NCOP outcome on Tshwane intervention is driven by political maneuvering

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is dismayed by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP’s) announcement in favour of the dissolution of the Tshwane Council by the Gauteng Provincial Government without due process.

It is clear that the outcome was politically driven and that the NCOP is caught in the web of lies the province is weaving.

The DA vehemently disagrees with the decision to put the City of Tshwane under administration.

The matter will be heard in court on 24 March 2020 and we are confident that it will be set aside.

This is a principled fight that concerns the preservation of our democracy and democratic processes.

This outcome sets a dangerous precedent where municipalities that do not have an outright majority will be forced to go to elections every 90 days if parties do not agree in council.

Alternative solutions are required as this may become a prevalent occurrence after the 2021 local government elections.

Section 139 (1) (c) of the Constitution should be the last resort and in fact more emphasis should have been placed on Section 154 that indicates assistance to a local sphere from provincial and national spheres of government.

The report tabled by the NCOP today is factually flawed and is a clear indication that the NCOP and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Minister Nikosazana Dlamini Zuma failed to hold Gauteng COGTA MEC Lebogang Maile accountable for the misleading information he continues to dish out to the public.

The sudden rush to have the NCOP certify the Gauteng Provincial Government’s intervention in the Tshwane Municipality is nothing short of political exploitation and an incorrect interpretation of the Constitution.

This intervention was only referred to the NCOP last week, leaving the Select Committee on COGTA with very little time for adequate engagement.

During its submissions to the NCOP yesterday, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) noted that new elections could result in no party obtaining a majority, risking a hung Council, with no political leadership. If the MEC was serious about assisting the City of Tshwane and not attempting a power grab through the backdoor, it should have approached SALGA to assist in finding solutions and lobbied all parties to work together.

MEC Maile misleads the public yet again

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has noted the content of the press statement by Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) MEC Lebogang Maile, as well as the social media postings by the Gauteng Provincial Government on Sunday 8 March 2020 that he has submitted a letter to the City of Tshwane Speaker, Katlego Mathebe, to inform her of the dissolution of council and the implementation of Section 139.

The DA has confirmed that neither Mathebe, nor any of her officials within her private office have received such communication from Maile.

The supposed delivery dates of such notices, as mentioned in the various press releases is misleading and untrue.

The MEC is not following due process in terms of the constitution and continues to mislead the public while creating confusion within the administration.

The DA and its councillors will continue to serve the public as if it is business as usual and will approach the officials to continue to deliver services.

Maile is defying the democratic will of the people.

The conditions to allow him to intervene do not exist in Tshwane.

He must not be allowed to abuse his powers.

After next year’s local government elections there are likely to be dozens of Councils governed in minority situations like Tshwane.

If Maile’s actions set a precedent then no Council is safe from any of the 8 provinces currently governed by the ANC. But if he still wishes to proceed with an illegal process, we will meet him in court and will ask that he be ordered to personally pay the costs when he loses.

Tshwane is not under administration

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered by DA Tshwane Mayoral Candidate, Randall Williams, at a press conference at the DA Regional Offices in Pretoria today.

Ladies and gentlemen and members of the media.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) wishes to make it clear that the DA-led City of Tshwane has not been placed under administration as announced by Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) MEC, Lebogang Maile yesterday.

Unless and until the appropriate processes have been complied with for that to happen, normal Council functions are in the hands of those who were democratically elected.

DA Councillors specifically, are still in office and are serving residents.

We will do everything we can to avoid the dissolution of this Council, which would set an extremely bad precedent for all minority Councils after 2021.

The official letters to COGTA Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, for consideration, have not yet been served on the DA nor the municipality and to this date and time, the only real correlation to this, is the media statement issued by Maile on Thursday.

Maile’s intention to meet with staff on Saturday and appointing an administrator is therefore wholly immature, in terms of Section 139 of the Constitution.

Maile and and Gauteng Premier David Makhura are riding roughshot over our Constitution and democracy.

This again confirms our contention that their actions are illegal based on preliminary legal advice which confirmed this.

The battle for the City of Tshwane goes much deeper than a dispute about service delivery and its ability to hold council meetings.

The real fight is a principled one making the Constitution and its democracy the actual battle field.

There are municipalities in Gauteng that are on the brink of real collapse with very poor financial and sevice delivery records.

