ANC man allegedly linked to cash in transit heist

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gaunteng welcomes the determined action by Joburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba, and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPPD) in tracking down and arresting suspects involved in a cash in transit (CIT) heist. The heist took place in Dobsonville, Soweto, earlier this month.

In a climate where incidents of CIT are on the rise in our province, DA Mayor Mashaba today confirmed that one of the four suspects was reportedly an employee of the ANC, based at Luthuli house at the time of arrest.

It is of serious concern that the ANC has been silent on this matter, as they have been on other matters relating to criminality in their own ranks. With suspected and convicted criminal elements within its ranks, it is clear that the ANC cannot be trusted with keeping our people safe and bring order to our communities.

We have yet to see the ANC so much as condemn, let alone act against Brian Hlongwa following the R1.2 billion corruption scandal he has been implicated in. The ANC has rather moved him from his position of MEC of Health in Gauteng, to the Chief Whip in the Legislature.

It is time that the ANC comes out to condemn, as well as act against those who among its ranks who are involved in criminality.

South Africa is in a state of lawlessness and disorder. It is the duty of the ANC-run National Government to ensure that criminals are brought to book swiftly. They have failed to do so. Instead, they mollycoddle corruption within their own organisation.

We need change that brings order and builds one South Africa for all, where people are free to live their lives in a safe society. The DA-led City of Joburg is making strides in that direction by cracking down on criminals.

SABC Inquiry: DA calls for equitable election coverage for all major political parties

The statement follows the submissions made by DA Shadow Minister of Communications, Phumzile Van Damme MP to the SABC’s Commission of Inquiry into political and editorial interferences at the public broadcaster. Ms van Damme was joined by the DA National Spokesperson, Solly Malatsi MP. Please find attached a soundbite by Ms Van Damme. 

Today, the DA made its submissions to the SABC’s Commission of Inquiry into political and editorial interferences at the public broadcaster. Our submissions focused primarily on the SABC’s editorial policies, specifically in regards to equitable coverage for political parties during elections, as well as the ANC’s undue political influence in this regard.

While the speed with which the new SABC board has implemented the review of its Editorial Policy is commendable, the SABC now has a responsibility to ensure that the independence and integrity of the public broadcaster is respected going forward.

The SABC’s Editorial Code is founded on the principles of editorial independence, fairness, journalistic freedom, open dialogue and quality programming. Sadly, past experiences have shown how these principles have been undermined, particularly with regards to news programming.

In the past, the SABC has failed in its mandate to allocate fair and equitable coverage to South Africa’s opposition parties. As such, the DA has proposed that major political parties should be afforded equitable coverage, especially during elections periods. When we speak of equitable coverage we mean that the public broadcaster must ensure that South Africans have adequate knowledge of the position of political parties on the issues surrounding an election.

Equal treatment must be given when broadcasting and scheduling the events of all major political parties. If the SABC provides coverage for the entire manifesto launch of one party, for example, then this should apply for all other major political parties. This is ultimately in the best interest of the public who have a right to information on political parties so they can make an informed decision on who they would like to vote for.

As the SABC has a list and criteria of what constitutes an event of national importance in their Editorial Policy, the DA has proposed that this list be exhaustive and not be open for interpretation, thereby, decreasing the chances of political interference or bias. This list should include significant conferences of major political parties, not just those of the ruling ANC.

For far too long, the ANC has abused their political influence at the SABC in order to turn the public broadcaster into its mouthpiece. This is largely the result of the lack of a sound Editorial Policy.

Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee Inquiry into the SABC exposed several instances of political interference. However, none of the staff members who were implicated in questionable editorial decisions, ordered by ANC-politicians and their captured henchmen, have been held accountable.

To this end, the DA proposed to the SABC Inquiry that a section be included in the Editorial Code which deals with consequences for those who do not adhere to the values espoused in the Code.

The DA also proposed the removal of provisions related to Upward Referral. The Editorial Policy currently makes provision for the SABC’s Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) to be the SABC’s editor-in-chief, to whom decisions may be upwardly referred “should any difficulty arise”.

While these upward referrals are mandatory, it does set a dangerous precedent for top management to make news decisions. The DA is of the view that the SABC’s Head of News, a journalist, should be made editor-in-chief. It is not the GCEO’s role to make day-to-day programming or newsroom decisions, as these decisions must at all times remain independent.

