Straight Talk: Do you want more dignity for more South Africans?

Do you want to make South Africa a better country, with more jobs, better service delivery, and more human dignity? Do you think South Africa is currently on a downwards trajectory towards more crime and poverty? Do you think the national government is doing a bad job of running the country?

If your answer to these questions is yes, the most powerful thing you can do to bring the change you want to see is to register to vote DA in the 2024 national and provincial elections.

Consider StatsSA’s latest jobs numbers, that were released three days ago: Unemployment is down 4.3 percentage points in DA-run Western Cape since this time last year. Thanks to consistent service delivery that spurs confidence in the future which in turn leads people to invest in businesses, the unemployment rate has fallen from 24.5% to 20.2%.

This incredible drop in unemployment is due to the creation of 305 000 jobs during the year. The implications are obvious: more jobs equals more dignity and human wellbeing, less crime and suffering.

Also consider the recent census data, which shows that DA-run Cape Town has the highest proportion of households with in-house piped water (84.5% compared to a SA average of 59.7%) and flush toilets connected to sewerage (93.4% compared to a SA average of 70.8%).

This is what dignity is all about. The dignity of a job. The dignity of proper sanitation.

If you want more dignity for more South Africans, the easiest and more powerful thing you can do is to register to vote DA and get your friends and family to do the same.

This weekend is registration weekend, meaning you can register at your nearest voting station. Simply take your ID book or card any time between 8am and 5pm this Saturday or Sunday. Please double your impact by persuading and assisting one unregistered voter to register to vote DA.

Register to rescue South Africa. Register for dignity. Bring the change you want to see.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at

Straight Talk: The DA’s solutions to SA’s hunger crisis should have Tim Cohen’s support, not his disdain

The following Right of Reply by DA Leader John Steenhuisen was published by Daily Maverick on Thursday 9 November, in response to journalist Tim Cohen’s attack on the DA (Daily Maverick 2 Nov) for our cost-of-food solutions. We would like South Africans to understand the reasoning behind the DA’s solutions to the hunger crisis.

The DA’s solutions to SA’s hunger crisis should have Tim Cohen’s support, not his disdain.

In the face of South Africa’s prolonged and mounting hunger crisis causing immense human suffering with tragic short- and long-term consequences for our nation, it beggars belief that Tim Cohen (Daily Maverick, 2 Nov 2023) would choose to attack the DA for the solutions we’ve put on the table rather than the ANC for utterly failing to care about a nation in deep distress.

If Cohen thinks the DA is only now focusing on the cost of food, and only to get people to register, I would ask him what rock he’s been hiding under these past eighteen months while the DA has repeatedly urged government to intervene with our proposed solutions – solutions we developed in consultation with civil society experts in 2022, in response to the sharp rise in food prices occasioned by Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

Food price inflation hit a high of 8,6% in June 2022, putting enormous pressure on low-income household budgets that were already under immense strain due to bad management of the economy, the slow pace of reform, the riots and floods in KZN, the spiralling cost of electricity, and the ANC government’s irrational hard-lockdown regulations which caused a steep rise in hunger and malnutrition, as found by the NIDS-CRAM survey in May 2021.

The DA set out many of our solutions in a press conference on 8 September 2022. Cohen can read the press statement here. Far from being “populist”, the DA’s solutions to the cost-of-food crisis are well-researched, workable and urgent. Everyone who cares that 27% of children under age five are stunted due to malnutrition, or that 81% of households miss at least one meal per day due to high food prices, should get behind these solutions and put pressure on government to implement them.

Had he made the effort to engage sincerely with the DA’s solutions he would realise that global food price increases notwithstanding, there is so much that government could do to take pressure off low-income household food budgets.

Instead, Cohen considers there to be little the ANC government can do to alleviate South Africa’s cost-of-food crisis. So rather than use his platform to call out government, Cohen has chosen to defend the ANC and rather to launch an outright attack on the DA.

Cohen says if the DA is going to play “bandwagon politics” (whatever that means) we should “at least find solutions that are actually genuine”. I challenge Cohen to an open in-person debate on “genuine” solutions to the hunger crisis. Meantime let’s have a look at some of the DA’s solutions to reduce hunger and malnutrition in South Africa.

