Gauteng should procure extra Covid-19 vaccines

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the Gauteng Health Department’s plan to start Covid-19 vaccines next week, but more vaccines need to be obtained urgently to reach the target of more than 10 million people vaccinated in the province.

Gauteng’s 150 000 frontline healthcare workers will deservedly get the first batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but a really substantial number of vaccines may only come towards the middle of the year. This will be too late to mitigate an expected third wave of Covid-19 infections as winter approaches.

Sole reliance on national government to procure vaccines is unnecessary and unwise as health is a provincial competence. This is why Western Cape Premier Alan Winde is trying to get extra vaccines from different suppliers.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura should also make every effort to get vaccines from around the world wherever they are available.

The benefits of vaccines for saving lives and livelihoods in Gauteng are immense, and the earlier the better.

Money from the provincial budget for extra vaccines would give a massive return in facilitating economic activity. The country as a whole would benefit because of the hefty role that Gauteng plays in the national economy.

The DA will be launching a petition to urge Premier Makhura to make an urgent effort to procure more vaccines for the people of Gauteng.


The people are speaking: Jacob Zuma must go

Today’s National Day of Action is a statement of unity and intent, across political lines. South Africa is resolute and united that Jacob Zuma cannot continue on as our President.

South Africans from all walks of life, all religions, all creeds, all races are here today united in a common cause. This a movement of the people and this is an expression of the People’s Power.


This march comes just 5 days after tens of thousands of South Africans came out last Friday to march through the major cities of our country. Our movement against Jacob Zuma grows ever-stronger daily.


We are here because we love South Africa, to save South Africa from the kleptocracy that is the hallmark of President Jacob Zuma’s leadership.


No more shall we tolerate the abuse of power, the disregard for the rule of law and the repeated violations of the constitution.


No more shall we tolerate the capture of our state by the Zuma and the Gupta families.


No more shall we tolerate the stealing of our money, like at Nkandla, to enrich one man.


We have witnessed outright corruption and theft.


We have seen the connected few get rich, while everyone else gets poorer.


And now our country has been downgraded to “Junk Status” because of Zuma’s recklessness.


Tragically the poorest in our society will bear the real brunt of “junk status”


But it is Zuma who is the “Junk Status” of our nation.


Our country and our people are strong, our President is weak and “Junk”.


He has broken down our institutions, undermined Parliament, captured the prosecution service, weakened Police leadership – all to avoid accountability.


He has bankrupted our state companies, caused millions to lose their jobs, and is set to bankrupt our nation with a nuclear deal we can’t afford.


And now, in the face of all he has done wrong, Zuma wants to point the finger at those who bravely protest against him.


But we will not be divided, and we will not allow Zuma to dictate our motives.


We are a diverse movement of people who care about the future of our country. Do not paint us as anything but patriots, Mr President!


The ANC has tried to intimidate and threaten these marches, but they have not succeeded.


The ANC has threatened our peaceful marches and gatherings with violence, and the ANC has attacked and assaulted marchers. But we are undeterred by the ANC thuggery to protect Jacob Zuma.


Today’s march shows that threats of arrest or attack cannot stop a movement of people committed to bringing down a broken President.

Today’s march is not a once-off, but it continues as our rolling mass action gains momentum around the country. We invite more and more South Africans to continue to join us in this cause.


This march will symbolically continue on to Parliament when the National Assembly will vote in a Motion of No Confidence in Jacob Zuma.


Parliament hired Jacob Zuma, and now Parliament must fire Jacob Zuma. And only the ANC is standing in the way of Parliament firing Jacob Zuma.


After the 2016 Elections where the ANC suffered stunning defeats, and it began speaking about “humbling itself and listening”, it has the chance now to humble itself and listen. The people are speaking: Jacob Zuma must go.


When the day comes for the vote of no confidence in the National Assembly, every ANC Member of Parliament can and must vote with their conscience to remove Jacob Zuma.


