Archive for the ‘DA News’ Category

R 46 million in Irregular Government expenditure

June 27, 2017

The auditor-general (AG), Kimi Makwetu, reported a slight improvement in the audit results of national and provincial governments over the past three years.

Releasing this year’s audit outcomes of national and provincial government departments and public entities (auditees), Makwetu revealed that in the three-year period under review (2013-14 to 2015-16), 24 % of the auditees improved their audit results; 14 % regressed; while the results of the majority (62 %) remained unchanged.

He further announced that during this period, public entities fared the best with continuous improvement year on year; however, the audit results of departments regressed in 2015-16.

Irregular expenditure has increased by almost 40% since 2013-14 to R46,36 billion – the increase from the previous year was nearly 80%.

The main reason for the increase in irregular expenditure was the continued non-compliance with supply chain management legislation. Irregular expenditure represents expenditure incurred towards procurement of goods and services without following prescribed processes.

Six auditees were responsible for just over 50% of the irregular expenditure in 2015-16.

They include the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, the KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga departments of Health, the
Road and Transport and Human Settlements departments in Gauteng and the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Fruitless and wasteful expenditure in 2015-16 was 14% higher than in 2013-14 at R 1,37 billion, and was again incurred by an increasing number of auditees.

Six auditees were responsible for just more than 70% of this expenditure – again the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa and the Department of Water and Sanitation are included in this list, joined by three departments in the
education sector and the Compensation Fund.

Unauthorised expenditure has decreased by just over 50% since 2013-14 to R 925 million as a result of interventions at national and provincial levels.

The main reason for the unauthorised expenditure remained overspending of the budget.

ANC is polling below 50 %

June 26, 2017

Since the last sitting of the DA’s Federal Council, there has been a seismic shift in South Africa’s political landscape. The state capture that the DA warned about in 2013 is now an undisputed reality.

In this light, our country is approaching the most important election since the dawn of democracy.

The 2019 General Elections will define whether South Africa can turn around our present decline, and grow to be the prosperous modern democracy that we envisage. We know what many voters are realising day by day – the ANC cannot self correct, and we are determined that Election 2019 will see the end of the ANC’s occupation of the Union Buildings.

The Federal Council this weekend unpacked the latest DA polling data revealing that the DA is gaining ground on the ANC.

It is greatly encouraging to report that the ANC is polling below 50%, which means that it can be unseated at the next election.

It is time for all South Africans to unite against the corrupt Gupta-led ANC and to vote for change at the next election.

Over the next 700 days, the DA’s primary focus will be to prepare for national government and to mount an election campaign of unprecedented scale and reach.

A crucial part of achieving this objective is developing a policy offer that is compelling and credible.

To this end, the Federal Council discussed a number of key policy areas for further development including: jobs and the economy, education, land reform, health, and human settlements.

Through our vigorous and thorough policy process, we will offer a complete suite of policy positions for national government. This remains one of our key focuses in the lead up to 2019.

Of equal importance is ensuring an expanded pool of excellent, diverse and hard-working DA candidates for the 2019 national and provincial elections. In this regard, we considered proposed amendments to the DA’s candidate selection process.

Federal Council also recognised the crucial role that our track record of good governance will play in increasing our support in 2019.

To this end, Federal Council noted the DA’s strong performance in the Western Cape where we are continuing to deliver excellent results.

The Western Cape Premier’s Office was this week praised by the Auditor General as being most actively engaged in helping to improve audit outcomes and deliver sound, clean financial management of public monies.

Under DA leadership, 80% of Western Cape municipalities got clean audits, with KwaZulu Natal in second place with just 18% clean audits.

The City of Cape Town was the only metro to receive a clean audit in the 2015/16 financial year.

Moreover, the DA-run Midvaal was the only municipality in Gauteng to get a clean audit in 2015/16.

The theme emerging from this DA Federal Council is clear: time is running out to save South Africa. Our current government is slowly destroying our precious country, with the ANC on course to lose the next election.

The DA will work night and day to unseat the corrupt Gupta-led ANC government from office.

We have set goals and targets for the Road to 2019, and we will work tirelessly to achieve them.

Regards

Mmusi Maimane

Fire contained in Kouga, spreads towards Blue Horizon Bay

June 20, 2017

There have been some flare-ups in Kouga, however, the worst fire is now on the eastern side of the Van Stadens gorge.