The DA has proposed a range of short-term interventions to bring immediate relief, coupled with meaningful economic reforms that open the economy for jobs and growth, to tackle at source South Africa’s problems of hunger, poverty, unemployment and falling tax revenues.

We’ve called on government to review the list of zero-rated food items, with a view to expanding it to include more items commonly purchased by the poorest 50% of households, such as bone-in chicken, tinned beans, peanut butter, and baby food.

The last review of zero-rated items was done in 2018 by a panel chaired by Professor Ingrid Woolard, who agreed back in 2022 already that this list is due for review. The DA’s suggested additions to the list were provided to us by the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), based on their analysis of low-income household food expenditure data.

Bone-in chicken is a high-quality source of protein and by far the most popular one for poor households, making up 14% of low-income household food budgets. Vulnerable South Africans need an affordable source of protein to prevent them shifting to a less nutritious high-carb diet as their budget is squeezed. It is also versatile and quick to cook, saving on energy costs.

Zero-rating bone-in chicken would cost approximately R4 billion per annum, but experts have suggested the intervention would pay for itself through improved health, work and learning outcomes.

Budgeting is about making trade-offs. I wonder if Cohen has considered, for example, that the ANC government spends almost R4 billion per annum on Protection Services to protect itself from the public when it could choose to spend this on protecting 30 million poor South Africans from hunger and malnutrition. As Joe Biden famously said: “Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.”

Based on advice from international trade experts, the DA also proposed a review of import tariffs on some food items, including those chicken categories most commonly purchased by households facing the most extreme deprivation. These experts advised that this intervention would have a negligible impact on the fiscus but a large impact on these poorest of poor households.

Cohen may disagree with these expert-held positions, but there is surely enough room for debate to render his accusation of “populist” unfair and unjustified.

In fact, the DA has for years called for tariffs on imported chicken to be lifted, which Minister Patel only recently did amid the outbreak of avian flu. The abolition of those tariffs has immediately brought down the price of chicken products. This is a case study on how the DA’s policy position of cutting tariffs and trade barriers would help the poorest of the poor.

The DA has also called on government to slash fuel prices to prevent hunger and riots. Again, far from being a cynical ploy “to get people to register”, we’ve done so consistently for the past two years, and Cohen can read this statement from May 2022 to understand our reasoning.

In addition to a slate of proposals we’ve put forward to grow South Africa’s food security, the DA has consistently called for the Child Support Grant to be raised to the Food Poverty Line. Few interventions could do more to address the 27% incidence of childhood stunting that so profoundly cripples those children’s prospects across the full course of their lives.

Cohen should know better than most journalists that all these interventions and more could easily be funded by meaningful economic reforms that open SA’s economy for growth and jobs. Should he genuinely not understand the DA’s plan to grow the economy, he can go onto our website and read our extensive suite of policies on how to deal with all the factors that make for a healthy economy.

I would also point Cohen to the many steps being taken by the DA-led Western Cape government to tackle the hunger crisis. This includes feeding around 500 000 schoolchildren daily through its support for school feeding schemes, 25 000 schoolchildren through after-school and youth development programmes, over 150 000 young children through ECD centres and over 100 000 people through funding soup kitchens. Its first 1000 days programme provides nutritional support for children at risk of malnutrition.

With no hint of irony, having bashed the DA’s solutions, Cohen then goes on to call the DA the party of “maximal critique”, implying that all we ever do is criticise the ANC, rather than coming up with solutions of our own.

I would remind Cohen that as the official opposition, it is the DA’s constitutional duty to call out the ANC for their failures. This is literally what taxpayers pay us to do. The DA started warning South Africa about the dangers inherent in the ANC’s policy of cadre deployment in 1998 and about the risks of state capture in 2011.

South Africa would be a different and far less hungry country today had journalists such as Cohen heeded the DA’s advice back then and joined our call for change. This is exactly what Cohen should do now, in the face of this hunger crisis.

