How to fix the jobs crisis

Yesterday, Statistics SA released unemployment data for July to September 2021. The results are devastating and tragic. But not unexpected. And not inevitable.

660 000 jobs lost. South Africa’s narrow unemployment rate has hit a record high of 34.9%.

But the broad unemployment rate, which includes those who have given up looking for a job, more accurately depicts the real situation on the ground. It is at a high of 46.6% amongst all ages (15-64) and 77.4% amongst young people (15-24). These numbers show the real level of hopelessness, desperation, suffering, disempowerment, deprivation. The real level to which lives and dreams are being ruined.

Devastating and tragic, yes. Surprising, no. Because our current set of policies – the rules by which our economy is forced to operate – code failure into our economic system.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Here is what we need do to fix this jobs and humanitarian crisis.

  • Arrest the instigators of the July riots, to prevent and deter any further anarchy, and to reassure investors. The rule of law is essential for economic growth and job creation. This is why I asked him, during parliamentary questions to the President last weeks: “Four and a half months later, with no high profile arrests and no further word on the so-called instigators, can you honestly say to the people of KZN that your government has done its best for them?”
  • Run an extensive vaccine education campaign and enable widespread access by taking vaccines to where people are – main streets, shopping centres, taxi ranks and so forth. And by taking people to where vaccines are – the City of Cape Town, for example, is currently offering free MyCiTi transport to the CTICC mass vaccination centre.
  • Make it clear right now that there will be no further lockdown restrictions in the coming months.
  • Relentlessly root out corruption by firing corrupt public servants, capacitating the NPA, and re-introducing the Scorpions.
  • Restructure SA’s R2 trillion budget away from managerial salaries and waste and towards service delivery infrastructure and social support to the poor. This will stimulate demand while also providing some immediate relief.
  • Appoint public servants based solely on their ability to serve the public.
  • Invest heavily in water, electricity and transport infrastructure.
  • Enable a reliable, affordable, clean supply of energy by opening the energy market. Allow competent metros and municipalities to generate their own power or buy direct from independent producers.
  • Enable cheap, safe, reliable public transport by harnessing the power of capable metros and private companies to solve SA’s public transport problems.
  • Enable cheap data by removing obstacles to digital migration and spectrum auction.
  • Enable small business creation and success by opening up the labour market. Collective bargaining agreements should only apply to those who sign up to them.
  • Remove unnecessary red tape and make South Africa an easy place to do business.
  • Make it easy and attractive for scarce skills and capital to enter and stay in South Africa.
  • Enable high- and medium-density housing close to economic opportunities.
  • Scrap investment-killing policies such as EWC, BEE, NHI, the Mining Charter, localization.
  • Properly train, incentivise and independently evaluate school principals and teachers.

This is how we can code our economy for success. For rapid job-creating growth. We need to tackle each of these challenges, even if it’s hard. This is the kind, compassionate, inclusive way forward.

Straight Talk: Clarity on coalitions

The DA leadership is energetically engaged in coalition negotiations with parties that share our core governing principles. Our objective is to form, wherever possible in the 66 councils where no party won a clear majority, stable and functional DA-led coalitions able to fulfil our manifesto promises.

In the run up to the 2021 Local Government Elections, I set out the DA’s position on coalitions and this has not changed.

  • We are willing to consider a coalition with any parties that share our core principles, which are a commitment to the rule of law, nonracialism, a social market economy, and a capable state. (Commitment to a capable state requires adherence to the principle of separation of party and state and therefore a fulsome rejection of cadre deployment.)
  • We are not under any circumstances willing to go into coalition with the EFF or with the ANC in its current form, because their governing principles are diametrically opposed to ours. Therefore any coalition with them would be unstable and dysfunctional.
  • We would rather be a principled, effective opposition than be part of local governments where we are unable to apply our values and fulfil our manifesto promises.

Some in the commentariat believe the DA should go into coalition with the ANC to keep the EFF out. Yet, the ANC is not forced to go into coalition with the EFF instead. It has the option of forming a minority government, which would have DA support in council for all decisions that it takes in the public interest.

An ANC-DA coalition is not in SA’s best interest.

Having dropped well below 50% nationally in this election, there is now a realistic prospect that the ANC will lose its majority in 2024. This opens up the possibility of a reformist national coalition government after 2024 that could get our economy growing again.

For this to happen though, voters need a crisp choice between ANC-EFF coalitions of corruption on the one hand (packed with corrupt, lawless, socialist, deployed cadres) and DA-led coalitions of clean government on the other (packed with honest, law-abiding, market-oriented, capable public officials).

The DA has also won some strategic municipalities outright – Cape Town, Midvaal in Gauteng, Kouga in the Eastern Cape, and uMngeni in KZN. Our objective over the next three years will be to turn the places we govern – whether outright or in coalition – into shining examples of what is possible when people embrace our core governing principles.

Our relentless focus will be to improve the living conditions of the poorest residents, roll back poverty, spread opportunity, deliver quality basic services, end load-shedding, secure water supplies, grow the local economy, and inspire hope for South Africa’s future.

By 2024, the difference in service delivery between ANC- and DA-run governments will be stark and compelling. It will enable us to consolidate support around our core principles. This is the best shot we have at saving South Africa from its current death spiral.

Five days till we vote. Five years to live with the consequences.

South Africans are tired and worn out by the unemployment, corruption, mismanagement, and general state failure to deliver on its role. This election can get South Africa back on track and stop the free-fall.

With better government, South Africa can be everything we want and need it to be. That change must start with local government, the coalface of delivery. All across the country, now is the time to elect local leaders that will work hard for you, be on your side, and secure your future.

The DA offers you a safe pair of hands.

