DA plans to fight hostile takeover of the Reserve Bank

August 20, 2018

The nationalising of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB)is a hostile move in a long game of EFF political maneuvers to influence the mandate and operations of the Reserve Bank and ultimately South Africa’s banking system as a whole.

This is also an electoral game for the EFF. Whether or not the Bill is passed, the EFF hopes to dominate the ANC’s radical agenda, and position itself as the authentic party of the left.

In a statement released on the 6th of March 2018, the EFF is unreserved about its ambitious plans for the SARB, including: influencing prudential oversight, deconcentrating bank ownership, expediting the licensing of state owned banks, and using the SARB to create a preferential environment for certain banks including state-owned development finance institutions.

At present, private shareholders are limited to holding 10 000 shares and to electing a minority of the non-executive Board members. The provision of a fixed dividend means that shareholders do not invest with the motive of making profits.

In addition, shareholders play no role in the formulation and implementation of monetary policy and are excluded from core functions.

There can be no meaningful public interest motive in nationalising the Reserve Bank, only the furtherance of private political interests.

Nationalisation will mean that Finance Minister will have the ability to appoint every board member from a list of nominees that are confirmed by a panel also largely appointed by the Minister.

The conflict of interests doesn’t stop there; this Bill has to be interpreted in conjunction with the EFF’s Bank’s Amendment Bill enabling the state to own banks.

Coupled with greater ministerial involvement in the Reserve Bank, this will give the government enhanced ability to influence the rules in a market in which it also competes.

As South Africa confronts the public losses due to state capture, another likely avenue for corruption should not be opened up.

Financial prudence and stability do not go in hand with the EFF’s tendency towards recklessness. The memorandum to the Bill is meant to provide detail about its financial implications.

In the relevant section Julius Malema has indicated ‘none’. This Bill has recklessly been submitted without the necessary due diligence. The shares cannot just be written out of existence.

The EFF will need to propose a mechanism of expropriation, compensation and determination of the shares’ value. In addition, the potential impact on investor sentiment must be considered.

The DA opposes threats to Reserve Bank independence and will ensure that the true costs of the Bill are tabled and debated.

Gwen Ngwenya MP – DA Member of the Finance Committee

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Vandals target Weston water supply

August 17, 2018

The valve of the Weston reservoir at Hankey was smashed by vandals during Wednesday night.

This means the Weston community will now not have tap water at all, even during those hours when the water would have been turned on.

The municipality is delivering water with tankers and bottled water will also be available from the community hall.

The Kouga Dam which supplies water to the towns of Hankey and Patensie is below 7 % of capacity, leaving the Kouga Municipality no choice but to ration water.

DA municipalities celebrate two years in government

August 14, 2018

In 2016, South Africans entrusted the DA with governing more than 30 municipalities across the country.

The five DA local governments that are being highlighted shine a bright light on the extra-ordinary work that continues to happen in these many DA-led municipalities throughout the country.

The overwhelming record of DA governed local councils is that where we govern, service improves, corruption is rooted out, the economy grows, jobs are created, and basic delivery for poorer residents improves. This is the DA difference.

Drakenstein, Midvaal, Kouga, Modimolle-Mookgophong and Thabazimbi are five councils that provide a representative sample of the difference the DA is making in government wherever we are elected.

The DA does not take the trust placed in us by the residents of these five municipalities for granted.

We highly value every opportunity we are given to demonstrate the DA difference in action.

Local government responsibility is the closest link between a government and its people and after years of financial mismanagement, corruption and neglect by the ANC, the DA got hard to work repairing this broken bond.

Previous ANC administrations left behind a sea of debt. Drakenstein, Midvaal, Kouga, Modimolle-Mookgophong and Thabazimbi are an inspirational story of DA governments that turned financial wastelands into thriving local towns for all South Africans.

The DA currently governs for over 16 million South Africans and controls the majority of the country’s local government budget. We continue to work hard to deliver on our promises of clean, efficient governments which deliver to the people we serve.

Kouga

When the DA was voted into office in 2016, we found more than 1 700 title deeds for RDP houses lying around in store rooms and offices, some dating back more than 15 years.

The late Mayor, Elza van Lingen, distributed 202 of these title deeds at Thornhill on Human Rights Day.

Her successor, Mayor Horatio Hendricks, handed out a further 631 title deeds at Kruisfontein, Humansdorp, on Nelson Mandela Day, and the remainder will be distributed at Sea Vista, KwaNomzamo, Patensie, Hankey, Pellsrus and Thornhill over the next two months.

