For real hope, look to the real stuff

There is a growing sense of despair in South Africa. Faced with stage 6 load-shedding, a cholera outbreak that points to failing water and health systems, spiralling food prices, crumbling infrastructure, rampant crime, growing unemployment, and the recent news that 81% of grade 4 schoolchildren cannot read for meaning, people everywhere are asking: Is there hope?

My answer is yes, there is hope. But you must look for it in the right place. Not in the President’s empty promises, nor in his government’s short-cut policies such as race quotas and BEE. Real hope comes from real evidence of governing successes.

Many people are calling for a new vision for South Africa, but the DA is doing it already. In practice, not in theory. Where we govern, we are making real progress, pulling people out of poverty and into prosperity. Here is some recent evidence that the DA’s approach to government improves the lives of all residents.


The DA-run Western Cape created 98% of all new jobs (167 000 out of 169 000) in Oct-Dec 2022 while the eight ANC-run provinces together contributed just 2%, as reported by StatsSA. This didn’t happen by accident. It happened because the DA’s approach is to say to entrepreneurs and investors: What can we do to help your business succeed?

We make it our business to deliver the conditions for job creation: working infrastructure, safe streets, access to quality education and health services, clean water, electricity and public transport.


Joe Biden famously said: “Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value.” Compare the budgets of the big metros. DA-run City of Cape Town will spend more on infrastructure (R43 billion) than Joburg (R22 billion) and Durban (R19 billion) combined, with 73% directly benefitting poor communities through sewer upgrades, new MyCiti bus route for Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain, CCTV safety technology, clinics, libraries, informal settlement upgrades and more.


Crime statistics released this week show that while crime has gone up in the rest of South Africa, it has come down in the Western Cape. Year-on-year, the murder rate is down 14% and the rape rate is down 10%. This didn’t happen by accident, but because the province has determinedly pursued its Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) which has put 1300 trained officers on the ground to work with SAPS and neighbourhood watch groups to tackle crime.


Cape Town recently received a global Water and Sanitation accolated, becoming the first city on the African continent to be added to the Leading Utilities of the World list.


Cape Town protects residents and businesses from 1-2 stages of loadshedding through excellent maintenance of its Steenbras pumped storage system and is on track with its plan to offer protection from four stages of loadshedding by 2026.


The recently released PIRLS literacy report was devastating. It showed that 81% of grade 4 schoolchildren cannot read for meaning. The Western Cape reading rate is double the South African average, but it is also the only province to have launched a comprehensive programme to reverse learning losses from covid lockdowns. They’re spending R1.2 billion on this Back on Track programme.

Honest government

This week also saw the release of the Auditor General’s latest findings on municipal finances, which revealed that DA-led municipalities lead on clean audits. DA-led Midvaal in Gauteng returned its ninth consecutive year of clean audits, while 21 of the 38 clean audits were from Western Cape municipalities. Clean audits are hard evidence that DA governments spend public money honestly.


So, it should have come as no surprise last week when Ratings Afrika released their annual report showing that the five top-ranking municipalities and the top-ranking metro are all DA-run.


Imagine how much more progress the DA would make if we weren’t held back by national government which controls policing, rail, ports, energy and trade. This is our motivation behind the Western Cape Powers Bill which we recently tabled in the provincial legislature. It creates a framework for the province to assert its existing powers and seek delegation of further powers from national government.

Other provinces

DA governing successes and devolution legislation offers a blueprint for other provinces and local authorities to follow the same route. Nine parties are currently in discussions over forming a pre-election Pact that can offer voters a clear path to victory. The latest opinion polls already have the Pact at 43% in Northern Cape, 45% in KZN and 48% in Gauteng.

Real hope

There is real hope that voters will elect a DA-led Pact government in these three provinces in the 2024 national election. Together with the Western Cape, these provinces account for over two thirds of SA’s economy. But we’re not stopping there. In 2024, the Pact is coming for the whole country. So please make sure you and your family and friends are registered to vote DA in 2024, for real hope backed by real evidence.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, register correctly to vote now at

Straight Talk: Why the DA took a stand in Joburg

The DA has come under fire for not going into government in the City of Johannesburg. Here’s why we have not done so.

Reasonably confident

The DA would very much like to govern this crucial metro with the biggest economy of any in Africa. But let me be clear: we only want to govern if we can be reasonably confident of delivering progress for residents. In Joburg, it has not been possible to gain this level of confidence.

We are giving it our best shot wherever we believe the DA can play a role in fixing and building South Africa’s cities and towns. Where there is a prospect of success, however small, we try. Some of our best people are giving it their all in the face of bankruptcy, captured bureaucracies, crumbling infrastructure, and other crises.

