R20 million ghost police station in Giyani Municipality shows disregard for rural safety

The Democratic Alliance (DA) challenges Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to outline his plan to officially open the Muyexe Police Station which has been standing empty since its completion in 2015.

The DA can today reveal that more than half a decade later, the R20.5 million ghost police station in Muyexe Village, Giyani, remains non-operational.

The tender for the construction of Muxeye Police Station was awarded to Mohlatlego Trading Enterprises in August 2014.

This “police station” was built as part of a package of service delivery interventions to improve the quality of life in Muyexe as part of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme launched by former President Jacob Zuma.

During our oversight visit today at the R20.5 million building, we found a neglected site with no realistic indication that it will be opened anytime soon. (See photos here and here)

The ceiling throughout the building is crumbling. There is no water and electricity.

The holding cells are now infested with spider webs, rather than criminals.

There is no doubt that several millions will be spent again before the building is habitable enough for policing use whenever that will be.

All the while crime continues to ravage the community of Muyexe and thereby putting excessive pressure on the already under resourced Giyani Police Station.

According to recent crime stats, Giyani is in the top 30 police stations for reported cases of sexual offences and rape.

The fact that this “police station” remains non-operational more than 5 years following its completion shows that the ANC government does not care about rural safety.

It defies logic that at a time when crime continues to break communities, police stations become white elephants.

DA governments will invest in localised law enforcement and tackle the local conditions which give rise to crime in the first place. It is testament to where we govern, we get things done.

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

Urgent intervention at Beitbridge needed

Please find attached soundbite by Angel Khanyile MP.

The DA calls on the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, to engage with his Zimbabwean counterpart as a matter of urgency following reports that growing numbers of trucks have been stuck at the Beitbridge border post for more than 5 days before being processed into both countries.

The renovations at South Africa’s border with Zimbabwe have caused queues of more than 50 km and truck drivers are stranded without access to water or ablution and sanitation facilities. This poses a risk to their health with both countries still in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The DA also calls on the chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on home affairs, Mosa Steve Chabane, to schedule an urgent oversight to the Beitbridge border post.

Not only was the supply chain severely compromised when trucks were forced to endure days long queues at Beitbridge in the past, but one driver died in 2020 in similar circumstances. This cannot happen again. The South African and Zimbabwean economies are both dependent on truck drivers and they cannot be put in harm’s way because of a failure to plan contingencies during the renovations at the border.

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

ANC has collapsed 107 municipalities, only the DA can stop the carnage

Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Cilliers Brink MP

The finding by the Out of Order index that an additional 43 municipalities now face collapse once again highlights how the ANC’s mismanagement has completely collapsed local government.

In August this year, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) released a report in which 64 municipalities across the country had been identified as “dysfunctional”. The 43 municipalities identified by the News24 index now brings the tally of dysfunctional municipalities to a shocking total of 107.

The ANC’s years of financial mismanagement, political instability and cadre deployment has rendered local governments completely ineffective.

Across the country water and sanitation infrastructure is collapsing, garbage collection has grinded to a halt, rolling blackouts are getting worse and economic activity is almost non-existent.

In contrast, DA governments are getting things done. Out of a total of 257 municipalities, only 16 are considered to be stable. The vast majority of those stable municipalities are DA-governed.

This demonstrates that the DA is the only party big enough and with the experience to stop the ANC’s carnage in local government. Where the DA governs there is clear and tangible proof of our excellence in government.

South Africans have two choices these elections: keeping the failing ANC in power or voting for a DA government that will get the basics of local governance right.

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

Get on the DA’s battle bus to get more done in Cape Town!

Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Geordin Hill-Lewis.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) today launched the #GHLforMayor battle bus in Delft. With two weeks to go in this election, the final push has begun.

Over the coming weeks, the DA’s mayoral candidate for Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis, will use this bus to criss-cross Cape Town as we take the DA’s election message to each and every community. We will visit every corner of the city again, this time bringing with us the sound and excitement of our campaign bus.

Cape Town is already the best city in South Africa. Cape Town works because it is DA governed.

But all of the progress we’ve made in Cape Town will be ruined if the ANC is allowed to win Cape Town again, with the help of dozens of small parties that have popped up in Cape Town to help smuggle the ANC back into power.