Finally, the DA supports the “SABC 8” proposal for an internal establishment of an Internal Ombudsman at the SABC which will be the first point of call for editorial complaints. An internal ombudsman must be truly committed to editorial independence and the values enshrined in the SABC’s policies and legislation.

The SABC has a mandate to educate and inform the public without fear or favour. In order for this mandate to be carried out effectively, the public broadcaster requires a sound Editorial Policy.

The DA trusts that through this Commission of Inquiry, the SABC will be able to thoroughly re-evaluate its Editorial Policy in order to distinguish itself as a world-class public broadcaster with an independent newsroom.

The best way to honour Mandela is to save our children from a failed education

The following remarks were delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at Lotanang Primary School in Polokwane, Limpopo. The Leader was joined by DA Limpopo Provincial Leader, Jacques Smalle, and DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Nomsa Marchesi.

Today, across the country, we remember the life and sacrifice of our first democratic President and the father of our nation, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. But if we are to truly honour his legacy, then we have to go beyond our symbolic 67 minutes of service on this day. We must fight, every day, for the values he stood for.

One thing that mattered to him more than anything else was looking after our children and preparing them for a better future through education. But judging by the way our children fare in international benchmark studies like the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), it is clear that our government has turned its back on young South Africans.

By failing our children in education, the ANC is betraying the legacy of Nelson Mandela.

The PIRLS test measures literacy in Grade 4 children, and this is significant because it is in the Foundation Phase – Grades 1 to 3 – that children must learn to read with comprehension. From Grade 4 onwards, as school work becomes more complex and the subjects increase, it is essential that they have this skill. They must learn to read before they can read to learn.

Our results in these studies are shameful. According to the most recent PIRLS study, only one in four South African children in Grade 4 can read with sufficient comprehension. 78% of our children cannot read for meaning in any language. They have fallen so far behind by age ten that they are unlikely to ever catch up. Of the 50 countries tested, South Africa came last.

And when you look at the results across different provinces, it is even more damning. Here in Limpopo, a staggering 91% of Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning, and it’s not much better in provinces like the Eastern Cape (85%) and Mpumalanga (83%). Compare this with the Western Cape (55%) and it becomes clear that not only are we failing to prepare our children for the future, but we are also condemning children from certain provinces to a life with precious few prospects. Make no mistake, 55% in the Western Cape still isn’t good enough by a long shot, but it is significantly better than anywhere else.

PIRLS is a comprehensive, nationally representative study. In 2016 it tested almost 13,000 children from 293 schools. Importantly, it tested in all South African languages. And it is in our African languages – Sepedi (93%), Setswana (90%), Tshivenda (89%), isiXhosa (88%), isiZulu (87%) and isiNdebele (87%) where our children fare worst. This is how the legacy of Apartheid is entrenched across generations.

In the most recent TIMSS study, which tests maths and science after Grades 4 and 8, we fared no better, ranking second-last out of 48 countries tested for maths in both these grades and last for science after Grade 8. We didn’t participate in the Grade 4 science test. This is an appalling indictment on the delivery of basic education in this country.

If Mandela Day should remind us of one thing, it is how far we have fallen short in preparing our children for the future. We all know Mandela’s well-known quote where he said: “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. But if we are not prepared to arm our children with this weapon, we cannot claim to be upholding the Mandela legacy.

There are many things we must fix in our schools. These include keeping our children safe, making sure those on school feeding programmes are fed, providing scholar transport for those who need it and providing all the reading books, work books and text books these children need. But the most important steps we must take immediately to ensure that our children – and particularly those in the Foundation Phase – don’t fall behind are the following:

  • Ensuring that all teachers are qualified to teach their subjects. This means getting a clear picture of the qualification of all our teachers, and urgently upskilling those who fall short.
  • Ensuring that teachers are present to teach. This means curbing the destructive influence of SADTU and declaring certain aspects of teaching an Essential Service.
  • Reducing classroom overcrowding. Adequate individual attention in the Foundation Phase is key to learner progress. This means not only creating sufficient teaching posts at all schools, but also ensuring a steady supply of qualified teachers as well as filling all the posts where they are available.

Our failed education is part of a system that locks black children out of opportunity. If we don’t change this system, these boys and girls will forever be left poor.

