Let’s vote out job-killing corruption, and vote in change that builds one SA for all

The following remarks were delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at the Eastern Cape provincial launch of the party’s Team One SA campaign outside a failed public/private job-creating initiative in Chatty, Port Elizabeth. Maimane was joined by Eastern Cape Premier Candidate, Nqaba Bhanga, Team One South Africa Spokesperson for Women, Nomafrench Mbombo, and DA Federal Chairperson, Athol Trollip.

Fellow South Africans,

Today we kick off the DA’s 2019 election campaign in the Eastern Cape. A campaign in which, over the next seven months, we will take our message of “Change that Builds One South Africa for All” to every corner of this province.

And while our focus this morning is on bringing our vision of a better future to the people of South Africa, our attention tomorrow will be on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s first Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, where he will have the opportunity to show whether the ANC can finally put its own interests second and the people’s interests first.

Our people are suffering, and they are suffering as a direct result of ANC policy failure. Our recession, our falling currency, our tax increases and petrol price increases, our spiraling unemployment and our growing poverty aren’t because of global conditions. Our global peers are growing. Our African neighbours are growing. Our economic trauma is all self-inflicted.

Tomorrow Minister Mboweni has a chance to start correcting this. To disassociate himself from EFF-style rhetoric and to walk away from his damaging statements on state intervention in everything from mining and banking to land ownership. This is his chance to finally put poor, unemployed and mostly young South Africans first.

Minister Mboweni has an opportunity tomorrow to show that he can increase private sector investment, that he can stabilise national debt below 50%, that he can take rational decisions on our failed SOE’s, that he can bring stability to SARS and that he can provide clarity on the mega-loans being negotiated with China behind closed doors.

If he can’t do this, then it surely makes no sense to persist with this ANC government.

Fellow South Africans, there is a very good reason why we’re launching our election campaign in Chatty, and specifically here by this building behind me. We chose this site because this building stands as a testament to the corruption and neglect of the ANC in government here in NMB.

What you see here – the crumbling structure, the stripped out interior and the lack of any activity and enterprise – is a perfect metaphor for the legacy of the ANC. The very same ANC who, with the help of the EFF and the UDM, have now been allowed back in to government here so that they can pick up where they left off.

Back in 2003, this building was chosen to be the home of the Bethelsdorp Hand Weavers, a carpet factory started as part of a project to provide jobs, develop skills and eradicate poverty in this part of NMB. It was run by an NGO that received funding from the local ANC government, and it employed 200 women from the community.

In principle, this all sounds good. But in reality, this turned out to be just another looting scheme where the money ended up in the pockets of a few corrupt individuals, and government provided no oversight and no control over where its funds went.

And so, while the corrupt got rich, this enterprise failed. The women who worked here went for months without being paid. Today, a decade after the factory closed its doors, most of these women are still unemployed.

In a province like the Eastern Cape, and specifically a community like Bethelsdorp with its sky-high unemployment rate, it is shameful that there was no accountability in the ANC government for precious public money, and particularly money meant for job creation.

And yet this is the standard operating procedure for the ANC. Here in NMB, this kind of looting of public money happened in virtually every contract, tender and project undertaken by the ANC government over two decades. It was all just easy money, and no one bothered to think of the people affected by it.

When Jacob Zuma said, back in 2009, that charges against him should be dropped because corruption wasn’t a “real crime” and that there are no victims involved, he wasn’t just speaking for himself. He was speaking for every ANC minister, mayor and councillor who believed that all money was there to be taken.

Well, I’m here today to tell them they are wrong. Corruption has victims. Real people with families and dependents. Parents, siblings, breadwinners. Corruption’s victims are those who are left to deal with the unemployment and poverty, and all the crime, drugs and violence that follows.

The people of Bethelsdorp are victims of corruption. The hundreds of women who lost their jobs at this factory are victims of corruption. Their families who were counting on an income are victims of corruption. These factory doors may have closed ten years ago, but they remain victims today.

