Archive for the ‘DA News’ Category

DA calls for Auditor-General to urgently investigate alleged corruption in Nelson Mandela Bay

September 21, 2018

Yesterday, 20 September 2018, I requested the Auditor-General (AG), Kimi Makwetu, to urgently investigate allegations of corruption levelled against me during my tenure as Executive Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

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These allegations were made in a letter written by Mr Bantu Holomisa, president of the UDM, to the Auditor General on 24 October 2017. The same allegations were also levelled against Mr Johann Mettler, Nelson Mandela Bay City Manager.

Mr Holomisa requested the AG’s intervention in various matters regarding PWC’S forensic investigations into alleged irregular payments and the employment of litter pickers. Mr Holomisa also recently wrote an open public letter to the AG, making a range of sweeping allegations of corruption against myself and Mr Mettler.

I have written to the AG and implored him, as a matter of public importance, to urgently proceed with the requested investigation. I have also committed myself and my former employees in the mayoral office to cooperate fully in such an investigation.

If the AG goes ahead with this investigation, he will have to arrange access to the Public Health Standing Committee reports in relation to litter pickers and EPWP appointments, the MPAC report related to these matters as well as the final PWC reports. The other important report in this regard is the draft report compiled by Deloitte about the IPTS corruption saga.

I have undertaken to provide the AG with all the available correspondence, documentation and evidence that I have at my disposal.

Furthermore, I also advised Mr Makwetu that more evidence is coming to light with regard to corruption linked to some of the contracts that were stopped after my election as Mayor.
This evidence is crucial in linking certain individuals directly to corrupt dealings.

Athol Trollip

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Legal opinion confirms ‘removal’ of Mayor Trollip unlawful and invalid

August 28, 2018

A legal opinion obtained by Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) City Manager, Johan Mettler, on the removal of the Nelson Mandela Bay Speaker, Jonathan Lawack, and Mayor Athol Trollip has confirmed that it was “unlawful, invalid, and capable of being set aside”.

The DA has already committed to taking the council’s decision on review as we believe that the process to appoint the new Speaker was procedurally invalid and therefore, that the “removal” of Mayor Trollip was also invalid.

Section 36(3) of the Municipal Structures Act (117 of 1998) states that:

“The municipal manager of the municipality or, if the municipal manager is not available, a person designated by the MEC for local government in the province, presides over the election of a speaker”

After Speaker Jonathan Lawack was removed, the Municipal Manager, Johann Mettler, adjourned the council sitting as quorum had been broken. Eastern Cape MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Fikile Xasa, then incorrectly invoked Section 36(3) and designated an individual to preside over two decisions:

1. The election of ANC Councillor, Buyelwa Mafaya, as Speaker; and
2. The Motion of No Confidence in Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip.

This was despite the Municipal Manager being both present and able to preside over the sitting. This is in clear contravention of the Municipal Structures Act. Therefore, the election of Buyelwa Mafaya as Speaker, and the subsequent Motion of No Confidence in Athol Trollip as invalid.

The legal opinion confirms our view. Specifically, it states that:

“Having regard to the factual circumstances that prevailed, it can never be said that the Municipal Manager was not available.”

The opinion goes on to state that the Municipal Manager was “physically available and accordingly, the appointment of such other person to chair the election of a Speaker was unlawful and invalid with the concomitant result that the appointment of a Speaker and the subsequent appointment of a new Mayor are similarly unlawful, invalid and capable of being reviewed and set aside”

DA plans to fight hostile takeover of the Reserve Bank

August 20, 2018

The nationalising of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB)is a hostile move in a long game of EFF political maneuvers to influence the mandate and operations of the Reserve Bank and ultimately South Africa’s banking system as a whole.

This is also an electoral game for the EFF. Whether or not the Bill is passed, the EFF hopes to dominate the ANC’s radical agenda, and position itself as the authentic party of the left.

In a statement released on the 6th of March 2018, the EFF is unreserved about its ambitious plans for the SARB, including: influencing prudential oversight, deconcentrating bank ownership, expediting the licensing of state owned banks, and using the SARB to create a preferential environment for certain banks including state-owned development finance institutions.

At present, private shareholders are limited to holding 10 000 shares and to electing a minority of the non-executive Board members. The provision of a fixed dividend means that shareholders do not invest with the motive of making profits.

In addition, shareholders play no role in the formulation and implementation of monetary policy and are excluded from core functions.

There can be no meaningful public interest motive in nationalising the Reserve Bank, only the furtherance of private political interests.

Nationalisation will mean that Finance Minister will have the ability to appoint every board member from a list of nominees that are confirmed by a panel also largely appointed by the Minister.

The conflict of interests doesn’t stop there; this Bill has to be interpreted in conjunction with the EFF’s Bank’s Amendment Bill enabling the state to own banks.

