Tourism Minister confirms Western Cape only province with additional programmes to keep local and international tourists safe

In a response to a Democratic Alliance (DA) question, the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, confirmed in the National Assembly today that DA-governed Western Cape and the City of Cape Town are the only governments to have additional safety tourism programmes.

The National Department of Tourism has introduced the Tourism Safety Monitor Programme in all the provinces.  This programme is being rolled out across the country. However, only the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town have additional programmes to ensure the safety of tourists.

The City of Cape Town will roll out the Bank-Aid Programme.  Through Band-Aid the City will provide services such, but not limited to, Trauma counselling, Translation services and assistance with lost or stolen passports and bank cards.

In addition, Cape Town has appointed Tourism Safety Ambassadors who serve as additional on-the-ground support in the CBD and other tourism hotspots. They guide visitors around the city, offer advice and keep a keen eye out for any suspicious behavior.

It is clear that through these tangible programmes that only the DA-governed Western Cape and the City of Cape Town are serious about ensuring the safety of local and international visitors.  Although all and sundry talk about the importance of the safety of tourists, no other Province is actually doing something about it.  Only the DA, is demonstrating and understands that the safety of tourists are intricately linked to the overall success of tourism in South Africa which is an “easy win” for economic growth and job creation.

DA-led governments begin process to procure power directly from independent power producers

Support the DA’s plan to Keep The Lights On!

The following statement was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press briefing outside of the Eskom substation in Randburg, Johannesburg. Maimane was joined by DA Metro Executive Mayors of Cape Town, Dan Plato, Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba and Tshwane, Stevens Mokgalapa, as well as DA Gauteng Premier Candidate, Solly Msimanga.

In the year 2019, after 25 years of democracy, it is an indictment on the ANC national government that the greatest threat to our nation is the collapse of Eskom and the national grid, which threatens to plunge South Africa into darkness. The reality is that due to shameless corruption and mismanagement of Eskom and disdain towards an independent energy sector, South Africa is on the brink of a national disaster.

This crisis is ANC-made and ANC-sustained, and we must not shy away from that fact. For the past two decades, the governing party has overseen the destruction of Eskom. The entity cannot provide constant, uninterrupted power to South Africans, is in hundreds of billions of rands of debt, and on the brink of bankruptcy. Eskom has been hollowed out by ANC crooks and cadres – many of whom Cyril Ramaphosa appointed to Eskom as head of the ANC’s deployment committee.

I want to urge South Africans to not be fooled by this temporary, short-term “breather” from rolling power cuts experienced this week. This is by no means a sign that all is well, and that the structural problems have been solved. The ANC has shown it will stop at nothing to keep the lights on before an election, even if this means the collapse of Eskom – both in terms of its finances and infrastructure. Currently, the ANC national government has chosen to burn billions of rands of diesel in a desperate attempt to keep the lights on as elections are around the corner, while stubbornly refusing to fix the fundamental problems at Eskom and in our energy sector.

Despite the fact that it is ANC corruption and mismanagement that has caused this crisis and its consequential negative impact, DA-led governments have stepped up to the task and put forward innovative plans to mitigate the crisis in the short term, and to stabilise electricity supply in the medium to long term.

Today I am joined by the Mayors of the DA-led Cities of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Tshwane to unpack these plans going forward. I am also joined by the next Premier of Gauteng, Solly Msimanga, who will speak to his plans on ensuring Gauteng becomes energy independent under a DA-led government.

We have initiated the following interventions in the short, medium and long term to ensure we mitigate damage, keep the lights on, and fix Eskom and our energy sector for good.

Firstly, every DA-run municipality has been tasked to formulate and execute disaster management plans to mitigate the damage being caused to critical infrastructure and service delivery by unreliable and intermittent energy supply. Each of the metro mayors present here today will speak to the plans for their respective cities.

Secondly, every DA mayor in the country to, where appropriate and possible, will write to the Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe, requesting a determination in terms of Section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act 4 of 2006 (“the Act”) allowing those municipalities to bypass Eskom and procure electricity directly from Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

Section 34 of the Act empowers the Minister of Energy to allow municipalities to enter into a tender procedure which is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective with the private sector to provide for new generation capacity. This direct licencing arrangement with private sector energy providers must be approved in consultation with, and facilitated by, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA).

The number of IPPs is multiplying across South Africa and is increasingly becoming a sustainable option for municipalities to supplement their electricity supply procured from Eskom.

In this light, the City of Cape Town will continue full steam ahead with its court action in the North Gauteng High Court, seeking to compel the Minister Radebe to grant a Section 34 determination to the City to procure electricity directly from IPPs. The outcome of this case will set legal precedent for all municipalities in South Africa wanting to provide affordable, reliable and diversified electricity to their residents.

Thirdly, every DA-run municipality in the country will explore the viability and sustainability of adopting a by-law to regulate Small Scale Embedded Generation such as solar PV at businesses and residential homes. This would allow individuals with the capacity to generate their own energy to feed surplus energy into the grid and in turn credit their accounts. This by-law already exists in the City of Cape and 18 other DA-run municipalities and there is no reason it cannot be adopted all across the country. I have tasked all DA mayors to look at the viability within their local circumstances to adopt a similar by-law, where practicable and financially feasible.

