Eskom Crisis: ANC blames “sabotage” as they drop the ball on South Africans

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes reports of comments made by ANC National Spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, who allegedly stated that Eskom’s Stage 4 load-shedding is “suspicious”, and an outright attempt to sabotage President Ramaphosa’s vision for South Africa, after his State of the Nation Address (SONA), last week Thursday.

Such claims are serious in nature and the DA will call upon the Hawks to investigate any potential acts of sabotage against Eskom. The planned disruption or interference with Eskom’s ability to deliver services to South Africans is tantamount to treason, and if proven guilty, any parties involved must be tried and criminally charged for their actions.

It is entirely possible though that the ANC may be using calls of sabotage as a diversion tactic from the one true sabotage that has occurred – this being the 9 year-long mismanagement and corruption of Eskom, which has left millions of South Africans in the dark.

Furthermore, Kodwa reportedly stated that government’s intention to unbundle Eskom would help make the fraught state-owned entity more profitable. This has been followed by reports of the ANC secretary general, Ace Magashule, stating that Luthuli House would oppose Ramaphosa’s SONA calls for unbundling.

The ANC’s right hand is completely unaware of what the left hand is doing, and in this process of issuing contradictory statements, both hands are dropping the ball on South Africans. The ANC has proven once again that internal party politicking will always be prioritised above and beyond the needs of citizens. South Africans have once again been left in the dark with no electricity, and local businesses suffer greater losses each and every day, under these relentless rolling blackouts.

The DA is the only party that has a plan to solve the Eskom crisis with our “cheaper energy bill” which seeks to break Eskom into two separate entities, namely into a generation and transmission entity. Our offer would see the generation entity privatized in an effort to break Eskom’s monopoly, allowing independent power producers to compete on an equal footing in the generation sector. The DA plan would amount to real change, not merely the addition of more board members.

The time for politicking is over, South Africans deserve an immediate and urgent solution to what should undoubtedly be declared a national crisis.

The time for action is now and the DA will continue to fight to ensure South Africans are no longer left in the dark.

We need concomitant action to combat crime and corruption

The following speech was delivered in Parliament’s debate of the 2019 State of the Nation Address

Madam Speaker,

While the President announced some laudable objectives in his SONA address last Thursday, perhaps the most glaring disappointment was the way in which he simply glossed over the crisis of crime sweeping our nation.

Every single day across South Africa, while the President tells us to watch this space, 57 of our citizens are brutally murdered, 137 women are sexually assaulted , 685 homes are violated. This is a national crisis on a grand scale, our citizens are not safe on their streets, in their homes, on their farms and in their workplaces.

Now the President exhorted communities to tackle crime, and yes, partnership policing is important, but communities cannot be expected carry the burden alone, they also cannot be expected to partner with a police service that is understaffed, under equipped, undertrained and unprofessional.

Last year during the SONA the President promised that the key focus for 2018 would be “the distribution of resources to police station level. This will include personnel and other resources, to restore capacity and experience at the level at which crime is most effectively combatted.”

The reality however is that the police to population ratio actually worsened to 1 police officer for every 375 citizens leaving communities even more vulnerable and unsafe.

But it’s little wonder this government doesn’t take policing seriously, and do you want to know why? It’s because they are frankly immune to the war zone of crime raging on our streets and suburbs. A reply to a DA parliamentary question in July last year revealed that there were 81 presidential protection officers for every one of the 17 politicians it protected.

Whilst our communities are locked in the brutal grip of a violent crime wave sweeping our nation this government is spending 1.5  Billion Rand on VIP protection for politicians. You cannot say you are serious about fighting crime and resourcing stations when you are misdirecting so much money and resources to protecting yourselves and keeping your families safe while our citizens are being left to fend for themselves!, Without an honest and professional police service they don’t stand a chance!

Mr. President, know this, your critics may sit on these opposition benches, but your enemies sit on your government benches. So, while you tell us to “watch this space”, our message to you is “watch your back”.

Because the allies of growth and progress sit on these opposition benches, but your biggest obstacles sit on your own. There are people on that side of the House, who are willing you to fail.

The ANC is corrupt to the core, and too many people in your party have got used to the Louis Vuitton handbags, the kickbacks and the “chickens”

ANC MPs don’t really want a new Scorpions; they voted to have the Scorpions disbanded in 2008 so that the looting could resume.

ANC MPs don’t want really want to unbundle Eskom. It is much easier to capture and loot a single state entity.

Of course, those same people are rubbing their hands at the prospect of a tablet for every learner. Another big tender, another opportunity to enrich a few cronies. If it’s not the corrupt in your ranks who are going to stop you, it is the loony left in the tripartite alliance.

The truth Mr. President is simply this: you’re never going to be able to achieve many of the lofty goals you set out in your SONA because your party and alliance partners just won’t let you.

Your plans to restructure ESKOM will be scuttled, not by the opposition, but by your own COSATU alliance partners.

Your plans to fix schools will be undermined, not by the opposition, but your own SADTU alliance partners and your acceleration of the NDP as a path for growth will be blocked, not by the opposition but by your fellow travellers in the SACP.

That is why Mr. President it is time to deal decisively with the corrupt in your own party. You cannot really expect anybody to take what you said about combatting corruption seriously while the most corrupt still sit in your party benches and around your cabinet table. They will get you in the end – watch this space, and watch your back.

I noticed with great interest the other evening as you were announcing the relaunch of the Scorpions, which the ANC hastily shut down when they got to close to senior politicians, at who was clapping. How ironic that some of the most enthusiastic were the very undertakers of the Scorpions, people like the honourable Carrim. And clapping like seals besides him were the very people on those benches who should be the first in Mrs Batoi’s crosshairs.

Do they clap because  they know that no matter what happens, no matter the evidence, no matter the charge, they will be protected?

Because the  litmus test for this new directorate is not going to be which officials or underlings they arrest, the test for this directorate is going to be whether they start putting cuffs on the honourable members seated in this house, and YOUR test will come when your party tries to stop that. Watch that space and watch your back.

Because you see Mr. President when a minister accepts a monthly retainer, braai packs, whisky and a car for their daughter, if I may quote a recent email of yours:

“It is plainly dastardly criminal and must be characterised as such, there needs to be concomitant action”

When a senior parliamentarian is kept sweet through cash payments, security upgrades and university fees for his daughter in order to prevent parliament from doing its job:

“It is plainly dastardly criminal and must be characterised as such, there needs to be concomitant action”

 When a senior party official and government minister accepts security upgrades at his properties in exchange for peddling influence and tenders:

“It is plainly dastardly criminal and must be characterised as such, there needs to be concomitant action”

When ANC premiers, Mayors, MEC’s and Councillors loot at every opportunity they get.

