When local government fails, millions of South Africans suffer

Honourable Speaker/Chairperson Honourable Members, Fellow South Africans,

Mr President, when local government fails to deliver on their responsibilities as mandated in the Constitution, the lives of millions of South Africans are severely impacted negatively – as we hear and see when we visit our constituencies or do oversight all over the country.

We have listened to quite a few plans over the years. While we are still waiting for these plans to come to fruition, I want to focus on the current crippled and incapable Local Government structures of our country.

Mr President, you have said, and often repeated that opposition parties should instead of making noise, offer solutions.

We welcome your acceptance of the DA’s solution for reform of District Municipalities in announcing the District Model.

In the Western Cape, the need for change in the operation of District Municipalities has been discussed for some time in the Premier’s Coordinating – and other forums. This resulted in the initiation of the Joint District Approach Model. The Western Cape government is taking the opportunity to implement the Joint District Planning Approach in all five of the province’s District Municipalities

This model will see the formation of the District Coordination Forums, and the utilization of shared services, especially in rural areas where specialised skills and knowledge are often scarce.

The Joint District Approach creates the ultimate opportunity to align plans, assess them and finally implement them. This will ensure that gaps will be closed and prevent the duplication of processes in service delivery.

Mr President, you referred to the need to address Climate Change. Some of the many environmental hurdles in local government is that of inadequate waste management, air quality and pollution that contribute to the decline of our environment.

Through the Joint District Approach, the Western Cape government has a mission to over time reduce the 162 landfill sites to just 9. This will result in more waste volume in concentrated areas. Consequently, better opportunities will be created for increased recycling, sustainable waste management and job creation.

Mr President, the district model should not be a powers and functions discussion nor a tool to unilaterally take control of unmandated powers and functions.

This should not be a vehicle to broaden the opportunities for corruption and malfunction. It should focus on streamlining resources and service delivery to the people of South Africa.

Several municipalities are failing in service delivery. With many municipalities under administration, now is the time to find proactive solutions to the way interventions are being implemented. Mr President, In September 2019, The Public Affairs Research Institute published a comprehensive report on Section 139 interventions. Our solution is to at least implement one of the many recommendations in this report, namely that Section 139 interventions are not used as a last solution, but as the framework to prevent the collapse of local government.

Bobby Unser said that “success is where preparation and opportunities meet”.

The Joint District Planning Approach is an opportunity – the Western Cape is prepared to implement it. This is what you call building a capable state.

Tourism Minister confirms Western Cape only province with additional programmes to keep local and international tourists safe

In a response to a Democratic Alliance (DA) question, the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, confirmed in the National Assembly today that DA-governed Western Cape and the City of Cape Town are the only governments to have additional safety tourism programmes.

The National Department of Tourism has introduced the Tourism Safety Monitor Programme in all the provinces.  This programme is being rolled out across the country. However, only the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town have additional programmes to ensure the safety of tourists.

The City of Cape Town will roll out the Bank-Aid Programme.  Through Band-Aid the City will provide services such, but not limited to, Trauma counselling, Translation services and assistance with lost or stolen passports and bank cards.

In addition, Cape Town has appointed Tourism Safety Ambassadors who serve as additional on-the-ground support in the CBD and other tourism hotspots. They guide visitors around the city, offer advice and keep a keen eye out for any suspicious behavior.

It is clear that through these tangible programmes that only the DA-governed Western Cape and the City of Cape Town are serious about ensuring the safety of local and international visitors.  Although all and sundry talk about the importance of the safety of tourists, no other Province is actually doing something about it.  Only the DA, is demonstrating and understands that the safety of tourists are intricately linked to the overall success of tourism in South Africa which is an “easy win” for economic growth and job creation.

Be brave and choose change on 8 May!

Fellow South Africans

In just three days’ time, on Wednesday 8 May, South Africa goes to the polls to vote in the most critical election since the dawn of our democracy. Never before has democratic South Africa faced such a stark and critical choice. A choice between the corrupt, chaotic ANC and EFF on the one hand, or the honest, capable DA on the other. South Africa’s future depends on the choice we make this coming Wednesday.

And I can tell you that here in the Western Cape, that fight is very close. If we are going to keep the Western Cape blue, keep making progress here, keep the corrupt, chaotic ANC and EFF out of our beautiful province, then we’re going to need every vote we can get, including yours. Make no mistake, every single vote is going to count to get us over that finish line.