And lastly, I have tasked caucus leaders of every council the DA is in opposition to table motions stating that Eskom as a single supply monopoly is failing to provide continued and uninterrupted supply of electricity and to compel the relevant mayors to write to the Minister of Energy seeking a Section 34 determination.

We believe that these interventions will help to stave off a total collapse in the short term. However, if we are to fix our energy sector and provide energy security to all South Africans, we require complete overhaul and reform.

In the short term, the DA would:

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

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

  • Pass the ISMO Bill, which would privatise the generation entities of Eskom, allowing a diverse range of energy to enter the grid, increasing competition and lowering the cost;
  • Commence with a drastic salary restructuring of Eskom’s executive;
  • Audit all middle management and begin the process of cutting ‘dead weight’;
  • Instruct municipalities to start a “name and shame” campaign for non-payers of electricity. In short, to release the names of the main offenders that are non-paying to the municipality website and local papers making sure communities know who is skipping on payment. This would be similar to the City of Cape Town’s water saving “name and shame” campaign.
  • Install major smart meters for municipalities to force municipalities to collect revenue timeously. The top 5 worst municipality offenders at the end of last year were:
    • Maluti A Phofung, Free State – R 2.809 billion
    • Matjhabeng, Free State – R 1.815 billion
    • Emalahleni, Mpumalanga – R 1.667 billion
    • Ngwathe, Free State – R 940 million
    • Emfuleni, Gauteng – R 872 million

There is a plan to rescue South Africa from this crisis, however, we need to act with urgency. This ANC government has sat on its hands for too long. We now need immediate change.

This coming Friday, 29 March, we will embark on a National Day of Action as we take the plight of the nation to the seat of national government at the Union Buildings. We call on South Africans in every community, town and city across the country, to join us in a collective protest against this national crisis.

Join the event here!

South Africa needs this change, and we need it now. And I urge every citizen who loves this country to join this National Day of Action so that we can usher in change and save our nation from the brink of collapse. The time is now – we will not sit back and watch our country implode at the hands of this failing ANC government.

The reality is that come 8 May, South Africans will have the chance to cut the ANC’s power and usher in real change at the ballot box and vote for a party that has a plan to keep the lights on and fix this ANC-created energy crisis.

Support the DA’s plan to Keep The Lights On!

Let’s take back our communities from violent criminals

The following remarks were delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at the Nyanga Police Station in Cape Town. Maimane was joined by DA Western Cape Leader, Bonginkosi Madikizela, and Western Cape MEC for Community Safety, Dan Plato.

My fellow South Africans

The most important job, the first job, of any government is to keep its people safe. To protect them from those with no regard for the law and no respect for the lives of innocent people.

It doesn’t matter where you live. It doesn’t matter whether you’re rich or poor, black or white, young or old, government has a sworn duty to protect you from harm and from criminals.

You have the same right to this protection whether you live in Sandton or Nyanga.

But when you look at how our police resources are allocated, it is very clear that this Constitutional duty is not being honoured.

Here’s the truth: this ANC government does not care about crime in poor communities.

Because the people who live in the communities that are hardest hit by violent crime, are also the people who receive the least protection from this government.

Nowhere is this more clear than in a place like Nyanga.

This police station here in Nyanga serves a community that suffers the worst assault from violent criminals anywhere in South Africa, and yet it remains completely under-resourced.

The people who live in Nyanga face the highest numbers of murder, rape and assault in the country, and yet they have the fewest police officers per residents in the country. In Nyanga there is only one police officer for every 628 residents. The national average is one police officer for every 369 people.

In fact, the entire Western Cape Province is under-resourced in terms of police officer numbers compared to the rest of the country, and this has been known for years. In Cape Town the situation is getting worse. Two years ago there was one police officer for every 439 people in the city. Today it’s one police officer for every 560 people.

How is this possible? Must we accept this unjust allocation of police resources from national government? Must we simply accept that a place like Nyanga will forever be known as the murder capital of the country? Must we simply accept that this ANC government refuses to listen to a community’s pleas for protection?

I can assure you a DA national government would not do this. We would ensure a fair allocation of police resources. We would match the number of police officers to the needs of the community, and these would be well-trained, visible police officers on the street, not behind desks.

We would also bring back the specialised gang and drug units that were disbanded back in 2004 and deploy them to the districts targeted by these criminals.

Half the murders in the Western Cape are committed in only 7% of the province’s police precincts. These are areas with hundreds of shooting incidents every week.

It cannot be that these communities must fear for their lives every day because criminals have taken over their streets.

It cannot be that parents have to worry all day, every day, about the safety of their children who are targeted by gangsters.

It cannot be that women have to worry about being raped and murdered every time they leave their home, and particularly after dark.

Let me state very clearly: The Police are the responsibility of national government. It is something neither the Western Cape provincial government nor the City of Cape Town has any control over.

All control over SAPS – from policing policy to how and where they deploy their resources – is in the hands of national government.

Our DA-run provincial and local governments have been fighting with the national ANC government for years to make the safety of communities like Nyanga, Khayelitsha, Mannenberg, Hanover Park, Mitchells Plain and so many other unsafe areas of Cape Town a priority.

The DA has been fighting for years for a fair allocation of police resources.

We have fought for more visible policing, more vehicles, more training.