Only the DA has a track record proving that life gets better for all people where we govern. Where the DA governs, jobs are highest, and unemployment is lowest. We spend public money on the public. We don’t steal or waste your money. We get clean audits every year as evidence of clean government. We are the only party with open tender processes where we govern, so everyone can see how we award tenders.

Where the DA governs, we hire competent people on merit. People who can get things done for you. We don’t appoint people for political favours.

Local government is all about service delivery. As per our manifesto, if you elect a DA local government, these are some of the things we’ll get done for you:

  • Ensure every community gets access to reliable, clean, running water and decent sanitation.
  • Bring regular waste collection and rubbish disposal to every community.
  • Work to free residents from Eskom load-shedding and enhance access to reliable, affordable, and sustainably electricity.
  • Invest in well-maintained roads, cleaning and upgrading of public parks and spaces, cut grass and maintain pavements.
  • Invest in sports & recreation facilities and libraries.
  • Work to integrate public transport and introduce a smart ticket across buses and taxis in our metros.
  • Bring down unemployment and grow jobs.
  • Build reliable metro police services where these are affordable, and launch specialized local policing units, like gang and drug units.
  • Install crime information systems, more CCTV, body cameras for police officers, and gunfire detection systems.
  • Release unused government land for housing development.
  • Ensure more people own their own homes through diversifying housing options and issuing title deeds.
  • Use fair and transparent processes to identify beneficiaries for housing opportunities.
  • Upgrade informal settlements where viable.
  • Help the homeless off the streets, with socioeconomic assistance.
  • Take legal action against illegal land invasions.
  • Work with NGOs to combat alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Introduce by-laws to prevent the pollution of our natural environment.
  • Introduce e-government services, to transact with your municipality online.
  • Keep staff costs down, to spend more on service delivery.

The DA is the only party with a trustworthy record of service delivery, job-creating policies, and corruption-free government. We run the top-rated metro in the country, the five top-rated municipalities in the country and the top-rated municipalities in the Western Cape (many), Gauteng (Midvaal) and the Eastern Cape (Kouga).

We are the only party that gets the basics done. And when you have a municipality that masters the basics, you can move to the next level. You can start to generate your own electricity and end reliance on Eskom. Only the DA can do this. Only the DA can protect you from a failing national government.

We can bring the DA difference to your town if we unite to win. The DA is the only party that can beat the ANC and we are the last bulwark against the rise of the EFF. A strong DA stops the EFF becoming the opposition. A strong EFF makes the ANC more radical, racial and populist in their bid to shore up support. This is why the ANC is supporting expropriation without compensation.

A vote for the DA packs the most punch against the ANC and EFF. That’s why, if you aren’t going to vote for them, the ANC and EFF want you to vote anything but DA. If you want to beat the ANC and keep the EFF out of official opposition, voting DA will give you maximum leverage for your vote. A vote for smaller parties or independents splits the DA vote, not the ANC or EFF vote. Therefore, the most sensible and powerful use of your vote is to consolidate the DA vote.

If you look at the best-run municipalities in SA, they all have a DA majority in council. Coalitions tend to slow down service delivery, and introduce the risk of interrupted delivery, as in Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane since 2016.

Another reason not to split the vote is to maximise the chances of beating the ANC in your ward. Ward councillors are at the coalface of delivery and are your first point of contact. Here, splitting the vote by voting for smaller parties or independents is particularly beneficial to the ANC, because the ward councillor is determined by a first-past-the-post system. The candidate with the most votes wins – no matter how low a percentage of votes they got.

A great example is the outcome of Metsimaholo Municipality’s re-election in November 2017. The ANC won just 34% of the vote but 76% of wards – 16 out of the 21 wards. That’s what happens when you split the opposition.

So, if you want the biggest chance of a local government and ward councillor that get things done, then you need to vote DA. Only the DA can secure your future. Voting for smaller parties at a time like this is simply playing with fire.

You have five more days to think about this, and five years to live with the consequences.

Vote smart. Vote with your head and your heart. Vote DA to get things done.

The DA is your best protection against the failing ANC

News24’s recently released Out of Order Index finds that the top 5 best-run municipalities in South Africa are all run by the DA. Twelve of the top 20 best-run municipalities are DA-run, including DA-run Midvaal as the best-performing municipality in Gauteng and DA-run Kouga as the best-performing municipality in the Eastern Cape, while 14 of the top 20 best-run municipalities are in DA-run Western Cape.

DA outperformance is even more striking when one considers that the DA runs fewer than 10% of all municipalities in South Africa.

The Out of Order index finds that local service delivery is collapsing under ANC mismanagement, with 107 municipalities classified as dysfunctional. This number comprises the 64 municipalities classified by CoGTA in August as being delinquent or under administration and a further 43 rated by the index as facing imminent collapse.

Importantly, the study suggests that this crisis on the frontline of delivery is likely to deepen.

This reveals a stark choice facing voters. After 1 November, they can either enjoy service delivery under the DA or suffer collapsing delivery under the ANC. A reliable or patchy water and electricity supply. Well-maintained or potholed roads. A thriving or dying local economy.

The DA is the only party that can protect citizens from the worst consequences of an ANC collapsing under the weight of cadre deployment, political instability and financial mismanagement.

DA-run local governments protect citizens not just by getting the basics right and spending public money on the public, but in many cases by taking over responsibility or augmenting delivery where the national ANC government is failing in its responsibility.

DA governments already go above and beyond their mandate in many types of delivery. And citizens in DA-run areas will benefit from a lot more of this in the next five years.

DA going above and beyond on electricity

The City of Cape Town already protects its citizens from one level of load-shedding through its Steenbras Dam energy storage station.

Now its focus is on buying energy and energy storage capability from independent producers, to end loadshedding altogether. For every 100 megawatts of energy the City can buy from independent suppliers, its citizens are protected from another level of load-shedding. The City has taken national government to court for this right of local governments to buy electricity directly from independent power producers (IPPs).