Our mayor in Tshwane, Cilliers Brink, has one of the toughest jobs in the country fixing the capital city after two years of ANC “administration” and looting. He has the challenge of managing a five-party coalition and motivating a bureaucracy packed with ANC cadres. Same for Retief Odendaal, our mayor in Nelson Mandela Bay, who must hold together a ten-party coalition.


We have tried three times to govern Johannesburg and we’ve learnt some key lessons – the hard way. The main one is that where the Patriotic Alliance is the “kingmaker”, we cannot provide a stable, functional government that achieves measurable progress for residents.

Since the 2021 local government election, the Patriotic Alliance has held the balance of power in Joburg. The council has 270 seats and neither the ANC-EFF coalition nor the DA-led coalition has the 136 seats needed to form a majority coalition. Both sides need the PA’s 8 seats to get them across the line.

Not so Patriotic

Far from putting South Africa first as its name would imply, the Patriotic Alliance leadership negotiates coalitions based on what they can get for themselves rather than based on what is best for the residents of Joburg. To do this, they seek to play one side off against the other and then go into coalition with the highest bidder – the side that can offer them the most by way of positions and access to extraction or patronage opportunities.

After the 2021 local election, the PA sided with the ANC.  But the DA-led coalition got into government because of the EFF’s unexpected and unsolicited support. The PA then approached us to be included in our coalition and were accommodated in a good portfolio and in good faith.

But, thereafter, every time we needed their vote to win a crucial election, they betrayed us and voted with the ANC. First, they voted against our nominated Speaker, Alex Christians, and then they voted twice against our mayor, Mpho Phalatse.  On Friday 5 May, they again voted with the ANC.

Good faith

Having been betrayed three times, we now require a demonstration of good faith and seriousness if we are to go back into coalition talks with them. This is because the DA does put South Africa first, and we recognise that unstable coalitions undermine delivery and damage public confidence in coalitions.

Unstable coalitions also harm the DA’s brand, which is not in SA’s long-term interest. Going into the make-or-break 2024 elections next year, South Africa needs a strong DA with a brand of unequivocal good governance, not a DA failing to deliver. As we have always said: we would rather be good in opposition than bad in government.

The PA is in coalition with the ANC in at least eleven metros and municipalities in SA. As a demonstration of good faith, we asked the PA for a public commitment to remove themselves from the ANC’s ambit. Our reasoning is that if they stay in all those coalitions with the ANC through the country, the ANC will continue to have leverage over the PA, with the results we have seen in Joburg so far.

Politics of extortion

The PA has declined every opportunity to give the DA the demonstration of good faith we require if we are to trust them again. Clearly, they have no intention of turning over a new leaf and putting Joburg’s residents first. Clearly, they intend to maintain their strategy of bribery and extortion.

This strategy is what led to Al Jama-ah’s Thapelo Amad becoming mayor of Johannesburg, even though he was from a party that got less than 1% of the Joburg vote. The PA’s disregard for democracy and for voter preferences is clear. So too, their disregard for Joburg’s residents. It was blatantly obvious that Amad was hopelessly out of his depth as mayor.

After Amad resigned to avoid the motion of no confidence in him, the PA once again approached the opposition to join our coalition. Instead of showing regret for the damaging instability they have caused in Johannesburg and being willing to abide by the original agreement, the PA came to the negotiating table demanding that first Gayton MacKenzie, and then Kenny Kunene be the mayoral candidate, right up to the day before the vote.  Clearly, they were trying to extort a better deal from the DA than what the ANC would offer them.

Let me be clear. The DA is not going to play this game. Not with the PA and not with any other party either. We are not going to take part in the politics of bribery and extortion. The short-term gain, if indeed there is any at all to be had for residents, is not worth the long-term harm to SA, to the DA’s brand of good government, and to public trust in coalitions.

Mayoral vote

The mayoral election on Friday 5 May vindicated the DA’s assessment of the PA. The PA demonstrated that they are not serious about opposing the ANC-EFF coalition. Believing the PA could be trusted, the other members of the original DA-led coalition that governed Joburg after the 2021 local election nominated ActionSA’s Funzi Ngobeni as their mayoral candidate. Their thinking was that the DA’s mayoral candidate, Mpho Phalatse, would be knocked out in the first round of voting and that the DA would then be forced to vote for Ngobeni over the ANC-EFF candidate in the second round. Relying on the PA’s vote as well, they believed they could get Ngobeni elected.

Their entire strategy was built on faith in the PA. And what did the PA do? Despite having given an assurance that it would vote with them, it voted with the ANC-EFF, yet again. This is despite the ANC-EFF putting forward another mayoral candidate from Al Jama-ah, again disregarding the democratic will of Joburg residents.

Negotiated agreement

Another lesson the DA has learned the hard way is that there needs to be a negotiated agreement in place between coalition partners before the vote takes place. This pre-election negotiated agreement needs to be published, so that the public can hold coalition partners to account if they go against the terms of the agreement.