It is time that our country and its beautiful people stop Jacob Zuma and his cronies from looting any more. NO more, we say, no more!


The people are speaking: Jacob Zuma must go.

Media Enquiries

John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
082 960 3743

Yaseen Carelse
Media and Issues Specialist
076 721 8613

Take a stand against human trafficking and ensure a prosperous future for our youth


The child trafficking motion brought before the Gauteng Legislature by the DA was supported unanimously by all political parties in attendance.

This is great victory, as human trafficking is one of the fastest growing illegal activities in the world today generating more than $150 billion every year.

Through force, fraud, and coercion, people across South Africa are being bought and sold against their will and sometimes without their knowledge. Most victims don’t even know that they are victims of a crime.

Occasionally people are trafficked onward to foreign destinations for sexual exploitation. Sometimes they are trafficked inter-provincially or even between municipalities and towns.

Today, the Department of Home Affairs has revealed that a syndicate, most likely operating with officials within that department has been prevented from exporting as many as 15 young South Africans at OR Tambo International Airport.

The DA tabled this child trafficking motion in the Legislature, not only to highlight the severity of this heinous crime – but also to stir law enforcement agencies and other relevant departments to action.

It is also our belief that organisations, such as Kaleideo which is now an affiliate of A21 and Tshwane Home of Hope – who do so much in the fight against human trafficking, are recognised and supported by this administration.

Can you imagine the fear and agony a young child undergoes, not knowing if they will ever see their loved ones again? The physical and mental abuse that all of the victims of these crimes endure leave scars that may never heal.

No one deserves a future as bleak as the one faced by a victim of human trafficking.

Media Enquiries

Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development
060 558 8297

Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144

DA Debates Motion On Heritage Day

Speech by: Paul Willemburg MPL

“Are we succeeding in building a cohesive society?”

  • We won’t be successful in uniting our Nation, by continuously playing the race card.
  • We should have respect for religion, ethnicity and race, but we should also have respect for gender; respect for sexual orientation and respect for the disabled. It means tolerance and acceptance and the willingness to learn about the cultures and make a concerted effort to learn at least one of our indigenous languages.
  • Xenophobia still raises its ugly head in our country; as does homophobia. The murder of young lesbians in townships continues.
  • This new evil is rampant and prevalent in every sphere of government, and it’s called Corruption.

The full speech can be obtained here


Speech by: Kingsol Chabalala MPL

“In glimpsing backwards, we learn to move forwards”

  • Our country’s rich heritage and diversity is something every South African should be proud of. We were once divided, now united.
  • Reflection is the driver which ensures we move forward, but we are in charge of the GPS that will determine whether or not the direction we move in is favourable and inclusive to all South Africans.
  • It is important that we learn from each other in order to build a strong and united society. We must constantly open ourselves up to learning from each other.
  • If there are lessons, traditional medicines and other practices from other cultures which may improve the way we live and view the world we should take the opportunity to do so.

The full speech can be obtained here


Media enquiries:

Paul Willemburg MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage

082 450 0815


Kingsol Chabalala MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sport, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage

060 558 8299

[Image source]


Thank you madam speaker,

In this month we should celebrate yet at the same time use this time to remind ourselves how far we have come as women in this country and how far we still have to go.

I wish to honour my mother for raising me to be the woman that I am today. Then I wish to honour women who today who are making great strides to ensure that they are heard in whatever challenges they deal with.

Let me start by dedicating my speech today to the young ladies of my alma mater Pretoria High School for Girls – who stood their ground in wanting to wear their hair natural – setting the future tone for multi-racial schools.

Madam speaker, it is today that I honour women who on a pension grant will raise a community – these are the real heroes.

Those who have so little are usually the ones most willing to give. I honour the woman who earns a pension grant but runs a feeding scheme for the children in her neighbourhood.

I wish to highlight the plight of young girls: let us not forget that in parts of Gauteng our girls miss school because of their menstrual cycle. These young women deserve nothing less: that time of the month shouldn’t mean missing school. Statistics have shown that girls miss on average as many as 50 days a year due to the cycle visit.