We have also said that we need the deployment of the army to areas where gangsters have turned our streets into war zones.

We have asked repeatedly for regular crime statistics from SAPS – something they are obliged to provide us every quarter in accordance with the Western Cape Community Safety Act. We passed this act to force the Police to take this seriously, but they simply ignore this law!

So today I challenge national government and the South African Police Service: Come with me to Nyanga. Come and speak to the people here who live in fear every day. Come and see for yourselves the effects of your under-resourcing of these areas. And then let us fix it together.

Let us bring the numbers of police officers in Cape Town’s crime-ridden townships in line with the rest of the country.

Let us re-introduce the specialised gang and drugs units, as was promised years ago.

Let us bring back police reservists.

And, most importantly, let us deploy the army to the areas worst hit by gang violence. Not to replace the police on the streets, but to help stabilise the situation and free SAPS up to do their job of investigating and making arrests.

Last year, then Police Minister Fikile Mbalula gave us his word that the army would be deployed to these areas by Christmas. But the minute he was replaced by Bheki Cele in President Ramaphosa’s cabinet, national government reneged on that promise.

Nothing has changed in these communities. Nothing has improved. So why is their safety no longer a priority for this government? Why break a promise to the people of this city who live in fear of violent crime every day?

To the people of Cape Town, I say: add your voice to mine in calling for urgent action to put an end to violent crime. On Thursday the 19th of July, let us march to this police station here in Nyanga, and let us call for urgent measures to combat gangsterism, drug crime, murder, rape and violent robberies.

These measures will include the deployment of the army to these Cape Town communities until crime here is under control.

These are your communities. They belong to you and your children, and not to gangsters and drug lords. Let’s take them back.

DA congratulates City of Cape Town and residents for defeating Day Zero

The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape is relieved about the announcement today from Deputy Mayor Ian Nielson that Day Zero has been defeated for 2019. The announcement shows that the City of Cape Town is committed to the residents of Cape Town and putting them first.

This success is a clear indication of the excellent cooperation between the City and its residents who have worked together tirelessly to ensure an effective water management system. Under the leadership of Deputy Mayor Ian Nielson, the City managed to pull off a groundbreaking achievement which will become the benchmark for cities across the world.

Despite the lack of support by the ANC -led National Government and the ongoing drought, Cape Town still managed to, through continued extensive awareness communication, the installation of water management devices, pressure management and a leak repair programme, avoid our taps running dry.

We wish to congratulate and thank everyone involved from the City and the residents of Cape Town for this amazing effort. Let’s continue to work together and stay reminded that 50 litres has become the new normal.

DA clarifies that ‘fake news’ post is not official DA content

The DA would like to clarify that the ‘De Lille Exposed’ post which has been shared on social media is not official content and has never been shared by our official DA platforms.

More importantly, this fake letter has never been used as the basis for any disciplinary matter between Patricia de Lille and the party.

It is unfortunate that a fake news post which makes use of the Auditor General’s signature has been shared as authentic content by many who have fallen prey to fake news on social media platforms. The DA has been in contact with News24 to ensure that the reporting on this matter is not ambiguous.

The damning findings against Ms De Lille which were presented by the AG to the City of Cape Town as part of his audit opinion are contained on our official website and are accurate. Click here to read them.

The DA is confident that this now clarifies that all content shared on our official party platforms is accurate and authentic.