The fire in Longmore. Photo: Dirk Erasmus

SANDF helicopters will be fighting the blaze today, while around 30 firefighters are on the ground, o prevent the fire spreading to the Blue Horizon Bay area.

There were flare-ups at Longmore but fire-fighters were able to contain and extinguish the fires before any further damage was caused.

There have also been flare-ups at Crossways and Thornhill today, but they have been contained.

There are still 80 fire-fighters on the ground in these areas.

Farmers are also busy assisting with mop-up operations, especially in the Thornhill area.

“The major concern at this stage is the fire that has flared up to the eastern side of the Van Stadens gorge behind Woodridge. Kouga has sent fire-fighters to assist Nelson Mandela Bay,” said Kouga Mayor Elza Van Lingen.

Nelson Mandela has not yet been able to restore the electricity supply to the Longmore village.

Kouga Municipality has, however, brought in a generator which is being used to supply power to houses on a rotational basis.

Kouga Municipality is also carting in water and has put in place 25 portable toilets for use by the village, as the water supply has also been affected by the power outage.

“Sightseers have been obstructing fire-fighting operations along the N2 and R102. We ask that people avoid these areas as far as is possible. Drivers are reminded to please reduce speed when driving in these areas,” added Van Lingen.

Police are patrolling affected areas to prevent looting, also of scrap metal.

The Thornhill Police Station is currently being used as the drop-off point for donations.

State of Disaster declared in Kouga

June 13, 2017

Prompted by the widespread destruction caused by fires that have been burning in the region since Wednesday (7 June), the Kouga Council declared a Local State of Disaster yesterday afternoon.

The fore in Longmore. Photo: Dirk Erasmus

The declaration, made at a special meeting at Jeffreys Bay, will now be promulgated in the Provincial Gazette.

This will allow the municipality to apply for additional funding from provincial and national government so as to address the impact of the fires on the local infrastructure and communities.

FIRE HOTSPOTS
Two hot spots are still burning in the Kouga region. These are in the vicinity of Loerie and Crossways.

There is no immediate danger to property. “We are grateful to the local farming community who has also been helping with mop-up operations in these areas,” said Mayor Elza Van Lingen.

LONGMORE PLANTATION

About 50% (roughly 10 500ha) of the Longmore Plantation has burnt down. A total of 110 fire-fighters are still fighting fires in the plantation.

ROAD SAFETY AND ANIMALS

Motorists are cautioned to reduce their speeds when travelling along the N2 and R102 in the vicinity of Van Stadens and Thornhill.

Visibility has been poor, especially along the R102 in the vicinity of Thornhill.

Many animals, both livestock and wildlife, have also been wandering onto the roads because fencing either burnt out or had to be cut so that the animals could escape from the fire.

Sanrail has been asked to put up temporary road signs to warn motorists.

ELECTRICITY: THORNHILL AND LONGMORE

Nelson Mandela Bay Metro was able to restore the electricity supply to Thornhill yesterday and has undertaken to have the power restored to Longmore by Wednesday.

The Metro supplies electricity to Thornhill and Longmore even though these areas are located within Kouga Municipality’s boundaries.

TRAUMA COUNSELLING

Trauma counselling is being offered to residents affected by the fire through the Department of Social Development and Jeffreys Bay Trauma centre.

DONATIONS

“We are very grateful to everyone for the donations and support that have been streaming in since the crisis started on Wednesday.

We have sufficient supplies for affected communities at present.

We also have enough prepacked meals for fire-fighters at present, but will send out an alert should there be any further requirements,” added Mayor Van Lingen.

Jacob Zuma killed the ANC – We will not let him kill South Africa too

June 6, 2017

We should be building a post-ANC South Africa together.

In this post-ANC South Africa, we will put the education of our children first by supporting poor schools to become centres of excellence. No child will be left behind.

We will work hard to create a range of education, training and work opportunities for all young people leaving school.

In this post-ANC South Africa we will recognise the important role investors and entrepreneurs play in creating jobs and fighting poverty.

We will modernise our economy and we will invest in industries that make us globally competitive.

In this post-ANC South Africa we will double the Police Force and we will secure our borders, but we will also look at ways to attract skills and talent from across the continent.

We will choose our global friends well, and then stand by them in their time of need.