In many occasions in this house, I have highlighted the secondary challenge of the girl child – poverty. A girl coming from a poor home lured by a richer older man to have sex in exchange for material goods.

Sadly the price of this relationship is one which often than not, the teenage girl will contract HIV or some sexually transmitted disease or in some instances, a baby which then steers her away from her studying or finishing school.

Most of the time, once the baby is born, the girl is responsible for looking after her child and doesn’t return to school. This is the price that our girls pay for expensive clothes and smart-phones. Joining the ranks of being “drop-outs”.

Then the sugar daddy wants nothing to do with them because most of these older men are husbands and chose to protect their marriages.

If the father is a boy of the same age, it is the girl that is left with the baby – having to leave school in order to give birth while the boy continues to study and don’t suffer the same consequences for their actions.

They don’t have to loose on valuable study or school time. Many of these pregnant girls rarely go back to school to complete their studies – robbed of their futures and dreams.

Where is the boy (father) one wanders? Sometimes off with the next girl. If the girl is lucky, the boy might play a supportive role.

When girls makes it through high school and get into tertiary education, they face another wave of challenges. South African institutions of higher learning have become hunting grounds for rapists.

I remind you again of the role poverty plays on women, especially mothers who will do just about anything to put food on the table for their families. This situation has made poor women easy prey to blessers.

What about the so called male stokvels that are organised and women become the prize at the end of the evening: the host determines what the price is for the women to be paid in the morning when they depart from the blessers, around R200.

Being a professional blessee is even beginning to be an aspirational career for young women – rake in a rich blesser and the woman is set: the chance to wear designer clothes and be set up in a Sandton apartment. But – not set for life because the blesser is a married man.

I am saddened, when in Marikana, a brother who had lost his job on the mines asked his sister to prostitute herself because this was the only way they knew how to raise money so that they could eat and return home to the Eastern Cape.

Madam speaker South Africa’s women still suffer many challenges but the worst is from a very patriarchal society: where the majority of women still earn far less than their male counterparts, and yet in this same society it is the mothers that look after families and raise the children.

A woman in the work place is asked whether she intends having children or more children. If the response is yes, implicit discrimination is practised because she will commit the unsaid crime of being pregnant and going on maternity leave and so she is overlooked for that promotion or position.

In old age, you have the grandmothers of our society whose pensions are taken by the very grand-children whom they raised.

These wise women if not found are left to live in horrendous conditions where they are poorly fed while their grants are used to buy the much loved drug – nyaope.

Equally concerning is gender based violence. In rural communities, we have seen older women being raped by their grandsons.

Women have choices because the constitution dictates so, however in practice these rights are violated on a daily basis. Women endure violence and are violated.

Let me remind us all – women are the bearers of all nations.

Then, madam speaker, I challenge all the men of this house to stand in solidarity with women in two ways:

  1. One – just because you are not a woman doesn’t not mean that you can’t fight for women’s issues.
  2. Two – Adopt an attitude that says “As a man, not in my name will a woman suffer”

Madam speaker as I close, I wish to highlight the challenges I face and those who see themselves in me irrespective of their gender or age or race. Yes, madam speaker, I am a young, black, woman.

I encounter the “triple-challenge” in life: I am black, I am a woman and I am young. Because of this, society imposes a “triple-prove-yourself” mentality.

Having said that, I see it fitting to address fellow women – it’s not pretty when a woman puts down another woman. Women should learn to build each other and not pull each other down.

The latest criticism is that “I wear a doek like I will be serving tea”.

My response is simple. I am Sotho and I choose to wear a Seshoeshoe outfit with a doek and “if serving democracy is my tea, then I am very happy to serve”.

I thank you.


