Archive for the ‘DA News’ Category

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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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

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

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

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

Protect our food security in South Africa

June 22, 2019

The ripple effect of violence in our rural communities not only hurts the farmers and farmworkers, but also each and every South African.

When an agriculture producer gets murdered production processes on the farm very often come to a complete halt, and that impacts food production. Who will feed our nation when there are no more farmers to work the land?

 

The South African Police Service (SAPS) Rural Safety Strategy has been a dismal failure. Police stations in the most hard-hit rural areas are understaffed and under-resourced. SAPS is increasingly unable to protect our rural communities.

Each farmer, farmworker (and their loved ones) deserve to be protected from harm.

We urgently need the following interventions:

  • Rural Safety Units must be reintroduced and properly resourced;
  • Innovation in new technology such as surveillance drones, ShotSpotter and geofencing must be explored as a matter of urgency;
  • SAPS must declare rural crime a priority, and keep separate and accurate statistics so that the success or failure of interventions can be measured;
  • The Reservist Programme in farm areas must be properly implemented with a concerted effort to recruit and train framers, farmworkers and farm dwellers;
  • Increased access to health, social support and education must be ensured for farmworkers and dwellers. This is a fundamental human rights issue.

Sign our petition calling on the President to act now and stop the war on our food!

Become a DA member and become part of the solution for South Africa

June 21, 2019

The DA’s Public Representatives and volunteers in your community are on the ground to continue to build the blue machine across Kouga.

Our membership base is the foundation of our organisation and vital to our success.

If you are not home and we happen to miss you; please visit https://membership.da.org.za to sign yourself up as a member.

Join us in building #OneSouthAfricaforAll

If you require more information or would like help to become a member of the Democratic Alliance please email kougademocrat@gmail.com

Shaping the DA to shape the future

June 15, 2019

Mark my words, the DA has a central role to play in securing a prosperous future for South Africa. No amount of hype around a “new dawn” can obscure the reality on the ground, which is that South Africa is sliding backwards.

That reality is reflected in four stark facts about our economy that have come to light in the past month.

First, broad unemployment (which includes those who have given up looking for work) is now at a record-high of 9.9 million people, equating to 38% of our workforce. In the first quarter of 2019, unemployment grew in every province except the DA-run Western Cape, where it fell.

Second, our economy contracted by 3.2% (annualized) in the first three months of this year, the biggest quarterly contraction in a decade.

And it is unlikely to grow substantially anytime soon because: third, net investment (as measured by gross fixed capital formation) declined in the first quarter of 2019 for the fifth consecutive quarter, by 4.5%.

And fourth, the recent resignations of the CEOs of Eskom and SAA suggest that the government is simply not prepared to take the necessary steps to fix our state-owned entities.

These outcomes put us in the perilous situation of rising impoverishment and discontent. They will persist until we South Africans reform our economy.

We need to fundamentally change the way we do things and that means facing down the various special interest groups that benefit from the status quo.

This will be very difficult for Ramaphosa’s government to achieve because they rely on these groups for political support.

Thus the DA must succeed in its mission of uniting South Africans around the principles required for a successful state: the rule of law, non-racialism, and a market-driven economy coupled with a capable state that generates opportunities for all.

We need to succeed soon, because we South Africans are still grappling with our 20th century challenges even as 21st century challenges of technology and climate change hurtle towards us.

Our objective is to occupy the centre of South Africa’s political landscape. We are not a party for the right or for the left. Nor do we aspire to represent the interests of any specific groups. Our objective is to promote the national interest.

The DA has experienced rapid growth since 1994, and especially since 2016, when the number of people we govern for (through provincial, metro or municipal governments) almost tripled from around 6 million to around 15 million people. We are a different, more diverse and much larger animal now than the party we were a few years ago.

These changes have brought on challenges associated with increased complexity. We have therefore initiated a comprehensive party-wide review, to assess what changes we need to make to our structures, systems and policies going forward in order to keep growing support for our mission.

Our future is about doing the basics right: building trust amongst South Africans through activism, branches and campaigning, and through good governance. Overall, our governments are in great shape to continue to deliver. But we are now more focused than ever to demonstrate the DA difference in government, and to create thriving market-based economies where we govern.

