Expropriation Bill Debate Speeches

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

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

DA Shadow Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure

083 409 9196

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

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure

082 744 5155

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

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

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

Leader of the Democratic Alliance

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

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

Chief Whip of the Official Opposition

076 055 6280

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

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services

083 262 2846

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

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

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

DA Shadow Minister for Social Development 

082 761 2480

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

DA Member on the Portfolio Committee on Transport

066 079 3648

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

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition

072 267 7759

Heritage Day debate speeches

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

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

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture

083 236 2152

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

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

066 043 0250

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

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Transport

074 938 7967

Debate Speeches: Children’s Amendment Bill

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

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

DA Shadow Minister of Social Development

082 761 2480

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

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Social Development

082 335 7740

National Women’s Day Debate Speeches

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

Thandeka Mbabama MPWe need to empower rural women

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

073 050 9467

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

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

079 875 4930

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

DA Shadow Minister on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

079 551 9791

The Coalition Alternative for South Africa

The following remarks were delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, John Steenhuisen MP, during a live broadcast.

My fellow citizens

South Africa stands on the threshold of enormous change.

We are fast approaching a profound shift in the way our country’s government is put together, and this will have a far-reaching impact on the lives of each and every South African.

It is a change so big that it is hard to grasp the full scope of it. The vast majority of South Africans alive today have only ever known one-party dominance.

For the past 74 uninterrupted years, South Africa has been governed by a single party with such a strong majority that all the incentives for accountable and clean governance that normally exist in a healthy democracy simply disappeared.

Without the realistic threat of removal by voters, first the National Party and then the ANC did exactly as they pleased. And as we all know, the result of this has been disastrous for our country.

Today, our economy and our society is at breaking point. Half of all South Africans live below the poverty line, and almost half of those who want to work can’t find jobs.

Our infrastructure is crumbling, local governments almost everywhere have collapsed, crime is soaring out of control and we don’t have enough electricity to keep the lights on, let alone grow the economy.

But just as it seems that things could not deteriorate much further without the country falling into anarchy, we are presented with the only lifeline that matters in a democracy: a realistic chance to change governments.

The people of South Africa have clearly had enough, and every sign now points towards the end of the ANC era, and the start of a new chapter in the history of our democracy – that of multi-party coalitions.

This means our democracy is maturing, and with this comes the prospect of accountability and responsiveness in government – something South Africa has never known.

At metro and municipality level, we have already entered the era of the coalition government. The vast majority of South Africans living in our cities and biggest towns no longer live under ANC local governments.

In two years’ time this will most likely be replicated at national level as the ANC’s support continues to plummet below 50% and a broad coalition of parties learns to find common ground in service of the people.

What seemed impossible not even a decade ago is now just around the corner as the people of South Africa realise that there is a credible alternative – a coalition alternative – right there within reach.

That is the enormous change we’re about to step into.

But we’ve known all along that this transition from decades of ANC dominance to a real multi-party democracy and multi-party coalitions would not be easy. Given its track record of greed, corruption and extraction, the ANC was not going to let go without a dirty fight.

And that fight is precisely what we’re seeing in the Gauteng metros right now.

There is a coordinated attack on the coalition governments of all three Gauteng metros, orchestrated by the ANC and supported by its small proxy parties.

The mayors of these metros – who all happen to be DA mayors – are being targeted simultaneously in an effort to destabilise these governments and let the ANC in the back door.

In Tshwane, the ANC has submitted a motion of no confidence in Mayor Randall Williams, while in Johannesburg its allies, the PAC and the AIC, have done the same to Mayor Mpho Phalatse. And we understand there are now similar plans afoot for Mayor Tania Campbell in Ekurhuleni.

This is the work of an ANC that finds itself cut off from its entire patronage network in these Gauteng metros. As a result it now cannot fund its own operation or pay its own staff, not to mention the blow this has dealt to the lavish lifestyles many of its members have become accustomed to.

It desperately needs to get its hands back in the cash register, and it will stop at nothing in its efforts to do so.

These coordinated attacks on our mayors – and also our speakers – are nothing short of a coup attempt by the corrupt.

But this goes beyond our mayors, our speakers and these individual metro coalitions. Because what the ANC is attacking is the very idea of a coalition alternative in South Africa.