Proud Moment For DA: Councillor Invited To Mandela Washington Fellowship

Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

The Democratic Alliance is proud to announce that one of their youngest councillors Luyolo Mphithi has received a Mandela Washington Fellowship.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

He will spend six weeks at Syracuse University in New York where he will receive academic training at the university, before attending a summit to be hosted by Obama in Washington.

Luyolo Mphithi

Mphithi is a Mandela Rhodes Scholar who joined the DA at the age of 18 and has served in various structures including DASO, DA Youth and the DA.

Currently he serves as a PR Councillor in the City of Johannesburg, representing Ward 41 in Meadowlands where he is also standing as a candidate.

The DA is committed to building a prestigious network of young African leaders who are at the forefront of change and innovation.

The DA remains committed to change that takes South Africa forward, and we believe in continuing to arm our leaders with skills to ensure they can benefit the broader South African society.


Media Enquiries:

John Moodey

DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

082 960 3743

[Image source]

Tackling The Economic Crisis: Five Steps To Stimulate The Economy

Democratic Alliance Press Statement by

Mmusi Maimane MP

Leader of the Democratic Alliance

The South African economy is facing an unprecedented crisis. Predicted growth for 2015 is forecast at only 2% and unemployment has risen steadily over the past 5 years, now standing at 34.9%. Almost 8.4 million South Africans do not have jobs, while 2 in every 3 of those are young people who are left ill-equipped by an inadequate education system. They are not only unemployed, but increasingly unemployable.

This crisis requires immediate and drastic intervention, and a government that can provide a sound economic alternative to the policy incoherence of the ANC. The global economic climate notwithstanding, the South African economy is underperforming relative to its peers. This must be addressed.

The DA’s Vision 2029, underpinned by our new Values Charter based on freedom, fairness and opportunity, outlines a society where opportunity is spread as broadly as possible and access to opportunities gives meaning to the freedoms contained in our Constitution.

The DA’s economic policy, reframed to align with our Values Charter, sets out our plan to reach 8% growth and make meaningful inroads into unemployment. The core focus of the DA’s 5-Point “Jobs” Plan is simple: to get South Africa working.

Yesterday President Zuma updated the nation on his State of the Nation Address (SONA) commitments while the reality is that government continues to fall short of its promises of job creation. Since President Zuma took office, 1.7 million South Africans have joined the ranks of the unemployed.

This economic crisis demands immediate intervention. While the DA’s 5-Point “Jobs” Plan sets out how the DA would unlock the potential of the South African economy in the long term, today the DA is outlining the five steps it would take to stimulate the economy with immediate effect:


  1. Act now to solve the energy crisis

The electricity crisis continues to cripple our economy costing us both lost revenue and countless jobs. The DA would address this crisis through both supply and demand side interventions to ensure a sufficient and stable supply of electricity to power our economy.

On the supply side our focus would remain on breaking the monopoly stronghold Eskom has over South Africa and opening the market to independent power producers (IPPs), specifically those in the renewable energy sector. To alleviate the strain in the short term, we would commit an initial R500 million form the Department of Trade and Industry for the purchase of industrial-size generators for manufacturing enterprises. Coupled with increased investment in industrial cogeneration capacity, this would alleviate the strain on the grid and keep factories open and productive.

Importantly, the DA would immediately cancel the R1 trillion nuclear build procurement processes. This programme is not only ill-advised but unaffordable and will only serve to place upward pressure on the electricity price while doing nothing to solve the energy crisis in the short term.

On the demand side, we would encourage electricity suppliers to conclude load-curtailment agreements with their largest consumers, and shift some productive activity to off-peak periods, where possible. Load-shedding can and should be managed to minimise the impact on economic productivity.


  1. Sector-specific Interventions

The tourism and mining sectors have suffered tremendously as a result of incoherent, job-killing policies from the ANC government. Immediate and bold interventions are required to halt further decline in these sectors and shield them from further job losses.


While the tourism sector contributes 9% to our GDP and employs 1.5 million South Africans, the new visa regulations have precipitated a massive decline in tourists. The number of visitors from China alone has decreased by 38% in the first quarter of 2015.

