DA rejects Public Protector report exonerating NDZ VIP protection

The Democratic Alliance (DA) rejects the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report exonerating Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s VIP protection in 2017, despite the fact that she held no official position that would justify such protection.

In April 2017, the DA referred what can only be described as an abuse of state resources to the Public Protector. The report reads that Mkhwebane “could not find any reason to conclude that Dr Dlamini-Zuma was improperly accorded VIP Protection Services by the Minister of Police”.

The DA maintains that the decision to award Dlamini-Zuma VIP protection was a political decision in the run up to the ANC’s elective conference in December 2017, by a Police Minister who had every reason to be in Dlamini-Zuma’s favour.

It now appears that the ANC has influence over the office of the Public Protector. It is unconscionable that the Mkhwebane can in anyway exonerate this wasteful spending of tax-payers money.

Whilst our communities are trapped in a vicious cycle of brutal, violent crime, the ANC government is spending R1.5 billion on VIP protection for politicians.

The DA is the only party that can build one South Africa for All, where all South Africans are afforded a safe environment by an honest and professional police service.

Together we can keep the lights on in SA

The following remarks were made today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, during his Kasi-to-Kasi Tour in KwaZulu Natal. Maimane wasjoined by DA KwaZulu Natal Premier Candidate, Zwakele Mncwango.

Fellow South Africans

Our country is facing its biggest crisis since 1994. Load-shedding isn’t simply going without lights for a few hours at a time. When the power goes out for stage 3 or 4 of load-shedding, our entire economy switches off. And when it does this enough times, it cannot switch back on again.

Small businesses have no room to move. They work on tiny profit margins and often have no extra cash to cushion them against tough times. When they have to close their doors during power cuts, they are unable to pay staff, they are unable to pay suppliers and they are unable to pay rent and services. This means they go out of business and all their employees, along with their families, immediately lose their only income.

A town like Umzinto is built around small businesses, many of them family-owned. If these power cuts continue, unemployment here will shoot through the roof. This area already has among the highest unemployment in the country, with almost one in every two people unable to find work. More load-shedding will add thousands more to these numbers.

But it’s not only business closures and job losses that will affect you. Without power, you will start to lose access to all basic services, as water cannot be pumped and sewage treatment plants cannot function without electricity.

Already hospitals and clinics across the country are having to turn patients away and delay life-saving treatments because they cannot operate without guaranteed power for extended periods. This is a human catastrophe waiting to happen.

That’s why load-shedding is so much more than losing lights for a few hours. Eskom will drag our whole country down with it if we don’t immediately fix what we can fix, and change what we must change. And this means either forcing the people who created this problem – the ANC government – to take the right action, or using 8 May to fire them as a government. Those are our only options.

If the ANC doesn’t agree to a number of urgent reforms at Eskom and the way we generate and purchase electricity, our only hope as a nation is to immediately replace them with a government that is prepared to make the big calls. To date the ANC has been unwilling to break Eskom’s energy monopoly or to stand up to the unions, which is why we are in this crisis.

But you don’t have to wait till 8 May to make your voice heard. You can join thousands of others tomorrow during our National Day of Action, which will take place across all provinces. Our main event will be a march to the Union Buildings in Tshwane, where we will present a plan that can be immediately implemented to avert this disaster.

This starts with rejecting the pressure the unions are applying to government to maintain Eskom’s monopoly, and allowing Independent Power Producers to start selling power to the national grid.

Then we must immediately halt the build on the last two units at the Kusile power station. Kusile and Medupi have already cost hundreds of billions more than was budgeted and they still don’t operate properly because of critical design flaws. It is estimated that almost R140 billion was stolen from Eskom over the past decade relating to the construction of these two stations. We need to plug this hole straight away and focus on independent producers.

We must also allow Eskom to buy its coal from any source, so that it can ensure the best quality and price.

We must immediately prioritise the maintenance of all ageing power stations, because when they start shutting down due to lack of maintenance we will quickly go from controlled load-shedding to uncontrolled blackouts.

Government must instruct PetroSA to supply Eskom with diesel at a tax-free cost until we have survived this crisis.

Government must also immediately allow well-functioning metros and municipalities to start purchasing their electricity directly from independent producers, and not solely from Eskom.

We need to stop exporting electricity to our neighbours right away until we are able to meet our own demand and stabilize our grid.

We must reaffirm all engineering and maintenance employees at Eskom as an “essential service” and prohibit them from entering into strike action.

Municipalities must install major smart meters right away, which will allow them to collect electricity revenue accurately and on time.

And finally, we must make it our urgent priority to appoint skilled senior management at power station level. One of the biggest threats to Eskom was the replacement of skilled management with deployed cadres, and this needs to be reversed as soon as possible.

There are many more interventions that are required in the medium to long term to stabilize our power supply and reduce our dependency on Eskom, but the steps I have just mentioned here are immediate solutions we can set in motion tomorrow to avert a national crisis.

Because make no mistake, we are staring down the barrel of a crisis. Don’t be fooled by the lights coming back on this week. Between now and the election on 8 May the ANC will do everything in its power to keep the lights on. They will run power stations without maintenance until they break beyond repair. They will use every last drop of expensive diesel to run turbines until then.

