Eskom Crisis: While Mr Ramaphosa talks, the DA has a plan of action

The following remarks were delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, on the steps of the National Assembly in Cape Town. The Leader was joined by DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Natasha Mazzone, and DA Western Cape Premier Candidate, Alan Winde.

This afternoon, President Cyril Ramaphosa will address Parliament and deliver his response to the debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA). The President’s response will undoubtedly be overshadowed by our nation’s current energy crisis, demonstrated by stage 4 load shedding across the country over the past days.

The doors to hospitals, businesses, and key industries have been shut due to rolling power cuts by Eskom, with the entity in R400 billion of debt and reportedly having only two months left before being declared bankrupt. The situation is dire, and there is no time for complacency. Like every fundamental challenge our country faces, tinkering at the edges won’t solve the underlying causes. We require complete overhaul and reform.

South Africans are well aware as to why we find ourselves in this mess. For the past decade, the ANC in government has repeatedly put Band-Aids onto the bullet wounds in our energy sector – most notably at Eskom. And the result today is a national power utility that is on its knees, threatening to take the entire country down with it.

What we need now is bold, immediate action to reform the energy sector in South Africa before it’s too late. In this light, the DA proposes the following interventions which are immediately available to the President:

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

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

  • Privatise the generation entities of Eskom, allowing a diverse range of energy to enter the grid, increasing competition and lowering the cost;
  • Commence with a drastic salary restructuring of Eskom’s executive;
  • Audit all middle management and begin the process of cutting ‘dead weight’;
  • Instruct municipalities to start a “name and shame” campaign for non-payers of electricity. In short, to release the names of the main offenders that are non-paying to the municipality website and local papers making sure communities know who is skipping on payment. This would be similar to the City of Cape Town’s water saving “name and shame” campaign.
  • Install major smart meters for municipalities to force municipalities to collect revenue timeously. The top 5 worst municipality offenders at the end of last year were (in millions): Maluti A Phofung, Free State – 2 809; Matjhabeng, Free State – 1 815; Emalahleni, Mpumalanga – 1 667; Ngwathe, Free State – 940; and Emfuleni, Gauteng – 872.

The DA has led the charge on ways to fix Eskom over the last year, with the introduction of the Independent Systems Market Operator (ISMO) Bill or “cheaper electricity bill”. The bill seeks to break Eskom into two separate entities –  a generation and transmission/distribution entity. Our offer would see the generation entity privatized in an effort to break Eskom’s monopoly on production of energy, allowing independent power producers to compete on an equal footing in the generation sector.

With the splitting off of the generation part of Eskom, they could look at selling off power stations to different IPPs. This will reduce the debt component and create competition within the generation sector. The transmission/distribution entity would manage the grid as an independent operator and source power from IPPs and Eskom generation.

Lastly, the bill allows for well-functioning metros to source energy directly from independent energy suppliers.

Where the DA governs, we are way ahead of the rest of the country in terms of renewable energy readiness. 85% of municipalities in the Western Cape already have legislation in place to allow for independent solar energy generation, and most of them are geared to sell clean energy back into the grid.

Just last week, Mayor Herman Mashaba unveiled the R1.2 billion Sebenza Power Station Project in Johannesburg. It is the biggest sub-station in the Southern Hemisphere now stabilising electricity supply to the North Eastern quadrant of the City. This was completed both on time and under-budget. These are the kinds of solutions we should be looking at to make our country more energy secure.

The inconvenient truth is that as Deputy President from 2014, Ramaphosa knew – and was part of – many decisions that have brought South Africa’s energy sector to its knees. As far back as March 2015, he was there and headed up a ‘war room’ to oversee Eskom’s turnaround.

He was there during the board and executive appointments that helped collapse Eskom. He was there as Head of the ANC’s deployment committee from 2012, deploying the likes of allowed Brian Molefe, Anoj Singh and Matshela Koko to Eskom. And he was there as the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

As next week’s Budget fast approaches, ratings agencies will be watching the action President Ramaphosa’s government will take with almost R3 trillion in projected national debt. Moody‘s has warned that South Africa’s sovereign rating will be downgraded if State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) like Eskom raise government’s debt burden any higher.

