You are wrong, President Ramaphosa. The future of our country lies in coalitions

.Fellow South Africans

For two years this city had a government that was making progress. From 2016 until last year, NMB was experiencing, for the first time ever, a government that would not tolerate corruption or waste. A government that put the needs of the people first.

This followed more than two decades of plunder under an ANC local government so corrupt it made the looters of the state elsewhere look like amateurs. By 2016, this city had been brought to its knees, with almost every government project and tender offering an opportunity for someone to make money.

Quite rightly, the people of NMB said “no more” and voted the ANC out. In its place came a coalition government led by the DA that immediately started to right two decades of wrongs.

This DA-led government turned a R2bn debt in the metro into a R650m surplus. It introduced a brand new Metro Police Force. It stopped over R600m in corrupt contracts. It resurfaced over 55,000 square meters of road. It eradicated almost 10,000 bucket toilets. In two years NMB went from second-least to second most trusted metro in SA.

But while this was great news for the people of NMB, it was bad news for those who had become accustomed to a little extra money in the pocket. And so the DA-led coalition fell to a new coalition of sorts: a coalition of corruption that turned its back on the people of this city and returned to the old ways of looting and patronage.

Almost immediately, the progress made under the DA slowed down and, in many cases, came to a complete halt. The tarring of this road we’re standing on was one of many such projects undertaken by the administration of Mayor Athol Trollip. But the moment the ANC, EFF and UDM’s coalition of corruption took over, these projects ground to a halt. They took away the budget the DA had set aside for the tarring of the roads here in Ward 55, leaving them in this state.

During its last year in office here, the DA-led coalition spent all of its Urban Settlement Development Grant and was rewarded with an extra R200 million from National Treasury – money which this coalition of corruption almost certainly won’t spend. By February this year they had only spent 30% of their capital budget. If they don’t spend this additional money by the end of the financial year, it will be returned to National Treasury and the people of NMB will once again lose out.

That is the state of NMB today, under this ANC/EFF/UDM coalition. It is back where it was before 2016. The looters are back in office, and the people of this city are forgotten once more.

President Ramaphosa was here in Motherwell just two days ago, complaining about coalition governments. He said they don’t work, and you should rather all vote for the ANC. He said this place is covered in rubbish, and he blamed the municipality for making the place dirty.

But he was blaming his very own government for this. The ANC is, by far, the majority partner in this new coalition of corruption. When he speaks of the poor state of areas like this – of the litter and the crime and the lack of jobs – he is pointing out all the failures of his own ANC.

The President has no problem blaming coalition governments when campaigning for the ANC, but he seems to forget that the ANC government is precisely that – a coalition. Their Tripartite Alliance with Cosatu and the SACP has little in common with one another, other than the pursuit of power.

And they seek to do so by coalescing around race – by creating an “us” and “them”, and urging voters to stick to this racial solidarity. This kind of mobilisation is a crude throwback to the days of Apartheid has no place in our modern democracy.

The fact is, coalitions work when they are formed in the interest of the people, and they fail when they are formed in the interest of power and patronage and mobilised around race.

So no, Mr Ramaphosa, you are wrong about coalitions. They do work and they are, in fact, the future of our politics here in South Africa. But then we are talking about real coalitions formed to govern in the interest of the people. We’re talking about the kind of coalitions the DA has already formed successfully here in NMB and elsewhere in South Africa.

The DA-led coalitions here in NMB as well as in the Gauteng Metros, succeeded in delivering far beyond what the previous ANC governments could deliver because the needs of the people were central to their existence. But the ANC coalition of corruption here in NMB, just like their Tripartite Alliance coalition, is doomed to fail because it is chasing the wrong goal, and it is serving itself.

We must reject this call by President Ramaphosa next month when we go to the polls. We must remind him that what he’s asking for – a one-party state – is precisely what delivered us the mess our country is in.