We will #DefeatDayZero for 2018 if we continue along current levels of usage

The following statement was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press briefing at the Party’s Federal Head Office in Cape Town.
Just less than two months ago, the City of Cape Town was in a dire position. We were told that due to the worst drought the city had seen in over 100 years, its water supply was near depletion, and “Day Zero” – the day on which the taps would turn off – was set to arrive on 12 April 2018.
We were facing an unprecedented crisis.
As Leader of the DA, I was not satisfied with the way the city had responded to the drought crisis up to that point. While the responsibility for bulk water supply is inarguably the responsibility of the National Government, residents of Cape Town rightly felt that their local government had not communicated openly with them. Many residents blamed the DA, and as Cape Town is a DA government, it was important that I intervened to ensure that residents received the level of service and honest government that they expect from the DA.
I therefore decided to take political control of the situation, appoint a Drought Crisis Team – made up of the individuals sitting on this panel today – and commit to doing everything possible to fight this water crisis, on all fronts.
When this decision was taken, our dam levels were sitting at 27.2%, with only 17.2% of usable water left. We made one thing clear: to fight this water crisis and Defeat Day Zero, we had to band together and mobilise public support around cutting consumption to record lows.
Residents responded magnificently, rolled up their sleeves, and got stuck in. Individuals, families, communities, businesses, private dam owners and many others. Everyone played their part in this city-wide collective effort to keep the taps open.
Each week, the water consumption steadily dropped, and we were able to push back Day Zero by days, and then weeks, and then months.
I am therefore happy to announce today that provided we continue consuming water at current levels, and we receive decent winter rainfall this year, Day Zero will not occur in 2018. This means the taps will stay open in 2018!
Consumption now sits at between 510 and 520 million litres per day – down from almost 1.2 billion litres in February 2015. This 60% reduction in consumption is an incredible achievement, and outperforms many other cities across the world which faced severe droughts – including Sao Paulo, Melbourne, and the State of California.
The significance of this effort cannot be overstated. The sustained dedication and fortitude of all residents is the primary reason for this. You are all Day Zero heroes.
My deepest thanks also goes out to the private water transfer providers whose transfer of water has hugely helped us all to defeat Day Zero in 2018. I am similarly grateful to the agricultural sector and businesses who have played a massive part in defeating Day Zero for the year.
However, while we must celebrate our collective achievement, this is not the time for complacency. While it is now unlikely to occur in 2018, Day Zero is still a very real possibility during the 2019 summer months if we do not have significant rainfall this winter. I want to reiterate, and cannot stress enough, that we need to keep at current consumptions levels until at least after the winter rainfall. We can and we must continue to use less than 50 litres of water per day so that Day Zero can be defeated in its entirety.
I am confident that residents will not return to previous wasteful water practices. We have all had our habits and routines changed for the better by this drought, and we must not revert to old bad habits. There is a ‘new normal’ in the Western Cape around water use. We must continue in this current spirit of utmost respect for this precious natural resource, and never waste it. I must also be made clear that this hinges on the national Department of Water and Sanitation honouring its agreement as to the amount of bulk water that will be supplied to the city and the province over the year.
The City of Cape Town will continue to play its part – under the guidance of Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson and MMC Xanthea Limberg – in building a long-term water resilient city. As the climate and rainfall patterns are changing, so too is our approach to water security in the city.
Through augmentation projects, we will be adding an additional 190 ML per day to the supply system by the end of this year; growing to 220 ML in 2019; and plan to ramp it up to 300 ML in 2020.
So too will the Provincial Government continue to provide disaster management planning and response, as well as ensuring that the many other towns and cities throughout the province – all of which have suffered through this drought – emerge more resilient and water secure. Premier Zille, Minister Bredell, and their colleagues, have done exceptional work in readying the province for all possible eventualities, and this work can and must continue until such time as water supply is normalised and Day Zero is completely defeated.
Depending on the extent of consumption – and the amount of rain we receive over the winter months – the city may be in a position to scale back the current restrictions from Level 6B to Level 5 in the near future. They will communicate on this in good time.
I am satisfied with the good work done by Deputy Mayor Neilson, MMC Limberg, Premier Zille and Minister Bredell, and want to thank them and their departments in both local and provincial government for the crucial role played in tackling this crisis. I have full faith in their ability to see us through this water crisis.
In the context of climate change, South Africans ought to accept and appreciate that we have a new relationship with water. The DA will begin the process of tasking our governments to build water resilient cities and towns across the country, as we tackle this “new normal.”
My focus in terms of water will now shift to the national sphere, where I will be in Parliament fighting for the many millions of South Africans who do not have a safe and secure water supply. There are too many towns across South Africa who are in a worse position than Cape Town, and they need our help.
Let’s keep our consumption levels as low so that together we can defeat Day Zero for good.

Together we’ve pushed Day Zero back, now let’s defeat it!

Thanks to the water saving efforts of many Cape Town residents, I can confirm that we have begun to push back Day Zero, which is now 16 April 2018.

This is crucial progress, and I offer my thanks and congratulations to all residents who have joined in this campaign to Defeat Day Zero with such commitment. Their efforts have shown fruit. We have started to push back Day Zero, and we can defeat it altogether if we keep going.

Pushing back Day Zero by 4 days may not seem like a lot. But actually it is a significant victory. It shows that residents are coming together and cutting water consumption.

I said that if we worked together we could demonstrate what is best about South Africans, our incredible resilience, and we could Defeat Day Zero. This week, I could not be more proud of our city!

Last week I committed to be completely open with the public about where we stood and what needed to be done. I committed to improve the communication and tell it like it is, because previously residents were not always getting accurate information. This is not what people expect from any DA government, and it cannot happen again. I committed to fixing it, and we are fixing it.

Today and at future briefings we will answer as many questions as you have. When we don’t have information at hand, we will get it to you.

Consumption:

We have managed to push back Day Zero by cutting consumption to an average of 580 million litres a day for the past week, and to 540 million litres a day for the past few days.

This is great progress, but to truly Defeat Day Zero, we need to aim to cut consumption to 450 million litres a day.

While I celebrate the progress this week, I call on all residents to support the campaign to Defeat Day Zero by cutting their consumption to below 50 litres per person per day.

This is definitely possible with a bit of effort, and I am already getting my family down to 40 litres per person per day.

I’ve been heartened by the dozens of innovative water saving tips that residents have been sending to us and posting on social media. This demonstrates the incredible resilience and fighting spirit that makes South Africans so wonderful, and gives me the absolute confidence that if we keep going like this, we can Defeat Day Zero.

I’m also grateful for the wonderful messages and practical support from South Africans across the country.

New Water Projects:

I am also pleased to be able to announce today that the City has secured an additional 67 million litres a day for a period of approximately 60 days, commencing in early February.

I commend the City’s efforts to bring this extra 67 million litres on line by early February, as part of the 120 million litre augmentation which we announced last week. Last week we expected this additional capacity to only come online by May, but now more than half will be available from early February. This speeding-up of water augmentation will help us greatly to Defeat Day Zero.

This water will be transferred from the Palmiet-Kogelberg dam, which has had excellent rainfall and is full. This has been a collaborative effort from the farming community of the Elgin-Grabouw valley and the City of Cape Town and we are extremely grateful for their efforts. This too shows how South Africans are coming together to Defeat Day Zero.