The President has an array of options at his disposal that could end the energy crisis. It is now time for the President to find the political will, stand up to his allies, and do what is best for South Africa.

President Ramaphosa’s PAIA refusal confirms he has something to hide

President Ramaphosa’s denial of the Democratic Alliance’s Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) request for all contracts and invoices for the services provided by his son, Andile Ramaphosa, and his companies to Bosasa – now African Global Operations (AGO) – has confirmed that the President and his son have something serious to hide.

The DA challenges the President to bring unredacted copies of these contracts with him to his reply to the SONA debate in the House this afternoon to assure South Africa that he and his family are not corrupt and are not beyond reproach. If the President has less to hide than his son and AGO, he should have no problem rising to the occasion.

While Ramaphosa Jr and AGO’s response to similar PAIA requests hid under the ‘commercial interests’ of the Bosasa benches, the President has chosen to hide behind his son’s ‘private body’ in this same triangle of secrecy. This despite the fact that President Ramaphosa is on record as having told Parliament on 6 November 2018 that he had seen these contracts.

The President is compromised. Watching and waiting on corruption is no longer an option for ‘Mr. Squeaky Clean’.

Talk is cheap; President Ramaphosa must act. He has a prime opportunity to show the country that the contracts are as above board as his record reflects, and that he has not colluded his way into the criminal pockets of Bosasa.

He was there. It is high time he stopped insulting the intelligence of the electorate and confess under oath in the House what he ought to have known.

The DA gets stuff done the right way, on time and within budget

The following speech was delivered on the second day of Parliament’s debate of the 2019 State of the Nation Address.

Mr. President last year you stood on this platform insisting that you had seen a contract between your son, Andile Ramaphosa, and BOSASA over the R500 000 donated to your family trust.

Today you have written to the Leader of the Official Opposition refuse to release the same contract you claim to have seen following his PAIA application. This is not the behavior of someone who has nothing to hide. It is now clear that between you, your son and BOSASA someone is hiding something.

Mr. President, I challenge you to release that contract when you come to this podium tomorrow. I challenge you to answer honestly once and for all. If you fail to do so, we will see you for who you are. A President who choose to cover up when confronted with an opportunity to be transparent.

Mr. President, the State of the Nation should be a brutally honest reflection of the state of our nation. Yours was a wish-list reflecting a nation many South Africans don’t live in. It did nothing to give hope to many poor South Africans that their lives will get better.

Mr. President last week you implored us to “watch the space” in your calculated attempt to serenade us into believing your empty promises.

Mr. President how much longer Mrs Christina Maake from Mandela Park in Modjadjiskloof “watch the space” to stop competing with livestock for water at their local river?

Mr. President, how much longer must Thulasize Mcwango in Msholozi informal settlement in Mbombela “watch the space” to have their homes electrified?

How much longer must Tlangelani Mabunda from Mninginisi Village in Giyani “watch the space” for a clinic in her area so they don’t travel more than 10 kilometres to their nearest one?

All these realities reflect the daily battle for survival for many poor black South Africans.

They don’t have patience or time to “watch the space” anymore. In fact, they are sick and tired of “watching the space”. They don’t want to hear another chorus of empty promises.

Our constitution reminds us daily that “South Africa belongs to all who live in it.”

We want a South Africa that works for all who live in it. We want a South African where every village has access to clean drinkable water. We want a South Africa where every family has access has a toilet in their household. We want a South African where the government is focused on speeding up the delivery of basic services.

Our approach to governance is governance is rooted in our party’s values of freedom, fairness, opportunity and opportunity.

DA governments give true meaning to freedom to residents who have suffered the indignity of waiting for long periods for basic services.

This is evidenced by the fact that 14 of the top 20 municipalities with the highest number of households with access to sanitation are in the Western Cape.

Our extensive cross subsidization of basic services to redress the wrongs of the past restores the dignity of poor communities.

To this end, the Western Cape has one of the highest number of households benefitting from free basic water and electricity.

Fairness is the light that guides our distribution of resources to improve the quality of life where we govern.

In this regard, communities in DA municipalities in the Western Cape have 97% access to electricity and 99% access to piped water stands (Stats SA).