As our battle bus will help demonstrate to residents across Cape Town, the DA’s blue wave is gathering momentum and only the DA is big enough to keep the ANC out. Now is the time to unite more strongly than ever before behind the DA, so that we can make our communities safer, end load shedding, and protect Cape Town from the collapse of the national government.

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

DA joins hands with students in court case against SU-management’s assault on Afrikaans

Please find attached a soundbite in English and Afrikaans by Dr Leon Schreiber MP.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will this week launch a court case against the management of Stellenbosch University (SU), led by rector Wim de Villiers. The DA is armed with evidence against De Villiers that we carefully collected over the past few months, as well as with the positive precedent set by the Constitutional Court’s recent judgement in the UNISA case.

Our application will request the Cape High Court to declare SU’s effort to use the Covid pandemic as an excuse to finally do away entirely with the provision of learning material to Afrikaans students as illegal, invalid and unconstitutional.

The DA’s case encompasses four aspects:

1. The DA, in cooperation with students at SU, have recently gathered new evidence showing that SU was so eager to abuse the Covid pandemic to do away with Afrikaans that the university violated its own language policy. The policy makes it clear that deviations from the requirement that all teaching materials should be made available in both Afrikaans and English is only permissible if individual faculties request and motivate for such a deviation. Even though SU initially pretended that the deviation was made upon request of individual faculties, the DA has determined that not a single faculty ever requested such a deviation. The executive committee of the SU Senate – chaired by De Villiers – thus violated SU’s own language policy to do away with Afrikaans, and then lied about it to try and cover their tracks.

2. But the deception does not end there. On 23 March, SU released a statement saying that “It is important to note that this decision only applies to the first semester of 2021, specifically due to the additional workload caused by the shift to more online tuition because of Covid-19.” But SU’s response to a subsequent request submitted in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) revealed that the deviation continues unabated during the current semester. While SU tried to deceive the Afrikaans community with the suggestion that the deviation would only apply to one semester, it has now been in for four semester – with no end in sight.

3. SU’s eagerness to use Covid and the shift to distance-learning as an excuse to do away with Afrikaans also violates the Constitutional Court’s recent ruling in the UNISA case. In that ruling, the court made it clear that there is a greater requirement on public universities to offer multilingual teaching under conditions of distance learning, because no student is excluded. Instead of using the shift to distance learning due to Covid as an excuse to do away with Afrikaans, the UNISA ruling implies that SU was actually compelled to do the exact opposite by expanding the Afrikaans offering.

4. Various students will also submit statements to the court indicating that in some SU faculties, Afrikaans is no longer used at all during lectures that are supposed to use both Afrikaans and English. This is the logical consequences of the message sent to SU lecturers through De Villiers’ effort to abuse the Covid pandemic to finally do away with Afrikaans completely at SU.

As the leading political champion of language rights of all South Africans, the DA will not allow De Villiers and his fellow travellers to get away with this. It is high time that De Villiers is held accountable for the manner in which he has consistently stomped on the right of the big and diverse Afrikaans-speaking community.

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

Cape Town’s first floating solar pilot project paving the way for a more sustainable city

The City of Cape Town has become the first municipality to install a floating solar photovoltaic (PV) system with partners Floating Solar (Pty) Ltd, the Water Research Commission and the University of Cape Town. The floating solar PV pilot, which has been established at the City’s Kraaifontein Wastewater Treatment Works, includes a floating solar PV array as well as a ground-mounted PV system to determine evaporation savings and relative energy generation performance of floating solar PV technology. This is an innovative research study where data is being collected over a 12-month period to potentially inform the design of larger utility scale floating solar PV projects over the next few years through competitive bid processes.

Floating system consists of: 

• A floating solar PV system: Nine 360 kilowatt peak (kWp) PV panels mounted on a floating solar island, with panels installed at a 12 degree tilt.

• Two identical tanks (20m in diameter) including a water supply system: one reservoir is covered by a floating solar PV system and the other reservoir is uncovered as a control.

• The one reservoir is covered using the HYDRELIO® AIR technology with a four-per-row configuration.

• Water levels in each reservoir is being monitored with a float switch. When the water level drops below a predetermined point, a pump will be turned on and water fed back into the reservoir. The volume of water will be measured by a flow meter and recorded.