“It is plainly dastardly criminal and must be characterised as such, there needs to be concomitant action”

Unless that concomitant action is taken, you will never root out corruption in this house, your cabinet or our country.

Corrupt ANC members protected at the expense of the country

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

Honourable Speaker,

Over the last few months I have travelled South Africa listening to the concerns of the people of our country.

I witnessed first-hand the devastating effects that the rampant corruption of the ANC government has had on our people.

Many are unemployed, because money dedicated to job-creation projects has been stolen.

Many do not receive basic services, because money dedicated to service delivery has been stolen.

Many do not feel safe in their homes and at the mercy of criminals, because money dedicated to police resources has been stolen.

I listened to all those people who welcomed me into their homes, took note of all their concerns, and conveyed the DA’s message of hope for a better South Africa.

I told that under a DA-led government, we will bring change that builds One South Africa for All.

We will fight corruption; create fair access to jobs; make our police honest and professional; and speed up the delivery of basic services.

On the issue of corruption, specifically, I relayed that under a DA-government, anyone found guilty of corruption will be sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Sifuna kutsi tonkhe letigila mikhiba teANC, letiba timali tembuso tivalelwe ejele. Kwentela kutsi tive lobuhlungu lobumatima lobuviwa batfubakitsi labahluphekile only malanga ngenca yebugenbgu ye ANC.

The DA’s plan to tackle corruption includes:

  • Ensuring the payment of all public money is transparent;
  • Bringing in direct elections for all political office holders so that the South African people can hold their president, premiers and mayors directly accountable;
  • Implementing regular lifestyle audits for all politicians and government officials;
  • Protecting and encouraging ‘whistle blowers’ who identify and report on corrupt activities; and
  • Establishing an independent unit dedicated to identifying, fighting and prosecuting corruption.

Now, Mr President, I noted that in your speech you said, and I quote “…we have no choice but to step up the fight against corruption.”

“No choice”

I find it odd that you conveyed the need to fight corruption as difficult choice you had to make as if your hands were tied behind your back before.

It there makes sense why as Deputy President of the ANC and the country you turned a blind eye to grand scale corruption during the years of the Jacob Zuma Presidency.

I also find it odd that your speech was a little scant detail about how you will fight corruption. In the last 20 years South Africa has lost an estimated R700 billion to corruption.

You were correct, Mr President in saying that the action you take now to end corruption and hold those responsible accountable will determine future of our country.

What was missing for me in the President’s speech, Honourable Speaker was what he, as the leader of the ANC would be doing to hold those in his party accountable for corruption.

During the Jacob Zuma Presidency he sat quietly while the country was looted. He had a voice he should have used fearlessly as a patriot and took a stand against corruption by members of his party not only as Deputy President but a citizen of South Africa.

Party loyalties matter not when it comes to taking a stand against what is wrong.

To be honest I have my doubts whether the President will suddenly find the backbone he has lacked for so many years.

Let’s take for example the revelations in the Zondo Commission of Inquiry.

Testimony revealed that ANC Members of Parliament allegedly benefited from Bosasa.

Today, Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, ANC Chairperson Gwede Mantashe, Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla and Mr Vincent Smith sit here happily in Parliament.

Why have they not been suspended pending the conclusion of an investigation and disciplinary inquiry given the gravity of the allegations against them?

Is it because, as it is always the case, the ANC protects its own.

Walk the talk, Mr President, show South Africa just how serious you about fighting corruption.

I challenge you, a suspension, lifestyle audit and investigation of Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.

I challenge you, a suspension, lifestyle audit and investigation of ANC Chairperson Gwede Mantashe.

I challenge you, a suspension, lifestyle audit and investigation of Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla.

I challenge you, a suspension, lifestyle audit and investigation of MP, Vincent Smith

If not, you will remain the President who had no backbone and continued turning a blind eye to corruption by those in his party. No different to your predecessor, Mr Jacob Zuma.

It is this very culture that is ruining our country. The notion that one must protect members of their parties at all costs, even when implicated in wrongdoing.

The DA is no such party. We walk the talk. We work hard, we go hard, we grind until we get it. And we slay.

In DA governments officials and politicians alike found to be involved in corruption are held accountable. It does not make us popular, but it certainly shows our commitment to stick to our values and a zero tolerance to corruption.

Where we govern in the Western Cape, we received the highest number of clean audits (83%) in South Africa across all entities and departments. This is well ahead of the next province, Gauteng, which had 52% clean audits.

This is compared to zero clean audits when we took office from the ANC in 2009.

A clean audit does not only mean that the finances of the Western Cape Government are well-managed, but it means that money meant to improve the lives of the residents of the province is spent on them, and not channelled into the pockets of corrupt politicians. In fact, we spent 82% of the 2018 Budget on delivery of services to the poor.

My plea to the people of South Africa is this, we know that you know that the ANC is corrupt, but you feel there is no viable alternative. I know many of you are despairing because you see corrupt ANC politicians after corrupt ANC politicians escaping scot-free.

My message to you today is that the DA is that alternative.

We may not be perfect, but we are a listening party, which does not see itself as superior to the people of South Africa. We hear your cries, and we say, O siyeza, o siyeza, sizogudla kulomhlaba. Sizowela ngapheshaya lulezontaba ezimnyama. Lapha sobheka phansi konke ukhulupheka.

Please lend us your vote.

Young people set up to fail by uncaring ANC government

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

Honourable President,

After, in your own words, 9 wasted years, you addressed this chamber in your inaugural SONA address, at a time where young South Africans could not afford a single further wasted day. It was an address filled with promises made to a nation desperate for hope, particularly the millions of young South Africans, fast becoming a forgotten generation, without skills or jobs and set up to fail in our institutions of higher learning.

Since then, there is a German Proverb that has stuck with me which claims that, “Promises are like the full moon, if they are not kept at once they diminish day by day.”

When you addressed us last week, one would have expected some reflection on the promises made. When scrutinizing them more closely, I can see why you chose not to do so.

You promised that “At the centre of our national agenda in 2018 would be the creation of jobs, especially for the youth.”

25000 additional youth are unemployed with the expanded youth unemployment increasing to 50.1%, the highest in the world.

