Archive for the ‘DA News’ Category

DA shows growth in Eastern Cape by-elections

September 19, 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) yesterday retained Ward 19 in the Buffalo City Municipality, following a tightly contested by-election.

The DA’s Derek Green emerged victorious and received 71% of the valid votes cast. This shows massive growth after the DA received 57% of the vote in this ward in the 2019 National and Provincial Elections.

The by-election was also contested by the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the African National Congress (ANC) the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The ward became vacant as a result of the tragic passing of former DA councillor Richard Rooy.

“This result is a vote of confidence in the DA, and the endorsement from the voters proves that the DA remains on track ahead of the 2021 local government elections.

It is also a clear indication that the residents of the Buffalo City Metro are tired of being neglected and ignored by an uncaring ANC government,” said DA Provincial Leader Nqaba Bhanga/.

The DA also contested Ward 20 in Nelson Mandela Bay and showed growth, with our candidate, Nandipa Qongqo, receiving 5.65% of the vote. In the 2019 National and Provincial Elections the DA only achieved 2.1% of the vote cast.

This ward became vacant as a result of former ANC councillor Bongo Nombiba being found guilty of fraud and money laundering and sent to jail for 5 years.

The ANC showed a big drop in support to 66.65%. In the 2016 Local Government Election the ANC won the ward with 72.24% of valid votes cast.

Advertisements

South Africa needs a job in every home

September 10, 2019

Our economy is in crisis. Unemployment has hit a record high with as many as 10.2 million people jobless or without hope of finding a job in South Africa.

Eskom is recording losses that are 800% higher than last year! We cannot afford more of the same. Join the call for the president to urgently implement the DA’s Economic Crisis Recovery Plan.

Sign the petition at www.AJobInEveryHome.co.za

The DA’s Economic Crisis Recovery Plan

These seven reforms would lead to an inclusive and modern economy:

  1. Reform our State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) by splitting Eskom into two, opening the market to more Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and allowing well-running municipalities to buy directly from IPPs, selling off SAA and non-essential assets at the SABC with a proper skills and salary audit under strict bailout conditions.
  2. Reform our education to introduce charter schools through public-private partnerships in poor and rural communities so that schools are less than 5kms from home and parents have options. We need to break the hold of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU).
  3. Reform our healthcare by stopping the National Health Insurance (NHI) and passing the DA’s Sizani Universal Health Plan to make quality healthcare available to all South Africans without breaking our national budget.
  4. Reform our labour legislation by relaxing our labour laws, cutting red tape to allow more businesses to create jobs, replacing our national minimum wage with a sectoral minimum wage and opt-out clause for young work-seekers while setting up a Jobs and Justice Fund to invest in future economies.
  5. Reform capacity by building a capable state through trimming Cabinet to 15 ministries.
  6. Reform land by extending property ownership to millions of South Africans through speeding up delivery of urban and rural title deeds, while rejecting expropriation without compensation.
  7. Reform police and rail functions by devolving the power of our police and rail services to provincial governments to keep South Africans safe, and ensure that citizens have a safe and reliable commute to and from work.

STOP the NHI. Help save South Africa

September 7, 2019

The NHI Bill, as it stands, will not provide universal healthcare to the people of South Africa. Instead it will only nationalise healthcare, and as a result, it will bring the same corruption and complete mismanagement that the ANC has bought to Eskom, SAA, local government, and just about everything else it touches.

Along with banning private medical aid, forcing all South Africans to use government healthcare and raising personal taxes by up to R5000 more a month, the ANC’s NHI will destroy medical aids and collapse the economy.

If you cannot trust the ANC to keep the lights on, how can you trust them with you and your loved ones’ healthcare?

We call on every single South African to take a stand against this disastrous ANC-sponsored bill.

It will drive medical practitioners out of the country, collapse medical aidsremove the individual choice of healthcare providers and lead to a large-scale brain drain from South Africa – making the unemployment crisis even worse. It will even give government the right to refuse you life-saving treatment when budgets are depleted!

If you agree with any of the below statements, then we need your help to fight the NHI Bill:

  1. REFUSE to pay an extra tax, over and above all the taxes I currently pay, to fund the ANC’s National Health Insurance.
  2. will NOT travel abroad for specialist treatment because the NHI has driven our best healthcare practitioners out of the country.
  3. will NOT let the ANC-government decide what healthcare I receive. I should be allowed access to private healthcare if I want it.
  4. The ANC government should NOT be allowed to manage the NHI fund like any other State-Owned Entity (SAA, Eskom, PRASA, etc.), giving the Minister of Health sole discretion of how the funds are used.