His one-party state gave us state capture. His one-party state gave us the brazen looting of our SOE’s which has now crippled Eskom. His one-party state gave us a stalled economy and record unemployment.

Next month we must vote for change. We must vote for a government that can and will build One South Africa for all. And if this turns out to be a coalition government, then let it be one built on a foundation of the values of the Democratic Alliance.

Indifference to Sudan will cost SA its stature on the global stage

In the aftermath of the removal of Omar Al-Bashir from power in Sudan and his subsequent arrest, the voice of the South African government is conspicuously missing. This is a grave error, and a missed opportunity to reaffirm our democratic values and our commitment to the respect of human rights in Africa.

Following the arrest of Al-Bashir, Sudan’s military council announced its intention to lead the country for two years at the end of which period elections would be held for the Sudanese to choose a democratic government for themselves.

The protestors in Sudan who instigated a sustained campaign which brought about Al-Bashir’s removal have refused to accept the proposed military dictatorship. Instead, they are calling for a civilian-led government.

The response of neighbouring countries, multilateral institutions and influential governments is crucial now. Unless the people of Sudan find strong international support to force the military to engage with their demands for civilian rule and to respect the rule of law, the protestors are at risk of violence repression, and of losing the tenuous freedom from dictatorship that they have so recently won.

The African Union, with a passing reference to solidarity with the people of Sudan, has chosen to emphasize its opposition to the ‘military take-over’. They focus instead on “the 2000 Lomé Declaration on the unconstitutional change of Government and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance, which strongly condemn any unconstitutional change of Government and commit member states to the respect of the rule of law, democratic principles and human rights.”

South Africa can now provide leadership at this critical time based on our own history of violent subjugation, our liberation struggle and our peaceful transition to democracy.

We know that the Sudanese state under Al-Bashir undermined democratic principles, the rule of law and human rights.

We know that under the bloody and repressive regime of Al-Bashir, the people of Sudan had no hope of a constitutional change of government.

We know that we contributed to prolonging the suffering of the Sudanese people by our failure to fulfill our obligation under the Rome Statute to arrest Al-Bashir when he was present in South Africa after a warrant of arrest had been issued against him on charges of crimes against humanity.

South Africa can now show solidarity to the people of Sudan. We can leverage our influence on the continent to advocate for a civilian-led transitional government. We have a unique experience in making this work, and successfully overseeing a peaceful transition to a fully democratic state.

The Democratic Alliance therefore calls on Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to reaffirm our commitment to a human-rights foreign policy approach and support the people of Sudan. South Africa owes them nothing less.

Overwhelming public reaction to DA’s latest election TV ad

Extraordinary public reaction after last night’s first screening of the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) latest election advert is extremely encouraging and shows that the people of South Africa are ready to vote the ANC out of government after 25 years of empty promises and failures.

The advert encourages South Africans to keep the dream of 1994 alive, by voting for Change in Election 2019. It depicts the Luthuli House-sponsored cash-in-transit heist scheme, the Marikana massacre which had President Cyril Ramaphosa at the center of it, ANC deifying of the Gupta family and allowing them to loot public money, the Vrede Dairy corruption racket, the ANC/EFF corruption at VBS Bank, burnt match-sticks for street lights and failing Eskom, sky-high fuel and electricity prices, worsening poverty across our communities, and an ANC party feasting on a Bosasa cake while South Africans can only look on.

The DA will never delight in the failure of the ANC. Millions of people have been let down by this government and it is with them that we empathize. That is why we are depicting this picture of the state of our country to encourage people to vote for change on 8 May. We cannot afford another 5 years of ANC government which will be later labelled as ‘wasted’ years.

To receive over 50 000 views across Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in just 12 hours makes this the DA’s fastest viewed content ever.

Since last night we have been inundated with South Africans reaching out to access the ad, or to know when to watch it. The forthcoming slots of the ad on television will air as follows.

On, 8 May, Election Day, South Africans have a choice to make between more of the same corruption and criminality from the failing ANC, or change that can unite South Africa, under a DA government.

