How will you vote, Lindiwe Sisulu?

We were both born in the mid-1950s. Our parents were firm friends and comrades.
My mother often fondly recalls visiting your parents’ home in Soweto during those times. She would recall Walter’s mother filling buckets of water from an outside tap. These visits were characterised by hours of entertaining conversations about everything and anything. These were such fond memories. She often spoke about the pioneering days with your mom, Albertina, in the Federation of Transvaal Women and later in the Federation of South African Women. She recalled sitting at the same table with both your parents at Madiba’s 75th birthday celebration incidentally, where Helen Suzman sat beside Nelson, at his table. A site that would later become iconic.
History recalls Walter and my dad, Yusuf, serving as joint secretaries of the Defiance Campaign in the 1950s and both being part of the 20 leaders charged under the Suppression of Communism Act. They both served time in jail. Those were the days struggle, release, reconciliation and freedom. I remember going to school in Swaziland to that wonderful institution, Waterford Kamhlaba, along with many children of icons in the struggle.

Not Guilty, Rivonia Trial by Struan Robertson, 29 March 1961. Anti-apartheid activists Amina Cachalia and Walter Sisulu celebrating judgement of the 1961 trial.

 
I remember you being there, a year or so ahead of me. I remember meeting Madiba along with your mom and dad, on the day of his release, at Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s home in Cape Town. In 1994 we were all at the Carlton Hotel celebrating the ANC’s victory. It was there that Madiba thanked South Africa and asked the people of this country to hold the ANC accountable one day if it ever lost its way.
How things have changed.
I have witnessed the complete collapse of institutions in democratic South Africa. I have seen the people who entrusted our generation with the responsibility to lead, experience a failing education and health system. I have seen an unprecedented rise in state capture and looting of public resources at the hands of people who vowed to protect and uphold our Constitution. This broke my heart because I knew what sacrifices our parents made for democracy to become a reality. I commented from the sidelines. I wrote articles in the press. I voiced my discomfort until I couldn’t any more. Until, about a year ago, I rolled up my sleeves and joined the DA.
I stood for election as mayor in Ekurhuleni where, together with other opposition parties, we brought the ANC below 50%. I lost the mayoral election by a small margin, in the very heartland of the ANC that reflects the massive discontent of voters with an ANC that has sullied its soul. A year later I transitioned to Parliament and I now sit across from you. I watched with mixed feelings as you launched your presidential campaign recently. This was because I wondered how you would position yourself as a leader that would bring about change considering you served under one of the most corrupt leaders in democratic South Africa.
I am still wondering how you intend to overcome this impossible feat. I would like you to detail how you would pull South Africa out of a crippling recession, return hope to the millions of South Africans who remain unemployed while billions of rands exchange hands among the corrupt few.
Given the road you, me and our respective families have travelled and our exposure to real and authentic leadership, how will you fare?
Lindiwe, as we draw closer to August 8, when Parliament will consider the DA’s motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, I sincerely hope you will do the right thing. If not for the people of South Africa, then for the sake of consistency of your campaign. How will you vote?
Will you honour the memory of your parents and the legacy they have left behind? Will you vote for the National Assembly to finally rid this county of a leader who has with the help of many others on the ANC benches plunged us into one crisis after another? Or will you do the right thing choose South Africa over the ANC?
I sincerely hope that the people of this country will matter to you more than your personal ambitions.

Public Protector must investigate Zuma family deals with government

New evidence has emerged today indicating that President Jacob Zuma initiated and fostered several relationships between cabinet ministers  and his family members and relatives, in order to secure government contracts and other financial benefits for himself and his family.
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, has in her possession a sworn affidavit by a former Chief Director in the Department of Public Service and Administration, Mr Brent Simons, claiming that Jacob Zuma lied about assisting family members in making contact with cabinet ministers and securing government contracts. Baleka Mbete must make public this affidavit, ensuring it appears in Parliament’s ATC.
I will therefore be writing to the Public Protector, Adv Busisiwe Makwabhane, requesting she launch an investigation into this matter. There now exists prima facie evidence of undue influence and unlawful enrichment, which must be probed. Section 4(a)(iv) of the Public Protector Act empowers her to investigate allegations of “improper or unlawful enrichment, or receipt of any improper advantage, or promise of such enrichment or advantage, by a person as a result of an act or omission in the public administration or in connection with the affairs of government at any level or of a person performing a public function”. This investigation should include a full audit of any dealings between government and members of the Zuma family – specifically Jacob Zuma’s children Duduzane, Khulubuse and Mqondisi.
Simons claims under oath that he was present when Zuma had sent relatives to meet with several cabinet ministers, with the intention to discuss and secure business deals with government. This included threats against government officials. Simons claims that these relationships afforded Zuma relatives a “direct, fraudulent and unfair business advantage for the benefit of the president, his family and friends at the expense of the public good.”
This new revelation adds to the long and growing list of serious transgressions by Jacob which necessitate his removal from office. In Jacob Zuma, we have a president who has no regard for the law. He is focused solely on enriching himself and those closest to him, while millions of South Africans are still trapped in poverty and unemployment.
This coming Tuesday, Parliament will have an opportunity to remove Jacob Zuma from office. We believe this is the first step to moving South Africa forward again. Secret ballot of no secret ballot, the DA will be voting to fire Jacob Zuma in Tuesday’s Motion of No Confidence.