Finally, there’s Cohen’s frivolous attack on the DA for not criticising government’s proposed tax hikes. Yet just the previous day, I tackled President Ramaphosa on these directly during oral questions to the President. And I would point Cohen to DA Shadow Minister of Finance Dion George’s press statement of 2 November aptly titled “Increasing taxes is not the solution Minister Godongwana”.

Maybe I’m naïve to expect more from journalists, but if you consider the extent of suffering and risk posed by South Africa’s hunger crisis, then shouldn’t Cohen take the time to understand what the DA is offering before mounting a fulsome attack on us? I certainly think so.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at

Straight Talk: The DA is on the side of peace in Palestine and Israel

Over the past week, the DA’s position on the ongoing war in Gaza has been maliciously mischaracterised as part of a broader effort to exploit this tragic conflict for political gain. Rather than promoting peace, the ANC has deliberately abused and inflamed divisions around the conflict in an attempt to distract from its dismal failures in government.

We cannot allow the ANC’s misinformation to go unchallenged. Below, I reiterate the DA’s position in favour of a two-state solution that results in peaceful coexistence between a sovereign Palestine and a secure Israel.

The War in Gaza

The Democratic Alliance (DA) stands in solidarity with both Palestinians and Israelis who seek a two-state solution. The DA stands against radicalism and violence. We reject any sentiment that seeks to annihilate either Israel or Palestine. We embrace rationality based on peaceful co-existence for both a secure Israel and a free Palestinian state. We embrace the right of both Palestinians and Israelis to statehood and sovereignty.

The DA is deeply concerned by the escalation of violence and the death toll in both Gaza and the West Bank, which continues to rise.

Even as the fighting rages, we call on all peace-loving South Africans to recognise the deeper conflict playing out on both sides of this war. It is a war between radicalism, which seeks the annihilation of the other side, and rationality, which recognises the inherent right of both Israelis and Palestinians to statehood, sovereignty and security.

For peace to be possible, rationality rather than radicalism must win the day on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides of this conflict. The DA does not seek the destruction of one side by the other. We seek the triumph of rational forces, committed to peaceful co-existence, on all sides of this terrible conflict.


In Palestine, radicalism is represented by Hamas. The DA, along with most of the world, regards Hamas as a terrorist organisation opposed to peace and to a two-state solution. We condemn the recent comments by the leader of Hamas threatening ongoing repeats of the 7 October terrorist attacks on Israel. Part of the path to peace involves eliminating Hamas’ capacity to utilise Gaza as a staging ground for terror attacks and as a supply base for its militants.

Palestinians deserve rational and courageous leaders, free from the influence of fundamentalists who agitate for the annihilation of Israel. And Palestinian leadership requires a democratic mandate. The President of the Palestinian Authority has side-lined potential rivals and a fully-fledged democratic election has not been held since 2006. Hamas and other radicals do not have any credible mandate to represent the Palestinian people.

But the people of Palestine are not defined by Hamas. The DA stands in solidarity with Palestinians who desire a sovereign and secure Palestinian state alongside a sovereign and secure Israel.

We call for the urgent provision of adequate humanitarian aid to Gaza, including food, fuel, and medical supplies. Humanitarian corridors must be created and respected to ensure the free-flow of aid to civilian populations.

Safe zones need to be established in southern Gaza, Egypt and potentially the Negev, which will display good faith on the part of Israel, for the acceptance of displaced Palestinian civilians. These safe zones will also make it easier to distribute medical supplies and other humanitarian aid to the innocent victims of this conflict.

The DA supports the call by United Nations agencies for urgent humanitarian pauses in the fighting to be implemented, to ensure the safe expansion of aid flows into Gaza, and to allow more civilians to reach safe zones until such time as the Palestinian State is free from the grip of terror. The DA also recognises the right of return of Palestinian refugees, who have been driven from their homeland by decades of conflict.


In Israel, radicalism is represented by influential hard-line factions within the current government. The DA condemns recent comments by Israeli officials contemplating the use of nuclear weapons in Gaza. The DA condemns any suggestion that innocent civilians in Palestine must be subject to collective punishment by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) over the atrocities committed by Hamas. We recognise the way in which actions of the Israeli government, including the expansion of settlements deemed illegal under international law and, in some instances, by the country’s own Supreme Court, has contributed to obstructing the path to peace.

