Archive for the ‘DA News’ Category

We are ready to interdict the Nuclear Deal

November 6, 2017

The DA will not hesitate to interdict any attempt by Minister of Energy, David Mahlobo, to force through a nuclear deal despite the fact that South Africa does not need or cannot afford the estimated R1 trillion deal.

Media reports over the weekend indicate that the Energy Department has been forced to work overtime to ensure the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is ready by 14 November, a full four months ahead of when it was due.

With each passing day, it becomes clear that Minister Mahlobo was appointed to make sure that the necessary nuclear deal would be pushed through.

“We will not allow Mahlobo to appease his friends, the Russians, at the expense of millions of South Africans who are struggling to survive with no jobs in a flat economy, said Gordon Mackay, the DA’s Shadow Minister of Energy.

“The DA will use every legal and Parliamentary tool at our disposal to ensure that the generations to come will not be shackled to massive debt that will compromise South Africa’s future,” added Mackay.

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Tomorrow doesn’t have to look like this

October 28, 2017

They say numbers speak louder than words. This is certainly true of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s mid-term budget speech this week.

The numbers were practically screaming, telling us we’re fast running out of money. And our rand responded accordingly, dropping about 3% against the dollar.

Our national financial situation is bleak and the outlook bleaker still – unless we make some bold, brave changes.

Debt service costs have been our fastest growing item of spending, and will be 15% of our budget within three years, meaning for every R1 we have to spend, the first 15c will go to paying off debt.

As confidence in our economy continues to fall, it will cost more and more to service debt, leaving less and less to spend on digging ourselves out of an ever-deepening hole.

Almost half of all spending by government is on wages and interest. This is extremely unproductive and unsustainable.

It’s one thing to borrow to invest in things which could create growth and jobs for the future, such as a top quality education system or enabling infrastructure. Quite another to borrow money to fund a bloated, inept, patronage-driven state.

We have to stabilize and sell off non-strategic, loss-making SOEs such as SAA and improve efficiency at the rest, by employing fit for purpose managers and directors and holding them to account.

We need to reject outright any further investment in nuclear, split Eskom into separate power production and distribution entities, and promote independent, decentralized power production from a diversity of sources.

We need to invest in quality education and training, and we have to build a system and culture of on-the-job skilling through apprenticeships, internships and national service.

We need to relentlessly promote small businesses and make it easier for entrepreneurs to access credit and support. They need a more flexible labour market that enables rather than deters job creation.

We must bring data costs down.

We need land reform that gives real ownership in the form of title deeds, rather than uncertain tenancy.

We need stable, coherent mining policies that are rooted in real-world considerations such as the need to be globally competitive.

Once the economy is growing and investment is coming back in, we can reduce the tax burden on the middle class that has been so overburdened recently, and who are really struggling to make ends meet. This will improve revenue collection and further boost growth.

We need all these things and more. But if there is one silver bullet, it is to eject the moribund ANC and give South Africa a new beginning.

There is simply no other way to restore hope for our children’s future.

Regards

Mmusi Maimane

Our pledge to voters and our values are not negotiable in coalitions

September 3, 2017

In the build-up to the 2016 Local Government Elections, we made the same promises to people wherever we campaigned.

And those promises were that, if we were to be voted into government, we would improve service delivery to poor residents, we would root out corruption and we would bring growth and jobs to these communities.

We promised people a clean break from the corruption, the waste and the unaccountability of their incumbent ANC local governments.

And we told them that we wanted to be held to our election pledge. Wherever I campaigned I said: If the DA fails to live up to its promises, then people must use their votes to fire us. And I meant these words.

Fast-forward to immediately after the elections, when the results in several metros put the possibility of coalition governments on the table.

In our negotiations with other parties – and ultimately in our coalition agreement with them – we reiterated our election pledge to the people, and we made it very clear that honouring these promises would be our non-negotiable condition for co-governance.

We were (and still are) prepared to work with all parties, as long as they shared our core commitments to end corruption, deliver services and create jobs.

We would not tolerate a corrupt coalition partner or one that put our ability to deliver services at risk.

The behaviour of Councillor and Deputy Mayor Mongameli Bobani of the UDM, over almost the entire period our coalition government has been in office in Nelson Mandela Bay, was aimed at disrupting the council on which he served and preventing it from doing its work.