Events around South Africa ahead of the Motion of #NoConfidence

We encourage all South Africans, from all political affiliations to come out in their millions on Tuesday, 8 August to defend our democracy against the corrupt and captured.
While the main march #NoConfidence will be held in Cape Town, the DA has organized events in all 9 provinces for those who are not able to travel to Cape Town.
Our Motion of No Confidence in Jacob Zuma is an opportunity for us all to stand up to corruption and get rid of President Zuma and his cabinet.
Under President Zuma the ANC has sold our country to the highest bidders, the Gupta family. The longer South Africa remains under ANC, the more devastating the damage our institutions and most importantly, our people.
Whilst the individual Members of Parliament must search within themselves to vote for the greater good of our country, the ordinary citizens of our nation will be pledging their support to get rid of the Zuma administration.
The looting of our state resources has gone on for too long.
Below are the various gathering which will be held across the country:
Western Cape
The march will commence at 10:30 at Keizersgracht Street and will end with a mass gathering outside Parliament in St John’s Street.
Eastern Cape
Main Event: Cecil Kapi Hall (Hoza Hall)
Address: Avenue A, New Brighton, Port Elizabeth
Time: 11 am
The DA Eastern Cape Provincial Leader Nqaba Bhanga will be the main speaker
 
Free State
Main Event: Central Park, Bloemfontein, City Central.
Address: Fichart Street, CBD, Bloemfontein
Time: 10 am
James Letuka MPL, DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature, will be the main speaker
 
Gauteng
Main Event: Eldorado Park Stadium.
Address: Cuming Road, Eldorado Park, Johannesburg.
Time: 11 am
Makashule Gana MPL, DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, will be the main speaker
 
KwaZulu-Natal
Main Event: Crusaders Sports Club.
Address: 10 Ranleigh Crescent.
Time: 11:30 am
DA KZN Provincial Leader Zwakele Mncwango will be the main speaker
 
Limpopo
Main Event: AIC Church Hall.
Address: Across Kgakoa High School in Ramogoana 2, Moletjie, Polokwane
Coordinates: -23.7167136.29.3957741
Time: 11 am
DA Limpopo Provincial Leader, Jacques Smalle MPL, will be the main speaker
 
Mpumalanga
Main Event: Soccer Field, Msholozi Location.
Address: White River Road.
Time: 10 am
DA Mpumalanga Leader, James Masango MPL, will be the main speaker.
 
Northern Cape
Main Event: Kimberley Sol Plaatjie Municipality,
Address: Kemo Hotel
Time: 9 am
The DA’s Ishmael Obray will be the main speaker.
The DA encourages all South Africans, from all political affiliations to come out in their millions to defend our democracy against the corrupt and captured.