If you want to know why communities like these need change, just speak to the people affected by corruption-failed projects like these. Some of these women are here with us today. Ask them if they want to go back to the ANC way of doing things.

We cannot go back there. The Eastern Cape certainly can’t go back there. This is the province with the highest expanded unemployment rate in South Africa. Almost 46% of working-age men and women in this province cannot find a job. Young people leave this province in droves in search of opportunities elsewhere.

That is why we are gathered here today to launch our election campaign in this province. We are here to say: Our country needs change. We need a fresh start so we can rebuild our society and an economy that works for all.

Under the ANC government we ended up with a massively divided nation. There are those on the inside, people with jobs, education, opportunities, and there are those on the outside, millions of South Africans who live in poverty and who have no hope of finding employment. This must change.

Under a DA government we will bridge this divide. We will focus all our efforts on bringing the outsiders into the economy by supporting enterprise, attracting investment and helping businesses large and small to create jobs. We will unite South Africans around this goal instead of dividing, blaming and creating enemies.

The DA will bring change that builds one South Africa for all.

No other party is promising to do this. No other party even pretends to speak for all South Africans, or offers a plan that will grow the economy, create jobs, make our communities safe and speed up basic service delivery.

Under the leadership of our Premier candidate, Nqaba Bhanga, we will take this message to every city, town and village in the province. Because it is of the utmost importance that we bring clean, accountable DA government to the people of the Eastern Cape.

In two short years, the DA-led coalition government in NMB brought more progress to areas like Bethelsdorp than the ANC did in two decades. Not far from where we’re standing is the new depot for the new Integrated Public Transport Service. Also near us is the new station for the Metro Police. Roads were tarred, basic services were expanded.

Now all this progress is threatened once more by the reinstatement of the ANC/EFF coalition of corruption in this metro. This is a step backwards, towards neglect, towards poverty and towards unemployment.

Fellow South Africans, we need to move forward as a country, not backwards. And to do so we need a government that looks to the future, not the past. There is only one party that can be this government, and that party is the Democratic Alliance.

The DA will continue fighting for the people of NMB

As the Democratic Alliance we note the judgment handed down in the Port Elizabeth High Court. We respect the outcome and decision of the court.

Today is a dark day for Nelson Mandela Bay and its people who are now led by a coalition of the corrupt.

The UDM and EFF handed the City back to the failing ANC, which has no interest in the people.

The ANC is only interested in maximum looting and minimum delivery and not putting the people of NMB first. The UDM and EFF put their political interests first and care nothing for the well-being of the people of NMB.

In 2017 we said we cannot work with the UDM and we cannot work with Cllr Mongameli Bobani. We were prepared then to go into a minority government, because we were not prepared to compromise our principles.

In 2016 the voters of NMB removed the corrupt and failing ANC from office and placed their trust in the DA.

We will now fight from the opposition benches and hold this government to account. From the opposition benches we will ensure that corruption is stopped, access to jobs is opened and services are delivered.

Only the DA can make sure that we keep making progress in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Corrupt ANC-led coalition gets early start at stealing the City

Barely a week after usurping power in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro (NMBM), the ANC-led coalition of corruption and its puppet mayor, Mongameli Bobani, have made it clear that they plan to milk the City dry.

Bobani and his fake mayoral committee have already given orders to halt tenders and have started to interfere in the appointment of municipal staff.

Their focus is on removing the Municipal Manager, Johann Mettler, in order to boost their illegal activities and rob the people of the Bay.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will not attend tomorrow’s council meeting, as it is an illegal sitting called by an illegitimate Speaker.

At the previous council meeting, after interference by Fikile Xasa, EC MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the illegal sitting was full of irregularities.

The election of a new Speaker, the passing of a Motion of No Confidence in the Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, the election of a new Executive Mayor and the election of a Deputy Executive Mayor, were all illegal and invalid.

The EFF, UDM and smaller parties have actively handed Nelson Mandela Bay back to the very ANC thieves who had previously brought the City to its knees.

The legitimate NMB coalition government filed high court papers requesting a review of what we believe to have been a set of illegal decisions.