By trying to scupper these metro coalition governments, they are effectively attacking our country’s chance to move on beyond ANC dominance. They are attacking project South Africa and threatening to drag us back to a place we should never, ever return to.

But I want to tell you today that this project will not fail. It is too important to fail.

We will not allow the ANC and its proxy parties to sabotage the future of our country. We have come too far already – and there is too much at stake – to let them back in now.

I can assure you that the party I lead has the stomach for this fight. Our entire focus is on replacing the ANC government with a coalition government in 2024, and we are prepared for anything that might happen between now and then.

I also have no doubt that most of our coalition partners will stand right beside us to help ward off this attempted power grab. There are many of us across multiple parties who share a vision of a South Africa that works for all its people and who believe that this vision is now well within our reach.

I am greatly encouraged by the principled stance of our coalition partners who have held the line.

But I also know that the ANC will not try to perform this power grab alone. They will seek allies in our coalitions and they will try to turn them against these coalitions. Even those who have publicly vowed to never work with the ANC are now being lured into the ANC’s fight.

This strategy could not be more transparent, and it is critical that voters connect these dots. Because if you are one of the tens of millions of South Africans desperate for change, you need to know exactly where your vote will ultimately end up.

Every party is going to have to think long and hard about where they’d like to see South Africa after 2024. Because when we speak of a coalition alternative following the next election, we’re not only talking about one possibility.

Right now, according to the latest polling, there is a mere 11 percentage points difference between the ANC and the DA. This means that a coalition government post-2024 will either be led by the DA or by the ANC.

There are two – and only two – realistic outcomes.

Every party – and every leader of those parties – will have to decide which of these two options they want for our country. And they’re going to have to play open cards with their voters on this.

I can only speak for the DA when I say that our commitment to bringing about change for the people of South Africa will not waver. Our project is to replace the ANC government, and we will see this project through.

We will continue to engage with all parties that share our core values as we look towards 2024 and beyond. Because our coalition – the coalition of reform, accountability and delivery – will need to be ready to step into national government in less than two years’ time.

We will also continue, through these metro coalitions, to serve the residents as best we can, because people need to see and believe that coalition governments are not only possible, but also that they can be effective.

Now I know it is easy to become despondent in South Africa. Between the relentless crime waves, the rolling blackouts, the sharply rising food and fuel prices and one of the world’s worst unemployment crises, it’s sometimes hard to find the silver lining in our country’s prospects.

Add to all of this the decay that has been allowed to set in across our cities over the past two decades through neglect, incompetence and corruption, and it is understandable that residents of these metros might feel that things have slipped so far that they might never be turned around.

But I assure you that this is not true. Each of these Gauteng metros has already made real progress in undoing the decades of damage, stabilising the finances and re-starting service delivery.

These coalition governments in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni are working, and we dare not allow this momentum to be broken now.

Let me to give you some examples of this, because I know it’s not always easy to identify the progress when there is still so much that needs to be done. And particularly when much of this progress is the unglamorous and the invisible.

These examples are just from the past year.

In Tshwane, 171 new Metro Police officers were added to the city’s law enforcement. The City also ramped up fines for cable theft and vandalism to help protect its critical infrastructure, and R10 million has been allocated to the City’s Metro Police Department to fight cable theft.

Tshwane has more than doubled the budget allocation to its various social relief programmes for indigent households, and this now stands at R3 billion. It has increased the budget allocation for water and electricity infrastructure maintenance and builds by R100 million.

The City has also embarked on a recruitment process for 5000 EPWP workers, it has upped its revenue collection rate from 63% to 77% and Mayor Randall Williams has tabled a plan to end loadshedding in the metro through existing power stations as well as new gas turbines, at no additional cost the the City.

There is still much to be done in Tshwane, but it has undoubtedly turned a corner and is making clear progress. And that is what the ANC is trying to stop through these attacks.

In the City of Johannesburg there is an equally long list of successes by its coalition government, and it is precisely because of these successes and the commitment shown by Mayor Mpho Phalatse to restoring the shine to the City of Gold, that she is being targeted and bullied.

In the past year, an additional 1800 Johannesburg Metro Police Department officers have been deployed in the inner city.