While the DA recognises Israel’s right to defend itself, and to deal with Hamas in a manner that ensures a path to lasting peace in the region, we call on the Israeli government to uphold international law and significantly enhance access to humanitarian aid in Gaza. The DA reaffirms the principles outlined in Article 51 of the 1977 Protocol I of the Geneva Convention, which prohibits, and regards as a war crime, the carpet bombing of cities, towns, villages and other areas containing a concentration of civilians. Where Israeli military forces or their commanders target civilians or violate international law, they must be swiftly brought to justice.

Like Gaza, Israel deserves rational and courageous leadership that upholds international law and operates free from the influence of fundamentalists who agitate for the destruction of Palestine. The country needs a new direction from its government based upon a credible plan for peace that includes addressing Israeli settlement in the West Bank and ensuring that commitments made in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 are finally upheld.

But, just like Hamas does not represent all Palestinians, hardliners in the current Cabinet do not represent all Israelis. The DA stands in solidarity with Israelis who desire a sovereign and secure Israel alongside a sovereign and secure Palestinian state. We are deeply alarmed by, and condemn, signs of rising antisemitism in parts of the world.

The Path to Peace

The world needs to urgently start building the conditions for peace. The current volume of humanitarian aid flowing into Gaza is insufficient to meet the need and there should be no obstruction of such aid.

We must avoid a regional escalation. This is particularly urgent as militias such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen are now considerably more powerful than the governments of the countries in which they operate. We call on the governments in these Arab countries to take a strong stance against militias using their territory as launching pads for attacks.

We call on Jordan and Egypt to ensure that all refugee and border-related concessions are dependent on the free flow of aid and the provision of urgent medical assistance to injured civilians in Gaza.

It is important to recognise that, once hostilities have concluded, the IDF will not be able to credibly serve as a peacekeeping force in Gaza. This would have to be done by an international peace-keeping team, preferably including a coalition of Arab states that do not support Hamas and operate outside the influence of Iran.

Gaza will require a competent transitional government as soon as possible. Such a transitional government will have to be formed out of a coalition of actors and be perceived as legitimate, effective, and committed to peaceful co-existence alongside Israel. A transitional government must be ready to enter the territory, restore order, and reassert Palestinian rule by establishing a roadmap towards free and fair elections in both Gaza and the West Bank.

The Two-State Solution

The Democratic Alliance remains committed to a negotiated, viable and sustainable two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, where Israel has the right to exist, in peace, side-by-side with a free and unoccupied Palestine. This is in line with United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 and 338. We call on all nations to work towards achieving this objective.

For the two-state solution to work, the expansion of Israeli settlement into the West Bank must end. At the same time, the tunnel network built by Hamas must be destroyed.

A rational solution needs to be found to address Israeli settlements that have been constructed on Palestinian territory, often in an illegal fashion and on some of the best land in the territory. The end goal of negotiations over how to address these settlements must be the creation of a free Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank alongside a secure Israel. This new Palestinian state must enjoy full recognition by Israel. Jerusalem should become a shared capital of both Israel and Palestine, with a form of joint management over the sacred Old City.

However, none of this will be possible until radicalism is replaced by rationality in both Palestinian and Israeli leadership.

As the Official Opposition in South Africa, the DA will continue to agitate for a peaceful resolution to this conflict that culminates in a two-state solution. We will use our position to pressure the South African government to refrain from embracing radicalism on any side of this conflict, and to ensure that our country’s foreign policy reflects our country’s constitutional values.

John Steenhuisen

7 November 2023

Straight Talk: KZN uMngeni-style turnaround loading

Having borne the worst brunt of ANC failure during the July riots of 2021, KwaZulu-Natal looks set to rise from the ashes next year.

The remarkable turnaround happening in KZN’s uMngeni Municipality could be replicated province-wide, if KZN voters install a Multi-Party Charter government in 2024, as is looking increasingly likely.

uMngeni Municipality has quickly become a shining beacon of hope and success in this deeply troubled province. Its trajectory of progress began when the people of uMngeni elected KZN’s very first DA mayor in 2021 by a margin of just 46 votes, showing Springbok-style that every point counts.

uMngeni’s success is not due to one person or factor, but rather to consistent effort and commitment by a well-led group of diverse South Africans working together for the greater good.

