#16DaysofActivism: Government failing to lead by example

As we prepare to mark 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), cases of sexual harassment against women in the workplace and public spaces continue unabated. Female workers are forced to work in frightening, hostile or humiliating environments and experience various unsolicited forms of sexual conduct.

Of major concern is that these obscene abuses of women are taking place inside Government institutions and state-owned enterprises (SOEs). To be a woman in this country is to live under the relentless threat of violence that has been deeply engrained in institutions across South Africa.

Below is a summary of a select number of state organizations where cases of sexual harassment were reported in 2019:

South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF)
The Mail and Guardian reported on a leaked internal SANDF report which indicates at least 41 cases of sexual harassment and assault against women by their male colleagues.

Sexual harassment against women in the armed forces is so rampant that in August last year the SANDF held a conference at Air Force base in Swartkop to deal with reports of sexual assaults in barracks and elsewhere.

On 30 October 2019, the Centre for Applied Legal Studies represented a woman in suing Transnet in the Joburg Labor court for failing to protect her against relentless sexual harassment at the hands of a senior manager for 6 years.
Special Investigation Unit
Parliament wants Justice Minister Ronald Lamola to probe SIU head Advocate Andy Mothibi for alleged abuse of power and using the institution’s resources to “conceal sexual harassment tendencies and the victimization of women employees”
PRASA continues to bury its head in the sand when it comes to addressing the safety of female customers who use the Metrorail service for their daily commute.

With trains that are always overcrowded, women fall prey to sexual predators who grope them on their commute. Women always complain that there is no mechanism in place or someone to report it to.

These are but a few examples of the rampant culture of sexual misconduct that have seeped into State institutions. Moreover, the seeming lack of accountability and reluctance to hold alleged perpetrators to account is chilling.

We need urgent, clear and decisive action that goes further than jailing perpetrators and that addresses the root causes of the social and moral collapse. We also need strong leadership both in government as well as in the form of a Parliament that makes effective legislative decisions.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), therefore, intends to introduce a private member’s bill that will strengthen the powers granted to courts and the SAPS to provide essential safeguards and make sure that the rights of the society’s most vulnerable are protected. Our private member’s bill will address legislative gaps and shortfalls; and will have due regard to innovative measures introduced in other countries, where such measures have a proven track record of success and can be adapted for the South African context.

Our key proposals consist of:

  • Providing for a single, defined process of applying for and obtaining an order from the courts protecting against various forms of inter-personal and domestic abuse, that may include acts of bullying or stalking;
  • Ensuring the speedy service and enforcement of protection orders through alternative means, in order to ensure that victims are immediately provided protection after a protection order is granted. This is to avoid lengthy delays that often result from backlogs and the lack of capacity at South African Police Service (SAPS) stations; etc.

We believe that the government has shown inaction for too long and that public sentiment on the issue has now reached a boiling point.

The DA also calls upon Government to lead by example by investigating and taking action on sexual misconduct claims which arise within Departments and SOEs.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised an Emergency Action Plan meant to deal with the scourge of GBV. The DA calls that this is broadened to pay particular focus on the women in government institutions such as the SANDF.

We also call for a more coordinated approach by Government institutions that will put an end to GBV in their places of work. This approach should not simply be workshops and leaflets. But it should ensure that abusers and rapists know that they will be caught, arrested and face the consequences of their harrowing acts against women.

South African women have voiced their fears, concerns, and anger in protests, marches, and memorial services across the country. To ignore the urgency of these calls would be an indictment on the National Government.

Ultimately, the issue of GBV cannot and will not be fixed only to a 16-day awareness campaign. The developments of the past two months are proof that the only way we can ensure any meaningful change in our society is a 365 day approach to activism against GBV.

DA calls on ANC politicians and executives to testify before Zondo Commission over Transnet revelations

The revelations of the gross abuse of the people’s money at Transnet by the entity’s Acting GCE, Mohammed Mahomedy, before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry on Thursday is just the tip of a corruption iceberg which will expose the real rot at Transnet.

The amounts of money now being discussed relating to Transnet will dwarf that of Eskom.

Over the past decade, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has laid several criminal charges against the chief architects of capture at Transnet including Executives, officials and board members. However, more needs to be done.

Whether at Eskom, Transnet, Denel or any other State Owner Entity, when it came to State Capture the modus operandi was the same, the players the same, and the mission the same.