We must rescue our children from the fate this ANC government has condemned them to. Our future, as a nation, depends on it. But this will not happen if we continue to let SADTU hold our schools to ransom and deprive our children from their right to a quality education.

Until we do so, our symbolic gestures on Mandela Day will ring hollow.

 

DA Budget Vote Speeches: Department of Health, DEDT and CoGTA

 The following speeches were delivered in the Mpumalanga Legislature during a sitting today.

Debate on Budget Vote: Department Health

Jane Sithole MPL – The Mpumalanga Department of Health needs a complete overhaul

DA Spokesperson on Health

082 854 9711

Debate on Budget Vote: Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

James Masango MPL – With poor service delivery increasing, it is unacceptable that the allocation to strengthening municipalities decreased by 64%.

DA Spokesperson on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

082 891 0717

Debate on Budget Vote: Economic Development and Tourism

Bosman Grobler MPL – Clean Audit does not equal good results

DA Spokesperson on Economic Development and Tourism

083 697 0747

See motion without notice – Mpumalanga Government must Support the work of our journalist

Luthuli House ‘employee’ arrested in cash-in transit heist blitz

Yesterday, I was informed of the arrest of four (4) cash-in transit heist suspects, among them an individual believed to be an employee at Luthuli House, the national headquarters of the governing African National Congress (ANC).

The suspects were allegedly involved in a cash-in transit heist in Dobsonville, Soweto, which led to a man-hunt being launched.

Some of the suspects were arrested on July 6 while the remainder were apprehended in the early hours of July 7.

The raid was conducted by a joint operation of the JMPD’s K9 Narcotics Unit and the SAPS. Four hijacked vehicles were recovered, two of which were used in the robbery.

I have received confirmation that one of the four suspects arrested is alleged to work at Luthuli House, at the time of his arrest.

News of this arrest comes as a shock given the recent spate of cash-in-transit heists in Gauteng, posing a threat to the innocent lives of motorists and pedestrians. Millions of Rand have been stolen with only a negligible amount recovered. That means more dirty money remains in criminal hands to fund further criminal activity.

South Africa is truly in the grip of lawlessness and it is my firm belief that this is so because of the culture of impunity that has been allowed to fester by the ruling elite.

The arrest of this individual does bring into question whether the ANC has been aware of the arrest of this individual, since it took place almost two weeks ago, and, if so, why they have remained silent on such an important matter. It also begs the question of how the ANC, while running National Government, can employ individuals who so brazenly undermine public safety and the rule of law in our Country.

We must do more to reinvigorate our law enforcement agencies and achieve the collaboration that will turn the tide against criminality in Johannesburg. These arrests demonstrate how, by working together, the SAPS and the JMPD have succeeded in taking dangerous criminals off our streets.

The City of Johannesburg with its recruitment of an additional 1500 JMPD cadets will add to the crime fighting abilities of our City.

Case by case, we will achieve a Johannesburg that is safer for its residents and a place that criminals will want to stay away from.

 

#KeepKidsSafe: SADTU trying to score political points at learners’ expense

The statement below follows an Essential Services Committee briefing on essential services in basic education, where DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education, Nomsa Marchesi MP, made a verbal submission. Please find attached soundbites by Nomsa Marchesi MP in isiXhosa, Sesotho and English and in Afrikaans by DA Member of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Sonja Boshoff MP. Please also find soundbites from concerned parents here and here.

Today, DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education, Nomsa Marchesi MP, and DA Member of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Sonja Boshoff MP, attended the Essential Services Committee (ESC) hearing on establishing a minimum service level for school staff.

The DA wants a minimum presence of school staff during school hours to ensure that learners do not fall victim to any harm and Nomsa Marchesi MP called for this at today’s hearing.

The South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU), however, continues to misrepresent the DA’s position by claiming that we wish to curb the rights of all teachers to strike taken away. This is not true. The DA wants some school staff to be present at schools during strike action and union meetings to ensure learner safety.

Our submission to the ESC is based on three main concerns:

  • Leadership and safety: The presence of senior school staff is vital in ensuring communication with emergency services or other authorities in instances that threaten learner safety and during union meetings or strikes.
  • Supervision: The presence of senior staff members will protect children from crime and violence, which has increased across the country.
  • Nutrition, health and hygiene: Learners who suffer from chronic illnesses, who have special needs and have specific health requirements will benefit from senior staff members always being around to take care of them. School staff also have a responsibility to ensure that learners have access to clean facilities and food.

