The DA is the best alternative for the ANC in government

In every State of the Nation Address by President Ramaphosa, we are serenaded with remixes of classics hits: from Thuma Mina to Khauzela and just last week to a verse by Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Beneath all those sonic seductions, are the echoes of unfulfilled promises.

Mr. President, while you artfully plead for more time from all of us to fix what’s broken in the country, the reality is that many South Africans have no more time left to wait.

The people of Mzilela Village who have never had access to clean drinkable water since 1994 are tired of waiting.

The young graduates who have never had a job since their graduation are tired of waiting.

Victims of rape are tired of waiting for rape kits at police stations every time they report their cases.

All of them want a government that understands the urgency of their plight.

Their patience has been tested over and over again. All they need is more delivery, less promises.

All these claims about being serious about fighting corruption will only be credible
when corrupt politicians start going to jail.

Until then, such calls will remain the repetitive hollow sounds of broken records.

Mr. President, you spent a great deal of time in your speech sharing the extent of multiple consultations, summits, forums, councils and all other glorified WhatsApp groups overelaborating on the simplicity of our problems.

Truth be told, it shouldn’t take such endless consultations to fix what’s broken in our country because the solutions are so obvious for all of us to see.

All it takes is the courage to confront the left-wing ideologues and dump their dogmatic obsessions.

Reaffirm the independence of the South African Reserve Bank. Stop the nationalization of medical health care. Stop the expropriation of land without compensation. Privatize failing state-owned enterprises. Fire all corrupt politicians in government.

If you do this, you will restore the investor confidence that will help create the jobs that so many South Africans desperately needs.

But we all know that all of these are impossible because of the deep ideological differences between the factions you are trying so hard to appease.

Mr. President, now more than ever is the time for policy uniformity in government and not the expedient policy double-speak that currently prevails in your government.

What the country needs is the repetitive singular chorus of policy certainty from your administration not another remix of a classic song as a rallying call.

Fellow South Africans, perhaps now is the time to recognize that the ANC has simply ran out of the best ideas for our country to prosper.

The standard ANC response to every major debate about the future of our country is nationalization!

Nationalise the Reserve Bank! Nationalize health care! Nationalize banks!

Now is the time for a government that protects individual property rights rather than trample on them.

Now is the time for a government that embraces citizens’ right to choose the medical help they prefer rather than take away their rights.

Now is the time for a government has can deliver quality primary education that empowers our children to be amongst the leading nations in reading and writing with meaning and maths literacy.

Now is the time for a government that can devolve powers to provinces to establish provincial police services rather than fight provinces that are trying to fight crime.

As imperfect as we have often been on government, the DA in government in the best possible alternative to the ANC in government.

We have the most consistent record for spending taxpayers’ money wisely.

Where we govern outright – every credible research shows that – the quality of life is better.

Communities are much safer.

Public infrastructure is in a better condition due to regular maintenance.

Poor residents have access to a broad basket of subsidized free basic services than anywhere else in the country.

It is easier to start and run businesses because we have eliminated the red tape that frustrates entrepreneurs.

And yes, we could do better.

And we will.

I thank you.

Eskom is dead. Give power to the people!

Speaker, Mr. President, fellow South Africans,

This debate takes place in the midst of a national electricity crisis, to which few in government will admit.

We sit in darkness for hours every day, despite ongoing promises from the President – the man who in 2014 was tasked to turnaround ESKOM and end loadshedding. It is tragic today to go back and read that News24 headline from December 2014: “Ramaphosa to oversee ESKOM, SAA turnaround.” Mr. President, the only turn these entities took under your watch, was from the emergency room to the funeral parlour.

Our mining sector – once the backbone of our economy – is floundering, because, among other things, it cannot get enough electricity. 5 years after that headline placing ESKOM and SAA under Mr. Ramaphosa, another headline from December 2019 – laid bare the truth: “SA mines shut operations because of ESKOM.”

Yet the ANC clings to Eskom and pretends it can be saved. South Africans know otherwise. ESKOM is dead. It is beyond redemption. And it is time that this government acknowledges this.

It is in this condition for one reason, and one reason only: the mismanagement, lack of planning and sheer corruption of the ANC and its cadres and cronies. Just as every viable state-owned entity has been hollowed out, plundered, and broken, so our nation’s entire electricity supply has been destroyed. 

While ANC government leaders live with generators, permanent security, and state housing, the people of this country go through hardship and pain as the lights go off every day. They walk on dark streets at the mercy of violent crime; rape, robbery, and murder. They cannot study. They cannot cook. Their businesses cannot operate. Their lives and livelihoods are literally being stolen.  

