of a violent crime wave sweeping our nation this government is spending 1.5  Billion Rand on VIP protection for politicians. You cannot say you are serious about fighting crime and resourcing stations when you are misdirecting so much money and resources to protecting yourselves and keeping your families safe while our citizens are being left to fend for themselves!, Without an honest and professional police service they don’t stand a chance!

Mr. President, know this, your critics may sit on these opposition benches, but your enemies sit on your government benches. So, while you tell us to “watch this space”, our message to you is “watch your back”.

Because the allies of growth and progress sit on these opposition benches, but your biggest obstacles sit on your own. There are people on that side of the House, who are willing you to fail.

The ANC is corrupt to the core, and too many people in your party have got used to the Louis Vuitton handbags, the kickbacks and the “chickens”

ANC MPs don’t really want a new Scorpions; they voted to have the Scorpions disbanded in 2008 so that the looting could resume.

ANC MPs don’t want really want to unbundle Eskom. It is much easier to capture and loot a single state entity.

Of course, those same people are rubbing their hands at the prospect of a tablet for every learner. Another big tender, another opportunity to enrich a few cronies. If it’s not the corrupt in your ranks who are going to stop you, it is the loony left in the tripartite alliance.

The truth Mr. President is simply this: you’re never going to be able to achieve many of the lofty goals you set out in your SONA because your party and alliance partners just won’t let you.

Your plans to restructure ESKOM will be scuttled, not by the opposition, but by your own COSATU alliance partners.

Your plans to fix schools will be undermined, not by the opposition, but your own SADTU alliance partners and your acceleration of the NDP as a path for growth will be blocked, not by the opposition but by your fellow travellers in the SACP.

That is why Mr. President it is time to deal decisively with the corrupt in your own party. You cannot really expect anybody to take what you said about combatting corruption seriously while the most corrupt still sit in your party benches and around your cabinet table. They will get you in the end – watch this space, and watch your back.

I noticed with great interest the other evening as you were announcing the relaunch of the Scorpions, which the ANC hastily shut down when they got to close to senior politicians, at who was clapping. How ironic that some of the most enthusiastic were the very undertakers of the Scorpions, people like the honourable Carrim. And clapping like seals besides him were the very people on those benches who should be the first in Mrs Batoi’s crosshairs.

Do they clap because  they know that no matter what happens, no matter the evidence, no matter the charge, they will be protected?

Because the  litmus test for this new directorate is not going to be which officials or underlings they arrest, the test for this directorate is going to be whether they start putting cuffs on the honourable members seated in this house, and YOUR test will come when your party tries to stop that. Watch that space and watch your back.

Because you see Mr. President when a minister accepts a monthly retainer, braai packs, whisky and a car for their daughter, if I may quote a recent email of yours:

“It is plainly dastardly criminal and must be characterised as such, there needs to be concomitant action”

When a senior parliamentarian is kept sweet through cash payments, security upgrades and university fees for his daughter in order to prevent parliament from doing its job:

“It is plainly dastardly criminal and must be characterised as such, there needs to be concomitant action”

 When a senior party official and government minister accepts security upgrades at his properties in exchange for peddling influence and tenders:

“It is plainly dastardly criminal and must be characterised as such, there needs to be concomitant action”

When ANC premiers, Mayors, MEC’s and Councillors loot at every opportunity they get.

“It is plainly dastardly criminal and must be characterised as such, there needs to be concomitant action”

Unless that concomitant action is taken, you will never root out corruption in this house, your cabinet or our country.

Corrupt ANC members protected at the expense of the country

The following speech was delivered in Parliament’s debate of the 2019 State of the Nation Address.

Honourable Speaker,

Over the last few months I have travelled South Africa listening to the concerns of the people of our country.

I witnessed first-hand the devastating effects that the rampant corruption of the ANC government has had on our people.

Many are unemployed, because money dedicated to job-creation projects has been stolen.

Many do not receive basic services, because money dedicated to service delivery has been stolen.

Many do not feel safe in their homes and at the mercy of criminals, because money dedicated to police resources has been stolen.

I listened to all those people who welcomed me into their homes, took note of all their concerns, and conveyed the DA’s message of hope for a better South Africa.

I told that under a DA-led government, we will bring change that builds One South Africa for All.

We will fight corruption; create fair access to jobs; make our police honest and professional; and speed up the delivery of basic services.

On the issue of corruption, specifically, I relayed that under a DA-government, anyone found guilty of corruption will be sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Sifuna kutsi tonkhe letigila mikhiba teANC, letiba timali tembuso tivalelwe ejele. Kwentela kutsi tive lobuhlungu lobumatima lobuviwa batfubakitsi labahluphekile only malanga ngenca yebugenbgu ye ANC.