Voting first and negotiating the terms of the coalition later, risks months of deadlock leading to even worse instability and failed delivery. It is also a recipe for extortion by self-serving parties like the PA, since the coalition no longer has the option of being in opposition.

This is why the DA put forward Mpho Phalatse as our mayoral candidate in the vote. In the absence of any new agreement, we reverted to the only negotiated agreement there is in Johannesburg, with Phalatse as the agreed candidate.

Many have blamed the DA for the outcome of the vote. But it is surely unreasonable to expect the DA to support a mayoral candidate from another party without any agreement in place. It is surely unreasonable to expect us to enter the fray of extortion and bribery. It is surely unreasonable to expect us to go into an unstable, dysfunctional coalition with parties we do not trust, knowing we will not be able to deliver progress for residents, knowing it will undermine public confidence in coalitions, knowing it will harm the DA’s brand of good government.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the MONC in Amad was brought unilaterally by ActionSA without any consultation of any of the other coalition partners. So, the DA did not engineer the situation, nor did we try to force any other party’s hand.


The DA is committed to fixing and building South Africa’s metros, including Johannesburg. But we will only go into government where there is a reasonable prospect of us being able to deliver to residents.

The Great Betrayal: Why President Ramaphosa lied about providing weapons to Russia

The Great Betrayal: Why President Ramaphosa lied about providing weapons to Russia.

There is only one logical explanation why President Ramaphosa could not give a straight answer yesterday whether his government has provided weapons to Russia during its invasion of Ukraine. It is because they have done so.

There is only one logical explanation for why they have done so. It is because Russia is financing the ANC. President Ramaphosa is selling South Africa’s soul to keep his party afloat.

By secretly providing weapons to Russia, President Ramaphosa has betrayed the people of South Africa: our democratic values and our hopes for economic growth. He has enabled the killing of innocent civilians. And he has shown us who he is.

Questions to President

Yesterday, the US Ambassador accused South Africa of providing weapons to Russia claiming war materials were loaded on the sanctioned Russian ship, Lady R, when it docked in the Simon’s Town Naval Base in December.

He dropped this bombshell while Ramaphosa was answering questions in the National Assembly, as he must do once a quarter. When I asked the president to confirm or deny this, he refused to answer me.

This gives the lie to the ANC’s consistent claim to be “non-aligned”. If it were true, they would not be providing weapons to Russia, and he could have said this unequivocally in Parliament. He and his government have been lying to South Africa.

In reply to my written questions, the Minister of Defence and the Presidency in October and November last year failed to deny that Armscor and Denel (SA state-owned entities that supply weapons and ammunition) supply war materials to Russia.

What’s at stake?

Unless you factor in that Russia is financing the ANC, it makes no sense at all for South Africa to side with Russia. There is a lot at stake in going against the West.

It jeopardises around R400 billion of trade between SA and the United States. It jeopardises our preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GST) programme, risking thousands of South African jobs, primarily in the automotive, agriculture, and textile industries. It jeopardises 77% of foreign direct investment in South Africa for a country with whom our trade is only 0,3%.

Democracy itself is at stake, when the ruling party sells out the country to fund its election campaign.

Going for broke

In the face of a massive loss of electoral support due to loadshedding, economic stagnation, crime and corruption, the ANC is going for broke – literally liquidating the country’s wealth and international good will – to save itself.

What is the DA doing?

The DA has requested an urgent debate of national importance on this matter. South Africans deserve to know the truth.

On 9 May we submitted a PAIA application to access the official documentation showing the goods that were loaded on the Russian ship Lady R as well as on the Russian plane that landed at Air Force Base Waterkloof.

We have motivated for Defence Minister Thandi Modise to be fired.

We will keep using every democratic mechanism at our disposal to uncover the truth and hold the government accountable.

Most importantly, we are offering South Africa an alternative government with a track record of delivery and a credible path to power. A government committed to growing the economy and protecting South Africa’s constitutional democracy. The DA is committed to forming a “Moonshot” Pact with like-minded parties to unite South Africa behind the Constitution, defeat the ANC, and keep the EFF out.

Time to pick sides

The ballot box remains the most powerful tool for political accountability. The 2024 election is make-or-break for South Africa, when voters will decide if South Africa sides with global pariahs or the free world.

Dr Maya Angelou once said, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” President Ramaphosa has been telling us who he is for a long time. It is time to believe him.

Why you should back the Moonshot Pact

While ‘moonshot’ originally meant “long shot”, it’s increasingly being used to describe a monumental effort and a lofty goal—in other words, a “giant leap”. Merriam Webster

It always seems impossible until it’s done. Nelson Mandela

There can be no doubt that the 2024 national election is make or break for South Africa. On Thursday, Freedom Day, we celebrated the first democratic election of 27 April 1994, when South Africa achieved political freedom for all.