A DA government would impose a minimum 15 year sentence in prison for corruption, and political corruption cases would be pursued without fear or favour.

DA stands behind Mayor Mashaba’s commitment to bring change to Alex

The images of deliberate disruption emanating from this evening’s Alexandra community meeting with City of Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba, were premeditated by the ANC.

Mayor Mashaba went to Alexandra to address the concerns of the community but was prevented from doing so when the meeting was hijacked by several rogue elements in the hall – no doubt sponsored by the failing ANC.

What was meant to be a genuine interaction about concrete plans and budgets between the Mayor and the community, was hijacked and the meeting soon disintegrated into chaos and disorder.

The ANC has denied the people of Alex a real opportunity to hear Mayor Mashaba’s plans to speed up service delivery and development.

The ANC has truly deserted what was left of its democratic values and replaced it with violent, anarchic and chaotic tendencies.

Due to the ANC’s interference, it was obvious that the intention was never for Mashaba to engage with the residents. They do not care about the grievances of the people of Alexandra, they only care about the narrow electoral prospects.

Despite the ANC attempts to disrupt the meeting, Mayor Mashaba and the DA-led coalition will continue to put the residents of Alex first. The plans to bring about real change to the people of Alex and Johannesburg will not be derailed by the ANC in a desperate attempt to hang on to their dwindling support.

Mayor Mashaba confirms ANC behind violent protests

The emergence of pictures of an ANC-branded vehicle loaded with tyres in the Johannesburg inner city once again proves that the failing ANC sits behind the violent protests which has rocked the city and other DA-led municipalities across the country.

On Tuesday, a Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) search operation discovered an “ANC branded vehicle which was loaded with old tires […] ANC paraphernalia, branded material as well as delegate accreditation cards of 2 ANC members for the ANC Gauteng List Conference in December 2018”.

So brazen is the ANC that it openly parades the materials of which the intended destination is no doubt another ANC-orchestrated violent protest.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes City of Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba’s decision to seek a meeting with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Public Protector in regard to the ongoing political protests in his city.

For more than 25 years, the ANC has failed to deliver in its promises to the people of Alexandra and other poor communities. Instead of addressing the grievances of the people, they incite violence and anarchy on the eve an election.

The dirty tricks employed the ANC is not just carried out by a few rogue elements, it’s clearly a campaigning directive issued and orchestrated by its Top Six and Campaigns Head, Fikile Mbalula. The ANC does not care about the plight of the people on the ground. They only care about holding onto their declining electoral prospects and looting the public coffers.

The governing party, emboldened by its president, Cyril Ramaphosa, shamelessly hijacked the genuine concerns of residents across the country to orchestrate violent and anarchic protests in DA-led municipalities.

The DA will not quiver in the wake of the ANC’s destruction, in the absence of any leadership from the ANC and their president, the DA Leader Mmusi Maimane has requested an urgent meeting with both the National Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, and the IEC Chairperson, Mr Glen Mashinini.

Further to this, Maimane has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to request an urgent establishment of an Ad Hoc Joint Committee on consisting of the Portfolio Committees on Police, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and Home Affairs to get to the bottom of these violent protests.

Our sole objective remains to uplift and empower the people of Alexandra and other poor communities. Unlike the ANC, the DA is committed to building One South Africa for All, not destroying the country through violence and devastation.

Welbedacht has nothing to show for 25 years of ANC government

My fellow South Africans,

You should always demand accountability from your government, but even more so when they come round here asking you to re-elect them. That is when you must hold up what they promised you against what they delivered.

If a party has been in government for 25 years, and they ask you to entrust them with another five years in office, then you have every right to demand to see 25 years worth of progress.

That is the deal you entered with them. In return for your vote, they must keep the promises they made to you. If they told you about housing opportunities or service delivery improvements or access to jobs, then this is what you should judge them on. This is what you should base your decision on when it comes to voting.