All our governments spend their full budgets in poor areas: electrifying informal settlements, building toilets, upgrading roads, and installing taps all of which improve the quality of life for all here we govern.

Our governments get stuff done the right way, on time and within budget.

Where we err, we take responsibility for our shortcomings. We run honest government where we are in charge. Mr. President, how can you lead an honest government when you are in an arena with a congregation of the corrupt. Look to you left. Look to your right. And look behind you.

So, while you play Mr. Nice Guy to the corrupt ones your organization, we say good riddance to them.

Because while you talk, we get stuff done the right way, on time and within budget.

The National Health Insurance Fund is not the solution for our crumbling public health system. It is a shortsighted attempt to nationalize health care. Where we govern, we are investing billions to improve our public health infrastructure and enhance universal access to health care. The DA Western Cape Government has spent over R3.8 billion since 2009 to build world-class hospitals in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain.

We are widening access to primary health care to poor communities in areas where such services didn’t exist before. It has upgraded 10 emergency centres to allow our hospitals to provide emergency services as quickly as possible. We have built 14 more primary health care centres to enable residents of the Western Cape to access health services closest to the communities they live in. We have built 11 new ambulance stations to empower our medical response teams to respond faster to demands for medical assistance.

All these groundbreaking interventions in our public health system place the Western Cape as the province with the highest percentage of households living within 30 minutes of the nearest health facility at 91% of the population. All of these delivery outcomes mean people live longer in the Western Cape because of the public health system here is functional.

While you talk about “watching the space”, we get stuff done the right way, on time and within budget.

Fellow South Africans, every election cycle the ANC pleads for more time in government to deliver on the promises they have consistently failed to deliver for the last 25 years.

It is as if they have somehow woken up to the realization that service delivery only takes place during election year. There is no doubt you will see more ribbons cut now. You will see more PR stunts of hand over of keys to the elderly. And of course, you will receive more food parcels.

You should ask them: where were they for the last 25 years when you were suffering. You should ask them: where were they for the last 25 years when you went hungry? You should ask them: where were they for the last 25 years when there was no water in your community? Don’t let them blackmail you into voting for them.

The ANC doesn’t deserve more time in government. They need more time in opposition. Now is the time to vote for change. Now is the time to vote for a government that has the urgency to deliver immediate services to our people.

Now is the time to vote for government that gets stuff done, the right way, on time and within budget.

And that government, is a DA government.

South African schools need teachers, textbooks and toilets – not tablets

The following speech was delivered on the second day of Parliament’s debate of the 2019 State of the Nation Address.

When the curtain falls on the one-party reign of the ANC, the measure of the government it has run will be how it treated the most vulnerable of South Africa’s citizens.

The ANC’s treatment of learners is shocking to say the least.

The greatest failure of the Department of Education in the last decade is its inability to provide learners with safe toilets.

Not only because of the tragedy of loosing the lives of two learners who drowned and died in pit latrines, but because all Presidents who sat on this very seat since the dawn of democracy promised to eradicate in appropriate structures.

The most profound speech was made in 2004, by then-President Thabo Mbeki who said; “By the end of this financial year we shall ensure that there is no learner and student learning under a tree, mud-school or any dangerous conditions that expose learners and teachers to these elements.”

That was 15 years ago.

Last year, President Ramaphosa told us all ASIDI projects would be finished by March 2019. You mislead the house then and you continue to do so now. To garner votes! Just like you are trying to garner votes now with tablets!

Mr President,

  • We need toilets now, not tablets.
  • We need teachers now, not tablets.
  • We need textbook, not tablets.
  • We need you to deal with SADTU, not tablets.

Show leadership! Be resolute with SADTU! The Minister will thank you for it!

Mr President you announced that 699 schools were provided with safe and adequate sanitation since the launch of the SAFE Initiative in June last year. We need specifics: When, where, how, by whom because a price-tag of nine toilets costing R4.5 Million, at Myolwa Primary, Lusikisiki, EC.

How did you pull that miracle in seven months? with a fraction of the budget on sanitation? Remember R7.2 Billion (don’t be shocked) from the school infrastructure was moved to higher education, and now there is another budget cut on 2nd year mid term budget– but we need tablets, is it really tablets for learners or to line the ANC pockets – where are your priorities!