They will do whatever it takes to postpone the disaster until after voting has taken place. Because they know that what they did to our country’s energy should get them fired.

If ever there was a time to stand up to your government and demand action, it is now. If all South Africans stand together, they cannot ignore us. Wherever you are tomorrow, join the Day of Action and make your voice heard.

Together we can force government to act in the interest of the country and not the ANC.

Together we can keep the lights on.

Together we can take the power back!

DA welcomes two former NFP MP’s to the most diverse party in SA

The following statement was delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, in uMlazi, KwaZulu-Natal. Maimane was joined by DA KZN Premier Candidate, Zwakele Mncwango

This weekend South Africa was plunged into darkness as Eskom was forced to implement Stage 4 load-shedding. This on a weekend when electricity demand is relatively low. Across the country businesses shut their doors, traffic lights went out and homes went dark in what has become a stark daily reminder of the ANC’s corruption and mismanagement. The massive threat this poses to our economy and the stability of our country cannot be overstated.

At the same time the ANC released its national and provincial lists for the upcoming election, and what immediately stood out was that the very same people who inflicted this energy crisis on us were once again given prominent positions on the list. After 8 May they will be deployed to the ANC benches in Parliament and will most likely hold positions in President Ramaphosa’s cabinet.

This includes Mosebenzi Zwane – the man who facilitated the Gupta plunder at Eskom through Tegeta Mineral Resources. It also includes Tina Joemat-Pettersson, who sold off our country’s strategic oil reserves at a cut price to ANC-connected companies. These people should be sent to prison, not Parliament.

If the ANC were a functioning government committed to serve the interests of South Africa, then anyone who played a role in crippling the country’s energy infrastructure and resources would have immediately been fired, charged and prosecuted. But the ANC is not a functioning government. It is little more than a criminal syndicate disguised as a governing party.

This ANC list has made it clear that all the talk of reform under President Ramaphosa is completely meaningless. If he cannot even keep the worst offenders in the looting of our country and the destruction of our economy out of his cabinet, then there can be no turnaround under the ANC. President Ramaphosa is clearly not in charge. He is simply the face of the ANC’s campaign, and his promise of a new dawn is nothing but empty rhetoric intended to fool voters ahead of the election.

The DA’s lists, on the other hand, represent a party committed to serving the people of South Africa. Unlike parties who deploy their cadres to do the bidding of factions and to serve their party’s interests, the DA strives to find candidates who are capable and who are committed to the cause of service to the people. The DA is a national government-in-waiting, and it is therefore crucial that we use our public representative structures to build the government South Africa deserves.

Our national and provincial lists also reflect a party that speaks for and fights for all South Africans, and not only a particular race, religion or culture. It is because of this that the DA stands at the centre of a new political realignment, as people converge around our values and our mission to build a united country that is shared by all.

Today we are proud to welcome two senior members from the National Freedom Party to the DA. Both Mr Maliyakhe Lymon Shelembe and Mr Mandlenkosi Sicelo Mabika represented the NFP in the National Assembly, and both will now appear on the DA’s national list ahead of the 8 May Elections.

Mr Shelembe served as the NFP’s National Chairperson and has twice served as Mayor of Umtshezi – first in 2004, and again in 2007. In 2011 he was also appointed Deputy Mayor in Uthukela municipality. In Parliament he has sat on Portfolio Committees that include Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, and Public Enterprises.

Mr Mabika served as the NFP’s Deputy National Chairperson and was a member of Parliament’s Portfolio Committees on, among others, Basic Education, Economic Development and Environmental Affairs.

Both Mr Shelembe and Mr Mabika bring a wealth of experience to the DA, and they join what is without a doubt the most diverse party in South Africa with the most diverse lists.

Compare the ANC’s list with the DA’s list and you will see the clearest possible difference between the two parties. One is a who’s who of thieves, tender fraudsters and captured cadres, while the other is a team of capable men and women committed to serve their country. One represents the very narrow interests of a wealthy ruling clique, while the other represents each and every man, woman and child in South Africa, in their beautiful diversity.

That is essentially the choice South Africans will face on 8 May. Should they reward the exact same group of people who sold our country off to the highest bidders with another five years in office, or should they choose change that builds One South Africa for all its people? This should not be a difficult choice to make.

The DA gets stuff done the right way, on time and within budget

The following speech was delivered on the second day of Parliament’s debate of the 2019 State of the Nation Address.

Mr. President last year you stood on this platform insisting that you had seen a contract between your son, Andile Ramaphosa, and BOSASA over the R500 000 donated to your family trust.

Today you have written to the Leader of the Official Opposition refuse to release the same contract you claim to have seen following his PAIA application. This is not the behavior of someone who has nothing to hide. It is now clear that between you, your son and BOSASA someone is hiding something.

Mr. President, I challenge you to release that contract when you come to this podium tomorrow. I challenge you to answer honestly once and for all. If you fail to do so, we will see you for who you are. A President who choose to cover up when confronted with an opportunity to be transparent.

Mr. President, the State of the Nation should be a brutally honest reflection of the state of our nation. Yours was a wish-list reflecting a nation many South Africans don’t live in. It did nothing to give hope to many poor South Africans that their lives will get better.

