Archive for the ‘DA News’ Category

Candidates for Interim Federal Leader and Interim Federal Chairperson

November 1, 2019

The Democratic Alliance can confirm that the period for nominations for DA Interim Federal Leader and DA Interim Federal Chairperson has now officially closed.

The elections will take place at a special sitting of the DA Federal Council (FedCo) on Sunday, 17 November 2019, at Nkululeko House in Bruma, Johannesburg.

The following persons availed themselves to contest for the position of DA Interim Federal Leader:

  • Bonginkosi Madikizela
  • John Steenhuisen
  • Makashule Gana

The following persons availed themselves to contest for the position of DA Interim Federal Chairperson:

  • Dharmesh Dhaya
  • Ivan Meyer
  • Khume Ramulifho
  • Nomafrench Mbombo

The nominations for the two positions closed at 17:00 this afternoon and we now look forward to a constructive period of campaigning between the candidates in line with the DA’s values and rules for internal elections.

Helen Zille elected as Chairperson of DA’s Federal Council

October 20, 2019

Over the past two days, the DA’s Federal Council (FedCo)– the party’s highest decision-making body in between Federal Congress – sat to elect a new Federal Council Chairperson, and to consider the report of the Organisational Review Panel established following the 2019 national and provincial elections.

Election of new chairperson of Federal Council

The election of a new Chairperson of Federal Council presents an opportunity of renewal and change for the DA.

The position was previously occupied by James Selfe, who led FedCo for just under 20 years with the utmost distinction.

I want to again thank James for his leadership, support and friendship. James is an unsung hero of South Africa’s democratic project and his valiant work has positively shaped the country we live in.

I want to congratulate Helen Zille on her election as Chairperson of Federal Council, and I look forward to the new energy, ideas and vigour that Helen will bring to the leadership collective of the Party.

Helen has served the party in various positions over the past years, and brings experience and political clout second to none

Further, I want to call on all the candidates and members of the party to unite behind the new FedCo Chairperson. The election and campaigns are over, and now is the time to unite and work for the people with the future in mind.

Resolutions adopted

Federal Council considered the Organisational Review Panel’s report. Following extensive deliberation, Federal Council adopted the following resolutions.

  1. That Federal Council expresses its appreciation to the members of the Review Panel and thanks them for producing their report.  Federal Council accepts the report in principle and gives effect to recommendations in the following resolutions.
  2. That a Federal Congress be convened as soon as constitutionally possible, bearing in mind the administrative processes which should be concluded as quickly as possible to give effect to recommendations of the review process.
  3. That a Policy Review Committee be established, convened by the newly elected Chairperson of the Federal Council, to undertake a comprehensive policy review of the Party’s positions on a number of key matters, most particularly on economic justice and jobs.  The process followed by the Policy Review Committee must involve consultation with Party structures and should be discussed by Provincial Councils.  He or she must cause a policy conference to be convened before the Federal Congress.
  4. That Federal Executive determine the job description and key result areas for a new Chief Executive Officer. Federal Executive should also appoint an interviewing panel and should cause applications to be invited for this position as soon as possible.  As is provided for in the constitution, the Federal Executive should appoint a CEO as soon as possible. The appointment be made for a renewable five-year contract.
  5. Dr Ivan Meyer, Deputy Federal Chairperson, must be charged with the responsibility for building teams at all levels of leadership and that his proposals in this respect should be considered by the Federal Council at its next meeting.
  6. That an investigation, the membership of which is approved by the Federal Executive, be undertaken under the leadership of Refiloe Nt’sekhe, Deputy Federal Chairperson, into the events surrounding the Party’s reaction to the event at Schweizer Reneke and the Party’s reaction to this as well as other issues highlighted on page 6 of the Review that were used to exploit racial divisions. Such investigation reports must be tabled before the Federal Council.
  7. That in preparation for the early Federal Congress, a constitutional review committee be established by the Federal Executive to give effect to the recommendations by the Review process and be charged with producing appropriate amendments to the Party’s constitution.  Such proposed amendments should be workshopped through the structures of the Party.  Such a constitutional review committee should inter alia consider term limits for the election of office-bearers.
  8. That a review committee be established to review the organisational and administrative structures of the Party under the direction of Natasha Mazzone, Deputy Chairperson of the Federal Council.  This review committee to be approved by the Federal Executive.  To the extent that such an organisational review results in recommendations that would affect the Party’s constitution, such recommendations should be fed into the constitutional review committee.
  9. That the committee established to consider the organisational and administrative structures of the Party, considers the advisability and practicality of establishing an advisory panel as proposed in the Review Panel as well as a crisis communication committee.
  10. That sections 6 and 7 in the Review Panel Report dealing with the Political Purpose, Culture and Values be networked and discussed with all branches and structures with immediate effect.  Such networking should involve a guided discussion approved by the Federal Executive.
  11. That a proper assessment of the Party’s role in governments and communication thereon by our governments be undertaken by the Governance Unit urgently.  Such assessment shall include polling in these governments.
  12. Focus is paid to all upcoming by-elections before 2021 which will require the participation of all required public representatives as allocated to roles, and as agreed to by national, provincial, regional and constituency leadership.  A roll-out of by-election training is undertaken which requires the participation of all public representatives, relevant operational staff and other key role players in by-elections where appropriate.
  13. Focus be given to the 2021 elections urgently in order that the Party can recruit potential candidates and immediately conduct comprehensive and certified training for such candidates.  That the Party undertake a campaign to interact with voters to communicate the Party’s core values that is aimed at winning the trust of voters.