• A three-phase inverter.

Ground-mounted system consists of: 

• Two land-based solar PV systems: comprising nine 360 kilowatt peak (kWp) solar PV panels at the same tilt as the floating solar PV system (12 degrees) and nine 360 kilowatt peak (kWp) solar PV panels installed at the optimal South African tilt of between 28 and 33 degrees

• All instrumentation and equipment required for the experiment (ambient temperature and humidity sensor, pluviometry, solar irradiance sensor, data logger, wind speed and direction sensor)

• Instruments installed on the solar PV panels (energy generation monitoring system and temperature sensor)  

Future-fit city 

‘The City has a target to achieve 300 MW of renewable energy generation by 2030, with 50 MW of this comprising of City-owned solar PV plants. The City has been fighting to move away from the sole reliance on Eskom and to diversify the energy mix for cleaner and more affordable and secure power for all. In addition, given that vacant land in the city is very expensive and rooftop solar PV systems are relatively small, Cape Town aims to explore floating solar PV systems for larger scale solar PV installations as part of its pioneering work to diversify the energy mix, to lead by example and to take climate action leadership. Importantly, great things can only be done with great partners. We thank Floating Solar, the Water Research Commission and the University of Cape Town for helping to enable this project and driving it forward with the city. 

‘This exciting pilot project not only looks at the amount of energy that can be generated by floating panels, but also investigates how much can be generated compared with the ground-mounted panels. The other important pillar of the research is to see what impact the floats have on water evaporation. Generating clean power and reducing evaporation rates of water bodies could be a great double-win for sustainability. This type of project is a tangible example of how we can build a more sustainable future city and how the green economy can be harnessed for the sustainable, and inclusive, economic recovery we require especially after Covid-19,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change, Councillor Phindile Maxiti.

Water-sensitive Cape Town

The Water and Sanitation Department continues to explore a range of innovative concepts that could in future enhance water security and sustainability of its operations. City officials are willing to think outside the box, and this is so important for ongoing adaptability and resilience. The more we research and understand, the stronger and better prepared we become,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Waste, Alderman Xanthea Limberg. 

Floating Solar 

‘Globally, floating solar has rapidly become the third pillar of the Solar PV industry. In following this trend, we have identified significant potential within South Africa for this promising technology which has the dual benefit of producing power while reducing evaporation and preserving land for other commercial use. 

‘From the outset, we have identified over 60 high potential projects – with a combined capacity of over 450 MW – that will be well suited to benefit from Floating Solar development. One of the key target markets is the approximately 1 000 water treatment works across South Africa, which are well suited to floating solar due to significant on site power demand requiring a sustainable energy source, limited available land and water evaporation savings, as well as providing the opportunity to export additional power to the grid. 

‘We are extremely pleased that the City of Cape Town is enabling this potential with this pilot project to investigate this potential,’ said Peter Varndell, spokesperson, Floating Solar. 

About Floating Solar (Pty) Ltd

Floating Solar (Pty) Ltd was established in 2017 as a Floating Solar PV equipment provider and project developer. They are the distributors for the Ciel and Terre HYDRELIO® floating solar system in Southern Africa.

Help us restore dignity and freedom in Steve Tshwete Local Municipality

The following speech was delivered today by DA Federal Leader John Steenhuisen in Doornkop, Mpumalanga.

Pictures are attached here, here, here and here.

Fellow Democrats, fellow South Africans

If you’ve come out here today to listen to the DA’s offer ahead of the upcoming elections, it means you are most likely an engaged citizen. You’re an active participant in the democratic process of your country.

It means you are the type of person who cares about your neighbourhood and your community. The kind of person who is concerned about what the future might hold for your family.

And it shows that you’re not only aware of the problems here, you also want to be part of the solution.

By coming out here to listen to what the DA can do for this Steve Tshwete Local Municipality – and specifically for your community here in Doornkop – you have already taken the first step towards fixing what is wrong here.

I hope I will give you some of the answers you are looking for today, because I can assure you there is a DA government just waiting for the opportunity to step into office here and tackle each and every issue that makes your life hard.

There is a DA government-in-waiting here that wants to do for Steve Tshwete Local Municipality what other DA governments have already done for many other municipalities across the country

All we need is the go-ahead from you.