The ANC and EFF are in the same Whatsapp group, bombarding people with empty promises and offering false hope. Don’t fall for their lies. They are not in this for you; they are in it for what they can get for themselves. They’ve proved that over and over again.

The DA, on the other hand, is not promising the world. But we will keep working for you, and we will keep making progress here in the Western Cape. We’ll keep taking this beautiful province forward. We’ll keep improving life for everyone in this province – whether they vote for us or not. Because our mission is to open opportunities for all, not just for some.

Our track record is what makes this mission credible because in a province with less than one eighth of the national population, over half of all new jobs were created in the DA-led national governments. The province has an unemployment rate of 14 percentage points less than the national average. Multiple reports have confirmed the City of Cape Town as the best run municipality, opportunity city and easiest city to be business in South Africa and the Western Cape the best run province in the country with the top 12 of 20 municipalities in nation from the Western Cape.

On Wednesday 8 May, you will literally hold the future in the palm of your hands. The power will be yours. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword in South Africa’s democracy. Because the real fight for freedom and prosperity is not on the streets but at the ballot box.

And this only happens one day every five years. Only on this one day can you put your hands on the province’s and nation’s steering wheel and influence the direction they take. You can propel your country and province forwards with the DA, or take them backwards with the ANC and EFF.

And don’t be fooled into thinking there is any real difference between the ANC and the EFF, because there is not. In fact, just this week, Malema confirmed that President Ramaphosa offered the EFF cabinet positions. This confirms what the DA has been saying all along: the ANC and EFF are one and the same. Both are corrupt and do not care about the people of this nation.

In the past 5 years, South Africa has gone backwards under the ANC while the Western Cape has gone forwards under the DA. There is still a way to go, but the DA has worked hard to improve life in this province. The Western Cape has seen progress in education, healthcare, infrastructure development, job creation and service delivery.

That’s why Ratings Afrika and Good Governance Africa have both just declared the Western Cape to be the best-run province in South Africa.

Children in this province have a better chance of getting a good matric, better access to libraries to broadband internet, to school meals and to after-school facilities. Everyone has better access to healthcare and quality basic services, a better chance of finding work. Our roads are in good condition. Our land reform farms have a high success rate. Public money is spent on the public.

On Wednesday 8 May, you get to choose more of this progress. If Alan Winde becomes premier, he will fight to get provincial control over policing and rail transport. Then we can build an honest police force and an integrated bus and rail public transport system in this province.

On Wednesday 8 May, you get to reject and punish corruption.

So, don’t stay home on Wednesday 8 May. Go out to vote and take your husbands and wives and mothers and fathers and aunties and uncles and cousins and friends with you. Because this is a team effort. Everyone has to do their bit if we are going to keep the Western Cape blue. To keep corruption out the Western Cape. To keep the Western Cape the best-run province in South Africa.

On 8 May, vote DA to build our province and our country!

Eskom crisis: In the Western Cape we will fight to keep the lights on

Today the Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Dan Plato, and I conducted an oversight inspection at the Energy and Climate Change Head Quarters in Cape Town.

This comes amidst the biggest energy crisis that our country has ever faced.

City of Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato and DA Western Cape Premier Candidate Alan Winde addressing the media at the Energy and Climate Change Head Quarters in Cape Town today.

Especially after yesterday’s briefing by Eskom it has become clear that the power utility is broken and almost beyond repair and that after years of mismanagement, corruption and capture the ANC government will not be able to lift our country out of this crisis. They have completely lost control of the situation.

This morning the DA Federal Leader, Mmusi Maimane, announced a national Day of Action next week Friday, 29 March. From now until then, the DA will mobilise South Africans in their thousands, from all walks of like to participate in activities across the country to protest the damage and destruction that the ANC government has caused,.

The complete collapse of Eskom is a long time coming. That is why DA-run governments have taken concrete action at both provincial and city levels to start to manage the impact of ANC failure in the province.

Over the past decade, while the national economy struggled, the DA-run Western Cape delivered half a million new jobs and the lowest unemployment rate in the country. Unfortunately, the residents and businesses of the Western Cape are being sabotaged by the ANC’s collapse of Eskom.

