The myth of two ANCs is hurting South Africa

July 18, 2019

To secure a prosperous future for South Africa, the South African public needs to understand that the ANC as a whole is disastrous for this country. The notion that the “good ANC” of Ramaphosa and his reform slate will save South Africa from the “bad ANC” of Magashule, Mabuza, Zuma and the various looters of our state is misguided.

Since taking over from President Zuma a year and a half ago, President Ramaphosa has benefitted from, and at times peddled, this myth. It has largely succeeded in absolving him from wrongdoing and placing him beyond reproach in the eyes of the South African public when what we should be doing is holding him to account.

Superficially, this myth of two ANCs seems plausible and is perhaps entrenched by certain policy disagreements, such as the issue of the Reserve Bank.

But there is in fact only one ANC in which Cyril Ramaphosa has been a central player since long before he became its president at Nasrec. He sat on the ANC’s Top 6 under Jacob Zuma – the same structure he continues to serve in today. He was part of every decision, good or bad, taken by this structure and it is inconceivable that he was either unaware, or sat passively, as key issues were discussed and implemented.

For example, in KZN back in 2011, the ANC succeeded in strengthening their position and weakening the IFP by rewarding Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi with a deputy cabinet post for splitting from the IFP to form the National Freedom Party. It seems the same tactic has been applied in the Western Cape, except this time the reward was a full cabinet post.

Another example is the list of compromised Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Chairs announced last month which, according to the myth, Ramaphosa either didn’t know about, or had foisted upon him by the “bad ANC” faction. This is simply not true. Ramaphosa cannot have been oblivious to these appointments, as though he had just jetted in yesterday from a distant planet with smart cities and bullet trains.

Ironically, Ramaphosa is the one now preaching ANC unity, while the media commentators persist with the “two ANCs” message on his behalf. It is a dangerous, ahistorical fiction that fails to recognise the political power of the collective in the ANC.

A related myth is that Ramaphosa needs protection from his enemies within the party. This myth is spread by those who called for a “stronger mandate” for Ramaphosa ahead of the elections.

But as they are now fast discovering, it is impossible to give such a mandate to him alone. The effect of this myth has been to destroy accountability and absolve the ANC of its wrongdoings.

Here is a president who received half a million rand from corrupt Bosasa, who got caught out and misled Parliament, and who then had to change his response, even though there is no legal process in Parliament for changing a response. These are facts, but they are easily ignored by those who believe he is simply a victim of a conspiracy by the bad guys – a victim who now needs our protection.

These myths play beautifully into the hands of the president. Because while this is the dominant narrative, he can do no wrong. And if he appears to do wrong, then it must have been the actions of the forces of evil from whom he needs our protection. The President of the Republic of South Africa has extraordinary and excessive constitutional powers. He doesn’t need protection. He needs to be held to a high standard, and he needs to be accountable for his actions. Canonising him in a myth of good vs evil is a dangerous game for our democracy.

The ANC as a whole, with its vision of a National Democratic Revolution in which the state controls the economy, is destroying South Africa. Buying into a myth which removes accountability and keeps the ANC in power is investing in SA’s demise.

Warm regards,

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Water running low in St Francis Bay

July 17, 2019

The taps in sections of St Francis Bay have started drying up following the collapse of a suspension bridge carrying a section of the main supply line to the town’s reservoirs over the weekend.

Emergency repairs should be completed by this afternoon, however, it will take up to two days for the reservoirs to fill up and the supply to households to normalise.

At this stage only residents from Santareme have reported that they have no water. A water tanker will, therefore, be stationed on the corner of Tarragona Road and St Francis Drive from 10am today should those affected wish to collect water.

“We ask that residents from other affected areas alert our call centre (042 200 2200) should their taps start drying up. Alternatively, it can be reported through the Link app,” said the Kouga Municipality in a statement.

Our SOEs are losing R 91,000 every single minute

July 11, 2019

It’s time for a formal review of our 131 State Owned Enterprises.

Put politics aside. Let’s work together, and get South Africa working again.