I know how poorly you have been treated by your current local government. I have seen for myself the neglect of this area.

I have spoken to my DA colleagues here about the massive service delivery issues that have plagued the communities of Doornkop and Mampimpane for years now.

I know all about your ongoing battles to secure reliable running water. About the insufficient taps far from homes.

I know about the water tanks that are meant to be filled by contractors appointed by the ANC government, but are often left empty for days, even weeks, at a time.

I know about the poor water quality, and of the long distances some of you have to walk to collect water in containers.

These things are not right. Your local government has had 27 years in which to sort this out, and yet here you are – no closer to having your water issues sorted out than you were two decades ago.

Of all the basic services a local government is meant to deliver, clean drinking water is surely the most important. It is so important that it is written into our Constitution as a human right. They have to supply it to you or they will have failed in their Constitutional duty.

It is entirely unacceptable that so many communities across our country continue to be plagued by poor access, and in many cases no access, to water when this is not the fault of a drought.

If a local government cannot guarantee this basic human right – if it cannot install the taps, fix the pipe leaks, maintain the infrastructure and replace the stolen cables – then it has no business being in government. Then it must make way for one that can do these things.

Because, let me tell you, it is not impossible. Every DA local government manages to do these things. In fact, even when the rains stayed away for years and Cape Town was faced with its worst drought in recent history, the DA government managed to keep the taps running.

And just yesterday I was in Modimolle, a town in Limpopo that used to have an ANC government until 2016, when a DA-led minority government took over. And the very first thing they did when they took office in 2016 was to start fixing the town’s water issues and dealing with the water infrastructure backlog.

That’s because DA governments understand that dignity and quality of life are impossible without access to water and other basic services.

And here I’m not talking about putting in a few standing taps along the road.

I’m not talking about a few water tanks filled every now and then by well-paid ANC cronies.

I’m not talking about water points that require residents to push wheelbarrows for kilometers to fill their containers.

I’m talking about clean, running water right near your home. That’s your right, and that is what a DA government will deliver.

And we will do the same for electricity provision. And refuse removal. And flush toilets. And street lights. And road resurfacing. All the things that will make your life here liveable.

But we will not stop there. Because, while the delivery of basic services is the main function of a local government, there is so much else that we can do for this community by just doing the basics right.

I know what a huge problem unemployment is around here. Since I arrived here I have spoken to many people about their concerns, and almost all of them have told me that the lack of jobs is the single biggest worry in their lives.

Mothers and fathers don’t know how to provide for their families and cannot get by on their small monthly social grants. Young people, who have never had a job, do not see a future for themselves here.

It’s a desperate situation, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you want to create job opportunities, you have to make it possible and easy for businesses to start up and keep their doors open.

No business wants to operate where they’re not sure whether there will be water or electricity the next day.

No business can function where the roads are in a poor state, or where the traffic lights and streetlights don’t work.

No business wants to take risks where the crime is high.

And importantly, no business wants to operate where the government cannot be trusted. Corruption is the biggest investment killer of them all.

And that is why Steve Tshwete Local Municipality is in such a terrible state, and has such a high unemployment rate. Through years of neglect, its corrupt and uncaring ANC local government has chased away new investments, and made it very hard for existing businesses to survive here.

Investors and business owners don’t care for the ANC’s struggle history or any of its supposed “good stories”. They make rational decisions, and that is why they stay away from places like this.

The only way to start attracting new businesses here is by firing that local government and replacing it with one that understands what it takes to breathe life back into the local economy.

It is no coincidence that the only outright DA-run metro in the country – The City of Cape Town – has by far the lowest unemployment rate in the country.

It is no coincidence that the only outright DA-run municipality in Gauteng – Midvaal – has by far the lowest unemployment rate in Gauteng.

The simple and undeniable fact is this: More people find work in DA-run cities and towns because the cities and towns themselves work. While businesses are fleeing ANC-run towns, DA-run towns have opened their doors to business and are attracting new investments all the time.

This is because the DA is obsessed with lifting as many people as possible out of poverty and into jobs. We know that the only sustainable way to live a life of dignity is through earning an income.

Now this doesn’t mean that there is no place for social grants. There will always be a need for a social safety net for poor citizens, and the DA will fight to protect this safety net and ensure that everyone who needs it can access it.