When we had stage 4 load shedding for the first time in February, that day cost the Western Cape economy more than R3 billion. We are now on our fifth consecutive day of stage 4 – the cost is going to be enormous. Businesses fail when the lights go out. Investors shy away from the uncertainty over the power supply. This costs jobs and growth.

While today, we announce what we have already done to ensure that the Western Cape keeps on working and that the lights stay on, we will announce further steps and actions to ensure that where the DA governs, the people are protected from the failings of the ANC.

Make no mistake, this crisis was avoidable and can be fixed with the right leadership, as we have shown in the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape as a whole.

The Province’s response – Alan Winde, DA Premier Candidate for the Western Cape

In 2016, the Western Cape government embarked on an Energy Security Game Changer, to stabilise our electricity supply and invest in green energy production.

27 IPP contracts that were ready to go and bring about R56 billion in investment were delayed until 2018 while Jacob Zuma’s captured cronies attempted to force a catastrophic nuclear deal on our country. The new bid window that was supposed to open at the end of last year still hasn’t opened.

“The simple fact is that the ANC is intentionally keeping energy and jobs out of the hands of the people of our province. We cannot rely on the national government, and the DA will fight for energy independence from Eskom,” said Winde.

The Western Cape has legalised generating your own electricity with solar panels in 22 municipalities, and in 18 of those, you can sell excess electricity back to the grid. And six studies have been conducted exploring the potential of natural gas to supply power and create jobs in the province.

The DA will continue the fight to source electricity from IPPs. Already, IPP projects in the Western Cape have generated over 3 200 jobs per year, despite national government’s restrictions. Many more jobs could be created through IPPs and lower our unemployment rate even further if we work around the ANC’s resistance to this growth.

The City’s response – Dan Plato, Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town

Mayor Plato outlined how the DA-run City of Cape Town has taken active steps to mitigate the energy disaster brought about by the ANC.

“The City recognises that the future lies in energy decentralisation technologies like gas and renewables. This is why we created a dedicated Energy and Climate Change Directorate at the end of 2018,” said Plato.

“As one part of our immediate action plan, we’ve asked the courts to compel the Minister of Energy to allow us to buy cleaner renewable energy from independent power producers.”

To deal with Eskom’s load shedding demands, the City has invested extensively in technologies to assist with the switching process as shedding proceeds. In addition, the Steenbras Dam generation capacity has been used to lower the load shedding stage in Cape Town. It is currently undergoing maintenance to ensure that it continues to function optimally – something Eskom fails to invest in.

The City aims to keep all consumers accurately updated on schedules and the current load shedding stage, especially in light of the unpredictable announcements from Eskom.

Our national pledge

At a national level, the DA has introduced a national bill – the Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) Bill – which proposes that Eskom be split into a power-generating entity and a separate power-distribution entity. The power-generating division would compete fairly with other power producers to provide cheaper electricity.

One would think, given how dire South Africa’s electricity shortage is, that the ANC would be doing everything possible to develop new energy suppliers.

It isn’t. Instead, ANC factions fight publicly over whether to allow independent production, while their allies take the government to court to prevent IPPs from providing electricity. The ANC and its allies have one goal: keeping their own pockets lined while blackouts cripple the country.

The ANC’s solution is to pour more bailouts into a corrupt Eskom that it cannot fix. The DA is the only party with a plan of action to keep the lights on permanently in the Western Cape and fight for energy security for our province.

We call on all South Africans to join us on Friday 29 March to send a clear message to Cyril Ramaphosa and his ANC government that South Africans have had enough of ANC corruption, mismanagement and capture.

Let’s do for the Eastern Cape what we did for the Western Cape.

The following remarks were delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane at the Party’s Provincial Manifesto Launch in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape. Maimane was joined by DA Eastern Cape Premier Candidate, Nqaba Bhanga.

Fellow South Africans,

If you really want to see the difference a particular party can make in government, then you must compare it to another party in government. You must gather facts on the performances of both of them, and hold these facts up alongside each other.

That’s only way to judge a governing party. Not on promises. Not on ideology. Not on distant history. Only on the facts of its track record.

That is what I want to do today. I want to look at two neighbouring provinces – the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape – so that we can make an informed decision about their respective governments.