Our SOEs are losing R91,000 EVERY SINGLE MINUTE, and they will continue losing money until strong action is taken.

According to National Treasury, in the last two years, the consolidated losses of all State-Owned Entities in South Africa is almost R100 billion.

And yet, despite these losses, President Ramaphosa and his Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan still refuse to take the necessary action.

They refuse to cut bloated salaries, they refuse to cut the public wage bill, they refuse to get rid of patronage networks, and they refuse to do away cadre deployment.

They won’t even institute a formal review of our 131 SOEs to find out which SOEs are necessary, which SOEs need to be dissolved, which should be partially privatised, and which should be privatised in their entirety.

Instead, Minister Gordhan has opted to throw more money at the problem, announcing that a mystery lender would provide more cash to the struggling Denel, so that it could pay salaries this month.

Enough is enough.

Join us in our call to President Ramaphosa and Minister Gordhan – Institute a full review of all State Owned Entities in South Africa.

Sign the petition here

Increase Police Visibility to Reduce Crime

July 7, 2019

Tsitsi-Kouga Constituency Leader and Shadow Minister of Police, Andrew Whitfield MP introduced the ‘Increase Police Visibility to Reduce Incidents of Violent Crime’ petition in Arcadia, Humansdorp yesterday.

Andrew Whitfield, the DA Shadow Minister of Police visiting Humansdorp

He also visited Ouma Julia Harris who lost her grandson last week in gang related violence.

In building an effective and fit for purpose SAPS the DA national government would move swiftly to ensure:

  • A zero-tolerance approach to corruption within the SAPS;
  • The appointment of fit for purposes officers and management who are passionate about policing;
  • The retraining all police officers to serve and protect with pride;
  • Making policing a provincial responsibility; and
  • Establish an effective drug-busting force.

The DA will never sacrifice our core principles on the altar of power

July 5, 2019

Coalition politics is very likely to be the dominant model of government in South Africa for the foreseeable future.

At the moment, this applies at local government only. But it very nearly led to a change in government in Gauteng in May’s election, and as the ANC continues to disintegrate, I am convinced there will one day be a national coalition government, with the DA at its heart.

For that reason, we must work now to show South Africans the proof of concept, that coalitions can and do work all over the world. This doesn’t mean it will be easy. Most times it’s extraordinarily difficult.

But without outright majorities, every opposition party is faced with a simple choice: either to allow the ANC to continue its criminal enterprise through the state, or to remove the ANC from power and form a new government with a plurality of political parties with whom you share at least some core values.

In August 2016, a multiparty governing coalition was formed between the DA and five other parties working with us in select municipalities. In its founding agreement, the coalition committed to the following:

  • Constitutionalism, which includes respect for the rule of law, separation of powers, and the independence of the Courts;
  • Non-racialism;
  • Free and fair elections;
  • Devolution of powers to provinces and municipalities, where capacity is established;
  • Building a capable state exemplified by a professional, efficient and non-partisan civil service
  • A free media;
  • Improving service delivery, particularly to poor and vulnerable South Africans;
  • Eradicating poverty and creating opportunity and security for all South Africans;
  • Creating an inclusive local government structure that respects the self-actualisation of the heritage, language and culture of all South Africans.

    From as far back as 2006, when the ANC was removed from power in the City of Cape Town by a fragile seven-party governing coalition, we have remained consistent in our approach to coalitions.

    We will work with any political party that shares our core values of constitutionalism, non-racialism, the rule of law, a market-based economy, the eradication of corruption, and the speeding up of the delivery of basic services to all.

    I want to be clear: the DA is not and will never be in power for power’s sake. We exist to deliver excellent, clean government that extends opportunities and improves lives.

    That is our strongest offer to voters, and any compromise on that would be self-defeating. Our consideration is whether there is any prospect of governing to the standards we set ourselves.

    That is why we went into government in SA’s biggest cities in 2016, expanding our governance footprint to over 15 million South Africans.

