DA Leadership Election Results

November 2, 2020

We are delighted to announce the results of the Leadership Elections which took place at the Democratic Alliance (DA) elective Federal Congress 2020.

Voting for Leadership Candidates took place using the online OpaVote platform and this system worked well.

The election results were compliant with all DA election requirements and rules. They were signed off by us, as presiding officers, as well as the candidates’ party agents and also a professional audit firm who acted as independent external auditors and who oversaw the voting process.

All individuals who observed voting consider the elections free and fair.

This Congress was not only the largest, but also the most accessible and participatory Congress in the history of the DA. We thank all delegates for their participation, their compliance with the rules of our internal democracy, which remains healthy, strong and vibrant.

The results of the elections are as follows:

Federal Leader:

John Steenhuisen, with 80% of votes cast.

Federal Chairperson:

Dr. Ivan Meyer, elected uncontested.

Deputy Federal Chairpersons:

1st Deputy: Refiloe Nt’Sekhe,

2nd Deputy: Anton Bredell,

3rd Deputy: Jacques Smalle.

Chairperson of the Federal Council

Helen Zille, with 69% of votes cast.

Deputy Chairpersons of the Federal Council

James Masango and Thomas Walters, elected uncontested.

Chairperson of Federal Finance:

Dr Dion George, elected uncontested.

We extend our congratulations to all duly elected candidates. The DA now enters an exciting new chapter and will deliver real hope and real change to the people of South Africa, now.

DA Launches GBV Court Watching Brief Campaign in Kouga

October 15, 2020

The Democratic Alliance Women’s Network (DAWN) in the Tsitsi-Kouga Constituency has launched a court watching brief campaign to monitor cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV).

This comes as a woman was murdered in Sea Vista in St Francis Bay and a young girl was raped and murdered in Hankey recently.

The campaign will see DAWN representatives attending court proceedings to monitor the cases and ensure that justice is served on perpetrators of GBV.

DAWN representatives will also meet with the families of the victims to offer comfort and support on an ongoing basis.

“The purpose of this campaign is to ensure that the criminal justice system does not fail the victims of GBV.

The DAWN representatives attending court proceedings will take notes and provide feedback to Tsitsi-Kouga Constituency Leader, Andrew Whitfield, MP, who will monitor the cases from a national level,” said Amor Hendricks, the DAWN chairperson in the Constituency.

“The scourge of GBV affects all communities and must be rooted out of our society. DAWN will work closely with and support the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Department of Justice in their efforts to successfully prosecute criminals who terrorise women in our communities,” added Hendricks.

Roadshow to empowerSMMEs in Kouga

October 14, 2020

Established and registered SMMEs from the Kouga region have been invited to attend an empowerment roadshow at the Newton Hall in Jeffreys Bay next week.

Kouga Local Economic Development (LED) Portfolio Councillor, Frances Baxter, said the roadshow would be presented by the national Department of Small Business Development, in conjunction with Sarah Baartman District Municipality and Kouga Municipality.

“The purpose of the event is to introduce various programmes and offerings that the department has in support of SMME development,” she said.

“The sessions with SMMEs will be followed immediately by a workshop with the municipality’s LED unit, Special Programmes units and Community Development Workers.”

The Kouga SMME Roadshow will take place on Tuesday, 20 October, from 9am to 11am at the Newton Hall.

Baxter said that strict compliance with COVID-19 restrictions will be followed.

For further information contact Xolile Wagosa from Kouga Municipality’s LED unit at xwagosa@kouga.gov.za or 067 107 9154.

Affordable rental housing for Kouga

October 2, 2020

At least 1 500 rental units for households with low to moderate incomes are set to be built in Kouga over the next five years.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said the municipality had secured a place in the “Municipal Support Programme” run by the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA), the body that oversees the implementation, regulating and funding of state-subsidised rental housing projects in South Africa.

“Kouga is the only municipality in the Eastern Cape to have been selected for the municipal support programme and one of only six local authorities countrywide,” he said.

“Our inclusion will ensure that the municipality receives the necessary technical and organisational support to implement social housing programmes.

“The target is to deliver at least 1500 rental units over the next five years but, according to SHRA, the first project for Kouga can be approved, built, tenanted and managed within as little as one to three years.”

He commended the municipality’s Human Settlements section for their excellent submission that secured the municipality a place in the programme.

