Rescuing and reforming SA’s economy is our primary focus

The following statement was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press briefing at Nkululeko House, Johannesburg. Maimane was joined by the Chairperson of the DA’s Federal Executive, James Selfe, and the Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba.

Over the past two days, the Democratic Alliance’s Federal Executive (FedEx) convened for its first sitting of the 6th Parliament, to discuss and decide upon matters of importance to the party and the nation.

 SA’s Economic Crisis

On top of FedEx’s agenda this weekend was South Africa’s deep and persistent economic crisis and how we plan to rescue and reform the economy. The perilous state of the economy is the single biggest threat to our country’s future. It is with great concern that over the past months the conversation has moved from how to grow the economy, to how we avoid total collapse.

There exists a tangible mood of fear throughout the country, with the vast majority of South Africans lacking hope in the future. Discontentment with the current downward spiral is fast producing fertile soil for mass rebellion. The reality is that change will come, whether by the ballot or other means. We have no more time to kick the can down the road. We need immediate action.

Despite this, there lacks both the requisite urgency and a bold reform plan from Cyril Ramaphosa and his ANC government. For the past 18 months Ramaphosa has occupied the presidency it has been business as usual, with an added dose of economic gimmicks in the form of summits, talk shops, roadshows.

Unemployment is at a post 1994 record high, breaching the sobering 10-million mark for the first time. 10.2 million South Africans are without a job, with an expanded unemployment rate of 38%.There are now 746 000 more jobless South Africans than there were 18 months ago when Ramaphosa assumed office. This is a clear vote of no confidence in Ramaphosa’s much heralded yet ineffective “Jobs Summit” held earlier this year.

In terms of growth, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has forecast growth for 2019 at a meagre 0.6% – the worst since 2016. Last year, South Africa experienced its first recession in over a decade – with two consecutive quarters of negative growth. We also saw the economy contracting by 3.2% during the first months of this year – the biggest decline in a decade. It appears we may just narrowly avoid another recession in 2019.

As things stand, we are the closest we have been to complete, all round junk status since 1994. In July this year, ratings agency Fitch changed their outlook for SA to junk status. Moody’s, the only agency that has SA above junk status, also expressed its concerns especially given the lack of change or plan to reform SOEs – specifically Eskom. Once we hit complete junk status, we are staring down the barrel of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.

Investment is plummeting at an alarming rate. The President’s investment summit has yielded little positive impact as foreign investors have sold a record-high $4.8bn of South African equities and bonds in 2019 -the most on a year-to-date basis in over 20 years. Both at home and abroad, investors see South Africa as a risk not worth taking.

There is no sign of any “green shoots” in the economy, and instead of halting the decline, it appears Cyril Ramaphosa is exacerbating it. His open support for economically damaging policies such as Expropriation Without Compensation, the National Minimum Wage, the National Health Insurance, and the Eskom monopoly – among many others – is proof that when it comes to the test, Cyril Ramaphosa is loyal to the ANC above all else.

The DA’s Economic Recovery Plan

In order to avoid economic collapse and bring about rapid growth, a clear and concrete plan for urgent reform is required. The DA is currently in the process of expanding our “Economic Recovery Plan” – a comprehensive package of reform interventions that are unashamedly pro-growth, pro-investment, and pro-job creation.

The focus of this “Economic Recovery Plan” is on deliberate structural reform that will act as shock to our economy, in order to revive it and usher in rapid economic growth. The plan will include the following proposals, among others:

  1. Splitting Eskom into two separate entities while allowing IPPs to come on board by passing the Independent Electricity Management (IEMA) Bill;
  2. Passing our “Jobs Bill”, consisting of a wide range of incentives for foreign companies to invest in SA – bringing thousands of job opportunities to our shores.
  3. Implementing a government-wide Comprehensive Spending Review aimed at reviewing the efficiency of spending, the composition of spending, and future spending priorities in order to “tighten our belts”;
  4. Placing SAA under business rescue with a view to sell it off;
  5. Scrapping BEE and replacing it with a pro-growth plan that offers real broad-based inclusion in our economy;
  6. Beginning the rollout of a Voluntary Civil Service Year for young people;
  7. Introducing tax incentives for big job-creating sectors including manufacturing, tourism, mining and financial services;
  8. Rejecting investment-killing policies including the National Health Insurance (NHI), Expropriation Without Compensation (EWC), the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and the nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB);
  9. Cutting the Public Sector Wage Bill; and
  10. Creating an enabling environment for job creation by freeing up micro enterprise and relaxing labour legislation.