These are the municipalities that should concern Maile and offer a strong case for being placed under administration.

His refusal to do so can only be explained that these are ANC governed municipalities.

It further proves that his motives are clearly political.

The strategy of the opposition to collapse council meetings since November 2019 was a coordinated and orchestrated effort executed in conjunction with Maile to create the perception that the City of Tshwane is in crisis.

It was their intention from the start to place the City under administration in order for the opposition to get its hands on the resources of the municipality through the backdoor.

It is in light of these facts that the DA has taken a principled decision to stand up and fight for democracy.

We have obtained legal advice and will in all probability interdict the dissolution of the municipality.

The process followed by Maile is fatally flawed and they have not followed due process.

A clear example of this is a 200 page response that was prepared by the City to Maile’s concerns raised in December last year.

He has clearly ignored the content of this report as he has not responded to it nor acknowledged receipt to date.

This once again proves that he was adamant to place the municipality under administration despite having no solid evidence to do so.

This is a very important battle as we expect more coallition government elections after 2021 all over South Africa.

If we allow the opposition to subvert democratic porcesses to get their hands on municipal resources without having to govern and being accountable it will undermine our country’s Constitution and democracy.

We call on our residents as well as the citizens of Gauteng to stand with the DA in this principled battle.

The only way we can bring back good governance, fight corruption and grow the economy in our cities is through building strong democratic goverments.

The DA has a track record of delivering quality services to the residents where it governs.

Futhermore, the DA has a very strong and legitimate plan to take the city of Tshwane forward over the next 15 months.

This plan is centred around improving service delivery, communication and generally addressing the concerns of our residents.

It is visibly clear that the opposition wants to undermine anyone leading up to the 2021 elections.

Currently the service delivery is proceeding as per business as usual with delegated powers.

Electricity is still restored, revenue is still collected, a traffic control circle was built around the corner from this very office last night, and in general the attitude from both the city officials and our councillors is that it will remain business as usual.

However, if an administrator is placed in control of the city, he is not accountable to the representatives democratically elected by the residents.

Any mismanagement or corruption that is happening under his watch is likely to be swept under the carpet as he will only be accountable to Maile whom we do not trust.

This is a further subversion of democracy.

Our councillors remain committed to service delivery, regardless of what processes unfolds and will continue to assist residents in Tshwane to ensure that service delivery does not come to a halt.

The residents of Tshwane remain our main priority regardless of any political games by the opposition.

We have confirmed that the delegated powers to the different departmental heads remain in tact as per council resolution and this will assist with the implementation of service delivery programmes.

The DA caucus and all its councillors stand united to fight this disolution of council.

We will continue to fight for services and will not stop to serve our communities in Tshwane in this trying time.

The DA calls for all residents to remain calm and join us in this principled fight to protect our democracy.

Continue to contact your councillor and continue to report any service delivery issues as we will continue to serve.

Tshwane: how the ANC behaves when they lose elections

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes today’s press conference held by Premier David Makhura. The ANC has taken illegal actions which will be challenged.

The simple truth is that when the ANC fails to win an election, it resorts to undemocratic and non-procedural means to get back power; what has happened in Tshwane demonstrates this.

There has been a decline in ANC support over several elections and this trend has continued.

Therefore, after the 2021 Local Government Elections, there will be scores of municipalities around the country that will find themselves in a minority situation as has been the case in Tshwane.

We cannot allow the ANC to use untruths, half-truths and outright subversion to undo democratic decisions. Because if we fail now, the consequences for municipalities around the country after the 2021 Local Government Elections will be dire.

In his media conference today, the Premier misled the public.

We will hold a press conference to unpack every untruth and half-truth.

MEC Maile has ignored the reply by Council to his letter in terms of Section 139 of the Constitution; here are four short examples:

  • There was no engagement between the Provincial Government and the City of Tshwane, except for the notification where the Provincial Government expressed the intent to place the City under administration.
  • Service delivery concerns:

– Water in regions 5 and 7 was capped by Rand Water because the Vaal Dam was running blow acceptable capacity levels;

– A contract has been signed with ERWAT to address the water issues in Hammanskraal;

– The water treatment plan in Region 7 is back to its normal operations since Saturday, 14th December 2019;

– The letter further indicated that Senior Managers in the Service Delivery Cluster for both Roads and Transport and Human Settlements were suspended and this had an impact on service delivery. The truth is that these managers have been reinstated and are back at work; and

– The deterioration of the Wonderboom airport has been resolved.