I can assure you that here in Welbedacht, Chatsworth, you have not received a fair deal from your government.

These conditions here in Welbedacht, and particularly this transit camp, are not what you were promised. How long ago were you told that this was a temporary measure, and that proper housing would follow? It’s been ten years that you have been stranded here with no help from your government. And now they want your vote again?

The 400 families living here have been abandoned by this ANC government. And the only time you ever hear from them is right before an election. Is that good enough?

This will not happen under a DA government. Without even being in government here, we have already done more for this community than the ANC could manage with all the resources of government at its disposal.

From clearing up the surrounding bush and ensuring a closer taxi drop-off point, to fighting for the delivery of toilets and electricity, the DA in opposition has been more effective here than the ANC in government. So when they come begging for your vote once more, remind them of the promises they made to you – promises which they had no intention of ever keeping.

But as much as this election should be a referendum on the past 25 years of ANC government, it should also be about the next 25 years. What should Chatsworth look like? What should KZN look like? What should South Africa look like? And what kind of government can best realise this vision?

Let me start by saying what this government should not look like.

It can’t be a government that divides us into separate corners based on what we look like or the languages we speak. Here in KZN you have suffered for too long under racial and tribal politics. We need to reform our politics to speak of values, to speak of policies and to speak of big ideas, rather than of race. We need to build one united South Africa.

It can’t be a government that kills economic growth and chases away investment through destructive, outdated policies. We need a government that can reform our economy – a government that knows how to attract the kind of investment that creates work. A government that is able to put a job in every home.

It can’t be a government that uses its position to enrich itself. It can’t be a government that rewards its friends and families with jobs and tenders. It can’t be a government that does lucrative business with itself. We need a government whose only business is its service to the people.

It can’t be a government that sees municipalities as mere centres for tender adjudication, and who treat municipal budgets as their own ATMs. It can’t be a government like the ANC local government here in Ethekwini which is more interested in giving Jacob Zuma recording deals than delivering basic services to communities like yours.

When you go to your voting stations next month to make your mark, you need to think about the past 25 years, and what you got from your government during all this time. But you also need to think about the next 25 years, and the change you would like to see here in Welbedacht, in Chatsworth, in KZN and in South Africa.

If you’re unhappy with your government, you have every right to protest against them. But there is only one proven way to protest effectively, and that is with your vote. If they have lied to you or sold you empty promises year after year, then punish them with your vote. That’s the only protest that delivers results.

Use your vote to hire a government with a proven track record of delivery wherever it governs. Use your vote to hire a government that does not tolerate any form of corruption. Use your vote to hire a government that fights for the rights of all South Africans.

Fellow South Africans, there is only one party that can be this government, and that is the DA. There is only one party with both the policies and the track record to improve the lives of all South Africans.

If we should ever let you down, then use your vote to fire us too. But first give us a chance to show you what a South Africa could look like under a DA government. One united, prosperous South Africa for all.

Police and IEC must immediately intervene to put an end to ANC-orchestrated anarchy

The following statement was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press conference on Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. Maimane was joined by Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba, Tshwane Mayor, Stevens Mokgalapa, Midvaal Mayor, Bongani Baloyi, Modimolle-Mookgophong Mayor, Marlene Van Staden, City of Cape Town MMC for Safety and Security, JP Smith, DA Gauteng Premier Candidate, Solly Msimanga, and DA Gauteng Leader, John Moodey.

With just 24 days to go until the defining 2019 National and Provincial Elections, we gather here today at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg to urgently address a matter of national importance that threatens the very founding values of our democracy.

I am joined by DA mayors, senior party leaders, and representatives from DA governments, to seek immediate intervention in what can only be described as a malicious and calculated attempt by the ANC to render DA-run cities ungovernable in the lead up to the election, and to shift attention away from its failure as national government over the past 25 years.