Mr. President last week you implored us to “watch the space” in your calculated attempt to serenade us into believing your empty promises.

Mr. President how much longer Mrs Christina Maake from Mandela Park in Modjadjiskloof “watch the space” to stop competing with livestock for water at their local river?

Mr. President, how much longer must Thulasize Mcwango in Msholozi informal settlement in Mbombela “watch the space” to have their homes electrified?

How much longer must Tlangelani Mabunda from Mninginisi Village in Giyani “watch the space” for a clinic in her area so they don’t travel more than 10 kilometres to their nearest one?

All these realities reflect the daily battle for survival for many poor black South Africans.

They don’t have patience or time to “watch the space” anymore. In fact, they are sick and tired of “watching the space”. They don’t want to hear another chorus of empty promises.

Our constitution reminds us daily that “South Africa belongs to all who live in it.”

We want a South Africa that works for all who live in it. We want a South African where every village has access to clean drinkable water. We want a South Africa where every family has access has a toilet in their household. We want a South African where the government is focused on speeding up the delivery of basic services.

Our approach to governance is governance is rooted in our party’s values of freedom, fairness, opportunity and opportunity.

DA governments give true meaning to freedom to residents who have suffered the indignity of waiting for long periods for basic services.

This is evidenced by the fact that 14 of the top 20 municipalities with the highest number of households with access to sanitation are in the Western Cape.

Our extensive cross subsidization of basic services to redress the wrongs of the past restores the dignity of poor communities.

To this end, the Western Cape has one of the highest number of households benefitting from free basic water and electricity.

Fairness is the light that guides our distribution of resources to improve the quality of life where we govern.

In this regard, communities in DA municipalities in the Western Cape have 97% access to electricity and 99% access to piped water stands (Stats SA).

All our governments spend their full budgets in poor areas: electrifying informal settlements, building toilets, upgrading roads, and installing taps all of which improve the quality of life for all here we govern.

Our governments get stuff done the right way, on time and within budget.

Where we err, we take responsibility for our shortcomings. We run honest government where we are in charge. Mr. President, how can you lead an honest government when you are in an arena with a congregation of the corrupt. Look to you left. Look to your right. And look behind you.

So, while you play Mr. Nice Guy to the corrupt ones your organization, we say good riddance to them.

Because while you talk, we get stuff done the right way, on time and within budget.

The National Health Insurance Fund is not the solution for our crumbling public health system. It is a shortsighted attempt to nationalize health care. Where we govern, we are investing billions to improve our public health infrastructure and enhance universal access to health care. The DA Western Cape Government has spent over R3.8 billion since 2009 to build world-class hospitals in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain.

We are widening access to primary health care to poor communities in areas where such services didn’t exist before. It has upgraded 10 emergency centres to allow our hospitals to provide emergency services as quickly as possible. We have built 14 more primary health care centres to enable residents of the Western Cape to access health services closest to the communities they live in. We have built 11 new ambulance stations to empower our medical response teams to respond faster to demands for medical assistance.

All these groundbreaking interventions in our public health system place the Western Cape as the province with the highest percentage of households living within 30 minutes of the nearest health facility at 91% of the population. All of these delivery outcomes mean people live longer in the Western Cape because of the public health system here is functional.

While you talk about “watching the space”, we get stuff done the right way, on time and within budget.

Fellow South Africans, every election cycle the ANC pleads for more time in government to deliver on the promises they have consistently failed to deliver for the last 25 years.

It is as if they have somehow woken up to the realization that service delivery only takes place during election year. There is no doubt you will see more ribbons cut now. You will see more PR stunts of hand over of keys to the elderly. And of course, you will receive more food parcels.

You should ask them: where were they for the last 25 years when you were suffering. You should ask them: where were they for the last 25 years when you went hungry? You should ask them: where were they for the last 25 years when there was no water in your community? Don’t let them blackmail you into voting for them.

The ANC doesn’t deserve more time in government. They need more time in opposition. Now is the time to vote for change. Now is the time to vote for a government that has the urgency to deliver immediate services to our people.

Now is the time to vote for government that gets stuff done, the right way, on time and within budget.

And that government, is a DA government.

The failing ANC is killing rural communities

Please find attached a soundbite in Afrikaans.

Last week the Democratic Alliance (DA) unveiled a billboard, “The ANC is Killing Us”, in memory of all those who have tragically lost their lives due to an indifferent ANC government.

Our billboard is about justice and commemoration for the many South Africans who paid the ultimate price, their lives, at the hands of the callous ANC.

Among the communities who have suffered the most, have been South Africa’s forgotten rural communities.

Over the past 6 years more than 3119 violent farms attacks have taken place resulting in the deaths of hundreds of farmers and farm workers.

The failing ANC’s lack of political will to address rural safety is killing our rural communities.

The DA has long maintained that the failing ANC’s decision to disband the rural safety unit was reckless and has left rural South Africans vulnerable.

Something needs to be done urgently as rural communities live in constant fear for their lives. The DA reiterates our call that the government needs to implement specialised police rural units to fill the vacuum left by the local units in rural areas.

This vacuum has now been filled by criminals and those who seek to prey on rural and vulnerable South Africans.