We had hoped that in this critical hour, President Ramaphosa would seize the opportunity last week to take ownership of the problem, deal decisively with ESKOM, and provide South Africa a path to a powered future. But the incapable state and its incapable President never take bold action. 

SONA was the last chance for the ANC to do the right thing and announce the immediate splitting and privatizing of ESKOM. What we got instead, were small changes, small concessions, small retreats – too little, too late – if they come to be at all. 

While bold action was lacking, the Democratic Alliance does welcome some of the commitments the president made about energy transformation. The question he must answer is: When? When will all this take place? Because all the president and the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy will say is “soon”. 

The Democratic Alliance has long called on Minister Mantashe to sign the section 34 determinations which are gathering dust on his desk. The City of Cape Town is going ahead with a court action to force the issue, because he still hasn’t actually done anything, despite a lot of talks. 

We have repeatedly asked him to immediately open bid window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme. But whenever anyone speaks about renewable energy, in any context, Minister Mantashe accuses them of being a lobbyist. 

And just minutes after the President announced last Thursday that Bid Window 5 would open “soon”, Minister Mantashe backtracked on this commitment, saying “I’m not a fundamentalist about bid window 5” and that “we must be systematic and ensure that it is sustainable”. Given that the first four bid windows are regarded as best practices worldwide, it is surprising that the minister thinks the next needs more tweaking.

Encourage and incentivize residential self-generation. More and more South Africans are prepared to become self-reliant with regard to electricity generation. Instead of making things more difficult, let’s ease up on the regulatory environment and allow them to do so.

The DA stands firmly for every South African being allowed this freedom from ESKOM, and we won’t relent. In this regard, Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act can be amended by the stroke of a pen. Go back to what parliament approved in the first place when the Act was originally adopted. 

When South Africa went to stage 6 load-shedding in December, the minister should have immediately sought to purchase excess power from the existing IPPs, who are constrained to only sell limited quantities to the grid, as determined by their licences and power purchase agreements. Currently, any excess power generated by IPPs goes to waste. The South African Wind Energy Association estimates that about 500MW is immediately available, at a cost of around 40 cents per KWh, and more could be forthcoming as new projects come online.

The Minerals Council of South Africa estimates that up to 1.7 GW of electricity could be produced for own use by mines in the next 4 years, something they have been begging for years. That simple move would encourage investment in our mining sector.

We can’t be talking about nuclear plants or Grand Inga when South Africa’s financial situation is so dire. We also can’t be looking five and ten years down the line. We need to look at how we can make ourselves less reliant on an archaic monopoly like ESKOM, and more energy secure right now!

Mr. President, open up the electricity market now! The private sector can deliver better, cheaper and more efficiently than ESKOM. The DA’s Independent Electricity Management Operator Bill is currently before parliament. This would create a separate, independent market operator to purchase electricity from all producers and make our electricity generation sector more competitive. We call on all parties in this House to support this.

We know that Minister Mantashe has been called a tiger in the bedroom, but he appears more like a grumpy old tomcat curled up next to his coal fireplace when it comes to his constitutional obligations. He is slow to act, reluctant to change the status quo, and absolutely unwilling to upset the unions who are his real masters. Just like the unions are ruling the roost at SAA, it seems the same is true at Eskom. But that’s what the ANC gets for being in bed with COSATU.

Most importantly, Mr. President, we cannot and must not throw pensioners’ life savings into ESKOM. This is just theft from the poor and the elderly to fund ESKOM corruption.

And, Mr. President, if Minister Mantashe is not willing to act NOW on your commitments regarding electricity generation, replace him with someone who will.

Our darkest days will not just be load-shedding if you do not act.

Ramaphosa confirms that Alex Shutdown criminality and anarchy is an ANC campaign

The powerless president of the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa, this afternoon endorsed the ANC-fuelled #AlexTotalShutdown, confirming that the scenes of anarchy in Alex, Hammanskraal and the looming anarchy in Midvaal have been coordinated and created by Luthuli House with the blessing of Ramphosa.

Ramaphosa can no longer distance himself from ANC thugs who burn tyres, block roads and destroy public property. Ramaphosa cannot isolate himself from thugs who violently disrupted the Sandton launch of Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s Gangster State.

Ramaphosa is the criminal ANC, and the criminal ANC is Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa’s so-called “principled allies” include David Mabuza, Ace Magashule, Nomvula Mokonyane, Malusi Gigaba and Jacob Zuma. There is no New Dawn.