  • The letter stated that the pollution of the Hartbeespoort Dam catchment area is attributed to sewer spillages from the urban and industrial zones of the Gauteng Province and does not indicate what Executive obligation the City of Tshwane is unable or unwilling to fulfil. To date, no further explanation has been issued by the Provincial Government as to what intervention is expected.
  • The City has embarked on standard and annual processes as determined by National Treasury and Section 19 of the 2019 Division of Revenue Act and Section 38 of the MFMA to comply with the regulations with regards to underspending by the City of Tshwane and the extension of grants. This is a standard procedure across all municipalities.

It is clear that the City of Tshwane had the full intention to work with the Provincial Government but was declined the opportunity for political gain. We will continue to air these truths as we get legal advice on our course of action.

Coalition of corruption unlawfully takes over Tshwane

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will challenge the Tshwane Special Council decisions in court, as the processes to remove Speaker Katlego Mathebe and Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa were unlawful.

The DA is horrified by the scene that unfolded in Council, which resembled nothing short of a coup.

African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) councillors were joined in an illegal grab of power which descended the meeting into absolute chaos.

When the meeting started, Speaker Mathebe recused herself to make way for her elected deputy, Cllr Zweli Khumalo. This was necessary as the first item on the agenda was a Motion Of No Confidence (MONC) against herself.

The EFF physically blocked Cllr Khumalo from taking the Speakers seat which led to a series of adjournments.

In a concerted pre-arranged move, the ANC illegally brought in Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Deputy Director General, Willy Bhila, to preside over the meeting.

When the DA objected to the presence of Bhila as it was illegal, the ANC and EFF Councillors continued by electing EFF Councillor Obakeng Ramabudo to preside over a motion that led to the removal of Speaker Mathebe.

Moments later, the ANC and EFF proceeded with a motion to remove Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa.

Observers must have thought they were no longer in South Africa but in a banana republic.

To quote F D Roosevelt, “today is a day that will live in infamy.”

What has occurred is an outrage and an attack on our hard fought for democracy.

The DA will not allow this coalition of corruption to reverse the three years of good work done by the DA-led administration in the City of Tshwane.

DA committed to multi-party coalitions, guided by policies and principles

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes the comments made by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) today, in that their party will no longer vote with the DA in any municipality where we would require their votes, and that they will abstain from voting when it comes to it.

It is unfortunate that the EFF has taken this stance at the expense of the millions of South Africans who voted for change in the 2016 municipal elections. The DA is governed by its policies and principles, which ensures that the people of our country are always put first, by ensuring the steadfast delivery of services, access to quality healthcare, jobs, an education and rooting out corruption from government.

Our arrangement with the EFF, specifically in municipalities in which no party had a majority, has worked well. We have engaged with the EFF  and have enjoyed a harmonious relationship with its councillors on a local level. Where we were able to accommodate the reasonable demands of the EFF councillors to deliver to their constituency, we have done so. Simultaneously, we have been able to interdict the wide-spread corruption that characterised the ANC administrations prior to 2016, and have transformed these governments.

We remain convinced that the current arrangement – difficult though it is to manage – is in the best interests of the residents of the municipalities concerned. Our commitment has always been to ensure accelerated service delivery, job creation, ensuring safer communities and the overall improved quality of life of all South Africans. We are unequivocal in this commitment. Our priority will always be to deliver to the people in these municipalities.

Over the past three years, DA-led governments have not only excelled in rooting out corruption, but also in transforming the lives of South Africans. The achievements in the municipalities in which the DA and the EFF cooperate include:


  • In its first year in government in the City of Tshwane, the DA-led administration received an unqualified audit and managed to create a stable financial environment by tightening controls over the supply chain management process, reducing unauthorised expenditure by 63%, while almost doubling the cash and cash equivalents held by the City, from R1.1 billion to R2.1 billion;
  • The DA-led administration banned the purchasing of new luxury vehicles for politicians and officials;
  • Sold the mayoral mansion of former mayor Kgosientso “Sputla” Ramokgopa for his personal benefit and used the R5 million from the sale to build 52 RDP houses for 40 families in Attridgeville;
  • The City has also given 1800 bursaries out to the value of R34 million; and,
  • Our efforts to attract investment have far exceeded our initial goals – TEDA has an investment target of R1.5 billion – the current investment pipeline amounts to R3.84 billion with a potential 1 850 job opportunities.