In just one year, the DA has already made progress in Kouga

The following remarks were delivered today by DA Leader Mmusi Maimane at a public meeting in Pellsrus, Kouga, as part of the #Change19 tour.
My fellow South Africans,
Our country is standing on the brink of the biggest change it has seen since the 1994 elections. People have run out of patience with the ANC government. They realise they are not going to get what they were promised by them and so, across the country, people are mobilising for change.
In many places, this change has already started. A year ago, the DA won several new metros and municipalities from the ANC. We made promises to the people of these towns and cities that we would make a difference in their communities. And if we didn’t, we said they should vote us out of government again.
And so these new DA governments wasted no time. We knew the clock was ticking, and we knew what people expected from us. We immediately started cleaning out the rot and reversing the damage caused by years of neglect.
It’s not surprising at all that the people of Kouga turned their back on the ANC. This municipality came to a standstill over the past decade. Nothing happened – hardly any maintenance of older infrastructure took place and no new projects were launched.
Did you know that in the past eleven years, no new RDP houses were built in the entire Kouga? Not one. But Mayor van Lingen’s government has already turned that around. Right here in Pellsrus, they’re about to start casting foundations for 220 new houses. Not far away, in Kruisfontein, they have also launched a new housing project where the foundations have been cast for 391 new houses.
Mayor van Lingen’s team has also launched an extensive clean-up programme across many of Kouga’s communities, and various new refuse trucks, grass-cutting equipment and skip bins have been bought for the municipality. This clean-up operation has also meant hundreds of fixed-period jobs for the people here.
Then here are the wastewater treatment plants at Kruisfontein and Hankey that have been completed, as well as an upgrade that has been planned for the plant at St Francis Bay.
The informal settlement at Donkerhoek had its main access road upgraded, and electricity has already been switched on at 247 of the sites. The budget to electrify the remaining 116 sites there, as well as at the Ocean View settlement, has now also been approved for next year.
We are aware of the challenges when it comes to schooling in the area, and Mayor van Lingen’s government has successfully sorted out the delays in new school construction projects.
The site of the Andrieskraal Primary School has been handed over to the contractors. This build will include a new hostel. And a new school building at Sea Vista primary was completed and handed over this past year.
My fellow South Africans, this is what real progress looks like. And the Mayor assures me there is a lot more to come.
I know that there is still much to be done here. I have visited houses here in Pellsrus this morning and I have spoken to residents. I know how hard it can be when there are no jobs. I know what the high crime rate does to a community like yours. I know about sewage leaks and dirty streets.
And I assure you, all those things are on the Mayor’s list. You will not be forgotten here like you were under the ANC government.
If we have achieved so much here in Kouga in just one year, imagine what a difference we can make in five or ten years. We can bring back investment into this municipality. We can make it an attractive place for businesses and tourists alike. And with them will come the precious jobs that this community so desperately needs.
But to really be effective, we are going to need your help. Because there is only so much we can do in local government. The real change – the forward-looking plans to create job-creating growth in our country – have to come at national level.
Your vote in 2019 can make that happen. Each of you has the power to say: I don’t want a government that steals my money. I don’t want a government that only cares about itself. I don’t want a government that can’t keep one single promise. I want a fresh beginning under a new government.
Give the DA chance in 2019 to run this province and the country. I give you my word, we will work as hard as we possibly can to improve every aspect of your lives here. And if we don’t, then you must fire us again with your vote. Because that’s how our democracy works. But first give us that one chance.

Gigaba looking to take R6 billion from pensioners to fund SAA

Today the Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, confirmed that there will be no privatisation of South African Airlines (SAA) and that pensioners’ money is being considered to fund the airline.
All of this despite the fact that the airline is practically bankrupt, recording a loss of R 1.4bn for the first three months of the current financial year.
SAA’s corporate plan shows that the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) is one of the identified sources under consideration for funding SAA to the tune of R 6bn. This revelation was confirmed by the Finance Minister in Parliament today.
Considering that privatisation is off the cards, it means that these funds would have to come in the form of a loan or a bailout. This puts millions of pensioners at the risk of losing their hard earned money.
The DA is strongly opposed to the idea of targeting vulnerable pensioners to bailout SAA, which continues to make losses with no signs of turning around in sight. The DA will continue its fight to protect the vulnerable in the face of the black hole that is SAA.

BOKAMOSO | One year on, and the DA is making real progress in our cities

The following is a report-back on progress being made in the DA-run metros, one year after the local government elections on 3 August 2016.

One year ago this week, South Africans went to the polls in the most historic and game-changing election since 1994. Our democracy witnessed a significant shift in power, as a DA-led coalition took over three new metros: Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay. This meant the DA took control of more than 50% of the country’s local government budget, governing for over 16 million South Africans.

This broad governing coalition is a critical step towards a post-ANC South Africa. Opposition parties from across the political spectrum agreed to put aside differences and focus on shared goals: to stop corruption, to create jobs, and to deliver basic services. One year on, the national coalition agreement still stands and is producing positive results. While coalitions pose their own unique challenges, and are often difficult to manage, they are the future of South Africa – and must be embraced. Moreover, these cities will provide the blueprint for a 2019 coalition at national government level, led by the DA. We are preparing the road to a post-ANC South Africa; a new beginning for our country.

From day one, we have worked hard to ensure that the mess we inherited from the ANC is reversed, and that stable and efficient governments are put in place, committed to creating jobs and delivering quality services to the people.

