If you want to bring change, make sure you’re on the voter’s roll

The following remarks were made today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at the launch of  the DA’s 2019 Registration Poster in Soweto, Gauteng. Maimane was joined by DA Gauteng Premier Candidate Solly Msimanga, DA Gauteng Provincial Leader, John Moodey, Team One SA Gauteng Members, and Group Political Champion, Makashule Gana.

Fellow South Africans,

As we celebrate the start of a brand new year, we must think ahead and decide for ourselves what we want from 2019.

It’s going to be a massively important year for South Africa as we head to the polls for the sixth time as a democracy. Each of us must use the next five months to think very carefully about the South Africa we want for ourselves and our children, and how we can get there.

Fellow South Africans, we have our destiny in our hands. We can put South Africa on a new road.

Your vote can change the course of your province too, and it is particularly here in Gauteng where we have the potential to bring about big change.

This is going to be the most closely contested province in the country, and victory for a DA-led provincial Gauteng government is certainly within our reach. Just think what that will mean for education, for healthcare and for the economic development of this great province.

We can win Gauteng, but to do so, every single DA supporter must register to vote.

And then, when we go to vote, the ballot paper will show a whole lot of new parties, many of which will be trying to ride the destructive wave of populism created by the ANC and the EFF. We cannot allow the populists to succeed. We must ensure that our DA message of “change that builds one South Africa for all” is the one that prevails.

But while we will see all these new parties on the ballot paper, our choice in May will really be far simpler. We will have to decide whether we want five more years on the road we’re on – with rising poverty, rising unemployment, rising crime and corruption that has become a way of life – or whether we want to set off on a different road.

On the one side of this choice you will find the ANC and the EFF, who are essentially the same thing since the ruling party outsourced its policy to the EFF. They represent greater control by the state over everything, less freedom in our economy and the same corruption that has brought our country to its knees.

They represent the threat to our Constitution, the threat to property rights and the threat to our struggling economy.

On the other side of the choice is the DA. Here you will find policies that will free up our economy, which means more investment, more trade and more jobs. You will also find a zero tolerance for corruption, which means clean, accountable government.

That is the simplicity of our choice as a nation. I know the ANC/EFF coalition of corruption will try to focus you on the past, but our country needs a government that looks ahead, towards the future. Election 2019 has to be about South Africa’s future.

And while we may still have five months before we cast our votes, the battle has already begun. One of the most important steps towards change is making sure voters are actually registered. That is where half the battle for real change is won.

Consider that in the last national election in 2014, 7.3 million voting-age South Africans were not registered to vote. That’s almost a quarter of all voters who had no say in how our country is run. Just imagine if all those people had cast their vote, how differently things could have turned out.

Don’t let the opportunity to register pass you by. The final registration weekend is set to take place on the 26th and 27th of January. If you are a first-time voter, or not yet registered, make sure you visit the voting station in your voting district between 8am and 5pm on both the Saturday and Sunday with either your green ID book, your smartcard ID or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate.

And spread the word among all your friends and family. This is your only chance to influence the future of your country. Make sure you use it.

We can win in Gauteng, and we can change this province for the good. Ten years ago we were in the same position in the Western Cape. We knew we could pull off a victory, but we also knew it would be close. The people of the Western Cape came out in their numbers and put their faith in a DA government back in 2009.

Today the Western Cape is, by far, the biggest creator of jobs in South Africa. It has the best healthcare, the best basic education, the cleanest government and the best track record on land reform. That’s what you get in a DA government, and that’s what we can bring to Gauteng too.

Each of you can play a part in delivering a caring, accountable government to Gauteng and to South Africa. But first, your name has to be on the voter’s roll.

So let’s go and register to win before we go out in May and vote to win.

DA lays criminal charges against Tshwane’s Architect of Corruption

It is common cause that Tshwane’s City Manager, Dr Moeketsi Mosola, stands as an enemy of the people, service delivery and the fight against corruption. It is for this reason that I have today laid charges against Dr Mosola, Tshwane’s Architect of Corruption.