You promised a “Youth Employment Service initiative which will create a million paid internships over three years.”

The YES initiative has less than 7000 committed work experiences received. A mere 0.7% of what was promised.

You promised that the Minister of Higher Education will lead the implementation of free higher education.

As late as August last year there were 75 000 students whose funding had still not been paid which was only the tip of the iceberg. The most vulnerable of our students have continued to be set up to fail.

Minister Pandor can’t lead anything and is completely out of touch. It’s time to admit that you have gotten this one wrong. She only acts clever, I am not going to be like the Hon. Willie and say hong hong because I don’t care how a person says something as long as they know what they are talking about and their ignorance is not making our people suffer.

She came here in November claiming that she is confident of a smooth start to the 2019 academic year, claiming significant improvements in the administration of student funding;

On the 17th of January she told Inside Education that she does not anticipate any funding and registration hiccups during the opening of institutions.

How wrong can a person be? This is not something you play with Mr President. A student has been murdered, so too has a residence administrator.

Yesterday, I visited the Walter Sisulu University Ibika campus in Gcuwa. What confronted me was painful. It was the real State of the Nation. Hundreds of students standing helplessly outside in the pouring rain on the day that lectures officially started.

  • Most students at the campus are still unregistered
  • The institution is owed a billion rand in outstanding debt locking out poor NSFAS qualifying students.
  • NSFAS is a complete shamble with student statuses not being updated and incoherent communication leaving students literally out in the cold without allocated accommodation.
  • Post-grad student funding is a joke and Btech students are being asked to pay upfront payments.

The same painful story plays out across the country and the Minister’s response is to arrogantly call on students to focus on real concerns. This whilst she hasn’t visited any Universities where this crisis is playing out and exposed herself as completely out of touch in a meeting with student leaders, including those from her own political party.

From your SONA Hon. President, it would seem you are just as out of touch calling on student representatives and university authorities to work together to find solutions to the challenges.

Please balance us Mr President. How exactly do you expect students and universities to solve these problems including NSFAS’s collapse and student debt? Just those two must solve it? Where is your thuma mina or is that this empty space you were asking us to watch?

The tragedy is that 63% of NSFAS students dropped out over a 5-year period. You and your government are setting up poor, mainly black students to fail.

The situation is even worse at our TVET colleges, a sector you ignored in your address.

Infrastructure and equipment are old and insufficient, student services are almost non-existent and academic programmes and curricula on offer are outdated producing throngs of unemployed graduates. The lack of clear articulation policies deprives students of opportunities to progress, work-based training opportunities have declined, and student funding remains unequal compared to university students.

The tragedy in this regard is twofold:

  1. 68% of TVET colleges have a completion rate of under 50%; and
  2. Compared to private colleges, students in TVET colleges are not being prepared to compete in an equal footing.

Your government continues to prove itself incapable of building one South Africa for all where all young South Africans can enjoy an equal footing irrespective of the circumstances of their birth.

The DA has proven where we govern that we actually put youth at the centre of our agenda and have a track record of actually delivering.

R600 million in economic savings have been generated through our red tape reduction and ease of doing business strategies in the Western Cape.

The City of Cape Town was recognized as the top opportunity city in Africa with its Business Support Project already facilitating support for over 500 small and medium enterprises per year and job seekers afforded the opportunity to ride the MyCity Bus free of charge.

Most tellingly:

50% of all new jobs created last year were created in the Western Cape with the province having by far the lowest unemployment rate in the country and the fastest growth in employment.

Fellow South Africans imagine what we can achieve leading the national government.

We will

Introduce a Voluntary National Service – one year of income and skills development for school-leavers, something we have already piloted in the Western Cape through the Premier’s advancement of Youth Programme.

Create job centres throughout South Africa that provide information, advice and free internet to job-seekers.

Grow small business opportunities through increased funding assistance and removing blockages and red-tape.

Prosecute and eliminating the practice of ‘sex for jobs’ and carpet interviews including ‘cash for jobs’ and corruption in allocating jobs.

All matric students would receive a set number of free driving lessons and we would waive the licensing fees for first time applicants.

Our bursaries to learners from low-income families will cover the comprehensive cost of study so as to ensure that learners have the necessary tools, on time, to pass.

We will develop work and study apprenticeship programmes, substantially increasing the involvement of companies to provide opportunities in new and existing fields.

Mr President it is clear that even your government perpetuates two South Africas, it is only the DA that has proven itself capable of building One South Africa for all.

Don’t put them in Parliament, put them in jail

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

Madam Speaker;

Mr President;

Fellow Members of Parliament;

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is now 2019, eleven and a half years since the construction of the Medupi Power plant started.

It is now 2019, ten and a half years since the construction of the Khusile Power Plant started.

And yet, the entire country was plunged into darkness, with Eskom implementing a drastic stage 4 load shedding programme yesterday. Six units have suddenly gone off-line which is unheard of. This has now moved from just an Eskom problem to a national South African problem. All of South Africa will be affected by a collapsing Eskom, putting our entire economy and millions of jobs in jeopardy.

It is now 2019 and South Africa is still experiencing rolling blackouts, Eskom still has a monopoly stranglehold over our country and its economy. We need to call this crisis what it is. This is not “load shedding”, it is persistent rolling blackouts and it is killing our economy. These rolling blackouts affect every community, every business in every municipality across the length and breadth of our country. Probably the most shocking of all – still not one person is behind bars for attempting to sell our country off piece by piece despite all the charges, all the evidence, and all the commissions of inquiry.

The ANC’s rejig of Eskom is simply not enough. The DA has long been calling for a complete overhaul of this dinosaur monopoly which is killing our economy with power failures and high electricity prices. The DA introduced our “cheaper electricity bill” which will see Eskom split into two separate entities, a generation entity and a distribution/transmission entity. The generation entity will be privatised over time to compete with other independent power producers on an equal footing. Well-functioning metros will be able to source energy directly from independent energy suppliers.

It cannot be that South Africans have no choice as to whom they purchase electricity from.  We have the right to choose our own service provider and to choose our own kind of electricity; be it wind, solar, gas or coal. The notion that this will not create job losses is a simple lie. By diversifying our energy market, we will create jobs, increase competition and significantly drive down electricity prices.  As South Africans we simply cannot be held ransom by the Tripartite Alliance concerns of upsetting one another. We are a country in crisis and we have to act in crisis mode now.