When DA-led governments assumed office in the metros of Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay in August last year, they were faced with the mammoth task of turning around cities which were beleaguered with ANC corruption and maladministration on almost every level. Over the course of two decades, the ANC had run these administrations into the ground. They had become hotbeds of corruption and looting under the ANC, and were in financial and administrative disarray. The extent of the mess we found cannot be overstated.

In Johannesburg, we inherited a city characterised by a historical neglect of the basics of local government. There was little to no real service delivery, and a growing population of jobless South Africans desperate for opportunity. There were serious backlogs in areas critical to achieving economic and job growth, which required immediate action.

The City of Johannesburg currently has 1920 open investigations ranging from corruption and fraud, theft, building hijacking and the like; all totaling approximately R10,4 billion in revenue lost by the City. These cases are equivalent to about 19% of the City’s total budget. Cases relating to allegations of corruption represent an astounding R8.9 billion in lost revenue, which could have been used to provide needed services to residents and upgrade city infrastructure.

Added to this, the ANC had created a massive backlog in infrastructure development and maintenance, a R232 billion funding gap, which would directly jeopardise our capital expenditure needs. Moreover, we were left with a housing backlog of 300 000 – the previous administration had only delivered 3500 houses per year on average. This was a crisis waiting to unfold.

The billing crisis that the City is currently working to fix is a direct result of the previous ANC administration’s sheer failure to institute proper processes, and enforce equitable payment methods. The DA-led administration is focused on resolving this matter.

Moreover, we inherited a city with 180 informal settlements, many of which have no basic services and people who have waited for decades on a housing list, which has never been transparent and available to them.

In Tshwane, the DA-led government was handed a bloated and inefficient bureaucracy, riddled with financial irregularities. The City was on the verge of bankruptcy with a deficit in excess of R2 billion. The Office of the Executive Mayor had a total staff compliment of 998 personnel, many of which were ANC members drawing money from the state while doing nothing. Moreover, the Office of the City Manager inherited a structure inflated and bloated to include four Deputy City Managers, eight Regional Executive Directors, and their deputies, carrying a salary bill of R96 million a year.

We were also faced with R10 million worth of invoices submitted to the former Office of the Speaker for “work” done during the period 2014, 2015 and 2016. This “work” could not be corroborated, nor was there justification for the payments.

The ANC administration had seen fit to spend R12 million to upgrade the R90 million mayoral house, which ended in disaster. Large scale loss occurred, as the plumbing system, cupboards, and even the roof were left damaged. Mayor Msimanga took a decision to sell this mansion to free up funds for service delivery projects.

In Nelson Mandela Bay, the abuse of public funds was evident from day one. We immediately discovered questionable contracts entered into by the previous administration – the most telling being for the supply of light bulbs at R600 per bulb. Moreover, the former Mayor had seen fit to splash out R250 000 of public money to get his face onto the front cover of a magazine, and to blow R21 million on a vanity project called the ‘City of Champions’ that was nothing but a frivolous waste of money with no local government purpose, function or outcome.

We discovered a contract worth R22 million with Mohlaleng Media which duplicated the work of municipal staff and predictably delivered negligible outcomes. Mayor Athol Trollip immediately froze this contract.

From day one, DA-led governments have moved to dismantle the corrupt systems we found, banning the extravagant perks and privileges enjoyed by ANC governed officials, and introducing thorough and corruption-proof processes and systems to fundamentally overhaul what the previous ANC administrations had deliberately designed to enrich their cronies and comrades.

While there is still much to be done in these cities, we have made significant progress to change the system towards people-orientated governments that are clean, efficient, and accountable to the public. Here follows a summary of progress made in each of the DA-run metros.

Johannesburg

Under the DA-led government in Johannesburg, the City is well on its way to strengthening its hand as the economic powerhouse of Africa. People from all around the country flock to the City in hope of finding opportunity and creating a better life, and as such, the City is under great demand to deliver. Mayor Mashaba’s administration has risen to the challenge and has taken huge strides in moving Johannesburg forward.

Transport within the City has been a long-standing challenge, with hundreds of thousands of residents requiring access to reliable public transport. Metrobus operates just under 400 buses carrying over 50 000 passengers daily, some of whom are amongst the poorest residents of our city. The City has thus increased Metrobus’s capacity by 50%, adding 200 new buses to its fleet, providing residents with greater access to transport.

Added to this, Metro Bus has added additional operating times on the OR Tambo International Airport route during off-peak hours to connect commuters with airlines. This will mean that Metro Bus will now offer seven daily trips to and from the Airport terminals and at Gandhi Square in Johannesburg CBD.