Dr Mosola is accused of interfering in the awarding of irregular tenders, most prominent of them, being the R12 billion GladAfrica contract, which has been investigated by the Auditor-General, Bowmans and the City Council. It therefore stands that there is strong evidence that he allegedly undermined the Municipal Finance Management Act. If found guilty of this charge, Dr Mosola faces up to five years in prison or an appropriate fine.

Dr Mosola also stands accused of using the City’s resources to defame the Executive Mayor, Solly Msimanga, and the Administration, which has worked to rebuild the City and to free people oppressed by poverty, by speeding up the delivery of services, stopping corruption and creating access to real, long-term jobs. Therefore, a charge of crimen injuria was laid against him. A guilty judgement for crimen injuria may result in a first offender being sentenced to a fine and a suspended sentence for a period on condition that the offender does not re-offend.

Dr Mosola is aided and abetted by a coalition of corruption – the ANC and EFF – who have frustrated Council’s obligation to place the Architect of Corruption on precautionary suspension, so a full-scale investigation can take place without interference or intimidation. Which begs the question – why are the ANC and EFF who claim to represent the poor, protecting someone accused of stealing from the poor and blocking all efforts to speed up the delivery of services.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will not tolerate even a whisper of corruption, and we will leave no stone unturned in the fight against corruption. Corruption steals from our people, especially our people who depend on the government for the most basic of services, like water, housing and electricity.

We will not allow the people of Tshwane to be held ransom by the Architect and Coalition of Corruption.

The people must always come first in our work of building One South Africa for All. Anyone who stands against this agenda, is an enemy of the people and progress.

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DA to seek information about safety standards of all government buildings

The DA, through my colleague in the National Assembly, Malcolm Figg MP, will submit a raft of Parliamentary Questions to get detailed information of the status of the safety standards of all government department buildings.

This follows reports that workers at the Department of Health in Tshwane have downed tools citing safety concerns over the building they work in. Further to this, on Tuesday, Tshwane Mayor, Solly Msimanga, inspected and evacuated the Poyntons Building, which houses the Department of Correctional Services and personnel from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), due to its non-compliance with a plethora of health and safety laws and regulations.

Civil servants should not fear for their safety in their workplace and should work in buildings which comply with the health and safety requirements.

The reports today come on the back of a devasting fire last week in which 3 firefights needlessly lost their lives while trying to put out the blaze at the Gauteng Provincial Government’s Lisbon building in Johannesburg, which was only 21% complaint with safety and health regulations. This loss of life was tragic and unnecessary.

It is unacceptable that government employees are subjected to unsafe buildings which do not meet the required compliance with health and safety regulations. It points to how hard-working employees are disregarded by the failing ANC government.

The DA will ensure that, through Parliamentary questions, we will get a full picture of the state of all government buildings in the hope that needless loss of life is prevented and those responsible for not complying, are made to account.

The is DA committed to bring change to the lives of Gauteng’s residents

We stand resolute in the face of adversity. This week the coalition of corruption, the ANC and the EFF tried to take the power away from the people of Tshwane.

They tried to sneak in through the back door and undermine the good work that has been done to change the lives of our people.

The work to change the lives of our people has now begun in earnest. We are committed to serving the people of Gauteng, just as I have done for the people of Tshwane.

I am proud to be associated with a party that has offered me an opportunity to change the fortunes of the 13 million people of this province.

Turning the tide on the rot that has swept through Gauteng is and will always be at the heart of the work that we do. We are a party of humble servants who do not seek self-enrichment. Our enrichment is derived from putting people first.

We have started to bring change to the municipalities where we govern and now stand at the forefront of bringing this change to all of Gauteng’s people.

As a young man growing up in a shack in Atteridgeville, I know first-hand the challenges faced by millions of our people who continue to remain locked out of opportunities, neglected by the governing ANC that puts itself before the people whom it is meant to serve.