On taking office, this youthful team led by DA Mayor Chris Pappas and DA Deputy Mayor Sandile Mnikathi rolled up their sleeves and got down to work cleaning up the streets, fixing infrastructure, and igniting the economy of this beautiful Midlands municipality.

Pothole by pothole, streetlight by streetlight, road by road.

In just two years, all uMngeni’s inherited debt has been paid off and it achieved an unqualified audit for 2022/23, by modernising the systems of the municipality to improve efficiency and limit corruption.

This financial health has enabled them to purchase R35 million of heavy equipment for fixing roads and managing waste, and to triple the budget for roads repairs from R11 million to R30 million. To make communities safer, they’ve opened a traffic office and vehicle pound, and purchased 6 new law enforcement vehicles.

They understand keenly that this is the consistent, concerted action required to build people’s confidence in the future, which in turn spurs the investment and job creation needed to grow dignity and improve lives.

Chris Pappas is also the DA’s Premier candidate for KZN. The DA is on a mission to rescue KZN by replicating our uMngeni approach province wide. Our “1+1=WIN” campaign is targeted at getting every single DA supporter to play their part, by persuading and assisting one unregistered person they know, to register and vote DA.

The DA and IFP in KZN signed a historic service delivery pact earlier this year, and we are the two largest parties in the Multi-Party Charter that has united eight political parties around a common vision and set of priorities for rescuing South Africa.

Please be part of the DA’s 1+1=WIN campaign in KZN by persuading and assisting one unregistered voter to register to vote DA. They can check their registration status or kickstart their registration process at Let’s make this a team effort and bring home the cup for KZN!

Straight Talk: The Western Cape’s story can be South Africa’s story too

I am delighted to report that the latest Social Research Foundation poll has DA support on 31%, while the latest Brenthurst Foundation poll suggests we have the highest favourability in South Africa, at 37%. This is extremely encouraging and reflects the great work the DA is doing on several fronts.

I am particularly proud of our recent achievements in the Western Cape. They show there is nothing wrong with South Africa that cannot be fixed by a caring, capable government that partners with civil society to improve lives and bring progress.

This month, the province was awarded 100% unqualified audits across all 14 departments, as well as each of its 11 entities, for 2022/23. This is thanks to a relentless focus on transparency and accountability in the belief that clean government provides the foundation for service delivery and economic activity that improves lives.

Unsurprisingly, the province also continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in South Africa, with 54 000 new jobs created in the last quarter. Jobs are created when people have confidence in the future and are therefore willing to invest in new or existing businesses.

The Western Cape has a R7 billion budget to end loadshedding over the next three years, which will enable R69 billion of private sector investment in energy. This in turn will attract more investment and create more jobs.

The Census data released this month shows that the Province leads in delivery of water, sanitation and waste removal services, despite receiving much less funding than other provinces.

The Western Cape is also the only province where the murder rate is trending downwards, thanks to the more than 1200 provincial law enforcement officers trained under the LEAP programme in partnership with the City of Cape Town. Working with community policing forums and SAPS, they focus on murder hotspots in the province. This is how the province achieved an overall 5.5% decrease in the murder rate in the last quarter.

With a strong DA mandate for the Western Cape in 2024, the DA will continue to bring progress for residents in the province. But it doesn’t end here. The DA is working hard to bring our track record of good government to all of South Africa next year.

By signing a pre-election agreement with seven other like-minded parties to form the Multi-Party Charter, we have changed South Africa’s political landscape from unipolar to bipolar, offering an alternative government with a credible pathway to power.

I believe we have everything to fight for in 2024. But voters need to understand that a successful Charter requires a big, strong DA, just as a shopping centre requires a strong anchor tenant to bring the stability and attract the footfall that enables the smaller businesses to thrive and make a valuable contribution.

You can help re-write South Africa’s story into one of hope and progress by voting DA. Please urge your friends and family to register. They can check their registration status or kickstart their registration process at If we all pull together, the Western Cape’s story can be South Africa’s story too.