Residents of Lenasia now have a brand new 15-megalitre water reservoir, over a hundred City buses have been completely refurbished, and the old Kaserne building was imploded to make way for 1500 low-cost housing units in the Joburg inner city.

The City has set aside R200 million for 20 new fire engines, it has set aside R1,3 million for 150 park rangers to make Joburg’s parks safer, and it has committed to building ten new clinics over the next three years, as well as extending the hours of 47 existing clinics.

Johannesburg is clearly a metro on the mend, which is why the ANC has set its proxies on the mayor in an effort to derail the coalition government.

In Ekurhuleni the list of achievements is no less impressive. The Metro Police Department there gained an addition 470 officers over the past year, and there have been increases in the budget allocations for electrical maintenance, water infrastructure repairs and road and pothole repairs.

The City has also taken the fight to loadshedding by awarding 46 tenders to small-scale independent power producers, along with signing a renewable energy wheeling deal and approving the installation of one of the country’s largest solar microgrids.

Under the coalition government led by Mayor Tania Campbell, Ekurhuleni’s credit rating has recently been upgraded – a clear sign of a metro pointing in the right direction, and also the reason she now has a target on her back.

It is hard, slow and often thankless work cleaning out the rot and turning these struggling metros around, but that is exactly what is happening across all three Gauteng metros.

Many didn’t give them a chance, but these coalition governments are working. And they are showing South Africans a clear path away from ANC ruin and towards a better future.

The ANC knows this. They know that voters have started to recognise this path from where we are today to where we need to be, and they know that this path does not involve them. And so they have launched a desperate attack to stop this from happening.

This attack will likely continue all the way to the 2024 elections, and possibly beyond. But we dare not lose heart. Too many people are counting on us along with our committed coalition partners to do the right thing.

We cannot let them down, and so we will stand up to anything the ANC throws at us.

We are not intimidated by these coordinated attacks and we will certainly not allow anyone to derail this project of righting our ship and steering her towards a better future.

I urge all parties to take a step back and see the bigger picture here. See what game the ANC is playing, and decide whether they want to be roped into that strategy.

And at the same time I urge every South African to hold these parties responsible for their actions through their votes. If you dream of a post-ANC South Africa, then let it be known that you will not tolerate the prospect of your vote being handed straight back to the ANC.

This is our one chance to break free from the shackles imposed on our country by 74 years of one-party rule, and our only pathway out lies in a coalition alternative in service of the people.

I give you my word that the DA will do everything in its power to build such a coalition and keep it united in pursuit of the biggest goal: an end to ANC dominance in South Africa in 2024.

Thank you.

DA unveils 10-point action plan to get Parliament to work for the people

The following remarks were delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, John Steenhuisen MP, during a media briefing. He was joined by the DA Chief Whip, Natasha Mazzone MP, and DA Deputy Chief Whip, Siviwe Gwarube MP.

Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Natasha Mazzone MP.

Click here to download a photo.

Today, South Africa’s Official Opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has released its parliamentary reform document to give effect to a raft of recommendations to fix Parliament and bolster the institution’s oversight capacity, as recommended by the Corder Report on Oversight and Accountability, the Fifth Parliament Legacy Report, the High Level Panel Report by former president Kgalema Motlanthe and, most recently, the Zondo Report.

The fact that countless recommendations to fix parliament over several decades have continuously been ignored by ANC speakers, shows that the ruling party has no intention of holding its own accountable and preventing the kind of severely damaging and regressive corruption which took place under their watch. If the ANC will not reform parliament to work for the people, then the DA will.

Today we are announcing a host of actions which will bolster the central role of Parliament in our democracy. It is time to change Parliament from a rubber-stamping lapdog under the ANC to an effective oversight body so that events like State Capture and Cadre Deployment will never bring South Africa to its knees again.

The DA has, for many years, highlighted the failure of Parliament to hold the executive to account and this stance was finally vindicated with the release of the Zondo Reports, which criticised how the ANC majority in Parliament continuously protected Presidents, Ministers and most worryingly, state capture, at the expense of the people of South Africa.

This stems from the ANC’s policy of Cadre deployment, where MPs are seen as being deployed to Parliament to do the bidding of the party. This continues even today, when the Speaker of the National Assembly refused the DA’s request to establish an ad-hoc committee to investigate allegations surrounding the theft and alleged cover-up at President Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm. This demonstrates the continued shielding of the executive by Parliament, contrary to the accountability role Parliament is tasked to play by our Constitution.