Today, the Leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Mmusi Maimane, called for an urgent meeting with the National Police Commissioner, Khehla Sitole, to establish what plans are in place to put an end to the ANC-fuelled anarchy and to restore law and order in our communities. Fikile Mbalula and Ramaphosa must be the first to be questioned about the ANC’s campaign of anarchy.

It is convenient that Ramaphosa manufactures a sense of urgency in objectively well-governed DA governments but is nowhere to be found in corrupt and collapsed ANC municipalities like Emfuleni, Makhanda, Ekurhuleni, Mogale City and Kimberley. The DA will today write to Rhamaposa listing all the municipalities he should now visit, given the precedent he has set with Alexandra. These are bankrupt, broken and dysfunctional towns and cities that oppress citizens through ANC mismanagement and corruption.

The ANC-fuelled anarchy has targeted DA-led governments, where the people have seen and experienced the accelerated delivery of services.

Ramaphosa’s endorsement of thuggery makes him no different to the thugs who burn tyres and intimidate communities in the name of the ANC programme of anarchy. Ramphosa has shown his true colours, as a man devoid of integrity and is someone who the late President Nelson Mandela would never associate with.

On 8 May, the people have two choices – Ramaphosa the lying Bosasa beneficiary, or Maimane a man of integrity who always puts the people first.

Decisive action needed against Mokonyane over mismanaged R3bn water project

The DA on Wednesday will be finalising the final terms of reference, in the Portfolio Committee, into a full-scale inquiry into the disastrous affairs of the Department of Water and Sanitation and waterboards.
This is most welcome in light of  media reports today that the R3 billion project, launched in 2015 under the watch of the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, meant to empower and equip our youth with critical skills is being plagued by gross mismanagement.
The project was meant to produce 15 000 qualified artisans over a three-year period.
It is disheartening that the over 2 000 trainees are unable to complete their studies or find jobs because of gross mismanagement at the department.
Rand Water must also be held equally responsible for any role they may have played in this bungle as the entity was entrusted with implementing this project on behalf of the Department.
While President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent Minister Mokonyane to the Communications Department, the Water and Sanitation Department continues to deteriorate due to her legacy of mismanagement and alleged corruption which has left the Department totally bankrupt.
Strong and decisive action must be taken against Minister Mokonyane and the DA will leave no stone unturned to ensure that Minister Mokonayne is held accountable for her role in this bungle.
This is a direct indictment on Minister Mokonyane and entire ANC government which has continually detached itself from the plight of our people who don’t have access to clean water.
Minister Mokonyane is not fit-for-purpose for any position in which her priority should be to serve and empower ordinary South Africans.
The DA strongly urges President Ramaphosa to take strong action against Minister Mokonyane and prove to South Africans that he’s serious ending corruption that is the biggest in the impediment to the service delivery.

Ramaphosa must stop Zuma’s abuse of court processes

The Democratic Alliance is appalled but not particularly surprised at Jacob Zuma’s decision to appeal the unanimous full bench judgment of Gauteng North High Court rejecting Zuma’s application to review and set aside the Public Protector’s remedial action in the State of Capture report.
The remedial action ordered President Zuma to appoint a commission of enquiry into state capture, but ordered that the Chief Justice, and not the President, should choose the judge to preside over the commission. This follows the well-accepted legal principle that one cannot be the judge in one’s own matter.
Mr Zuma is following his own well beaten track of appealing anything or everything that goes against him in the courts. His grounds of appeal were well traversed by the Gauteng North High Court, and there is nothing original in them. He is simply playing for time; delaying the inevitable, and wasting the time of the courts. He clearly wants to delay the appointment of the commission for as long as possible, so that witnesses can forget, and evidence can be destroyed.
It is instructive that his decision to appeal appears to be at variance with a decision of his own conference, not even a week ago, to the effect that the commission should be appointed as soon as possible. Mr Ramaphosa, as the new president of the ANC, ought to reign Mr Zuma in. Mr Zuma is being reckless. He is undermining the reputation of the Presidency and provoking a showdown with the courts. And he is doing it on taxpayers’ money.
The DA will be opposing his leave to appeal, and if he is granted it, his appeal. We cannot allow this abuse of court processes to become a feature of the way the President gets away with things. We will once more seek a punitive, personal cost order against Mr Zuma.
State capture has bled South Africa dry. It is one of the worst chapters in our history. It institutionalised corruption, and it besmirched the reputation of the ANC. There is only one way that Mr Ramaphosa can both assert his authority and end this farce, and that is by recalling Mr Zuma from the position of President of the Republic.