Drilling work on the Cape Flats Aquifer is being accelerated aggressively, and we will provide more detail on timelines and yields in the coming weeks.

Water Pressure Management:

Over the coming weeks the City will be reducing pressure across the city.

This means that residents will start to experience a noticeable drop in pressure for most of the day, and those in high-lying areas and in apartment blocks may have water service interruption for several hours at a time.

People should not be alarmed or panic when this happens, and should plan accordingly. This is the planned pressure reduction programme being implemented by the City to reduce consumption, and is part of the plan to ensure that everyone continues to have access to water and to Defeat Day Zero.

Many residents have already begun to panic about the possibility of Day Zero, and have actually begun to hoard municipal water. Panic and hysteria is not helpful to the effort to Defeat Day Zero. It actually increases consumption and so is counter-productive. If we are clear about what we need to do, and committed to doing it, then we absolutely can Defeat Day Zero altogether. We need all residents, community leaders, religious leaders and the media to help us in this cause and not contribute to any sense of panic.

Day Zero Plans:

If we do not reduce consumption enough, it is still possible that Day Zero could happen. We must all work with absolute commitment, and mobilise every possible resource, to prevent it from happening. But if it does, we must be ready.

It was clear to me that the Day Zero plans were not robust enough and had been poorly communicated. Now our colleagues in the City and Provincial governments are working flat out to ramp up the Day Zero planning and communicate this in good time. The City provided a helpful and detailed briefing on this on Sunday.

Conclusion:

We thank the Muslim community of Cape Town for the huge prayer service held for the City over the weekend. We thank all other religious groups who have sent us their good wishes and who are praying for the City.

We thank the exceptional team of professionals in the City of Cape Town who are truly world class, and who are working tirelessly under extreme pressure. We should not sell ourselves short by thinking that only foreign experts can solve this. We have among the best experts in the world right here, and they deserve our full support.

We have shown this week that we can do it. We’ve brought down consumption, and we’ve pushed back Day Zero.

If we continue to cut consumption more, we can Defeat Day Zero altogether.

We are committed to #DefeatDayZero

Cape Town currently faces an exceptional situation. It is a scientific fact that we are experiencing the worst drought ever recorded.

Let’s ensure that each of us – our families, friends and fellow citizens – unite together to defeat Day Zero.

We can. And we must.

Visit DefeatDayZero.co.za to get answers to the most frequently asked questions about the drought, download posters to put up at home and work, and sign-up to stay informed.

The following speech was delivered today by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, at the launch of the #DefeatDayZero campaign at Joseph Stone Auditorium in Athlone, Cape Town. 

Fellow Citizens,

Thank you for coming to Athlone today.

It is no secret that Cape Town currently faces an unprecedented situation. It is a scientific fact that we are experiencing the worst drought ever recorded. This is a natural disaster of immense proportions

We all know that Day Zero is a very real possibility. Come with fear and anxiety. We can choose to flight or to fight. We have to give ourselves the best fighting chance. What is true is that humans have triumphed in the midst of great challenges and now we must too.

And unless we act clearly, decisively and immediately, it may arrive sooner than is currently projected.

I am very aware that there is a lot of public unhappiness, concern, and confusion as to how the DA-run City of Cape Town is responding to the situation. I understand what risk it poses for business, for communities, the fear and paralysis driven by a lack of information.

These are extraordinary and unprecedented times.

As Leader of the DA, all DA governments are accountable to me through the federal executive. I am not fully satisfied with the way the City has responded to the drought crisis, its communication, in particular, has fallen short.

This lack of clarity is not what citizens should expect from any DA government.

It’s time for decisive action.

And today I want to share some of the decisive action I have taken.

Firstly, I have taken the unprecedented step of taking political control of our respective government’s responses to the situation.

I have also instructed that the management of the drought crisis at the City be transferred to Ian Neilson and Xanthea Limberg. Unquestionably, they are the best people for the job.

Ian will take the lead role in directing the City of Cape Town’s response to this drought, supported by Xanthea Limberg.

They will form part of the new Drought Crisis Team I have established, who are with me here.

Helen Zille will make sure that the province leads and directs the disaster management response in the event that Day Zero does arrive.

Bonginkosi Madikizela and Anton Bredell will form a core part of directing and implementing the strategy of this team.

Our mission is clear. We must defeat Day Zero. I happen to believe it is possible and I will give my all and they will too.

Whatever it takes, whatever the efforts needed, they will do.

And I am resolute in my determination to ensure that everything – and I mean everything – humanly possible is done to give us the best chance of doing so. Our governments will do whatever it takes

Now is not the time for politicking and finger-pointing. We do not have the luxury of time. We need to unite behind this common mission to defeat Day Zero. Together with the citizens of CT, we can defeat day zero.

Today I am going to share with you the only plan possible to achieve this. And from here on, I promise consistent and regular communication from this team. We will clearly outline where we are in defeating Day Zero.

Today I will update you on the following:

  1. Where we are at.
  2. What we are doing.
  3. What we all need to do.

It is important to start by confirming that as it stands right now, based on the supply and consumption levels of water, Day Zero will arrive on 12 April 2018.