As constitutionalism is a core value of the DA, the party will seek to embrace, further and defend all aspects of the Constitution. It is essential that Parliament functions properly – our democracy depends on it. This requires that the principle of separation of powers be strengthened in respect of Parliament in particular. Under the doctrine of separation of powers, Parliament should

operate independently of the other two branches of government – the executive and the judiciary.

While the DA has played an instrumental role in promoting a culture of accountability, there is a need for structural parliamentary reforms to ensure the institution can perform effective oversight and operate more independently of the executive in the future. Parliament cannot continue any longer under the current shielding of the executive by ANC MPs. If we are to ever get past the shocking revelations of state capture, we will need an effective Parliament which is willing to take the executive, and even its own members, to task.

Accordingly, the DA presents the following actions to improve separation of powers within Parliament, and ensure greater parliamentary oversight over the executive:

1. Establishing a committee to oversee the Presidency

There is currently no effective and regular oversight mechanism over the acts and omissions of the President and the Presidency, with even Chief Justice Zondo pointing this out in his reports. To close this gap, the DA will submit a proposal to the Speaker in concurrence with the Rules Committee– to call for the establishment of a Portfolio Committee to conduct oversight over the Presidency throughout each parliamentary term.

2. Increasing the accountability of the Speaker to ordinary MP’s

There is no effective accountability mechanism to hold the Speaker to account from the perspective of ordinary MPs. To ensure improved oversight, the DA will seek to add an additional responsibility of the Speaker to account before Parliament generally, and to answer questions from ordinary MPs.

3. Increasing representation of opposition committee chairpersons and regulating committee systems

The effectiveness of a committee depends in large part on the quality of the chairperson. Presently, almost all chairpersons are derived from the ANC, after being endorsed by their NEC, and on the recommendation of their

Cadre Deployment Committee. What this means is that far too often, the executive is shielded from any attempts at interrogation or questioning from opposition MPs.

To give effect to these changes, the DA will seek an amendment to the Rules that allow for a set number of committees to be chaired by opposition MPs based on representation levels in Parliament as well as reducing the number of votes required to call a member of the executive before the committee.

4. Fixing Parliamentary Oversight and Ensuring Meaningful Public Participation

One of the biggest issues facing portfolio committees is their lack of budget. Out of a budget of R2 billion per year, the portfolio committees receive only about R50 – R60 million of these funds to perform crucial oversight roles.

Additionally, there is currently no legislation governing oversight visits of MPs and this leaves uncertainty pertaining to the circumstances under which oversight can be done, and what remedies are allowed should an oversight visit be denied.

To fix these issues, the DA will introduce legislation that will provide greater clarity on the powers of oversight afforded to MPs and make explicit provision for unannounced oversight visits. The DA will also advocate for a greater proportion of the Parliamentary budget to be allocated to portfolio committees so that proper, frequent, and effective oversights can be conducted, and meaningful public participation occurs.

5. The enhancement of the Parliamentary Protection Services

The presence of the SAPS within Parliament is problematic as the police service is ultimately controlled by the executive. There is a need for a stronger independent Parliamentary Protection Services which should perform most of the security functions within the precinct and require SAPS to account to them whilst on the Parliamentary precinct. This would enhance the separation of powers between the executive and the legislature and ensure that the SAPS cannot be used by the executive to ‘bully’ Parliament.

6. Increasing the frequency of Presidential oral question sessions

The President currently provides Parliament with oral replies to questions at least once per quarter. In the UK parliamentary system, the Prime Minister must answer questions in Parliament every Wednesday. The DA will seek to increase the level of regularity that the President is required to answer questions within Parliament to at least once a month, thereby solidifying the central role that Parliament plays within our democratic system.

7. Creating penalties for cabinet members who fail to appear for meetings or answer oral questions adequately

Far too often, members of the executive fail to appear for parliamentary meetings on time or at all – with belatedly tendered excuses offered. It has also become an increasing occurrence for them to fail to adequately answer oral questions, or even at all. The DA will seek to create new Parliamentary Rules which outline pre-set repercussions for a Minister who fails to attend a pre-determined number of question sessions or fails to attend a committee meeting without adequate cause.