Three decades on, political freedom for all has failed to translate to economic freedom for all. Instead, every day brings more poverty as crime, corruption, living costs, unemployment, and debt continue to soar unchecked. How can we celebrate Workers Day today when unemployment stands at 40% and youth unemployment at 60%?

The 2024 election may be our last chance to use democracy – political freedom for all – to achieve South Africa’s crucial second transition, to being a country of economic freedom for all as envisaged by the Constitution.

By the next national and provincial election in 2029, even if our democracy is still intact – don’t count on it – there will be a lot less to save at the rate that infrastructure and institutions are crumbling, and skills and capital fleeing South Africa.

Coalition country

In 2024, South Africa will properly enter a coalition era. It is highly unlikely the ANC will win outright support nationally or in Gauteng and KZN, the two most populous provinces. Polls already have ANC support at or below 50% nationally and far lower in Gauteng and KZN. And it will continue to fall as high-stage loadshedding, a direct result of ANC corruption and incompetence, continues unabated.

Doomsday Coalition

All indications are that the ANC will form a coalition with the EFF to try stay in power. They’ve already done this in Gauteng, to take back Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni metros from the DA-led coalitions that formed after the 2021 local election. Recent statements by ANC Secretary General Fikile Mbalula and Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi confirm that an ANC-EFF coalition is on the cards nationally too.

Make no mistake: this will be a calamitous outcome for South Africa. The EFF will insist on a socialist agenda of expropriation without compensation and greater state ownership of the economy, leading to mass disinvestment and even more corruption and poverty.

This will accelerate our slide to state failure, a situation which is extremely hard to reverse, as seen by the Zimbabwean predicament of economic stagnation, rigged elections and opposition oppression. It would truly be a Doomsday Coalition, destroying virtually all hope of economic freedom for all.

Moonshot Pact

The DA has committed to forming a Moonshot Pact with all like-minded non-ANC-EFF opposition parties and groupings in society who share our commitment to building the modern and mature constitutional democracy required to bring economic freedom to all.

The aim of the Moonshot Pact is to bring the combined ANC-EFF vote share below 50% in the 2024 national election and for the Pact partners together to get the 50% plus one required to form a Pact government. Seven like-minded opposition parties have so far indicated a willingness to attend a national convention in June, to formulate our offer to South Africa and agree on our working relationship.

By coming together to form a pre-election coalition, we will offer voters a credible path to power for our reformist government-in-waiting, and therefore hope for a prosperous future.

Clear binary

In 2024, voters will have a clear two-way choice between an ANC-EFF Doomsday Coalition and a DA-led Moonshot Pact. A clear choice between state-led development, race-based policies, corruption and cadre deployment on the one hand, and a market economy, nonracialism, and an honest, capable state on the other. 2024 will be a two-horse race that we have a realistic chance of winning, thanks to this clarity of choice.

Material consequences

The material consequences of this binary choice are already evident in the widening gap between governing outcomes in ANC-run areas versus DA-run areas (such as the Western Cape, Cape Town, Midvaal, Kouga and uMngeni).

The most compelling example is new job creation. StatsSA’s recently reported that in the period October to December 2022, 98% of all new jobs were created in the Western Cape, while the eight ANC-run provinces together contributed a net total of just 2%. Under a Pact government, the whole country will experience the kind of job creation currently only happening in the DA-run Western Cape.


The Moonshot Pact will only work between parties that all genuinely share a commitment to put South Africa first. It will not work with opportunistic parties that are currently propping up municipalities like Johannesburg, open to the highest bidder. Only those parties that act in good faith can build the stable Pact necessary to win the trust and confidence of voters. The politics of bribery and extortion is a dead -end street that will undermine service delivery and public confidence in coalitions.

All political parties also therefore have a binary choice: either they stand with the Pact or they stand with the Doomsday Coalition. Any party open to the highest bidder and trying to play one side off against the other is not truly committed and will only damage the Pact’s prospects in the long run.

DA anchor

The DA’s dual mission now is on the one hand to ensure a successful Pact by building widespread support for it and treating our Pact partners with respect and diplomacy; and on the other to grow our party so that the DA can be the strong and stable anchor that will ensure the Pact becomes a viable coalition government without the instability we have seen in some places.


The Moonshot Pact gives South Africa the best chance of fulfilling the South African Constitution’s vision of political and economic freedom for all. The 2024 election is our best and perhaps only chance to save South Africa. Everyone who wants South Africa to be a prosperous, modern liberal democracy should get behind the DA and the Moonshot Pact.

A Tale of Two Parties

How should a President, Premier or Mayor respond to an allegation of corruption leveled against a member or members of their cabinet or council?