In addition, provinces in which persistent drought continues to affect the agricultural sector must declare such as a provincial disaster. One such province in the Northern Cape, where over 60 000 jobs are on the line due to 5-year long drought.

This plan and the details thereof will be tabled early next month during Parliament’s urgent debate of national importance on the economy, which I requested in light of our current economic crisis.

In order to halt our economy’s spiralling decline and create opportunities for those left outside the economy, we need bold and urgent reform. This is the DA’s plan, and we intend to pursue it with intensity.

The President and the Public Protector

FedEx reaffirmed the party’s stance that Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane is unfit to hold office and Parliament must initiate an inquiry into her fitness without delay – as requested by the DA.

The DA was the only party that objected to Mkhwebane’s appointment almost two years ago, citing the very concerns which have now manifested themselves in the daily operation of her office.

The Office of the Public Protector is a crucial Chapter 9 Institution tasked with fostering accountable democracy. Under Mkhwebane’s tenure, it has been reduced to an arm of a certain faction within the ANC. Mkhwebane lacks both the impartiality and technical ability required to justify her continued occupation of the role of Public Protector, and there is little evidence to suggest otherwise. She must be removed at once.

Notwithstanding, it must be made absolutely clear that questions around Mkhwebane’s impartiality and ability have nothing to do with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s wrongdoings as it pertains to Bosasa.  Mkhwebane’s unfitness to hold office has no bearing on whether the relationship between Bosasa and the President is corrupt, nor whether he misled Parliament.

Ramaphosa’s misleading of Parliament, and his and his son’s dodgy dealings with Bosasa, are all established facts independent of the Public Protector and her supposed agenda. We will continue to monitor President Ramaphosa’s review application as it pertains to the Public Protector’s report into his Bosasa dealings.

We will not relent in our pursuit of accountability because the principle of equality before the law must be upheld, and the Office of the Public Protector must be respected regardless of whether the incumbent is fit to hold office.

This coming Thursday, 22 August, I engage Cyril Ramaphosa in Parliament on this matter during the scheduled Oral Question Session. Presidents and their families who abuse their power for personal benefit must be treated as equal before the law and held accountable for their actions. Cyril Ramaphosa is no exception.

National Health Insurance (NHI)

FedEx noted Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s tabling of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill in Parliament last week.

The South African healthcare system is an unequal one, with a minority of South Africans paying for quality, private healthcare, and the majority of South Africans with access to free, but overwhelmingly substandard healthcare.

The DA supports the move towards the provision of universal healthcare. This is non-negotiable in our unequal society. However, we disagree that the NHI is the way to achieve this. The NHI is a deliberate attempt to nationalise healthcare in South Africa, and it is based on this core aspect that we reject the bill.

Moreover, it is both naïve and irresponsible to have an academic debate about the merits of the NHI in the abstract. The debate must consider both this ANC government’s dire governance deficiencies and its tendency to loot public money at every juncture. As with the approach to both property rights and land, and the SARB, this is a push for more state control and thus more inefficiency and corruption.