    In addition to the formal governing coalition, we were happy to have the EFF support us on an issue-by-issue basis. This allowed our coalition governments to pass budgets, IDPs, and begin to turn those cities around after over 20 years of ANC misrule. While imperfect and tricky, these governance arrangements were working.

    As with the 2006 coalition government in Cape Town, at no stage has the DA compromised on any of its core values and principles. Rather, we have rooted out billions of rands of corruption; stabilised economies and increased job opportunities; and sped up the delivery of clinics, houses, roads and other basic services to millions of South Africans.

    However, there always comes a “red line”, and the demands made by the EFF last month crossed that line.

    In a meeting in June, the leadership of the EFF made several demands to the DA, including becoming a formal coalition partner, and demanding the Mayoralty of Tshwane with immediate effect. The quid pro quo would be to reinstate a DA mayor in Nelson Mandela Bay.

    The decision to not accede to the EFFs demands was unanimous among all of the coalition partners. It was inconceivable that the EFF could formally join a coalition agreement that doesn’t share any of its values or principles.

    Moreover, every party rejected the idea of the EFF taking the mayoralty of Tshwane for a number of reasons, including the EFFs action in installing a UDM/ANC coalition government in Nelson Mandela Bay.

    Following this decision, the EFF took a decision to not support DA-led coalition governments in Johannesburg, Tshwane, Thabazimbi and Modimolle/Mookgophong.

    While it remains unclear as to the extent of the EFFs intentions, we will not relent. Our principles and values will always come first. Should the EFF want to continue working with our coalition governments on an issue by issue, we would be happy to.

    This arrangement has worked well and been of benefit to all as at a local government level matters are less ideological, and rather service delivery orientated.

    However, should the EFF move to force the DA into opposition in these metros and municipalities, we will continue to fight for our values from the opposition benches. We will not sacrifice our principles in order to hold onto power.

    That is how a principled organization operates, and that is how I intend to lead the DA.
    Warm regards,

    Mmusi Maimane

    DA Leader

Take part in the Kouga Municipality’s Customer Satisfaction Survey

July 3, 2019

Kouga Municipality’s annual Customer Satisfaction Survey is underway. Speaker Hattingh Bornman says the aim of the survey is to determine how residents experienced service delivery – including water, electricity, refuse removal, sanitation and roads – during the 2018/2019 financial year that comes to an end on June 30.

He calls on residents to make use of the platform to scrutinize the municipality and to suggest areas of improvement.

Bornman says the Council values input from residents as this helps the municipality to identify and prioritise work that needs to be done.

He said the survey will not replace platforms such as community meetings, but is designed to enhance accountability and the involvement of residents in municipal affairs.

Survey forms, in all three languages most spoken in Kouga, are available at www.kouga.gov.za.

Forms will also be available from ward councillors’ offices from Monday, July 1.

Completed forms can be returned to the ward councillor’s offices or posted to PO Box 21, Jeffreys Bay, 6330.

Electronic versions can be emailed to lrandall@kouga.gov.za.

The forms have the different services offered by the municipality, with scores of one to five, the former reflecting the worst opinion and the latter the best.

The closing date for the survey is July 31, 2019.

Service delivery report-back meetings, where residents can engage with the municipal leadership about service successes and challenges in their wards, are currently taking place. The schedule is available at www.facebook.com/kouganews.

SOE Review: R 100 billion lost in two years

June 30, 2019

According to the National Treasury’s 2019 Consolidated Financial Statement report, loss making public entities raked up a consolidated loss of R 50.65 billion in 2016/17 and R 45.82 billion in 2017/18.

These financial losses increase on a daily basis and are proof that the status quo is no longer feasible. South Africa’s SOEs must, as a matter of urgency, be completely overhauled.

Their insurmountable debt poses great risks to our economy and the functioning of our societies, as many of them are bankrupt and completely unable to provide the services they are mandated to deliver.

Furthermore, several of these hundreds of SOEs duplicate functions and should not even exist in the first place.

The DA will continue to fight for this comprehensive review, which should be conducted to evaluate which SOEs are necessary, which SOEs need to be dissolved, which should be partially privatised, and which should be privatised in their entirety.