It can however not be that senior officials are the only ones who account before the commission. ANC politicians and members of Cabinet must also account, especially those under the previous administration.

The revelations at the commission cannot continue without testimony from the Executives who were responsible for these parastatals.

The Executive had to have known as board appointments are discussed at Cabinet level.

Unlike the ANC, the DA takes corruption and allegations of corruption serious, whether its externally or internally. It is for this reason the DA proposes that those found guilty of corruption face a 15 years jail sentence

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.

Failing ANC racks up R75.6 billion in irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure

The DA has analysed the 2017/18 Annual Reports of government departments and selected entities that have been tabled in Parliament. Our analysis reveals a shocking level of financial mismanagement and wasted funds by the failing ANC government.

Irregular expenditure

Irregular expenditure occurs when expenditure is not properly managed and is sometimes an indicator of corruption. When government spending cannot be properly tracked, it becomes much easier to cover up corruption and directly enables State Capture.

Total irregular expenditure has reached a staggering level of R72.6 billion. The composite analysis complied last year by the DA revealed that total irregular expenditure, across all departments and entities, stood at R42.8 billion. The figure for the most recent year is double what was incurred in the previous year and does not include all departments and entities as some are yet to table their report.

 The departments and entities that spent the most money irregularly are:

  • Eskom – R19.6 billion
  • South African National Roads Agency Ltd (SANRAL) – R10.5 billion
  • Transnet – R8.1 billion
  • Department of Water and Sanitation – R6.2 billion
  • South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) – R5 billion
  • Water Trading Entity – R4.9 billion
  • Department of Correctional Services – R3.2 billion
  • Property Trading Management Entity (PTME) – R2.3 billion
  • Department of Basic Education – R1.7 billion
  • Department of Defence – R1.7 billion
  • Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) – R1.2 billion
  • South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) – R1.7 billion
  • South African Post Office (SAPO) – R1 billion

Fruitless and wasteful expenditure

Fruitless and wasteful expenditure cannot be explained away through misfiling of receipts or harmless delays in implementation. This is expenditure that has no benefit to the public and is wasted due to a lack of reasonable care and the basic requirements of management.

Fruitless and wasteful expenditure totals another R3 billion – enough money to build 75 new schools.

The departments and entities that wasted the most money are:

  • Water Trading Entity – R1 billion­
  • Compensation Fund – R446 million
  • Department of Defence – R398 million

Reports still outstanding:

As bad as these figures are, they are just the tip of the iceberg: serial offenders Denel, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), South African Airways (SAA) and SA Express have not yet tabled their annual reports for 2017/18. This means that the totals for irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure is likely to be much higher than what we are currently able to glean from the reports which have been tabled.

Departments and entities which have still not tabled their reports, as is required by law, are:

  • Department of Energy
  • CoGTA
  • State Security
  • Prasa
  • Denel
  • SAA
  • SA Express

Prasa is suffering major institutional failure and continues to lose Metrorail trains to arson on a monthly basis. SAA suffered a loss of R5 billion in 2016/17. Denel has been left scrambling to recover R400 million in losses due to its ill-fated relationship with Gupta-linked company VR Laser.

Despite this, the ANC government has continued to pour public money into bailing out these failing entities.

If these entities report the same irregular and wasteful spending figures as they did in 2016/17, the total amount of money spent irregularly could rise to R94.5 billion. Fruitless and wasteful expenditure could rise to R4 billion.

Financial collapse:

The Auditor-General has identified one department and seven entities that are at serious risk of financial collapse. These are:

  • Department of Water and Sanitation
  • Compensation Fund
  • PetroSA
  • PTME
  • Public Protector
  • Road Accident Fund (RAF) – financial loss of R26.4 billion
  • SAPO – financial loss of R908 million
  • Water Trading Entity – financial loss of R573 million

In addition, the SABC is considered to be commercially insolvent.

The Department of Social Development has a negative cash flow balance of R12.7 billion, and the Department of Water and Sanitation has admitted that it is essentially broke. The Public Protector – an office that is supposed to protect citizens from corruption and maladministration – reported an R18 million financial loss and almost doubled irregular expenditure.

These are not unimportant departments and entities. They are crucial to governance and to service delivery, yet they are treated as little more than sources of finance to be exploited – with devastating consequences.