There is no reason for load-shedding other than politics. Local and foreign investors are lined up and ready to supply the South African market with cheaper and cleaner energy. The solutions to load-shedding are readily available, but national government does not want citizens to access these and is fiercely protecting its Eskom monopoly.

But DA Cape Town mayoral candidate Geordin Hill-Lewis has made it clear he is not going to stand back and wait for national government to allow the City to solve its energy problem.

Likewise, through its Energy Resilience Project, the DA is putting in place measures to enable six DA-run municipalities to purchase electricity directly from IPPs. These municipalities are Stellenbosch, Drakenstein, Mossel Bay, Overstrand, Saldanha Bay and Swartland. Once the model has been perfected with these six “pilots”, we will roll it out to all DA-run governments.

DA going above and beyond on water

The DA protected Western Cape citizens from Day Zero, despite national government failure to fulfil its mandate of increased bulk water supply, by sourcing additional supply from aquifers and desalination and by driving an effective water saving campaign.

Cape Town’s New Water Programme (NWP) aims to deliver an additional 300 million litres per day by 2030. The City is also targeting a 55 billion litre annual reduction of water losses by ramping up the clearing of invasive alien vegetation in water catchment areas. Clearing efforts are set to increase from the current 1250 to 9000 hectares per year in partnership with The Nature Conservancy.

DA going above and beyond on local safety

The City of Cape Town provides the most extensive safety and security programme of any local authority in South Africa, to compensate for SAPS failure.  This includes specialised units such as a metals theft unit, an anti-gang unit, a water unit, a K9 unit, an anti-land invasion unit, and a law enforcement unit which has tripled the arrest rate since 2016.

DA will go above and beyond on passenger rail

Metrorail has all but collapsed in Cape Town. This has hit the poorest communities hardest. Today, only 36% of residents still have access to a working train station in the neighbourhood where they live. Nearly two thirds of Capetonians have lost access to passenger trains.

There is no way national government will ever restore Cape Town’s train service to full capacity, never mind upgrade it. DA mayoral candidate Geordin Hill-Lewis will fight to take control over Cape Town’s trains, so that we can fix the trains and build a truly modern, affordable, integrated public transport system.


This fight for devolution of power is in line with the DA’s commitment to the principle of federalism, which holds that power should reside at that level of government closest to the people, which is able to deliver.

Being bold about fighting for more powers to fix problems that national is unwilling or unable to fix is the only way to secure your city’s future. The DA is the only party that does this, and it can only do this with a DA majority. Voters cannot expect this level of protection with a hung municipality or a weak coalition government.

On 1 November, vote DA to protect your community from a failing ANC, because only the DA gets things done.

DA is SA’s most pro-poor party

The DA is South Africa’s most pro-poor party. We do best at providing those living in poverty with the things they need most, such as jobs, piped water, sanitation, electricity, education, school-feeding programmes, ECD support, healthcare, safety, and financially sustainable government.

This claim is based on objective measures from third party sources which have no incentive whatsoever to favour the DA: StatsSA, the Department of Basic Education, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Ratings Afrika, the Auditor General, the CoGTA report on the state of local government (Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs), court rulings.

Jobs. The DA strongly supports social grants for the poor. But we believe that there is nothing more pro-poor than lifting people out of grants and into income. Where the DA governs, job numbers are highest and unemployment is lowest. At 29.1%, the Western Cape has the lowest broad unemployment rate in South, 17.3 percentage points lower than the average for the other eight provinces, according to the most recent Stats SA Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) released in August 2021. Midvaal, where the DA has enjoyed a full majority for an uninterrupted period of 19 years, has the lowest unemployment of any municipality in Gauteng.

Midvaal is also a “shining light of service delivery”. This should come as no surprise, because service delivery and job creation go hand in hand. Businesses, especially smaller operators, like poorer households, rely heavily on government services.

Piped water. According to Stats SA, 43.5% of Western Cape households receive free basic water, which is roughly double the national average of 21.8% of households. (Source: Stats SA non-financial census of municipalities published 31 March 2021 code P9115.)

Sanitation. According to Stats SA, 47.9% of Western Cape households receive free basic sewerage and sanitation services, which is more than double the national average of 18.7% of households. (Source: Stats SA non-financial census of municipalities published 31 March 2021 code P9115.)

Electricity. According to Stats SA, 27% of Western Cape households receive free basic electricity, which is far higher than the national average of 16.7% of households. (Source: Stats SA non-financial census of municipalities published 31 March 2021 code P9115.)

Education. The Western Cape is consistently the top performing province on key education indicators: matric pass rates (80% for the 2020 NSC examinations, despite the severe disruptions caused by the pandemic), Bachelor passes (44%), Mathematics passes (71%), and Mathematical Literacy passes (83%), with learner retention from grade 10 to matric being the highest in the country, at 67%. According to the HSRC’s TIMSS 2019 results for grade 9, the Western Cape scored 13% higher than the SA average for maths and 18% higher for science. The SACMEQ 4 report indicated an advanced reading score of 72.7% for the Western Cape, which is double the national average of 36.1%. The Western Cape was also well ahead of the 2nd ranked province, Gauteng, at 54%.

School-feeding programmes. During the hard lockdown last year, the Western Cape was the only province to continue its school nutrition programme. The other eight provinces had to be forced by a court order to resume the programme.

ECD subsidies. During the hard lockdown last year, the Western Cape was also the only province to continue paying subsidies to Early Childhood Development centres. The other eight provinces once again had to be forced by a court order to resume the payments. The Western Cape also has the highest percentage of children in subsidised ECDs in the country.