The DA’s plan to tackle corruption includes:

  • Ensuring the payment of all public money is transparent;
  • Bringing in direct elections for all political office holders so that the South African people can hold their president, premiers and mayors directly accountable;
  • Implementing regular lifestyle audits for all politicians and government officials;
  • Protecting and encouraging ‘whistle blowers’ who identify and report on corrupt activities; and
  • Establishing an independent unit dedicated to identifying, fighting and prosecuting corruption.

Now, Mr President, I noted that in your speech you said, and I quote “…we have no choice but to step up the fight against corruption.”

“No choice”

I find it odd that you conveyed the need to fight corruption as difficult choice you had to make as if your hands were tied behind your back before.

It there makes sense why as Deputy President of the ANC and the country you turned a blind eye to grand scale corruption during the years of the Jacob Zuma Presidency.

I also find it odd that your speech was a little scant detail about how you will fight corruption. In the last 20 years South Africa has lost an estimated R700 billion to corruption.

You were correct, Mr President in saying that the action you take now to end corruption and hold those responsible accountable will determine future of our country.

What was missing for me in the President’s speech, Honourable Speaker was what he, as the leader of the ANC would be doing to hold those in his party accountable for corruption.

During the Jacob Zuma Presidency he sat quietly while the country was looted. He had a voice he should have used fearlessly as a patriot and took a stand against corruption by members of his party not only as Deputy President but a citizen of South Africa.

Party loyalties matter not when it comes to taking a stand against what is wrong.

To be honest I have my doubts whether the President will suddenly find the backbone he has lacked for so many years.

Let’s take for example the revelations in the Zondo Commission of Inquiry.

Testimony revealed that ANC Members of Parliament allegedly benefited from Bosasa.

Today, Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, ANC Chairperson Gwede Mantashe, Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla and Mr Vincent Smith sit here happily in Parliament.

Why have they not been suspended pending the conclusion of an investigation and disciplinary inquiry given the gravity of the allegations against them?

Is it because, as it is always the case, the ANC protects its own.

Walk the talk, Mr President, show South Africa just how serious you about fighting corruption.

I challenge you, a suspension, lifestyle audit and investigation of Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.

I challenge you, a suspension, lifestyle audit and investigation of ANC Chairperson Gwede Mantashe.

I challenge you, a suspension, lifestyle audit and investigation of Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla.

I challenge you, a suspension, lifestyle audit and investigation of MP, Vincent Smith

If not, you will remain the President who had no backbone and continued turning a blind eye to corruption by those in his party. No different to your predecessor, Mr Jacob Zuma.

It is this very culture that is ruining our country. The notion that one must protect members of their parties at all costs, even when implicated in wrongdoing.

The DA is no such party. We walk the talk. We work hard, we go hard, we grind until we get it. And we slay.

In DA governments officials and politicians alike found to be involved in corruption are held accountable. It does not make us popular, but it certainly shows our commitment to stick to our values and a zero tolerance to corruption.

Where we govern in the Western Cape, we received the highest number of clean audits (83%) in South Africa across all entities and departments. This is well ahead of the next province, Gauteng, which had 52% clean audits.

This is compared to zero clean audits when we took office from the ANC in 2009.

A clean audit does not only mean that the finances of the Western Cape Government are well-managed, but it means that money meant to improve the lives of the residents of the province is spent on them, and not channelled into the pockets of corrupt politicians. In fact, we spent 82% of the 2018 Budget on delivery of services to the poor.

My plea to the people of South Africa is this, we know that you know that the ANC is corrupt, but you feel there is no viable alternative. I know many of you are despairing because you see corrupt ANC politicians after corrupt ANC politicians escaping scot-free.

My message to you today is that the DA is that alternative.

We may not be perfect, but we are a listening party, which does not see itself as superior to the people of South Africa. We hear your cries, and we say, O siyeza, o siyeza, sizogudla kulomhlaba. Sizowela ngapheshaya lulezontaba ezimnyama. Lapha sobheka phansi konke ukhulupheka.

Please lend us your vote.

Young people set up to fail by uncaring ANC government

The following speech was delivered in Parliament’s debate of the 2019 State of the Nation Address.

Honourable President,

After, in your own words, 9 wasted years, you addressed this chamber in your inaugural SONA address, at a time where young South Africans could not afford a single further wasted day. It was an address filled with promises made to a nation desperate for hope, particularly the millions of young South Africans, fast becoming a forgotten generation, without skills or jobs and set up to fail in our institutions of higher learning.

Since then, there is a German Proverb that has stuck with me which claims that, “Promises are like the full moon, if they are not kept at once they diminish day by day.”

When you addressed us last week, one would have expected some reflection on the promises made. When scrutinizing them more closely, I can see why you chose not to do so.

You promised that “At the centre of our national agenda in 2018 would be the creation of jobs, especially for the youth.”