It is time to face the reality that while South Africa may well have exposed State Capture, little has been done to hold those who fed this monster to account. In fact, the more people who are named in these various inquiries, the more I look around parliament and see those very people seated in our benches. What an embarrassment, what an indictment on everything we stand for. Mr. President, I am here today to tell you, do not send these criminals to Parliament, send them to jail.

When last we met at this same forum, I asked that you remove then Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown. I, together with millions of South Africans, heaved a sigh of relief when you announced her removal. Little did we know that she was just the tip of a corrupt iceberg and that we, the people of South Africa, are on a collision course with this iceberg.  There is no longer any doubt that the tentacles of the state capture monster have reached all Public Enterprises, all state departments and all levels of government.

State capture is a disease that has infected the entire nation. Thankfully there is a cure and it works fast, and it acts as a prophylactic for future infection.  It’s called a jail sentence. Mr. President, do not send these criminals to Parliament, send them to jail.

Madam Speaker, there is nothing quite like a witness in the box singing like a canary to get criminals worried. What we have witnessed at the Zondo Commission into State Capture is nothing short of astounding. I now feel like we all know our way around certain Ministers’ homes, we know what meat they enjoy, and more particularly what their tipple of preference is. Mr President, given the knowledge we have regarding the Minister’s penchant for a certain brand of blended Scottish Whiskey, when these Ministers seek re-employment, my suggestion would be to tell them to just “Keep Walking”.

In these very benches sit Ministers who are accused of, literally, accepting bags of corruption money.  One would not think that when design house Louis Vuitton released the “Neverfull” model of handbag, this crime and corruption was the intended usage of the bag – and we laugh, and we scoff, and we are shocked, but still, here sits the Minister.  The question now is, what exactly does it take to get arrested for corruption in South Africa? Mr. President, do not send these people to Parliament, send them to jail.

Our hopes now lie in the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions, and we hope that the new head of the NPA takes orders from the Constitution and the laws of the land, and not from politicians or families flying in and out of Dubai. It simply cannot be that State Capture was being executed under the nose of the executive without every single member knowing. Your “New Dawn” is the same wine being served to us, only in a different bottle.

I have personally laid charges against the likes of:

  • Brian Molefe;
  • Matshela Koko;
  • Trillian;
  • SAP;
  • Just Coal;
  • McKinsey;
  • Supra Mahumapelo’s family;
  • The Bank of Baroda;
  • the Gupta brothers;
  • Nomvula Mokanyane and the list goes on.

We need to see some high-profile arrests, we need assets to be seized and while we are at it, let’s take a few passports away to ensure no one can flee prosecution.

Mr. President, let me tell you without a doubt what South Africans won’t mind having their tax money spent on, it’s a new wing of C Max at the Pretoria Central prison dedicated to those who tried to steal our country.

Mr. President, on behalf of all South Africans, I beg of you, don’t send them to Parliament, send them to jail.

No more talking. No more watching. South Africa needs action.

The following speech was delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, during the Joint Sitting Debate on the President’s State of the Nation Address in Parliament, Cape Town. 

Madam Speaker

Honourable President

Honourable Members

Fellow South Africans

Bagaetso

Dumelang

Mr President, I am flattered that you would like to include me in your band, as you said in your SONA last Thursday.

But I am not sure it’s going to work out. I am worried that you only know how to sing to the ANC’s tune. I personally prefer to sing something more in tune with South Africa.

Honourable Members,

I have spent a lot of time on the road recently traveling from kasi to kasi, discussing the many challenges our people face.

On one such a stop in Diepkloof, Soweto, my visit coincided with ANC campaigners in the area. And as I was talking to a group of young people selling meat, one of them pointed over to the ANC campaigners and said to me:

Sikathele a bo Agrizzi” – we are tired of Agrizzis.

He was angry and frustrated. He knew instinctively that he – like millions of others – had been robbed by the corruption of this government.

All he wanted was a government that could do the basics well. A government that can keep the lights on, keep the taps running, help small businesses like his succeed and help put young people into jobs.

From kasi to kasi – from Mdantsane to uMlazi – the cry is the same. People want change and they want it now. They are tired of their communities becoming dormitories of unemployed labour. And they are tired of broken promises.

They want action, not talk-shops and not summits. And they wanted this a long time ago.

But instead, Honourable President, you asked them on Thursday to wait some more.

“Watch this space”. That’s what you told us several times during your SONA address.

But that’s all you’ve been doing for the past decade, and it’s all you’ve been doing for your entire first year in office. Watching and waiting.

You have been watching this space as youth unemployment grew to include more than half our young people.

You have been watching this space as Eskom fell apart, threatening to plunge our country into a crisis we may never recover from.

You have been watching this space as the Gupta leaks and the Zondo Commission showed how our country was sold out for a braai pack, some beers and a Louis Vuitton handbag.

Throughout all of this, South Africans have been desperately hoping for something to happen. But nothing did and, judging by your track record, nothing will.

But while you have watching and waiting, the DA has been doing.

We have not stopped fighting on behalf of South Africans in this Parliament and in court to expose the corruption and mismanagement of your government.

Yet you were content to just watch and wait as your party robbed us blind.

Under your ANC, SONA stands for “State of No Action”.

We are a State of big promises. We’re a State of Commissions, Task Teams and Road Shows for every possible problem. But when it comes to actually doing things, we are a State of No Action.

Every single SONA – including both of yours to date – has been nothing but a long list of things that sound good and sound busy, with very little meaningful action. And I don’t think this is what you want.

I’m sure you would love to preside over a government that gets things done – a government that improves the lives of our people.

But you don’t. You preside over an ANC government that can’t and won’t act. Across towns, cities and provinces, our State is being looted by your party. That’s the ANC citizens would be voting for.

Mr President, it is clear they are in charge, and not you.

That’s why you love spending time overseas. When there’s no ANC around – when you’re speaking in Davos or being interviewed by the foreign press – you can say whatever you like.

But as soon as you’re back home, it is the ANC of the Magashules and the Mabuzas and the Mahumapelos – and yes, even the ANC of the Zumas – that calls the shots.

And we all know that this ANC disagrees with you on almost all key policy issues – the nationalisation of land, the nationalisation of mines and the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank.

We all know you weren’t joking when you said, about Ace Magashule: “This is my boss, the real boss. Without him I am nothing.”

We judge a man by the company he keeps, Mr President. These are your friends.