A DA led government will immediately reintroduce honest and professional specialised crime fighting units to successfully prevent and investigate specific crime such as rural farm attacks, murder, rape, robbery and stock theft.

To ensure that proactive policing is also given as much assistance as possible, a Rural Crime Intelligence Component would also be established as part of the SAPS’s Crime Intelligence Division.

The DA is committed to build one South Africa for All where rural communities are safe and protected.

Only one party knows what it takes to create jobs, and that’s the DA

Note to Editors: the following remarks were delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a march to the Northern Cape Premier’s Office in Kimberley, Northern Cape. Maimane was joined by DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate, Andrew Louw. Attached please find the memorandum that was handed over to the provincial government. 

Fellow South Africans

Of the many issues plaguing South Africa and halting our progress towards a fair and prosperous future, one stands out above all: Jobs.

We won’t make any headway as a society unless we can find a way of putting a lot more people into sustainable jobs, and soon. Almost everything else will be solvable if we start winning the battle against our runaway unemployment.

The first step in this battle is recognising how jobs are created, and what the role of any government should be in doing so. Governments cannot be the primary source of jobs. They cannot provide enough of them and they cannot create them. Parties that promise to do this are lying to you.

But what governments can do is make it possible for businesses to create jobs. And once they realise that this is their role, we can start to talk about realistic jobs targets. Until then, it’s all just empty promises.

I have been traveling around the country telling people what a DA government would do for them when it comes to job creation – how we will work hard to attract investors and make it easier for businesses to start up and survive. And what I have seen here in the Northern Cape, and Kimberley in particular, is a lesson in precisely what not to do.

This is a province that is fast losing the war against unemployment, and it is not hard to see why. The ANC government in the Northern Cape has absolutely no interest in serving and supporting the businesses that must create jobs.

All businesses want the same things in order keep their doors open. They want to know they can depend on a reliable, affordable supply of electricity. They want a steady, affordable supply of water. They want infrastructure such as transport and broadband, they want their business to be safe and they want their rights – including property rights – to be protected.

They also want to know that policies and legislation won’t change, so that they can plan ahead. And they want to be freed up from unnecessary admin and compliance – the so-called red tape that trips up so many small business owners.

If a government can ensure these things, then businesses will flourish there. Investors will feel welcome and safe, entrepreneurs will feel supported and the jobs will come. But if a government can’t provide this certainty, security and service, then businesses will simply go elsewhere.

Just this morning I visited the premises of a company called Beefmaster – an abattoir here in Kimberley. They have reached a point where they want to take their entire business up to Johannesburg, because keeping it here in Kimberley is simply too hard, too costly and, above all, too unpredictable given the constant electricity interruptions. In their line of business, an uninterrupted supply of electricity is absolutely vital.

If government here can’t get the basics right, businesses like Beefmaster will pack up and leave. And if they do, 400 employees will immediately lose their jobs and at least 2000 dependents will lose a household income.

That’s what the wrong government does to communities like this. And Beefmaster is not a lone example. Recent research into business here in the Northern Cape found that small and medium enterprise owners in the province decreased from almost 28,000 in 2016 to under 15,000 in 2017. That’s a drop of almost half in one year – a sure sign that the ANC is killing all hope of growing jobs here.

Today, the Northern Cape has the highest rate of unemployed 15 to 24 year-olds in the entire country. Over 40% of all working age men and women in this province can’t find work. That’s a shameful failure by this ANC government.

The Northern Cape cannot simply be a place where dreams die. Where young people have to flee to survive. Where businesses have to leave in order to keep their doors open. It doesn’t have to be like that. But for this to change, its government will have to change.

But, you might ask, doesn’t every party make bold promises about jobs? Why should the DA’s offer be seen any differently? And to this I say: Don’t judge the DA on its promises, judge it by its track record. Something no other party can say.

In the DA-run Western Cape, where we have been in government for 10 years now, the results speak for themselves. The province has, by far, the lowest unemployment rate in the country. And, importantly, it has by far the lowest number of “discouraged jobseekers” – people who have given up hope and therefore given up looking for work.

Of all the jobs created in South Africa over the past year, half came from the Western Cape alone – a province with just one eighth of the country’s population. And the reason for this is simple: We know what it takes for businesses to start up and stay open, and we make it our top priority to help them do so. Whoever creates jobs has our full support.

You see, we believe in a South Africa, in the very near future, where our people – and particularly our young people – have hope once more. We have a vision of cities and towns where opportunity has replaced despair, and where more and more people are able to get onto the jobs ladder.

This future South Africa we see is one where the walls between the economic insiders and outsiders are smashed down. It is a South Africa where we make sure all our children leave school with an education that’s worth something, and then step into the world of work with something to offer.

It is a South Africa geared for the future, not obsessed with the past. One South Africa for all, led by a clean and honest DA government.

And that is the South Africa you need to vote for in May.

Thank you.

Forget the slogans – only one party is fighting for real land reform, and that’s the DA

Fellow South Africans,

Reconciliation Day is a day on which we celebrate our unity as a nation. We remember our history, and we reflect on the path we have already travelled towards a more just society.