The Eastern Cape has had an ANC government since the dawn of our democracy in 1994, and the Western Cape has had a DA government for the past ten years – since it took over from the ANC in 2009.

Here we have two provinces that share many similarities. They are similar in size. They are similar in population numbers. They both have long rugged coast lines and beautiful interiors that range from semi-desert Karoo to towering mountain ranges.

They have similar key industries on which their economies depend. Tourism, agriculture and manufacturing employ the vast majority of people in both provinces. They even speak, for the most part, the same languages.

But that is where the similarities end. Because when it comes to the lived experience of the residents of these neighbouring provinces, they might as well be two different countries.

Even just driving across the boundary, you immediately feel the difference beneath the wheels of your car.

One of these provinces has spent the past decade fighting its way back to prosperity and opportunity for its people, while the other has slipped further and further back into poverty and despair.

One is a place to which people flock in search of a better life, while the other is a place that people have to leave in order to survive.

More people leave the Eastern Cape each year than any other province in South Africa. Since 2006, more than 1.5 million people have abandoned the Eastern Cape in search of a better future elsewhere.

This exodus of people is the biggest possible vote of no-confidence in a government, whether they leave in search of work, for access to healthcare, for better living conditions and basic services, or for education opportunities for their children.

It is a shameful reflection of a government that has collapsed this province.

I was speaking with students from the Walter Sisulu University last night, and the conditions I saw there were terrible. The university is in a very poor state because the money Minister Nzimande used to fund his no-fee-increases elsewhere came from “poor” universities like WSU.

And this is the story of the rural Eastern Cape, and rural South Africa under an ANC government. Citizens in these communities have been betrayed. Their children can’t get a decent education, their roads are crumbling and their taps run dry, if they even have taps. They have been forgotten and abandoned.

I know the potential of the Eastern Cape. I used to run an NGO in Keiskammahoek that helped with the development of farmers. I know how fertile this province is – it could be the backbone of our agriculture sector. I also know the enormous potential that lies in tourism here, as well as manufacturing. The Eastern Cape should be booming. There should be a job in every home, in every village.

But instead people have been leaving the province of their birth because there are simply no opportunities for them or their children here. They leave where they cannot see a future, and they go where they think they can build a better life for them and their families.

And one such place is the Western Cape, a province that attracts more and more people each year from all over South Africa. And the reason for this is simple: People go where they are confident life will be better.

People go where the government doesn’t steal public money – where it will spend its budget on the things that improve living conditions. Things like basic service delivery, infrastructure, education and healthcare.

Consider that 83% of Western Cape provincial departments and entities received clean audits last year, while the Eastern Cape managed only 19%. This will give you an idea of how well public money is spent in both provinces.

People go where they know there is a chance of finding work. The expanded unemployment rate here in the Eastern Cape is almost 47%. This means that one out of every two adults here cannot find work. This province has the highest unemployment rate in the whole country.

In the Western Cape the expanded unemployment rate is less than half of this, at 23%. No other province comes close to this. In fact, this is a full 14 percentage points below the national average of 37%.

But the two biggest responsibilities of any provincial government are education and healthcare. This is where it has the most control, and it is where the bulk of its budget is spent.

If you want to judge a provincial government, this is where you look first. And when you look at both education and healthcare in the Eastern Cape you see failed government in every sense of the word.

People go where they know their children will have a better shot at finishing school and preparing themselves for the future, and they go where they know they will be looked after if they become sick or injured.

Now, the ANC government here in the Eastern Cape will say “but we got a 70% matric pass rate”, but what they won’t tell you is the number of learners who never sat down to write that matric exam.

Of the almost 150,000 children who started grade 10 in this province three years ago, less than 66,000 ended up writing matric and only 46,000 passed. That’s why the real pass rate here is not 70% – it’s closer to 30%.

This number of children who stay in school from Grade 10 through matric is called the retention rate. In the Western Cape this is 63%. No other province in the country even achieved above 50%.

What happens to these missing children? What must become of them? There is a reason why parents will give up everything and leave their homes and their families to get their children into schools in the Western Cape. They want their children to have a future that is better than their own. And they know that is only possible under a DA government.

They also know that where the DA governs, the grip that SADTU has over education is at its weakest. And this means that teachers are better held accountable for the outcomes in their classrooms.