SUBMIT your objection. Make your voice heard!

YES, there are unacceptable inequalities in our healthcare system. These must be addressed through the hard work of government.

The DA in the Western Cape has managed public healthcare in such a way that people, no matter their socio-economic status, can access quality healthcare. This did not require destroying choice and private healthcare in the process.

The DA has a plan called the Sizani Universal Healthcare Plan that would ensure all South Africans are provided with quality healthcare, without crippling the economy!

Read the DA’s full plan here.

Sign the petition to stop the NHI here

DA calls for activation of National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure

September 3, 2019

The DA notes with grave concern the outbreaks of violent lawlessness targeting the economy across South Africa.

The past 14 days have been characterised by looting, attacks on foreign nationals, the burning of trucks, and violent riots.

In part, these incidents are due to a failing economy in which more than 10 million South Africans cannot find work or have given up looking for work. While the national Government throws billions in bailouts at failing state-owned entities, the national fiscus grows weaker by the day.

To maintain law and order, which is a key requirement for stability and therefore economic growth, we need a co-ordinated approach to actively monitor and rapidly respond and end any violence or disturbances which could cause destruction of property, a loss of life, or further harm South Africa’s economy.

The DA will, therefore, write to the National Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, to request that he activate the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS), in response to these increasing incidences.

The violent truck protests across the country have seen at least 20 trucks per week torched in June, and several highway blockades as recently as today.

Truck torching has involved several other violent incidents in the past few months, including bricks hurled through the windows a driver’s truck in the Eastern Cape, a delivery truck that was petrol bombed in Somerset West, and a driver who died of his injuries after his truck was petrol bombed near Touws River. An attack on trucks is an attack on the economy.

The NATJOINTS is empowered to coordinate all security and law enforcement operations throughout the country and is therefore well placed to first anticipate and if necessary, to respond timeously to incidents of criminality and disorder when they occur.

It is time the Government acts to curb the increasing number of violent attacks on our economy across the country which is compromising stability, the flow of goods and ultimately jobs. Activating the NATJOINTS is in the best interest of the safety and economy of South Africa and her people.

Andrew Whitfield

DA Shadow Minister of Police

DA fully supports Mboweni’s economic reform strategy

September 2, 2019

Tito Mboweni’s economic strategy paper released on Tuesday is a ray of light and hope on an otherwise dark horizon. His prescription is exactly what our failing economy needs. His proposed reforms are practical, realistic and achievable, policies that the DA has long been calling for.

They will have the desired effect of boosting jobs and growth and reducing poverty, unemployment and inequality. They should be implemented immediately.

The DA in parliament will work with Mboweni to make this plan a reality. Where we govern, we stand ready to implement his recommendations. This is about changing the lives of millions of South Africans who are without work, without dignity and losing hope.

It is about reversing South Africa’s slide, breaking the vicious cycle of low growth leading to debt leading to low growth, and setting up a virtuous cycle of growth generating opportunities for more and more people generating more growth. What Mboweni needs now to push his plans through is vocal, robust support from all quarters, be it civil society groupings, think tanks or opposition parties. Most of all, he needs President Ramaphosa’s full support.

South Africa’s economy is in such a bad way and the reform required so obvious that the complete lack of change under the new administration has been perplexing and dismaying. Of course, there are many in the ANC who seek to obstruct reform because it threatens their entrenched interests.

But Minister Mboweni and others in the ANC who support reform surely know that they would have the full support of the DA and many other opposition parties too for any reforms they choose to pass.

This reform agenda is based on the principle, long held by the DA, that only a growing economy can deliver real, broad prosperity and generate more tax revenue for the state to spend on social services. It shows a welcome commitment to a market- rather than state-led economy and to the fiscal discipline we need to get us out of our current debt trap. It seeks to make it easier for businesses to start up, operate, and compete globally. It is music to our ears!

The DA strongly supports the proposal of “full or partial exemptions for SMMEs from certain kinds of regulations, including labour regulations, to mitigate the start-up costs for SMMEs, but also to reduce the considerable regulatory requirements”. Unlocking small business activity is the key to mass job creation and skilling.