Like many South Africans, I want to believe your SONA address. But I know that you are not in charge. And because of this, you can only offer revision, while our country desperately needs a new vision for change.

Honourable President, we all know any economy needs a dependable supply of electricity to grow.

And so I’m sure you’d love to unbundle Eskom – as you should have done 10 years ago – but your ANC-aligned unions won’t allow this.

I’m sure you’d love to reform our failing education, but your SADTU allies won’t let you.

The ANC will let people like Angelo Agrizzi and his Bosasa colleagues take the fall, but they won’t allow people like Dudu Myeni and the Honourable Nomvula Mokonyane to be arrested.

And if you cannot even remove the corrupt from your own cabinet, or from these Bosasa benches, then how can we believe anything you say about cleaning up government?

Failure to act makes you just another driver of the same broken bus – as is the case in Zimbabwe.

When you speak of renewal, you don’t mean the renewal of South Africa. You mean the renewal of your party.

When you speak of unity, you’re talking about the ANC. And the unity of the ANC comes at the expense of South Africa.

“Watch this space”, you tell us. But the time for watching has come and gone. What we need now is action.

Honourable President,

You speak of nine wasted years, to absolve yourself of the integral role you played as second-in-command.

But let’s be honest, while these years might have been wasted for South Africa, they most certainly were not wasted for the ANC.

These were the golden years for the black, green and gold.

Everyone made money.

Everyone got a security upgrade.

Everyone got a new car.

Everyone got deals for their family members – tenders, shares and positions on boards.

Even you and your own son benefitted from Bosasa.

Throughout all of this you were right there, Honourable President.

You didn’t arrive on the scene a year ago. Eight times you had the opportunity to save our country from Jacob Zuma, and eight times you voted to protect Jacob Zuma.

Your record will always reflect: 100% percent behind Zuma – a man you described as “a very strong president.”

You were there, Mr President.

You were there as our national debt skyrocketed to almost R3 trillion.

You were there as we dipped in and out of economic recession while our peers – both here in Africa and throughout the developing world – raced on ahead without us.

You were there as our unemployment rate just grew and grew and grew.

Today almost 10 million South Africans cannot find work. Four out of every ten households do not have a single job in the home.

This morning’s headlines say that you were “shocked” by stage 4 load-shedding. How can you be shocked, Mr President? You were there all along.

Watch this space, you tell us. Well, let me tell you about the spaces you should have been watching instead.

On Thursday – on the day of SONA – millions of South Africans were experiencing a very different nation to the one in your speech.

On the day of SONA, 57 people would have been murdered in our country.

On the day of SONA, 110 people – mainly vulnerable women – would have gone to a police station to say they had been raped. And those were just the reported cases. We all know the real number is much, much higher.

On the day of SONA, 53 children under the age of five would have died. Three-quarters of these children wouldn’t have had their first birthday yet. Most of them would have died from preventable causes, and malnutrition would have played a major part in these deaths.

This is 2019. We should not be speaking of this.

On the day of SONA, over 30 million South Africans who live below the poverty line would have struggled to afford the very basics to get by. Many of them would have gone to bed hungry that night.

On the day of SONA, 9.8 million people did not get up and get ready to go to work because they have no work to go to.

That’s the other part of our nation. These are the outsiders. These are the forgotten ones.

This is the real State of Our Nation.

Honourable President, It doesn’t have to be this way.

We, in the DA, have a dream of building one South Africa for all. And we have a plan to achieve that dream. Where we govern, we have already started building this South Africa.

While you talk, we do.

There is a good reason why the Western Cape has an expanded unemployment rate that’s a full 11 percentage points below the next best province, Gauteng.

There’s a good reason why half the jobs created in South Africa in the past year came from the Western Cape.

It’s because we understand what it takes to attract investment and create jobs. And this has become our obsessive focus where we govern.

We’ve identified agriculture and tourism as key drivers of job creation in the province, and we’ve focused our efforts on getting the most out of these sectors.

Over the past five years, almost 27,000 jobs were added in tourism alone. And over the past three years, three quarters of a million more tourists visited Cape Town.

The point I’m making here is that investment, growth and jobs don’t just happen. You have to make it happen. You can’t just talk. You must do.

Honourable President, while you talk of cleaning up government and fighting corruption, we do.

In the past year alone, Mayor Mashaba’s administration in Johannesburg has had 2,445 cases of fraud, corruption, theft and maladministration investigated. This has led to 362 arrests, 15 suspensions and 27 dismissals.

And it’s important to note the DA has not just targeted officials. We’ve gone after the crooked politicians too.

The cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay have all opened up the tender process to the public. This means the days of handing tenders and contracts to connected friends and family behind closed doors are a thing of the past in the country’s biggest cities.

Honourable President, while you talk of tinkering with Eskom to keep the lights on, we do.

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.

These are the kinds of solutions we should be looking at to make our country more energy secure – to make our country Eskom-proof.

It requires more than just replacing SOE boards, Mr President.

We must become adaptable and flexible in our energy mix. Cities should be empowered to diversify their energy as much as possible by buying directly from IPPs. And that’s why we have taken your government to court on this.

We aren’t interested in preserving beleaguered SOEs like Eskom. We’re only interested in delivering electricity to citizens.

We need real SOE reform. Sell the ones that are not working like SAA, so our people can use these resources.

Honourable President, while you talk of ways to better manage public funds, we do.

Thanks to the hard work of coalition governments, the R2 billion deficit that Mayor Msimanga’s administration inherited in the City of Tshwane was turned into a surplus by the end of their first financial year in office.

In Johannesburg, Mayor Mashaba’s administration managed to allocate an additional R700 million towards capital expenditure in the recent Adjustment Budget.

This money will now be spent on electrification of informal settlements, upgrading of council flats and the replacement of sewer lines, to name just a few.

Honourable President, while you talk of land reform and land restitution, we do.

And we do so without tampering with the Constitution and sacrificing private property rights.

In the past four years the Western Cape government supported 357 land reform projects. These projects have a success rate of more than 60%.

Without changing the Constitution, a DA government will ensure that many more South Africans own land with full title.

We believe in secure land rights for all South Africans – not the Apartheid division between strong rights in urban areas and weak, mainly communal rights in rural areas.

We don’t want democracy for some, but autocracy for others.

We know that property ownership is what delivers freedom. Not living at the mercy of the State on land owned by them, or by traditional leaders, as some parties in this House propose.

