Democracy can and does work

The assertion that “democracy isn’t making people’s lives better”, as penned by Carin Runciman, is incorrect and averts our attention from the real crisis: An ANC-led government that does not have the political will to deliver on its promise of advancing the aspirations of the people, especially the poor.

The statistics cited in respect of the economic position many poor people find themselves is a global one, and can be detected in non-democratic countries. The writer should have made a comparative analysis and proven that democratic societies fare no better with upliftment of the people than non-democratic ones.

In a democratic society there is a potential for competition between rivals for power. This will create a situation where a newly elected party that has ousted its competitor must know that it had better deliver, or else they will be voted out at the next election.

Regrettably. For too long the ANC has behaved as though they will be in power until Jesus comes. They did not believe it was possible for them to be voted out of office in places like Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay. This shows, in a democratic dispensation, poor leadership is rejected and good governance that changes lives is rewarded.

The ANC has focused its energies behind protecting and promoting compromised and corrupt leaders at all levels of the State – from Councillors to Mayors; from MPLs to Premiers and; from MPs to the President, a man who is devoid of a commitment to democracy and constitutionalism. These men and women have undermined the country’s democratic values through corruption, maladministration, cadre deployment and self-enrichment. This all comes at the expense of South Africa’s hard-won democratic dispensation, meaning that the fruits of democracy never reach those that it really should: the poor and the black majority who suffered under the brutal system of apartheid.

Communities do not wake up and suddenly decide to protest, this happens when elected officials distance themselves from the communities that elected them. Service delivery protests, do not happen when democracy fails, they happen when unresponsive and uncaring people are elected into positions of leadership, thus betraying the very foundations of democracy, which says that democracy is system “for the people and by the people”. The ANC has turned democracy into as system that is “for the politicians and by the politicians.”

That is why as the Democratic Alliance (DA), we make a point of telling our Public Representatives that they serve the people first. The DA furthermore, assesses the performance of DA Public Representatives they are graded on their constituency work on an ongoing basis. And this does not just happen during elections, it happens throughout the electoral cycle, because we do not regard the people of South Africa as voting cattle, but rather we are there to serve their needs and aspirations.

It is this kind of responsive and caring government that has hit the ground running in the 38 jurisdictions that the DA governs or co-governs across South Africa, where quality services are delivered to 16 million people. There is a zero tolerance approach to corruption and jobs are being delivered – three broad commitments we made to South Africans ahead of the elections and we are delivering on them.

There is empirical evidence that where the DA governs, it governs better. This evidence includes Auditor-General reports, Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT) reports and quality of life surveys.

For example, according to the 2015/16 Provincial and Local Government Audit Outcomes, the DA-governed Western Cape Province was rated as the South Africa’s top performing province, with 100% unqualified audits, meaning that the people’s money is spent on the people –  job creation, service delivery. In order to ensure that young people’s futures are transformed, 97% of Western Cape schools are either no-fee schools or have benefitted from compensation for fee exemption. This scheme benefits 580 000 learners. Lastly, according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, the DA-run Western Cape Province has the lowest levels of unemployment in the country. These successes, which focus on bettering the lives of citizens, are the outcome a democratically elected leadership that puts the people first. When there is a deliberate programme of action from a political party and its leadership, the people taste the fruits of democratic governance.

Of course, the eradication of poverty is extraordinarily difficult. But surely, an increase in improvement of the quality of life is something any government should be credited for? This will unfortunately mean that some continue to wait for a better life for a while longer. With the above in mind, your chances of a better a life are higher under a DA government.

The problem then is that a party, which has failed to deliver in the past, and bitter at the fact that it has lost legitimacy and power and thus has lost access to its gravy train, can exploit the unhappiness of the people and incite violent protest, as seen in jurisdictions that the DA has been elected to govern. This is not to delegitimise service delivery protests by people who have been failed by the ANC in the past.

The above shows why one cannot just cite the existence of protests as a failure of democracy.

Gauteng ANC Stance On Social Development Minister Lacks Compassion

The Gauteng ANC’s inability to condemn and call for the axing of Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, speaks volumes about the lack of compassion that the party has for the 17 million grant beneficiaries who have been held to ransom by the Minister’s incompetence.

In keeping with its tradition of indecisiveness on issues of major importance, like the e-toll saga, the ANC in Gauteng have shown once again that they have the best interests of Jacob Zuma and his acolytes at heart – not the people they swore an oath of office to serve.

Minister Dlamini’s contempt for Parliament and accountability is an affront to democracy and an insult to the millions whose lives hang in the balance because of her inaction. To remain silent is to condone the actions of a minister who is not fit to hold office.

The DA places it’s faith in the Constitutional Court’s ability to find a solution to the grant payment system and will continue to call for the removal of Minister Dlamini from her post.