It is time to be pragmatic, and to stop playing politics. SOEs represent some of the biggest monopolies in the South African economy, and by conducting a comprehensive review, government would be providing citizens with a clear indication that they are willing to start the process of structural change to protect our economy from further financial losses.

We cannot be sentimental about SOEs when they add little to no value to the people of South Africa and the economy. The country’s is in crisis, it therefore requires urgent reforms, starting with Eskom.

Natasha Mazzone

Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises

Pavements vandalized in Humansdorp

June 28, 2019

Mindless vandalism is jeopardizing Kouga Municipality’s efforts to build sidewalks near the Point in Arcadia., Humansdorp.

The newly-cast sidewalks have become a regular target for vandals intent on holding back development in their communities.

We appeal to the public to alert the nearest police station or call the municipality’s 24/7 emergency number (042 291 0250/042 200 2200 – press option 5) should they notice any suspicious activity.

We do not have another ten years to tackle crime, we need action now!

June 26, 2019

It is, to use his own words, shocking that in his State of the Nation Address, the President hardly mentioned the one thing that all South Africans have at the front of their minds every single day – Crime.

A few token references to crime here and there and then, as if out of nowhere, the bombshell announcement that violent crime will be halved in the next ten years without even a hint of irony or an actual plan as to how this mammoth task will actually be achieved.

Andrew Whitfield, the DA Shadow Minister of Police and the leader of the DA in Kouga at the SONA debate

It appears from his speech, Madam Speaker, that the President is more concerned about bullet trains than he is about the bullets taking the lives of innocent South Africans on a daily basis.

While the President is dreaming millions of ordinary South Africans are having nightmares.

Nightmares of being, attacked, robbed, raped or murdered.

These South Africans are our Mothers and Fathers living in the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth and Elsies River right here in Cape Town, who fear that their children, on their way to school or guarding cars outside a Mosque like 12 year old Aswin Jansen, may be mowed down in a hail of bullets fired from one of the more than 800 guns stolen from the Police and wielded by a gangster who was put back on the streets by the very criminal justice system designed to protect these children.

They are our Grandmothers like Nomangesi Peter from Luqoqweni Village who was kidnapped, tortured and paraded naked before being killed. They are too old to defend themselves from serial rapists and murderers who target these, our most vulnerable citizens in rural villages and towns because they know that the chances of being caught by the police are slim to none.

They are our farmers and farmworkers from the rural Eastern Cape to Thoyandou who live in constant fear that they will be next because the ANC government does not deem rural safety a priority.

These nightmares are not the imagination of some fictional characters living in a fanciful futuristic country. These are real stories about real people Mr President. They are experiences grounded in the harsh reality of millions of South African’s sitting at home looking to this Parliament and their President for hope that they can one day live in a safe city, town or village. Not a SMART city Mr President, a SAFE city.

They want to go to bed knowing that criminals lurking around outside their homes will get caught and that they will be locked up.

Surely this is not too much for them to ask.

The fact that there was absolutely no mention of rural Safety in the SONA demonstrates just how out of touch this ANC government is and how little it cares about people living in remote rural communities who are being targeted by violent criminals.

In KwaMlaza village in the Port St Johns Municipality, for example, violent crime has led to villagers fleeing their homes after 9 people, 8 of them women, have been hacked to death or raped and then killed in the past 5 years with not one successful prosecution. In this village the people have given up hope in the police who appear to operate on a catch and release basis allowing criminals to walk amongst their victims.

Every other day we read about farmers, farmworkers and their families being brutally attacked and often tortured by violent criminals.

In May this year, Tool and Liezel Wessels were attacked on their farm in Bonnievale. Boiling water was poured over her and she was made to watch as her husband was stabbed to death.

Your deafening silence on the violence committed in rural communities across our country is unacceptable Mr President. It is time for bold action to tackle crime and rural safety now, we do not have another ten years.