So what are we doing?

There are key factors that contribute to and affect water supply. And I want to update you on where we are at on each of them.

Dams

Firstly our dams – the primary source of water for Cape Town. The dam levels are currently at 27.2% as of now with 17.2% usable water left.

Many people I speak to ask why more dams have not been built.

I want to make something very clear on the bulk supply of water. There is a misconception that this is the role of a city and it is a local government responsibility.

Let me be very, very clear. It is not.

It is the constitutional mandate of national government to deliver water to all municipalities.

The City purchases bulk water, in much the same way that it purchases bulk electricity from Eskom.

And therefore the funding for any additional water supply falls within national government. Local governments simply don’t have those kinds of funds or the mandate for bulk water provision.

The Western Cape as a whole needs the national government to play its legally mandated role to ensure greater water security. And I will be taking the fight to national government to make sure that it fulfills this role.

Indeed, both the City and Province are currently considering legal action to compel national government to act. This is not a finger pointing exercise, it is about ensuring that the Constitution is given effect to and that the rights of citizens and ratepayers are fought for and protected.

Infrastructure

What the city does control is the infrastructure that cleans the water and carries it to your homes, businesses, and schools.

Long ago, the City put in place a strategy to reduce water losses from its pipe network, reducing such losses to 14%. The City has been hugely successful in delivering on this strategy, which is well below the international average, and also well below the average of  37% for municipalities in South Africa.

Augmentation

I am often asked how a city surrounded by ocean can run out of water.

Desalination, regardless of what anyone says, is expensive and complex.

And the problem is that there simply isn’t money. Large-scale facilities cost anything up to R15 billion. That is a third of Cape Town’s annual budget. No city can afford such facilities on its own. Especially when their provision is outside its legal mandate.

However, as part of our immediate augmentation plans, we are bringing on board 3 smaller-scale desalination plants which I visited this week. These are located at Strandfontein, Monwabisi, and the Waterfront.

Our primary focus is on bringing the Atlantis and Cape Flats Aquifers on line.

This is because aquifers provide a much more immediate and cost-effective water source than desalination.

Water supply will also be augmented by transfers from private dams and water reuse.

In total, the city plans to bring 120 megalitres on line by May 2018 as a result of these augmentation efforts.

The City will also look to even larger scale and aggressive augmentation projects to ensure water resilience in the years going forward, using a similar mix of water supply sources.

We must ensure that this situation never confronts Cape Town again. And the City will continue to go beyond its mandate in pursuance of the most effective and sustainable augmented water sources.

Demand Management

I need to be absolutely clear here – the only way to avoid Day Zero in the immediate term is by further reducing demand. There is no silver bullet or augmentation scheme which will in the short term change this simple fact.

Augmentation will only assist greatly in the years to come.

This is not because of a lack of planning or foresight.

It is because of the unprecedented severity of the current drought, the worst in recorded history.

Cape Town has come through previous droughts, because of the steps it has taken to manage and reduce demand.

And this is where, Cape Town, I need your immediate help and decisive action.

The only way to defeat Day Zero is to use less water. All of us. We are part of this continent and we have to work together. The high users will face tariffs but this is a punitive measure,

This is a hard reality. I know from first-hand experience that it is inconvenient, and that a great many households, rich and poor, have taken steps to drastically cut their consumption and now have to do even more.

But now is the time. There is only one last chance, and one last window of opportunity.

If we take this last chance and we rally together, it can be done. This chance will not present itself again.

I understand your frustration with this reality and I often wonder too how my own family can save even more water.

But so many households have managed to dramatically reduce their demand through innovative measures and sheer determination. These families are heroes and we are incredibly grateful for their efforts.

However, despite the large-scale campaigns to communicate otherwise, we estimate that over 50% of residents have not reduced their consumption.

We will unapologetically go after residents who for no good reason exceed their allocation.

Indeed, every week 2000-2500 water demand devices are being installed at households across the City who exceed their allowance. This programme will now be accelerated.

The restrictions that will be in place from 1 February means that the City will only be able to use 450 megalitres per day.

This means that every resident of Cape Town can only use a maximum of  50l per day, no matter where you are; at home, at work, at school or whatever the context.

To further aid in our efforts to bring demand to 450 megalitres per day, we are also going to be throttling water supply through pressure reduction.

This may see many parts of the City without water for a period of time, never exceeding 12 hours.

I would ask that this is something that we adapt to, as part of defeating Day Zero.

I must emphasise that if we stick to a maximum usage of 50 l per day, we can push Day Zero out.

Every day that we exceed the target of 50l, we will bring Day Zero closer.

Every day, I want you to join me to Defeat Day Zero.

But I’m going to do more. I’m going to ask my wife and two kids to do more. And that is to instead aim to use 40l per day.

It will be hard. But far easier than the taps running dry.

Three things we must do straight away if you aren’t already:

  1. Shower for less than 90 seconds.
  2. Have two buckets in every bathroom.
  3. Use your grey water to flush.

In addition to managing residential demand, we need the national government to play its role in managing demand across the supply system.

In particular, it must more effectively and proactively manage demand from agricultural and other users who form part of the broader Western Cape Supply System.

Agriculture draws more or less the same amount of water from the supply system as the City does during the summer months, and it must be noted that agriculture has already drawn down on its supply for the year.