These are not abstract figures. Mismanagement and wasteful spending results in poor service delivery and skyrocketing costs to the public. Yet the ANC continues to make the public pay for its terrible mismanagement and corruption, in higher electricity and water prices, increases in VAT and fuel taxes.

South Africans are being asked to pay more and more for their electricity. The National Energy Regulator has given Eskom four years to recover R32.7 billion and has allowed it to increase tariffs by 4.41% this coming April. Eskom wants a higher increase though and has applied for an additional 15% increase for next year.

The near-total collapse of the RAF has led the ANC government to raise the RAF levy in the fuel price – South Africans must now pay more for fuel in order to fix the ANC’s failure to manage the RAF properly.

The Department of Water and Sanitation is drowning in debt as a result of the tenue of Nomvula Mokonyane as Minister. The Department has now taken the extraordinary step of asking Parliament to revise its budget so that it can meet basic service delivery targets. Unfortunately, metros like the City of Cape Town have been forced to raise water tariffs to ensure their continued water supply because the national government has failed to do this.

Endless bailouts of the most corrupt state-owned entities have drained public funds, requiring a VAT increase that impacts poor South Africans the most.

Despite this ever-greater financial pressure on South Africans, service delivery has ground to a halt. SAPO cannot deliver the mail, never mind the social grants that SASSA can’t seem to administer successfully.

NSFAS failed to pay out to thousands of funded students, despite the promises of the wayward former president. And President Cyril Ramaphosa has admitted that lethal pit toilets at schools will only be phased out in 18 years’ time.

The country’s finances are in a dire state. Not only did they ANC get us to this point, but they have no plan to fix what they have broken.

South Africans have an opportunity in the coming election to refuse to reward this lack of accountability, and instead, choose a party that has an absolute commitment to transparency and good governance.

Where the DA has taken over failing ANC governments, it has succeeded in sorting out the financial mess and improving service delivery in remarkably short periods of time.

The DA can build One South African for All, not just the politically connected friends of the ANC.

DA to add Transnet ‘Traingate’ scandal report to criminal charges against Molefe & Gupta associates

The latest forensic report by law firm Mncedisi Ndlovu & Sedumedi (MNS) attorneys on the R15,4 billion price inflation on Transnet locomotives procurement will form part of the affidavit of the criminal charges that the DA will be laying against former CEO Brian Molefe, former Chief Financial Officer Anoj Singh, board sub-committee Chairperson Iqbal Sharma and Gupta lieutenant Salim Essa.

The MNS report recommends that corruption charges be brought against the four individuals and steps taken by Transnet to recover the money lost from Molefe.

This latest report follows a Werkmans Attorney’s report which found out that Brian Molefe, Gupta associates and current Transnet CEO, Siyabonga Gama, may have breached the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) for “…serious breaches of statutes, regulations, corporate governance and unlawful conduct in relation to the transaction – involving billions of rand”.

That two reports from different law firms have reached the same conclusion on the magnitude of the criminal enterprise that Molefe and the Gupta associates presided over for the benefit Gupta-linked firms, provides enough evidence for a criminal investigation to be instituted without delay.

Transnet is a vital cog in South Africa’s economic infrastructure and the financial pilferage it endured at the hands of corrupt ANC deployees like Molefe may have cost thousands of jobs that could have been created had the money been put to good use.

It is therefore essential that, while criminal charges are pursued, the current Transnet Board must act on the MNS recommendation to recover money lost by Molefe through his deliberate acts of economic espionage.

Failure to do so will render the entire Board complicit in violating good corporate governance practices which enjoins them to act against any perceived threats to Transnet’s financial health.

President Ramaphosa must understand the collapse in governance has not only taken place in ANC run provinces but had also become pervasive in State Owned Enterprises (SOEs). Taking stern action against Gupta lieutenants is an essential first step in fixing the culture of corruption in SOEs.

DA to lay criminal charges against Transnet CEO for billions wasted on train deal

The DA will lay criminal charges against Transnet CEO, Siyabonga Gama, former CEO Brian Molefe and former Freight Rail Chief Procurement Officer, Thamsanqa Jiyane, following revelations in a report by law firm, Werksmans Attorneys, that they may have breached the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) on the billion rand ‘Traingate’.