The disregard for our people, our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters spurred me to action.

The DA is committed to:

  • The DA will fight corruption to ensure that all public money is spent on the people of Gauteng;
  • The DA will fix the South African Police Service to become an honest and professional organisation that actually serves and protects the people of Gauteng;
  • The DA will create fair access to real and long-term jobs for the people of Gauteng;
  • The DA will fight the scourge of drug abuse; and
  • The DA will speed up the delivery of basic services.

The time has come for the people of Gauteng to be served by a government that puts their interests first.

Building a better future for the people of Gauteng means some changes need to be made. That starts with voting for the changes you want.

Just like the change that has been brought to the people of Midvaal, Tshwane and Johannesburg –together we can make the economic heart of South Africa beat once more and put the people of Gauteng first.

The DA has started to clean out the rot that we inherited in those governments and with a limited mandate, started to speed up service delivery to the people we were elected to serve. We have demonstrated our ability to govern well.

Should the DA become the biggest party in Gauteng, we will continue with the work we have started to improve the lives of our people.

A vote for the ANC is a vote for more empty promises. It doesn’t matter who leads them, they’re the same old party and they’ve had too many second chances.

We must not reward ANC failure with our votes because nothing will change.

This election is about your future, about Gauteng’s future, not the ANC’s.

Use your vote to ensure a better future for Gauteng because only the DA can bring change that builds a better future for Gauteng.

DA-led coalition will continue to govern for the people of Tshwane

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes the outcome of today’s council sitting in City of Tshwane. We are pleased that the clean, transparent and service delivery orientated DA-led coalition government will continue its work in serving the people Capital City – led by Executive Mayor, Solly Msimanga.

Today, DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, will write to the EFF national leadership requesting an urgent formal meeting to discuss their ongoing co-operation with the ANC in attacking coalition governments across the country, and to seek solutions that are in the best interests of the residents of these cities.

The DA-led coalition stands firmly against the corrupt ANC playing politics, trying to get their hands on the people’s money through the back door. The voters rejected the ANC in 2016 because they have failed the people.

The coalition in Tshwane will continue to cut corruption, grow the economy to create work, and deliver basic services to all residents. Today was a victory for the people of Tshwane.

DA stands united against the new coalition of corruption between the EFF, UDM & ANC

The following remarks were delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, following a special sitting of the party’s Federal Executive (FedEx) to consider the status of DA-led coalition governments. Maimane will be joined by Mayor of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga, DA Gauteng Leader, John Moodey, DA Tshwane Regional Chairperson, Abel Tau, DA Johannesburg Regional Chairperson, Heinrich Volmink, DA Gauteng West Regional Chairperson, Evert Du Plessis and DA Ekurhuleni Regional Chairperson, Selby Thekiso.

Today, the DA’s Federal Executive (FedEx) convened for a special sitting to consider and determine the party’s approach to the systematic and calculated attack on DA-led coalition governments by the newly formed coalition of corruption between the EFF and the ANC.

Following the events over the past few days, and amid such attacks on the will of the voters, as Leader of the DA I felt it important that the FedEx met to decide on a way forward. FedEx discussed and considered the past two years of governance by DA-led coalitions in major cities following the 2016 Local Government Election.

When DA-led coalitions took office in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB), we committed to achieving three goals: cutting corruption, growing the economy to create jobs, and speeding up the delivery of basic, quality services to all residents. Together with our partners ACDP, COPE, VF+, IFP and UDM, we took over from ANC administrations that had built networks of patronage and corruption to steal the people’s money for themselves.

Before we could begin on delivering on these commitments and moving in the right direction, the rot of corruption and self-enrichment that existed needed to be cleaned out. From day one, the sheer enormity of the financial mess inherited from previous ANC governments was as clear as daylight. This took months and months of hard work by these governments, and today we are yielding the fruits.