25000 additional youth are unemployed with the expanded youth unemployment increasing to 50.1%, the highest in the world.

You promised a “Youth Employment Service initiative which will create a million paid internships over three years.”

The YES initiative has less than 7000 committed work experiences received. A mere 0.7% of what was promised.

You promised that the Minister of Higher Education will lead the implementation of free higher education.

As late as August last year there were 75 000 students whose funding had still not been paid which was only the tip of the iceberg. The most vulnerable of our students have continued to be set up to fail.

Minister Pandor can’t lead anything and is completely out of touch. It’s time to admit that you have gotten this one wrong. She only acts clever, I am not going to be like the Hon. Willie and say hong hong because I don’t care how a person says something as long as they know what they are talking about and their ignorance is not making our people suffer.

She came here in November claiming that she is confident of a smooth start to the 2019 academic year, claiming significant improvements in the administration of student funding;

On the 17th of January she told Inside Education that she does not anticipate any funding and registration hiccups during the opening of institutions.

How wrong can a person be? This is not something you play with Mr President. A student has been murdered, so too has a residence administrator.

Yesterday, I visited the Walter Sisulu University Ibika campus in Gcuwa. What confronted me was painful. It was the real State of the Nation. Hundreds of students standing helplessly outside in the pouring rain on the day that lectures officially started.

  • Most students at the campus are still unregistered
  • The institution is owed a billion rand in outstanding debt locking out poor NSFAS qualifying students.
  • NSFAS is a complete shamble with student statuses not being updated and incoherent communication leaving students literally out in the cold without allocated accommodation.
  • Post-grad student funding is a joke and Btech students are being asked to pay upfront payments.

The same painful story plays out across the country and the Minister’s response is to arrogantly call on students to focus on real concerns. This whilst she hasn’t visited any Universities where this crisis is playing out and exposed herself as completely out of touch in a meeting with student leaders, including those from her own political party.

From your SONA Hon. President, it would seem you are just as out of touch calling on student representatives and university authorities to work together to find solutions to the challenges.

Please balance us Mr President. How exactly do you expect students and universities to solve these problems including NSFAS’s collapse and student debt? Just those two must solve it? Where is your thuma mina or is that this empty space you were asking us to watch?

The tragedy is that 63% of NSFAS students dropped out over a 5-year period. You and your government are setting up poor, mainly black students to fail.

The situation is even worse at our TVET colleges, a sector you ignored in your address.

Infrastructure and equipment are old and insufficient, student services are almost non-existent and academic programmes and curricula on offer are outdated producing throngs of unemployed graduates. The lack of clear articulation policies deprives students of opportunities to progress, work-based training opportunities have declined, and student funding remains unequal compared to university students.

The tragedy in this regard is twofold:

  1. 68% of TVET colleges have a completion rate of under 50%; and
  2. Compared to private colleges, students in TVET colleges are not being prepared to compete in an equal footing.

Your government continues to prove itself incapable of building one South Africa for all where all young South Africans can enjoy an equal footing irrespective of the circumstances of their birth.

The DA has proven where we govern that we actually put youth at the centre of our agenda and have a track record of actually delivering.

R600 million in economic savings have been generated through our red tape reduction and ease of doing business strategies in the Western Cape.

The City of Cape Town was recognized as the top opportunity city in Africa with its Business Support Project already facilitating support for over 500 small and medium enterprises per year and job seekers afforded the opportunity to ride the MyCity Bus free of charge.

Most tellingly:

50% of all new jobs created last year were created in the Western Cape with the province having by far the lowest unemployment rate in the country and the fastest growth in employment.

Fellow South Africans imagine what we can achieve leading the national government.

We will

Introduce a Voluntary National Service – one year of income and skills development for school-leavers, something we have already piloted in the Western Cape through the Premier’s advancement of Youth Programme.

Create job centres throughout South Africa that provide information, advice and free internet to job-seekers.

Grow small business opportunities through increased funding assistance and removing blockages and red-tape.

Prosecute and eliminating the practice of ‘sex for jobs’ and carpet interviews including ‘cash for jobs’ and corruption in allocating jobs.

All matric students would receive a set number of free driving lessons and we would waive the licensing fees for first time applicants.

Our bursaries to learners from low-income families will cover the comprehensive cost of study so as to ensure that learners have the necessary tools, on time, to pass.

We will develop work and study apprenticeship programmes, substantially increasing the involvement of companies to provide opportunities in new and existing fields.

Mr President it is clear that even your government perpetuates two South Africas, it is only the DA that has proven itself capable of building One South Africa for all.

Don’t put them in Parliament, put them in jail

The following speech was delivered in Parliament’s debate of 2019 State of the Nation Address. 