We also have serious concerns as to the legality and constitutionality of the NHI bill, particularly around its impact on the constitutional mandate and power of provinces as it pertains to health services. We have urgently requested that on behalf of Parliament, Speaker Thandi Modise, instructs the Parliamentary Legal Services to obtain a legal opinion on the bill. On Thursday, the Committee folded to our demands and there will be extensive legal scrutiny of the bill. Our alternative plan, Sizani, is a hybrid model, seek to achieve the following:

  1. It will be funded through the current budget envelop which includes the tax benefit currently afforded to medical aid clients;
  2. It would strengthen the role of primary healthcare in many communities;
  3. It would invest heavily in the provision of maternal and child health services, and the training and provision of healthcare professionals;
  4. It would reinforce the powers of provinces by ensuring they are adequately funded and equipped to provide quality healthcare to all;
  5. Through these interventions, all South Africans would have access to a quality health system that provides them with a standard package of care across all facilities;
  6. Medical aid companies would be used as a top up measure for those South Africans who choose to use them and who can afford to do so;
  7. Ultimately this system would increase competition, drive up quality, and afford every South African the choice of which medical provider they wish to use.

The DA has a workable alternative that will ensure all South Africans are provided with quality healthcare, without crippling the economy.

Road to 2021

South Africa has entered the space where we go from election to election, with little time to rest in between. This is illustrated by the fact that following the 2019 National and Provincial Elections, we have contested 24 by-elections, with success in the vast majority, and the need for reflection in others. There is another tranche of by-elections between now and the end of the year, most notably, all 15 wards in Maluti-a-Phofung municipality in the Free State. Between the 2016 Local Government Elections and the 2019 National and Provincial Elections, the DA showed growth in every ward in Maluti-a-Phofung, which bodes well for the upcoming by-elections on 28 August 2019.

Our public representatives are currently engaged in a focused ground campaign where they are winning back the confidence of voters we lost in 2019, while constantly engaging those who voted for us. We are strengthening our branches and we are recruiting new members every day. The work has begun on the ground as we build momentum towards the 2021 Local Government Elections.

In the build up to 2021, we are concerned by the capacity and impartiality of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). To date we have not received an update or correspondence regarding two key investigations into ANC conduct. One of the complaints dates back to the 2016 election, where the ANC ran a black-ops social media campaign. The other case relates to the Bosasa-sponsored ANC election “war room.” These matters cannot be allowed to gather dust, especially when they impact on South Africa’s democratic processes and we implore the IEC to act in this regard.

Moreover, the voters’ roll is of great concern. It is vital that the voters’ roll has the most accurate and up to date geographical information of voters in order to ensure the credibility of the election.

At the end of the last Federal Council, it was announced that James Selfe will step down as the head of both the Federal Executive and Federal Council in order to head up our Governance Unit. This unit will act as the Party’s direct line with our governments at an executive level. James has hit the ground running, and we will work to fully capacitate the office, to ensure that we have real-time information from DA-led governments so that we truly deliver on our commitment to job creation, clean governance, and the acceleration of basic service delivery.

Mayor Herman Mashaba

The Democratic Alliance is fully behind Mayor Herman Mashaba in the frivolous Motion of No Confidence (MONC) tabled by the ANC in the Johannesburg City Council. Throughout his term, Mayor Mashaba has prioritised service delivery to forgotten communities, rooted out corruption, created jobs and attracted investment, and channelled millions of freed up funds into building a city that works for all.

The Motion of No Confidence  tabled against Mayor Mashaba must be seen for what it is – an attempt by the ANC criminal syndicate to get their hands on the people’s money and reverse the gains made by Mashaba’s multi-party government.

Mayor Mashaba is a strong and capable leader who has the best interests of Johannesburg at heart. We call upon all Johannesburg residents to rally around Herman Mashaba on 22 August. The message to the ANC crooks is clear: ‘Hands off Mashaba!’. We do not say this for the sake of staying in government, we say so because we have made significant changes to better the lives of residents across the country’s economic capital.