DA-led Kouga has strengthened its financial position and now has sufficient revenue to increase grant funding, boost capital delivery and drive a pro-poor budget.

By cutting corruption and waste, and restoring public faith in the local council, this municipality has almost tripled its cash on hand from R38 million to R94 million in the past two years.

The previous ANC-led municipality had failed to pay mandatory contributions to the Department of Labour for ten years which meant that staff were not covered for injuries on duty.

The DA-led government cleaned up this ANC mess and Kouga has since been issued with a letter of good standing from the Department of Labour.

The Municipality also paid off R 17 million that was owed to the Department of Transport.

New bakkies to boost service delivery in Kouga

August 12, 2018

The DA led Kouga Municipality has received another boost, with 11 new bakkies set to strengthen the institution’s service delivery departments.

The one-ton Nissan light delivery vehicles (LDVs) cost almost R 3,6 million.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said aging municipal vehicles impeded service delivery and that replacing the fleet was one of the priorities for the municipality’s leadership.

“We were shocked when the DA took over as the new Council in 2016 to learn that only 4% of the municipality’s vehicles were fully operational while the remainder were constantly breaking down and 58 were no longer working at all,” he said.

He said the DA immediately set out to replace the dysfunctional fleet systematically in order to meet the needs of communities.

Eight of the bakkies will be given to the Water and Sewerage teams.

Two will be used by the Electrical section while the Corporate Services directorate will, after many years, also have a new set of wheels to play their role as a support department effectively.

“We are confident that this will help curb unnecessary delays and improve our response time to service delivery complaints,” said Hendricks.

Poverty stricken Dimbaza a monument to economic mismanagement

August 10, 2018

Dimbaza, once an industrial hub near King Williams Town, has for decades been a prime example of how the ANC has failed to build the South African economy and create jobs.

This ghost town, filled with vacant factories, some of which have now been turned into rubble, once supplied work to thousands of poor Eastern Cape residents.

Dimbaza used to be the breadbasket of what was previously known as the Ciskei, with many factories sustaining the local economy before and shortly after 1994. It was a thriving community in the past.

After the ANC’s rise to power, incentives and tax rebates given to companies setting up shop in Dimbaza ceased and most industries moved elsewhere. The town was turned into an industrial graveyard with an estimated unemployment rate of 70%.

Fifteen years ago Damesh Daya was a director of a company that manufactured jeans in Dimbaza. He told us that in its heyday this company employed more than 3 000 local residents.

The recently released Quarterly Labour Force Survey indicates that the Eastern Cape has the highest expanded rate of unemployment in the country at 45,8%.

This means that 730 000 people are unemployed in this province and an additional 412 000 have given up looking for work. This has a devastating impact on families who are struggling to put food on the table.

The youth are most affected by the lack of employment opportunities available to them. In South Africa, the youth remain the hardest hit by joblessness, with 67,1% of the 15 – 24-year-old bracket, and 43,2% of the 25 – 34-year-old bracket still unemployed.

“The Eastern Cape needs change to build an inclusive economy that will give our people access to job opportunities,” said Andrew Whitfield, the Democratic Alliance Shadow MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

“To this end I will table a motion in the Eastern Cape Legislature to debate the dire unemployment situation in the province.

The debate will focus on creating a growing and reliable economic environment which will stimulate job creation in the Eastern Cape. Where the DA governs, we have a proven track record of reducing unemployment.

Over the last quarter, unemployment in the DA-led Nelson Mandela Bay Metro decreased by 1,3%, added Whitfield.

De Lille and the Democratic Alliance reach an agreement

July 27, 2018

The Democratic Alliance and Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, have reached an agreement about her ongoing issues with the Party.

Both parties have agreed to a speedy disciplinary process including a hearing that will take place over 3 days in August.

In line with the agreement, the Motion of No Confidence against Mayor De Lille that was scheduled to take place yesterday  in the City of Cape Town Council, was withdrawn.

In addition, the agreement makes space for the Mayor to be held accountable in a fair and reasonable manner for findings of independent Council led-investigations, such as the upcoming Bowman’s report into her conduct.

Upon Mayor De Lille’s insistence, the Party will appoint an FLC panel, and the prosecution will be led by an independent senior prosecutor and will be open to the media.

This agreement states that we will all strive to conclude the matter as soon as possible.

“We are working to ensure that the DA Caucus, the Mayoral Committee and functions of the City are focused on putting the people of Cape Town first,” said Natasha Mazzone, the DA Deputy Chairperson of Federal Council.