Bobani’s statement, in which he calls the NMB coalition’s case “wishy-washy”, shows his ignorance of legal matters.

We are more than confident that we will prevail when the PE High Court hears the application on 13 September. We will make a victorious return to City Hall.

Athol Trollip is the real Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay. It is under Mayor Trollip’s Leadership that this Metro has started to see change.

Only the coalition government led by Mayor Trollip can take Nelson Mandela Bay forward.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Legal opinion confirms ‘removal’ of Mayor Trollip and Speaker Lawack unlawful and invalid

You can contribute to the campaign to keep the DA-led coalition in office, as we prepare for court action.

A legal opinion obtained by Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) City Manager, Johan Mettler, on the election of Buyelwa Mafaya as Speaker and the subsequent removal of Mayor Athol Trollip, has confirmed that it was “unlawful, invalid, and capable of being set aside”.

The DA has already committed to taking the council’s decision on review as we believe that the process to appoint the new Speaker was procedurally invalid and therefore, that the “removal” of Mayor Trollip was also invalid.

Section 36(3) of the Municipal Structures Act (117 of 1998) states that:

The municipal manager of the municipality or, if the municipal manager is not available, a person designated by the MEC for local government in the province, presides over the election of a speaker”

After Speaker Jonathan Lawack was removed, the Municipal Manager, Johann Mettler, adjourned the council sitting as quorum had been broken. Eastern Cape MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Fikile Xasa, then incorrectly invoked Section 36(3) and designated an individual to preside over two decisions:

  1. The election of ANC Councillor, Buyelwa Mafaya, as Speaker; and
  2. The Motion of No Confidence in Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip.

This was despite the Municipal Manager being both present and able to preside over the sitting. This is in clear contravention of the Municipal Structures Act. Therefore, the election of Buyelwa Mafaya as Speaker, and the subsequent Motion of No Confidence in Athol Trollip as invalid.

The legal opinion confirms our view. Specifically, it states that:

Having regard to the factual circumstances that prevailed, it can never be said that the Municipal Manager was not available.” The opinion goes on to state that the Municipal Manager was “physically available and accordingly, the appointment of such other person to chair the election of a Speaker was unlawful and invalid with the concomitant result that the appointment of a Speaker and the subsequent appointment of a new Mayor are similarly unlawful, invalid and capable of being reviewed and set aside

Over the last 24 months, the DA-led coalition government has made large strides to better the lives of the people of NMB by speeding up the delivery of basic services, squeezing out corruption and building an inclusive economy that creates jobs.

The real motivation for the attempted removal of Mayor Trollip is clear: for the ANC, UDM and the EFF to once again get access to the people’s money in order to fill their own pockets and their party coffers ahead of the 2019 national elections. This is a coalition of the corrupt, not in the interest of the people of NMB.

The DA will not back down in the fight to end corruption, deliver better services and create jobs and will continue to do so in the best interest of the people of NMB.

You can contribute to the campaign to keep the DA-led coalition in office, as we prepare for court action.

DA to take unlawful removal of NMB Mayor Trollip on legal review

The following remarks were delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press conference in Cape Town. Maimane was joined by DA Federal Chairperson, Athol Trollip, and DA National Spokesperson, Solly Malatsi.

In 2016, the DA-led coalition government consisting of coalition partners DA, ACDP, COPE, and UDM – and later the PA – set out to eradicate corruption, deliver basic services and ensure people of Nelson Mandela Bay were able to find work. Throughout the challenges faced, we have seen many successes and shown real progress in delivering services to the people of NMB.

Yesterday, the people of Nelson Mandela Bay witnessed the newly formed coalition of corruption between the ANC, UDM and EFF banding together to undermine the will of the electorate by unlawfully removing its duly elected DA-led coalition government. This was a mock council meeting that elected a mock government, and we are of the view that yesterday’s proceedings are invalid in law.