Coupled with greater ministerial involvement in the Reserve Bank, this will give the government enhanced ability to influence the rules in a market in which it also competes.

As South Africa confronts the public losses due to state capture, another likely avenue for corruption should not be opened up.

Financial prudence and stability do not go in hand with the EFF’s tendency towards recklessness. The memorandum to the Bill is meant to provide detail about its financial implications.

In the relevant section Julius Malema has indicated ‘none’. This Bill has recklessly been submitted without the necessary due diligence. The shares cannot just be written out of existence.

The EFF will need to propose a mechanism of expropriation, compensation and determination of the shares’ value. In addition, the potential impact on investor sentiment must be considered.

The DA opposes threats to Reserve Bank independence and will ensure that the true costs of the Bill are tabled and debated.

Gwen Ngwenya MP – DA Member of the Finance Committee

Poverty stricken Dimbaza a monument to economic mismanagement

August 10, 2018

Dimbaza, once an industrial hub near King Williams Town, has for decades been a prime example of how the ANC has failed to build the South African economy and create jobs.

This ghost town, filled with vacant factories, some of which have now been turned into rubble, once supplied work to thousands of poor Eastern Cape residents.

Dimbaza used to be the breadbasket of what was previously known as the Ciskei, with many factories sustaining the local economy before and shortly after 1994. It was a thriving community in the past.

After the ANC’s rise to power, incentives and tax rebates given to companies setting up shop in Dimbaza ceased and most industries moved elsewhere. The town was turned into an industrial graveyard with an estimated unemployment rate of 70%.

Fifteen years ago Damesh Daya was a director of a company that manufactured jeans in Dimbaza. He told us that in its heyday this company employed more than 3 000 local residents.

The recently released Quarterly Labour Force Survey indicates that the Eastern Cape has the highest expanded rate of unemployment in the country at 45,8%.

This means that 730 000 people are unemployed in this province and an additional 412 000 have given up looking for work. This has a devastating impact on families who are struggling to put food on the table.

The youth are most affected by the lack of employment opportunities available to them. In South Africa, the youth remain the hardest hit by joblessness, with 67,1% of the 15 – 24-year-old bracket, and 43,2% of the 25 – 34-year-old bracket still unemployed.

“The Eastern Cape needs change to build an inclusive economy that will give our people access to job opportunities,” said Andrew Whitfield, the Democratic Alliance Shadow MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

“To this end I will table a motion in the Eastern Cape Legislature to debate the dire unemployment situation in the province.

The debate will focus on creating a growing and reliable economic environment which will stimulate job creation in the Eastern Cape. Where the DA governs, we have a proven track record of reducing unemployment.

Over the last quarter, unemployment in the DA-led Nelson Mandela Bay Metro decreased by 1,3%, added Whitfield.

De Lille and the Democratic Alliance reach an agreement

July 27, 2018

The Democratic Alliance and Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, have reached an agreement about her ongoing issues with the Party.

Both parties have agreed to a speedy disciplinary process including a hearing that will take place over 3 days in August.

In line with the agreement, the Motion of No Confidence against Mayor De Lille that was scheduled to take place yesterday  in the City of Cape Town Council, was withdrawn.

In addition, the agreement makes space for the Mayor to be held accountable in a fair and reasonable manner for findings of independent Council led-investigations, such as the upcoming Bowman’s report into her conduct.

Upon Mayor De Lille’s insistence, the Party will appoint an FLC panel, and the prosecution will be led by an independent senior prosecutor and will be open to the media.

This agreement states that we will all strive to conclude the matter as soon as possible.

“We are working to ensure that the DA Caucus, the Mayoral Committee and functions of the City are focused on putting the people of Cape Town first,” said Natasha Mazzone, the DA Deputy Chairperson of Federal Council.

Its time to dismantle Eskom

July 25, 2018

Eskom’s latest financials once again reiterates the need for a complete turnaround strategy for South Africa’s energy sector.

The DA plans to introduce a Private Members Bill aimed at dismantling Eskom and creating a separate public entity which will govern and manage the country’s electricity grid and transmission lines.

The remaining part of Eskom, responsible for generation, will be privatised and compete on an equal footing with other entities, including renewable companies, for generation capacity.

This will ensure a more efficient, reliable and competitive energy sector which will not only prioritise service delivery to South African citizens but will also lead to much-needed job creation and foreign investment.

The reality is that Eskom is facing collapse and it will continue to stumble from one crisis to the next until such reforms are implemented. It’s clear that the new dawn has simply remained a slogan at the power utility as there has been very little change.

The DA will continue to fight for an efficient and transparent Eskom.

South Africans deserve a power utility that delivers reliable energy to the economy to empower it to grow and create jobs for the 9.5 million unemployed South Africans.”