The DA further calls on the Transnet Board to suspend Gama with immediate effect pending an investigation into the circumstances that saw the train deal inflated from R38.6 billion to R54.5billion.

The report states that the procurement process for the locomotive deal “identifies serious breaches of statutes, regulations, corporate governance and unlawful conduct in relation to the transaction – involving billions of rand”.

This case must be investigated without fear or favour so that those found guilty of wrongdoing can be held to account.

Transnet has been in a mess for far too long. It is vital that it is restored so it can deliver on its mandate to run the country’s freight system effectively and that it contributes to economic growth by delivering goods, not compromising it.

Corruption has become the norm under the ANC, no matter who leads the organisation and must be stamped out as it steals from South Africans, especially the poor.

This will only happen when the ANC is voted out and the people vote for change so that the DA can extend its good delivery record to the rest of South Africa.

DA welcomes Gordhan’s interventions at SOEs

The DA welcomes Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan’s announcement today of the interventions he has made at struggling state-owned entities (SOE).

The Minister announced that Mr Phakamani Hadebe has been appointed as the permanent CEO of Eskom, that a new board has been appointed at SA Express as well as Cabinet’s approval of the new interim board appointments at Transnet and Denel.

The Minister has had a great opportunity serving on the Public Enterprises Portfolio himself and seeing first hand, the many issues that arise.  We are pleased that the Minister has worked closely with the DA and other opposition parties.

We would like to commend the Minister on the speed in which he has implemented interventions at SOEs, especially the good work that has been done by his intervention team at SA Express.

It was revealed today that the Minister’s intervention team discovered that the airline entered into a R5.7 million deal with Gupta-linked, Trillian, for advisory services and capital raising without following due process. Furthermore, the team also discovered a dubious fuel contract worth R67 million at SA Express.

One point of concern is the appointment of Mr Ronald Lamola on the SA Express board as he is an ANC NEC member which presents a possible conflict of interest. It is for the same reason he resigned as Chairperson of the Media Development and Diversity Agency.

Despite these interventions, the DA maintains that our SOEs require a complete turnaround strategy to restore good governance, public trust and most importantly service delivery

The DA has a six-point rescue plan for SOEs which is centred on revitalising our parastatals and restoring good governance. This plan focusses on:

  1. De-politicalising SOEs by doing away with the ANC’s cadre deployment policy. We need to introduce a Code of Good Practice, stringent vetting processes and lifestyle audits to attract skilled and knowledgeable candidates;
  2. Introducing professional expertise in order to create environments in which decisions are made with profitability or sustainability in mind, by revamping employee-compensation systems;
  3. A focus on becoming competitive as SOEs have become bloated and inefficient. SOEs need to have clear mandates that set financial objectives and sustainability as primary goals;
  4. Good governance based on transparency in order to minimise the opportunity for corruption. This can be done by making tenders of a certain value, performance agreements with executives and monthly progress reports public;
  5. Accelerating the introduction of private equity partners. This requires the government to look at the partial or full privatisation of a number of SOEs by bringing in private equity partners and disinvesting from non-core SOEs urgently; and
  6. Streamlining government oversight by dissolving the ineffective Department of Public Enterprises and manage the SOEs under their rightful Departments.

The DA will continue to monitor the progress of SOEs and we will not shy away from holding Minister Gordhan accountable.

An agenda for reform

The following speech was delivered today by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, during the Budget Vote on the Presidency.

Madam Speaker

Honourable Members

Fellow South Africans



This week the President will celebrate his first 100 days in office, and we offer our own congratulations to him on the achievements of these past three months.

In particular, the President and his party have made two announcements in recent days which we wholeheartedly welcome:

Firstly, the President has said that he will not oppose our court application to scrap the deal by which the State would cover all of former President Jacob Zuma’s legal defense fees.

The President’s announcement that he will abide by the Court’s decision in this matter is an important step towards finally seeing justice for Mr Zuma. His trial has been so long delayed only because he could always rely on the public to pay for his constant delay tactics.

Once this strategy is no longer available to him, we know that justice for his crimes will follow swiftly. His retirement must be as uncomfortable for him as his Presidency was for South Africa.

Secondly, the governing party has, in the last few days, performed a complete about-turn on amending the Constitution to enable land expropriation without compensation.