In the current financial year, the City has allocated R105 million for the installation and repair of broken traffic signals throughout the City. This year alone, 89 intersections were re-cabled and are now joint free. There has also been an 18% reduction in the average number of daily traffic light faults over the past seven months. This has resulted in a 55% reduction in the average traffic light downtime per day.

Access to decent sanitation is a basic human right, and ought to be a priority for any caring government. This matter was neglected by the previous ANC administration, and as such, the DA-led government more than doubled the previous sanitation budget, increasing it from R17 million to R40 million. This will enhance the delivery of decent sanitation to the City’s informal settlements, highlighting our commitment to restore the dignity of Johannesburg’s forgotten people.

To improve access to health services for some of our poorest residents, the City has rolled out extended operating hours at 6 clinics across Johannesburg, including clinics in Princess Park, Freedom Park, Randburg, and Zandspruit.

For some, municipal libraries remain the only safe haven to study after hours in pursuit of a better education. Despite this, access to these libraries was limited. Therefore the City moved to extend operating hours at 10 of our regional libraries – some open until as late as 22h00including libraries in Jabavu, Orange Farm and Diepsloot. This will go a long way in ensuring that our youth, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds, have safe learning and studying environments after hours. Since piloting this project just two months ago, more than 2000 users have benefitted from the extended operating hours.

Moreover, R482 million has been set aside within Pikitup’s budget for cleaning informal settlements over the next three financial years, guaranteeing that a cleaner living environment is not reserved for just a few.

A still visible legacy of apartheid is prevalent in the City’s housing shortage. Yet, last year the previous ANC administration had a target of developing only 3,750 mixed housing development units. Alive to this injustice, the DA-led government increased this target to 5,000 in the City’s current financial year and a total of 17,200 over the medium term.

Added to this, the City has set itself the task of upgrading 10 informal settlements this financial year, whereas the ANC set itself a target of upgrading only 2 in the past financial year. We have budgeted R1.9 billion to upgrade 50 informal settlements in the medium term.

The City’s fire services were severely under-resourced when the DA took over last year. Mayor Mashaba authorized the purchase of 28 new state-of-the-art fire engines, at a total cost of R189 million. The City has also taken steps to employ an additional 160 firefighters to enhance the capacity of its Emergency Management Services (EMS).

The effects of drug abuse and drug related crimes have long plagued the city, wreaking havoc on individuals, families, and communities. The City has launched a brand new K9-Narcotics Unit to tackle this scourge. The unit, made up of various authorities including police and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department, is a specialised team of officers and dogs who are trained to handle hijackings, robberies, bombs, kidnappings and drug-related incidents.

To date, the Unit’s laser focus on drug related crimes in hotspot areas has yielded much success, including the seizure of 56.28kg of dagga at an estimated street value of R 1.2 million; the recovery of R60 million in stolen mobile phones; and the seizure of 27 kilograms of illicit drugs with an estimated value of more than R44 000 in Turffontein and Roodepoort.

Tshwane

When the DA-led government took over in Tshwane, the Capital City was on the verge of bankruptcy – with a deficit in excess of R2 billion owing to two decades of reckless governance by the ANC. Since then, Mayor Solly Msimanga’s administration has begun addressing a multitude of cross-cutting problems to help stabilise the city, grow its economy, and provide basic services to the disadvantaged. This will be done through a balanced IDP supported by a fully-funded budget.

The City inherited an almost R700 million broadband contract. The City is currently working to get it on a solid legal and financial footing, so that we can continue with the roll out of free Wi-Fi in a manner that does not threaten to bankrupt the city. The aim is to proliferate our Wi-Fi offering to ensure that more residents gain access to it while it is self-sufficient and is not solely reliant on the city as was the case in the previous administration.

The City is currently also in the process of extricating itself from a R2 billion smart meter contract which was found to be irregular by the Auditor-General. Legal proceedings are currently underway and we are optimistic that this will put the city in a much better position to provide affordable and sustainable electricity to our people.

Within one year, the City has uncovered corruption by the previous administration, including the City Hall scandal; the shoe polish debacle to the tune of R30 million; and the Dineokeng Tribe One Nicki Minaj fiasco that cost the residents of Tshwane in excess of R60 million and is currently under investigation by the DA-led multi-party administration. The extravagant Mayoral Mansion is currently in the process of being sold to free up much needed funds for the financially beleaguered City. To add to this, blue lights were banned, and the policy for international travel has been revised to ensure that all travel is cost effective and has tangible returns on investment for the city and its residents.