“It is another feather in the municipality’s cap and will help to address the demand for affordable rental housing in the area.”

Hendricks said social housing is a government programme aimed at providing low to moderate-income households, earning between R1 501 and R7 500 per month, with quality and affordable rental housing opportunities in well-located areas.

He said the project would complement the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) that had also been approved for the area.

“While social housing addresses the need for affordable rentals, FLISP offers first-time home-ownership opportunities to South African residents earning between R3 501 and R22 000 per month,” he explained.

“This is the income group that earns too much to qualify for an RDP house but typically also struggles to secure a bond to buy a home.”

He said the municipality had appointed a service provider, Own Haven Social Housing, in October 2019 for the implementation of social housing and FLISP projects.

“The service provider has completed a demand and needs analysis study for the proposed project in Jeffreys Bay.

“They are currently drawing up a detailed report on how the FLISP and Social Housing programmes will be introduced and marketed to prospective buyers and beneficiaries.”

History made as DA wins two environmental awards

September 23, 2020

The Democratic Alliance has won two awards in the prestigious Eco-Logic Awards hosted by Enviropaedia.

The DA won Gold in the Eco-Innovation category and Silver in the Eco-Build category for the plastic road which was built as a pilot project in Jeffreys Bay in the Kouga Municipality.

 

The event aims to identify individuals, organisations and communities that positively contribute to a sustainable world.

It is widely recognised as South Africa’s most glamorous green event and is made up out of 12 environmental categories, amongst others the Climate Change Award, the Water Conservation Award, the Eco-Build Award and the Eco-Innovation Award.

“I approached the DA-run Kouga Municipality, under the leadership of Mayor Horatio Hendriks, to pilot the project after facing a disappointing dead stop by the ANC in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature, who vehemently opposed the idea,” said Vicky Knoetze, the DA MPL – DA Shadow MEC for Public Works in the Eastern Cape.

“The end result, which can been seen in Woltemade Street came about due to an amazing team effort by various role-players such as the Kouga Municipality, SP Excell, who built the project at no charge to the municipality, and MacRebur who supplied the plastic product for the pilot. Without these early-onset adopters, who believed in this idea, the project would not have been possible,” said Knoetze.

This innovative method of road construction replaces a large percentage of bitumen with waste plastic in the road’s construction process.

The result is a road using plastic as the polymer binder, which will suffer no potholes or edge breaks and will require no maintenance for up to 20 years, resulting in massive cost-savings.

The aim is to address a ‘triple threat’ of unemployment, the billion-rand roads maintenance backlog and also, very importantly, marine pollution.

A standard ‘plastic road’ will contain 1.5 tons of waste plastic (1.8 million plastic bags) per kilometre. Plastic that would otherwise have ended up on landfills or in the ocean.

This plastic would have to be collected, sorted and packaged, potentially providing an income for the unemployed, while simultaneously reducing the amount of plastic that can end up in oceans, of which South Africa is contributing approximately eight tons every year.

“The DA will remain the only party that is forward thinking, innovative and able to embrace the fourth industrial revolution in moving into the future, creating jobs and embracing change,” added Knoetze.

Making Kouga the safest Municipality in South Africa

September 21, 2020

The DA led Kouga Municipality recently hosted the first ever Public Safety Summit in the history of the Municipality.

To ensure people want to live, work and play in Kouga, they need to feel safe and secure.

Mayor Horatio Hendricks at the Kouga Public Safety Summit

Therefore it is essential that all the relevant role players work together to ensure we are all safe when we working or going to the shop or to the beach. We also need to be safe in our homes.

This was the declaration made by participants of the first Kouga Public Safety Summit 2020.

We commit to:

* Working together to make Kouga the safest municipality in South Africa to live, work and play.
* Compiling an inclusive Kouga Public Safety Plan that identifies and addresses safety risks in the region.
* Holding the Kouga Public Safety Summit on an annual basis to bring together all stakeholders to review the Kouga Public Safety Plan.
* Partnering and building relationships with community, business and government stakeholders on a continuous basis to keep Kouga safe.
* Rolling out the Keep Kouga Safe campaign to encourage long-term behavioural change in support of safer communities.
* Identifying and implementing strategies to build resilience.
* Investing in state-of-the-art security technology to prevent and combat crime.
* Identifying and rolling out strategies to improve the safety of rural and farm communities.
* Lobbying the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for tax relief for farmers who invest in security measures to safeguard the lives of their families and workers and to prevent the theft of stock and produce.
* Facilitating the establishment of community safety structures and supporting their daily operations.”