On Wednesday I received a reply from President Ramaphosa to a parliamentary question I posed to him last month asking him how he has responded to the serious allegations made by former Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter that two members of Ramaphosa’s cabinet are implicated in rampant corruption and organised crime at Eskom. (You can read more about this here.)

Stark comparison

President Ramaphosa confirmed he has done nothing at all, claiming it is up to law enforcement agencies alone to take whatever action they deem relevant. Compare this non-response to that taken by DA Mayor of Cape Town Geordin Hill-Lewis last month.

On learning of serious allegations of corruption against Councillor Malusi Booi, he suspended him from his position on the Mayoral Committee with immediate effect and assured the SAPS of the City’s full support in the investigation.

The DA takes a zero tolerance approach to corruption and will act against it immediately in the interests of good governance. This is the DA difference that voters should consider when they choose a government to lead South Africa after the national election in 2024.


The link between good governing principles and human wellbeing is not always obvious. But it is always there. By suspending seriously implicated Councillor Booi immediately, Mayor Hill-Lewis removed the possibility of further corruption, thereby protecting the integrity of the City, while also sending a strong message that corruption will not be tolerated.

This is the principled, decisive leadership South Africa needs if we are to achieve progress and prosperity for our country. Because this is the way to build an honest, people-focused government that delivers better services and spends taxpayer money on residents.

Voters need to know the core principles of the different political parties, and they need to understand how those core principles translate to human wellbeing. The DA’s core principles are our commitment to non-racialism, the rule of law, building a capable state and enabling a market economy.

Another important example of how a party’s core principles affect human wellbeing came to light this week.


In a written response to another DA question, the ANC this week confirmed that South Africans will not receive free internet or data via Elon Musk’s Starlink unless at least 30% of the international multibillion dollar company that can provide this is handed over to ANC cronies. (You can read more about this here.)

By holding firm on its race-based policy of BEE which unfairly enriches the ANC-connected elite at the expense of the poor majority, the ANC is denying children in the most rural areas of South Africa access to information and learning materials.

By comparison, the DA in national government would hold firm to our principle of nonracialism and put the people of South Africa first, welcoming Starlink to operate in South Africa. Consider the very real difference this would make to people’s ability to access information and build their lives and businesses.


The national election in 2024 is your chance to assert your principles by voting for the party which is most closely aligned with the values and principles you would like to see in government. In 2024, a vote for the DA will be a vote for accountability, a vote for nonracialism, and a vote that puts South Africa first.

DA’s Federal Congress a key step on SA’s road to success in 2024

This weekend, 2000 delegates from DA branches across the country will come together in Johannesburg to elect new leadership. The DA’s Federal Congress is possibly the most important political event for South Africa ahead of the 2024 general election.

The new leadership will lead the DA into the election and beyond. With the ANC having fully exposed itself as a network of competing criminal syndicates, the DA is now South Africa’s government-in-waiting: the largest opposition party and the only one with a proven track record of good, honest government.

Several polls have confirmed that the ANC will lose it majority in 2024, ushering in an era of coalition government at the national level. The new DA leadership elected this weekend will play a central role in achieving the best possible coalition outcome.

The DA is the only party in South Africa that practices internal democracy. The ANC also has a regular public elective congress (every 5 years) to elect new leadership, but the outcome is the result of vote-buying and bribery.

By contrast, every three years the DA elects new leadership in a free, fair election. No bribing or buying of delegates. No brown envelopes or controversial EFT payments. No chaos or coercion. Just an orderly, civil process yielding a result that truly reflects the will of the broader party as represented by the delegates.

These delegates are as diverse as the people of South Africa. Young and old, rural and urban, rich and poor, with all races, cultures and creeds represented. Roughly half of them are not public representatives such as members of legislatures or councilors, but rather ordinary branch members elected by their branch.

And for the record, only a small minority of delegates are white, so pay no heed to those who label the DA a “white party”. That is simply not borne out by the facts. The DA is a rainbow party fighting to deliver on the South African Constitution’s hope for a united, prosperous rainbow nation.

The DA’s internal voting process proves our commitment to democracy, and should instill trust that the DA in government will work to protect and strengthen SA’s democratic institutions, so that power is always held to account.

DA delegates bring a diversity of ideas and are united by our shared commitment to the rule of law, a market economy, merit-based appointments to build a capable state, and nonracialism. Our Federal Congress is nonracial democracy in action, a contest of ideas aimed at producing the best possible outcome for the people of South Africa.

Once new leadership has been democratically elected, the party will unite behind it and focus on reaching every voter in the country ahead of 2024, with our message of hope for a peaceful, prosperous, democratic South Africa.

Why the DA is taking a stand against the EFF’s “Nationwide Shutdown”

The DA has taken legal and other action against EFF intimidation and threats of violence ahead of their so-called “National Shutdown” on Monday, 20 March. We object to the intimidatory tactics being employed by members of the EFF, who are threatening “consequences” for any business that dares to open and trade on the day, and for any adult or child who dares to go to work or school on that day.