Healthcare. At 91.5%, the Western Cape has the highest percentage of households living within 30 minutes of their nearest health facility, according to Stats SA’s General Household Survey 2016.

Safety. The Western Cape is the only province to have taken significant steps to boost SAPS’ failing law enforcement efforts. Policing is a national government mandate, but the Western Cape has added an additional 1100 law enforcement officers to the most high-risk areas of the province (Gugulethu, Kraaifontein, Mfuleni, Harare, Delft, Mitchells Plain) in a bid to keep people safe. (LEAP)

Good governance. Good governance is more critical, the poorer people are. Corruption, cadre deployment and inefficiency hit the poor hardest, as they are most reliant on public services and delivery, being unable to afford private sector alternatives.

One need only compare the R15 million Enoch Mgijima bench “stadium” built by the ANC-run Enoch Mgijima Municipality in the Eastern Cape with the R13 million Saldanha stadium, or the two new stadia built by DA-run Hessequa Municipality for under R10 million each, to see the difference that good governance makes to delivery.

According to CoGTA’s 2021 report on the state of local government, only 16 out of 257 municipalities (6%) are functional, and almost all of these are DA-run. For the 2019/20 financial year, the Auditor General awarded clean audits to 18 of the Western Cape’s 30 municipalities, and they were all governed by the DA. Five of the seven municipalities that sustained their clean audit status over four years are DA-governed. And according to Ratings Afrika, the top five best-run municipalities in SA are all DA-governed.

South Africans across the wealth spectrum are feeling insecure about the future in the context of state failure and collapsing service delivery under the ANC. The difference is that the poor have no buffer of protection, whereas the middle classes can in many instances rely on private service provision to fill the gaping voids.

Only the DA can claim this track record of superior delivery to the poor. Of course, there is room for improvement. DA governments can and will continue to make steady inroads into tackling the roots of poverty and the unequal access to opportunity that drives inequality.

At the same time, it should be acknowledged that with a dysfunctional national government, unacceptable levels of poverty, unemployment and inequality will persist in every municipality and province in the country, no matter the quality of service delivery to the poor in individual municipalities and provinces. So the point is necessarily one of comparison.

The best way to protect the poor from collapsing service delivery is to vote DA on 1 November. Because, more than any other party in South Africa, the DA gets things done for the poor.

8 reasons to vote DA for clean running water and decent sanitation

DA-run municipalities are taking 8 steps to provide a reliable supply of clean running water and decent sanitation to residents and businesses. These are things we are ALREADY doing – not empty promises for the future. Through these 8 steps, we protect communities as best as possible from the failing national Department of Water and Sanitation, whose responsibility it is to ensure bulk water supply.

1. Keeping water loss to a minimum by fixing leaks, responding rapidly to burst pipes, and regularly maintaining and replacing municipal water infrastructure

When the DA coalition came into government in drought-stricken Nelson Mandela Bay in January 2021, they tripled the rate of water leak repair from 304 per week then to 900 per week now. Between January and August 2021, 17 259 water leaks were repaired. This has helped to keep the taps running.

The water loss percentage in DA-run Drakenstein and Witzenberg municipalities is 17%, less than half the national average of 37%. In contrast, ANC-run Emfuleni Municipality loses 40-50% of its water to leaks, illegal connections and aging infrastructure before it even gets to residents.

Between 2016 and 2019, the DA-led Johannesburg replaced 325km of water and sewer pipes, which reduced water leaks from 29% to 19%.

Before the DA-led council in Tshwane was illegally dissolved and placed under administration by the ANC-run Gauteng Provincial Government, we installed over 600km of new water pipes. Since the DA took back government in November 2020, after winning the court case against the Gauteng Provincial Government, we have repaired over 20 000 water leaks.

City of Cape Town has reduced pipe bursts from 60 per 100km in 2010 to 27 per 100km in 2021, a 55% improvement.

2. Investing in wastewater and sewage treatment infrastructure

Where the DA is in government, we ensure our communities are not exposed to raw sewage and that there is no untreated wastewater contaminating the natural or built environment. We ensure that wastewater treatment works are well-managed and well-maintained, and that they are fully compliant. We invest in plant assets to ensure long-term sustainability of the sewerage system.

SA’s municipal sewerage system is collapsing in most ANC municipalities. The deteriorating state of municipal wastewater and sewage treatment management in SA is one of the largest contributing factors to the numerous pollution problems experienced in most parts of the country, and a major contributor to environmental and human health problems.

3. Connecting more households to water and sewerage networks

Before it was put under illegal administration, the DA-led government in Tshwane connected over 12 000 households to water and sewerage networks.

In the two years that the DA ran Nelson Mandela Bay before it was displaced in a council coup, we reduced the number of bucket toilets by roughly 60%, from about 16 000 to about 6 000.

At 98.8% of households, Cape Town has for years provided the highest level of access to piped water in South Africa (on property or less than 200m away). And 95.5% of households have access to adequate sanitation, with over 33 800 toilets installed in informal settlements in the past eight years. Cape Town is also the first municipality in South Africa to provide a dedicated janitorial service for toilets in informal settlements.

4. Supplying poor households with free basic water and sanitation

40% of households in Cape Town receive basic water and sanitation services free of charge, which is well over double the Gauteng averages of 15.6% for water and 17.6% for sanitation. (Data from StatsSA.)

5. Testing water quality regularly

Where we are in government, we conduct regular testing of water quality, to ensure that municipal water is safe to drink and to prepare food.

The City of Cape Town conducts ongoing water quality sampling at 120 inland points and 99 coastal points in the metro to ensure stringent SANS241 drinking-water quality, publishing comprehensive Inland and Coastal Water Quality reports to promote transparency of results. It achieves “Excellent” compliance status with prescribed national water quality standards.