When the DA won the City of Johannesburg in 2016, it inherited a corrupt and broken city. To address corruption, the mayor created an enhanced forensic internal investigation unit. The Unit has since achieved the following:

  • The number of cases received by the Group Forensic and Investigation Services (GFIS) for the financial year 16/17 amounted to 1920 and, for 17/18 amounted to 3415.  These cases related to fraud and corruption, theft of city assets and maladministration, as well as hijacked properties; and,
  • During the 2017/18 financial year, of the 3415 cases reported, 2455 were investigated resulting in 92 criminal cases being registered, 362 arrests, 15 suspensions and 27 dismissals.

Furthermore, the DA has worked tirelessly to address a number of the knock-on effects of a decaying city, such a criminality and economic decline. Since the DA took over the following has been achieved:

  • 84 properties have been released by Council to the private sector for development through public private partnerships to deliver an estimated 4000 units for student accommodation, small business premises and even more affordable accommodation for some of our poorest residents;
  • Between 80 and 100 buildings will be released this year from the 500 properties that have been identified as ‘bad’ buildings for which expropriation processes have been initiated;
  • The rejuvenation of these buildings can truly change Johannesburg’s skyline. This process has culminated in the awarding of two tenders to develop two of these properties in Hillbrow, with the developers committing a proposed total investment of just over R204 million; and,
  • The associated buildings earmarked for refurbishment are expected to be completed in the next twelve months, availing 384 units for the residents of Johannesburg.

Nelson Mandela Bay

Under a DA-led government, the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro (NMB) received a credit rating upgrade from ratings agency Moody’s, which is all thanks to the DA’s ability to run a clean government. In NMB, the DA-led administration has:

  • Uncovered large scale corruption, putting a stop to R615 million worth of irregular and wasteful contracts;
  • In the 2018/19 financial year, before the Coalition of Corruption regained control of the purse strings, the DA-led administration passed the City’s largest ever operating budget, of R10.3 billion – this budget was one of the most pro-poor the City has ever seen; and,
  • In 2018, the Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality was the only city in the country that managed to improve its score on the South African Customer Satisfaction Index, making it the second most trusted city government in South Africa after the City of Cape Town, another DA-led municipality.

Since Cllr Mongameli Bobani became the executive mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, with the help of the ANC, they have attempted to reverse the good governance gains made under the DA and its coalition partners. On the 26th of June it was reported that:

  • Only 63% of the Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) was spent, leaving a surplus of R330 million; and,
  • Not even half of the Integrated Public Transport System Grant (IPTS) was used (48%), wasting R90 million in the process.

This is in sharp contrast to the DA’s track record in governance in NMB, where more than 90% of the capital budget was spent and a 100% of Urban Settlement Development Grant was spent in the previous financial year.

If the EFF proceeds as planned, it will erode all of the good work coalition governments have done in the past and it will hinder progress in the future. As the opposition, we have a collective responsibility to hold the ANC to account and to prioritise the interests of all South Africans. This move will only embolden the ANC to bring corruption back into the metros to which we have brought change.

The people of DA-led metros voted for change and we have made significant progress in realising that commitment. If the EFF chooses to hand over well-functioning municipalities back to the corrupt ANC, they must account to the people who voted for change and they must explain to voters why they have chosen to be an enemy of clean governance and meaningful progress.

Maimane seeks urgent meeting with National Police Commissioner over ANC-orchestrated violent protests

With the very real possibility of electoral defeat in key parts of the country on 8 May, the ANC has now resorted to desperate, violent, and destructive tactics that threaten to burn South Africa to the ground. From Alexandra in Johannesburg, to Tshwane, to now parts of Cape Town, the ANC is orchestrating violent protests in a desperate attempt to render DA-run cities ungovernable, and to shift attention away from its failure in government over the past 25 years.

The ANC does not care about the plight of poor South Africans. It only cares about ensuring it stays in power to steal more money that ought to be spent on bettering the lives of South Africans.  Nearly 10 million people are unemployed and this number grows every day the ANC remains in government. It has become a movement that embodies undemocratic behaviour – from burning books to burning our communities. They have run out of ideas and these violent protests are proof of this.