The DA would immediately suspend and withdraw the new regulations and replace them with responsible measures to ensure the country’s security against threats while preventing economic harm.


Mining accounts for 50% of South Africa’s exports and almost half a million jobs yet this industry is coming under increasing threat from populist ANC policies aimed at enriching those who have already been empowered.

The DA would take measures to restore confidence lost due to policy uncertainty surrounding the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) by limiting the powers of the state and the Minister of Mineral Resources to set prices and change regulations at short notice.

Further to this, the DA would safeguard against the indiscriminate raising of the 26% B-BBEE ownership level currently required by the mining charter in order to provide investors with greater long-term security.


  1. Support for small business

Small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) can serve as the engine for economic growth and job creation in South Africa. A DA government would therefore make it easier to start and fund a new business.

Instead of focusing on procurement, interventions in small business should be preoccupied with combining financing with tangible and effective non-financial support. The DA would prioritise the identification and reduction of the regulatory burden of job-destroying Red Tape that serves as a barrier to entry to starting a new business, while offering tax incentives to individual business mentors who shepherd new enterprises.

In the DA-run Western Cape, our dedicated Red Tape Reduction Unit continues to successfully assist small businesses in navigating the realms of regulation they encounter. Our “Cut Red Tape Hotline” for businesses has received thousands of complaints with an 80% resolution rate. The DA would roll out Red-Tape Reduction Units nationally.


  1. Labour market reform

Labour policy must balance the protection of workers’ rights with the need to build greater flexibility into our labour market to make it easier for businesses to create jobs. If this balance is not achieved, labour policy is protecting the employed at the expense of the unemployed. What is required is a stable labour environment that supports increased productivity and boosts investor confidence.

In order to stabilise and democratise the labour market, three immediate interventions are required. The first would be to repeal or amend those sections of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) that give unions disproportionate power relative to employers. These include provisions on collective bargaining, closed-shop agreements and minimum thresholds for representation.

Secondly we would democratise and better regulate strike balloting procedures, and thirdly we would amend the LRA to address strike-related violence in order to hold unions responsibility for the actions of their members.

The DA believes in fairness and the rights of workers, but we must balance these with the need for economic growth and job creation.


  1. Policy certainty

Finally, it must be emphasised that at the heart of South Africa’s policy uncertainty lies the ideological competition and confusion in the Tripartite Alliance. This has manifested itself in a proliferation of inconsistent plans and policies, resulting in policy incoherence and, ultimately, policy paralysis.

While the ANC has lauded the NDP as its overall policy framework, its actions contradict this stance. Providing economic leadership requires a clear, focussed economic policy stance free from internal contradiction. This is something the ANC has failed to provide, leaving investors uncertain about the road ahead with regard to issues such as private property rights and empowerment polices.

The DA would seek to restore investor confidence by amending or repealing the most damaging economic legislation that deters foreign investment, decreases job opportunities and increases the capacity for corruption.



The DA is committed to building an inclusive economy that expands opportunities to all South Africans. This requires a coherent approach to policy making that provides investors with long term security and business confidence. The DA believes that our economic policy can serve as the foundation for growth and job creation and allow for individuals to pursue a life they value.

In the Western Cape the DA has already begun the process of implementing many of the above policies resulting in the lowest unemployment rate in the country, and GDP growth that outpaces the national average. Our economy is in crisis, but through solid leadership robust growth and job creation can be achieved.



Media Enquiries:

Mabine Seabe

Spokesperson to the DA Leader

084 677 7851

E-tolls: Gauteng ANC Must March with the People

ANC Must March on SANRAL

Following the Gauteng ANC’s march to Eskom on load-shedding last week, the DA calls on Chairperson Paul Mashatile to announce whether they will now march on SANRAL after yesterday’s e-tolls announcement.

The Gauteng ANC rejected e-tolls with much fanfare last October at their provincial congress.