6. Managing water demand and reducing consumption in water-stressed areas

DA governments are extremely successful at managing water demand using a combination of awareness campaigns, pre-paid water meters and incentives. We use pressure management to reduce water consumption and encourage solutions such as the use of low-flow, waterless or grey water toilet systems. Our interventions to beat Day Zero during the severe 3-year Western Cape drought (2015-2017) are widely considered to be international best practice, so we are well-placed to keep the taps running in other water-stressed parts of South Africa.

7. Augmenting water supply

DA-led Nelson Mandela Bay is sinking groundwater boreholes to add 15 million litres per day by July 2022. They have a plan to ensure that groundwater supplies are used sustainably.

DA-led Hessequa Municipality built the country’s first reverse osmosis solar powered desalination plant in the town of Witsand, with a capacity to produce an average of 140 kilolitres of freshwater per day.
Cape Town’s New Water Programme (NWP) will deliver around 300 million litres per day by 2030 through groundwater abstraction, desalination and water reuse.

8. Clearing invasive alien vegetation from water catchment areas, dams, lakes and rivers.

DA-run Cape Town is targeting a 55 billion litre annual reduction of water losses by ramping up alien vegetation clearing. The City’s R50 million investment in the next two years will be matched by private donations and is set to increase clearing to 9 000 hectares per year from the current 1 250 hectares per year, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy.


The DA builds water delivery capability by basing public appointments on merit, the ability to deliver to residents, rather than on considerations of political loyalty and patronage. This, coupled with sound financial management and good governance, as reflected in our consistent delivery of clean audits, makes for local water departments that get things done for residents.

Water crises in municipalities across SA reflect national government failure at its most basic level. Water is essential to life, health and economic activity. The DA can protect your community from national failure because we get the basics right at the local level, the coalface of basic service delivery. For best results, residents need to give us an uninterrupted five years of outright DA administration.

On 1 November, vote DA for reliable clean running water, because the DA gets things done.

10 reasons to vote DA to keep your lights on and affordable

Voting DA is your best guarantee of an uninterrupted supply of electricity at the lowest cost possible. DA-run municipalities are taking 10 steps to ensure a reliable, cheapest-possible supply of electricity to residents and businesses.

1.Purchasing electricity directly from independent power producers (IPPs) to protect residents and businesses from Eskom load shedding.

Through its Energy Resilience Project, the DA is putting in place measures to enable six DA-run municipalities to purchase electricity directly from IPPs. This will protect them from load shedding and ultimately end their reliance on Eskom altogether. These municipalities are Stellenbosch, Drakenstein, Mossel Bay, Overstrand, Saldanha Bay and Swartland. Once the model has been perfected with these six “pilots”, we will roll it out to all DA-run governments.

The DA fought hard for five years for this right to purchase power directly from IPPs. Independent producers are incentivised through competition to keep their prices as low as possible, their supply as reliable as possible, and their power as clean as possible. Eskom’s monopoly, on the other hand, has fostered the complacency and failure that has put the utility into its current death spiral.

2.Paying Eskom on time for bulk supply, so that Eskom never cuts supply due to non-payment by the municipality

Municipalities purchase electricity in bulk from Eskom and then sell it on to local residents and businesses. Many ANC-run municipalities keep selling electricity to residents and businesses, but stop paying for it. Eskom eventually responds by cutting off bulk supply to the municipality, plunging even paying households and businesses into darkness, and denying poor households their constitutional right to free basic electricity.

This never happens in DA-run municipalities because DA councils always pay Eskom on time. There has literally never been a single incidence where power has been cut to a DA municipality because of failure to pay Eskom. Where we inherit large debt, such as in Modimolle-Mookgophong Municipality in Limpopo and Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape, we take immediate  steps to remedy this.

The situation of non-paying ANC municipalities has become so bad that the matter was challenged in court, with a Concourt ruling this week finally setting a legal precedent that no paying end users may be denied access to electricity due to non-payment by municipalities.

3.Storing low-cost, off-peak energy to avoid load shedding and reduce costs

DA-run Cape Town manages to avoid at least one stage of load shedding compared to the rest of the country through its well-maintained pumped-storage hydropower station at the Steenbras Dam. This city-owned power station can generate electricity during peak periods to make up for supply shortfall from Eskom. During periods of peak demand, water from the upper dam is channeled through turbine generators to the lower dam, to generate electricity. The water is then pumped back up to the upper dam at night using low-cost surplus national generating capacity. This innovation reduces the economic impact of load shedding and saves on the cost of buying electricity at peak rates.

DA-led Drakenstein’s Leliefontein pump-as-turbine station, the first of its kind in SA, uses low-cost, off-the-shelf equipment to generate clean power, using potential energy in their existing infrastructure. The same equipment is used to pump water and to generate electricity by reversing the flow through the pumps.

4.Maximising municipal energy efficiency to minimise costs to residents and businesses

DA municipalities are the most energy efficient, with the highest proportion of municipal facilities, streetlights, and traffic lights using LED bulbs and low-energy appliances. DA-run George Municipality has installed a 300kW solar plant on top of covered parking bays that powers the main municipal building. DA-run Hessequa has the country’s first solar-powered desalination plant.

Cape Town is the most energy efficient city in SA, with over 231 GWH of electricity saved in 10 years, enough to power 35 clinics for 10 years and avoiding 230 000 tons of carbon emissions. The City has retro-fitted energy-efficient lamps in all traffic lights and 34% of streetlights to date. City buildings have over 563 kWp of rooftop solar PV systems installed.

5.Assisting residents and businesses to go off grid and sell their excess power to the grid

Cape Town is incentivising solar PV users to feed power back into the grid, with on of SA’s highest feed-in tariffs.

6.Investing in infrastructure

DA-run governments lead in investing in the bulk electrical infrastructure needed to ensure uninterrupted supply.