But we must ask ourselves today: How quickly are we reconciling as a nation, and are we even still moving in the right direction? Because at times it feels like we are drifting further apart from each other.

We’ve already dealt with structural racism through legislation, but we must now deal with our attitudes towards each other. We must find better ways of listening to and hearing each other. True reconciliation is only possible through proper dialogue, and this is crucial if we want to work together to fix our country.

There are many things we can do to build a society that is more fair and equal. There are many ways we can unlock economic opportunities for people and bridge the historic divides that still lie between us.

One such thing is ensuring that young people get a foot on the jobs ladder by offering them internships, apprenticeships and the chance to do a year of national civilian service. Another is fixing our broken education system. And yet another important intervention is sustainable land reform.

I know that most South Africans want these things, and there are many men and women in our country who are committed to building an inclusive and unified society. But not everyone is working towards this goal, and these are the people we must watch out for.

Our political landscape is full of fake revolutionaries who merely pretend to care about poverty and disempowerment. Dishonest politicians who exploit the real frustrations and hardships of people for their own power and wealth.

They create the illusion that they stand on the side of the poor. Some of them will even go as far as wearing the overalls of the working class or the uniforms of domestic workers as part of this illusion, but these are just props and costumes for their act.

Here in South Africa, both the ANC and the EFF fall into this category. There’s a word for such people. We call them populists, and they prey on vulnerable people’s desperation. They make promises that sound too good to be true, because they are too good to be true. They have no intention of ever fulfilling these promises.

They will say whatever they think people want to hear in order to get their votes. They will use language and names that sound progressive, while robbing their own people blind.

They speak of Radical Economic Transformation, while they really mean Radical Wealth Accumulation.

They speak of Black Economic Empowerment, while they really mean ANC Crony Enrichment.

And they speak of Land Reform and Land Restitution, while they really mean state control and ownership of all land, including the land owned by poor South Africans.

Fellow South Africans, we all know that land is a very important and emotive issue in South Africa, and rightly so. For centuries, the majority of our people were denied the right to not only live where they wanted to live, but to own their own land, and to pass this land on to their children. Justice and redress demands that we correct this, and that we do so quickly.

When done right, this is something that will build a stronger, united South Africa. A South Africa where more people have access to the economy and where more people can build their own wealth.

But in the hands of the populists, it simply becomes a tool for dividing people and whipping up anger. When both the EFF and ANC talk about land reform, their only goal is to create a divide – an enemy – and then exploit the issue for votes.

They don’t want South Africans to own their own land. They don’t want you to be able to grow an investment, access capital or pass this on to your children. They want you to live at the mercy of the state – forever a tenant.

There is only one party in South Africa that has been fighting for real, sustainable land reform, and that party is the DA.

Forget about the slogans for a moment and consider the facts. Since 2009 the DA has handed over more than 100,000 title deeds in the Western Cape alone. That’s over a hundred thousand Western Cape families that now own their property.

In the past four years the Western Cape’s DA government has supported 357 land reform projects. The province boasts an agricultural land reform success rate of over 60%, while elsewhere in South Africa only 10% of these projects succeed. That’s what I mean when I say sustainable land reform.

And the DA has done all of this within the framework of the Constitution. It was never necessary to break our Constitution – that was all just part of the ANC and EFF’s populist campaign.

But if you really want to get an idea of what the DA has done for land reform and restitution, then you need to speak to the individuals and communities we have been fighting for. And we have some of those people here with us today.

People like David Rakgase, who has been leasing his Limpopo farm from the government since 1991, and has been battling to become the owner for the past two decades.

Mr Rakgase has exhausted every possible route to become a land-owner, and the ANC has blocked him at every turn. But last year the DA took up his fight, and we have brought his case all the way to the State Attorney. We will not rest until he has the title deed to his farm in his hands.

Or you can ask the people of Gwatyu in the Eastern Cape. We have representatives of their Communal Property Association with us today. Their efforts these past two years to have ownership of 42 000 hectares of Gwatyu farms transferred from the government to the Gwatyu CPA have been blocked time and time again.

Last month Minister Nkoana-Mashabane missed the deadline to hand over the report into the land rights enquiry to the Gwatyu community. If she doesn’t comply and hand over the report, the DA will not hesitate to take legal action to compel her to act.

Again, the issue of the Gwatyu land has nothing to do with the Constitution. It could have, and should have, been resolved years ago within the framework of the Constitution.

That is why I say: Beware of those who use land as a rallying cry and who want to amend our Constitution. They’re not doing this to make any of you property owners. They are doing so to take control of all South Africans’ property, whether black or white, rich or poor.

And while they are doing so, the DA continues to fight for real land reform. On this site here, Mayor Mashaba has decided to take rental property which had fallen into disrepair over years of ANC neglect, and to fix them up and hand them over with full title to those who have occupied the flats for a specific period of time.

While the ANC threatens to take away people’s property rights, the DA continues to make people property owners.

While the ANC blames the Constitution and property rights for its own failures, the DA fights to protect the Constitution and the property rights of all South Africans.

While the ANC and the EFF use land as a cheap political tool, the DA is committed to putting title deeds to both urban and agricultural land in the hands of the people.