Where SADTU is strong, education fails. This is clear in a province like the Eastern Cape, where officials steal money from school feeding schemes, where teachers go missing on payday and where SADTU members take turns in making long weekends out of normal weekends. People leave to escape this failed education.

People go where they know the government will keep the taps running and the lights on. The Western Cape faced three years of intense drought, but managed to avoid Day Zero by harnessing the combined power and resourcefulness of government, business and ordinary citizens.

But here in the Eastern Cape many municipalities are facing their own Day Zero, with no such plan from their government to stop this from happening. The residents of Makhanda have already woken to dry taps, as did the residents of Queenstown last year.

Moving from one province to another is a very clear vote. It is a vote for a government that is caring, capable and corruption-free, and it is a vote against a government that has betrayed the trust of the people.

But, fellow South Africans, this cannot be the future of the Eastern Cape.

This incredible province cannot simply be a place from which people flee – the forgotten province. There is way too much potential among these people, in this land and in these cities, towns and villages for us to allow this to happen.

This province is very special to me – it is the home province of my mother. This is the province that once produced our country’s greatest leaders, but just look at its leadership now. It is now the province of people like Andile Lungisa. It is now the province that cannot hold an ANC conference without chairs being thrown around. It is a province that has been failed by its government. And that must change.

The future of someone growing up in the Eastern Cape should be just as bright as that of someone in the Western Cape. There is no reason this province cannot make the same turnaround that the Western Cape did ten years ago. There is no reason why this can’t also be a place of growth, jobs and opportunities – a place where people come to instead of leave.

All it takes is a government like the one in the Western Cape. A government that genuinely cares, a government staffed only by capable candidates and a government that does not tolerate the theft and mismanagement of the people’s money.

There is only one option for such a government, and that is the DA. So when it is time to make your mark on the ballot paper in two months’ time, think very carefully about what you want for the future of the Eastern Cape, and then choose that future.

You don’t have to vote with your feet and leave this great province. You can vote with your ballot and get a far better result. You can vote for change.

This change has already started on campuses across the Eastern Cape, where DASO has been racking up the victories.

This change has already come to NMB, where the people said enough is enough, and voted the ANC out.

This change has even started right here in Lusikisiki, in Ward 9, where the DA grew from just 6% to almost 25% in a by-election last year.

The Eastern Cape is ready for change, fellow South Africans.

Join me on 8 May as we paint this province, and the country, blue.

ANC is failing us: DA would build SAPS station in Bonteheuwel

The failing ANC is causing suffering in the Western Cape. They are killing policing, they are killing the rail system and they are killing the lights.

That’s why the DA is calling on the ANC to give the Western Cape Government the authority to run the police in the province, the rail system and to let independent power producers supply us with the electricity we need to keep the lights on.

If the ANC national government does the right thing and gives the authority to the Provincial Government to run the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Western Cape, we will build a police station here in Bonteheuwel, to fight crime. Bonteheuwel’s 85 000 residents need their own station. Bishop Lavis which serves this area only has 1 police officer to serve 442 residents. This is not enough to stop the gang violence and not enough to stop the killing. I am writing to the Police Minister to demand a police station for this area.

Right now, mothers in this community are afraid of letting their children play outside because a stray bullet might kill them.

For 2017/18, the Western Cape had the highest number of gang-related murders – 808. The next highest province is the Eastern Cape with 87 gang related murders.

Nyanga still has the highest murder rate in the country with 308 murders last year. This is because the national government refuses to send more police officers and resources to that police station.

We don’t want a ‘Nyanga murder capital’ in this province. That’s why the ANC government must devolve policing to the DA provincial government, so we can fix this deadly problem. We want the Western Cape to be the safest province.

The ANC government has also failed at rail. These days, 73% of trains are late and 43% of trains on the central line are cancelled. We have only half the number of trains that we need. How does the ANC expect our commuters to get to their jobs on time?

Right now, 250 000 passengers have stopped using trains, that is why our taxis, buses and roads are so over-crowded and people are spending three to four hours on the road each day!

Chronic ANC failure is killing policing and it’s killing the rail system in our province. The ANC has been far too busy selling off our country in its state capture project to care about delivering on safety and rail transport.