Yesterday, Sipho Hadebe, Moses Sithole and Pablo Makhetha received title for the very first time in Johannesburg.

They join more than 6,000 other recipients of title deeds under the Mashaba administration, along with the 100,000 families who have received title deeds in the Western Cape over the past decade.

This means these people can leverage their property to access capital. It means they can pass it on to their children and create inter-generational wealth.

How many more lives can we change across the country by simply giving South Africans ownership and title to the land they live on?

That’s what freedom looks like.

Honourable President, our country needs action. But then it has to be the right action.

Your party wants everything to revolve around the State. I want everything to revolve around the people.

You want to maintain the walls of rigid labour laws that protect those already on the inside of the economy, and keep the rest locked outside.

I want to break down these walls and create access to work opportunities for almost 10 million more South Africans.

If we want special economic zones to work, let’s do it properly. Let’s offer the incentives in cities so that we can be more aggressive when it comes to creating jobs.

Mr President, you look out for yourselves by spending millions on protecting politicians. I want more money for SAPS so they can better protect ordinary citizens.

You want to shield those within the ANC’s senior leadership from the law. I want every man and woman to stand equal before the law.

You side with leaders like Emmerson Mnangagwa and Nicolas Maduro. I stand with the people of Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

Mr President,

It’s been 29 years, almost to the day, since Nelson Mandela walked out of Victor Verster prison and told us of the South Africa he wanted to build on a foundation of human rights.

But here’s your ANC, protecting tyrants like Omar al-Bashir.

That is why South Africa needs change, Honourable President. Not because we hate the ANC, but because we love our country.

And the ANC is simply incapable of doing what needs to be done.

As a famous Greek philosopher once said: “Character is destiny,” meaning you don’t build your reputation on what you’re going to do, but on what you’ve done.

I believe this to be true. I believe when I look at what you have done, it tells me what you are going to do.

And when I look at the past five years – both yours and the ANC’s – I have no reason to believe that you will change now.

We have seen the character of your party, and it will not lead us to the destiny we want.

This is why our May election will be a referendum on the ANC. Do we want another five years of unemployment, load-shedding and hopelessness, or do we want to take a different road?

It will be our chance, as South Africans, black, white, Indian and coloured, to stand together and usher in the change our country so desperately needs.

That change can only come from the DA.

I am the man in the arena, Mr President, and I have an agenda for reform that will unlock South Africa’s full potential.

The DA has a plan that will restore the dignity of all South Africans.

Our plan is to put a job in every home.

Our plan will champion entrepreneurs and micro enterprises as the heroes in the fight against unemployment.

Our plan will place our cities at the forefront of economic growth.

Our plan will prioritise the education of our children – not by giving them tablets, but by training their teachers.

Our plan will ensure that we have a small, efficient government, where no one implicated in wrongdoing will serve in any legislature, parliament or cabinet.

We’ll also do a skills audit of all civil servants. Anyone who got a job as a cadre must go.

I’m talking about real change.

I know this is possible for us. And I also know that only the DA can bring this change.

You see, Mr President, those young people I met in Diepkloof – I made them a promise. I said that if they played their part on election day, I would make sure they would not have to put up with a bo Agrizzi much longer.

That’s a promise I intend to keep.

Honourable President, the most important moment in your speech on Thursday was the announcement of the election date of 8 May.

That’s what really matters to the people of South Africa – the power of the vote to fire a government that has stolen from them, and to hire one that will bring change.

Change you can believe in.

Change that has already begun.

Change that builds one South Africa for all.

President Ramaphosa, 8 May. “Watch this space”

DA welcomes withdrawal of unconstitutional Electronic Communications Amendment Bill

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the announcement by Communications Minister Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams that withdraws the controversial Electronic Communications Amendment Bill that for three years pitted the Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector against the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS).

The Minister made the announcement in today’s meeting of the parliamentary portfolio on Telecommunications and Postal Services, thanks to DA pressure.

We welcome her emphasis on the proposed minimal role that government will play as it realises that the private sector is best able to drive telecommunications advances to the benefit of the entire nation. She said government will focus on regulatory and policy matters.

The Bill, that was crammed onto the parliamentary programme at the end of last year, was priority legislation that the government wanted passed before the 5th Parliament rises in May. The portfolio committee declined to rush it through Parliament and was due to recommend at its meeting today that the Bill be withdrawn.

The DA, in committee, questioned the constitutionality of the Bill, its tagging in the parliamentary process, and was concerned about the vast chasm caused by DTPS’ attempts at “radically’ transforming the sector through emasculation of the Chapter Nine independence of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), the centralisation of regulation and power over the sector in the Minister and department, the legal establishment of an ostensible private sector consortium Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN) that would be handed prize high-demand spectrum, and the infringement on local governments’ operations in granting infrastructure build permissions.

The withdrawal of the Bill is a defeat for former department officials who played a key role in crafting the ICT Policy White paper, starting in 2013, and its subsequent conversion into the Bill and who lobbied the portfolio committee during the public hearings for its acceptance.

The DA looks forward to a more dynamic, investor friendly regulatory environment that promotes innovation and competition in both wholesale and retail ICT sectors to support the economic and social development needs of South Africa.

Eskom Crisis: Ramaphosa “shock and worry” won’t switch South Africa’s lights on

President Ramaphosa’s ‘shock… worry… [and] disturbance’ over degenerating power cuts in South Africa is a sober reminder that the President is not in charge of his government. It is time Ramaphosa stands up to his allies, takes action, and offers the country a workable solution to what is now a national power crisis. There is no time for delay.

The time for the DA’s request for an urgent debate of national importance on the Eskom crisis is now. We implore the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to accede to our request for this debate. If Parliament is serious about holding the Executive to account, the presiding officers will afford the President the oppourtunity to provide answers to this crisis, before his reply to the SONA debate on Thursday. It is time that Parliament re-asserts its oversight role, instead of shielding the ANC from accountability.

The DA has a plan for Eskom and to diversify our energy supply. We know that our ‘cheaper energy bill’ can achieve this change that builds One South Africa for All because the DA gets stuff done. A debate of this kind will allow the DA to table its proposals on how we would fix the Eskom crisis. The time for party politics is now over, as South Africa finds itself in a state of crisis.

Our continued victories in the Courts of the Western Cape for the rights of the City to buy energy directly from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) is testament to this DA difference. Our agenda for immediate change will continue to be unpacked during the replies to the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament later today.

The ANC is the problem and must be voted out of power for the lights to stay on in South Africa.