Straight Talk: Stronger Together

On Sunday morning, I returned from a coalition study tour to Germany filled with hope for the country’s future. I’d spent a fruitful week with other South African opposition party leaders, learning about coalitions and seeing first-hand how they have delivered prosperity to a country that lay in ruins seventy years ago.

Watching our incredible 29-28 victory against France in the Rugby World Cup match that night, the lessons for the upcoming national and provincial elections in 2024 practically jumped out at me.

A monumental team effort can get you across the line. Every point counts. We are stronger together.

A new independent poll by the Brenthurst Foundation indicates ANC support at 43-45% and the Multi-Party Charter at 38%, suggesting the gap between us is now just 5-7 per percentage points.

With a massive team effort, we can close that gap and get across the line next year, to bring in a multi-party government anchored by the DA, that will quickly bend South Africa’s trajectory towards progress and prosperity.

This teamwork is well underway. South Africans are coming together in a way that hasn’t been seen since 1994.

Yesterday, the Multi-Party Charter welcomed the ACDP as our newest member. Together, the eight leaders stood on the steps of the National Council of Provinces and affirmed our commitment to working together.

We also reported back on our coalitions study tour, with the main message being that trust and a common understanding between partners is vital. This is why our parties have come together well ahead of the election and are meeting three times a week to build relationships and seek alignment.

Civil society is also uniting for change. On 5 October, five civil society organisations convened the launch of #ConvergenceSA, an umbrella initiative to strengthen the voice of civil society calling for a new government in 2024. This brings together like-minded leaders and organisations from churches, unions, business and advocacy groups, such as BLSA, Neasa, Cape Forum, Outa, the South African churches, and the Solidarity Movement.

The Multi-Party Charter heartily welcomed this development, in the firm belief that there is strength in unity.

Poland showed exactly that this week, when Poles turned out in record numbers to give a solid 54% mandate to a liberal opposition alliance that had come together to save the country from creeping state capture and illiberal populism under the nationalist Law and Justice Party.

So yes, I am filled with hope for South Africa’s future. But let me make one thing clear. A coalition government next year must be anchored by a strong DA. Every single German coalition has been anchored by a big, stable party. Only a strong DA can bring the stability required for a successful multi-party government next year. And only the DA has the resources and experience necessary to govern.

Much like a shopping centre, it is the big, stable anchor tenant that is the magnet attracting people and enabling smaller tenants to contribute effectively to the overall success of the system. Working together, the whole becomes more than the sum of the parts.

Success in 2024 requires a monumental team effort and you have a part to play. Please urge your friends and family to register to vote DA next year. They can check their registration status or kickstart their registration process at As we saw on Sunday night, we are stronger together, and every point counts.

Straight talk: Lifestyle audits show the clear choice voters have between Multi-Party Charter and Doomsday Coalition

While Deputy President Paul Mashatile lives lavishly in the luxury homes of his tenderpreneur friends with their billion-rand government contracts, millions of pensioners and their dependents have gone hungry and cold for three weeks because of his government’s failure to pay SASSA grants on time.

SASSA grants are a lifeline to half the nation. It should be unthinkable that they would be paid even a day late, never mind three weeks. And late payment is not the only issue.

A leaked Treasury report tells us that South Africa is going bankrupt amid massive revenue shortfalls and a wasteful, bloated government unwilling to trim anywhere and unable to deliver on even its basic mandate.

At this rate, the government will soon not be able to pay grants at all. Meantime the value of those grants is eroding in the face of a cost-of-living crisis caused by government failures on every front.

Voters have a clear binary choice in the 2024 national and provincial elections: a corrupt, uncaring ANC-EFF Doomsday Coalition or an honest, caring Multi-Party Charter government that prioritises the vulnerable.

Lifestyle audits shine a bright spotlight on this clear choice. They are powerful corruption-busters.

One of the terms of the Charter’s signed agreement is that any candidate put forward for election as an office bearer must undergo an independent lifestyle audit, which will be published. This is in line with the Charter’s shared governing principles, which include a commitment to:

  • Accountable, transparent government with zero tolerance for corruption.
  • Capable government that spends public money efficiently to deliver quality services to all.
  • Caring government that puts people first and prioritises the poor.