You say you care about Education. We just celebrated 78% pass rate in Matric but actually it is 37.6% because we had a drop-out rate of 52% which no one can account to!

The Multiple Examination Opportunity Policy intended to advantage learners is bound to be exploited by teachers, principals and Provinces. Limpopo sitting 25% of progressed learners the highest in the Country! And Western Cape on a mere 6.3% the lowest in the Country. The DA delivers!

But the ANC’s disdain for South Africans is not only limited to the children of our country. The distribution of social grants has all but collapsed under the mismanagement and corruption in the Department of Social Development.
South Africans eventually had to turn to the courts to prevent Minister Dlamini from halting social grant payments through her dodgy deals with CPS.

Why didn’t you fire the Minister for such failings?

You recently, commended the Department of Social Development for complying with the Constitutional Court order. Since when do we congratulate a government for following the law?  You should have begun with a sincere apology to the millions of South Africans that wait in queues for hours on end, uncertain about whether they will be able to feed their children each month.

If you ever needed an indication of how little the ANC thinks of the plight of women in our country, it is this: the President rewarded the person who destroyed our social grants system by making her the Minister of Women. In her, we are unlikely to find the champion for women that South Africans so desperately need.

It is true that the President spoke on Friday of wonderful plans and summits to tackle gender based violence, but on the ground, the government actively contributes to the risks women face. In the specialist units that deal with sexual offences and family violence, the most vulnerable victims of such crimes were exposed to even more criminals. The DA uncovered that 57 officers with serious criminal records, including culpable homicide and assault, are working in SAPS FCS units. This seems to be par for the course with the ANC government.

This is hardly surprising, considering how the ANC backed a deputy minister caught on camera assaulting a woman.
In stark contrast to this, the DA has always places the protection of rights and quality service delivery at the centre of everything we do.

The DA provides the best quality basic education in the country, by the DBE’s own inclusive basket measure. The Western Cape has run a world class infrastructure project, which is why no school in the province is without safe sanitation.

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has expanded services by 176%. The DA has tripled the number of social work professionals and offices in the province. We deliver services to more at risk individuals than the ANC ever could.

And the DA demands a professional, honest police force – exercising proper oversight and forming innovative community partnerships to fight the scourge of gender-based violence.

Fact: you cannot trust the ANC to protect your rights and bring you a better future. It’s been 25 years of promises that have been broken, and sometimes of outright lies.

Only one party has demonstrated that they put service delivery for all South Africans first, and that is the DA.

ANC selling dreams and lies, while DA delivers over 110 000 title deeds to South Africans

The following speech was delivered on the second day of Parliament’s debate of the 2019 State of the Nation Address.

Considering the hype around expropriation of land without compensation in the recent past, Madam Speaker, we would have expected President Ramaphosa, in his State of the Nation Address, to give us more clarity on time-frames and a high-level framework around the envisaged implementation process of this policy. The only relevant statement he made was the identification of state land parcels for redistribution, something the Democratic Alliance (DA) has always advocated. This lack of clarity points to an absence of consensus and direction in the ANC government around the policy of expropriation of land without compensation, proving that it is indeed being used as an election gimmick by the ANC, and something to rally around, thus creating a false sense of unity in the party.

Professor Ben Cousins writes, and I quote, “The expropriation without compensation debate is essentially a distraction. It is not the main issue in land reform. The real question is: who do we want to give land to? For what purposes? How are they going to hold that land – with what property rights? And how are we going to support them? How do we secure the rights of the 60% of South Africans who hold land and housing outside the formal system?”.

He hits the nail on the head as a majority of South Africans already own land under customary, communal and traditional law in our rural areas. As Professor Cousins opines the challenge is to formalise these customary land holdings using a recordal system that will “give legal recognition and support to existing local processes”. Amending the Constitution will not have any beneficial impact on these rural communities.

By promoting a populist stance on expropriation without compensation, the EFF-led corrupt coalition with the ANC is furthering a narrative that says the majority of black people are hungry for agricultural land. Nothing could be further from the truth. 92% of land claimants chose monetary compensation over land in the finalised restitution claims between 1995 and 2014. Most of the farms that were transferred to claimants as going concerns are now lying fallow due to a lack of post-settlement support from the ANC, and a lack of knowledge, resources and passion to farm from the claimants.