8. The reintroduction of the interpellations debate

Debates in Parliament currently follow a highly stringent format which permits only one question, and subsequently a single follow-up question. The DA will request that the Rules Committee allow for the reintroduction of the interpellation which is when a MP can request a mini debate on a given topic which then allows greater dialogue and interaction between members of the executive and MPs.

9. Amending the rules to create sanctions for failing to answer PQs timeously or adequately

Parliamentary Questions are vital for critical oversight and play a crucial role in holding the executive accountable. However, it has become an increasing occurrence for some PQs to be answered late, inadequately, or not at all by Ministers. The DA will amend Rule 136 to require that a Minster who fails to meet their obligations in terms of responding to Parliamentary questions, be referred to the Powers and Privileges Committee for contempt of Parliament.

10. Ensuring that Parliament processes and takes timely action on the State Capture Report

The DA has been working to ensure that Parliament does not simply sweep the findings and recommendations contained within the State Capture Reports under the rug. The DA will petition the Speaker for the establishment of an ad hoc committee under Rule 253. This Committee will monitor and implement the recommendations of the State Capture Reports.

The DA will be keeping up the pressure in the coming months to ensure that the findings of the Zondo reports are processed and actioned upon in a timeous manner by Parliament. We will not allow this report to be forgotten by Parliament, with no firm action being taken to reform the institution where required.

The effective functioning of Parliament is central to rebuilding our nation and ensuring that abuses of executive power, on the scale witnessed in the preceding years can never occur again. These steps that have been mentioned will be brought before Parliament in the coming months.

With the 2024 elections around the corner, should we encounter any opposition to these steps to good governance and accountability by the ANC, or any other party, we will be sure to show all of the hard-working South Africans whose jobs, livelihoods and tax money have been destroyed and squandered over the years, that the ANC does not intend to ever change its corrupt, cadre deployment and state capture ways.

We urge all South Africans to support us in our efforts to restore Parliament to its rightful place at the center of our democracy.

Government must get out of the way of those who can – and want to – fix the electricity crisis

Please find attached the DA’s Emergency Plan to fix South Africa’s Electricity Supply.

Today, in my meeting with President Ramaphosa on the ongoing electricity crisis, I outlined what the DA believes are the sixteen most critical interventions that he should announce right away if we are to have any chance at solving this crisis.

There are some urgent steps aimed at securing our short-term electricity supply, and then there are medium-term steps which will take a little longer but are critical to the sustainability of our energy sector (and should have been implemented years ago). It is crucial that both the short-term and medium-term interventions happen concurrently. Some of these interventions lie within Eskom, and some lie outside of the state-owned utility, where the bulk of our future energy solutions will ultimately have to come from.

The most important piece of advice we can give the President is that he should get his government out of the way of those who want to – and who are able to – fix this mess. Many of the obstacles to increased generation are self-imposed by government. Whether it’s by standing in the way of municipalities who want to procure or generate their own electricity, whether it’s through onerous regulations on small-scale generation, or any of the other counter-productive regulations around preferential procurement or local content requirement, this national government has consistently been the biggest part of the problem.

Capable local governments, in particular, can do much to shield their residents from load-shedding while also relieving the pressure on Eskom, if national government were to simply get out of the way. Several DA-run metros and municipalities are already well underway in their efforts to become less reliant on Eskom.

We welcome the City of Cape Town’s announcement today that they will now pay cash (as opposed to credits on bills) for excess electricity generated by commercial and industrial generators in order to incentivise them to feed as much energy as they can back to the grid. We also welcome their announcement that commercial and industrial generators will now be allowed to sell more electricity to the City than they use (in the past they were required to be net consumers). Both these steps are firsts in South Africa, and the goal is to extend this to residential customers too, once the take-up by industrial and commercial generators has been ascertained.

National government must recognise that this crisis requires a whole-of-society solution. They need to take a step back and let those with the solutions and the know-how step up and play their part. This is not the time to be blinkered by ideology, power and control.