Media enquiries:

John Moodey

DA Gauteng Leader 

082 960 3743


Warren Gwilt 

Economic Cluster Manager 

073 601 6144

[Image source]

Premier Makhura’s Response To SOPA Debate Welcomed

The DA in Gauteng welcomes Premier David Makhura’s response to the debate on his State of the Province Address, today.

We applaud the Premier for his stance against the violence, destruction and thuggery of the ANC members and affiliates who stormed the Johannesburg City Council yesterday.

We welcome the Premiers instruction that the MEC for Cooperative Governance, Paul Mashatile, will meet with the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, to dealing with the mayhem which occurred yesterday.

However, it appears as if the storming of the council by the ANC was deliberate and orchestrated.

Given the unrest around xenophobia and other violence in the province, the storming of the council sitting and the violent attacks on a government institution does not bode well for where South Africa is in its democracy.

The DA once again condemns the ANC for its actions in trying to halt service delivery in the province.

The Premier in his response failed to acknowledge that he was in fact well aware of the transferring of mental health patients long before the tragedy of Life Esidimeni 100+ occurred.

We, therefore, reiterate our call for the Premier to do the honourable thing and resign.



Media Enquiries
John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
082 960 3743
Yaseen Carelse
Social Development Cluster Manager
072 721 8613

Gauteng Provincial Departments Owe DA Municipalities R443 Million

DA Governed Municipalities Owed

Gauteng Provincial Government departments owe DA governed municipalities in the province R443 million, money desperately needed to address the service delivery backlog left behind by the ANC.

Of the R613 million owed to all municipalities across the province, 72% of this will be split between the cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Mogale City.

The departments of Infrastructure Development, Health, Education, Roads and Transport, Social Development and Human Settlements have failed to live up to their obligations to transfer funds which they received as grants from National Treasury to municipalities in the province.

This table outlines the amounts owed to various municipalities by the departments responsible:

Functioning Local Government

Most notably are the amounts of money owed by the Department of Infrastructure Development. In a province where in-migration is unparalleled more than anywhere else in the country, the need for new infrastructure development is paramount.

It is impossible for municipalities to roll out quality services if the funding required to do so is not available. Without it, business comes to a halt and residents are denied access to the heartbeat of democracy – functioning local government.

The DA will pose questions to Gauteng Premier David Makhura and request that he provide a timeline of when these funds will be paid to the relevant municipalities and what steps will be taken to avoid this from happening in the future.



Media Enquiries:

Bronwynn Engelbrecht MP

DA Member in the NCOP

082 376 1022


Let us stamp out the scourge of racism together

Thank you Madam Speaker,

On Monday, The Premier honoured those who fought and sacrificed so much for freedom and democracy in our country. He said “I hereby make a clarion call that we must unite against racism and xenophobia. Let us fight against racism wherever and whenever it manifests itself”.

I couldn’t agree more!

The DA couldn’t agree more!

He said “those who call black people baboons are as wrong as those who threaten to drive white students out of university campuses”.

I couldn’t agree more!

The DA couldn’t agree more!

Racism and xenophobia is a reality. To try to justify it, in any of its repugnant forms, is despicable and unacceptable and must be exposed for what it.

I believe this!

The DA believes this!

This must include making assumptions about any group of people, be they in an organisation, be they of one demographic or another, be they of one specific religious group.

The Premier said on Monday, “Nothing is more offensive that acts of incompetence and corruption that feed the racial stereotype that all black people are either inherently incompetent or corrupt”.

I couldn’t agree more!

The DA couldn’t agree more!

Black people are no more predisposed to corruption and incompetence that any other racial group. Individuals are incompetent. Individuals are corrupt. This does not make it true for everyone else in his or her family, for everyone else who is in the same race group or for everyone else who shares his or her demographics.

Far too often, assuming the actions of one individual are indicative of the sentiments and abilities of an entire group is the forerunner to dividing our nation which so many have sacrificed so much to build. The Premier made such an error just a few days before the state of the province address when he tried to rally ANC supporters by accusing his opposition of being racists trying to mislead the young people in townships. Equally erroneously, he made the assumption that there were no racists in the ANC leadership.

You see Mr Premier, black people are right to be offended to be assumed incompetent and corrupt because of the actions of some individuals for those individuals are not representative of the demographic. Equally white people are right to be offended to be assumed racist due to the actions of others who committed horrendous acts of racism 100 years ago, 50 years ago, 10 years ago or even yesterday for those individuals are not representative of the demographic. Muslim people are right to be offended to be assumed violent due to the actions of others who committed acts of extreme violence for those individuals are not representative of the demographic. And there are so many examples beyond the obvious stated.

Political mobilisation on race, religion or creed, is a certain road to a divided nation and so contrary to the lessons which the Premier says are taught by those who shed their blood and fought for this country we now enjoy,   who he describes as “the moral compass and conscience of the nation”.