Conclusion

The country is currently facing profound challenges noting the current Eskom rolling blackouts, the 10.2 million South Africans unemployed due to our collapsing economy, citizens continuing to live in fear due to the scourge of crime, and lack of access to basic services due to failing local governments and corruption. These challenges require a stronger and united DA because when the DA works, South Africa works.

We come out of this weekend’s Federal Council committed and reenergised to building One South Africa for All – accelerating our work in parliament as the official opposition to offer alternatives to the governing party and hold the national executive accountable. We further made a commitment to strengthen and capacitate our governments in their work of running clean, capable governments that deliver services to all.

It is now time to roll up our sleeves, and work with South Africans from all walks of life towards building a prosperous South Africa for all.

 

Mmusi Maimane

Leader of the DA

No Smart IDs for poor and unemployed South Africans

October 15, 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) can reveal that the Department of Home Affairs has no plans to roll out Smart ID Cards to indigent and unemployed South Africans. This was revealed to the DA in a Parliamentary reply by the Minister of Home Affairs. The reply further states that Government will only provide free Smart ID Cards to the elderly and first time applicants.

The DA believes this will disproportionately affect people who simply cannot afford to pay for the new Smart ID . Assisting indigent and unemployed people with free Smart ID cards, would not be a handout, but rather a means to empower citizens to access employment, educational and other opportunities.

We are of the view that Government should provide indigent and unemployed persons, who earn less than a set amount per year, access to free Smart ID cards.

The ANC government should go an extra mile to empower those South Africans who are poverty stricken largely because of numerous government failures to attract investment that will create employment opportunities.

Living without an identity document can be extremely limiting for the poor as they struggle to access housing, sanitation, healthcare or even basic education, and ultimately excludes them from meaningfully participating in our society.

The DA Rural Safety Plan will keep communities safe

October 2, 2019

The Democratic Alliance has announced a plan to bring law and order back to our rural communities.

The six point plan looks to completely stamp-out violent crimes committed on our farms. Kouga has also been affected by farm attacks with a particularly gruesome attack taking place in Hankey last year.

“Our rural safety plan aims to guarantee community-based policing in rural areas and will focus on the unique challenges experience by each district.

The model proposed is constitutional, does not require any legislative, regulatory or policy changes. It is designed to act as an effective means to fight rural crime,” said Andrew Whitfield, the DA Shadow Minister of Police.

DA Rural Safety Plan: A boots-on-the-ground approach to keep rural communities safe:

Establish rural policing centres

Police stations that serve a mainly rural area need to create at least one dedicated rural sector as part of its regional policing structure and plan

Deploy more officers to rural areas to limit farm murders

Each rural sector will require boots on the ground to ensure communities feel safer and to deter criminals.

Embolden “community policing”

With SAPS being short-staffed as ever, there simply aren’t enough cops to go around. The proposed solution? Allow rural safety plans to be customised at a local station level, alongside community volunteers.

Introduce the Rural Community Policing Unit (RCPU)

Blurring the lines between neighbourhood watch and SAPS, “RCPU reservists” will work just like SAPS reservists, receive specific rural police training and allow paid volunteers to act as “part-time rural officers”.