In terms of economic growth and job creation, the City has attracted R2.29 billion rand in investment in just nine months – exceeding its own target. In the new financial year, the City is creating 23 000 EPWP work opportunities to alleviate the burden of poverty and ensure people can find work.

The delivery of title deeds is a critical step towards empowering South Africans, as registered ownership of land is an economic asset. The DA-led government in Tshwane has to date handed over 2804 title deeds since assuming office and is scheduled to handover 6000 title deeds to residents in the 2017/18 in a transparent and objective process, and will continue to streamline this process in order to deliver title deeds to all who qualify.

With respect to service delivery to poor communities, the City of Tshwane is hard at work. This year, the City’s partnership with Eskom has allowed it to ensure that over 80% of households have access to electricity. Electricity delivery and cost has been addressed through the Embedded Power Generation programme, which has streamlined small and medium size power companies’ access to the market, democratising access and provision, and ultimately lowering the cost of electricity.

Along with this, City electricity infrastructure, such as the Eldoraigne substation, has been upgraded to ensure safe and consistent supply. Over R13 million has been invested in the restoration of water infrastructure around the city, ensuring that clean water is a right, not a privilege. An additional 6690 households were provided with a full water meter connection and 5256 additional households were provided with water borne sewerage disposal.

Large-scale infrastructure in areas such as the Hammanskraal extension 10 project, and the construction of tarred roads in Soshanguve Extension 12 and 13 have ensured that these communities have safe, dust free, and convenient transport routes in and out of the City.

To create a much safer and secure city the DA-led administration has allocated R2 billion to the metro police for efforts to rejuvenate the inner city so we can attract more investment and to the Anti-Cable theft Unit which Mayor Msimanga established to deal with the criminality that hampers the provision of reliable water and electricity to our people. These units have led to a marked decrease in such criminal behaviour. The issue of cable theft is a serious challenge which we are still a long way from correcting, but we are working to do so.

Drugs are a massive problem in the Capital City. Last month, the City signed 23 service level agreements with NPOs charged with assisting us with the war on drugs and not drug addicts. These service level agreements supported by R40 million from Tshwane 2017/18 new budget will go some way into dealing with, what is a, huge problem experienced by the people of Tshwane.

Lastly, the City instituted a raft of programmes designed to save money, chief among these being the strategic sourcing of goods and services by government, opening of the tender adjudication process, and online e-procurement systems – all aimed at curbing waste within government.

Nelson Mandela Bay

The project of turning around the fortunes of Nelson Mandela Bay was of particular importance to its DA-led government, as it was one of the worst performing metros in the country under ANC Mayor, Danny Jordaan. After only a single year of DA governance, the City rose from the second lowest trusted metro in the country, to the second highest – a real vote of confidence in Mayor Trollip and his government.

In the DA administration’s first budget, 90% has been allocated to previously disadvantaged individual and communities, ensuring that those left behind are afforded equal access to opportunity and the playing field is levelled. The City’s Capex rate is at 93%, and boasts a 93.7% revenue collection rate – the best financial position the metro has been in for over 7 years.

12 000 informal households are in the process of receiving running water and sanitation for the first time; a number that will continue to grow until all residents have a home they can be proud of.

One of the City’s flagship projects, Operation Buyisa Isidima, was launched this year, with a particular focus on fixing the housing crisis and giving people title to their homes. This has seen the handover of more than 2000 title deeds in a fair and transparent manner. The project seeks to address the housing backlog – currently standing at 80 000 – and to root out corruption in the housing list process.

In order to create a safer city, the DA-led administration established the City’s first Metro Police Service. This world-class service consists of 114 well-trained officers, with two satellite offices in Bethelsdorp and KwaNobuhle. The fight against crime in Nelson Mandela Bay is well underway.

Creating opportunity for those who have been left behind is a top priority for all DA-run governments. Thus far, the City has created 4000 new job opportunities, ensuring that individuals are able to participate in the economy and create a meaningful life for themselves and their loved ones.

To help young people to fulfill their potential, the City will provide bursaries to 1800 students – to the total value of R34 million. Moreover 300 young people have already this year gone through learnerships in the City, to ensure that they have the requisite skills to provide them access to better jobs.

Hand in hand with the above programmes, the Mayor will establish a “Jobs Desk” in his office that will facilitate the municipal bursary process, and will expand incentives for business to employ first time job seekers.