DA calls for urgent joint Parliamentary meeting on impending jobs blood bath in sugar industry

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to the Chairperson of the Trade and Industry Committee, Joanne Fubbs, to request an urgent joint meeting with the committees of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Land Reform and Rural Development to discuss the imminent threat facing the sugar industry.

The industry is facing a ‘perfect storm’ Due to the ANC’s failure to provide sugar cane farmers with assistance following a 3-year drought in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), the blind eye turned to 500 000 tons of dumped sugar as well as tariffs that have not protected the industry, it is now at risk of losing thousands of jobs and collapsing all together.

The simple fact is, if sugar cane farming implodes, it would have devastating consequences for the 350 000 people who work in this sector and which contributes R14 billion to the economy.

An urgent meeting is therefore required to find solutions to the following critical issues:

  • The 3-year drought in KZN which has cost the industry R2 billion;
  • The alleged “dumping” of 500,000 tonnes sugar in South Africa; and
  • International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) refusal to adjust the reference price of sugar to protect the industry to the required level of $856 dollars per ton.

South Africa already has an unemployment rate of 9.4 million people and we cannot afford to lose even more desperately needed jobs.

The DA will continue to fight for South African jobs, agriculture and industry in a competitive and challenging global environment.

DA has a plan to bring real change to Sol Plaatje

Note to Editors. Find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans from DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate, Andrew Louw

Residents of Kimberley

We have literally reached a crossroads in this municipality, the biggest municipality in the Northern Cape.

For the very first time since the start of our democracy, there is a very real possibility that support for the ANC can be pushed to under 50% in Sol Plaatje and that we, as the DA, can become the anchor tenant of a coalition that may wrestle control of this municipality from the ruling party.

 

This, ladies and gentlemen, shows just how far the DA has come in this province, and just how much the failing ANC has regressed.

Before I go any further, let me state that once upon a time, like many of you, I also voted for the ANC. They played a significant role in then fight against apartheid but they have in many regards, squandered the hard-earned gain or our democracy, it is therefore time for change.

The ANC has  not been as successful in achieving the dream of building One South Africa for All. This is an important task that we as the DA have taken up.

This is because the failing ANC has left decades of corruption unchecked, at the expense of service delivery. This is because millions of rands have been diverted away from service delivery, into private bank accounts of connected individuals. Sol Plaatje is no exception. The damning, yet untouchable, Section 106 report into maladministration within this municipality, is a prime example.

While the failing ANC has also come up with some pretty good plans, and some very bad plans, after 25 years they have not been able to implement the change that they pledged. More than 20 years ago, then Mayor David Monyamane budgeted R5 million towards replacing a water pipe in Beaconsfield. This, like so many other things never happened. And so, commitments turned to empty promises, one after the other.

Another very simple example, has been the undertaking by every ANC Mayor of Sol Plaatje, including former Mayor Mangaliso Matika and current Mayor Patrick Mabilo, to clean up this city. But just look at this place!

Kimberley is probably the dirtiest and untidiest city in this country. This is in spite of the fact that almost 500 EPWP workers collectively invest approximately 2500 working hours per day, for five days a week, in cleaning up this city.  This clearly shows, that regardless of the resources at its disposal, the failing ANC is incapable of managing the very real problems that the people of Kimberley face.

President Cyril Ramaphosa may have heralded a so-called “new dawn” but the sun is fast setting on the ANC’s attempt at renewal. Ramaphosa is just a new driver of a broken bus and Mabilo is just a new driver of a broken mini-bus. And even with them behind the wheel, the failing ANC will not drive off into the sunset in a happy fairy tale ending for all our people.

More and more people are opening their eyes to this reality.

More and more people are starting to see that the ANC is at war but that this time, they are not fighting for your rights, instead they are fighting with each other for positions of power and they are fighting for their own survival, at whatever the cost. And let me tell you that the cost is high and it includes the ANC gambling with your pensions, it includes them putting a stake on your home and land, and it includes them dividing this nation on the basis of race.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why the DA really is the only hope for our shattered country, South Africa, for the dead beat province of the Northern Cape and for the malfunctioning city of Kimberley.

The DA is not perfect, no political party is, and we concede that we too have made our share of mistakes. But the DA won’t take away your pensions or your homes. The DA stands for all the people, and we stand against all forms of racism – be it white on black or black on white.

Very importantly, the DA is also the only party that has been able to prove that, unlike the ANC, we get things done and, where we govern, we govern well.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what has actually brought us together today.

The DA is serious about taking control of Sol Plaatje municipality.

On a local government level, the failing ANC has left the poor out in the sewage. It has left taxpaying citizens in the dark. And It has left business high and dry.

However, this need not be the fate of this city.

To show that the DA means business, I am now going to outline our plan for the First 100 Days in government, in Sol Plaatje municipality. This is what we will do to polish the rough diamond that is Sol Plaatje so that we can eventually reveal the true potential of this 5 carat city.

First and foremost, we will sign a service delivery contract with the residents of Sol Plaatje, committing to our blueprint below, so that you, the citizens, can hold us accountable.

Next, we will tackle the biggest service delivery failures affecting Sol Plaatje municipality, including water, sanitation and electricity challenges. In order to do this, we will need to take a multi-level approach that will entail a number of concurrent initiatives:

  • We will launch a skills audit, as we know that at present, there are underqualified staff managing the city’s highly complicated infrastructure network. In fact, the city does not even have a single fully qualified engineer, and we would immediately embark on a recruitment process to attain this non-negotiable, critical skill to eradicate the current lack of foresight and vision that impairs the sustainability of this institution.
  • We will commission an immediate independent audit of the municipal water supply versus water needs, as well as identify opportunities for limiting water wastage during municipal activities.
  • In order to better manage the current water situation, we will prioritise valve replacement to be able to implement partial lowered water pressure, in the place of total water cuts, that not only inflate bills as a result of air in the pipes but also aggravate the bursting of pipes.
  • We will also tackle the lack of long term vision within Sol Plaatje and commence with the development of a 30-year plan, to ensure the sustainability of bulk service provision in the future.
  • Simultaneously, we will commence with a costing plan to:  triple the volume of the main water line from Riverton to Kimberley; establish additional reservoirs to increase the volume of potable water; as well as replace identified pumps at the current reservoirs.
  • We will ring-fence a consistent budget for the replacement of water and sewerage pipes, to bring an end to the current ad hoc crisis mode, in which the municipality functions.
  • We will expand the sewerage service, to ensure that blockages are speedily dealt with and do not culminate in open cesspits that engulf houses and entire communities, to the detriment of people’s health and quality of life.
  • We will prioritise the upgrade of key substations that are in serious disrepair, so that these stations don’t trip entire areas each time there is a lightning storm.
  • We will also embark on engagements with the community to ensure that the still confusing electricity tariff structure is properly understood and negotiated, in order to ensure the most efficient and cost effective approach, for all sectors of society, regardless of whether they use prepaid or conventional electricity.
  • We also deal decisively with the budgetary shortfall caused by the mismanagement of the electricity tariff over the years, by cutting on non-essential services to make up the deficit. In this regard, we will also do our best to not cut on services, such as street lighting, that make residents more vulnerable to crime.
  • At the same time, we will prioritise revenue collection by tackling outstanding debt that affects the municipality’s ability to function as a going concern. In this regard, we will put more pressure on government departments who owe the municipality millions of rands. We will also look at cutting the electricity of politicians, as well as councillors and employees of Sol Plaatje, who are in arrears on their accounts before looking at the accounts of residents, and seeing how best we can accommodate the lower income holders, without overburdening the higher income holders.

Other than urgently tackling bulk service provision, the DA also has plans to rapidly improve general services:

  • In order to ensure more transparency in terms of complaints lodged by residents, we will implement a responsive call centre, as well as an online reporting service, where progress on faults will be able to be tracked from start to finish. So, if you reported a broken street light or a pothole, you will at any given time be able to monitor the work done in resolving your complaint.
  • We will commence with the development of a maintenance plan for refuse removal trucks. This will prevent backlogs in rubbish collection, as occurred in December last year, when only one truck was operational while the other six were in the dock, awaiting repairs.
  • We will also commence with the repair of all potholes and the panting of all street names in the city. In this regard, we will look towards partnering with civil society and businesses, like the DFA, which has embarked on its own very successful “We Build this City” campaign.  Once we have caught up on the backlog of potholes, we will further implement a 48-hour pothole repair service, in order to ensure that our roads never deteriorate to the current “donga” status again.

On the matter of housing, we will ensure that housing lists are maintained in a fair manner, and that the actual owners are living in RDP houses. We will also launch an investigation into concerns that the names of approximately 25 000 housing beneficiaries, were never handed over by Sol Plaatje to COGHSTA, to feature on the official housing needs register.

In order to tackle corruption, the DA will:

  • Review the contracts of all service providers, to stop open-ended tenders and ensure value for money;
  • Do a salary audit of all employees of this municipality;
  • Put an end to the constant deviations on existing tenders;
  • Conduct an audit of all municipal assets;
  • Visit all audit reports of the Auditor-General and address the highlighted challenges.

The DA will also launch an internal anti-corruption unit, pursue cases up until criminal prosecution and ensure that internal disciplinary steps are also taken against implicated employees.

We will further establish an anti-fraud hotline that will allow people to anonymously report corruption, at the same time implementing a whistle-blower protection campaign.

On the jobs front:

  • We will strive to attract investment by making it easier and cheaper to do business in Kimberley. This not only relates directly to our commitment towards improved bulk service provision but will also see us offering various levels of immunity on rates and taxes for new start-up businesses and businesses relocating to Kimberley, for periods of up to three years.
  • We will immediately open direct channels of communication for business and will ensure that there is a dedicated official, available 24/7, to deal with challenges in the business sector.
  • We will implement a local economic development empowerment plan to assist local businesses to comply with respective requirements, so that where possible, we can do more business with local service providers as opposed to service providers from other provinces.
  • We will offer incentives for business and organisations to adopt the areas in their surroundings, in order to further clean and beautify this city, and in turn attract further investment.
  • We will set up designated informal trading sites for hawkers and ensure that they have permits to conduct their trade, so as not to harm legal businesses that are paying rates and taxes.
  • Unlike the ANC, we will also proceed with the long overdue development of an Economic Development Plan, to bring investment into the city. While this was meant to have been finalised five years ago, suspended Municipal Manager Goolam Akharwaray, halted the process because he didn’t like the company which was awarded the contract. He then handpicked a contractor from Johannesburg, to do a rehash of the municipality’s Integrated Development Plan at a cost of R2 million, instead.
  • With regards to the EPWP programme, we will adopt an open and inclusive recruitment and lottery selection system, giving every qualifying individual equal opportunity at securing employment through the EPWP programme. This will entail a fair and random selection process, hereby eliminating patronage and nepotism.
  • We will also devise an effectively structured plan for EPWP work that adds real and sustained value to Kimberley. This said, given the number of EPWP opportunities on offer by Sol Plaatje, we will further strive to win the next “cleanest city of the year” competition.

In respect of crime and illegalities, the DA will:

  • Prioritise public lighting in areas that are poorly lit and prone to crime, and upgrade playgrounds, parks and open spaces;
  • Develop a relationship with, accrediting and capacitating neighbourhood watch groups as partners in fighting crime;
  • We will also start the process of negotiations for the establishment of a Municipal Court. Without this, our currently overburdened Magistrates Courts will not be able to enforce by-laws so that there can be consequence management for transgressions such as illegal dumping and drinking on the streets.
  • We will also prioritise the training of currently employed municipal law enforcement officers, who are currently non-operational, so that they can police the local by-laws.
  • At the same time, we will employ more municipal law enforcement officers to make sure public safety is improved, also placing community safety kiosks in key areas.
  • We will further establish local drug action committees, bringing together government, NGOs, religious groups and communities to reduce the supply and demand for drugs and addressing other safety issues.

Ladies and gentlemen, these are initiatives that the DA will prioritise.

There is nonetheless lots more that will still need to be done but the DA will work around the clock to make up for time and opportunities lost under the failing ANC government.

We will implement best practise, from lessons learned in municipalities that we govern.

We will get things done and we will turn Sol Plaatje municipality around.

We just need your support at the ballot box on Wednesday.

So go out and tell all your friends and family that the blue machine is here and it is ready. Lend us your vote, so that we can obtain the license we need tow Sol Plaatje out from the marsh where the broken yellow bus deserted it.

Not Cyril Ramaphosa, not Zamani Saul and not Patrick Mabilo can change the trajectory of the doomed ANC.

But don’t despair.

Under a DA-led government, a new city, that will realise the dream of One South Africa for All, lies in wait.

Thank you.