The ANC has said that it now plans to do so within the confines of the current Constitutional framework. This is a very significant departure from the language the President has used over the last months.

The current wording of the Constitution safeguards against arbitrary expropriation and requires “just and equitable” compensation. It is a far cry from the broad-ranging permission to expropriate whatever, whenever, with no compensation, that the government has spoken of.

I welcome this shift from the EFF’s position, whereby expropriated land is owned by the state, to the position the DA has consistently held on this issue, which is that property rights must be protected. This is progress.

Now let us not stop there, Mr President.

Let’s also take the thousands of hectares of state-owned farmland and hand this back to the people.

Let’s accelerate the transfer of title deeds.

In metros and towns with DA-led governments we have already made 100,000 South Africans home owners by handing them title deeds. Let’s double or triple this number.

Mr President, you said we must work together to achieve fundamental social and economic transformation.

And so I’d like to invite you to come with me to the rural community of Gwatyu in the Eastern Cape, where the people have been waiting decades to own their land. Come and show them your commitment to returning land to the people.

Honourable Members, these two matters are substantive, and go to the heart of what the Ramaphosa Presidency needs to achieve.

Namely, it must show real commitment to building a capable state that is corruption-free, and it must prove that it will return us to meaningful economic growth that creates jobs.

However, as we take stock of these first 100 days, the early morning mists of the New Dawn are starting to lift and burn away under the glare of the country and the world.

Given how we suffered under the Presidency of Jacob Zuma, it is understandable that for some time the country gave the new President ample benefit of the doubt.

But now in the harsh light of day, the conferences, talk shops and PR launches will not cut it.

For unemployed South Africans, and the millions more who are in jobs that are insecure and inconsistent, what is needed is real change. Meaningful change. And immediate change.

If we want to rebuild our country, it will require a new agenda for deep, abiding reform.

Firstly, it will require deep political reform.

We must break free from the politics of identity as practiced by liberation movements across the continent. Our people need a political system in which their choices express their ideals and not their race.

This lies at the heart of the DA’s project – ours is a mission to build one South Africa for all.

The political scientist and journalist, Yascha Mounk, describes this challenge in his book, “The People vs Democracy”, when he says:

“The noble experiment of multi-ethnic democracy can only succeed if all of its adherents start to emphasize what unites rather than what divides them.

In the last eight years, a righteous impatience with the continuing reality of racial injustice has increasingly pushed some people to denounce the principles of liberal democracy as hypocritical, or even to make group rights the building block of society. This is a moral as well as a strategic mistake: The only society that can treat all of its members with respect is one in which every individual enjoys rights on the basis of being a citizen, not on the basis of belonging to a particular group.”

This was written for an American context, but it is as relevant here as we try to build a truly multi-ethnic democracy. This demands a government and a President that is committed to all its citizens.

Fellow South Africans,

An important part of this political reform is building a capable state.

So many of our country’s problems can be traced back to the ANC’s policy of cadre deployment.

When you appoint people purely for their allegiance, you are putting the interests of a faction ahead of the interests of your country.

Mr President, you will have to summon all of your political skills to deal with the factions in your party that harass you from every side with even more intensity than before.

We see this playing out in the North West and the decision to place the province under administration. If this were truly about governance and not factions, then provinces like KZN and Mpumalanga would have also been subjected to administration.

We see it playing out in the negotiated settlements in cabinet, where people like Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and Minister Malusi Gigaba have been retained despite their track records.

You will need to turn your back on cadre deployment, Mr President, and you will need to rid your government of criminals and the corrupt.

It is unacceptable that you have given Mr Arthur Fraser the corner office at the Department of Correctional Services. He should be getting a corner cell.

The only reason he is treated differently to someone like Tom Moyane is because of his faction.

Equally so, those responsible for State Capture who remain in government, like Mr Ace Magashule, cannot go unpunished. There must be real accountability.

They must be cut out of government, thrown out of the party and run out of town.

If not, all these promises to seriously fight corruption will be shown to be hollow.

In Johannesburg, Mayor Mashaba has already uncovered corruption worth almost R15bn since taking office. We need to take this fight to every municipality, province and national department.

Secondly, we need sweeping economic reform.

We need a President that grasps the full scope of our challenge in this country and what it will take to overcome it. Because it is an enormous challenge.