7.Supplying poor households with free basic electricity

In Cape Town, 27% of City-supplied households get 60kWh of free basic electricity monthly. This is almost double the Gauteng average of 15.4% and the national average of 16.7%.

8.Addressing cable theft

DA-run Cape Town refuses to simply accept the failure of SAPS, and so has a dedicated Metal Theft Unit to protect infrastructure including electrical lines. It also supports the removal of illegal electrical connections. On Sunday night, the DA’s mayoral candidate for Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis, went on patrol with the unit and witnessed it catching three suspects red-handed stealing electrical cable.

9.Connecting more households to the grid

The DA leads in connecting households to the grid. For example, since the DA won the Eastern Cape municipality of Kouga in 2016, 1 791 households there have received access to electricity for the first time. DA-run Cape Town supplies the highest level of access to electricity in SA. 98% of City-supplied informal settlements have access to electricity where it is possible to connect.

10.Rapid resolution of electricity faults for residents and businesses

DA governments lead in the rapid resolution of electricity faults. DA-run Cape Town fixes 80% of electricity faults in under 3.5 hours and 99.9% within national Quality of Service timeframes. DA-run Swartland Municipality attends to 84% of electricity faults within 1.5 hours, almost 3 times more than the NERSA requirement of 30%.


The DA gets things done to ensure reliable, affordable electricity. Take your power back by voting DA on 1 November.

Three big reasons to register to vote DA

Fixing South Africa starts with fixing our towns and cities and growing local economies. Local government is where the foundations for a prosperous future are built. A good local government can protect citizens from a failing state and bring progress for local residents even in a country sliding backwards.

The local government election on 1 November is shaping up to be a historic turning point for South Africa. The stars are aligned for millions more South Africans to be freed from the catastrophic failure that is ANC local government. With the ANC bankrupt and in complete disarray and the DA’s campaign 100% on track, we have a golden opportunity to bring good government to many more towns and cities across South Africa.

The crucial step you must take now if you want to fix South Africa is to make sure you are registered to vote. If you haven’t yet done so, this weekend is your last chance to register.  After Sunday, the voter’s roll will be closed and there will be no further opportunity to register. So why exactly should you register and vote DA? Three key reasons.

Only the DA is big enough to win

A vote for the DA is the most powerful body blow you can deliver to the ANC because only the DA is big enough to beat the ANC. Ward elections are based on a first-past-the-post system, meaning the party with the greatest number of votes wins the ward, even if that number is much lower than 50%. So if you splinter the opposition vote, you strengthen the ANC.

Dividing the opposition by voting for dozens of smaller parties may be your democratic right, but all this does is strengthen the ANC’s position relative to any of the opposition parties. So if you want to use your vote in a way that will make a realistic difference – and the very biggest difference possible – then you should vote for the DA.

Voting for smaller parties also strengthens the position of the EFF, who would love nothing more than to see their biggest competitor weakened by a splintered vote. In wards where the ANC wins, splitting the opposition vote risks making the EFF the official opposition. In wards where the ANC loses or can’t contest at all, splitting the opposition risks handing the ward to the EFF.

So a vote for the DA gives the greatest possible leverage in fortifying local governments against the ANC and EFF. When you split the DA vote, the ANC and EFF stand to benefit most, so it is ultimately self-defeating.

The ANC is a dying party of empty promises. It is in irreversible decline. The future is a fight between the DA and the EFF, which is fundamentally racist and will destroy South Africa. They have also proven themselves to be fundamentally corrupt, by stealing from poor, rural pensioners in the VBS scandal. Only the DA is big enough to stop the ANC and EFF and secure your future here in South Africa.

Only the DA has proved it can govern effectively

The DA is also the only party that gets things done in government. There is plenty of hard evidence that when we get a strong enough mandate, we clean up a town, stabilise its finances, plan and invest for the future, and improve service delivery for all residents and businesses, creating jobs in the process.

The DA cares about all race groups. We are a party that brings people of all races together around winning principles. And we are a party that delivers to all.

You need only look at our delivery successes in Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay, Midvaal, Stellenbosch or Kouga to see that we have a strong track record in government. No other party listed on the ballot paper can claim this. So, if you want the greatest chance of real delivery that improves the material conditions of people’s lives, there is no question that the DA is the party to vote for.

The effect of solid DA delivery in these municipalities has been to form a protective barrier for residents, securing their future in South Africa. By contrast, scores of municipalities across the country are entirely dysfunctional, with business and factories literally moving out – such as Clover from the North West town of Lichtenburg – to escape the ravages of a failed state, leaving a trail of joblessness behind them.

However, the experience of Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane since 2016 shows that where voters fail to give the DA a full mandate to govern, progress is slower and subject to the ever-present risk of interruptions. This was the big lesson for us in this last election cycle. To make rapid, lasting progress, we need an uninterrupted period of governance.

We have a saying in the DA that the only thing worse than losing an election is winning it and governing badly. We will therefore not go into coalition with any party that does not share our winning principles, which are a commitment to the rule of law, a social market economy, and a capable state that delivers to all, which requires appointments on merit rather than political loyalty.

Mayors and councillors must be fit for purpose. You cannot expect delivery from officials who are appointed for reasons other than their ability to deliver. The DA would rather be a strong, principled opposition than be in government but not able to deliver to our own high standards. Therefore every single vote is going to count in getting us over the 50% mark.

The DA is the strongest opposition to the ANC

While the DA is the party that can win and be an effective government for all, we are also the party that will be the best and strongest opposition to the ANC, if we lose.

Just as the DA has a solid track record in government, so we also have a solid track record in opposition. We fight hard for our winning principles. We believe strongly that there should be one set of rules for everyone. That is what the rule of law is all about. That is why we have defended former president Jacob Zuma’s illegal medical parole. And why we oppose the IEC giving the ANC a second chance to register candidates.