Incoming Premier Alan Winde of DA-run Western Cape kept his 2019 promise and appointed an independent contractor though an open tender process, to conduct lifestyle audits on MECs. These audits revealed that all Western Cape MECs live a lifestyle in line with their income, and that there were not conflicts of interest.

By contrast, President Ramaphosa has not kept his promise to the nation to conduct lifestyle audits on members of his executive, which he made in his 2018 SONA reply speech.

This is a call to action to rescue South Africa by voting DA. Please urge your friends and family to register. They can check their registration status or kickstart the registration process at The choice is clear, and the choice is yours.

Straight talk: Loadshedding – The gloves are off

Cold, hungry, desperate, and in the dark. This is where an uncaring government has put the people of South Africa.

The prospect of Stage 6 load-shedding for at least the next year, costing our nation R900 million a day.

R233 billion of taxpayer’s hard-earned money spent on fifteen years of construction at Kusile Power Station yet it’s not generating a single kilowatt of electricity.

And then the ultimate boot on the face: 31.4% increase in electricity tariffs over the next two years, granted to Eskom by NERSA, the National Electricity Regulator of SA. Six times the inflation rate.

Clearly, the ANC could not care less. By destroying South Africa’s energy supply system, they have violated most of the provisions in the Bill of Rights.

The DA, by contrast, cares deeply and is taking every possible action to fight loadshedding and uphold people’s rights.

In my newsletter last week, I set out how the DA is tackling the root cause of loadshedding: cadre deployment.

This week, the DA went to court to fight the NERSA tariff hike, and to have overall control of electricity supply taken out of the ANC’s hands and put into the hands of an independent energy expert who will report directly to the Court.

The gloves are off.

The DA’s court papers argue that NERSA misinterpreted Section 15 (1) (e) of the Electricity Regulation Act, failing to take public participation into account when the Multi-Year Price Determination was undertaken.

We are therefore seeking to have the decision to allow Eskom to increase electricity prices by 31.4% declared invalid, and suspended, giving NERSA six months to remedy the situation.

We are also seeking a declaration from the court confirming that Eskom’s failure is due to the government’s failure to take responsibility for defending constitutional rights.

Once such a court declaration has been made, we seek the appointment of a Special Master to oversee, regulate, monitor and report to the Court on government’s progress in implementing the Energy Action Plan to deal with the crisis.

Meantime, the DA-run City of Cape Town is investing another R1.2 billion in the maintenance and expansion of the Steenbras Hydro Pumped Storage Scheme, to protect Cape Town residents from two stages of loadshedding. The DA-run Western Cape is the only province with a comprehensive plan to end the energy crisis: R7 billion is set to be spent across the province over the next three years to make it energy resilient.

While the DA is taking long-term and short-term actions to fight loadshedding on every front, the most powerful action of all is to replace the ANC government next year with a caring, capable government.

In the 2024 Provincial and National Elections, the best way to end loadshedding is to vote for the DA. Along with our six partner parties in the Multi-Party Charter, we are offering South Africa a credible pathway to an alternative government that will pull out all the stops to end loadshedding and ensure reliable, affordable access to electricity.

This is the fight of our lives, and we’re not pulling any punches.

Straight Talk: Coming for the cadres

The bad news is, Stage 6 loadshedding is back.

The good news is, the DA has won another victory in our fight to outlaw its root cause, cadre deployment.

(Cadre deployment is the ANC’s policy of ensuring administrative appointments to state-owned enterprises and government departments are based on political loyalty to the ANC rather than merit. No policy has done more to fuel the corruption and incompetence that has collapsed services in South Africa. The DA has opposed the policy vehemently since the ANC adopted it in 1997.)

On Monday, the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed the ANC’s last-ditch attempt to appeal the Johannesburg High Court’s instruction to the ANC to hand over complete records of its national cadre deployment committee to the DA within five days.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

The people of South Africa deserve to see how the ANC has corrupted appointment processes to give jobs to cadres to entrench its control over every lever of state and maximise opportunities for extraction.