The latest Labour Force Survey tells us that, today, a staggering 9.5 million South Africans are without work. That’s 264,000 more than the previous quarter.

When it comes to South Africans under the age of 24, the unemployment rate has now moved up to 66%. Two-thirds of our young people cannot find jobs.

And we are not preparing them for the world of work either. 78% of our Grade 4 children cannot read for meaning.

Barely ten years old, we have already failed these young citizens of our country.

Over the past decade our Foreign Direct Investment has plummeted and our national debt has skyrocketed.

These are the problems that define us as a nation today. This is what our President should focus on fixing.

President Ramaphosa has the advantage of following in the footsteps of the very worst the ANC had to offer to our country.

Simply reversing some of Mr Zuma’s worst mistakes, like appointing new boards at Eskom, Prasa and Transnet, has earned him applause.

Make no mistake, I welcome the new boards at our embattled SOE’s. But instead of changing boards, we should be bringing real reform by selling off some of these companies and breaking up their monopolies.

SAA is a serious fiscal risk, Mr President, and yet you continue to ask the public to underwrite it.

We need a President that is serious about living within our means – one that can look at our bloated cabinet and our expensive administration and say: half of this can go; it is wasteful.

We need to be honest about what does and doesn’t work in growing our economy and opening opportunities for people. Let’s recognise when national government must step aside and let our cities and towns drive economic development.

Let us explore every avenue in getting our young people into jobs, including the possibility of a civilian national service – a post-school year during which young people can gain valuable work experience.

Let us look to the establishment of a Jobs and Justice Fund to help new entrants get a foothold in the economy. This would demonstrate real redress, allowing the new miner and the new farmer entry into these sectors, and not the connected few.

Simply tinkering with existing policy will not turn this ship around. We need comprehensive economic reform.

Third, we need a President that can speak for all our people in language that brings us together.

We seem unable to have mature discussions about how to deal with the legacies of our past, in a way that does not still split us up by race and turn us against each other.

We have become a country so ruled by our past that we simply cannot envisage our future, never mind achieve it.

We are victims of a failing liberation movement that has no choice but to cling to the past, because it has no credible plan for the future.

Every big conversation we have today is about what brought us here, and not about where we’re going.

Every big solution offered is about re-dividing what’s already there, and not about creating more for all.

We are constantly told that there must be losers for others to win. We are told that the advancement of economic opportunity in South Africa is a zero sum game.

I don’t believe this for one second. I believe it is entirely possible for us to build an inclusive society and an inclusive economy without creating enemies. But we can only do this together.

For this we need a President obsessed with the future, who boldly makes the case for one South Africa for all.

Fourth, we need a President that can put the interests of young South Africans first.

There is no greater shame to every Member of this House than our country’s dismal public education disaster.

It should haunt our thoughts every day. It should be a standing item on the business of this House until it is sorted out.

We will never fix South Africa until we can deliver quality, world-class public education. And we certainly won’t achieve this by slashing R7.2bn from the education infrastructure budget, as this government has just done.

Mr President, you should bravely challenge SADTU – that organisation that so hobbles our education system that they now control six out of nine provincial education departments.

What they have done is state capture too, and I wonder frankly if it is not even more damaging to our country than the state capture President Zuma was responsible for.

And fifth, we need a President that can restore South Africa’s honour on the global stage.

We need a President that can re-establish our moral authority in the world and on the continent that we should be leading.

We should not side with dictators and pariahs and allow genocidal criminals to go free. That is not the South Africa we envision.

We should be world leaders in morality and peace, in human rights and democracy, and the President must take the lead in restoring us to that place.

He can begin to do so by abandoning any thought of withdrawing from the International Criminal Court.

If anything, let us strengthen that institution by offering it our full support, sending to it our best jurists, and helping to ensure justice for the victims of crimes against humanity around the world.

Honourable Members,

These are the reforms our country urgently needs.

This is what is required from our President.

But it will be very hard for President Ramaphosa, because he doesn’t have the mandate for meaningful reform. He only has room for tinkering.

We don’t need someone who is better at executing the old plan. We need a new plan.

And we need a President bold enough to lead our country out of the perilous situation we are in.

Time will tell if we have a President who can do this.

Time will tell if we have a President who will deliver real change, or if we simply have a slightly more presentable version of the old one.