In the time that the DA and Mayor Mashaba have led the multi-party government, the following key interventions have been made:

  • 44 000 Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) job opportunities have been created;
  • Extended operating hours have been introduced at 22 clinics;
  • 1,500 Metro Police Officers have been recruited to ensure the safety of residents and to maintain order. Furthermore, regular updates are given on the state of crime and the interventions made in the City;
  • Over 5,000 cases of corruption worth more than R34 billion in transactions have been uncovered;
  • Just this week it was announced by the Household Satisfaction Survey that customer satisfaction with the city’s services has risen by 12 points to 73 in 2019 from 61;
  • For 2018/19 the City of Johannesburg attracted over R17-billion in investment.

We have full confidence that we will have the support of our coalition partners to successfully defeat this motion so that Mayor Mashaba can return his focus to delivering services to the people of Johannesburg.

DA Governments

Premier Winde’s Western Cape provincial government has been hard at work during its first 100 days in office. With its focus on job creation and economic growth, we welcome the establishment of an “Economic War Room”. The Western Cape continues to lead in job creation, with the province boasting an unemployment rate that is 14% below the national rate. Other achievements include:

  • Advertising the tender for the conducting of lifestyle audits on the entire Western Cape cabinet;
  • Introducing the Open Government First Thursday – an ability for citizens to engage directly with politicians and officials;
  • Starting the process of revising the Ministerial Handbook for a second time. The first review conducted ten years ago has already saved the province in excess of R100 million;
  • Conducting a “speed dating” event with mayors and municipals managers across the province, hosted the Premier’s Coordinating Forum (PCF). The purpose is for these individuals to learn from each other and share best practice;
  • Engaging with key stakeholders in the agricultural sector, business organisations and religious leaders.

FedEx considered the current situation in Tshwane and resolved to intensify our daily engagement with the political leadership. We have been given assurance that Mayor Mokgalapa will apply consequence management to employees of the city who caused damage during the recent unprotected strike.

Lastly, we continue our call for Mongameli Bobani to be removed as mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay as he is wholly unfit to hold the position. The DA has submitted a Motion of No Confidence in Bobani, which will be debated and voted upon in the coming weeks.

ANC, UDM and EFF vote together to bring corruption back to Nelson Mandela Bay

In today’s council sitting, the ANC, UDM and EFF banded together and supported a Motion of No Confidence to remove the DA-led coalition administration in Nelson Mandela Bay, removing both Mayor Athol Trollip and Speaker Jonathan Lawack. This decision by the unholy alliance of the ANC, EFF and UDM is in order to fill their own party coffers with public funds and bring looting back ahead of the 2019 elections. The ANC and the EFF have rejected the will of the people in favour of enriching themselves.

The ANC lost Nelson Mandela Bay in 2016 as the people of the Bay finally fired them after two decades of brazen corruption. Since then, the DA-led government has turned the tide on corruption and ensured the people’s money is spent on benefitting the people of Nelson Mandela Bay

However, the ANC, UDM and EFF have today united around a shared interest – eating public funds designed to create work and deliver services to the people. This matter is quite simple. It is a battle between those who want to plunder state resources for themselves and their friends and those who are working tirelessly to empower the citizens of our nation.

The DA-led government has already made a huge difference in Nelson Mandela Bay. In just 24 months in office, the DA-led government achieved the following successes:

• The City is now financially liquid with over R2 billion in the bank and recently received a AAA credit rating;
• Achieved annual financial statements that indicate the administration has achieved record levels of spending in the financial year 2017/18;
• Installed the first ever metro police force, with 135 fully trained officers who have attended to over 25 000 crime fighting interactions;
• Boasts one of the best Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) spending performances in the country at 97% this year;
• Has successfully exposed and stopped corruption on contracts to the tune of R615 million, eradicated 9046 bucket toilets, resurfaced 55 820 square metres of road and managed to triple the number of annual jobs created by the EPWP (Expanded Public Works Program);
• Significantly improved turnaround times on administrative functions such as building plan approval and rates clearance transactions;
• The Thusong Centre in Motherwell was completed and opened within a year after R12 million was spent, a total of 5439 EPWP jobs were created and 646 streetlights installed in a number of areas;
• The Shot-spotter technology installed in Helenvale also proved to be a great success and within 90 days of its installation, gunshots were reduced by 90%; and
• IPTS busses are on the road, and the highly secured Clearly Park Bus Depot has been completed.