I want to commend these DA-led coalition governments on this outstanding work, which has resulted in freeing up more public money to spend on delivering services to all. Tshwane has moved from a R2 billion deficit to a R704 million surplus, and Nelson Mandela Bay has a R615 million surplus – its best financial position in over a decade.

These governments have also made huge inroads into cutting corruption. Johannesburg has uncovered R18 billion in corruption within the city, Nelson Mandela Bay cancelled corruption contracts to the tune of R650 million and opened tender adjudication processes to the public, and Tshwane has cleared out corrupt officials in the administration and fought against the corrupt R 2 billion PEU contract in court and won.

Tshwane has tripled the amount of direct 9nvestment into the city and has been named the fasting growing city in Africa. Johannesburg has created 103 000 new jobs in the first six months of this year, and Nelson Mandela Bay has tripled the number of EPWP jobs while creating a young graduate programme for young jobseekers.

In terms of service delivery, in Tshwane the luxurious mayoral mansion of the previous ANC government was sold for R5 million rand in order to build houses for poor residents without a home, and 1800 bursaries to the value of R34 million have been awarded to young people.

Johannesburg saw the electrification of 6000 homes for the very first time, while Nelson Mandela Bay eradicated almost 10 000 bucket toilets and ensured 12 000 residents received running water and flush toilets in their homes for the first time.

Real progress is being made, and in just two years DA-led coalition governments are doing what ANC governments could not do in two decades. Millions of South Africans are receiving clean, efficient and delivery-orientated service not ever experienced under the ANC before 2016. Indeed, the biggest electoral threat to the ANC and the EFF has been the successes of DA-led coalition governments.

In light of this, FedEx considered the current status of DA-led coalition governments and came to the following resolutions.

Firstly, we recommit to the formal coalition agreement signed by all coalition partners in August 2016 following the last Local Government Elections. We still believe this document provides the founding values and principles on which governments are build and maintained in the best interests of citizens. This agreement remains open to any political party that shares the values of constitutionalism, non-racialism, the rule of law, a market-based economy, the eradication of corruption, and the speeding up of the delivery of basic services to all. In this light, the DA-led coalition government in Johannesburg will continue the work of the people.

However, in light of the UDM’s joining of the coalition of corruption in NMB, FedEx has resolved to formally approach coalition partners to review the inclusion of the UDM in this formal agreement. It cannot be that the UDM consistently acts in cahoots with corrupt parties, and in contravention of the agreement. I will be meeting with the leaders of the coalition partners ACDP, COPE, VF+ and IFP soon, and the outcome of this will be communicated in due course.

It is important that the coalition partners strengthen our resolve against the coalition of corruption that has been formed by the ANC, EFF and the UDM, and I want to thank Rev. Kenneth Meshoe, Terror Lekota, Dr  Pieter Groenewald and Prince Mangosotho Buthulezi for their steadfast resolve against this new coalition of corruption.

Secondly, FedEx notes Monday’s sitting of the Nelson Mandela Bay council where the new coalition of corruption between the ANC, EFF and UDM attempted to remove Executive Mayor Athol Trollip, and replace him with a corrupt new Mayor and ANC-dominated Mayoral Committee. We echo the view that this decision was invalid and has no effect in law. Athol Trollip remains the mayor of NMB, and the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth will consider this matter tomorrow morning. The DA and our partners will come out in numbers to support Mayor Trollip because we believe a victory on this matter will be a victory for the people of NMB.

FedEx fully supports Athol Trollip in this fight and believe that he remains the de jure mayor of NMB. Mayor Trollip’s coalition government has brought change to the lives of NMB residents, and we won’t allow the coalition of corruption to steal back the city through the back door.

Thirdly, FedEx considered tomorrow’s scheduled Motion of No Confidence in Tshwane Mayor, Solly Msimanga. The DA has full faith in Solly Msimanga in his current role as Executive Mayor. He has led the city remarkably well over the past two years and has taken all necessary steps to act against any allegations of maladministration in the city. This support for Solly is unanimous and is echoed by all 5 DA regional chairpersons in Gauteng, who join me here today. Tomorrow the DA and our partners will be out in our numbers outside the Tshwane council in support of Solly Msimanga and the DA-led coalition government in the Capital City.