It is unacceptable for the EFF to trample on the rights of others, to make their own demands heard. And even more objectionable at a time when people are suffering from multiple assaults to their lives and livelihoods, due to disastrous lockdowns, ongoing load shedding, spiralling cost of living, and runaway crime.

Warning signs

EFF social media posts and public statements suggest they are fully prepared to break the law in pursuit of their own agenda. Explicit threats of violence and acts of intimidation include:

  • A picture on social media of the EFF Mpumalanga leader in full red EFF-branded clothing posing with a semi-automatic rifle, and a caption saying: “By all means necessary or possible we are ready @EFFSouthAfrica.”
  • A video doing the rounds of EFF party members announcing the shutdown via a loudspeaker from the back of a bakkie, where the speaker is heard saying: “We are saying to you close down all your businesses to avoid the looting. Close down all your shops to avoid the looting. Close down all your factories to avoid the lootings. Close down everything; nothing will be operating on that day; we are avoiding the looting. So, we are saying to you, come and join the march, my brother; come and join the march, my sister.”
  • Giving the Minister of Education seven days to close schools, saying that any child wearing a school uniform will be doing so at their own risk.
  • Issuing a letter to the OR Tambo Airport authorities warning them not to allow any flights or business activity on the day.
  • That the Leader of the EFF has stated in no uncertain terms that he and his organisation will not apply for any approval from municipal authorities, who are the regulating authorities assigned to enforce legislation regarding public demonstrations, gatherings and protest action. This shows that he and his party have no respect for the rule of law and no intention to abide by the regulations governing protest action.

The rule of law

The rule of law is an essential precondition for achieving the peaceful, prosperous society that South Africa should and could be. It encompasses the notions of equality before the law, and that no one can take the law into their own hands. In threatening violence and vandalism, the EFF is doing just this – taking the law into their own hands.

The EFF has every right to protest peacefully if it has applied for permission to do so. But it has no right at all to infringe on the rights of others. The DA has therefore taken steps to protect others’ rights to dissociate from the EFF and their cause, and their rights to go about their normal day on Monday, in peace.

Pre-emptive steps

  • We are approaching the Court to ensure that the EFF complies with the conditions of permits issued by relevant Municipalities giving permission for peaceful protest.
  • We are seeking a Court interdict to ensure that the EFF leadership formally retracts all intimidation letters that they have issued, such as the letter issued to OR Tambo Airport warning the airport authority not to allow any flights or business activity on the day.
  • Our lawyers have drafted a template affidavit that can be used by any business owner who has been intimidated by any EFF representatives, to report such behaviour and press formal charge of intimidation against the leadership of the EFF and its local representatives who act on behalf of the EFF’s national leadership, and to request that the SAPS prevent, combat and investigate any violation of the legislation that regulates demonstrations, gatherings and events in South Africa. We call on all South Africans to stand with us against EFF thuggery.
  • The DA has written to Police Minister Bheki Cele to highlight the imminent threat posed to the economy, public and private infrastructure, as well as to the safety of citizens. We have called on Minister Cele to issue a strong statement against the “National Shutdown” and assure South Africans that the SAPS and the entire security cluster is on standby to respond to violence.
  • We have written to President Ramaphosa asking him to issue a stern pre-emptive warning that no violence, vandalism or intimidation will be tolerated, and that any such behaviour will meet the full force of the law.
  • We have resolved to press charges against the EFF and hold them personally liable for any damage done to person, property, lives and livelihoods perpetrated during their so-called shutdown.

Nonsensical demands

Apart from being illegal, it makes no sense to instigate a nationwide shutdown to protest load shedding. Shutting the economy down for a day will do nothing at all to solve this problem that has been decades in the making. On the contrary, it will only push South Africa deeper into chaos and poverty.

Where the DA governs

Where the DA governs it will be business as usual. Our Law Enforcement and Traffic Services personnel will work closely with SAPS to maintain law and order and to hold any acts of vandalism and violence to account. Those responsible for vandalism or violence will be arrested.

The DA is committed to creating an environment that is conducive to economic growth and job creation. Nothing could do more to bring safety, stability, prosperity, unity, and an end to load-shedding.

Powerful protest mechanism

There is no better place to bring about social change than at the ballot box. Voting for change is the most powerful protest mechanism. The 2024 general election is the best opportunity to reject the EFF’s politics of chaos and destruction and choose the DA’s commitment to the rule of law and a growing economy.

The latest job numbers show the DA’s approach to job creation works and works well

Of the 169 000 jobs created in South Africa in the fourth quarter of last year, 167 000 were created in DA-run Western Cape. The net total of jobs created during those three months in the eight ANC-run provinces was just 2000. That means the only DA-run province contributed 99% of the new jobs created while the eight ANC-run provinces together contributed just 1%.