Establishing a minimum service level for school staff will not only improve the safety of learners; it will also ensure they can learn without fear and work towards securing better futures for themselves and their families.

Our unemployment rate is now at 9.5 million South Africans and it is irresponsible of SADTU to oppose this call. The union is effectively jeopardising children’s futures by refusing to bring about a safer learning environment for learners.

The DA calls on SADTU to prioritise the safety of children and stop playing politics at the expense of learners’ rights. We also trust that the ESC will favourably consider the submissions we have made over the last week in the interests of our children and their futures.

DA-led coalition in Nelson Mandela Bay remains united and focused on delivery

The DA-led coalition in Nelson Mandela Bay remains united and focused on delivering services to the people of the city.

Coalition governments are the future of South Africa and while they can be difficult they are necessary.

The coalition government in NMB has demonstrated its resilience time and time again and always put the people first.

Working together with our coalition partners, and other parties in council, we have put the people first and passed two consecutive pro-poor budgets.

A positive reflection of our financial position is the recent Moody’s credit upgrade to Aa1 as well as the R179 million reward from National Treasury for spending 100% of our USDG funding.

Turning around the chaotic state of the municipality’s finances in 2016 has been a priority and we are proud of the progress we have made.

We have tarred kilometres of gravel roads giving the poorest areas access to the rest of the City.

Some of the highlights from the budget are:

  • R2.2 billion for the provision of a fixed amount of free basic services to indigent households;
  • R138.5 million on resurfacing and rehabilitation of roads;
  • R167.9 million on electrification of informal households;
  • R72.7 million on public lighting;
  • R49 million on upgrades or development of public spaces; and
  • R45 million for the acquisition of land for housing development

Since the DA-led coalition took over, the successes under the leadership of Executive Mayor Trollip speak for themselves.

We have eradicated 9046 bucket toilets of 16 317 we inherited, provided 2188 RDP houses and uncovered R615 million worth of corruption and irregularities.

The Thusong Centre in Motherwell was completed and opened within a year after R12 million was spent.

A total of 5439 EPWP jobs were created and 646 streetlights installed in a number of areas.

The Shotspotter technology installed in Helenvale also proved to be a great success. Within 90 days of its installation, gunshots were reduced by 90%.

IPTS busses are on the road and we’ve also built the highly secured Clearly Park Bus Depot.

We are confident that when disagreements emerge among coalition partners we can resolve them by putting the people at the centre of our discussions.

We are making progress in Nelson Mandela Bay.

BOKAMOSO | Coalition government is a real and better alternative to liberation movement politics

The national and provincial elections of 2019 boil down to a choice for voters between liberation movement governance and coalition governance. In the 2016 local government elections, people rejected the former in favour of the latter in the three large metros of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay.

Almost two years later, their decision has been clearly vindicated. The parties of the coalitions governing those metros (DA, Cope, ACDP, FF+ and IFP) have shown conclusively that coalition government can start to move South Africa forward again.

This is no longer a matter for speculation. South Africans now have real, measurable evidence that parties with widely differing ideologies can come together and work together to bring the change South Africa needs. This is not to say it has been plain sailing. It hasn’t. We’ve had to find each other over and over again. We’ve had to climb the steep curve of learning to compromise and accept that no single party has a monopoly on good ideas. We couldn’t always move as quickly as we would have liked.

But the fact is, the centre has held. The common principles that brought us together have been a stronger glue than the differing ideologies that pull us apart. We all share the same vision of a safe, prosperous society. And so we are all committed to the same objectives: to fight corruption and crime; to create the conditions conducive to job creation; and to deliver services to all, focusing particularly on the poorest households.

Last month, these governments together passed more than R100 billion in budgets for the 2018/19 financial year. All three budgets reflect the coalitions’ commitment to directing public money to the people who need it most – the poor and vulnerable. All three prioritise basic service delivery over luxuries. All three reflect the critical importance of building and maintaining water, energy and transport infrastructure.

Since taking over in August 2016, all three coalition governments have governed in an open, transparent and people-oriented manner. All have managed to significantly improve the financial position of their metros while turning the tide on decaying infrastructure. All have started rolling back decades of neglect, making measurable improvements in service and housing delivery – improvements that I have written about in recent newsletters.