Icace gca ukuba abantu bakuthi bafuna imisebenzi, bafuna unikezelo ngenkonzo ezifana namanzi, umbane, iindlela, iclinic, bafuna abantwana babo bafumane imfundo esemgangathweni, bakwafuna nokhuseleko, nokunqandwa korhwaphilizo. Ewe siyavuma, abantu mababuyiselwe imhlaba yokhokho babo, kodwa imidaka emininzi ifuna ookwezindlu ezibhadlileyo netitile zazo! Urhulumente we ANC woyisakele! Kuleminyaka emashumi amabini nesihlanu abantu basahlala emikhukhwini ngeloxesha iDepartment ye Public Works ihleli nezakhiwo ezixabisa R7,5 billion yamarand ezingahlali mntu. Kutheni zingalungiswa nje zinikwe abantu abadingayo?

The Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) report into widespread and endemic corruption in the government’s land reform programme, is yet more proof that we don’t have a Constitutional problem, we have an ANC problem. The SIU report has been gathering dust on President Ramaphosa’s desk for nearly a year, confirming that he has no intention of fixing the rampant corruption and real issues in land reform. The President is in denial that this policy has had, and will continue to have, a negative impact on investment. This, despite concrete examples from countries that have walked this path before, such as Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

This is why the DA opposes the amendment of our precious Bill of Rights. And we will continue to fight it in the highest court in the land. The DA will not allow the ANC and the EFF to trample on the rights of South Africans. If we want to steer South Africa on a better path we need to send a clear message this year that corruption will not be rewarded. Sonele! We need to expropriate power from the ANC and vote for a party that believes in giving people title to their land – the Democratic Alliance.

A DA government will deliver a land reform solution that works. We have already done so in the Western Cape where there is a 62% success rate on land reform projects as compared to 8% countrywide. We will continue handing out title deeds – so far 103 000 in 10 years in the Western Cape, and 6000 in Gauteng since Herman Mashaba became Mayor. We will fast track the over 6000 outstanding restitution claims and give tangible tenure to rural communities and farm-labour tenants. All government residential property and farmland will be offered to qualifying people under a grant and equity scheme.

SiyiDemocratic Alliance sakha iSouth Africa enye kawonke-wonke! Please, do the country a favour and vote DA.

Enkosi.

Minister Pandor needs to address the R9 billion in student debt owed to Universities

It was revealed today in Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training that students owe Universities some R9 billion, consisting of debts that have accumulated over the years before fee-free Higher Education was introduced.

The students concerned are affected in multiple ways including some are not allowed to continue their studies even though they may be doing well academically; they are not given their results until the money is paid off; and some are not permitted to graduate because of debt.

This is a particularly painful experience for those who see that new students coming into Universities in years below them, who are beneficiaries of fee-free higher education and will probably never have to pay such enormous amounts of money in order to study.

The pressure from students to find a solution to this problem will not go away by itself and requires urgent intervention from the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor.

The CEO of Universities South Africa, Dr Ahmed Bawa, pointed out to Members of Parliament today that most Universities do have systems in place to deal with the individual students who owe them. Many require students to sign acknowledgment of debt agreements before they are permitted to continue with their studies.

This does not, however, mean that the debts will actually be paid off, leaving Universities carrying millions of rands worth of debt on their already-strained books.

Minister Pandor needs to make clear that she will provide Universities and students with urgent assistance to deal with the debts they are carrying. The ANC’s fee-free higher education will not address the plight of senior students with sky-high debts and this matter therefore requires urgent attention from the Minister. With almost 10 million unemployed South Africans, this crisis will no doubt add to this growing number.

Minister Cele must justify why he wants a new IPID boss

The Portfolio Committee on Police will meet tomorrow to deliberate on the renewal of the five-year contract of the IPID Executive Director, Mr Robert McBride. This follows an agreement reached in the Gauteng High Court between Police Minister Bheki Cele and McBride that an indication by the Police Minister that he would not renew the IPID Director’s term was a “preliminary decision” that must still be confirmed or rejected by the Portfolio Committee on Police, as would be applicable in an appointment process.