This data comes from StatsSA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey that was released this week. And this is not an isolated success story for DA-led job creation. This is just the latest piece of evidence showing that the DA’s approach since we took over the Western Cape and City of Cape Town with outright majorities in 2009 and 2011 respectively is the one the whole country should take.

And think how many more jobs could have been created if the Province and City were not battling the multitude of obstacles constantly thrown up by the national government, such as ongoing high-stage load shedding, a dysfunctional SAPS, and inflexible labour legislation.

The DA difference

The DA’s approach to job creation is distinct from the ANC’s. We believe government’s role is to create an enabling environment for private economic activity to flourish. It is then up to private players (businesses and consumers) to decide on where to invest, how much to produce, and what to purchase.

This means DA governments focus on getting the basics right, such as delivering quality basic services, roads, public transport, education, health and law enforcement. They achieve this through two main mechanisms. First, by spending public money on the public, as seen by consistent clean audits in the province and city. Second, through merit-based appointments to the public service – in other words, by choosing public servants based primarily on their ability to deliver to the public.

This is source of the DA difference. It is rooted in our core principles for organizing society, which are a commitment to a market economy, a capable state that delivers to all, the rule of law, and nonracialism.

The DA’s approach fosters an environment in which entrepreneurs and businesses are confident enough in the future to make long-term job-creating investments. Building projects, for example, are booming in the Western Cape. Building plans involving almost R35bn were passed between January and November last year, and the province accounted for 40% of the total value of buildings completed over this period.

The DA difference also attracts skilled people to the Western Cape, who then create jobs for unskilled people.

The ANC’s approach, on the other hand, is to create a large number of government jobs and fill many of them with deployed cadres, regardless of whether the people in these jobs are actually adding any value to the public.

This has led to bloated bureaucracies and state-owned entities that can’t deliver services. Eskom, for example, is crippled under the weight of a large wage bill while still unable to deliver on its mandate of generating affordable electricity at scale and transmitting it to municipalities for distribution. It is clearly an unsustainable approach.

Cadre deployment has also enabled corruption on a grand-scale, which further deters job-creating investment.

A widening gap

The DA difference has produced the widening gap in job creation outcomes between DA- and ANC-run governments as seen in the recent job numbers. And evidence of this widening gap is emerging in every sphere of socioeconomic outcomes, not just job creation.

Credible option

The DA difference should bring a real sense of hope to South Africa in these dark days of load-shedding and water-shedding, with grant-shedding now on the horizon too. The ANC has had 30 years to prove their model of job creation, and the results are clear for all to see. In 2024, voters can choose the DA difference for the whole country.

Voting for the DA in 2024 is now about pragmatically choosing the only credible party that has shown it can tackle the unemployment crisis. It’s about getting the whole country onto the road to dignity and prosperity.

Viva la Devolution!

President Ramaphosa got it absolutely wrong in his State of the Nation Address when he said we are a nation defined by resilience. On the contrary, we are a nation in a profoundly fragile position, facing the real prospect of total grid collapse and national anarchy.

Central control

The fragility of our nation really hit home this past week. Eskom implemented stage 7 loadshedding and lost its CEO (with COO soon to follow). And crime statistics were released for October to December 2022 showing South Africa’s murder rate is now 82 murders per day on average (up from 58 five years ago), which makes us more dangerous than the average war-torn country.

The problem with centralized power is that it puts all our eggs in one basket. For energy supply, that basket is Eskom. For safety, it is SAPS which is controlled by national government (though this fact seems to have escaped Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele who criticized the DA during his SONA debate speech for Cape Town’s under-resourced police stations). Eskom and SAPS are both failing. Everyone is suffering. And we have nowhere else to turn. This is fragility, not resilience.

Nature knows best.

To become a truly resilient nation, we need to learn from nature. Natural systems tend to be decentralised, allowing for innovation, adaptability, and regeneration, making them robust and resilient. Take energy generation. Every green leaf or blade of grass out there is a micro power plant. If one leaf or branch fails, the tree survives. If one tree fails, the forest survives.

Power to the people.

This is essentially the message I sought to convey in my SONA reply speech. That South Africa has pursued a centralized system for long enough to feel the reality of the failure. That it is time to embrace a decentralised system where economic decision-making power is distributed across the nation by means of a market-driven economy, and where power to perform a function is located at the lowest effective level of government.

Viva la Devolution!

The DA is working hard to have powers over energy generation and policing devolved to competent governments in Cape Town and the Western Cape. We are making progress on both fronts, setting important precedents for other competent metros and provinces to follow. We strongly believe people must get good governance if they vote for it.