As the DA government, we are doing our best to help the situation, but we need control of SAPS and the rail system, so we can fix them.

So far, we have set up the only provincial police Ombudsman to monitor policing. We have set up 291 neighbourhood watches with 14 000 vetted members to help fight crime. 109 School Resource Officers were deployed to 53 schools in areas where crime is high.

DA governments have contributed 100 safety officials to the Rail Enforcement Unit to help make our trains safer. So far, 36 people were arrested on charges of assault, possession of drugs and stolen property as well as malicious damage to property.

But we want to do more, we want to save our communities from ANC failures.

Only the DA will fight for you. Only the DA can deliver on safety and on rail transport.

You can download the pictures here, here and here

Minister of Health confirms Western Cape has best doctor-per-person ratio

In a reply to a DA parliamentary question, the Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, has revealed that the DA-run Western Cape has the highest doctor-per-resident ratio in the country. At one doctor for every 553 people in the province, it is more than five times the ratio in Limpopo.

Meanwhile, Minister Motsoaledi is on his healthcare crisis denial tour, promoting the National Health Insurance (NHI) as the solution to health issues in the country, blithely ignoring the self-evident fact that NHI is completely silent on how the government plans to fix the current broken and collapsing health care system.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) advocates for a ratio of 1 doctor to every 1000 people. Currently, only the Western Cape and Gauteng (791) have ratios that meet this criteria with a current national average of 1,118.

The worst performing provinces are Limpopo (2,924), North West (2,389), Mpumalanga (2,221) and Eastern Cape (1,860).

Whilst the Department of Health’s figures include both public and private sector doctors, it is important to note the recently gazetted National Health Insurance and the Medical Schemes Amendment bills will impact both the private and public sector through price controls, and thus risk prompting an exodus of medical professionals. This will only exacerbate the current problem.

In another Parliamentary reply, Minister Motsoaledi revealed that 110 healthcare facilities in the Eastern Cape do not have access to electricity. The lack of electricity at these facilities is not only a safety concern for patients but also demonstrates the breakdown in service delivery more generally in the ANC-run province.

The DA has proven that we can run a healthcare system within the current budget that performs better and attracts healthcare professionals. While the NHI fails to address the current crisis, the DA’s Our Health Plan works in practice in the Western Cape, whereas the NHI pilot projects have failed dismally.

 

 

DA-led Western Cape has created 487 000 jobs

The Lansdowne Bottling Company (LBC) that I visited today is not simply a bottling company. It is an institution in Cape Town that continues to be successfully owned and managed by the Patel family who founded the company 84 years ago.  The Patel family’s bottling operation can be traced from the origin of their Marshall Bros product in 1934 District Six to its Salt River expansion and eventual acquisition of the over 20 000 square metre plant bottling its signature “Double O” and “Co-ee” soft drinks in Lansdowne.

This company has played a leading role in the DA-led Western Cape government’s “Energy Security Game Changer” which aims to bring down the demand for energy by the industrial sector in the province by 10% by 2020. By going green they have joined many other businesses in benefitting from the DA-led City of Cape Town’s Renewable Energy Feed In Tariff (REFIT) programme.

The company’s decision to implement a 260KW solar system in 2015 has seen them become less reliant on Eskom and lowered their cost of energy. These savings have allowed LBC to focus on their core business, growing it exponentially and creating new jobs. In this time, they’ve expanded to a work force of 85 employees. They’ve now achieved green building status, and by encouraging others to embrace solar, there are now more renewable energy companies and many more new jobs in this growing green energy industry that is forecast to be worth R75 billion in the province by 2035.

And even after the worst drought in recorded history, the Western Cape continues to see the highest year-on-year employment increase over the past year with 123 000 nett new jobs created. Which is 75% of all jobs created in the entire country in the past year.

Since 2009 when the DA was elected in the Western Cape, 487 000 nett new jobs have been created by the DA-led Western Cape government. That is why unemployment in the Western Cape is the lowest in the country, and that is why only 1% of unemployed people in the province are “discouraged” work seekers who have given up looking for work. People who live in DA-governments know that there is more hope of finding work, and more opportunity for work for everyone.

This is the best demonstration of what the DA will do if elected to govern in other provinces. By governing well and attracting investment, the economy grows and hundreds of thousands of new jobs are created. In the 9 years we have governed the Western Cape, we have expanded opportunity to more than half a million people who were previously excluded from the economy.