The DA reiterates our call that Minister Cele must provide rational, cogent and substantive reasons to McBride, the Police Portfolio Committee and the South African public for his plan not to renew the contract. In addition, we would want McBride to be afforded an opportunity to respond to the Minister’s explanation in order to enable the Committee to make an informed and balanced decision.

An honest and professional police service should be one of the Minister’s top priorities, and under McBride’s leadership, IPID has made significant investigative breakthroughs in detecting systemic corruption and procurement irregularities in the South African Police Service (SAPS). It is therefore baffling that Minister Cele would seek to make such a move that disrupts the continuity of this work. At the least, it is an ignorant step and at most, it is highly suspicious and easily interpreted as an attempt to neuter the IPID’s robust corruption-busting investigative work.

For these reasons, at tomorrow’s meeting the DA will insist on ministerial testimony prior to the Committee making any determination of confirmation or rejection. We should be able to interrogate Minister Cele to clarify whether his intention has taken into account the successes of the IPID under McBride’s leadership, as well as the likely adverse consequences of non-renewal for the Directorate’s effectiveness and instability.

Onder die ANC regering is ons `n nasie op `n verlate stasie

The following speech was delivered on the second day of Parliament’s debate of the 2019 State of the Nation Address.

Agbare Speaker, Lede en Suid Afrikaners;

Die staatsrede van 2019 was om die minste te sê teleurstellend en verbeeldingloos. Die indruk wat dit in baie Suid Afrikaners se gedagte gelaat het was dat onder die ANC regering is ons soos `n nasie op `n verlate stasie.

Net soos verlede jaar het ons weereens gehoor hoe President Cyril Ramaphosa en die ANC Suid Afrikaners belowe vir nog vergaderings sonder veranderings, berade sonder dade, direktorate sonder kragte, konferensies met meer wensies en seminare vir al die jare. Die mense van Suid Afrika wil aksie sien. Aksie wat hulle lewens sal verbeter.

Hulle is moeg vir leë beloftes en klets winkels.

It was disappointing to note that, while the President spoke of South Africa advancing peace on the continent, he completely failed to mention the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.

The President also missed an opportunity to address South Africans on the issue of illegal immigration during his SONA speech this year. This is an issue that millions of South Africans are complaining about on a daily basis and the ANC government chooses to ignore it. Ignoring this issue will not make it go away.

That is why I am proud to say that the DA is the only party brave enough to take on this issue. No country in the world can allow its borders to be a free for all. Whether you are from Swaziland or Switzerland, you must be documented if you want to stay in South Africa.

It is not a priority for the ANC, although the Health Minister warned in November that Foreign Nationals are placing an extra burden on the already overcrowded hospitals.

Our borders are so porous, you might as well say that we do not have borders at all. People are coming in and out of our country as they please. Among those crossing our borders undetected are drug smugglers, illicit goods, human traffickers, the list goes on.

Our Home Affairs offices are so poorly equipped that our poor officials cannot do their jobs to the best of their abilities. They do not even have uniform or appointment cards for almost eight years now.

Our SAPS members at border posts feel their lives are in danger because they have to face syndicates with far more advanced weapons. I feel sorry for these government servants. Most of them try their best under the worst circumstances.

The President failed to make mention of the Department of Defence, the South African National Defence Force, and the issue plaguing these institutions. Our defence force members must patrol our borders with very little resources and technology. All they ask for are drones, cameras and other surveillance equipment to support them in their efforts to properly secure our borders with limited human capacity.

Our communities next to border posts are living in fear. Syndicates threaten their livelihoods. They fall prey to hijacking syndicates running cross-border operations. This government is well aware of these problems but chose to do nothing about it.

We have hotbeds of drug-related crimes, notably Kempton Park, which has seen drug related crimes spike to six times the 2010 levels.

The president spoke of the impact of substance abuse, drug trafficking and crime on communities. We cannot discuss drug trafficking and the impact of substance abuse on communities without a frank conversation about where the drugs flow to and from, how they get into and out of the country, or how they are related to human trafficking and international criminal syndicates running cross-border operations.