Because that’s how you empower people and give them a foot in the door of the economy. That’s how you build an inclusive, prosperous South Africa.

New Dawn, Same Darkness

The following remarks we delivered by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a presentation of the Party’s 2018 Government Review in Parliament today. Maimane was joined by DA Chief Whip, John Steenhuisen MP

It must be made clear up front that Andile Mngxitama’s recent remarks are a violation of human rights and tantamount to hate speech. On Human Rights Day, and every other day.

Section 16(2)(c) of the Constitution makes it clear that “advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm” is fundamentally a human rights violation.

Hate speech must always be spoken out against. Mngxitama’s comments cheapen people rights to human dignity which is a fundamental tenant of what liberal democracy depends on.

This guarantee exists because we are human beings. It does not exist because we belong to a group or because we are any one individual.

This is what the DA is fighting for and why South Africa needs reform. While President Ramaphosa may have tinkered, he has not reformed – it is easy to appoint new boards; electoral reform, less so.

In a year that was billed to be one of fundamental reform, the ANC has continued to fail South Africa. In government, all of the crises that existed at the end of the Zuma presidency have worsened in the first year of the Ramaphosa presidency. In parliament, the ANC has reverted to their default position of complete deference to the new President, rather than holding him and his government accountable.

In contrast, the DA has not allowed our work in Parliament and in government to be clouded by ‘Ramaphoria’. We have continued to hold the government robustly to account, and to deliver better services and cleaner government where we govern.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Ramaphosa is coming to the end of his first year in office. He came to office promising tough action on corruption, and to get the economy growing to create jobs. On both fronts, progress has been elusive.

Former President Jacob Zuma may no longer be in power, but he remains out of prison. The public continues to pay for Zuma’s defence costs, despite this likely-illegal arrangement being within Ramaphosa’s direct power to end immediately.

There have also been no further arrests or charges against anyone implicated in state capture, despite there being a surfeit of evidence of serious crimes having been committed. Indeed, the NPA announced its decision not to prosecute Ace Magashule for the Estina Dairy theft, just a week before the appointment of a new NDPP. We hope she will reconsider this decision soon.

State capture continues to be presented as an aberration of the Zuma Presidency, rather than a system of corruption that is the modus operandi of the ANC as a whole. The policy of cadre deployment, picking civil servants for political loyalty over merit, combined with the elevation of the party and its interests over the state, has opened the way for massive endemic corruption. State capture is not a Zuma phenomenon, it is the way the ANC works.

As if to prove this point for us, Ramaphosa confirmed in Parliament that he received a R500 000 donation for his ANC campaign from Bosasa, a company already implicated in widespread ANC corruption, and that his son has a ‘commercial relationship’ with that company. Neither Ramaphosa, his son, or Bosasa, have been willing to reveal further details of this relationship, but the DA will not let up until we get to the truth.

Ramaphosa’s Cabinet remains bloated and filled with delinquent Ministers, and his government has presided over the worst economic recession that South Africa has experienced since the global financial crisis.

Over the past year, it has become clear that the government has no plan on how to fix the economy, beyond talk-shops, conferences and photo-op summits. “Investments” announced were simply the re-announcement of old investments, unemployment has gone up and access to jobs is still manipulated to the benefit of connected ANC insiders, often including demanding sex or cash for jobs.

Compare this to the performance of the DA. Nothing shows the difference between the DA and the ANC better than our performance on job creation and combating corruption. Investment inflows, economic growth and ultimately new job creation has been higher in DA governments than in the rest of the country. In 2018, a full 50% of new jobs created in South Africa were created in the Western Cape. DA governed Midvaal has the lowest unemployment rate in Gauteng.

In Johannesburg, Mayor Herman Mashaba has continued his crusade against corruption. Nationally, the DA has continued to be the only organisation committed to seeing Jacob Zuma help accountable for his crimes. We have laid 10 different charges against SOE executives, board members, corporates and government officials implicated in state capture. We were one of the main driving forces behind the Eskom Inquiry into state capture, requested the Financial Services Conduct Authority investigate financial flows from state capture and wrote to the Reserve Bank of India and the Parliamentary Ethics Committee to probe the capture of the state.

We’ve also taken strong action against malfeasance in our own ranks when we’ve become aware of it, no matter how difficult. And we have resisted the ANC-EFF coalition of corruption in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and in Tshwane.


Of the 15 debates that shaped the national agenda in Parliament this year, all confirmed an inconvenient truth: there is no “good” ANC or “bad” ANC, only the ANC. The outcomes of the debates on the recession recovery, fuel price increase and VBS Bank Heist continue to serve as the eulogy of the organization.

A final resting call where Parliament’s lights switched off while the Eskom inquiry report was being debated and the Constitutional Review Committee’s (CRC’s) report’s final words that the bedrock of people’s property rights are up for grabs. While the DA exposed how deep State Capture runs in the national power utility and voted against this dangerous Constitutional amendment, much of South Africa remains in darkness while the people’s Bill of Rights is being walked all over.

As unfair a burden placed by the government on ordinary South Africans has been the VAT increase, ballooning bailouts and spiraling cost of fuel. One might have hoped the recession recovery debate might have offered more responsible alternatives but is was not long until the House found itself processing how R2 billion was looted from VBS bank by the ANC and EFF.