At a time when leadership is desperately required, the lack of action by President Cyril Ramaphosa illustrates a complete inability to lead the country. The failure by the President to call his own party to order shows that he is not in control of the ANC, but the ANC controls him. The President continues to operate in a bubble, while the likes of Mabuza, Mbabula and Magashule run the show.

Unlike the President, we will not stand by and watch while the ANC burns the country to the ground. I have therefore today written to the National Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, requesting an urgent meeting to establish what plans are in place to put an end to this violence and to restore law and order in our communities. The SAPS must immediately institute a plan to halt the ANCs objective of inciting violence and turning our communities into warzones.

Moreover, I will give General Sitole my assurance that DA-run governments will assist as best they can to ensure law and order in restored, and that we can get on with the business of delivering services to the people.

While the ANC continues to place their own narrow political interests ahead of the country’s collective interest, South Africans are rejecting the party in their numbers in search of real change that will move our county forward. The ANC knows this, and these violent protests and shutdowns are the last kicks of a dying horse.

We will not be deterred, and will not allow the ANC to intimidate voters into believing that violence will ensue when the ANC is removed from government. In 2016, the people of Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay rejected the ANC, and in 2019 the people of Gauteng, the Northern Cape and the rest of South Africa will reject this ANC and vote for real change.

South Africans face a clear choice at the ballot box on 8 May – we can choose more violence and chaos from the ANC, or we can choose the DA’s agenda to build One South Africa For All.

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-led governments begin process to procure power directly from independent power producers

Support the DA’s plan to Keep The Lights On!

The following statement was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press briefing outside of the Eskom substation in Randburg, Johannesburg. Maimane was joined by DA Metro Executive Mayors of Cape Town, Dan Plato, Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba and Tshwane, Stevens Mokgalapa, as well as DA Gauteng Premier Candidate, Solly Msimanga.

In the year 2019, after 25 years of democracy, it is an indictment on the ANC national government that the greatest threat to our nation is the collapse of Eskom and the national grid, which threatens to plunge South Africa into darkness. The reality is that due to shameless corruption and mismanagement of Eskom and disdain towards an independent energy sector, South Africa is on the brink of a national disaster.

This crisis is ANC-made and ANC-sustained, and we must not shy away from that fact. For the past two decades, the governing party has overseen the destruction of Eskom. The entity cannot provide constant, uninterrupted power to South Africans, is in hundreds of billions of rands of debt, and on the brink of bankruptcy. Eskom has been hollowed out by ANC crooks and cadres – many of whom Cyril Ramaphosa appointed to Eskom as head of the ANC’s deployment committee.

I want to urge South Africans to not be fooled by this temporary, short-term “breather” from rolling power cuts experienced this week. This is by no means a sign that all is well, and that the structural problems have been solved. The ANC has shown it will stop at nothing to keep the lights on before an election, even if this means the collapse of Eskom – both in terms of its finances and infrastructure. Currently, the ANC national government has chosen to burn billions of rands of diesel in a desperate attempt to keep the lights on as elections are around the corner, while stubbornly refusing to fix the fundamental problems at Eskom and in our energy sector.

Despite the fact that it is ANC corruption and mismanagement that has caused this crisis and its consequential negative impact, DA-led governments have stepped up to the task and put forward innovative plans to mitigate the crisis in the short term, and to stabilise electricity supply in the medium to long term.

Today I am joined by the Mayors of the DA-led Cities of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Tshwane to unpack these plans going forward. I am also joined by the next Premier of Gauteng, Solly Msimanga, who will speak to his plans on ensuring Gauteng becomes energy independent under a DA-led government.

We have initiated the following interventions in the short, medium and long term to ensure we mitigate damage, keep the lights on, and fix Eskom and our energy sector for good.

Firstly, every DA-run municipality has been tasked to formulate and execute disaster management plans to mitigate the damage being caused to critical infrastructure and service delivery by unreliable and intermittent energy supply. Each of the metro mayors present here today will speak to the plans for their respective cities.

Secondly, every DA mayor in the country to, where appropriate and possible, will write to the Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe, requesting a determination in terms of Section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act 4 of 2006 (“the Act”) allowing those municipalities to bypass Eskom and procure electricity directly from Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

Section 34 of the Act empowers the Minister of Energy to allow municipalities to enter into a tender procedure which is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective with the private sector to provide for new generation capacity. This direct licencing arrangement with private sector energy providers must be approved in consultation with, and facilitated by, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA).