The Mayor has taken significant steps to reverse the ANC’s status quo of “government first, citizens last”. The use of blue lights in the City was stopped, all domestic business class travel for politicians was banned, and an anti-corruption hotline was launched to root out corruption in government.

City of Cape Town

In the 2016 elections, the residents of Cape Town gave the DA a fresh mandate to govern the City for another term, and to continue the progress already made by the DA-controlled government in the preceding years. Since then, Mayor De Lille and her government have been hard at work to continue the City’s innovative and pro-poor agenda in a clean, honest and efficient manner.

In the City of Cape Town, creating work opportunities for our people through economic growth remains a top priority. In the past year, despite the poor economic conditions, which persist nationwide, the City attracted R2.67 billion worth of investment, resulting in the creation of 6236 new jobs. In order to create and sustain an enabling environment for economic growth and job creation, R22 billion has been invested over the last four years in a wide range of infrastructure projects to foster innovation and ease the burden of doing business in the City.

In order to empower young people and establish an equipped work force, the City will spend a total of R21 million on an array of bursaries, apprenticeships, and learnerships for young people who do not have access to such funding during the current financial leave.

Access to the internet is a determinate factor both in the development of new technology-dependent businesses, as well as access to information for individuals. To this date, over 790 kilometres of fibre-optic cable has been rolled out throughout the city, and 301 city-owned buildings are connected to this network. We are renting out our extra capacity to the private sector. As a result, students in libraries can now access information faster, our clinics are more effective and can process and catalog key information faster, and business can compete with others in developed economies.

Focusing on small businesses as a primary catalyst for economic growth, the City has established a one-stop shop solution to support small and medium sized businesses (SMMEs). Its Business Support Project will provide assistance to 500 SMMEs per year, for the next 5 years, facilitating their growth and ensuring that entrepreneurs are given a real opportunity to innovate, grow and succeed.

In order to ease the burden on jobseekers, the City will be providing free transport for those looking for work – a South African first. The Mayor has allocated R6.6 million to subsidise free bus rides on MyCiti busses for jobseekers, enabling greater access to opportunity for those who are left out of the economy.

In terms of redress, the City has led from the front in empowering black-owned companies and individuals. The City has issued 92% of its 219 000 purchase orders to BEE-compliant vendors – to the value of almost R14 billion.

To address the unjust legacy of apartheid spatial planning, the City will expedite the delivery of housing opportunities through affordable housing in close proximity to economic hubs. 10 City-owned sites have been identified in the city centre, Salt River and Woodstock to be used for over 700 affordable housing units for those who need it most. There are future plans to create affordable housing in smaller inner-cities such as Bellville, Parow, Khayelitsha, Claremont, Mitchells Plain and Wynberg.

The City has sped up the delivery of title deeds, empowering individuals to use their property to leverage their own success. By June 2016, the City had registered more than 148 000 historic title deeds. Just last month, the Mayor handed over 5000 title deeds in the communities of Mfuleni, Wallacedene, Wesbank, and Kallefontein.

The City has begun a number of community projects in targeted areas, including the construction of a R23 million library in Dunoon, a R28 million housing project in Macassar, a R66 million road project in Kommetjie, and a R46 million primary health clinic in Pelican Park.

Conclusion

The DA recognises that while much progress has been made, there is still a long way to go. Now more than ever, the people of South Africa are looking to the DA to cement itself as the alternative government in a post-ANC South Africa. We thus commit to doing more and delivering more for every South African who falls under a DA-led government.

Our governments will continue to work hard to ensure that where we govern, we govern in an open, transparent and people-orientated manner. After decades of neglect by previous ANC administrations, the people of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay and Cape Town can have hope in their governments that are focused on delivering for the people. Where we govern, jobs are created, corruption is eradicated, and services are provided to all.

Being in government in these cities is both a privilege and an incredible opportunity for our party to demonstrate the positive change that can be effected when voters choose differently, and elect a clean, well-run, and service delivery orientated government.

Come 2019, South Africans will be faced with a decision at the polls. We can either allow the ANC to continue their looting and inability to govern, or we can elect a DA-led coalition to national government, one which will revive the dream of 1994 and get South Africa working again.