They deserve to see the central role played by Ramaphosa as chairman of the ANC’s national deployment committee during Jacob’s Zuma’s administration, overseeing the appointment of such state capture kingpins as ex-Eskom CEO Brian Molefe, as detailed in the Zondo Report.

The DA is also awaiting a ruling in our other court application where we’ve asked the Pretoria High Court to uphold the Zondo recommendations and declare cadre deployment unconstitutional and unlawful.

In the 2024 Provincial and National Elections, citizens can replace cadre corruption with merit-based appointments by voting for the DA. Along with our six partner parties in the Multi-Party Charter, we are offering South Africa an alternative government next year based on a shared and sworn commitment to:

  • The South African Constitution, the rule of law, and equality before the law.
  • Decentralising power to the lowest effective level of government.
  • Accountable, transparent government with zero tolerance for corruption.
  • Capable government that spends public money efficiently to deliver quality services to all.
  • Caring government that puts people first and prioritises the poor.
  • An open market economy.
  • Policies guided by evidence that they produce positive results for society.
  • Redress our unjust past by promoting nonracialism and unity in our diversity.

In 2024, South Africans need to unite around these winning principles. The Charter is South Africa’s quickest route to cutting cadre power and ensuring reliable, affordable energy for all.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at

Straight Talk: JHB’s plight shows why we need to unite to rescue South Africa.

Yesterday’s tragic fire that has claimed over 70 lives, and last month’s gas explosion that caused havoc in Johannesburg’s central business district, are not isolated incidents of bad luck or unavoidable “acts of God”.

Rather, like last year’s KZN flood damage, they are avoidable disasters, the consequence of an incapable government that has failed to get the basics right and failed to take proper precautions on behalf of residents.

South Africa’s economic hub is literally falling apart, as are the lives of its residents, as they slide deeper into poverty and unemployment.

Meanwhile, the Joburg council is rocked by instability, the natural result of a highly fragmented vote in the November 2021 local elections that put 18 parties into the 270-seat council, with 8 of those having just one seat yet holding the balance of power.

No party or group of likeminded parties won a majority, and each side needs the tiny parties and the delinquent, unreliable Patriotic Alliance to get into government, meaning the council is up for sale to the highest bidder, with extortion being the order of the day. This has led to a merry-go-round of motions of no confidence and five changes of mayor.

This week, the DA put the only workable solution on the table: fresh elections. The constitution allows for this two years after an election, if instability has ensued.

Now that Joburg residents have witnessed and experienced the instability and breakdown in services that results from a fragmented vote, they need the opportunity to rethink and re-issue their mandate.

Joburg’s plight is a valuable lesson for voters ahead of the 2024 provincial and national elections. We cannot allow a fragmented vote to plunge South Africa into the same instability and dysfunction, nor can we endure another five years of neglect and decay at the hands of the ANC.

Rather, the way forward is to unite behind a new government that can build a capable, professional, people-centred state. This is the motivation for the Multi-Party Charter For South Africa, a pre-election agreement signed two weeks ago to offer South Africa an alternative with credible path to power.

The DA is committed to the Charter and to the shared governing principles that the seven parties have pledged to uphold.

  • The South African Constitution, the rule of law, and equality before the law.
  • Decentralising power to the lowest effective level of government.
  • Accountable, transparent government with zero tolerance for corruption.
  • Capable government that spends public money efficiently to deliver quality services to all.
  • Caring government that puts people first and prioritises the poor.
  • An open market economy.
  • Policies guided by evidence that they produce positive results for society.
  • Redress our unjust past by promoting nonracialism and unity in our diversity.

In 2024, South Africans need to unite around these winning principles. The Charter is South Africa’s best, indeed only, hope for replacing chaos and suffering with progress and prosperity.

The DA is bigger than all the other Charter parties combined. Our role is to provide the strong centre that anchors the Charter to these values. The very best way to ensure stability and avoid the situation that has played out in Johannesburg since 2021 is to vote for the DA in 2024.

Please direct your friends and family to kickstart their registration process online by visiting Every one of us has a role to play in rescuing South Africa and building a resilient, successful country.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at