We thus need the national department to accelerate its efforts to manage and restrict this demand if we are to defeat Day Zero.

Accordingly, I will be leading efforts in Parliament to hold the Department of Water and Sanitation and its Minister, Nomvula Mokonyane, to their mandate.

Day Zero

In the event that despite all these efforts, we are unable to avoid Day Zero, then I wish to assure you that a massive amount of preparation is going in to ensure that residents have access to 25 l of safe, clean water every day.

The provincial government will work closely with the City to ensure that residents are able to access a daily amount of water: 25l per day, per resident of the City.

There will be identified public distribution points across the city to receive a daily allocation. These will be managed in as fair and orderly a manner as possible.

We recognise that this an area of particular concern for many citizens, and it is clear that these plans need to be expanded and made more robust and clear.

The province and the city are now working on bringing on additional distribution mechanisms, so that we can relieve the pressure on public distribution points, by for example, using systems to deliver water to homes, shops etc.

Already, there has been great cooperation from the private sector, and these discussions will be accelerated in the coming days.

I am grateful for the work that Helen is currently doing in this regard.

I wish to assure every resident of Cape Town that details of these Day Zero plans will be communicated well in advance of this actually becoming a reality.

In addition, it must be noted that informal settlements, schools, hospitals and essential services would still be supplied with water as far as possible.

The City would also seek to ensure that CBD areas across the city are supplied with water so that economic activity can continue.

But Cape Town, let me repeat, we can avoid this and defeat Day Zero.

If we do nothing, we will hit Day Zero on 12 April.

If we stick to 50l per person, per day, we can push Day Zero out and give us a fighting chance to overcome this current crisis.

Going forward, the Team and I will hold weekly briefings on progress made in local media and on our social channels. Please also visit the DefeatDayZero website and Facebook page for regular updates and to pledge your commitment to defeat Day Zero.

Cape Town, it really comes down to each of us. And it is in our power to do this.

You have the power to do so. Humans have triumphed before and we must and we can now, defeat day zero.

Let’s ensure that each of us, our families, friends and fellow citizens unite together to defeat Day Zero. We can. And we must.

I thank you.

BOKAMOSO | Values only count when they are tested

The wellbeing of Cape Town residents matters a great deal to the DA, and I want to assure South Africans that we are dealing with concerns surrounding Mayor Patricia De Lille’s leadership as swiftly and fairly as possible. We want to achieve the outcome that is best for the people of Cape Town and we remain committed to clean, accountable government. We are extremely mindful of the need to respond effectively and decisively to the Cape drought.
Our values as a party only really count when they are put to the test. Values are easy when everyone agrees and when they are easily applied. But they are hard when the party faces a painful test. Despite the difficulty, the DA will remain true to its values, come what may.
The laziest analysis in this regard comes from those who claim the DA is no different to the ANC now that we’ve also had a big, public scandal. The differences should be plain to all.
The ANC has (over and above all its other sins) consistently acted to ignore the corruption that is putrefying it from the inside, protecting the guilty and sweeping evidence and information under the carpet. This has resulted in a party that is literally split down the middle, and a state that is captured by private rent seekers.
This is precisely the opposite of what is happening in Cape Town. We are throwing open the doors and windows to shine light on the situation in the City, because we want to act speedily and forcefully to stop dangerous trends before they gather a momentum of their own. Far from protecting the implicated, we have demonstrated that no one in the DA is ‘untouchable’, and that all are equally accountable to the party and to the law. We genuinely believe that ‘sunlight is the best disinfectant’, not just as a slogan, but as a value.
The public looks to the DA as a model of clean, accountable government that will act firmly against corruption, uphold equality before the law, and deliver better services than any other government in South Africa. We will not betray their trust, even if that means taking very difficult and painful action against our own colleagues. We hold the ANC to a high standard – and we have been relentless in doing so. We must therefore hold ourselves to the same standard, if not an even higher one.
The DA leadership first became aware of problems in the City’s DA caucus in August 2017, when serious allegations of poor leadership, maladministration and governance failures were levelled against De Lille and other senior councillors.
We responded by initiating an internal investigation into political tensions, headed by John Steenhuisen; and by ensuring that the City instituted an independent, external investigation by legal firm Bowman Gilfillan.
The first internal investigation concluded that while De Lille is extremely hard-working, a great many DA councillors, City staff and colleagues find her leadership style to be obstructive to the successful functioning of both the City administration and the DA caucus, undermining service delivery in Cape Town. A number of specific, serious allegations were made against her, and the Mayor was given extended time to reply to these in full
The Bowman Gilfillan report concluded that De Lille behaved and acted in a manner that constitutes gross misconduct and dereliction of duty, including her apparent role in actively covering up serious governance failures.
Last Sunday, 14 January, the DA’s Federal Executive (our highest decision-making body) considered the findings of both reports and took a decision to formally charge De Lille.
Unfortunately, this decision will draw out the process of achieving resolution. But as a DA public representative who has made a huge positive contribution to the DA and SA, we must give Mayor De Lille further opportunity to fully respond to all allegations leveled against her, which are detailed in my statement released after the meeting.
I do not doubt Ms De Lille’s commitment to the greater good. She has played a central, positive role in both SA and the DA.  She is much loved within and beyond the DA. She deserves, and will forever have, our respect and gratitude. But central as she has been to the DA and SA’s fortunes, no one is above the party and its constitution, and no individual’s interests are above those of the general public.
It has been painful to learn of the dysfunction and resentment that has built up against her in the Cape Town City council. This is the very worst possible time for a problem such as this to arise, in the midst of a major drought crisis and ahead of the 2019 national election. But for the sake of Capetonians and South Africans, the DA is fully prepared to take the necessary action to restore order and functionality to Cape Town Council’s DA caucus.
The DA owes its loyalty, above all else, to the voters. Their interests must, do, and always will come first.
Some commentators in the media and on social media feel the DA should not be involved in a dispute over De Lille while there is a drought crisis. But the DA cannot ignore serious allegations for this reason. The drought could drag on for years. The people of Cape Town need a council that runs efficiently and effectively, even more so because of this crisis.
The true measure of a political party is how it responds to challenges such as this. The DA cannot exercise complete control over how public representatives conduct themselves. No political party can. But we can respond by putting the public interest ahead of party interests and this is what we will do.