This started from the get-go, when he refused to give up the VIP blue lights in his vehicle. This made him the only person in all DA-run cities or DA-led coalitions to break the agreement on blue light vehicles.

From the start Councillor Bobani’s intention was to sabotage the operation of the Nelson Mandela Bay government. There is no other explanation for repeatedly voting with the ANC and against the coalition government.

There is no other explanation for laying baseless charges against the City Manager and the Executive Director of Corporate Services. There is no other explanation for holding his own parallel State of the City event.

And then there is the prima facie evidence, contained in two separate independent forensic reports, of maladministration, fraud and tender irregularities that occurred within departments under Councillor Bobani’s authority.

These reports state that the instructions for the actions in question came from the Deputy Mayor’s office. They also recommend that the Metro attempt to recover the missing funds and take criminal action against those involved.

Any one of these incidents would be grounds for removal from his post. Together, his position becomes truly indefensible.

Yet the UDM’s national leadership under Bantu Holomisa refused to budge, threatening first to pull out of the coalition – a threat they have since back-tracked on – and later to take the DA to court in order to have Councillor Bobani reinstated.

Sadly, the communication from the UDM has become racially divisive, which contradicts the core values of our co-government project.

But this is where it is important to remember the DA’s position on coalition governments: We’re only in it for the people.

The only reason we hold office in the metros is to speed up delivery, eradicate corruption and open opportunities for people.

We’re not there to govern at all cost. If any of our coalition partners insist on making these metros ungovernable, we must draw a line in the sand.

And it is important that our partners realise this too. Because if they think you’re prepared to govern at all cost, they can and will put you in an impossible position.

It is deeply regrettable that Councillor Bobani has been given free reign by his party to wreak havoc in the Nelson Mandela Bay Council.

We have tried over the past eight months to resolve the issue, and we will continue to do so.

But this does not alter our position: We will not allow our own values, our own integrity and our promise to voters to be sacrificed.

Mmusi Maimane
DA Leader

RDP houses being built in Kouga again

August 30, 2017

For the first time in 11 years RDP houses are once again being built in Kouga.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said work on 391 RDP houses at Kruisfontein and 220 RDP houses at Pellsrus was progressing well.

“About 50 houses are already taking shape at Kruisfontein. We are delighted that housing delivery is back on track after more than a decade of empty promises by the previous Councils,” she said.

She said the municipality was also working non-stop to get other housing projects in the region off the ground.

“A year ago when the new Council was inaugurated, we said that we would hold the East Cape Department of Human Settlements to its commitment to build houses in Kouga and we will continue keeping a close eye on developments,” she said.

“Ten big housing projects were approved as far back as 2009 but never implemented. Kouga’s people have been very patient and it’s time for that patience to be rewarded with houses.”

The contractors for the 391 Kruisfontein and 220 Pellsrus projects were announced by the Department last year but work only started officially this year.

The two-year contract for the installation of internal services and the building of houses at Kruisfontein was awarded to Bendolite while the Ikhaya Development Trust was awarded the two-year contract for Pellsrus.

The Mayor said in terms of the contracts at least 80% of the labour required, had to be sourced from local communities.

“Project Steering Committees have already been established for both projects. A Community Liaison Officer (CLO) has also been appointed for Kruisfontein while the appointment of a CLO for Pellsrus is being finalised,” she said.

The expected completion date for both projects is 2019.

The DA will not tolerate corruption

August 29, 2017

The DA welcomes the apparent commitment from the Leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Bantu Holomisa, that the UDM will remain in the Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) coalition.

We are however concerned with his intention to approach a court to reverse the removal of Mr Bobani as Deputy Mayor.

One of the main purposes of forming coalition governments, in NMB and elsewhere, was to make a distinct break from the previous ANC administrations, which were riddled with corruption and maladministration.

Our primary responsibility in government must, therefore, be to expose corruption where it exists and to root it out completely from the governments we, in coalition with others, run.

This is what we were elected for and it is a duty we take seriously.

The DA cannot and will not be indecisive in dealing with those who put their own interest above those of the residents of NMB. When we say we have a “zero tolerance” approach to corruption, we mean it, and we cannot have someone in our government who is ambivalent about corruption.