DA Eastern Cape energised and united to bring change in 2019

July 22, 2018

The DA’s provincial executive committee and constituency leaders of the Eastern Cape had an extensive three day strategic breakaway and election planning meeting over the weekend.

We reviewed the party’s performance in the province and we are upbeat, especially after positive results in two recent by-elections.

On the 6th of June the DA stood in the ward 9 by-election of the rural Ingquza Hill Local Municipality and grew party’s support from 6.24% in 2016 to 24.94%.

On the same day the DA grew from 88% to 96.01% in the ward 18 by-election in Buffalo City Municipality (BCM).

In ward 9 of Ingquza Hill, usually an ANC-stronghold, the DA even emerged victorious in one of the voting districts.

During our breakaway we also touched on a number of innovative ideas that will assist the party in continuing its upward trajectory in the province.

The EC executive and constituency leaders are upbeat and positive about our growth prospects.

We are energised and united in our goal to significantly improve our chances in the 2019 national and provincial elections.

The Eastern Cape is a broken province in urgent need of a change of government.

It is time for the people of the Eastern to send a firm message by voting for the DA and voting for change.

Nqaba Bhanga – DA EC Provincial Leader

Damaged vehicles depriving Koukamma residents of basic services

July 21, 2018

The shocking state of municipal vehicles in the ANC-led Koukamma Local Municipality has caused an alarming decline in service delivery.

During an oversight inspection to the municipal storage yard in Joubertina, I came across 5 essential municipal vehicles in total disrepair.

These vehicles include three bakkies, one garbage removal truck and a grader used in the repair of roads. A trailer, also used for garbage removal, is also in a broken down state.

Some of the bakkies are without wheels and have been in disrepair for long enough to be overgrown by grass.

On Thursday, 12 July, residents of Rivina in Koukamma took to the streets to demonstrate their disapproval of the abhorrent delivery of services by the Municipality.

These residents are sick and tired of the current situation and know that only a DA governed municipality can save Koukamma from implosion.

Malcolm Figg MP – Tsitsi-Kouga Constituency Leader

Do you support land expropriation without compensation?

June 13, 2018

South Africans have until 15 June 2018 to make their voice heard in Parliament if they do not support land expropriation without compensation.

If enough South Africans fail to speak up, a parliamentary review committee could recommend changes to section 25 of the Constitution that would allow government to become the owner of all private homes and land in South Africa, forcing citizens to rent for life.

You can make a difference and do something constructive by submitting your comments via: LandOwnership.co.za.

A parliamentary review committee has been tasked with consulting South Africans before making any changes to private property rights in the Constitution.

Remember that according to law,  the committee must go through every comment submitted.

Visit LandOwnership.co.za and take action. If South Africans stand together,  we can stop land expropriation without compensation.

Dont only have an opinion amongst your friends and family on land ownership. Let government know what you feel by having your say and become part of the process.

The struggle in 2018 is for jobs

June 9, 2018

The DA commemorates the youth of 1976.

We will never forget the sacrifices made by those young people.

Their sacrifices mean that young South Africans have a voice in the political direction of their country.

But there is a new struggle for young people today. That struggle is joblessness.

After 24 years of democracy, young people are still provided an inadequate education that doesn’t prepare them sufficiently for the job market.

Young people are the worst affected by unemployment. Over 50% of our youth are without jobs. Which means, half of the country’s most productive workforce is unemployed.

Job creation is the only way that a South African government can empower young people. It is the only way to address the historical inequalities of the past which still exist today.

When a young person has a job, they are able to provide for themselves and their families.
Crucially, they are able to contribute to the country’s economy.

Unemployment is the greatest indictment on the ANC government. The indignity of joblessness can never be overstated.

Added to that, there seems to be no plan to improve the education system. Millions of learners in the school system are unable to read or write.

Our schools are not places of safety for young people. Instead, the Education department fails to vet the very teachers who are meant to be teaching our young people.

This youth month, the message to young South Africans is simple. One needs to register to vote so that we can usher in change for our youth.

The DA’s vision for South African youth is to see them:

1. Freed from the corrupt system
2. Safe from criminals
3. Enjoying access to quality education
4. Access to jobs

Where the DA governs, unemployment levels are lower than in the rest of the country. Under a national DA government young people would:

1) Have access to a national civilian service programme which would provide young school-leavers an opportunity to receive industry training in the fields of their choice.

2) free higher education for students who are unable to afford it.

3) grow the economy to enable true access to jobs and other job opportunities such as the EPWP programme and the Vukuzakhe programme which partners school leavers and the private sector.

That is why it is important that all young people register to vote.

To vote in this coming election, young South Africans must be registered to vote.

Change has never been needed so urgently for the youth.