#KZNOncologyCrisis: DA to grill MEC Dhlomo at special health meeting

Today, my colleague, Dr Imran Keeka MPL and I are picketing outside of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Legislature ahead of the special meeting of the portfolio committee on health. The KZN Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo is due to attend in order to discuss his submissions to the South African Human Rights Commission regarding the province’s ongoing oncology crisis.
This special meeting is frankly long overdue. More than 300 cancer patients tragically lost their lives because of the apparent negligence of MEC Dhlomo and the provincial and national health departments.
MEC Dhlomo must be held accountable for his hand in the tragic deaths of the victims.
Dr Keeka will, therefore, use this meeting to highlight some of the pertinent issues in the KwaZulu-Natal health sector. Some of the issues Dr Keeka will be addressing include:

  • The ongoing horror stories of how vulnerable and sick patients continue to suffer and sadly passed away due to lack of cancer treatment in the province.
  • The oncology crisis is just the tip of the iceberg.  There is an apparent lack of Nephrology, pharmacology, mortuary services and EMRS services in KZN.
  • The hostility towards Members of Parliament and Members of the Provincial Legislature when they perform oversight visits at public hospitals. We must have access to health care institutions.
  • The DA’s continued calls for the MEC to vacate his positions. He must go.

The DA in KwaZulu-Natal has worked tirelessly to get justice for the victims of this crises.
Officials in the province have tried to block our attempts to hold the guilty parties accountable. The DA, however, remains resolute.
Justice delayed is justice denied and the DA simply will not allow for the affected victims to suffer any longer.

Zuma must use Zambia trip to call for HH's release from prison

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes President Zuma’s planned trip to Zambia tomorrow, on the invitation of the President of Zambia, Edgar Lungu. President Zuma must use this engagement with President Lungu to raise South Africa’s strong objections to the crisis unfolding in Zambia under Lungu’s watch. In particular, President Zuma should denounce the inhumane treatment in prison of the Zambian Leader of the Opposition, Hakainde Hichilema, and to call for his immediate release.
Hichilema was arrested almost four months ago for allegedly attempting to block a motorcade in which President Lungu was a part of. The opposition leader now faces charges of treason – a crime punishable by death in Zambia. The human rights abuses faced by Mr. Hichilema must be condemned in the strongest terms. It is clear that these trumped up charges are a witch hunt by an increasingly threatened President Lungu, and pose a very real threat to democracy on the African continent.
We call on President Zuma to show leadership and disassociate himself with anti-democratic dictators on the continent, such as Edgar Lungu. The “quiet diplomacy” of the past cannot be allowed to repeat itself and, as history has shown, has the potential to allow for democracy to be undermined. South Africa must work with its neighbours to protect democracy because, in Africa, a threat to democracy for some is a threat to democracy for all.
We will continue to advocate for the advancement of vibrant, competitive, multiparty democracy, the rule of law and the entrenchment of human rights and free speech across Africa.

DA welcomes appointment of competent Jarana as SAA CEO

The DA welcomes the appointment of Mr Vuyani Jarana as the CEO of SAA. Mr Jarana has an impressive record in business and we wish him well at SAA.
SAA presents challenges much bigger than Mr Jarana has ever faced before. The only way to save SAA will largely depend on Mr Jarana being given a free hand to take the robust action that is required in order to ruthlessly cut the bloated cost structure that is dragging the airline into liquidation.
At the parliamentary meeting with SAA tomorrow we will ask the hard questions about the current bankrupt state of the airline and what the remuneration package and performance requirements for Mr Jarana are.

One year of DA governance: South Africa reacts

Exactly one year ago today South Africans went to the polls in the most historic and game-changing election since 1994.
Our young democracy witnessed its most notable shift in power, as we won three new metros in Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay, adding to the DA-run City of Cape Town.
Today, to mark our one year in government, we held a press conference to report back to the people of South Africa on the progress we’ve made in our metros.
See the reactions below:
https://twitter.com/_Pootie/status/893055990404460544
https://twitter.com/MrsWaphi/status/893050989862715395
https://twitter.com/Nkosi_MTee/status/893051234575405056
https://twitter.com/ChiefMnconywa/status/893059540220030976
https://twitter.com/BenySimo/status/893059187445563392
https://twitter.com/sbbalman/status/893051115029368833
https://twitter.com/firepower66/status/893049728488931328
https://twitter.com/NsQuared_I/status/893049579972825088
https://twitter.com/Preciou85104789/status/893072255118438400
https://twitter.com/vusmuziprince/status/893070314401402880
https://twitter.com/mlotshwaden/status/893095237110964226
https://twitter.com/bruna_giovanni/status/893091631527755776
We know that while much progress has been made, there is still a long way to go. We are committed to doing more and delivering more for every South African who falls under a DA-led government.
See what we’re doing in Johannesburg, Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay and Cape Town.
Real change is on the way. This is just the beginning!