Therefore, the DA will not be fielding a new candidate for Tshwane Mayor in tomorrow’s council sitting as arrogantly demanded by the EFF. The DA upholds consistency and transparency. The voters elected Solly Msimanga as their mayor, and we will not cave to the demands of the minority. The mayor’s office does not have a revolving door policy determined by the whims of the minority.

If the EFF decides to formalise its coalition of corruption with the ANC tomorrow and supports their Motion of No Confidence in the DA-led coalition government in Tshwane, then they have showed their true colours as being nothing more than the military wing of the ANC – aiding and abetting corruption and looting.

The DA will stand on principle and if that means losing power in any governments, so be it. We refuse to compromise on our values to this new coalition of corruption. If the EFF hand back any DA-led coalition governments to the corrupt ANC, it will be for the people of SA to punish them at polls next year.

History has shown the EFF to make serious judgments of error in the past – from Jacob Zuma, to Public Protector Mkhwebane, to the VBS bank. Tomorrow the EFF is faced with an important decision. History, and the voters, will judge them for their choice.

If the EFF decides to support the removal of the DA-led coalition in Tshwane, they will have shown the people of South Africa that they are happy to remove clean governments and give these cities back to the ANC.

ANC’s call for fresh elections in Tshwane and CoJ a cheap political gimmick defying voters’ choice

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes the press conference by the ANC Deputy Provincial Chairperson, Panyaza Lesufi, where he made remarks regarding the state of DA-led coalition governments and his party’s decision to call for fresh elections in the City of Tshwane.

Lesufi stated that the call for a fresh election is for “the of people of Tshwane [to] elect a government of their choice”.

This latest political gimmick by the ANC is ironic considering that the people of Tshwane in the 2016 Local Government Elections elected a government of their choice and voted the ANC out of power. The residents of Tshwane gave a mandate for the DA and other opposition parties to form a coalition government to administrate the business of the City and deliver services to its residents.

Over the past two years in the City of Johannesburg and the City of Tshwane, Mayors Herman Mashaba and Solly Msimanga uncovered 22 years of billions in rands of looting, corruption and abuse of the people’s money to fund the ANC’s elections.

In just two years, the DA-led coalitions governments of Johannesburg and Tshwane have turn things around and the two metros are thriving. In Johannesburg:

  • The City closed out the 2017/18 financial year with an improved performance in the unaudited financial reports. Cash reserves now stand at R1.9 billion with R6 billion in loans now repaid;
  • Over 2 000 title deeds have been delivered to residents who have waited for the dignity of home ownership for many years, and the City has started delivering services to 51 informal settlements neglected by the previous administration; and
  • With 1 500 more Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) Officers on the streets, the City has become much safer than before.

In Tshwane:

  • The DA inherited a R2 billion deficit from the ANC, however, in the 2016/17 the City closed out at a R704 operating surplus;
  • Mayor Msimanga sold the so-called “Mayoral Mansion” for R5.1 million in order to build houses for the disadvantaged. Proceeds from this sale are already being used to build more than 40 houses for those without; and
  • Following much-needed reforms to root out corruption, the Capital City has allocated R137.2 million towards the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) initiatives this financial year. This will lead to more jobs and skills for the unemployed.

These are only a few examples of the DA difference. Unlike the ANC, we have put the people of Johannesburg and Tshwane above petty politics and have exposed and rooted out corruption, created jobs, tackled crime, delivered service and given our people the dignity of a roof over their heads.

Whilst the ANC continuous to destabilise legitimate and democratically established governments in our metros, we will continue to do the work of bringing tangible change and building One South Africa for All.