Friends such as my Zambian counterpart, Hakainde Hichilema, who was thrown in jail by a corrupt government. He will know he can count on the support of the South African government.

In this post-ANC South Africa we will do all we can to create opportunities for people to stand on their own two feet and escape the dependency on social grants. But, for those who need them, we will double the grant income.

In this post-ANC South Africa we will elect a president who will use the Presidency budget to serve the people, and not to stay out of jail.

This is our plan to bring our country back on track. And parts of this plan are already underway.

Our new coalition governments in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay are already making inroads into reversing the damage left behind in these cities.

In these metros we have tarred new roads, launched new metro police, narcotics and K9 units, handed over thousands of title deeds, launched new housing projects and slashed perks for politicians.

Coalition governments are never easy, but we are making them work for the people of these cities. And we can make them work in national government too.

But it will require a big shift in the way we all think of our roles in building South Africa.

It will require many of you to accept that the ANC you once knew no longer exists.

Jacob Zuma killed that ANC. We will not let him kill South Africa too.

Mmusi Maimane

History made as unanimous budget gets passed in Kouga

June 5, 2017

Kouga Municipality will start its new financial year on a high note following the unanimous approval of the new budget by the Council on 31 May 2017.

It is the first time in the history of the municipality that its annual budget was approved unopposed and without conditions.

da kouga

 

The municipality’s new five-year Integrated Development Plan (IDP) was also approved unanimously at the same meeting.

Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen commended councillors for setting aside their political differences in the interest of communities.

“This is the first budget to be compiled since the new DA-led Council was inaugurated in August 2016.

“We wanted it to be a unifying document, hence an open and transparent process was followed, with ample opportunity for all councillors, communities and stakeholder groups to provide input,” she said.

“We are pleased that our efforts paid off and that the budget for 2017/2018 can be implemented with the full support of all parties.”

In terms of the approved budget the total operating revenue for 2017/2018 is R684,339 million, which represents an increase of 7,03 % when compared to the 2016/17 adjustments budget.

Funding for the budget will be obtained from various sources but primarily from service charges such as electricity, water, sanitation, the Environmental Management Fee (EMF) and refuse collection (54.08 %), property rates (23,46 %), grants and subsidies from national and provincial government (16,69%).

The following tariff increases were approved:

·         Property rates 8%

·         Water 9,5%

·         Sanitation 9%

·         Refuse 9%

·         Electricity (average increase in income) 2,05%

·         EMF 6%

Nqaba Bhanga has been elected as Provincial Leader of the DA

May 8, 2017

Nqaba Bhanga has been elected as Eastern Cape Leader of the Democratic Alliance, at the Provincial Congress in East London.

While the election was a close one, a clear winner emerged by a majority of votes.

The vote and the vote count proceeded without a single query, objection or contest.

The new DA Eastern Cape Leadership is charged with continuing to create positive change in the Eastern Cape and working to continue growing the DA to provide opportunities to more and more people in this province.

The DA is indebted to the outgoing Eastern Cape Leadership, and especially Athol Trollip, as he now focuses on bringing increasing change to Nelson Mandela Bay.

The full complement of newly-elected DA Eastern Cape leadership is:

Provincial Leader: Nqaba Bhanga
Deputy Provincial Leaders: Bobby Stevenson and Terence Fritz
Provincial Chairperson: Andrew Whitfield
Deputy Provincial Chairpersons: Yusuf Cassim, Kobus Botha and Marshall Von Buchenroder.

A new fight for Freedom starts now

April 28, 2017

We come from different political parties, trade unions, churches and civil society groups and we are all South Africans.

We stand united by nothing other than our love for our country.

In 1994 South Africans came together to vote for a new future.

It was an incredible day.

We showed the world that the spirit of the South African people cannot be crushed.

We showed that we can unite in the pursuit of a better life.

We showed that we are a people who love freedom, and we are prepared to fight for it.

Today, 23 years later, we are once again brought together by our common goal: Freedom for all who live here.

We represent political parties.

We represent labour movements.

We represent civil society groups – churches, non-governmental organisations, universities and business.

We have come together to save our democracy from a corrupt government.

We have come together because we believe that freedom must be fought for in every generation.

We have come together because we believe unity is strength.

Unity doesn’t mean you’re the same. It means you’re together.

Today we stand together. United in our diversity.