But we also know that you will never truly get ahead in life when you depend on a small grant. Our mission is to free as many people as we can from that dependency, and give them the freedom and independence that comes with employment.

Once you do that – once you get young people working – you not only change those individual lives forever, you also fix so many of the bigger problems in the community: drugs, alcohol abuse, crime, teenage pregnancies – all these things start improving as more people step into jobs.

And that is what we want for your community here in Doornkop.

Now I know many other parties will also promise you jobs if you just vote for them. But you need to be smart when it comes to these promises. You need to decide whether those are real, achievable goals, or just election fantasies.

Both the ANC and the EFF seem to think that government can just snap its fingers and create millions of jobs. Their manifestos and their posters make those wild promises without any explanation of how they intend to do so.

The reality is that government cannot create jobs. Not sustainable, long-term jobs. And certainly not the scale that we need.

So when parties come to you with promises of government jobs for everyone, know that they are just making things up. They cannot ever deliver on those promises.

But if you look at the DA’s manifesto, every single pledge in there is anchored in the real world, and backed up by a track record of things we’ve already done.

We don’t promise the sun and moon, and then forget about those promises until the next election. We only promise what we know we can deliver. And when you look at the places we already govern, you know we keep our promises.

That’s all that matters when you go to the voting station on the 1st of November to choose your local government: Does this party do what it says it will do? Does it get things done?

There is only one party in South Africa that can answer yes to those questions, and that is the Democratic Alliance.

So help us bring progress to this municipality, and here to Doornkop.

Help us bring clean water, reliable electricity, dignified sanitation and the kind of good clean governance that attracts business and creates jobs.

By opening your mind and listening to this message today, you are already halfway there. Now, let’s finish the job on 1 November.

Go out and vote for a DA government that gets things done.

Viva, DA! Viva!

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

Ministers’ hostage situation a failure of intelligence

Please find attached soundbite by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP.

While the DA is relieved that the hostage situation in Pretoria where the two Ministers and a Deputy were held by disgruntled Struggle War Veterans, ended safely, we have to ask – yet again – why this country pays billions of rands to our Intelligence Services.

Minister Thandi Modise, her deputy Thabang Makwetla and the Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, were held by Liberation Struggle War Veterans and former Umkhonto we Sizwe members, and while the debacle ended with minimal injuries, we also ask where their enormously expensive VIP Protectors were?

When President Cyril Ramaphosa shuffled his Cabinet and brought the Intelligence Services into the Presidency, the country was told it was to “ensure that the country’s domestic and foreign intelligence services more effectively enable the President to exercise his responsibility to safeguard the security and integrity of the nation”. Sadly our intelligence divisions have failed miserably once again hard on the heels of failing to foresee the KZN/Gauteng riots in July.

That three Ministers were put in a position where they were in extreme danger, tells us our Intelligence Services learned nothing from their failures during the riots which, bear in mind, led to the deaths of 300 people and massive economic hardship.

The DA would also like to know in detail what role the Ministers’ VIP protection detail played during the hostage situation. Why are South Africans expected to fork out millions on specialist protection units when they cannot guarantee the personal safety of those under their care?

It is clear that the Intelligence Services need far more than a small shift to be tucked under the President’s arm. Cadre deployment has rotted away all credibility and expertise and no amount of oversight from the President can save the blundering mess the South African intelligence services have become.

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

Give the DA five years on its own in Modimolle-Mookgophong to see the real DA difference

The following speech was delivered by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen, at the Ephraim Mogale Stadium in Phagameng, Modimolle, Limpopo. 

Pictures are attached here, here, and here.

My fellow Democrats,

Thank you for welcoming me to your beautiful corner of the country. This part of Limpopo is looking lovely, but it would look even better under an outright DA government for the next five years.

And that’s why these next two weeks are of such critical importance. We are now just two weeks away from what could be an historic moment for our country, and for the people of the Modimolle-Mookgophong municipality.

As municipalities across South Africa collapse, one by one, under the weight of their failed ANC local governments, South Africans have a once-in-five-years chance to secure the future of their towns or cities by electing a local government that does the exact opposite of these failed ANC governments.