Mr Premier, acknowledging plagiarism, I too make a clarion call that “we unite against racism and xenophobia. Let us fight against racism wherever and whenever it manifests itself”.


Thank you madam speaker!

Today it is an honor to be debating the Anniversary of the Freedom charter of the African National Congress.

First I wish to honour the founding members of the ANC. The question I have is to all South Africans:  is today’s South Africa the South Africa which was envisioned when the ANC was founded or when the charter was drafted?

It is concerning to me as a mother of 3 young children that even today we live in a country divided on racial lines perpetuating by the ruling party.

ANC says they practice non-racialism yet in everything they say and do divides the people of South Africa: they tell South Africans that the DA is for whites, not looking at the facts: yes the DA is for one race: the human race!

As the DA we believe that as a country we are better together than we are apart.

The freedom charter says that the people shall govern yet in true terms the ANC does not respect South African people: the disrespect of the ANC to the constitutional institutions:  only the DA realizes that by protecting these institutions then we protect the constitution and ultimately democracy.

The independence of these institutions is vital to ensuring that criminal elements in government and in society are held to account for their criminal activities. The judiciary should be independent. As long as they feel free from the threat of accountability because these institutions are undermined, the criminal elements will continue to loot and plunder state coffers at the expense of South African citizens.

As the DA we will fight to protect these institutions.

The charter says that we shall have equal rights yet under the ANC government, it seems that those who are politically connected have more rights than other South Africans.

That is concerning because the charter further says we are equal before the law: yet is seems that there are” South Africans who act as if they are above the law.

The charter then goes on to say that there shall be work and security.

There shall be work: to me it seems South Africa has entered a second wave struggle: the struggle for economic freedom: Unemployed youth currently account for 67% of unemployed people in South Africa.

Having a job not only puts food on the table but gives people a sense of dignity and accomplishment. The ruling party has failed to grow the economy and create jobs. In the South West in South Africa, there is a blue province. This province boasts the lowest unemployment average, at 29.9%, compared to the average of 36.9% across the country.

Under  a DA government there is good government that ensures that its youth have good education where-ever they are.

Under a DA government the economy grows and all South Africans especially the youth are able to create businesses and find jobs with ease.

Under a DA government South Africans will be safe

Under a DA government, South Africans should have access to services such as water, electricity and good health care.

Under the DA, the government  is free of corruption: clean, open practices by those in office and they will be accountable to the people.

A DA government will facilitate economic growth thereby moving those who are are not vulnerable from welfare to economic independence.

This is the DA promise which we are already delivering on where we govern. When we take over other municipalities we will implement our promise the the people of South Africa.

That is the promise of a delivering party who values are enshrined in Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity.


Honourable Speaker

Dr Ntsoakane Phatlane when sharing his thoughts on what heritage day meant to him, this is what he said, “Our heritage celebrates our achievements and contribute to redressing past inequalities. It educates, it deepens our understanding of society while at the same time it encourages us to emphasize with the experience of others”

Our heritage is a big, broad and a bright thing that belongs to all of us.  We are serious about a united, socially cohesive society we have to recognize this.  When we think of our heritage, we need to think of the whole experience of our wonderful country and not just of the experiences of our own particular groups.  We must all learn to value what is valuable to all of us.

Heritage day induces a different kind of reflection to other South African public holidays: One which perhaps doesn’t get the attention it deserves.  Even the Public Broadcaster is failing to expose South Africans to more programs that have content that promotes our rich and diverse heritage.  Once our people understand the importance of heritage they will also understand its actual benefits.

Honourable Speaker

The Democratic Alliance understands the potential role heritage can play in our democracy and the defining role it plays in shaping and influencing our identity, as individuals and as a country.  It also understands the potential heritage has to play in more practical terms, as an opportunity to enrich and fulfil one’s day to day life.

As the Democratic Alliance we also understand that there are few things able to unite and inspire South Africans in the way our rich and diverse heritage does.  Our rich and diverse heritage is able to make us forget an often hard reality in favour of a dream, to override obstacles in pursuit of potential, to encourage and inspire where hope exists in small amounts. Our heritage is an important part of almost every South African’s identity, a vital part of our national make up and a central pillar of our society.

I am also tempted to argue that, so deeply entrenched is South African’s great love for their rich and diverse heritage, that it’s influence is not limited to one belonging to a certain race but far reaches beyond that – to our schools and playgrounds, our parks and gardens, to our televisions screens, our computers and even our phones – an ever unfolding drama, in which we are all caught up.