Every day the DA is in government is a threat to the corrupt and divisive politics of the ANC¸UDM and EFF. They know that residents are experiencing a real alternative under DA-led governments, corruption is being eradicated, services are delivered, and opportunity is being created for all.

We call on all South Africans to punish the ANC, UDM and EFF at the ballot box in 2019. They have stolen the will of the people of Nelson Mandela Bay and brought back corruption to a city that rejected the ANC just two years ago.

NMB Council sees ANC/EFF motions fail to launch

The ANC/EFF alliance was defeated today in the Nelson Mandela Bay Council, where their attempted motions of no confidence once again failed to launch.

Their alliance of chaos and violence failed to secure enough support to proceed to a vote. They were forced to withdraw these motions, rather than face the embarrassment of losing the vote.

The ANC was two councillors down today, as two of their senior members find themselves in jail cells, convicted of serious crimes. This is indicative of the state of the ANC today; a party of criminality from top to bottom.

With these frivolous motions behind us, the serious work of bringing change to Nelson Mandela Bay forges ahead under the DA-led coalition government. We have houses to build, roads to tar, toilets to install, jobs to create and an economy to grow – and forces against us will not prevail.

The DA considers this ANC/EFF failure to be a victory for the people of Nelson Mandela Bay, who came out in their numbers to vote for change in 2016. The mandate of the people must prevail, and in 2016 the people of NMB voted the ANC out of power decisively.

The DA thanks the parties in Council who are standing on the right side of history against the ANC/EFF alliance.

Mayor Athol Trollip, and his government, will not be distracted by this frivolous campaign – we have the people’s work to do.

DA will consider de Lille’s submissions on why she should not resign

Last week, after an overwhelming majority of councillors in the DA’s City of Cape Town caucus confirmed that they had lost confidence in Ms de Lille’s leadership by voting for the Motion of No Confidence against her, the Federal Executive (FedEx) provided Ms de Lille with the opportunity to make submissions as to why she should not step down.

The FedEx has received Ms de Lille’s submissions which will now be considered and decided upon in due course. We note that Ms de Lille has chosen to make her submissions public and will not allow this to affect the procedures of FedEx in any way.

It is important that this process of considering the submissions not be rushed, and that FedEx properly and fairly apply their minds.

At all times, the DA will act to ensure that the people we have been entrusted to serve will come first. This includes removing those who do not adhere to the high standards of clean and efficient governance which the DA demands.

FedEx grants permission to Cape Town DA Caucus to test its confidence in Mayor de Lille

Following a request by the City of Cape Town Caucus to bring a Motion of No Confidence in Patricia de Lille, the Federal Executive discussed this matter today and granted said permission.

The City of Cape Town DA Caucus is therefore now permitted to hold an internal Motion of No Confidence in its Caucus Leader, Patricia de Lille.

The Cape Town caucus has laid out to the Federal Executive, in great detail, factors which have led to them losing confidence in Ms de Lille to effectively lead them, in the DA’s unfailing commitment to continue delivering services to the people of the City, as we have done to highest standards for the past 12 years.

The reasons put forward by the Caucus include:

  • The fact that they previously tested their confidence in the Mayor and found that an overwhelming two-thirds majority of the caucus had lost faith in her ability to lead them. This was due, on their version, to her repeatedly breaching the Code of Conduct for Councillors as well as the Constitution of the DA, relating to bringing the DA into disrepute and the breach of the conditions of her suspension;
  • That Ms De Lille’s conduct in the public domain has amounted to frequent criticisms of the DA and the DA’s management of her case, to the extent that it appears that she does not consider herself part of the DA any longer, or at least considers herself more important than it and above the rules of the party; and
  • Her recent comment “she is no longer cooperating with the DA” means she cannot effectively govern on a DA mandate.