It is also impossible to have a coalition partner who regularly votes with the ANC to slow down service delivery, which Mr Bobani has done on numerous occasions.

This is in contravention of the co-government agreement, and the agreement places a duty on the party leadership to deal with these situations. Despite numerous requests over a period of nine months, Mr Holomisa has refused to do so.

The DA does not wish to end the coalition agreement with the UDM. There are many fine men and women in that organisation who, like us, are committed to eradicating corruption and delivering services efficiently to all the people of NMB.

But we simply will not work with one individual whose personal conduct is at odds with our agreement and commitment to zero tolerance of corruption. It is for that reason – and that reason only – that the DA voted to remove Mr Bobani as the Deputy Mayor.

We, therefore, urge Mr Holomisa to not waste any further time, to put the interests of the residents of the Metro first and to nominate a new UDM councillor to take Mr Bobani’s place in the government.

Khoza’s axing shows the ANC cannot be trusted

August 20, 2017

The axing of the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, Makhosi Khoza, is the clearest example yet of how the ANC’s in-fighting is preventing Parliament from doing the people’s business.

The message this sends to other Chairpersons and office bearers in Parliament is that if they do their job and fulfil their constitutional obligations in trying to force accountability, they will be punished.

The ANC cannot be trusted, not even by their own Members of Parliament.

The ANC leave delinquents like Bathabile Dlamini, Faith Muthambi, Mosebenzi Zwane and Mduduzi Manana to put the lives and livelihoods of ordinary citizens at risk yet gun for members who had the guts to vote to remove a President who has literally sold our country to the highest bidder.

ANC infighting is paralysing Parliament and the State and this cannot continue.

Our country desperately needs a new beginning. That is why the DA has called for Parliament to be dissolved and for fresh elections to be held.

The ANC is too far gone to self-correct and this in-fighting will only get worse as the December elective conference gets closer.

It is time for the people to have their say.

South Africa needs to go to the polls to usher in the change it deserves. The sooner the better.

South Africa is on the cusp of a new beginning

July 31, 2017

Over the past two days, the Federal Executive (FedEx) of the Democratic Alliance (DA) convened in Cape Town to attend to a number of pressing matters concerning the country and the Party.

This statement serves to communicate the outcomes of this weekend’s meeting.

Motion of No Confidence

The Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma, which I tabled in March this year, is set to be debated and voted in 10 days’ time – on 8 August.

This motion comes at a critical juncture in our country’s young democracy.

The political tide in South Africa is beginning to turn; the ANC has never been weaker and we are on the cusp of change and renewal.

Since this motion was tabled, South Africans from all walks of life, political parties, NGOs, religious bodies, and civil society at large have united behind the call to remove Jacob Zuma and his continued corrupt, irresponsible and reckless leadership.

Removing Jacob Zuma is the first step in turn our country’s fortunes around and reigniting the dream of 1994 – a united, prosperous and non-racial society for all.

Moreover, FedEx resolved that if Jacob Zuma is removed as President through our Motion of No Confidence, we must go to the polls and hold an early general election.

Parliament ought to be dissolved and the choice must to be put to the people as to who their next president and national government should be.

Indeed, the sooner the electorate can elect a new government the better.

Bell Pottinger

FedEx considered the ongoing scandal involving the Guptas and London based PR Firm, Bell Pottinger.

It is greatly encouraging that our call for the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) to launch a disciplinary inquiry into Bell Pottinger’s racially fuelled propaganda campaign was heeded, and the inquiry will start on 18 August 2017.

We have insisted that this inquiry be open to the public. This will ensure that Bell Pottinger faces legal consequences for their actions, and that justice will be served for their promotion of division and racial hatred for cheap political gain in a still deeply divided society.

Moreover, I have also personally written to a list of companies who procure the services of Bell Pottinger, urging them to terminate their relationship with the firm.

Though legal action is effective, corporations respond to their bottom line faster than they do to judges.

Conclusion

The fight for an alternative, post-ANC South Africa is in full swing. We are forging ahead in creating a shared future for all South Africans.

Between now and 2019, we will use every opportunity in government, every single day, to win the trust of voters, and to show South Africans that there is another choice; a better choice, and that choice is the Democratic Alliance.

Regards

Mmusi Maimane

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.