For further information check out the following Summit interviews:

KOUGA EXECUTIVE MAYOR HORATIO HENDRICKS –
https://www.facebook.com/276260419803608/posts/792364798193165/

WESTERN CAPE PREMIER ALAN WINDE –
https://www.facebook.com/276260419803608/posts/790426015053710/

WESTERN CAPE AGRICULTURE MINISTER, DR IVAN MEYER –
https://www.facebook.com/276260419803608/posts/791616128268032/

EASTERN CAPE MPL BOBBY STEVENSON –
https://www.facebook.com/276260419803608/posts/790291308400514/

Mayor Hendricks responds to radio attacks

September 17, 2020

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks has issued the following statement following a spate of attacks against the municipality by Kouga FM:

Kouga Municipality is in the process of applying for an eviction order to have Kouga FM removed from the Kouga Cultural Centre in Humansdorp.

The radio station has tried to paint a skewed picture of the reason for this, even going as far as accusing the municipality of trying to gag them.

The facts, however, are quite simple:

Kouga FM’s lease agreement has expired. They are also behind with their municipal account payments. They are, in essence, occupying the building illegally and free-loading.

The municipality first tried to meet with the station manager, but the invitation was ignored.

The municipality then issued the radio station with a month’s notice to vacate the premises towards the end of 2019.

Kouga FM requested an extension. The municipality granted their request and gave them a further three months. The radio station failed to meet this deadline, hence, the current application for an eviction order.

It is unfortunate that the station manager has responded to this legal process with slanderous attacks.

It is also unfortunate that he keeps on insinuating that there is mismanagement at the municipality. Yet, during my almost three years as Mayor, we have never received a single request for comment from Kouga FM about any alleged wrong-doing.

Surely, an ethical and professional radio station would ask for comment and try to determine the facts before airing gossip.

Kouga FM’s failure to do so exposes their attacks for what they are – malicious attempts at getting back at the municipality for refusing to fund the daily operations of the radio station. Broadcasting and radio stations are, however, not a core function of municipalities and our funding has to be prioritized for basic service delivery.

I would like to invite the station manager to do as media professionals do. If there is evidence of mismanagement, please share it and give the municipality the opportunity to respond as any ethical and responsible journalist would do.

As matters stand, you are not giving your listeners verified information. You are feeding them self-serving gossip. Media freedom is not an excuse to lead your listeners astray.

The municipality in no way intends on quieting the voice of a radio station but rather to manage its immovable assets in a more efficient and effective manner as a responsible governing party

The station manager is irresponsible, reckless in his comments and biased.

The municipality is in possession of an evidence file regarding allegations of mismanagement and corruption against the station manager. This file was submitted to ICASA in December 2019 and we are awaiting feedback.

DA adopts Economic Justice Policy: Redress for the disadvantaged, not for elites

September 7, 2020

Our Economic Justice policy is based on our recognition that South Africa is still a fundamentally economically unjust society, where opportunities are not available to all, and where poverty still limits the life chances of so many.

The DA envisions a society where opportunity is broadly available to all, and where people have the capabilities to make use of them. We are still far from that point as a country.

 

Our history of apartheid, as well as bad governance, cadre deployment and corruption in the democratic era, mean that opportunity in South Africa is still deeply skewed.

Over two decades of political freedom have not resulted in meaningful progress in the socio-economic prospects of the majority of South Africans. Indeed, as the economy shrinks, poverty is actually growing and opportunities are narrowing.

South Africa desperately needs a totally fresh approach to redress and inclusion.

The Economic Justice policy sets out our approach to economic redress. Our policy in one sentence is redress for the disadvantaged, not for elites.

This policy offers an alternative analysis of the challenge: instead of white monopoly capital as the obstacle to economic inclusion we recognise that exclusion is driven by several socioeconomic and governance challenges.

These include an incapable state, poor education, lack of jobs, low savings and investments, inadequate public healthcare, high transport costs, lack of affordable housing, and unequal sharing of childcare responsibilities.

We will ensure that our governments prioritise working with companies who are making a positive impact in addressing these challenges.

Many companies already report on their commitment to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an approach which will align financial return and social impact. In contrast to BEE which defers investment.