The Accountability Clause adopted at the DA’s Federal Congress allows for the party to establish confidence in any member of the executive. However, this must be done to ensure that members of the executive (Mayors, Premiers and Presidents) are held to the high standard which has been set by the DA to serve the people who have elected us into government.

When a structure of the party, like the DA Cape Town Caucus, makes a case that they have lost confidence in a member of their executive, it is incumbent on the FedEx to consider the request. This is what the FedEx considered today and found that a Motion of No Confidence should be allowed to proceed.

The DA Cape Town Caucus must now provide 3 working days’ notice before the motion of no confidence is debated and voted on.

The DA is committed to clean and efficient government and pride ourselves on putting the people we serve first. It is important that the City of Cape Town leadership gets back to the business of dealing with the unprecedented drought crisis and delivering services to the people of this city. We will ensure that the interests of the people of Cape Town are always put first and will not hesitate to act to ensure that this happens.

NW MONC: ANC-EFF romance is costing the people

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in North West will write to the Speaker of the North West Provincial Legislature, Susan Dantje, demanding reasons why the Motion of No Confidence in disgraced Premier Supra Mahumapelo scheduled for this morning, was postponed late last night. See SMS from Speakers office here.

While pending litigation, around a secret ballot, has been advanced by the EFF, we cannot help but speculate that through the ANC-EFF romance, a deal has been struck, in order to buy the ANC time to deal with the matter. All while the people, especially the poor, of the North West continue to be oppressed by high levels of poverty, a lack of service delivery and rampant corruption.

The EFF tabled this motion more than a month ago and then abruptly postponed.

Should the EFF not have the courage to reinstate the motion to get rid of Premier Supra Mahumapelo, we will not hesitate to table a fresh motion of no confidence.

The people of the North West simply deserve better than the Gupta-Premier of Empty Promises as he is central to the province’s scandals and corruption allegations.

The removal of Premier Supra Mahumapelo will not fix what has been broken but it is a step in the right direction.

What the North West needs is Total Change under a DA-led government, which creates job opportunities, stops corruption, builds clinics and schools that work and ensures our people, especially the poor, receive quality services.

Only Parliament can ‘recall’ Zuma

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes the decision by the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to recall Jacob Zuma. This recall is an internal ANC resolution, and nothing more. It has no effect on Jacob Zuma’s current status as President of the Republic, and can be simply ignored by Zuma. Unless he tenders his resignation, this recall is not worth the paper it is printed on.
The fact is, Jacob Zuma remains President, and remains in power. And as long as this is the case, our country suffers.
The only way to remove Jacob Zuma as President of our country is for Parliament to do so through a Motion of No Confidence. It is Parliament that elects and removes a President, not the ANC.
Therefore, the EFF’s Motion of No Confidence, provisionally scheduled for 22 February, must be treated as a priority and brought forward to within this week, in order for Parliament to remove Jacob Zuma.
Following that, the National Assembly must dissolve Parliament in terms of Section 50 of the Constitution. Anyone who wants to be the next President of this country must have the mandate of the people, and this can only be established through an early election.
The people must elect the new South African President, not a few connected cadres within the ANC.

Parliament must schedule Motion of No Confidence for Tuesday

South Africa cannot continue to be held in limbo while Cyril Ramaphosa and Jacob Zuma, and their respective factions, continue to fight over the terms of Zuma’s exit. We need a swift resolution to this impasse as soon as possible.

As public servants, it is our duty to place the best interests of the country before party political interests. While Ramaphosa and Zuma fight over the Presidency, corruption continues, and people remain without hope for any immediate improvement in their daily lives.

It is for that reason that I have consulted with the leadership of the EFF, and we have resolved to call on the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to schedule an urgent sitting of Parliament this coming Tuesday, 13 February 2018, for the Motion of No Confidence in Jacob Zuma to be debated and voted on. A letter from the EFF will be sent to her office reflecting this urgent call.