Understandably, to a billionaire President, stock theft might appear a minor crime. But to the farmers affected, stock theft has a significant impact on their businesses. It threatens their livelihoods. And the livelihoods of their employees in a country short on alternative work opportunities.

The Zondo Commission of inquiry has highlighted to us that criminality is not limited to drug kingpins or human traffickers. This government has placed the care of detained undocumented immigrants in the hands of a crime ring linked to President Ramaphosa.

Perhaps that is why the President failed to make mention of human rights abuses against foreign nationals at Bosasa-run Lindela Repatriation Centre which have long been reported by civil society. Human dignity and human lives have been lost in order for Bosasa bigwigs to eat, for ANC cadres to enrich themselves and the President’s campaign machine to get its funding.

Die ANC regering is soos n luis kombers wat onse regering bedek. Hulle byt ons, hulle is parasiete wat die laaste bloed uit ons suig. Hulle suig die laaste sent uit ons en onse regering. Ons moet van hierdie luis kombers ontslae raak. Ons kan nie aanhou so gebyt en droog gesuig word deur hierdie parasiete nie. Jy kan nie n luis kombers was nie. Daai luise sal nie heeltemal weg gaan nie.

Die enigste ding om te doen is om daai luis kombers veld toe te vat en daar te los.

Suid-Afrika, ons het nog ‘n kans. Wanneer julle stem op 8 Mei, help die DA om daai luis kombers van ons mense en die regering te vir eens en vir altyd te verwder.

Stem DA vir ‘n skoon regering wat vir jou sal werk!

Baie dankie.

While Ramaphosa was trying to sort out his party, the DA was creating jobs

The following speech was delivered on the second day of Parliament’s debate of the 2019 State of the Nation Address.

Madame Speaker,
Honourable President,

Your speech dished up ladles full of syrupy hope, but all of the spun sugar won’t be enough to make the country forget what the ANC has done to South Africa these last 10 years.

  • From the largest economy in Africa to third
  • The highest youth unemployment in the world
  • 9,7 million jobless people
  • Increased electricity prices by 356%, and still bankrupted Eskom, and still can’t keep the lights on

And let’s not forget, the whole time you were building a criminal syndicate fronting as a political party. And now you want to expropriate the pension savings of the hard working public to bailout the SOEs that you bankrupted. The message is clear: The ANC eats, the public pays.

Through it all, no one has gone to jail. No one!

No jail time state capture!
No jail time for Life Esidimeni!
No jail time for Marikana!
No jail time for Jacob Zuma!

You see, the truth cuts through all the candy-floss, sir. The truth is that the ANC set the house on fire and is now asking for five more years to put the fire out. While the President peddles hope, the country is asking, how did we get here, who got us here, and, Mr President, what were you doing when you were there all that time?

If voters are looking for hope in action, they need only look to the one province in South Africa governed by the DA.

Where the DA governs, jobs are created. In the 10 years of DA government in the Western Cape, job growth has been triple the next best province. That equals 640 000 new jobs, more than the entire population of Mangaung, in new jobs. Unemployment where we govern is 14% points lower than the rest of the country.Out of all the jobs that were created in the whole country, 53,3% are from the one place where the DA governs.

Citizens know that they can get a fair chance under the DA. They don’t have to pay anyone to get a job, or sleep with anyone to get a job, or show their ANC card to get a job.

The DA makes sure that jobs are available fairly and equally to all. While you were trying to sort out your party, we were creating jobs.

While Zondo was showing the world the ANC’s criminal heart, we were creating jobs. While your son was doing business with Bosasa, we were creating jobs. That is what the DA does. We get things done, for the people, not for the politicians.

Now, the Leader of the Opposition has said that the DA aspires for every home to have at least one person who is employed – a job in every home. I thought it would be difficult to find statistics on this, but actually, open the StatsSA General Household Survey, and there it is!

I am happy to report that the DA is already delivering on this goal. Nationally 20.1%, or 3.2 million families, rely on grant income alone. But where the DA governs, this number is 9%, less than half the rest of the country. 91% of families where the DA govern have at least one job.