The coalitions in Johannesburg, Tshwane and NMB show what can be achieved when people set aside personal differences in a common effort to make South Africa work. Being in coalition moves political parties to put pragmatism over ideology and the country’s interests ahead of group interests.

By contrast, liberation movement governance has brought us a corrupt, enriched elite, mounting poverty, unemployment and inequality, decaying infrastructure and divisive politics that threaten to destabilise the country and to rob us of our freedoms.

Coalition government is the antidote to the poison of identity politics, in which different groups pull apart in a fight to get more resources for themselves at the expense of other groups. Coalitions drive people towards the centre. And while the ideas and the conversations of the centre don’t occupy the media’s attention the way those on the radical, populist edges do, it is in the centre where you’ll find the ideas that work.

The DA is committed to the centre ground, where people who may differ vastly in culture, colour and creed can come together around shared values, attitudes and conduct and work together towards a common goal, in which the state works for the people and not the other way around.

And we are committed to emerging as the largest party in both Gauteng and the Northern Cape in 2019, so that we can form coalition governments there and start moving those provinces forward again.

 

#KeepKidsSafe: SADTU continue to jeopardise children’s futures

The statement below follows the DA’s submissions to the Essential Services Committee public hearings on essential services in basic education.

Find soundbites in English, Sesotho and IsiXhosa by Ms Marchesi and in Afrikaans by Ms Boshoff.

Today, DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education, Nomsa Marchesi MP, DA Member of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Sonja Boshoff MP, and Western Cape Education MEC, Debbie Schafer MPL, attended the Cape Town leg of a series of hearings by the Essential Services Committee (ESC) on whether a minimum service level should be declared for school staff.

A submission was made to the ESC on behalf of Debbie Schafer MPL, calling for a minimum service level to be established at schools so that children are not abandoned during strikes or union meetings.

The DA firmly believes that there should be a minimum presence of school staff during school hours to ensure that learners are protected from harm.

However, The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) has repeatedly accused the DA of undermining the right of teachers to strike. This is not true. The DA’s call for a minimum service level is not a call to prevent teachers from striking. Our call is to ensure that there are some school staff present at schools during strike action or when there are union meetings and puts the safety of children at school first.

While the DA supports the right of workers to strike, we believe that the safety and security of children must always take priority. SADTU’s misleading claim only exposes that they put their own interests above the best interests of our children.

Our request to the ESC on setting a minimum service level is based on three main concerns:

  • Leadership and safety: The presence of senior school staff is vital in ensuring communication with emergency services or other authorities in instances that threaten learner safety and during union meetings or strikes.
  • Supervision: The presence of senior staff members will protect children from crime and violence, which has increased across the country.
  • Nutrition, health and hygiene: Learners who suffer from chronic illnesses and have specific health requirements will benefit from senior staff members always being around to take care of them. School staff also have a responsibility to ensure that learners have access to clean facilities and food.

Children should not be burdened by the responsibility of having to worry about their safety while at school. We hope that the submissions we have been making to the ESC will lead to the establishment of a minimum service level for school staff during strikes.

It is vital that our children learn in a safe environment so that they can be equipped with the skills necessary for getting a job. SADTU has held the future of learners to ransom for too long and this must stop.

 

DA is the only party which honours the legacy of Madiba by putting all the South African people first

Note to editors: the following statement was delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a media briefing following a two-day sitting of the party’s Federal Council. Maimane was joined by DA National Spokesperson, Solly Malatsi, DA Gauteng Leader, John Moodey, and DA Mpumalanga Leader, Jane Sithole.

The Federal Council of the Democratic Alliance met over the last two days to discuss matters of importance to the party and our national programme ahead of the 2019 general election.

Election Campaign 2019

Federal Council ratified the party’s election campaign strategy and set out our electoral goals. As stated before the DA will work hard to retain the Western Cape, become the biggest party in Gauteng and the Northern Cape, ultimately increasing our national footprint in South Africa. The DA’s offer of competent and transparent governments is a compelling one which we have demonstrated in the City of Johannesburg, City of Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay. When we took over in 2016, we inherited bankrupt and corrupt administrations which the ANC had used to loot public money. We sought to clear the rot and get the governments back to the business of delivering basic services.