Honourable Speaker

Heritage resources provide living communities with a sense of continuity with previous generations.  Similarly they are important to cultural identity as well as the conservation of the cultural diversity and creativity of humanity.  The results of this are evident in the intangible heritage which includes those aspects of heritage, unlike places or objects are not lasting.  These include customs, rituals, oral traditions, music and changing fashions.

Our greatest challenges today are education and integration.  We need, and have a duty to maintain public interest in our heritage. The idea behind this is to find ways of protecting heritage resources.  Furthermore our acknowledgement of the necessity for a sustainable approach to the protection of our heritage is an important step to take.

Honourable Speaker

In conclusion, heritage resources provide evidence of the origins of South African society, they are valuable, finite and irreplaceable and they must be carefully managed to ensure their survival.  I also firmly believe that history and proper knowledge of culture and historic events are very important.  If we, as adults do not lead by example in this regard, we cannot convince our children about its importance and cannot cry wolf or blame somebody else if they start to suffer from cultural and historic amnesia.

Thank you thank you.

DA Welcomes Gauteng Education Findings on Food Poisoning and Curro

Food Poisoning and RacismKhume Ramulifho, MPL: DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

The DA welcomes findings by the Gauteng Education Department into the Emma Primary School food poisoning incident and racism at the Curro Primary School.

So too do we appreciate MEC Panyaza Lesufi relaying the findings of the food poisoning and convey our sympathies with the parents who have lost their children. We further call on the South African Police Service to investigate the alleged intentional food poisoning by one of the learner’s grandmothers.

Remedial Steps

We further note the remedial steps taken by Education MEC Panyaza and his strong condemnation against racism at the Curro School, Pretoria which the management admitted received pressure from white parents to separate learners based on their cultural backgrounds.

It is shameful that after 21 years of a democracy racism continues to plague our society.

The Heartbeat of our Democracy

We live in a culturally diverse society and wholly inclusive society, with people of different cultures, races and socio-economic backgrounds.

Diversity is the heartbeat of our democracy and the DA calls on parents across our province to foster a sense of unity in diversity among our children, and build a society of freedom, fairness and opportunity.


Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho, MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

082 398 7375

[Image source]


Madam Speaker

A review of the half–century of the Organisation of African Unity and its successor, the African Union, gives us an idea of progress made by the continent, as we mark Africa Day. Other speakers have addressed the problem of South Africa’s relationship with our fellow Africans fully and eloquently and I don’t want to revisit that important debate ; but I will say, based on my own experience in the international community, that we have strayed a long way from our original commitment to human rights in diplomacy. Minister Alfred Nzo told me human rights were the bedrock of South African foreign policy; right on our doorstep are two examples of undemocratic and despotic regimes and South Africa has managed to look past them for decades. I would have thought this would be a good starting point for the nation that was widely seen as a beacon for Africa in 1994 and from which much was expected.

How have we done in 50 years? Despite many steps sideways and as many back – there have been over 60 coups and attempted coups on the continent in this time – I think there is some reason for optimism. In 1990, there were only 3 sub-Saharan countries with multi-party political systems and now there are over 20. Factors working in favour of wider political freedoms and democracy are the growing organisational ability and power of opposition parties and the communications explosion, which allows much better organisation of elections.

What caught my attention was a three-year survey by Afrobarometer in 34 African countries, including North Africa; if we credit these survey results, there is indeed hope for the future: the conclusion is that over 70% of Africans want democratic government and that the demand for democratic institutions has risen by 15% in 10 years, described as a “growing attachment to democracy”. The underlying message is that, in countries where institutions around democracy, such as electoral commissions, are seen to be working, support for those processes rises. If the quality of elections is seen to be high, people interpret this as the best sign of a democratic government and failed processes discourage the search for democracy. Incidentally, South Africa scored the average among African countries, 70% to the top scorer, Zambia with 90%. Four out of 10 South Africans said they are not satisfied with democracy and three out of ten said they were in a democracy with major problems. There is a strong disillusionment with our institutions and I see red lights.

A brief anecdote, which could sum up our dilemma as a member of the African community; almost 10 years ago, an observant African visitor said to me “You South Africans speak of Africa, but you always add “…and South Africa”. You don’t really see yourselves as part of the continent”. In the light of subsequent developments, this is something to think about, Madam Speaker.

South Africa’s peacekeeping operations and conflict resolution efforts have, with one notable exception, had positive outcomes, but we should by this time have used our resources to take the lead in this area.

These are hopeful signs, but there is also a warning: a recent economist survey gave only one country in Africa, Mauritius, a rating of “full democracy” and rated virtually the whole of Southern Africa, including South Africa as “flawed democracies”. Our 1994 reputation has taken a big knock.

Madam Speaker: South Africa needs a new approach to Africa, as our government has not yet taken on board the complexities of tackling open governance on the continent. We have been passive observers of developments, particularly in the sub-continent and have missed the opportunities to be play-maker without being domineering.