This is the chance to elect a local government that truly understands that there can never be dignity without clean water, reliable electricity and sanitation.

A local government that understands what it takes to create jobs – that it’s not government itself that creates these jobs, but rather businesses that are able to thrive where government works.

A local government that goes beyond its job description and even fights to improve or supplement the services that are meant to be delivered by national government, such as visible policing, rural safety and electricity provision.

In short, a local government that gets things done. And if this is what you want for your municipality, there is only one party that ticks all the boxes and that is the Democratic Alliance.

Now, not all municipalities are ANC governed. Over the years the DA has grown from just an opposition party to a party of government in municipalities, metros and even a province.

In some of these places we govern alone, meaning the voters there gave us an outright majority to bring the DA difference to their town or city. In these places it is far easier for us to implement our vision and to make sure government remains accountable to the people.

In other places, the DA governs through coalitions or, as is the case here in Modimolle-Mookgophong, in minority governments, where no party has an outright majority and every decision and vote is subject to multiple players trying to pull that decision in different directions.

Don’t get me wrong – coalitions and minority governments can work. They must work, because this is going to be the future for many councils across the country. But where possible, an outright majority for a competent and ethical government is a far more effective way to ensure good service delivery and progress.

Since 2016, when a DA-led minority government under Mayor Marlene van Staden took over here in this municipality, a huge amount of progress has been made. This includes major improvements in access to water, as well as general basic service delivery.

In fact, I found it very amusing to hear that the Provincial Premier was upset at the lack of service delivery protests in this municipality since the DA-led government took over. Apparently he was not happy that there were regular protests back when the ANC ran this municipality, but these days they hardly happen.

The Premier should know that this is what’s known as the DA difference. It’s what we pride ourselves on, and it’s what we would like to build on after the 1st of November.

Another aspect of the DA difference is our zero tolerance for any form of corruption.

Wherever we come in to government, the very first thing we do is we cancel all the corrupt and irregular contracts that were signed under the ANC so that the municipality can start with a clean sheet under the DA. That’s the only way to ensure that residents get value for money from their government.

And that’s exactly what the DA did here in Modimolle-Mookgophong too.

Immediately after taking over in 2016, they lobbied National Treasury to pay for a forensic investigation of the municipality, and then implemented every single recommendation in that report, which included dismissing senior officials for gross financial misconduct.

They also immediately established a disciplinary committee to deal with all allegations against officials, and this has already led to steps taken against an official who made fraudulent claims for overtime and travel allowances.

They also got the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent to investigate all Municipal Infrastructure Grant projects – including the stalled Leseding Sports Facility – and this lead to the dismissal and blacklisting of the appointed contractor. This project has now been re-advertised and is once again underway.

Compare this to the scandalous R15m sports stadium built by the ANC in the Enoch Mgijima municipality in the Eastern Cape, which is little more than a rickety pavilion and a dusty athletics track.

And finally, the DA-led government also approved several new policies – including the anti-fraud and corruption policy and the whistleblower policy – which will help ensure clean and efficient governance for the people of this municipality.

Because we believe that every last cent of public money should be spent in service of the people, and this means putting in place every possible measure to hold government to account.

Democrats, what the DA-led minority government managed to achieve here since 2016 is just a taste of what we can do when we, alone, are in the driving seat. When there are no other parties yanking the steering wheel this way and that, or pulling up the handbrake on our vision to deliver better and more services.

That is the ultimate goal here – five years of uninterrupted, uncompromised DA governance. Because that’s when you really get to see and experience the DA difference.

Ask anyone who lives in South Africa’s best run municipalities, and they will confirm this. All the top municipalities in the country are DA-run, and all of them have had outright DA governments for multiple terms.

That is when you start to see the kind of progress that today separates places like Drakenstein, Stellenbosch, Mossel Bay, Swellendam and Midvaal from all the ANC-run towns and cities.

There was a time when voters in those towns also had to take a chance and switch their vote to the DA. I am sure this was not an easy decision for many people who had grown up believing they had to vote a certain way because their parents voted that way.

But they, too, grew tired of broken ANC promises and failed delivery, and chose to switch their vote to a party that came with a proven track record.

And in many of these places, that also meant a coalition or minority government at first. But what set these towns on the path to progress was their decision to then change that coalition or minority government into an outright DA government by the next election.