We also welcome the proposal that municipalities should take over control of local transport including rail. This will enable us in the Western Cape to develop an integrated bus-rail commuter system, which would take some half million commuters off Cape Town’s roads and into safer, greener, cheaper buses and trains while alleviating road congestion.

And of course, we whole-heartedly embrace the focus on boosting labour-intensive activity such as tourism and agriculture by relaxing visa regulations and creating an enabling environment for investment in agriculture including by upholding private property rights.

We have long called for more competition in the energy and communications industries to increase access and reduce costs. So, we welcome the proposals to unbundle Eskom, sell its coal stations and introduce an independent grid operator, as well as to open Telkom’s fixed-line broadband network and auction spectrum.

The only criticism we at the DA could level at Mboweni’s reform strategy is that it does not go far enough. Cities must be able to purchase power directly from independent producers (IPPs) and the police service must be provincialized.

We’d like to see BBBEE scrapped or completely overhauled to enable real redress, and an unequivocal rejection of Reserve Bank nationalisation, expropriation without compensation, the national minimum wage and national health insurance (at least until we have a more solvent and capable state), all of which introduce risk and deter investment.

But I say this only for completeness, recognising that Mboweni faces constraints within his own party, and his need for pragmatism. We understand that he’s biting off just as much as can realistically be chewed right now.

If the pattern of support for this reform agenda could be mapped, it would show clearly that the ANC is ideologically schizophrenic with the majority in the party resisting change to protect vested interests. However, I believe an overall majority in South Africa’s political establishment would support these reforms. Hence a realignment of South Africa’s politics is required.

We need a coalition that places South Africa as the priority and supersedes party interests. Our constitution binds us as citizens and requires us to advance the interests of all citizens. It is the basis for the broad consensus that can ultimately ensure we agree on a workable plan.

The fiscus must be managed in such a way that we build a capable state that can combat corruption and execute this plan. At the end of the day, only broad consensus on reform and a capable state can deliver real prosperity to our nation.

Warm regards,

Mmusi Maimane
DA Leader

Patients and public suffer due to shocking state of Livingstone Hospital

August 31, 2019

Staff shortages, long queues, broken public ablution facilities and thin, old mattresses are some of the daily challenges facing patients and the public at the Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth.

“On 29 August 2019, I was joined by DA Eastern Cape Provincial Leader, Nqaba Bhanga, MPL, and local DA Nelson Mandela Bay Councillors, Jonathan Lawack and Shirley Sauls, in conducting an oversight inspection at the Livingstone Hospital,” said Jane Cowley the DA EC Shadow MEC for Health.

It was during this oversight inspection that some shocking revelations were made.

Public ablution facilities in the hospital were in a dreadful state. The urinals in the men’s toilets were blocked and urine had spilt onto the floor. The toilet seat in the female toilets was broken. In the women’s general orthopaedic ward, sheets were worn and full of holes and many of the mattresses were uncovered and very thin.

A recent incident in the hospital saw a dying man lying on a mattress so thin that his sister had to beg for another mattress for him to lie on. Her request was met with disdain by a security guard who removed her from the ward. As a result, she was unable to be with her brother when he passed away.

Patients that the delegation interacted with were very grateful for the visit and willingly shared the challenges they face in the hospital, such as very long queues and long waiting periods before being attended to.

However, the compassion and care of the nurses, who work under difficult circumstances due to ongoing staff shortages, was noted and appreciated.

“It is no wonder that the Eastern Cape Department of Health is on the ropes and is now going as far as to try and deny members of the legislature their constitutional right to do oversight at state institutions.

After our presence at the hospital was reported to the MEC for Health, Sindiswa Gomba, she made several attempts to prevent the delegation from fulfilling their constitutional duty to conduct oversight in this organ of state.

However, the delegation was not deterred and continued with the oversight inspection despite being verbally threatened.

I will write to the MEC for Health to establish what budget has been allocated for items such as bedding, mattresses and linen, and whether these items have indeed been requisitioned during this financial year. I will also request a breakdown of ongoing staff shortages and a report on steps being taken to rectify this unacceptable situation,” said Cowley.

In the DA-led Western Cape, efficient health care service delivery includes all aspects of health care, including consumables such as linen and bedding. This holistic approach to health care delivery has resulted in longer and healthier lives of the citizens in our care.