So we’ll be strengthening our Governance Unit to give it the clout it needs to provide the requisite support to our provincial, metro and municipal governments so they can deliver the best possible service to citizens.

And we’ll be working actively to build national support for economic reform. In 2018, we postponed a summit on growth and redress in order to focus on our 2019 election campaign. That summit is now firmly on the agenda.

Please join us as we shape the future of our nation.

SIgn up to become a DA member online. Click this link to sign up now

Warm regards,

Mmusi Maimane

DA leader

Andrew Whitfield to lead the DA in Kouga

June 14, 2019

The Democratic Alliance has deployed the Eastern Cape Provincial Chairperson, Andrew Whitfield, as the new leader of the Tsitsi-Kouga Constituency.

The Constituency covers both the DA led Kouga Municipality as well as the Kou Kamma Municipality.

Whitfield has also been appointed as the new Shadow Minister of Police in Parliament, following the 2019 National election.

He brings a wealth of experience to the Constituency and has served in all three spheres of government, local, provincial and national.

Andrew was appointed as a member of the Mayoral Committee in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro under Mayor Athol Trollip where he was responsible for Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture.

This was after he led the DA election campaign in the Metro during the 2016 local government election.

He has also previously served as a Member of Parliament as well as in the Provincial Legislature in Bhisho.

“I am delighted to be deployed to Tsitsi-Kouga and am proud to be able to represent the people of Kouga and Kou Kamma in Parliament,” said Whitfield.

We welcome Andrew to the Constituency and it is a honour to have Whitfield as part of the team.

Andrew brings the experience and leadership required to retain Kouga and to win Kou Kamma in the 2021 Election.

He will also raise issues in Parliament that affect our residents and will help us fight the scourge of crime that affects all communities in our Constituency.

Andrew will be meeting with the branch structures in Kouga and Kou-Kamma and explaining the road ahead to 2021 to the members of the DA in the Constituency.

Sign up to become a DA member online. Click this link for more information

For South Africa to work the DA has to succeed – and we will

June 10, 2019

Over the past two days, the Federal Council of the Democratic Alliance (DA) – the party’s highest decision-making body between Federal Congress – convened at Nkululeko House in Johannesburg for its first sitting following the 2019 elections.

Federal Council spent time in honest reflection on the election campaign, the election results, and the current political and economic climate South Africa finds itself in.

Without doubt, the single most pressing issue facing our country today is our catatonic economy, which is failing to halt runaway unemployment and taxing to death a dwindling tax base.

Since 8 May, unemployment has hit a record high of 38%, with 9.9 million people without a job. This is compounded by economic growth contracting by 3.2% during the first months of this year – the biggest decline in a decade.

In addition to this, there is a sustained attack on the independence and the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). South Africa is running out of money, and the proposed solution is to print more money through “quantitative easing”.

This is a disastrous policy, and we need look no further than our northern neighbours Zimbabwe for evidence of this. Federal Council was unanimous that the independence of the Reserve Bank is sacrosanct. The root causes of the country’s economic woes are not monetary, they are political.

South Africa’s economic stalemate cannot be ignored for one more day. Without a vibrant, growing economy, millions more will join the ranks of the unemployed, inequality will broaden, and all South Africans will become poorer and poorer. Our country needs complete reform and the DA has an Agenda for Reform which will be our focus over the coming 100 days and beyond.

This will include but not be limited to tabling our Jobs Bill and Cheaper Energy Bill, fighting for labour legislation reform, opposing any changes to the Reserve Bank independence and mandate, proposing alternatives to the current State Owned Entity (SOE) ownership framework, proposing alternatives to the current Mining Charter, opposing threats to the economy and fiscus such as NHI and expropriation of property and land without compensation, and championing a focus on city-led economic growth.

Reflection on 2019 Election

Federal Council extended its sincere congratulations to Premier Alan Winde and the Western Cape campaign for winning the province for the third successive election. This shows that the DA’s track record of good, clean and delivery orientated governance is rewarded by voters. Premier Winde has appointed a diverse and competent cabinet which is ready to get to work. We thank the people of the Western Cape for placing their trust in the DA, and we will work even harder to fast track service delivery and create more job opportunities for all.