By giving the DA a full mandate to govern, on its own, they finally freed their towns from the corruption, the mismanagement and the sheer incompetence that had been holding them back all those years.

Now, I’m not saying everything is perfect in every DA-run municipality or metro. Running a government in these hard economic times and with our country’s many social challenges is not an easy job. But the DA knows where its challenges lie and it constantly strives to overcome them.

That is one of the biggest differences you’ll see under a DA government – we are never satisfied with the progress we’ve made. We always look to improve.

I assure you that this will be the case here in Modimolle-Mookgophong too. If you give the DA a chance to show what it is capable of, and to show that it never stops trying to be a better government, you will never go back.

All it takes is for people to open their minds to the possibilities of life under a DA government, and to stop listening to the lies that other parties tell about us.

And there are many such lies. I know there are people going around saying that you will lose your house or you will lose your grant if the DA gets into office.

None of that is true. In fact you are more likely to take ownership of a house, with full title deed, where the DA governs. And no one has ever lost a grant after the DA took over. It didn’t happen after 2016. It didn’t happen after 2019.

The DA believes our country needs a strong and secure safety net of social grants for everyone who needs one. But we also believe the best way to ensure dignity and progress is through a real, liveable income. And that is why our big mission is to lift people out of poverty and into jobs.

And we do that by doing the basics right. By ensuring reliable services, by keeping communities safe, by looking after public money and by staying on top of all maintenance and repairs to infrastructure.

When you do these things right, your town starts to attract new businesses, and this brings new jobs. It is a cycle of progress that starts with clean, efficient governance.

And that is what we want for the people of Modimolle-Mookgophong municipality for the next five years.

Give the DA a chance to prove what we are capable of on our own. If we then disappoint you, you can fire us again at the next election. But if we prove ourselves to you in those five years, you then have the opportunity to make it ten straight years.

That is how your town can end up as one of the best-run municipalities in the country. It all starts with your vote in two weeks’ time.

So go out and vote for a government that will put this municipality on the map – a government that gets things done.

On 1 November, vote for a DA government.

Viva, DA! Viva!

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.

Three years later, and still no SASSA SRD payment to the fire victims of the Vygieskraal Informal Settlement in Cape Town

The Vygieskraal informal settlement fire occurred on the 21st of October 2019 – almost three years ago – and residents are yet to receive their approved SASSA Social Relief of Distress (SRD) payment.

Despite having approved SASSA SRD forms dated 6 November 2019, more than half of the residents are yet to receive payment.

I was contacted by the residents and immediately followed up with SASSA on the 9th of June 2021.  Since then, it has been a constant back and forth with SASSA.  Excuses, delays and broken commitments at every front.

SASSA’s excuses range from; resident contact details having changed, lack of cell phone numbers to send the SASSA SMS, details needed to be manually captured onto the SOCPEN system, SRD value in 2019 differs to that of 2021, to staff shortages as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On the 24th of August 2021, with the assistance of the residents, I submitted an updated list of contact details to SASSA.

Since these interventions, 57 residents received payment via the South African Postal Services, while 62 residents are still awaiting payment via bank accounts.  

On the 30th of September 2021 SASSA committed to pay the remaining 62 residents by the end of the second week of October 2021.

“SASSA can now confirm that all the 62 beneficiaries’ outstanding banking details have been received. These have been uploaded in to the system for payment from the second week of October, immediately after the scheduled grants payment cycle.”

Today, the 15th of October 2021, I have been informed by residents there is still no monies in their bank accounts.

Alarmingly, it is not only the Vygieskraal residents who have been denied SRD payments and forgotten by SASSA.

 This is secondary victimization by the very institution with its mandate to ensure the provision of social security against vulnerability and poverty.  I will submit written questions to Minister Lindiwe Zulu, Minister for Social Development, in this regard as soon as Parliament resumes on 3 November 2021.

The DA will continue to be the voice for the vulnerable South Africans suffering at the hands of SASSA, yet another failed national government competency.

No more delays. No more excuses. SASSA must honour their 2019 commitment and immediately pay the remaining 62 fire victims.

Help us to bring change to more towns and municipalities by making a donation towards our 2021 Local Government Election campaign, click here.