We have also been the strongest supporters of a capable state, by leading the fight against cadre deployment. It was our action that led to the establishment of the Zondo Commission. And our suggestion that led to the Zondo Commission obtaining the ANC’s deployment committee minutes that laid bare the ANC’s modus operandi for state capture. And it is our bill, the End Cadre Deployment Bill, that will ensure a capable state staffed by people appointed on their ability to deliver.


The bigger the DA, the more secure your future is here in South Africa. Only the DA can beat the ANC. Only the DA can keep the EFF out of official opposition. Only the DA can prevent state failure. Only the DA can deliver in government. Only the DA gets things done. So please don’t waste this golden opportunity to replace the ANC. Please make sure you and your family and friends are registered to vote DA.

The DA gets things done. Exhibit A – Cape Town

National elections get most of the attention, but it is at local government level where the foundations for a prosperous future are built. A good local government can go a long way to protect citizens from a failing state. A very good local government can buck the trend entirely and move a city forward in a country sliding backward. Nowhere is this more evident than in Cape Town, the best-run metro in South Africa.

Record of delivery

In a country regressing under the weight of ANC failure, here is a city that is working, building a secure future for all who live there. The DA has run Cape Town for fifteen years now – the first five in coalition and the last ten with an outright majority. In so doing, we’ve produced a track record of consistent delivery that we can put forward to voters as proof of our offer to get things done for them. No other party on the ballot paper can do this.

Good governance

Sustained delivery is only possible on a foundation of clean and effective governance. DA-run Cape Town has achieved 15 consecutive unqualified annual audits due to a strong anti-corruption stance – the only metro in SA that has achieved this. All suppliers are paid withing 30 days and those who fail to deliver to residents are blacklisted from doing business with the City.

Which is why Cape Town has been voted the most trusted metro in the country for seven years in a row in the Consulta Citizen Satisfaction Index. Its 98.9% average payment collection rate for municipal bills is evidence of the trust residents have in the City’s service delivery and governance.


In July 2020, the Ratings Afrika Sustainability Survey rated Cape Town the only metro that could be considered sustainable, with the capacity to absorb the financial shocks associated with the pandemic. Walking the talk in tough times, the City cut R460 million from staff-related expenditure in 2021/22 and is the only metro to publish covid-related procurement online, in line with its commitment to transparency and accountability.


The City has a pro-poor delivery record, with 40% of households receiving free basic water and sanitation services, double the national averages of 21.8% and 18.7% respectively, with Gauteng at 15.6% and 17.4% (StatsSA). Likewise, 27% of city-supplied households receive free basic electricity against a national average of 16.7%, with Gauteng at 15.4%.

Building buffer

Going forward, three key DA offers to Cape Town residents is to fight crime, end load shedding and create jobs. The City is already delivering on each of these fronts, with plans for much more in future, so as to protect residents from national government delivery failures.

Fighting crime

Law Enforcement has tripled the arrest rate since 2016, following a 55% increase in the safety and security budget in the past five years, and the R3bn Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) to put more boots on the ground.

Together with communities, the City and provincial government have been building Cape Town’s neighbourhood watch (NW) network for 15 years, including training, accrediting and equipping them to serve as “force multipliers” together with SAPS, Metro Police, Law Enforcement, and private security in a seamless functional system. Cape Town is the only metro, in the only province, empowered by legislation to accredit, equip and train NWs. The City and Province are together supporting 197 accredited NWs in the metro, totaling 8000 trained members.

To keep school children safe, the City has a Walking Bus programme in 75 areas, with over 2000 parents and volunteers from the community ensuring learners travel safely to 222 schools. It has also deployed over 50 dedicated School Resource Officers to improve safety at high-risk schools.

The City has doubled the number of surveillance cameras in Cape Town since 2016, from 433 to 835 CCTV cameras, with a record 15 390 incidents captured and 267 arrests in 2020/21. Since 2016, Metro Police have made almost 7000 drug arrests and confiscated 113 460 drug units, while traffic services have made over 13 694 drunk driving arrests and impounded 22 114 taxis for various offences.

Cape Town received ‘role model city’ status from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. It is South Africa’s leading City for firefighting services, with 32 fire stations, over 1210 firefighting and operational staff, and a 350-strong fleet bringing 95% of all wildfires under control within the first hour of reporting.

Ending load shedding

Cape Town is the only metro able to protect residents and businesses from Eskom’s load shedding. It does this through the city owned and operated Steenbras hydroelectric pumped storage scheme.

During periods of peak demand, water from the upper dam is channeled through the turbine generator to create electricity. This water is then pumped back up to the upper dam at night using low-cost surplus national generating capacity.

The spare electricity generated is used to make up for supply shortfalls from Eskom, reducing load shedding by one stage or avoiding it altogether. This innovation mitigates both the economic impact and inconvenience of load shedding and saves on the cost of buying electricity at peak rates.

Cape Town is also leading the charge to diversify energy supply and is the most energy efficient city in South Africa, with energy-efficient lamps in all traffic lights and 34% of streetlights.

Creating jobs

Cape Town has the lowest broad unemployment rate of all metros, consistently over 10 percentage points lower than Gauteng and 14 percentage points below the national average.

Despite a net outflow of foreign direct investment from South Africa, Cape Town is one of the world’s fastest-growing regions for foreign direct investment, according to the African Tech Ecosystems of the Future 2021/22 report. This is due to its good investment incentives policy and reliable service delivery.