In the short-term, this is what needs to be done:

1. Declare a ring-fenced State of Disaster in the electricity sector. Not a State of Emergency, which is inappropriate, but a State of Disaster which will suspend all legislation currently blocking solutions to this crisis.
2. Issue a blanket Section 34 determination so that all municipalities in good financial standing can procure, generate and store their own electricity.
3. Incentivise and ease the regulations on small-scale embedded generation such as rooftop solar.
4. Waive all local content requirements for electricity procurement. The only priority now is restoring our supply.
5. Waive all preferential procurement requirements. Only the quickest and cheapest solutions will do, and we cannot afford the extra layer of cost that BEE adds.

These are the medium-term interventions, which must also be implemented right away:

Outside of Eskom:
6. Form an Emergency Electricity Commission, headed up by a power utility specialist, to deal with the crisis.
7. Update the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). In its current (2019) guise it is based on entirely incorrect assumptions on additional energy sources and available Eskom capacity.
8. Establish an Independent System Market Operator so that the transmission grid can be run separately from Eskom.
9. Aggressively pursue new generation capacity from diverse sources and technologies.
10. Establish proper governance structures to oversee the foreign funding for our transition away from fossil fuels.
11. Invest in grid infrastructure and system upgrades – this is as important as new generation.
12. Build more storage capacity. Investing in the technology of batteries and other forms of storage (such as pumped storage) will take a lot of pressure off Eskom.

Inside Eskom:
13. Deal with sabotage through integrated security and intelligence measures, and by vigorously prosecuting the treasonous saboteurs.
14. Employ engineers and cut the dead wood at Eskom. The money saved by letting deployed cadres go will pay for the skills needed to fix the utility.
15. Ramp up maintenance on Eskom’s generation fleet. Fixing just half of the current 17,000MW of broken generation capacity will end load-shedding.
16. Review all Eskom coal contracts to eradicate corruption and ensure best-price contracts.

Each of these steps is critical to the recovery of our electricity generation capacity, and they must be announced without delay. If ever there was a moment to shake this presidency from its slumber and inaction, it is this electricity crisis which threatens to sink our economy and plunge millions more South Africans into unemployment and poverty.

South Africa has many committed and capable citizens, businesses, households and municipalities that are desperate to play their part in fixing this mess. Government must step aside and let them.

For Mandela Day, we’re reclaiming a piece of Tafelsig from the gangsters

Please find attached pictures here, here, here and here

Today, to celebrate Nelson Mandela Day and to honour the great man’s legacy, I devoted my time, along with members of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament and members of the Mitchells Plain Community, to clean up a stretch of walls facing onto AZ Berman Drive in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain. These walls have, over the years, become defaced by gangster insignia as they tried to stake their claim across several Cape Town communities. But today we took these streets back.

I was joined in this task by Ricardo McKenzie and Reagen Allen, both members of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, as well as Tertuis Simmers and JP Smith, the Leader and Deputy Leader of the DA in the Western Cape. Several team leaders from local neighbourhood watches, as well as Ian Cameron from Action Society, also joined us. This broad cooperation to reclaim a piece of Tafelsig from the criminals and gangsters represented what we call the whole-of-society approach to fixing our country and rebuilding our communities.

Fighting gangsterism through law enforcement and crime prevention is critical in these besieged communities, but there is so much more that the rest of the community can also do to drive out criminal elements from their streets. By scraping off, cleaning and repainting these walls, we are saying to the gangsters: This is not your wall, this is not your street, this is not your corner. It belongs to the people of this community, and we are taking it back.

The section we cleaned and prepared for painting today will in future become part of a green corridor linking public spaces, where pedestrians feel welcome and safe. Replacing these gang tags will be community-inspired murals and wall art, and there will also be a cleanup of litter and, ultimately, a greening of this corridor.

We welcome the involvement of Action Society in today’s cleanup, as they have long been visiting these communities offering their expertise in training neighbourhood watches. We are also proud to have worked alongside several team leaders from local neighbourhood watches today. These are the same people who patrolled these streets around the clock during last July’s riots, ensuring that their community didn’t fall prey to the looters and vandals. They are the embodiment of what today’s community service was all about.

Collaborative initiatives such as this one here in Tafelsig, along with the ongoing community cleanup operations undertaken by Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, are proof that a whole-of-society approach always delivers the best results. When citizens become involved, they gain a sense of ownership and pride, and the projects become sustainable in the long term.

Street by street, we will return these neighbourhoods to their rightful owners and let the gangsters and drug dealers know they are not welcome here.