The DA’s fight will always be for the 9.5 million people who do not have jobs or have given up looking for jobs in South Africa. The 487 000 people who now have jobs in the Western Cape are testament to this commitment to put the people of South Africa first.

Enforcement unit on the way to protect Metrorail commuters

The City of Cape Town in conjunction with Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), and the Western Cape Government are teaming up to ensure that Metrorail commuters are kept safe. These agencies have forged a partnership and formed an enforcement unit whose primary focus will be safety and security of Metrorail commuters and infrastructure.    

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron said, the ultimate goal is to address safety and security issues in order to stabilize the urban rail service in the short term.

The unit will be operational within the next two to three months.

‘It will consist of at least a hundred members and will focus on commuter safety as well as vandalism and the theft of crucial Metrorail infrastructure and assets.

–       Mayoral Committee Member, Cllr Brett Herron.

 

‘This initiative will support and assist in expediting our PRASA plans to professionalize and transform our own Protection Services Department to a more effective, better skilled and equipped transit-oriented unit to combat crime.

–       Cape Town Regional Manager, Richard Walker.

You can read the full story here

National Minimum Wage: DA will work tirelessly to reduce unemployment and protect vulnerable workers

The following speech was delivered in Parliament today by DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Labour, Derrick America MP, during the debate on the National Minimum Wage.

Honourable Speaker,the proposed national minimum wage will become one of the biggest barriers for any unemployed person in South Africa to get a job. Young and old will have no bargaining power to sell their labour.

This proposed national minimum wage and other labour legislation will barely protect the employed. There will be absolutely no protection for the unemployed. The reality is that the only way to reduce unemployment is by employing the unemployed and allowing them a chance to enter the job market.

The only person who has the right to decide on the level of his wage is the unemployed. Nobody speaks for the unemployed – they are voiceless, abandoned by government and dependent on others.

The Democratic Alliance believes that we need to grow the economy if we are to absorb the millions of young people who want to work, but cannot find employment. The Quarterly Labour Force Survey tells a sad tale of a country that is failing its youth.

The QLFS indicates that:

• 63,9% of people between the ages of 15 and 24 are unemployed; and
• 42,8% of people between the ages of 25 and 34 are unemployed.

Every young unemployed person deserves a chance to access the education and job opportunities that are available in our country.

Young people in low-income communities face a number of disadvantages when it comes to accessing jobs. They don’t have the same social networks as young people in wealthier areas and they often don’t have money to access the internet to search for jobs, to print out CVs and to travel to job interviews. The ANC is failing our youth.

Therefore, the DA pledges its commitment to assist young disadvantaged South Africans in finding work by:

1. Introducing a job seekers’ allowance of R150 per month for all unemployed young people aged 18 to 34.
2. Rolling out a national Job Centres project where unemployed people can access job vacancies, undertake online courses and get assistance in preparing job applications or receive employment counselling.
3. Introducing a National Civilian Service to provide work experience for thousands of unemployed matriculants.
4. Provide incentives to businesses who employ more young people and those in long-term employment.

Speaker,noting that the National Minimum Wage will be bulldozed through Parliament by the ANC majority, the DA strongly believes that laws should not prevent people from earning a living on their own terms.

Over 9 million of our people experience long term unemployment. They tend to earn less once they are employed and are in poorer health than those workers who avoided unemployment.

Therefore, the DA will introduce various incentives and exemptions for employers in order to give unemployed people who have been unemployed for 12 months or more access to job opportunities and work-based skills training.

Madam Speaker,the Western Cape government continuously expends all its energy to create an environment for investment and job creation.

The Western Cape currently records the lowest official unemployment rate at 19.5% compared to a national rate of 27%.

It is clear that this government continues to create a resilient provincial economy in the face of the longest drought on record, by prioritising job creation which gives the people the opportunity to improve their lives and provide for their families.

Madam Speaker, the unemployed deserve a break. They deserve the dignity that a job will give them. They need to be heard. Most of all, they need a new beginning.

The DA is committed to working tirelessly to create jobs for the millions of unemployed South Africans and supporting legislation that protects vulnerable workers. We pledge to give all South Africa that new beginning in 2019.