They have since betrayed the people of Gauteng with a brand new enforcement strategy to ensure people across Gauteng pay e-tolls or face severe punishment.

Will the ANC again march against themselves for a problem they have created?

Cost-effective Alternative to E-tolls

The truth is there is a simple, cost-effective alternative to e-tolls. The only thing needed is political will for government to ring-fence a small portion of the fuel levy to pay for the freeway upgrades.

In 2013, Sanral’s Vusi Mona said that 17% of all tolls would go toward collection fees.

At a cap of R450 per vehicle per month, that would have translated into R76-50 per vehicle per month.

However, with the cap reduced to R225 per month, the R76-50 still needs to be collected, driving up the percentage collection rate up to 34% per vehicle per month.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Claims

If this ANC government is indeed a responsive and attentive government as Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa claims, it would long ago have realised that there is no need to resort to threats when cheaper and less complex methods of funding are available.

E-tolls are killing jobs and slowly strangling Gauteng’s economy, and ultimately, the rest of South Africa will pay the price.

People are opposed to e-tolls, and by resorting to jackboot tactics, the ANC government will only alienate them further.

The DA reiterates our call for a provincial referendum on e-tolls, asking the question: Do you want a small increase in fuel levies, free from expensive collection fees and government threats, or not?

Given the severe betrayal of the people by the Gauteng ANC, we believe allowing people to vote on e-tolls is the most effective way for fairness and justice to prevail.


Media enquiries:

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

082 960 3743

[Image source]


Honourable Speaker, as much as we say South Africa belong to all who live in it, it would make more sense to say Africa as a continent belongs to all who live in it.

Many people in Africa are very hopeful with the future that this wonderful continent holds for us. We truly believe that Africa should be that bright light that shall shine to the rest of the world.

Great world leaders have emerged from this continent. And great young minds shall be nurtured from the very same continent that we call home. On a daily basis we are inspired by the courage expressed by us here at home along with our fellow brothers and sisters in Africa, to wake up to make Africa a better place. Through economic prospects, social interactions, and all forms of daily practices we remain determined every day to proudly make Africa a home to us all.

Of course, Honourable Speaker, Africa still has huge challenges and problems that we need to frankly talk about. From the eternal conflicts and civil wars caused by greed and bad politicking to a continent that is marked by heavy corruption, and democratic practices that are not respected. Some of the governors in Africa pick and choose which aspects of democracies better suit them and which do not. It is such things that make a sad day in Africa.

It is because of these matters that many people in Africa resort to seeking refuge elsewhere and seeking economic emancipation elsewhere.  I have travelled to many countries here in Africa and have witnessed a desperate need for reformations.

South Africa is not immune from the challenges faced by Africa. In actual fact, through its failures to grow the economy at a sufficient rate, it contributes to the increasing number of challenges.

Africa also needs to learn not only from lessons of the past but as well as lessons of today. It is today that the people of Burundi are on the streets in protests, it is today that organisations such as Boko Haram and Al Shabab continue to horrifically destroy Africa and the peace it deserves. It is today that Zimbabwe community activists are being detained for being mere activists. It is today that some leaders in Africa do everything possible to avoid corruption charges not matter how many they are.

To them it does not matter whether they are 750 or what. They just look for escape holes. Ga o ikitsi o le molato o tshabang go sekisiwa (if you know that you are innocent then why are you afraid to face prosecution).

What we should do Honourable Speaker is to use and share the wonderful Constitution of the Republic of South Africa with other countries in Africa that need to build a strong base in building their nations.

We should uphold the great principles in this document and prove to the rest of the world that we are a country in Africa that emerged out of the murky depths of political crisis during the years of Apartheid, and through our commitment to constitutional values and principles, we are forging a strong, unified society, based on freedom and respect for all.

We should completely reject all forms and signs of xenophobic and Afro-phobic attitudes and champion unity. The question is, are we already unified? Our actions still show that we are still a divided nation. How then can we be the advocates of unity in Africa while we are still divided as a nation?


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.