Farm murders: Improve the support networks for police and volunteers

Citizen Band (CB) networks, radio rooms, rural policing by drone, a rural radio safety station and additional financial support have been identified as tools to bolster communication between each potential RCPU.

Create new structures within SAPS

A Rural Crime Intelligence Division (RCID) function will help collate, process and share rural safety information and work mostly at a district level.

Meanwhile, a Provincial Rural Safety Directorate (PRSD) will use tip-offs to mitigate threats in rural communities.

“Our plan takes a community-focused, ‘boots-on-the-ground’ approach to rural safety which includes the extensive use of technology in new ways and proposals for greater police visibility to keep rural residents safe,” added Whitfield.

DA celebrates Heritage Month in Kouga

September 29, 2019

Great fun was had in Jeffreys Bay on Saturday when the DA held a bowls day at the local bowling club.

36 teams from all over Kouga enjoyed an afternoon of bowls and socialising after watching the Springboks dismantle Namibia in the Rugby World Cup.

The Bowls Day was held as a fund raiser in the Ttisti Kouga Constituency.

“Thank you to everyone who came out to support the inaugural DA Bowls fundraiser in Jeffreys Bay. What a tremendous success!

A very special thank you to Carla Kritzinger without whom this day would not have been possible,” said DA Provincial Chairperson Andrew Whitfield.

“Politics can also be fun and we will be holding this event on an annual basis,” said Whitfield.

Five ways DA governments across South Africa are innovating

September 26, 2019

Here are five ways that DA governments, across the length and breadth of South Africa, are meeting the challenges of the 21st-century head-on:

Africa’s first plastic road in Kouga:

In the small town of Jeffrey’s Bay in the beautiful Eastern Cape, the DA-run municipality of Kouga has officially started work on Africa’s first-ever plastic road.

“Non-recyclable plastic waste, which ends up in the ocean or clogging up landfill sites, is processed into pellets and used to replace a large component of the bitumen in a conventional asphalt mix.”

– Vicky Knoetze, DA Eastern Cape MPL

Water is the number one cause of potholes on regular roads. The plastic road is therefore said to be stronger and more durable, as it is more difficult for water to penetrate the surface.

Green innovation in the City of Johannesburg:

The DA-led City of Johannesburg’s Housing Department recently won a Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Award at the United Nations 14th Annual Session of the Global Forum on Human Settlements.

The award was won for the City’s South Hills mixed-income housing development, a housing development praised as a “global green model community“.

The South Hills development will yield 6 204 units, with 408 already completed.

South Africa’s first housing app in Stellenbosch:

The DA-run Stellenbosch Municipality recently launched a housing app to increase accessibility and access to the housing database for all residents.

The app is not only a first for Stellenbosch but is one of the first-ever municipal applications in South Africa.

There are currently over 16 300 applicants currently registered on Stellenbosch’s housing database, but the information of many applicants is incomplete or out-dated. The app will allow residents to update their information, and create a secure profile that can be used to complete an application.

“Our new housing app and the implementation of our housing demand database will allow us to keep accurate records and plan according to the needs of our residents.”

– Stellenbosch Mayor, Gesie van Deventer

A future-focused school in rural Worcester:

Thanks to a partnership between the DA-run Western Cape government and private donors, a state-of-the-artworld-class primary school has officially opened in rural Worcester.

Botha’s Halte Primary places an emphasis on e-learning, demonstrating how 21st-century technology can be used to reach and contribute to quality education in rural and outlying areas of South Africa.

Digital technology is changing the way learners are educated. The school has already become an educational hub for the district and, through digital teaching, seamlessly links with other teaching institutions such as the University of Stellenbosch.

For the last 18 months, the DA-run City of Cape Town has embarked on an innovative project to tackle harmful methane emissions from Cape Town’s landfills.

Waste to energy in the City of Cape Town:

By safely trapping methane gas pockets produced by decaying rubbish in landfills and then burning the gas, the City of Cape Town is eliminating harmful greenhouse gasses.

The innovation, however, doesn’t stop there. The City will now embark on phase two of the project which will see the harmful methane gas used as a heating fuel in industry, to generate electricity or as a fuel for vehicles.

This initiative will be a useful case study for all other local governments across South Africa, with other DA governments, in particular, focused on fighting greenhouse emissions.

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.

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