The motivation for this unscrupulous move is clear: for the ANC, UDM and the EFF to gain unfettered access to public funds in order to fill their own pockets and their party coffers ahead of the 2019 national elections. This criminal behavior is well documented in Crispian Olver’s book, How to Steal a City. It is an attempt to steal the city back.

The scapegoat, too, is clear: the colour of Athol Trollip’s skin. This despite the incredible work the DA-led coalition government has done over the past 24 months to better the lives of the people of NMB by speeding up the delivery of basic services.

We categorically denounce this move and call it out for what it was – a political coup by this coalition of corruption hellbent on re-establishing patronage networks that enrich the few at the expense of the many. It is also disgraceful that the UDM – who forms part of the official coalition agreement that governs NMB – showed complete disregard for this agreement and voted with the ANC and the EFF in a new coalition of corruption. This is a party with 2% of the vote, and certainly does not have a mandate from the people of NMB.

Following consultation with our legal team, we have resolved to take council’s decision to remove Athol Trollip as Executive Mayor on legal review as we are of the opinion that the sitting was procedurally invalid and lacked legitimate authority to legally elect a new Speaker, and then subsequently pass the Motion of No Confidence in the Executive Mayor.

Specifically, Section 36(3) of the Municipal Structures Act (117 of 1998) states that:

“The municipal manager of the municipality or, if the municipal manager is not available, a person designated by the MEC for local government in the province, presides over the election of a speaker” (Emphasis added)

Following the removal of Speaker Jonathan Lawack, the Municipal Manager, Johann Mettler had adjourned the council sitting as quorum had been broken. Subsequent to that, the Eastern Cape MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Fikile Xasa, erroneously invoked Section 36(3) and designated an individual to preside over two decisions:

  1. The election of ANC Councillor, Buyelwa Mafaya, as Speaker; and
  2. The Motion of No Confidence in Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip.

Despite the fact that the Municipal Manager was both present and not incapacitate to preside over the sitting, he was denied his role by MEC Xasa and the person designated by him. This is in contravention of the clear requirements of the Municipal Structures Act and therefore renders the election of Buyelwa Mafaya as Speaker, and the subsequent Motion of No Confidence in Athol Trollip as invalid in law.

This coalition of corruption was also able to turn a DA councillor, Victor Manyathi, against us. They preyed on his legal and financial vulnerability to lure him into treachery. We have in any case served him notice of intention to cessate his DA membership.

The battle in NMB is between those who want to steal public money to make themselves rich, and those who are committed to ensuring public money is directed to creating work, building houses and roads, and delivering a clean, delivery-oriented government that serves all the people. Former President Jacob Zuma publicly admitted this when addressing the ANC’s Amathole regional conference in the Eastern Cape in 2017, stating that:

“Of all the metros, I won’t talk about the Nelson Mandela Bay metro, because you know all about it. We ruined it for years, bit by bit. Now the opposition is in charge. We cannot say we are surprised by that.”

And just last month, ANC Treasurer in the NMB Region, Mbulelo Gidane, alluded to the party’s dire financial situation in the region as follows:

“Let me scare you immediately – asinamali [we do not have money]. We are currently sitting at a deficit. Financially‚ our situation is critically bad.”

The EFF, UDM and other similar small parties have actively attempted to hand Nelson Mandela Bay back to the very thieves and crooks who had previously brought the metro to its knees. They will have to answer to the voters for this.

During the DA-led coalition government’s 24 months in government, great strides were made in turning iBhayi around and making real progress. This includes:

  • 12 000 residents receiving running water and flush toilets in their homes for the very first time;
  • The establishment of NMB’s first ever Metro Police Force, with two satellite stations in KwaNobuhle and Bethelsdorp, and 135 officers who have attended to over 25 000 crime fighting interactions;
  • Eradicating 60% of the 16 000 bucket toilets inherited from the previous ANC government;
  • Reducing gang related crime by 11% in Helenvale and surrounding areas over the past 6 months, due mainly to new Shot-spotter technology;
  • Bringing the city to its best financial position in 10 years, with a surplus of R2 billion and a recently received AAA credit rating;
  • Exposing and stopping corruption on contracts to the tune of R615 million;
  • Tripling the number of EPWP jobs created annually; and
  • Ensuring the city’s IPTS bus service is up and running, with busses on the road and serving the people.