Its time to dismantle Eskom

July 25, 2018

Eskom’s latest financials once again reiterates the need for a complete turnaround strategy for South Africa’s energy sector.

The DA plans to introduce a Private Members Bill aimed at dismantling Eskom and creating a separate public entity which will govern and manage the country’s electricity grid and transmission lines.

The remaining part of Eskom, responsible for generation, will be privatised and compete on an equal footing with other entities, including renewable companies, for generation capacity.

This will ensure a more efficient, reliable and competitive energy sector which will not only prioritise service delivery to South African citizens but will also lead to much-needed job creation and foreign investment.

The reality is that Eskom is facing collapse and it will continue to stumble from one crisis to the next until such reforms are implemented. It’s clear that the new dawn has simply remained a slogan at the power utility as there has been very little change.

The DA will continue to fight for an efficient and transparent Eskom.

South Africans deserve a power utility that delivers reliable energy to the economy to empower it to grow and create jobs for the 9.5 million unemployed South Africans.”

South Africans to pay for Zuma’s legal fees

July 24, 2018

It has been revealed that not even one month after sacking his previous lawyer, Michael Hulley, former President Jacob Zuma’s new legal team is twice the size of his previous one, and costs almost R300 000 per day in legal fees.

This cost is expected to be in the millions by the time Zuma’s corruption trial resumes in November.

Due to a long-standing agreement that the state will pay for Jacob Zuma’s legal fees, the ANC government will be picking the pockets of South Africans to fund Zuma’s legal defence team.

This shows that the ANC is not committed to rooting out corruption. Instead, they want South Africans to pay to keep Jacob Zuma out of prison.

The longer the ANC stays in power, the more our country will suffer from the rot of corruption.

In March, the DA filed papers with the North Gauteng High Court asking that the agreement between the Presidency and Jacob Zuma, to cover the legal costs incurred by him for his criminal prosecution be reviewed, declared invalid and set aside.

We have also requested that the court order that the R15.3 million already spent on past criminal and civil proceedings, be refunded.

The public should not pay one further cent towards Zuma’s legal fees.

We believe that the agreement that the ANC government reached with Zuma to cover his costs is illegal.

It has no basis in law and should be scrapped immediately.

Communities benefit from ward development fund

July 23, 2018

Kouga Municipality handed out items worth more than R 600 000 to various community projects recently.

Funding for these came from the Ward Development Fund and was budgeted for in the 2017/2018 financial year.

The items included sports apparel for schools and clubs, upgrades of social amenities such as play parks and sports facilities, computers for non-governmental organisations, stoves for old age clubs and soup kitchens and sewing machines for emerging sewing projects.

Other funds were also allocated to fixing general problems such as street lights, installation of more communal taps in informal areas such as the Golf Course in KwaNomzamo and replacement of vandalised infrastructure.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said ward councillors were tasked with setting up priorities in accordance with the community’s requests and in line with the Ward Development Policy.

“These do not replace or contradict our Integrated Development Plan (IDP) but rather help to advance development as community priorities are constantly being reviewed while other matters are emerging as urgent needs,” he said

Hendricks said he was also pleased to see that most of the beneficiaries of the interventions were from vulnerable groups such as the youth and the elderly.

“It is important that we take care of our youth as the future of our community.

“Our elderly people tend to be the most neglected group and it is pleasing to see that they were considered in this round,” he said.

The Mayor applauded the ward councillors for cooperating with the process to ensure that communities benefited.

DA Eastern Cape energised and united to bring change in 2019

July 22, 2018

The DA’s provincial executive committee and constituency leaders of the Eastern Cape had an extensive three day strategic breakaway and election planning meeting over the weekend.

We reviewed the party’s performance in the province and we are upbeat, especially after positive results in two recent by-elections.

On the 6th of June the DA stood in the ward 9 by-election of the rural Ingquza Hill Local Municipality and grew party’s support from 6.24% in 2016 to 24.94%.

On the same day the DA grew from 88% to 96.01% in the ward 18 by-election in Buffalo City Municipality (BCM).

In ward 9 of Ingquza Hill, usually an ANC-stronghold, the DA even emerged victorious in one of the voting districts.

During our breakaway we also touched on a number of innovative ideas that will assist the party in continuing its upward trajectory in the province.

The EC executive and constituency leaders are upbeat and positive about our growth prospects.

We are energised and united in our goal to significantly improve our chances in the 2019 national and provincial elections.

The Eastern Cape is a broken province in urgent need of a change of government.

It is time for the people of the Eastern to send a firm message by voting for the DA and voting for change.

Nqaba Bhanga – DA EC Provincial Leader