This week, the country will be honouring the legacy of President Nelson Mandela. The DA is the only political party that has embraced his legacy, lives his values and is working to realise his vision for the people of South Africa. The most powerful way we can truly commemorate Madiba is to acknowledge the injustices of the past and to bring change to people who have been locked in poverty since the dawn of democracy.

To dishonour Madiba’s legacy is to steal poor people’s money and collapse local governments through VBS Bank, starve the most vulnerable of our society by not resolving the SASSA crisis and allowing our people to live with the indignity of using pit toilets in our country.

The DA set out this plan to put all South African people first by resolving the following:

Ours is a country of great potential which started on a good path in 1994 but has since lost its way from the vision set out by the founding father of our democracy.

The direction taken by the governing party has resulted in a country where crime is rising, corruption oppressively holds our people back and there is no fair access to jobs. South Africans need change from the current corrupt system of empty promises.

Federal Council therefore resolved:

  1. In the week in which we commemorate the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth, the most patriotic thing we can do is commit to getting South Africa back on track.
  2. The way to get South Africa back on track is by bringing change that puts all the South African people first. And that change will be brought in next year’s general election where the DA will present an offer that focuses on the following;
    1. Fighting corruption;
    2. Providing fair access to real and long-term jobs;
    3. Making our police force honest and professional so that it serves and protects with pride;
    4. Securing our borders; and
    5. Providing better government.

All provinces will have finalised their premier candidates process by the 18th of August. It has been important for the DA to attract candidates who will embody the values of the party and take our offer to every corner of the country. Federal Executive has also taken the decision to extend the deadline for the candidate application process to the end of July. We are the only party which seeks to draw the best talent possible so that our lists are diverse.

Cost of living

The Federal Council discussed the unsustainable cost of living pressures that South Africans are currently facing, as a result of the ANC government’s mismanagement of the economy. The constant bailing out of Eskom and SAA has left a huge fiscal hole which has had to be filled by massive tax increases, especially in fuel levies and VAT. Investors are turning their backs on South Africa because of irresponsible proposals and violent rhetoric on land expropriation. And President Ramaphosa has not shown any significant progress in the fight against corruption in his party and his government. All of these factors have made for an economic environment that is job-shedding, and in which those who do have work are feeling increasingly insecure in their work.

It is clear that these cost of living increases have a profoundly negative effect, particularly for poor and low-wage South Africans, and in families living on one income. The statement by a senior policy maker in the ANC, that fuel increases don’t effect the poor because they don’t own cars, was condemned by Federal Council delegates as ignorant and deeply disrespectful. The ANC has no idea how South Africans are struggling to make ends meet.

The DA has made specific proactive proposals to reduce the levy payable to the Road Accident Fund to provide immediate relief to consumers, and to reduce the tax portion payable on fuel over time to get the price back to a reasonable level. This will ease pressure on food and transport prices.

Economic Policy Framework

Federal Council considered a detailed presentation by the DA’s Head of Policy, Gwen Ngwenya MP, on a new framework for the DA’s Economic Policy, The Open Economy. This framework is founded on setting the DA apart from all other political parties with clear alternative policies for economic growth and job creation, and for improving access to jobs for all. This framework represents significant progress in the DA’s policy building process, and will now be developed into a comprehensive alternative economic vision. All structures throughout the party will participate in the finalisation of this document.

Amendment to Regulations

Federal Council had been scheduled to discuss proposed amendments to the Regulations for the Nomination of Candidates. The DA prides itself of having a candidate selection system which is a model of internal democracy, and which prevents gatekeeping and provides requisite checks and balances.

The proposed amendments generated healthy internal debate. A sub-committee was formed to make a proposal, and this sub-committee met this weekend and took advice from the Federal Legal Commission.

The sub-committee recommended that Federal Council obtain a legal opinion to guide its future deliberations. Until this process is concluded, provincial leaders will not serve on selection panels. Both of these recommendations were accepted.

This is a positive outcome for the DA, as our adherence to our regulations and constitution was confirmed, and our culture of open and vigorous internal debate was entrenched.

Conclusion

This has been another productive and forward-looking meeting of the DA’s Federal Council. The DA is ever-more focused on the urgency of the upcoming election campaign, and in particular the need to speak to millions of voters in a countrywide door-to-door to encourage voters to register ahead of the elections. We are moving closer towards a full election campaign readiness footing – with a powerful offer to voters, a galvanised and focused election machine, and tens of thousands of volunteers mobilised across the country.