Madam Speaker;

Mr President;

Fellow Members of Parliament;

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is now 2019, eleven and a half years since the construction of the Medupi Power plant started.

It is now 2019, ten and a half years since the construction of the Khusile Power Plant started.

And yet, the entire country was plunged into darkness, with Eskom implementing a drastic stage 4 load shedding programme yesterday. Six units have suddenly gone off-line which is unheard of. This has now moved from just an Eskom problem to a national South African problem. All of South Africa will be affected by a collapsing Eskom, putting our entire economy and millions of jobs in jeopardy.

It is now 2019 and South Africa is still experiencing rolling blackouts, Eskom still has a monopoly stranglehold over our country and its economy. We need to call this crisis what it is. This is not “load shedding”, it is persistent rolling blackouts and it is killing our economy. These rolling blackouts affect every community, every business in every municipality across the length and breadth of our country. Probably the most shocking of all – still not one person is behind bars for attempting to sell our country off piece by piece despite all the charges, all the evidence, and all the commissions of inquiry.

The ANC’s rejig of Eskom is simply not enough. The DA has long been calling for a complete overhaul of this dinosaur monopoly which is killing our economy with power failures and high electricity prices. The DA introduced our “cheaper electricity bill” which will see Eskom split into two separate entities, a generation entity and a distribution/transmission entity. The generation entity will be privatised over time to compete with other independent power producers on an equal footing. Well-functioning metros will be able to source energy directly from independent energy suppliers.

It cannot be that South Africans have no choice as to whom they purchase electricity from.  We have the right to choose our own service provider and to choose our own kind of electricity; be it wind, solar, gas or coal. The notion that this will not create job losses is a simple lie. By diversifying our energy market, we will create jobs, increase competition and significantly drive down electricity prices.  As South Africans we simply cannot be held ransom by the Tripartite Alliance concerns of upsetting one another. We are a country in crisis and we have to act in crisis mode now.

It is time to face the reality that while South Africa may well have exposed State Capture, little has been done to hold those who fed this monster to account. In fact, the more people who are named in these various inquiries, the more I look around parliament and see those very people seated in our benches. What an embarrassment, what an indictment on everything we stand for. Mr. President, I am here today to tell you, do not send these criminals to Parliament, send them to jail.

When last we met at this same forum, I asked that you remove then Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown. I, together with millions of South Africans, heaved a sigh of relief when you announced her removal. Little did we know that she was just the tip of a corrupt iceberg and that we, the people of South Africa, are on a collision course with this iceberg.  There is no longer any doubt that the tentacles of the state capture monster have reached all Public Enterprises, all state departments and all levels of government.

State capture is a disease that has infected the entire nation. Thankfully there is a cure and it works fast, and it acts as a prophylactic for future infection.  It’s called a jail sentence. Mr. President, do not send these criminals to Parliament, send them to jail.

Madam Speaker, there is nothing quite like a witness in the box singing like a canary to get criminals worried. What we have witnessed at the Zondo Commission into State Capture is nothing short of astounding. I now feel like we all know our way around certain Ministers’ homes, we know what meat they enjoy, and more particularly what their tipple of preference is. Mr President, given the knowledge we have regarding the Minister’s penchant for a certain brand of blended Scottish Whiskey, when these Ministers seek re-employment, my suggestion would be to tell them to just “Keep Walking”.

In these very benches sit Ministers who are accused of, literally, accepting bags of corruption money.  One would not think that when design house Louis Vuitton released the “Neverfull” model of handbag, this crime and corruption was the intended usage of the bag – and we laugh, and we scoff, and we are shocked, but still, here sits the Minister.  The question now is, what exactly does it take to get arrested for corruption in South Africa? Mr. President, do not send these people to Parliament, send them to jail.

Our hopes now lie in the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions, and we hope that the new head of the NPA takes orders from the Constitution and the laws of the land, and not from politicians or families flying in and out of Dubai. It simply cannot be that State Capture was being executed under the nose of the executive without every single member knowing. Your “New Dawn” is the same wine being served to us, only in a different bottle.

I have personally laid charges against the likes of:

  • Brian Molefe;
  • Matshela Koko;
  • Trillian;
  • SAP;
  • Just Coal;
  • McKinsey;
  • Supra Mahumapelo’s family;
  • The Bank of Baroda;
  • the Gupta brothers;
  • Nomvula Mokanyane and the list goes on.

We need to see some high-profile arrests, we need assets to be seized and while we are at it, let’s take a few passports away to ensure no one can flee prosecution.

Mr. President, let me tell you without a doubt what South Africans won’t mind having their tax money spent on, it’s a new wing of C Max at the Pretoria Central prison dedicated to those who tried to steal our country.

Mr. President, on behalf of all South Africans, I beg of you, don’t send them to Parliament, send them to jail.