Nothing has changed – the ANC acts only for connected insiders and poor and vulnerable outsiders come stone last. The DA’s laying of criminal charges against Minister Mkhize and former North West Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, for their involvement in the VBS scandal is only the beginning of our fight for the victims of this national sin.

Speaking up for the voiceless against an unchangeable ANC requires more than actionless debates – it demands the use of law as a tool to drive change. But rather than guiding South Africa’s true north, Parliament’s law-making function has regressed to the back of the national agenda where of almost 50 Bills introduced, the fiscal framework required as few as 10.

If any of these Bills should currently find themselves as South African priority number one, it is the DA’s “cheaper energy bill” which seeks to separate Eskom into separate electricity generation and transmission units, allowing Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to fairly compete with Eskom for power provision. This competition will reduce the leviathan monopoly Eskom has on electricity prices, make electricity cheaper and more secure and ultimately steer our country clear of the heart of darkness.

The DA’s Small Enterprises Ombud Services Bill should have found itself topping the national priority alongside our “cheaper energy bill”, offering an efficient mechanism to solve the late payments crisis with small businesses. Instead the ANC abused its majority to recklessly rush through the National Minimum Wage Bill which will lead to an expected loss of 750 000 jobs.

Where the ANC’s debate and legislatives processes failed the people of South Africa, Parliament had a lifeline to keep the Executive in check through oral and written questions. President Ramaphosa answered a total of 24 questions during four oral questions sessions in the NA and 6 questions during one appearance in the NCOP while Deputy President Mabuza answered 36 questions through six sessions in the NA and 18 questions on three occasions in the NCOP this year.

However, the Deputy President is meant be in the House one session per term and for all intents and purposes, Deputy President Mabuza has been an “absentee Deputy President” in the Fourth Parliamentary term. It is unlikely that he will resurface until late February or early March next year – an unaccountability that President Ramaphosa has allowed to happen.

The DA remains the last standing custodian for democracy and accountability in Parliament where we asked more than half of the 3 655 written questions asked in the NA at an average of 73 questions per opportunity or 23 questions per DA MP and 83.5% of the total 266 questions in the NCOP at an average of over 6 questions per opportunity or 17 questions per DA MP. The ANC submitted a paltry 1% in the NA and less than 3% in the NCOP, content with indifference as long as it limps along on the county’s inside lane.

The Communications (34%), Finance (34%), Water and Sanitation (32%), Social Development (28%) and Health Departments (28%) answered the least questions in the NCOP. It remains an offense to the democratic process that the worst performing ANC government departments have also been the least accountable.

Another season of debates that make a noise but no difference, out-of-touch legislation and unanswered questions in the sphere of government designed to hold the executive to account has come and gone. South Africa is nowhere closer to bringing change that builds One South Africa for all.

2019 Elections

It defies reason to award the ANC with a stronger mandate because nothing will change. Next year’s national election is about South Africa’s future, not the ANC’s.

The DA is currently rolling out an extensive registration campaign, because the only way to truly change the country for the better is if South Africans register and show their dissatisfaction with the direction of the country by voting against the ANC.

South Africans must unite to prevent an ANC-EFF two thirds majority in next year’s election. That result would be dangerous for our country. The ANC and the EFF have shown in 2018 that they will work together to protect corruption, for example in Nelson Mandela Metro, and to divide the country and undermine private property rights by trying to amend the Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation.

The DA will continue to create fair access to real and long-term jobs, fight corruption to ensure that all public money is spent on the people, overhaul the South African Police Service to become and honest and professional organisation that actually serves and protects South Africans, secure our borders and stop illegal immigration and speed up the delivery of basic services. If this offer resonates, the last weekend of next month is the final opportunity to register to vote for this change in the 2019 national election.

If 2018 began with the great hope of a new dawn, it ends with the growing realisation by more and more South Africans that it is the government itself that needs changing, not just the President.

Change that will builds one South Africa for all starts with registering to vote for it.

BOKAMOSO | Time for some “Ramarealism”

This newsletter is the third in a four-part series that seeks to debunk the well-meaning but dangerous idea that Ramaphosa is the “knight in shining armour” come to save SA.

In the first newsletter, I debunked the idea that Ramaphosa needs a “bigger mandate” from the public. In the second, I poked holes in the notion that a strong ANC will protect us from the EFF. In this third newsletter I seek to explain why confidence in Ramaphosa is based on hope rather than evidence, and that “Ramarealism” will serve us better than “Ramaphoria”. In the fourth, I will set out why the DA is the party to vote for in 2019.

After 25 years of ANC hegemony, South Africa finds itself on a distinctly negative trajectory. Every single metric of social wellbeing is moving in the wrong direction: unemployment, poverty and inequality are going up, as are crime rates, the cost of living, and the chances of load-shedding. Desperate for hope, many people are looking to a single individual, Cyril Ramaphosa, to fix South Africa.

Ultimately, job-creating economic growth is the only show in town. Nothing else will solve South Africa’s problems. Yet it is extremely unlikely that Ramaphosa will get our economy growing and creating jobs.

Why? Because Ramaphosa is fundamentally an ANC man.