BOKAMOSO | Values only count when they are tested

The wellbeing of Cape Town residents matters a great deal to the DA, and I want to assure South Africans that we are dealing with concerns surrounding Mayor Patricia De Lille’s leadership as swiftly and fairly as possible. We want to achieve the outcome that is best for the people of Cape Town and we remain committed to clean, accountable government. We are extremely mindful of the need to respond effectively and decisively to the Cape drought.

Our values as a party only really count when they are put to the test. Values are easy when everyone agrees and when they are easily applied. But they are hard when the party faces a painful test. Despite the difficulty, the DA will remain true to its values, come what may.

The laziest analysis in this regard comes from those who claim the DA is no different to the ANC now that we’ve also had a big, public scandal. The differences should be plain to all.

The ANC has (over and above all its other sins) consistently acted to ignore the corruption that is putrefying it from the inside, protecting the guilty and sweeping evidence and information under the carpet. This has resulted in a party that is literally split down the middle, and a state that is captured by private rent seekers.

This is precisely the opposite of what is happening in Cape Town. We are throwing open the doors and windows to shine light on the situation in the City, because we want to act speedily and forcefully to stop dangerous trends before they gather a momentum of their own. Far from protecting the implicated, we have demonstrated that no one in the DA is ‘untouchable’, and that all are equally accountable to the party and to the law. We genuinely believe that ‘sunlight is the best disinfectant’, not just as a slogan, but as a value.

The public looks to the DA as a model of clean, accountable government that will act firmly against corruption, uphold equality before the law, and deliver better services than any other government in South Africa. We will not betray their trust, even if that means taking very difficult and painful action against our own colleagues. We hold the ANC to a high standard – and we have been relentless in doing so. We must therefore hold ourselves to the same standard, if not an even higher one.

The DA leadership first became aware of problems in the City’s DA caucus in August 2017, when serious allegations of poor leadership, maladministration and governance failures were levelled against De Lille and other senior councillors.

We responded by initiating an internal investigation into political tensions, headed by John Steenhuisen; and by ensuring that the City instituted an independent, external investigation by legal firm Bowman Gilfillan.

The first internal investigation concluded that while De Lille is extremely hard-working, a great many DA councillors, City staff and colleagues find her leadership style to be obstructive to the successful functioning of both the City administration and the DA caucus, undermining service delivery in Cape Town. A number of specific, serious allegations were made against her, and the Mayor was given extended time to reply to these in full

The Bowman Gilfillan report concluded that De Lille behaved and acted in a manner that constitutes gross misconduct and dereliction of duty, including her apparent role in actively covering up serious governance failures.

Last Sunday, 14 January, the DA’s Federal Executive (our highest decision-making body) considered the findings of both reports and took a decision to formally charge De Lille.

Unfortunately, this decision will draw out the process of achieving resolution. But as a DA public representative who has made a huge positive contribution to the DA and SA, we must give Mayor De Lille further opportunity to fully respond to all allegations leveled against her, which are detailed in my statement released after the meeting.

I do not doubt Ms De Lille’s commitment to the greater good. She has played a central, positive role in both SA and the DA.  She is much loved within and beyond the DA. She deserves, and will forever have, our respect and gratitude. But central as she has been to the DA and SA’s fortunes, no one is above the party and its constitution, and no individual’s interests are above those of the general public.

It has been painful to learn of the dysfunction and resentment that has built up against her in the Cape Town City council. This is the very worst possible time for a problem such as this to arise, in the midst of a major drought crisis and ahead of the 2019 national election. But for the sake of Capetonians and South Africans, the DA is fully prepared to take the necessary action to restore order and functionality to Cape Town Council’s DA caucus.

The DA owes its loyalty, above all else, to the voters. Their interests must, do, and always will come first.

Some commentators in the media and on social media feel the DA should not be involved in a dispute over De Lille while there is a drought crisis. But the DA cannot ignore serious allegations for this reason. The drought could drag on for years. The people of Cape Town need a council that runs efficiently and effectively, even more so because of this crisis.

The true measure of a political party is how it responds to challenges such as this. The DA cannot exercise complete control over how public representatives conduct themselves. No political party can. But we can respond by putting the public interest ahead of party interests and this is what we will do.