Undoubtedly, the election results on the whole were deeply disappointing. However, I remain as committed as ever to the project of building One South Africa for All. That means I want what is best for the DA, because I still firmly believe that the DA is South Africa’s only hope.

We know that our ultimate mission is to break down the insider/outsider paradigm holding South Africa back. We will unashamedly fight to retain and grow the political centre, and not pander to racial mobilisation or populism on both sides. For that reason, this party has no other option but to emerge from this blow stronger than before. We must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, make the necessary changes, and keep fighting.

We will never celebrate the loss of voters. We are not blind to the loss of support in some areas nor are we deaf to the voices of those who chose to support another party in this election. We will work to regain lost voters and consolidate the voters who we have stood by us.

I will fight to continue the work that builds a diverse, non-racial centre built on shared values. This is the future of South Africa, and it is a future the DA will lead.

Independent Organisational Review

Federal Council has widely welcomed my decision to initiate a comprehensive, party-wide review of systems, structures and policies. The last time this occurred was in 2004, and therefore long overdue.

Terms of Reference

The panel will conduct a review of the party’s fitness to achieve its objective of building a constitutional liberal democratic alternative to the ANC. The review will investigate the underlying drivers of the party’s performance in the 2019 general election and will encompass the capacity of the party’s leadership and public representatives, its political identity, policy platform, strategy, structure, processes and operations, as well as any other considerations that may be relevant to achieving the party’s objectives.

Timeline

The review will take place between now and the next Federal Council meeting of the party on 19/20 October 2019. Updates will be given to each of the federal executive meetings to be held between now and then. The final report will be presented in full to the next meeting of the Federal Executive.

Composition

The panel will be chaired by Ryan Coetzee and will include a number of other independent members to be announced over the course of the next week.

Approach and Methodology

The panel will seek input from all members and structures of the party as well as external stakeholders with an interest in the success of the party.

Those wishing to provide input will be asked to do so in writing. The panel will then also meet with a range of people and structures to discuss their input, including but not necessarily limited to the leader, chairperson, chair of the Federal Council, chief executive, provincial leadership and the leadership of key local governments.

The Report

The final report will be made available in full to the Federal Council. It will then be the responsibility of the Federal Council and the leadership of the party to decide how it wishes to respond to the report.

I am confident this review will successfully perform an honest and frank introspection of where the DA is and where the DA needs to go. We will come out stronger and more resilient than ever before.

Youth Month

With more than 50% of young people not working, Youth Month cannot just be one of ceremony, it needs to reflect on the state of SA for young South Africans. The DA Youth Leader, Luyolo Mphithi, will mark Youth Day at the Hector Pieterson Memorial and run various activities across the country in the weeks after. The campaign will focus on jobs and quality education.

Campaigns

Work has already commenced in formulating a strategy and message for the 2021 Local Government Elections. We are identifying areas where there is potential for growth.

We will be contesting 23 by-elections between June and August, and these will be critical in rebuilding trust with South Africans who did not vote at all, and voters who voted for us previously but did not vote DA in this election.

In rebuilding trust, Provinces have been directed to be on the ground and in communities, especially those which are forgotten communities, where there is no work or service delivery.

Change of Role: James Selfe

James Selfe has announced his decision to step down as the Chairperson of the DA’s Federal Executive at the next sitting of the Federal Council in October, having held the position for the past 19 years. During this time his contribution to both the growth of the DA and our country’s democracy has been immense.

He will now be heading up our Governance Unit, tasked with supporting DA governments to ensure that they deliver better to citizens. This unit will require strong leadership to ensure that we accelerate delivery towards the next elections. James has both the skill, experience and institutional knowledge to spearhead this new unit, and I welcome this decision.

James’s career in the DA, to date, spans over four decades – almost half of which he has served as the party’s Federal Chairperson. He will now relinquish that particular role, but his work in service of his country through the DA continues. Our party, and indeed our country, owe him a debt of gratitude.

Conclusion

It is no longer business as usual for the DA, nor should it be for South Africa’s elected leaders. At the start of the sixth Parliament, we committed to cooperate with the Executive when the people of South Africa are put first. That said, we will continue to hold those in power accountable when the people’s interests aren’t prioritised.

The country is in deep crisis and South Africans are looking for solutions. The DA will work to table these solutions, implement them, and build One South Africa for All.

Mmusi Maimane