This battle is far from over. We will not relent in our efforts to keep the hands of the corrupt cabal off of the people’s money in NMB. Athol Trollip and his coalition government have begun the work in stopping corruption, delivering better services and creating jobs. This work will continue.

ANC, UDM and EFF vote together to bring corruption back to Nelson Mandela Bay

In today’s council sitting, the ANC, UDM and EFF banded together and supported a Motion of No Confidence to remove the DA-led coalition administration in Nelson Mandela Bay, removing both Mayor Athol Trollip and Speaker Jonathan Lawack. This decision by the unholy alliance of the ANC, EFF and UDM is in order to fill their own party coffers with public funds and bring looting back ahead of the 2019 elections. The ANC and the EFF have rejected the will of the people in favour of enriching themselves.

The ANC lost Nelson Mandela Bay in 2016 as the people of the Bay finally fired them after two decades of brazen corruption. Since then, the DA-led government has turned the tide on corruption and ensured the people’s money is spent on benefitting the people of Nelson Mandela Bay

However, the ANC, UDM and EFF have today united around a shared interest – eating public funds designed to create work and deliver services to the people. This matter is quite simple. It is a battle between those who want to plunder state resources for themselves and their friends and those who are working tirelessly to empower the citizens of our nation.

The DA-led government has already made a huge difference in Nelson Mandela Bay. In just 24 months in office, the DA-led government achieved the following successes:

• The City is now financially liquid with over R2 billion in the bank and recently received a AAA credit rating;
• Achieved annual financial statements that indicate the administration has achieved record levels of spending in the financial year 2017/18;
• Installed the first ever metro police force, with 135 fully trained officers who have attended to over 25 000 crime fighting interactions;
• Boasts one of the best Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) spending performances in the country at 97% this year;
• Has successfully exposed and stopped corruption on contracts to the tune of R615 million, eradicated 9046 bucket toilets, resurfaced 55 820 square metres of road and managed to triple the number of annual jobs created by the EPWP (Expanded Public Works Program);
• Significantly improved turnaround times on administrative functions such as building plan approval and rates clearance transactions;
• The Thusong Centre in Motherwell was completed and opened within a year after R12 million was spent, a total of 5439 EPWP jobs were created and 646 streetlights installed in a number of areas;
• The Shot-spotter technology installed in Helenvale also proved to be a great success and within 90 days of its installation, gunshots were reduced by 90%; and
• IPTS busses are on the road, and the highly secured Clearly Park Bus Depot has been completed.

Every day the DA is in government is a threat to the corrupt and divisive politics of the ANC¸UDM and EFF. They know that residents are experiencing a real alternative under DA-led governments, corruption is being eradicated, services are delivered, and opportunity is being created for all.

We call on all South Africans to punish the ANC, UDM and EFF at the ballot box in 2019. They have stolen the will of the people of Nelson Mandela Bay and brought back corruption to a city that rejected the ANC just two years ago.

ANC, EFF resort to disruption and chaos

Today the EFF, ANC and UDM coalition has resorted to disrupting and attempting to collapse the Council meeting in Nelson Mandela Bay, because they know they will not win the Motion of No Confidence against Mayor Athol Trollip.

The Council meeting is still attempting to proceed, despite the constant disruptions of the EFF, UDM and ANC councillors.

Their conduct today has confirmed to the country that they can only respond with chaos and violence when things don’t go their way. Instead of accepting the loss and moving on, they decided to hold the Council meeting hostage by refusing to allow the meeting to continue. They should be ashamed of their conduct.

This coalition of chaos and corruption, between the EFF and the ANC (with the UDM as hangers-on), has never had the best interests of the residents of Nelson Mandela Bay at heart, and that is why they will always fail. Their motion was always just about racism. The people of the Bay and the people of South Africa reject the hate-fuelled politics of the EFF, and reject giving the Metro back to the corrupt ANC. We must continue to guard against their hatred and continue to build a united South Africa for all.