The reality is that millions of South Africans live in communities that have seen little or no change since the dawn of democracy. Our painful history still lives with us and after 25 years of ANC rule, many South Africans live without basic services. This is because the ANC government is one of self-enrichment rather than building infrastructure in poor communities.

It appears that the likelihood of the party losing power in key parts of the country on 8 May has now firmly panicked the ANC, as it has now resorted to desperate and dangerous so-called “shutdown” protests in DA-run governments spanning over the past two weeks. While these violent protests were intended to appear as organic and community-driven, it has become embarrassingly evident that the protests have been initiated and sustained by the ANC.

Beginning in Alexandra, Johannesburg on 3 April, the “shutdowns” have spread to other DA-run governments. These include:

  • Ga-Rankuwa, Mabopane, Pretoria West, Soshanguve, Winterveld, and Hammanskraal in the City of Tshwane;
  • Orange Grove and Pennyville, Soweto in the City of Johannesburg;
  • Khayelitsha, Lwandle and Happy Valley, Blackheath in the City of Cape Town; and
  • Caledon in the Theewaterskloof Municipality in the Western Cape.

There remain threats of further “shutdown” protests, with the Johannesburg Inner City allegedly planned for tomorrow, Monday 15 April, as well as rumours of an impending Soweto Shutdown later this week.

This cheap, dangerous politicking is not being carried out by a few rogue elements in the ANC. It is the party’s election campaign strategy, endorsed and approved by President Cyril Ramaphosa himself. This is evidenced by his decision to go to Alex – the epicentre of these violent protests – to campaign in ANC colours, to publicly approve the shutdown and attempt to blame Mayor Herman Mashaba for the service delivery failures of the ANC over the past 25 years.

At the very core of a democracy such as ours is the possibility of a peaceful transition of power from one party to another through the ballot box. It appears the ANC is not willing to allow this to happen, stooping to new lows in an attempt to maintain their grip on power.

This is not only limited to violent “shutdowns” but has also extended to other underhand means in order to undermine the will of the electorate in the DA-led Modimolle-Mookgophong Municipality in Limpopo.

In November 2018 the Limpopo Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) signalled their intention to dissolve the Modimolle-Mookgophong council in terms of section 139(1)(c) of the Constitution which would trigger a municipal-wide election. This section allows the PEC to dissolve a council in “exceptional circumstances”.

The decision by the PEC was taken only a month after the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) approved the PEC’s section 139(1)(b) intervention at the municipality. The PEC had also approved the municipality’s financial recovery plan in early November 2018.

The PEC cited slow progress in the municipality, a failure to hold the required amount of council and executive committee meetings and a failure to execute its financial obligations as some of the reasons for its decision. When in fact, the DA-led government has been working hard to stop corruption, improve the finances and accelerate service delivery after years of neglect by the ANC.

Following the receipt of the PEC’s letters, Council gave Mayor Van Staden permission to appoint legal counsel to fight the dissolution. The Mayor then sent a letter to MEC Jerry Ndou outlining her responses to each of the “exceptional circumstances” listed by the Provincial Government. The letter argues that invoking section 139(1)(c) would be irrational and unlawful.

We are of the view that this amounts to blatant and unwarranted political interference by the ANC to undermine the current administration and to wrangle back power in order to continue looting the people’s resources. We reject this and will fight it on all fronts.

As a party that governs for 16 million South Africans across over 30 governments, we would be in dereliction of our constitutional duties if we failed to act now on behalf of current and future generations of South Africans. We will not sit back and watch the ANC erode the very values that were sacrificially fought for.

As Leader of the DA, I have therefore decided to take the following immediate action.

Firstly, I will again approach the National Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, requesting an urgent face-to-face meeting in the next 48 hours to establish what plans are in place to put an end to this violence and to restore law and order in our communities. Earlier this week I requested a meeting with General Sitole, who committed to meet on 29 April 2019. This is not good enough. We need urgent intervention and 29 April may be too late. The SAPS must immediately institute a plan to halt the ANCs objective of inciting violence and turning our communities into warzones and will address this head-on when I meet with General Sitole.