Tshwane Mayor Msimanga committed to squeezing out corruption

Today the Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga, requested Council to issue the City Manager with a notice of intention to suspend pending the outcome of an independent investigation into alleged misconduct on his part. This recommendation was carried by the Council despite the EFF walking out of the chambers.

This special council meeting was called in light of very serious allegations of irregularities levelled against the City Manager in terms of improperly awarding a tender for the project management unit in the City, which could expose the City to severe financial risk worth hundreds of millions or more.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) takes all allegations of impropriety very seriously but also recognizes the responsibility to ensure that the City Manager given a right of reply in line with natural justice and municipal regulations – which is why the report which served before council recommended we follow due process.

The EFF walked out after asserting that the report and recommendations were driven by race-based motivations. It is patently disingenuous of the EFF to try and justify their decision to walk out by accusing the Mayor of having some form of racial motivation. This is nothing more than a weak attempt to explain away actions which fail the residents of the City and which are clearly taken for personal and political interests.

Furthermore, it shows that the party has no commitment to tackling corruption and has also failed in their duty as councillors to hold the city’s officials accountable for their actions, as is a core responsibility of all municipal councils, and must explain to the public why they have done so.

In light of the prima facie evidence available, it is vital that an independent investigation begins without any delay given the serious nature of these allegations and the possibility that they will impact governance in the City. This DA-led coalition government has managed to bring significant positive change to Tshwane. We must continue to be able to bring better services to our residents and this can only occur in an environment of transparency and accountability.

Two years on, and DA-led metros have brought change to millions of South Africans

The following remarks were delivered by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Mmusi Maimane, in Greater Ellis Park in Johannesburg today. The Leader was joined by the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, and the Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga.

Two years ago to the day, history was made when the Democratic Alliance (DA) was elected into government in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay – the first time the ANC had lost control of these cities. As soon as agreements were finalised, coalition governments with several political parties were formed to serve the people and bring about real change.

From day one, it was clear that the governments inherited from previous administrations were in shambles – both financially and administratively. These administrations were endemically corrupt and heavily bloated which will again be the case if the ANC are ever again trusted to govern these cities.

Since then, these governments have been hard at work putting residents first by cutting corruption, prioritising service delivery, and passing pro-poor budgets in order to create jobs. This is a responsibility that we do not take lightly.

Any modern economy’s prospect for sustainable development and growth hinges on the effectiveness of city-led economic growth. And the Greater Ellis Park area that we find ourselves in today is a visionary example of the sustainable growth of a city within a city. This is an example of how Mayor Mashaba is turning dilapidated and abandoned land in the Johannesburg inner city and revitalising it – creating low-cost housing and job creating industry to address historical injustices.

The very property we are on today is one of 71 pieces of inner city land earmarked as commercial and residential development for the benefit of the people of eGoli. This 1 640 square metre site is intended for the development of mixed income housing.

Johannesburg’s New Doornfontein City Improvement District (CID) continues to pioneer the utility of industrial land in the east inner city. What was the City’s historic manufacturing hub went to ruin under the previous ANC government, but is now on the cusp of being transformed.

The diverse space of land is set to be used as a manufacturing hub for mostly warehousing, light industry and amenities, an educational precinct, a mixed-use area for largely manufacturing, light engineering, warehousing, office and retail and at the heart of the development, a sports mecca space.

This is only one shining example of the DA difference that continues to transform the lives of more than 16 million South Africans living under a DA government. While we may have inherited metro governments that had long been forgotten by the ANC, DA governments will never take for granted those we serve – and the more than R100 billion in pro-poor budgets that were successfully passed in these governments are testament to this.

Today is a day to celebrate the first 24 months of DA-led coalition governments in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay as they lead in the fight to create jobs, stand up against crime, cut corruption and build One South Africa For All. These DA-led governments will continue to stand tall as beacons of hope for the South Africa of tomorrow.