This will allow for Parliament to debate and vote on the EFF’s Motion of No Confidence in Jacob Zuma. Parliament elects a President, and Parliament removes a President. It is not done behind closed doors at Luthuli House.

Cyril Ramaphosa is currently the Leader of Government Business in Parliament. It would be remiss of him to neglect his responsibility in this regard, and therefore I call on Mr Ramaphosa to support this call, and to ensure that the Motion of No Confidence is debated without delay.

Moreover, there must be an urgent sitting of Parliament’s Programming Committee, in order for Parliament’s agenda to be finalised, and so that the work of the people can continue.

Lastly, we flatly reject any amnesty agreement or special deal for President Zuma. He is not above the law, and must still face the 783 criminal charges illegally dropped over a decade ago and which the courts have now revived.

Cyril Ramaphosa cannot talk anti-corruption, yet broker an amnesty deal for the corrupt in the ANC. Any attempt to do so will be opposed with everything we’ve got. Jacob Zuma will retire in prison, where he should have been years ago.

ANC puts petty politics ahead of the people of Cape Town

The ANC in the City of Cape Town has, this morning, withdrawn their motion of no confidence against Mayor Patricia de Lille that was to be debated in Council today.

While they had initially claimed that their motion was brought on by numerous allegations of maladministration against the mayor, they have demonstrated today that they would much rather engage in petty party politics than do what is best for the people of Cape Town.

The DA’s Federal Executive had taken an unprecedented decision to place narrow political interests aside and vote for the motion of no confidence due to the prima facie evidence against the Mayor brought to the fore by an independent council investigation and the Auditor General.

The ANC has been fully appraised of these facts. They are aware that the independent investigation took the view that the Mayor had demonstrated behaviour and actions which constituted gross misconduct, gross dereliction of duty, and conduct that amounted to deceiving Council.

In addition, they have full knowledge that the AG downgraded the City’s audit status from clean, to unqualified with conditions. These findings include:

  • Failures of leadership at the first level of assurance, which includes the Executive Mayor, and the subsequent governance breakdown that flows from that. It is worth noting that:
    • The vast majority of financial findings relate to the Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) which the Mayor has routinely and very publicly defended;
    • The AG found regression within the control environment as a result of poor leadership. These include:
      • Poor consequence management of senior managers, namely the Commissioner: TDA, in the execution of her duties as Mayor;
      • Poor leadership and degeneration of trust. This finding by the AG directly correlates to the Executive Mayor’s failure to allow officials to do their jobs and follow the control procedures of the law and regulations, as confirmed in the testimony of the former City Manager in the independent investigation mandated by Council;
      • Consistent loss of revenue within the TDA, which was allowed to continue systematically for years despite the AG alerting the City to this risk multiple times.  It is worth noting that the Mayor has consistently denied this fact and has given credence to the explanation of the Commissioner TDA, who has in fact been suspended and the subject of a disciplinary; and
      • Irregular expenditure, namely the preferential bias in favour of a supplier in the matter of the procurement of the BYD buses. This has been determined to be irregular by the AG and now constitutes a realized and dramatic risk to the City.
      • Public statements that the AG had vindicated her on upgrades to her home. However, the AG in the disclosure and listing of irregular expenditure in the financial statements has in fact found that these upgrades were irregular- exposing previous claims by the Mayor as blatantly false.

It is not surprising that the ANC have ignored these crucial facts in the interest of politicking.

The DA has tabled its own Motion of No Confidence against the Mayor based on the reasons stated above and this should be debated within 10 days of the motion being tabled with the Speaker of Council.

The decision to support today’s motion was made with the realisation that the findings by the AG and the independent investigation are damning and variant to the principles of DA governments which seek to be free of corruption, efficient and focused on delivery to the people that we serve.

This has been informed by the understanding that the governance failures which have been allowed to thrive under Mayor de Lille have completely compromised the City’s ability to deliver effectively. This is particularly concerning in light of the current drought crisis we find ourselves in. That is why the DA moved to remove her from the management of the drought as she sought to actively undermine the efforts to deal with it effectively.