Secondly, on the back of the DA’s formal complaint lodged with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) over the “shutdown” protests, I will formally request to meet with the IEC Chairperson, Mr Glen Mashinini, to:

  • Seek an update on this complaint and, if required, request the investigation to be fast-tracked to ensure we get to the bottom of this threat well before election day on 8 May; and
  • Seek reassurance that the elections will go ahead on 8 May.

Finally, we believe Parliament has a vital role to play in getting to the bottom of this orchestrated anarchy. As such, we will write the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, requesting the urgent establishment of an Ad Hoc Joint Committee on consisting of the Portfolio Committees on Police, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and Home Affairs to use its legislative power to consider this matter in its entirety. Parliament must use its powers to summon all involved.

While the ANC – and President Ramaphosa – continue to place their own narrow political interests ahead of the country’s collective interest, South Africans are rejecting the party in their numbers in search of real change. The ANC knows this and President Ramaphosa knows this. They are panicking and frightened and are making a grave error in thinking South Africans will not punish them for spearheading these violent protests.

South Africans face a clear choice at the ballot box on 8 May – a choice between more violence and chaos from the ANC, or the DA’s agenda to bring change that restores order and builds One South Africa For All.

Mooted inauguration arrangements a waste of public money

The DA is statement issued yesterday by the Presidency announcing that the inauguration of the President elect of South Africa will take place at Loftus Versfeld stadium under the theme “Together celebrating 25 years of freedom: Renewal and Growth for a better South Africa”. This is a complete violation of the separation between party and state. By using an ANC aligned theme, the Presidency is unlawfully and prematurely declaring an ANC ‘victory’ before the elections have been held.

The ANC’s willful violation of the electoral code of conduct portrays the panic that has set in within the organisation, as a result of evidence that clearly shows that South Africans are opting for real change away from the failing ANC.

This also explains why the ANC has resorted to a ‘scorched earth’ election campaign strategy to ferment chaos in areas such as Alexander, Cape Town, Caledon and parts of Tshwane in order to hide its failures in government.

In addition to prematurely announcing inauguration arrangements, the desperate ANC government also sent a request to local municipalities asking them to provide transport to ‘delegates’ that will attend the Presidential inauguration (see letter attached). Should this request be actioned, it will be an abuse of state resources at a time when state finances are in a precarious state due to years of ANC corruption and mismanagement.

This request to Limpopo municipalities is not only inappropriate but shows that ANC will rather appropriate public funds for ‘feel good’ activities rather than improve the delivery of services to some of the most underserved communities in the Province. Some of these are literally bankrupt from continued looting from ANC loyalists and can no longer serve the people of those areas. To now redirect stretched funds for a rent-a-crowd activities is quite frankly criminal. This will yet another burden on so-called “zombie” municipalities, who are unable to provide even the most basic levels of service and will cost ratepayers throughout the country tens of millions of rand.

This money could have been better spent on improving crumbling healthcare infrastructure, under-resourced schools and our poor road network. That the ANC sees no urgency in investing public money in these critical service delivery areas, show how they have become disconnected to the daily struggles of ordinary South Africans.

The DA is encouraging all South Africans vote for change and resist the ANC’s full on assault on our democracy and abuse of state resources to preserve a political system that only benefits a connected few.

The ANC government that allowed Gaddafi’s millions to be smuggled in and out will not secure our borders

The following remarks were made today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a public meeting in Nkomazi, Mpumalanga. 

My fellow South Africans,

Our border posts, such as the one near here at Jeppes Reef, are meant to protect South Africans and their interests, whether it be from cross-border crime, drug trafficking, illegal immigration or the illicit flow of money. But they don’t. Instead they are weak and vulnerable to exploitation, and pose a risk to all South Africans.

Understaffed, under-equipped and poorly maintained, our borders and border posts have become easy pickings for those who want to enter our country illegally, or conduct illegal activities on both sides of the border. And it is mostly poor South Africans, and not the rich and powerful in government, who bear the brunt of this problem.