By throwing open the energy market and doing everything possible to incentivise local power production, the City of Cape Town is building a resilient energy system for its residents, with the next bid round opening next month. It will take three years to wean the City off dependence on Eskom. But thereafter, residents will benefit from a decentralised system where they will never again have to contemplate the threat of total collapse.

Ground-breaking progress

Cape Town and the Western Cape are also constantly pushing the envelope on public safety, using political, legal and de facto processes to expand the functions and mandates of its Metro and LEAP police forces. The City scored a ground-breaking success last week when the Western Cape High Court granted its application to serve eviction notices to unlawful occupants of public spaces in the CBD. This was after the City made every effort to help them off the streets, including offers of dignified transitional shelter at NGO-run shelters and City-run Safe Spaces. The legal action is premised on the belief that a city’s public places serve important social and community purposes and must be open and available for all.


Other good news is that Cilliers Brink is the DA mayoral candidate for Tshwane. Brink is an extraordinarily capable individual who, as member of the mayoral committee for Corporate and Shared Services from 2016 to 2019, spearheaded the fight against irregular contracts entered into under Tshwane’s last ANC mayor. If he is elected, I am confident he will rise to the challenge of leading South Africa’s Capital City down the same path of good governance and devolution that Cape Town is blazing.


If we want to be a resilient nation, we’re going to have to fight and vote for decentralization. Power to the people!

South Africa’s binary choice in 2024

Every South African voter needs to hear the key message I sought to convey in my SONA 2023 reply speech this week. I summarise it here for those who don’t have time to read or watch the full speech.

Five disastrous years

If Jacob Zuma presided over “nine wasted years”, President Ramaphosa has presided over five disastrous years. Five years on, it is clear his “New Dawn” was an empty promise. South Africa has gone backwards on every important metric of social wellbeing.

  • Murder has gone up from 58 to 78 people murdered per day.
  • Unemployment has gone up from 37% to 43%.
  • Number of days under load-shedding has gone up from 6 in 2018 to 157 in 2022.

This decline is the inevitable consequence of the ANC’s approach to running the country, which is to centralise power in a bloated, all-powerful state. This they have achieved by deploying loyal cadres into every area of the state so as to control “all levers of power”.

Cadre deployment has produced a corrupt, incapable state that cannot deliver on its basic mandate – an extractive, patronage-driven system that benefits a connected elite at the expense of the rest. Over the past 20 years, the DA has warned about the folly of cadre deployment. Now the consequences are there for all to see: stage-6 load shedding, trains that don’t run, hospitals that can’t treat the sick, schools that can’t teach children to read, a police service that can’t keep people safe.

Crossing the Rubicon

SONA 2023 was President Ramaphosa’s last chance to lead South Africa “across the Rubicon” onto a fundamentally different, better path of open markets, merit-based public appointments, independent institutions and accountable government – in short, liberal democracy. By SONA 2024, it will be too late to bring real change before the general election later that year.

Instead, he chose to double down on the socialist approach, adding yet another ministry to his super-presidency and declaring a state of disaster, putting even more power in the unaccountable state.

But we South Africans can take ourselves “across the Rubicon”. It is for precisely a moment such as this, when a leader fails a nation, that we have a democracy. If we want to get this country onto a fundamentally different, better path before load-shedding and economic decline make it impossible to recover, now is the time to use our democracy.

Time for pragmatism

The DA offers South Africa a realistic, credible way across the Rubicon. We are the only party with the size, systems, policies, national footprint and track record of good governance to take on the ANC. It makes pragmatic sense to get behind the DA in 2024.

Coalition era

The collapse of Eskom and ongoing stage-6 load shedding has been catalytic for South Africa. It has collapsed support for the ANC, from 57% in 2019 to reach as low as 37% recently, according to a recent nationwide poll.

With load shedding set to continue for at least the next two years, and with accelerating decline on all fronts, there is no way the ANC will regain its majority. Therefore, South Africa will enter an era of coalitions at the national level next year after the 2024 national election.

Closing the gap

That same recent poll has the DA at 27%, meaning we are just 10 percentage points behind the ANC. And we will close that gap still further over the next 15 months. In fact, we have already overtaken the ANC as the biggest party in urban South Africa.

Yellow or Blue

These numbers make it clear that from 2024, the national government will be governed by either an ANC-led coalition or a DA-led coalition. Realistically, these are the only two possible outcomes.

This means we will either stay on the ANC’s path to a failed state, or we will start to make progress, just as there is already progress where the DA governs with a full majority or in small, stable coalitions – in Cape Town, the Western Cape, uMngeni in KZN, Kouga in the Eastern Cape, and Midvaal in Gauteng.

Power to the ANC cadres and we stay on the same road to a failed state. Or power to the people and we start rebuilding this country. ANC-led socialist kleptocracy or DA-led liberal democracy. Yellow or Blue. That’s the clear binary choice facing South Africa.