She actively withheld information, misdirected officials, delayed budget decisions, interfered with project plans and undermined the rollout of augmentation projects as a result. Furthermore, she failed to push national government to fulfill its legal responsibilities – at the cost and risk to the residents of Cape Town. This is in of itself has posed a massive governance risk.

While DA Federal Executive believes in the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise, and agreed for the mayor to be subjected to internal processes to clear her name, continuous acts of defiance from her and new damming revelations have resulted in her own caucus tabling this motion.

Commitment to the principles that the DA stands for is never easy. Putting the residents of Cape Town first is our number priority, something that the ANC has never been able to do. We will therefore move ahead with this motion in order to restore Cape Town to the best run City in the country.

We will be bringing a Motion of No Confidence in Premier Ace Magashule

The following remarks were made today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, during the Free State leg of his People’s Forum Tour in Botshabelo.

Fellow Democrats

A few 100 kms from here, in a small town called Vrede, the Premier of the Free State, Ace Magashule, and his corrupt friends stole over R200 million from a group of aspiring black farmers.

Last year I visited the Estina Dairy Farm in Vrede, where a government project aiming to empower local residents and boost provincial agriculture through the establishment of a large scale dairy farm was set up in 2013 by the Free State Government, The community based project, which targeted almost 100 intended local beneficiaries, was a joint private-public project between the Free State Department of Agriculture and Gupta-controlled Company, Estina. And that’s when it became clear the project wasn’t about the community of Vrede.

This was a devious scheme thought up by those who represent the ANC – Ace Magashule, Mosebenzi Zwane and their fellow comrades – to steal public money to pay for a Gupta wedding in Sun City.

I have met with a group of the intended beneficiaries twice – once in Vrede, and once at the Public Protector’s office in Pretoria where we held a meeting to establish where her report into this scandal is. Some of the farmers sold off their own livestock in anticipation of their participation in this project. They told me of their pain and anxiety in waiting for a promise that was clearly never coming. Sadly, it was a lie from the beginning.

The Premier of this province, Ace Magashule, not only knew about this from day one – he was actively involved in the project. He cannot continue to be in charge of a province when we know he has been working behind the backs of the people of the Free State to make him and his friends rich.

We welcome the recent move by the Hawks to seize control of the farm, and to search the offices of several Free State Government officials – including the Premier. This work by the Hawks must continue, and those found guilty must be put behind bars. But for now, we must remove Ace Magashule before many more people of the Free State fall victim to his sinister ways.

That is why we have begun the process of moving a Motion of No Confidence against Ace Magashule in the Free State Legislature. The DA caucus will meet on Tuesday to finalise the details of such before informing the Speaker of the Legislature. This beautiful province cannot go a day longer with Ace Magashule at the helm.

Our fight will always be for South Africans without opportunity and who have been left behind. It is the improvement of their lives that must be our primary goal. That is why from day one, the DA has been on this case.

We laid the initial Public Protector complaint back in 2013, which is still yet to be released. Together with a group of the intended beneficiaries, I travelled to the Public Protector’s office last month to hold a meeting with her and representatives from Vrede. The Public Protector committed to giving an update on this questionable delay by next month, and I will be holding her to this commitment.

In addition to this, in July last year DA Shadow Minister of Finance, David Maynier MP, laid criminal charges against several members of the Gupta family, their associates, and Minister Zwane for their role in the Vrede Dairy Farm project. These charges include money laundering, racketeering, assisting another to benefit from the proceeds of unlawful activities, and acquiring, possessing or using the proceeds of unlawful activities in terms of the Prevention of Organized Crime Act 121 of 1998.

The following month I went to the Hawks Head Office in Tshwane to hand over a legal indictment containing over 200 pages of prima facie evidence, allowing the Hawks to begin prosecution immediately. This has assisted the Hawks in their current work on the matter.

The fight for those who have been left behind, robbed, and forgotten will always be the DA’s fight.