Cape Town is ranked the top financial centre in sub-Saharan Africa and is the tech start-up capital of Africa, with about 50 000 people employed in this sector, more than Lagos and Nairobi combined. It was named World’s leading Festival and Events City in the World Travel Awards in 2018 and 2020. The Air Access initiative secured 22 new international air travel routes and 26 route expansions, doubling the international seat capacity of Cape Town International Airport prior to the pandemic.


Local government is the coalface of delivery. The effect of solid DA delivery in Cape Town has been to form a protective barrier for Cape Town residents, securing their future in South Africa.

Mayoral candidate, Geordin Hill-Lewis, has the vision and the drive to take Cape Town from good to great.

It is three days to go until registration weekend. Please make sure you are registered in the ward where you live to vote DA in the local election on 1 November. Because only the DA can prove that we get things done. Only the DA can secure your future in South Africa. Only the DA offers both effective government and strong opposition. Only the DA has a record of action, and a promise of more.

Ready to campaign, ready to govern.

The 2021 Local Government Elections are shaping up to be a historic turning point for South Africa. The stars are aligned for many municipalities across the country to finally free themselves from the ANC’s destructive grip and to start seeing progress under DA governments or DA-led coalitions.

The DA is ready to campaign and ready to govern. For the first time ever, we have registered a candidate in every single ward in the country. Our lists are submitted, our manifesto is written, our posters are printed, and we are ready to bring one powerful message to every corner of South Africa: the DA gets things done.

We have truckloads of evidence to support our claim that we are the only party in South Africa with a track record of delivery in government. Over the next seven weeks, we will tell the stories of our many governing successes, so that come election day, no one will be in any doubt as to which party they can rely on to get things done for them.

In recent newsletters, I have set out our governing successes in Midvaal, Kouga and Nelson Mandela Bay, and how the DA does more for young people than any other party. And we have many more good stories to tell, especially where the DA has had a full mandate to govern.

Voters can be sure that we will not be making the mistake again of going into coalition or governing arrangements with parties that do not share our four non-negotiable governing principles: commitment to the rule of law, nonracialism, a social market economy, and a capable state that delivers to all.

The DA is feeling extremely upbeat, and this at a time when the ANC’s cancerous policy of cadre deployment is destroying the party itself. It has turned their electoral process into an intense and protracted battle for who gets to steal rather than who gets to serve, leading to them missing the IEC’s deadline to register candidates in 93 of South Africa’s 257 municipalities.

The DA’s state of readiness and the ANC’s state of turmoil mean that this election, for the first time since 1994, is wide open, with the real prospect of widespread change in local governments from ANC to DA.

This will bring real material improvements to many people’s lives and some relief at this time of great suffering. It will also give the DA a golden opportunity to earn the trust of people in provinces other than just the Western Cape ahead of the 2024 general election, when South Africa needs the ANC swept from power if the country is to stop its downward hurtle towards a captured and failed state while there is still something left to save.

The Constitutional Court this week dismissed the IEC’s application to postpone the elections, ruling they must be held within the constitutionally mandated period, which is on or before 1 November 2021.

This is an important judgement and a great victory for democracy, for the Constitution, and for the DA, which fought hard in court for this outcome. It sets an invaluable precedent for upholding voters’ rights, no matter how inconvenient for the ruling party and the IEC.

Zambia’s recent successful election shows that campaigning and voting can happen safely if we follow all the precautions that we’ve become accustomed to taking, such as wearing masks, sanitizing, and social distancing.

But don’t be fooled. The real reason for the IEC’s application to delay the election had little to do with the pandemic and much to do with the fact that the ANC needs more time to get its house in order. Specifically, it needed the candidate registration process to be re-opened.

Yesterday, IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini, a Zuma appointee and ANC acolyte, announced that the candidate registration process will reopen on 20 September. This is purely for the ANC’s sake and is an opportunity that has never been granted before to other parties requiring a second chance, including the IFP and the NFP in 2011 and 2016 respectively.

The DA will oppose this plan in court. There simply cannot be one set of rules for the ANC and another for the rest of the country. Some people have argued that giving the ANC a second chance will be good for democracy. Yet one set of rules for everyone is the very essence of democracy, while ANC capture of democratic institutions to subvert their purpose from serving people to serving the ANC is the very antithesis of democracy.

As are the ANC’s attempts to capture and influence the judiciary. We know this has happened. ANC-deployed Judge John Hlophe is a case in point. But thanks to Dr Sydney Mufamadi’s testimony at the Zondo Commission in January, we now also know about the intelligence slush fund that was used for influencing judges, amongst other purposes. And we know from the ANC’s deployment committee minutes, subpoenaed by the Zondo Commission at the DA’s request, that the committee influenced the appointment of judges during a meeting in March 2019.

It is therefore possible that the ANC’s sudden withdrawal of its court action to have the candidate registration process reopened was due to a tip-off by a judge. Clearly, the ANC must have believed there was an easier route, namely that the election date could be reproclaimed and potentially shifted out by up to 5 days, giving the ANC-captured IEC a smokescreen to reopen the process.

Deploying loyal cadres to the IEC and the judiciary to serve the ANC by granting them special favours, is no different from deploying loyal cadres to the Department of Correctional Services to serve the ANC by placing compromised ANC cadres such as Jacob Zuma on medical parole, to ease factional tensions in the party. The DA is fighting this move, too.

The DA has fought cadre deployment and its implications for two decades, and we will continue fighting it with every mechanism at our disposal, because it is the root of South Africa’s rot.

But even if the ANC and IEC succeed in their bid to give the ANC another chance to register its candidates, the ANC’s finances and systems are in a mess and this will reflect in the election result just as will the DA’s state of readiness.

The DA is ready to assist all our voters and potential voters to register during the registration weekend which has now been announced for 18-19 September. We are ready to hang our posters and launch our manifesto. We are ready to tell our good stories. Most of all, we are ready to get things done for the people of South Africa.