City of Johannesburg

This hope was cultivated when upon assuming office in August 2016, the City of Johannesburg set itself the ambitious task of growing Johannesburg’s economy to 5% by 2021. This remains a high target but was a goal the Mayor’s team needed to reach to create jobs and turn the rising tide against unemployment in the City.

From day one, the DA-led City of Johannesburg made jobs and growth its primary focus. By creating an enabling environment for entrepreneurs and businesses to grow, it was only a matter of time before the results began to show.

Despite the continued rise in the national expanded unemployment rate to 37.2% in the second quarter of 2018, the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) released by Stats SA earlier this week shows this government has created an environment that produced 109 000 new jobs since the beginning of the year. This was achieved while reducing the expanded unemployment rate from 32.3% to 30.8%. If this trend continues, the City is well on its way to reaching the goal of 5% growth by 2021.

Quality infrastructure and the stabilisation of services will always be a non-negotiable for business in the continent’s economic capital. The City has met this expectation by not only renewing infrastructure and stabilising services but establishing a responsive, dedicated, accountable and professional civil service that inspires confidence with the people of Johannesburg and delivers world-class services that will continue to make Johannesburg an attractive destination for investment.

The Khoebo Opportunity Centre has seen hundreds of young entrepreneurs walk through its doors, turning ideas into small businesses. The roll out of these Opportunity Centres are beginning to assist residents with crucial skills and support to grow their businesses so that they too can create job opportunities. In addition to Khoebo, the City’s goal is to create 13 more Opportunity Centres through Johannesburg, deepening access to jobs with two in every one of the seven regions throughout the City by 2021.

Crime and corruption have become public enemy number one in the City of Johannesburg, and we are winning the war. More than 3 500 cases of corruption and maladministration involving almost R18 billion has been uncovered by the newly established Group Forensics and Investigation Services (GFIS) and the recruitment of an additional 1 500 Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officers has ensured the streets of Johannesburg are much safer. The launch of Operation Buya Mthetho has seen to more than 8 000 arrests by law enforcement officials since the beginning of the year.

Over 20 000 arrests have been made by the JMPD, and the GFIS has a specialised unit that counter-acts building hijacking syndicates and returns properties that have been hijacked to their rightful owners. With the assistance of the JMPD, this unit has already returned 73 buildings to their rightful owners.

A free Community Substance Abuse Treatment Centres has been opened which includes provision for a 24-hour crisis line where the people of Johannesburg can speak with caring professional staff to get the help that they need. By the end of this financial year there will be eight of these Centres reaching areas such as Poortjie, Bophelong and Cosmo City.

In order to open up access to health services, extended operating hours within City clinics have ensured that residents do not have to decide between making it to work and receiving medical attention, and so that students never have to choose between going to school and accessing healthcare.

City of Tshwane

The City of Tshwane has also become the talk of the town with the Capital City having allocated R137.2 million towards Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) initiatives this financial year. In September last year, much needed reforms to the City’s EPWP recruitment policy were introduced, effectively ending the system of insiders and outsiders that have previously marred EPWP job opportunities.

Tshwane’s reformed EPWP recruitment policy framework is built on the principle of transparency. The selection process involves an open public lottery system where beneficiaries are randomly selected so that no individual can be approached or lobbied to occupy any of the work opportunities available in the City.

The new DA government inherited a major housing backlog, and corruption and maladministration had taken over the building and allocation of houses to the poorest of residents. While many live without the dignity of a brick and mortar home, previous ANC mayors lived in lavish luxury in the so called “Mayoral Mansion”. This mansion was put up for sale and on 23 November last year it was sold for R5.1 million in order to build houses for those without. Proceeds made from the sale are already being used to build 40 houses for those without.

Over the past two years, great strides have been made towards stabilising the City’s finances. This was achieved by strengthening the controls over supply chain processes, slashing unauthorised and unnecessary expenditure and extricating the City from unlawful and expensive contracts.