Only a DA government can provide our people with the high-quality health care they deserve.

R 20 billion budget cuts would cause a loss of 23 000 Policemen

August 29, 2019

The South African Police announced in Parliament last week that National Treasury has instructed them to cut their budget through a 5%, 6% and 7% baseline reduction over the next three years.

This may ultimately result in a loss of 23 000 personnel. This shocking announcement comes at a time when the majority of South Africans feel increasingly unsafe in their communities, due to escalating levels of violence and crime.

The DA has proposed an alternative budget proposal, which considers cutting VIP protection costs instead of other police programmes.

The VIP protection budget allocation amounts to approximately R 10 million per individual, per year, with an approximate Cabinet cost to taxpayers amounting to R 631 million yearly.

“It is unconscionable that National Treasury would request SAPS budget cuts, when our police service is already severely under-capacitated and under-resourced.

Further budget cuts will only continue to hinder SAPS’ ability to provide visible policing and will condemn citizens to living in even greater fear than they do now,” said Andrew Whitfield, the DA Shadow Minister of Police.

Currently SAPS has approximately 191 000 employees, a number which would drop to 167 000 by 2022/23. A drop in personnel is not the way to achieve a 50% reduction of violent crime, which was promised by President Ramaphosa,” added Whitfield.

The instruction from National Treasury requests that SAPS must cut its budget by R 5 billion in 2020/2021, R 6.5 billion 2021/22 and by R 7.8 billion in 2022/2023.

This will lead to 23 617 posts being lost, through an approximate R20 billion cut, over the next three financial years.

SAPS is currently 64 000 police officers short of meeting the United Nations (UN) policing ration of 1:220.

In South Africa, the police to citizen ratio is 1:380. A loss of an additional 23 000 personnel is not the answer.

The Civil Secretariat has revealed that SAPS’ contingent liability for civil claims currently totals R 14 billion per year, with claims relating to unlawful arrests and detention totaling R 189 million per year.

The budget shortfall  should rather be addressed by ensuring a more professional, properly trained police service, with minimal civil claims.

“The ANC has bankrupted the state and broken the economy to such an extent that the safety of South African citizens is now at increased risk.

Crime thrives in a broken economy. Now is not the time to be tying the hands of SAPS behind their backs.

The DA believes that by creating a safer South Africa we can ensure prosperity for all our citizens,” said Whitfield.

Do you want to become a leader in the DA?

August 21, 2019

Applications for the DA’s Young Leaders Programme 2020 are now open.

Applications will be accepted between Wednesday, 21 August 2019 and 17h00 on Monday, 9 September 2019.

What is the DA Young Leaders Programme?

The Young Leaders Programme is the DA’s intensive, yearlong, part-time political leadership development course.

The Programme strives to give passionate, young South African leaders the opportunity to develop themselves to their full potential, irrespective of their background.

What do we look for in a potential Young Leader?

Young South African leaders between the ages of 18 and 35 who are already making a difference where they are.

They are committed to not only bringing about change in their communities, but to also growing and developing their own potential.

Young Leaders are able to align their own personal value set to the DA’s liberal values, and are passionate about creating a better South Africa, considering politics and government as a serious career option for their own future.

How to apply?

The link to the application form with all the relevant details can be found on the webpage: www.youngleaders.org.za.

A complete application consists of:

  • a completed online application form;
  • a 90-second video of yourself (submitted via the application form); and
  • a valid letter of reference (submitted via the application form).

For any further information visit www.youngleaders.org.za or contact us at youngleaders@da.org.za.

The DA’s Economic Recovery Plan

August 19, 2019

In order to avoid economic collapse and bring about rapid growth in South Africa, a clear and concrete plan for is required.

The DA is currently in the process of expanding our “Economic Recovery Plan” – a comprehensive package of reform interventions that are unashamedly pro-growth, pro-investment, and pro-job creation.