The number of IPPs is multiplying across South Africa and is increasingly becoming a sustainable option for municipalities to supplement their electricity supply procured from Eskom.

In this light, the City of Cape Town will continue full steam ahead with its court action in the North Gauteng High Court, seeking to compel the Minister Radebe to grant a Section 34 determination to the City to procure electricity directly from IPPs. The outcome of this case will set legal precedent for all municipalities in South Africa wanting to provide affordable, reliable and diversified electricity to their residents.

Thirdly, every DA-run municipality in the country will explore the viability and sustainability of adopting a by-law to regulate Small Scale Embedded Generation such as solar PV at businesses and residential homes. This would allow individuals with the capacity to generate their own energy to feed surplus energy into the grid and in turn credit their accounts. This by-law already exists in the City of Cape and 18 other DA-run municipalities and there is no reason it cannot be adopted all across the country. I have tasked all DA mayors to look at the viability within their local circumstances to adopt a similar by-law, where practicable and financially feasible.

And lastly, I have tasked caucus leaders of every council the DA is in opposition to table motions stating that Eskom as a single supply monopoly is failing to provide continued and uninterrupted supply of electricity and to compel the relevant mayors to write to the Minister of Energy seeking a Section 34 determination.

We believe that these interventions will help to stave off a total collapse in the short term. However, if we are to fix our energy sector and provide energy security to all South Africans, we require complete overhaul and reform.

In the short term, the DA would:

  • Reject pressure from unions opposing the introduction of Independent Power Producers (IPPs). IPPs are producing energy as we speak and must be allowed to sell power to the grid immediately;
  • Instruct Eskom to immediately freeze the build programme on the last two outstanding units at Kusile, and instead look to bring on more IPPs to provide power. Eskom’s debt is spiralling due to cost overruns on the two big coal builds, while the units are not running at full capacity due to design and build flaws.
  • Ensure Eskom’s coal procurement policy is immediately changed to allow Eskom to procure coal from any source;
  • Reaffirm Eskom’s engineering and maintenance employees as an “essential service” that cannot embark on strike action;
  • Immediately review all Eskom’s diesel contracts to ensure the cheapest diesel is sourced from professional and reliable sources; and
  • Instruct PetroSA to supply Eskom with diesel at tax-free cost prices to avert a crisis in the short-term.

Over the medium term, the DA would implement the following interventions:

  • Pass the ISMO Bill, which would privatise the generation entities of Eskom, allowing a diverse range of energy to enter the grid, increasing competition and lowering the cost;
  • Commence with a drastic salary restructuring of Eskom’s executive;
  • Audit all middle management and begin the process of cutting ‘dead weight’;
  • Instruct municipalities to start a “name and shame” campaign for non-payers of electricity. In short, to release the names of the main offenders that are non-paying to the municipality website and local papers making sure communities know who is skipping on payment. This would be similar to the City of Cape Town’s water saving “name and shame” campaign.
  • Install major smart meters for municipalities to force municipalities to collect revenue timeously. The top 5 worst municipality offenders at the end of last year were:
    • Maluti A Phofung, Free State – R 2.809 billion
    • Matjhabeng, Free State – R 1.815 billion
    • Emalahleni, Mpumalanga – R 1.667 billion
    • Ngwathe, Free State – R 940 million
    • Emfuleni, Gauteng – R 872 million

There is a plan to rescue South Africa from this crisis, however, we need to act with urgency. This ANC government has sat on its hands for too long. We now need immediate change.

This coming Friday, 29 March, we will embark on a National Day of Action as we take the plight of the nation to the seat of national government at the Union Buildings. We call on South Africans in every community, town and city across the country, to join us in a collective protest against this national crisis.

Join the event here!

South Africa needs this change, and we need it now. And I urge every citizen who loves this country to join this National Day of Action so that we can usher in change and save our nation from the brink of collapse. The time is now – we will not sit back and watch our country implode at the hands of this failing ANC government.

The reality is that come 8 May, South Africans will have the chance to cut the ANC’s power and usher in real change at the ballot box and vote for a party that has a plan to keep the lights on and fix this ANC-created energy crisis.

Support the DA’s plan to Keep The Lights On!

DA lays criminal charges against Tshwane’s Architect of Corruption

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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