Firstly, he is committed to the ANC’s failed ideology of state-led development. This is evident in his determination to keep pouring billions of taxpayer rands into the bottomless pit that is SAA.

And it is evident in the legislation going through Parliament under Ramaphosa’s watch: expropriation without compensation, the one-size-fits-all national minimum wage, the Competition Amendment Bill, the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill, the National Health Insurance Bill.

This legislation does not solve the core problems at the heart of all service delivery failure in South Africa, it makes them worse.

Secondly, Ramaphosa is deeply embedded in and committed to the ANC’s cosy relationship with big labour and big business that underpins our insider/outsider economy – in which those with jobs are protected and the 9.8 million without jobs stand very little chance of finding one. He fully endorses the ANC system that enriches a connected elite at the expense of the excluded poor. Indeed, his estimated net worth of R6.4 billion – including 31 properties – depended on it.

Thus the most decisive outcome of his jobs summit was the moratorium on public sector retrenchments.

Unions are the ANC’s core support base, so the deep reforms required for the economy to grow – privatising SOEs, cutting the public wage bill, liberalising labour legislation, fixing basic education – will remain strictly off limits and investors will continue to go elsewhere.

“But at least we’ll have stability” is the standard Ramaphorian reply to this argument. Really? Our disillusioned young army of 9.8 million jobless will soon grow to 10 million and more. Stability is not going to be a word in our lexicon until we break free from the ANC’s insider/outsider paradigm that sustains this abnormally high unemployment rate.

The DA has a plan to do just that. It centres on freeing our economy and leveling the playing field for new entrants, be they entrepreneurs, young people, or the unemployed. We will grow small business opportunities by removing blockage and red-tape, including exempting them from restrictive labour legislation.

We will do what Ramaphosa cannot and will not: privatise SOE’s, cut the public sector wage bill and appoint on merit. This will free up resources to invest in the infrastructure required to enable economic growth and it will create the conditions for a far more inclusive economy.

Ramaphosa knows these are the reforms to fix South Africa. But he will never go that route because his focus is on fixing the ANC. The big Ramaphoria hope is that he will do this by tackling the corruption that infects the ANC and its governments. Yet the evidence is that even in this endeavor, he will fail.

Despite much lip service, there has still not been a single arrest of any person involved in the capture and looting of Eskom and Transnet, or their handlers inside the ANC. The NPA are letting the Guptas get away with the Estina Dairy scandal. And Ramaphosa is still making the public pay for Zuma’s defence costs, despite it being within his power to cancel this irrational deal now.

Ramaphosa’s track record in fighting corruption is abysmal. He was not only Deputy President and Head of Government Business from 2014-2017, but also headed the ANC’s deployment committee during the worst years of state capture, from 2012 to 2017.

He oversaw the appointments of Brian Molefe, Matshela Koko and Ben Ngubane to steer Eskom, amongst others. So either he played a key role in state capture, or else he is extraordinarily incompetent. Neither fits in with the “corruption-buster” theory. (And his excuse that he “didn’t know how bad it was” makes him either dishonest or incompetent.) But optimists argue he was just biding his time and playing the “long game”.

Then there is the matter of a R500 000 payment by Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson into a fund for Ramaphosa’s election campaign, and the fishy business relationship between Bosasa and Ramaphosa’s son, Andile.

The evidence tells us that this election is not about how best to save the ANC. It is about how best to save South Africa from the ANC. That’s why voters should resist the lure of Ramaphoria, and support the only party building one South Africa for all – the DA.

Give South Africa its power back by implementing the DA’s plan, Minister Gordhan

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will write to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, requesting an urgent meeting on the electricity crisis in South Africa.

It is now time for the ANC government and Minister Gordhan to put politics aside and seriously consider the DA’s plan to ensure the country no longer has to endure the crippling effects of power blackouts.

The ANC government’s legacy of State Capture at Eskom has essentially cut our power and the time has come to cut Eskom’s monopoly over our power and ultimately the ANC’s power in next year’s elections.

The shortage of coal at several power stations, and the resultant effect of power blackouts, proves that Eskom’s monopoly on power production and supply needs to be broken up.

The Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) Bill introduced by the DA seeks to achieve exactly this and save citizens money by ensuring that they have more options with regards to purchasing electricity.

Our ISMO Bill proposes that Eskom is divided into two entities: one to generate power and the other dedicated to power transmission. The power-generating division will compete with its independent counterparts on an equal footing, ensuring efficiency, stability and competitive prices.

Gordhan must now act in the best interest of South Africans and tackle the electricity crisis head-on. That the power utility is looking to spend R1 billion in the interim is an indictment on Eskom’s leadership. A long-term solution is desperately needed. The DA has a plan to ensure that we turn around Eskom in order to deal- decisively and permanently- with the entity’s problems.

The DA will also write to the Chairperson of the Eskom Board, Jabu Mabuza, asking him to submit supplementary affidavits to the DA’s charges against those who have been implicated in the coal catastrophe our country is currently facing.

The public can no longer be made to pay for the ANC’s failures. Minister Gordhan must now prove that he is committed to ending the crisis at Eskom and prioritising South Africans by meeting with the DA to discuss the ISMO Bill.