We are on our way to getting this done too. That is what we do. We roll back poverty, we unlock enterprise, we free small business to thrive, we spread broadly the ownership of secure private property.

We do this because we love our country and its people; and because South Africa deserves better than a party asking us to give it another chance to solve problems that it has caused.

The ANC destroyed the Scorpions and defanged the NPA. Now the ANC is reopening the Scorpions. The ANC imposed e-tolls, then the ANC marches against e-tolls. The ANC owned Hitachi Africa that built the boilers for Medupi. Now that the boilers are failing, the President tells us he is “shocked and angry” at load-shedding.

This is the consequence of what was state capture, long before the term was coined. The President says he is “shocked and angry”, but his party has literally profited from destroying Eskom. Every time the lights go out, jobs are lost. Load shedding is job shedding!

And on the 8th of May, there’s going to be Stage 4 ANC vote shedding.

It is like being on a never-ending rollercoaster of bad Marxist policies which hurtle inevitably towards collapse and corruption, and then spin at the last moment into new proposals to fix the old ones. With each convulsing corkscrew, people’s lives hang in the balance. At the end of each loop, the ANC is forced to adopt a solution that the DA offered at the beginning.

Specialised gang and drug units. Splitting Eskom. The Youth Wage Subsidy.

But even today Luthuli House says they won’t let you split Eskom. This just confirms – they hired you as the new face of the criminal syndicate, but its the same criminals still running it. This is not a 9 year Zuma phenomenon, it is the permanent character of the ANC. It is the only possible consequence of the ANC’s dogma of state control and the quashing of free enterprise, under which no country can ever prosper.

The President quoted two American Presidents in his speech, JFK and Teddy Roosevelt. Those men made their country prosper by pursuing enterprise, competition, individual liberty and security of widely-owned private property. But the ANC rejects all of these values.

That is why South Africa cannot thrive under the ANC. The bus is broken, and a different driver can’t fix it. South Africa must be lead by the DA’s values because it is the only way our country can be lead. So, while the President may wish for a national suspension of disbelief, voters will look to a party that has proven hope in action.

“Hope in action” that our national decline is not inevitable and is not irreversible.

“Hope in action” to get more people into work and a job in every home.

“Hope in action” to bring our country together and build one South Africa for all.

And with the support of the wonderful people of our great country, “hope in action” for victory on the 8th of May.

Parliament agrees to DA request for debate on Eskom crisis

The Democratic Alliance (DA), along with all South Africans suffering from rolling blackouts, were dumbstruck by the presentation from the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, in the Public Enterprises Committee

Gordhan announced that Eskom is “technically insolvent” and would “cease to exist” beyond April 2019, he confirmed our worst fears by saying that a government bailout is required to save Eskom. This bailout is certain to be truly massive and may even dwarf the 2015 bailout of Eskom which included a R23 billion “special appropriation” and the conversion of a R60 billion subordinated loan to worthless equity.

Gordhan’s bombshell came only hours after the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, agreed to my request for a debate on an urgent matter of national public importance focused on Eskom.

The debate has tentatively been scheduled for 21 February 2019, the day after the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, delivers his maiden Budget Speech. No doubt, the Minister will be announcing a “special appropriation” for Eskom, more commonly known as a bailout.

Eskom is in a parlous state with Stage 4 load-shedding casting all South Africans into darkness and grinding businesses to a halt. The future of Eskom is of fundamental importance to every one of us, impacting the country’s economy, our credit rating, job creation, investment, people’s livelihoods, our pockets and everyday life.

The issues at Eskom are numerous, but is becoming painfully obvious that the crisis is due to two main problems: corruption and mismanagement. We are now being presented with a clear picture of a power utility crippled by chronically failing power plants, both old and new, and with no idea how to keep the lights on. Eskom is flailing, as revealed in its latest “9 point plan for generation turnaround” which contains such gems as “prepare for rain” and “fixing human capital”.

Next week’s debate on the crisis at Eskom is crucial and, indeed, urgent as the failure of our sole power supplier spells disaster for each and every South African. The job of saving the country from ANC mismanagement is now more urgent than ever, and only one party can put an end to the corruption and mismanagement that has brought South Africa to the edge of the cliff.  Only the DA can build One South Africa for All.