Madam Speaker, there is still time to turn the tide on the rural crime wave sweeping our nation if we act now. The DA has a rural safety plan which can restore hope and order to the most isolated and vulnerable communities: from the commercial farm in Viljoenskroon to the rural village outside Keiskamahoek.

It is a plan that focuses on building a smart police force equipped with the necessary knowledge and resources to deploy cutting edge technology in the fight against crime. We believe that the deployment of drones with heat sensing technology into rural communities will assist in tracking down criminals and bringing them to book. This is not a ten-year plan Mr President, this technology is available today and can be deployed tomorrow.

We believe that by establishing Rural Community Policing Units with community members trained as rural reservists policing capacity will be augmented in some of the most isolated regions of our country. The DA’s Rural Safety Plan offers tangible solutions to curb the rising tide of rural crime.

Madam Speaker, South Africans deserve an honest and professional police service that they can trust led by men and women of integrity who are well trained and resourced to keep our citizens safe.

In building an effective and fit for purpose SAPS a DA national government would move swiftly to ensure:

    • A zero-tolerance approach to corruption within the SAPS;
    • The appointment of fit for purposes officers and management who are passionate about policing;
    • The retraining all police officers to serve and protect with pride;
    • Making policing a provincial responsibility; and
    • Establish an effective drug-busting force.

When it comes to fighting corruption Madam Speaker, this Parliament has an immediate opportunity to strike fear into the hearts of the corrupt and criminal elements within SAPS by appointing a permanent head of IPID with unimpeachable integrity who will clean out the rot that has taken over SAPS. This is our moment to give real hope to all South Africans living in fear that we are serious about their safety.

In spite of the President’s promises in the 2018 SONA that he would focus on the distribution of police resources to areas hardest hit by crime the situation is getting worse. In the Western Cape last year, half of all murders were recorded at only 13% of police stations.

These are the stations that need resources Mr President. Murder in Philippi East precinct has increased by 180% over the five-year period from 2013/14 to 17/18, and by 36.7% in the last financial year. This station now has 1 officer per 344 citizens. Over the past two years, the Western Cape provincial ratio has deteriorated from one police officer to every 385 people, down to one police officer to every 509 people.

While the ANC government is playing politics with the lives of the people of the Western Cape, the people in Nyanga, Mitchells Plain and Hanover Park have to fear for their lives.

A DA-led national government would give more of the powers and functions of policing to provincial police commissioners and station commanders, so they are empowered to tackle crime on a local level.

Madam Speaker, in South Africa every day 109 people are raped, and 57 people are murdered. During this debate somebody will be attacked, raped or murdered.

The DA has a plan to turn this horrific situation around. The question is Mr President, do you?

Andrew Whitfield

DA Shadow Minister of Police

Plant a tree and save the future

June 25, 2019

Planting a tree is said to be one of the best ways to secure your children and grandchildren’s futures.

Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson would, therefore, like to call on all stakeholders to join the municipality’s tree-planting drive.

Piet van der Walt of Plantelus Nursery shows Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson what a Cape Ash looks like.

“August and September are two of the best months to plant certain indigenous trees,” he said.

“We’d like to encourage all residents and businesses to join us in planting trees, be it in their gardens or at their premises.

“The DA led Kouga Municipality will also be identifying public areas, including parks and sidewalks, where we would like to plant trees.”

Benson recently visited respected gardener Piet van der Walt, of Plantelus Nursery in Jeffreys Bay, for advice on which trees to plant.

“He recommended the Cape Ash and Wild Plum trees. Both trees are indigenous, grow fast and require little maintenance. An added advantage, especially in coastal areas, is that they are wind resistant.”

He said these trees must preferably be planted in a sunny spot.

“Also important is that these trees are less prone to damaging roads, walls and buildings, as both have taproots which grow directly downward.”

Benson said that while spekboom was a good option, Van der Walt cautioned that they do not grow as quickly as the Wild Plum or Cape Ash.

“The tree-planting drive is part of Kouga Municipality’s commitment to combating climate change.

“Trees not only create the very oxygen we breathe and need to survive, but they also remove harmful greenhouse houses from the air,” he said.