If we want to serve the people who put us here in this house with their votes, then we have to start treating their future as our number one priority. And that future is one that is shared by each and every South African, black or white.

We must stop creating enemies in our society. We must stop mobilising around race.

Mr President, you once said that if people voted for the DA, the “boers will come back”, by which you meant South Africa would return to apartheid. That is a dirty and scurrilous lie, and you knew it when you said it.

I hope you have put those views and that language behind you, because it doesn’t serve our country. It causes divisions while we should be uniting our people.

It takes a lot of effort to keep these fights going. Let us rather put all that effort into building a prosperous, non-racial, inclusive country.

Let us make ours a nation where people no longer feel threatened by criminals in their homes, their streets, and their schools.

Let us rebuild our police service into one than can protect our communities and make our neighbourhoods safe again. Let’s begin by shifting control of the police to our provinces.

Let’s introduce rural safety units so that farmers and farm workers can sleep well at night.

Let us give our military what they need to be able to properly protect and secure our borders.

Let us put our efforts into fixing the broken education that the majority of our children still receive. Let’s bring back accountability in teaching and let’s attract talent and passion to this crucial job.

Let us commit to meaningful land reform with full title for people.

Let us reconfirm that ours is a nation governed by the Rule of Law. That’s one law for all our citizens, no matter how rich or politically connected.

But most importantly, let us look to the future in everything we do.

Because if we don’t we will never progress as a nation.

Mr President, the task before you is not an easy one. The reforms our country so desperately needs are at odds with much of the ideology your party still clings to.

If you decide to put your country first, it could come at a cost to the ANC.

But I assure you, if we don’t make these reforms we will be left behind.

We’re part of the global economy. We have to be competitive and resilient if we are to get ahead.

We need a President who recognises this and can make the tough decisions that will move us forward.

We need a President who will fearlessly confront the enemies of our progress, including those inside his party or his alliance.

We need a President who plans future victories, and not one who leans on the crutch of past glories.

We need a President strong enough to introduce the reform that will save our country, even if that means taking on his own party.

The months ahead, before we go to the polls, will tell if you are such a President.

Thank you.

DA cautiously welcomes SIU corruption probe

The DA welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to order the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) to investigate corruption at Transnet and Eskom. This investigation is long overdue given the damning evidence that has surfaced regarding corruption and financial mismanagement at these two entities, linked to politically connected individuals.

The DA is firmly committed to rooting out corruption within our state-owned entities (SOEs). The Public Enterprise Committee’s Inquiry into Eskom, which the DA has been actively involved in, has done sterling work in uncovering large-scale corruption at Eskom.

We have also laid numerous criminal charges against former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe, former Eskom CFO Anoj Singh, Gupta-linked firm Trillian, McKinsey, SAP and the Bank of Baroda based on allegations of their involvement in looting the state through SOEs.

We offer our full cooperation to this investigation and trust it will be thorough and concluded as soon as possible.

For far too long, individuals and entities have been allowed to loot the state without consequence. Investigating the rot within SOEs is the first step Ramaphosa must take in proving that he is serious about fighting corruption. However, Ramaphosa’s decision cannot be lauded until the necessary steps are taken to bring the perpetrators of State Capture to book.

The DA will keep an eye on further developments regarding the probe into State Capture and will not rest until those who are found guilty are held accountable.

SAP internal probe findings do not absolve them from wrongdoing

The DA welcomes that the global software giant, SAP’s, internal investigation has found possible breaches in compliance practices and “indications of misconduct” pertaining to business contracts which involved the Guptas, Eskom and Transnet.
SAP has admitted that, although it did not pay monies to government officials or employees at state-owned entities, it had paid Gupta-linked intermediary companies over R90 million.
These findings are a welcome sign of accountability but do not absolve SAP from wrongdoing.
Last year, the DA laid charges of money laundering and corruption following allegations of R100 million in kickbacks changing hands between SAP and CAD House, a Gupta linked company.
The DA is of the belief that SAP seemingly tried to use the Guptas’ close connections within parastatals with a view to securing lucrative government contracts.
It’s simply not enough that these findings are made public, they must be acted on.
Given SAP’s admission of misconduct, they have a responsibility to cooperate with local and international authorities to ensure that those who had a hand in these dodgy dealings are held accountable and face criminal charges, including Minister Malusi Gigaba, who was the Public Enterprises Minister at the time.