Under the banner of the Freedom Movement, we will channel the hope and the passion of millions of South Africans who believe in the future of this great nation.

All of us have seen what happens when you give one man too much power.

We have seen what happens when one party is in power for too long.

Together, we are building a new movement to realign politics as we know it.

And, together, we extend a hand of friendship to other parties and individuals who want to join us.

Fellow South Africans

When I look to the future of this country, I see beyond the divisions of the past.

When I look to the future, I see past the narrow party politics of the present.

When I look to the future, I see people who aren’t defined by their political choices. People who no longer have to say “I am ANC” or “I am COSATU” or “I am DA”.

We still are the Rainbow Nation

When I look to the future, I see a new political formation in power.

A new political formation of leaders from across the political spectrum.

A new political formation free of corruption and free of corrupting influences.

A new political formation that defends our Constitution.

A new political formation of, and for, the people.

A new political formation united in the pursuit of prosperity for all.

Because the old order is dying and a new struggle is born.

The old order gave us corruption, looting and the abuse of power.

It gave us an oppressive government that abuses state institutions to fight its fights and settle its scores.

It saw millions of people trapped in poverty and unemployment.

But we’re witnessing the dying kicks of the old order, and the rise of a new struggle.

A new fight against oppression begins today.

A new fight for opportunities begins today.

A new fight for freedom starts now.

Mmusi Maimane

DA request postponement of Motion of No Confidence

April 12, 2017

The DA has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to request a postponement of the Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma, scheduled for 18 April 2017, until such time as the Constitutional Court decides on whether the vote will be done by secret ballot.

“It is important to allow the Constitutional Court the time to determine whether the motion can be conducted by secret ballot, as we believe that this would materially affect the outcome of the vote itself, said Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the Democratic Alliance.

As soon as a decision is taken, the motion must be debated before the Assembly as soon as possible.

“While this means that we have to wait a little longer to vote on the motion, I urge all South Africans to march together to the Union Buildings today and make it clear that we will no longer tolerate a President who is willing to put his own self-interest above the best interests of South Africa, added Maimane.

What does junk status mean for South Africans

April 7, 2017

The inevitable has happened. Standard and Poor’s ratings agency has downgraded our credit rating to junk status.

This could have been avoided, but in the current environment was unavoidable.

The ratings agencies have been warning us for some time that if certain things are not fixed then a downgrade is inevitable.

Then President Zuma goes and breaks it. He has broken the economy and it’s going to take a miracle to fix the already ailing economy.

A country with a junk status take about five years to recover. The economy has been hanging on a thin thread for some time now.

What does a downgrade mean for South Africa

In simple language it means (a) that we are going to pay more for less and (b) the fiscus will have to pay more money for servicing our ever increasing debt that was at R 2.2 trillion at the beginning of the 2017 financial year and forecast to increase to R 2.4 trillion due to the deficit for the 2017/18 financial year.

This will result in less money available for service delivery.

We will be paying more for goods and services because interest rates will increase and the rand will depreciate further. The rand has already depreciated by 11 percent since former Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan was prematurely recalled from an investment promoting overseas tour.

I’m cautious of stating the figures because by the time you read this letter they will be history. The aforementioned will result in further job losses with nearly nine million South Africans already unemployed.

The forecast for debt service costs that is already the fastest rising expenditure item will have to be adjusted upwards due to the impact of the credit rating downgrade.

A credit rating downgrade has two adverse effects. Firstly, there will be a huge outflow of capital as investors cannot invest in markets that are risky due to their money no longer being safe and secondly, the cost of debt increases due to the country be seen as higher risk due to the possibility of it not being able to repay the debt. So interest rates increase.

This uninformed government has a “solution” to the crisis. Recently this government established their own BRICS ratings agency because “other ratings agencies are critical of emerging economies”.

The fact if the matter the investors will use a ratings agency that is credible, and we will not only borrow money from BRICS countries. The second solution, according to newly appointed Gigaba, is to borrow from domestic markets.

The truth is that the uninformed and incompetent  Finance Minister won’t understand that there are insufficient funds in domestic markets to meet the borrowing requirements of the country.

So while we are in a mess the solution is that as South Africans must stand together with cool heads and remain orderly to save this beautiful country of ours.

Dr Malcolm Figg – Constituency Leader of the DA in Kouga