What the public want is clean, honest government that delivers better services, especially to the poor. They want parties to work together against corruption, and they want leaders that bring our country together, not tear it apart. This project of co-operation, clean government, and unity, is the project the DA is committed to. We will commit ourselves to this project, no matter the hate and divisiveness of our opponents.

Now the Mayor and the coalition government must get back to delivering better government to the people of the Bay.

We thank those parties (ACDP, COPE, PA, and AIC) that stand with us on the right side of history.




Parliament must remove Zuma and dissolve ahead of early elections

Today, leaders and senior representatives of opposition parties met in Cape Town to discuss the way forward in terms of the removal of Jacob Zuma as President of the Republic of South Africa.
The outcome of this meeting, attended by representatives from the ACDP, AIC, COPE, DA, EFF, FF+, PAC and UDM, was a unanimous call for the immediate removal of Jacob Zuma as President through a Motion of No Confidence vote in terms of Section 102 of the Constitution, followed by the dissolution of Parliament in terms of Section 50 of the Constitution. This would then trigger early elections. The DA have written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, and the Chairperson of the National Council of the Provinces, Thandi Modise, accordingly.
It was agreed by all in attendance that the opposition cannot be drawn into the factional battles within the ANC. It was also noted that, as per the same Constitutional court judgment which found that President Zuma had violated the Constitution, Parliament had also failed in its duty to the people of South Africa. It is therefore not sufficient to simply vote the President out and replace him with another tainted candidate. Parliament itself must be reconstituted.
The opposition parties agreed on the following points:

  • President Jacob Zuma needs to be removed with immediate effect. The Motion of No Confidence, provisionally scheduled for the 22nd of February, must be treated as a priority and brought forward to within this week. We are confident that this motion will succeed and that our country will finally be rid of President Jacob Zuma.
  • On the day of the Motion of No Confidence, South Africans from all walks of life – political parties, religious bodies, NGOs, business as well as ordinary citizens – must march to insist on the removal of Jacob Zuma as President. This is about the will of the people and not the will of a faction of the ANC. It is important that the people’s voice be heard.
  • Following the successful motion, we as the members of the National Assembly must then dissolve Parliament in terms of Section 50 of the Constitution. This crucial institution of our democracy failed in its duty to the people and took decisions that harmed our country. Anyone who wants to lead this country must have the mandate of the people, and this can only be established through an early election.

The delaying tactics employed by the ANC in negotiating a soft exit for Jacob Zuma serve only the interests of Zuma himself as well as the interests of the ANC. While the ANC negotiates with a criminal President in the interest of self-preservation, it falls to the opposition to speak up for the people of South Africa. The people want Zuma gone and they want a government that serves and represents them.
We, as the opposition, therefore cannot lend our support to Cyril Ramaphosa by default. He is simply a different faction of the same problematic ANC.
The ANC speaks of a transition. What we’re seeing playing out in the ANC now is not a transition but simply a swapping of factions. If we’re serious about a real transition, then this can only mean a transition from the 5th to the 6th Parliaments of South Africa.

De Lille’s court application is misguided

The DA notes Mayor Patricia De Lille’s urgent court interdict against the Democratic Alliance (DA) lodged this afternoon and our legal representatives are now dealing with this matter.
However, it is important to dispel a number of inaccuracies in the Mayor’s statement. In as so far as the free vote is concerned, the DA is a party which respects and upholds the Constitution. In the interest of the rule of law, we have not instructed councillors to vote in any particular way as per the Constitutional Court’s judgment in United Democratic Movement (UDM) v Speaker, National Assembly and Others 2017, in particular, how this applies to municipal councils.
In as so far as the secret ballot is concerned, this is a decision to be taken by the Council and not the DA. Their voting is done either by a show of hands, electronic voting or any other method decided by Council.
Therefore, the Mayor’s ‘urgent’ application is puzzling at best and vexatious at worst.