This has resulted in turning a R2 billion inherited deficit into a surplus. The reported operating deficit for 2015/16 was R2.1 billion which was restated to R1.3 billion during the next financial year’s audit process. This is evidence of a DA-run City handling public money with care, ensuring it is spent on the people, not politicians.

The Capital City closed the financial year with an operating surplus of R704 million.

Nelson Mandela Bay

On the other end of the country, the Nelson Mandela Bay coalition government has had all the odds stacked against them from day one. But in the face of adversity, a budget that focused on low-income communities, housing and informal settlement upgrades, roads, lights and community facilities was passed.

Prudent budgeting enabled the first Metro Police Service in the Eastern Cape to have been launched in Nelson Mandela Bay to tackle the scourge of crime in the City. Working closely with the South African Police Service (SAPS), they have seen to an 11% decrease in gang related crimes in the City’s most dangerous communities such as Helenvale where a pilot project with Shot Spotter has improved response times and seen a number of critical arrests made.

The service has grown to 135 officers and 38 patrol vehicles with a specialised bicycle unit, ghost squad and bylaw enforcement unit in operation. It has been such a success that the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Police Department’s Annual Police Plan format was adopted as the blueprint to be used by all Metro Police Departments nationwide.

In two years, the rooting out of corrupt senior officials, securing and monitoring of SCM offices and opening up of the Bid Adjudication Committee (BIC) to the public has turned around the City’s finances and SCM and ensured that every penny is accounted for. The City is now liquid with over R2 billion in the bank, has a steadily rising collection rate and achieves some of the best capital expenditure in the country.

NMB recently received a AAA credit rating and a windfall Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) allocation of R178.8 million on top of the R911 million received at the beginning of the financial year. The City has succeeded in spending close to R1.1 billion on capital works that has directly improve the lives of the poor and made for better service delivery.

Services such as the Assistance to the Poor (ATTP) will see recipients receive R2 billion over the medium term, while R1.5 million is going to be spent on informal trading (EDTA) infrastructure. Almost half a billion rand has been apportioned to upgrading housing and informal settlements, human settlement projects, a bucket eradication programme, informal housing and electrification programmes. To date 9 000 of the 16 000 bucket toilets inherited from the previous ANC government have been eradicated.

To ensure the safety of their roads, more than half a billion rand has been put aside for roads and lighting. In addition to this, R150 million has been reserved for the upgrading and development of community facilities like Multi-Purpose Centres, libraries, sports facilities, parks and open public spaces.

Conclusion

These DA-led governments have put the people of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay first by creating jobs, waging war on crime, crushing corruption, delivering nothing but the best services and passing over R100 billion in pro-poor budgets. This is a total change for more than 16 million South Africans.

Change forced the ANC to realise that they cannot govern with impunity. This DA difference has come to be expected of us where govern and we would not have it any other way. South Africans deserve excellence in government and we hold ourselves to very high standards in pursuit of this.

These are not simply cherry-picked success stories. They are very real examples of the opportunities that exist for more than 16 million people who live under DA-led governments.

One of the greatest privileges one can ever be entrusted with is a mandate from the people to serve and it is these DA-led governments’ past two years of service to the residents of these great cities that we should all be celebrating today.

Just R700 per month – Tshwane leading the way with social housing

As part of its plans to meet the growing demand for housing, the City of Tshwane launched a R300 million Thembelihle Village Social Housing Project in the Tshwane inner city.

Completed in November 2017, with first occupation in February 2018, the project targets people in the low to medium income bracket, who earn between R3 500 and R15 000 a month. With rent for a bachelor apartment starting as low as R700 a month, the project is providing affordable quality homes to low-income earners nearer their place of work.

The ‘Thembelihle’ Village, which means ‘good hope’, is located close to government departments, other places of work, shops, social amenities and public transport. In total, the village will provide housing to more than 2,000 residents.

 “This brings people closer to where the opportunities are, without there being the characteristic of dividers of wealth. I am very proud of this project, as this is building homes for people.”

– Tshwane Mayor, Solly Msimanga.