It is poor South Africans who are targeted by the cross-border drugs trade. It is poor South Africans who fall victim to human trafficking syndicates. It is poor South Africans who have to face increased competition for healthcare, education and housing resources. And it is poor South Africans whose lives are most affected when we lose precious tax revenue to illicit trade and smuggling.

When the DA makes the call for more secure borders and better documentation of all people entering our country, it is because we are acting in the interest of those who are most affected: poor South Africans.

Ironically, it is precisely our porous, weak borders that seem to benefit the ruling elite and their billionaire friends across the world. How else would Jacob Zuma have brought hundreds of millions of Rands of Gaddafi’s money into South Africa in the first place to hide it at his Nkandla homestead? And how else would he manage to shift this vast amount of money across the border into eSwatini?

And if the former President of the Republic can do so with impunity – and allegedly with the knowledge of government and the current President – then what does that mean for the Rule of Law here in South Africa? How are ordinary South Africans meant to respect the laws of the country if they see those at the very top disregarding these laws at will?

If our borders were secure, and if these border posts were properly equipped and properly staffed by personnel who were prepared to do their job without fear or favour, Gaddafi’s millions would never have entered our country illegally, let alone left our country again the same way.

No country in the world can afford to turn a blind eye to the comings and goings across its borders. Yet our government has allowed the situation here to deteriorate to the point where some stretches of our land borders are a complete free-for-all.

The fact is, the ANC government does not care what happens to ordinary South Africans when it neglects to do its duty. It only cares about itself. The ANC government has neither the plan nor the desire to fix our border fences, bolster our border posts and reform Home Affairs.

The DA, on the other hand, has a comprehensive plan to immediately plug our porous borders and reform Home Affairs to rid it of its debilitating corruption and incompetence. If the old ANC government won’t fix it, then the new DA government will.

Our plan includes auditing, properly recording and, where appropriate, regularising all undocumented foreign nationals already in the country.

We will make legal entry and residence easier for skilled immigrants and businesses from all countries, especially from within Africa. We will also help South Africans to travel and do business, and we will assist those wanting to live, work and trade in South Africa legally.

Our plan also includes assistance and support for asylum seekers, and the protection of refugees and those who have been trafficked across our borders.

We will review the number and size of border posts to increase the number of points of legal entry and exit, and we will ensure effective and coordinated border security through increased policing capacity at our border posts and along our borders.

We will also increase the 15 SANDF companies protecting South Africa’s borders to the required 22 companies, and ensure that they are properly resourced and trained.

Those are just some of the steps a DA government will take to ensure that South Africans are kept safe, and their interests protected. I urge you to read our manifesto to get the full plan for our borders, as well as our plan to clean up Home Affairs.

But if we are to make this plan a reality, we will need you to do your bit first. You need to add your vote to the millions of others who are tired of the empty promises and the endless corruption of the ANC government, and who want change.

Grab this opportunity on 8 May to shape the destiny of our country, and to help build the kind of South Africa you want to live in. It is only through the power of our collective votes that we can make our democracy work for us.

Let’s make 8 May the day we take the power back from those who have abused it for too long. Together we will build one united, prosperous South Africa for all.

Response to reports about Nkululeko Msimanga

It has come to my attention that a case of theft has been opened with the SAPS against my brother Nkululeko Msimanga, this by the City of Tshwane.

I have been informed that an investigation is ongoing and I welcome this probe.

It is critical that law enforcement gets to the bottom of this matter and if my brother is guilty of any wrongdoing he should bear the consequences of his actions without fear or favour.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has been at the forefront of fighting crime and corruption where we govern and holding the ANC to account where we are in opposition. This is something we are committed to even when it is not expedient or easy to do.

That is why I welcome this investigation and hope that the SAPS moves with speed to establish the facts and affect the necessary prosecution.