The focus of this “Economic Recovery Plan” is on deliberate structural reform that will act as shock to our economy, in order to revive it and usher in rapid economic growth. The plan will include the following proposals, among others:

  1. Splitting Eskom into two separate entities while allowing IPPs to come on board by passing the Independent Electricity Management (IEMA) Bill;
  2. Passing our “Jobs Bill”, consisting of a wide range of incentives for foreign companies to invest in SA – bringing thousands of job opportunities to our shores.
  3. Implementing a government-wide Comprehensive Spending Review aimed at reviewing the efficiency of spending, the composition of spending, and future spending priorities in order to “tighten our belts”;
  4. Placing SAA under business rescue with a view to sell it off;
  5. Scrapping BEE and replacing it with a pro-growth plan that offers real broad-based inclusion in our economy;
  6. Beginning the rollout of a Voluntary Civil Service Year for young people;
  7. Introducing tax incentives for big job-creating sectors including manufacturing, tourism, mining and financial services;
  8. Rejecting investment-killing policies including the National Health Insurance (NHI), Expropriation Without Compensation (EWC), the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and the nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB);
  9. Cutting the Public Sector Wage Bill; and
  10. Creating an enabling environment for job creation by freeing up micro enterprise and relaxing labour legislation.

In addition, provinces in which persistent drought continues to affect the agricultural sector must declare such as a provincial disaster. One such province in the Northern Cape, where over 60 000 jobs are on the line due to 5-year long drought.

This plan and the details thereof will be tabled early next month during Parliament’s urgent debate of national importance on the economy, which I requested in light of our current economic crisis.

In order to halt our economy’s spiralling decline and create opportunities for those left outside the economy, we need bold and urgent reform. This is the DA’s plan, and we intend to pursue it with intensity.

National Health Insurance (NHI) more about pillaging than pills

August 16, 2019

Having wrecked public healthcare, looted some R1.4 trillion from the public purse, rendered 10 million adults jobless, and put Eskom into a death spiral, the government is now turning its attention to nationalizing our healthcare system, tabling its National Health Insurance bill in Parliament last week.

Does anyone really believe the government can deliver a functioning NHI system? On the contrary, it will be catastrophic for our society and economy. If necessary, the DA will challenge the constitutionality of this bill.

Without doubt, everyone in South Africa should have access to quality healthcare. This is non-negotiable in our unequal society.

The point of disagreement is how to achieve it. Two distinctly different plans are on the table: the DA’s Sizani Universal Healthcare plan; and the ANC’s NHI.

NHI centralizes the provision of healthcare, making the national department of health the sole provider in the country and forcing all doctors and other providers to contract to the state.

This removes choice and competition and effectively creates a new state-owned enterprise, the NHI Fund, with all the usual vulnerabilities to institutionalised looting and state capture.

It envisages a central fund to buy healthcare services for South Africa’s entire population. It has not been costed but certainly requires a vastly greater budget, to be funded through higher taxes, and will take 10-15 years to implement.

Government spent R4.3 billion between 2012/13 and 2016/17 on ten failed NHI pilots. Yet it now seeks to roll out the failed system nationwide.

Inevitably, our talent and tax base will erode as both medical professionals and taxpayers flee SA in droves to avoid having their lives at the mercy of our corrupt, incompetent government.

Far better is the DA’s Sizani, premised on the principle of leveraging what already works well (SA’s private health sector and private pharmacies) to bring improvements to what is currently dysfunctional (SA’s public health sector).

The plan allocates a universal subsidy to every South African resident to cover a comprehensive package of health services within the public health system – free at the point of access to everyone, while retaining and reforming the medical aid system.

It is affordable and can be implemented relatively quickly (5-8 years), funded using the existing health budget together with the tax benefit currently allocated to medical aid members.

Sizani is based on localising accountability to hospitals and district health authorities and decentralising decision-making and appointment process. Costs would be driven down as the public and private sectors become more competitive.

Aspects of Sizani have been implemented in the Western Cape, where the DA provincial government runs the best healthcare system in South Africa.

Mortality rates are half of other provinces and life expectancy is highest. Hospitals and clinics are far better maintained and resourced.

The WCPG seeks to bring service at public hospitals in line with the best private hospitals. At some hospitals, such as Paarl, they have already succeeded.

By contrast, any equality in health provision achieved by NHI will be through destroying what works, rather than by fixing what is broken.

As with expropriation without compensation, prescribed assets (forced investment of pensions in SOEs) and nationalising the Reserve Bank, NHI is a blatant attempt to open more opportunities for looting.

We need to stop playing political games with people’s lives, reject NHI, and adopt Sizani.

Warm regards,

Mmusi Maimane

Leader of the DA