The DA’s virtual policy conference that took place over the weekend was a resounding success with not only the economic justice policy adopted, but also 18 core values ​​and principles that will underlie all policy decisions that the party will make in the future.

The adoption of the economic justice policy, with overwhelming support from delegates, is a seminal moment in the history of the DA where we can now offer South Africans a just and workable economic alternative – one that speaks to all South Africans, especially the most disadvantaged, and not, only to cadres and the elite.

John Moodey – Setting out the facts

September 4, 2020

It is unfortunate that, in leaving the party he (until recently) wished to lead, John Moodey has spread blatant falsehoods which appear to be an attempt to justify his reasons for leaving.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) sets a standard in all that we do and we aim to rise above gutter politics. It is regrettable that matters still undergoing internal process are now being played out in public.

In leaving, Moodey has sought to deflect attention from himself by defaming his erstwhile colleagues, playing the race card, and seeking to inflict as much damage on the party as he could on the way out by spreading mistruth and false rumour.

The DA wish to ensure the facts are understood and they are:

Mr Moodey, in resigning, is running away from facing very serious charges relating to an attempt to frame a political opponent in a sex-for-jobs scandal, which also allegedly involved attempting to bribe two young and vulnerable first-time councillors into giving false evidence.

Moodey was also to face a charge that he was involved in offering these councillors promotions on the candidates’ list for the 2021 election, if they co-operated into making false statements to smear the senior politicians.

It is to be noted that the charges Moodey were to face are not based on hearsay evidence and mere allegations from party members. The evidence in this case includes tape recordings of relevant conversations as well as documentary evidence.

The case was one of the most serious that has ever been before the DA’s Federal Legal Commission (FLC). Their proceedings were due to be heard in the near future. In such proceedings, Mr Moodey is given full right to review all evidence and bring forward his own legal defence.

It is clear that John Moodey preferred to leave, choosing to avoid the formal disciplinary hearing as he is no longer a member of the DA. He also issued a blatant threat saying he would “expose the DA” if the party reacted to his allegations.

The party has nothing to hide. John Moodey does, and his threats will not prevent us from setting the record straight.

Issued by John Steenhuisen MP – Leader of the Democratic Alliance

South Africa is a sinking Titanic amid ANC corruption

August 29, 2020

In the National Assembly yesterday during Questions to the President, President Ramaphosa insisted that South Africa is not a “sinking Titanic”, but a turning one. Here’s why he is wrong.

No matter what President Ramaphosa does or says, South Africa will remain a “sinking Titanic” while the ANC remains in national government.

The ANC is largely a patronage network and corruption is the glue that holds it together. Without corruption, the ANC will unravel. Therefore, either South Africa sinks or the ANC does. Ramaphosa confirmed recently: “I would rather be seen as a weak president than… split the ANC.”

Therefore we should not be surprised when, in the same week that he pens a 7-page letter to his party decrying corruption Zandile Gumede, former mayor of eThekwini out on bail for her part in the R400 million Durban solid waste scam, was sworn in as a member of the KZN provincial legislature.

In response to the public outcry and pressure from the DA in the house yesterday, she has today been suspended on full pay, meaning she retains her R1.1 million salary. Just this week, it emerged that R158 million was spent on the salaries of suspended public servants in the six months from October 2019 to March 2020.

We should not be surprised that the party this week appointed its Secretary General Ace Magashule – corruption kingpin in the covid looting, Estina dairy and other scandals – to identify corrupt leaders within the ANC. And this job should be easy since he himself brazenly remarked this month: “Tell me of one leader of the ANC who has not done business with government”.

The ANC cannot act on corruption because almost everyone who is anyone in the ANC is implicated. Everyone has dirt on everyone else. Take one card away and the whole house of cards collapses.

Hence, Ramaphosa cannot act on his commitment yesterday to implement independent lifestyle audits for members of his executive and top government officials. Just as he did not act on that same commitment when he pledged it in his 2018 State of the Nation Address, saying they would be done by October 2018.

In sharp contrast, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde committed to lifestyle audits for his cabinet and their spouses at the beginning and end of the five-year term. The beginning-of-term audits have been completed – conducted by an independent contractor appointed through an open tender process – and show that his cabinet members live a lifestyle in line with their income and that there are no conflicts of interest.

Like it or not, BEE is the mechanism that enables ANC corruption. Ramaphosa himself is a prime BEE beneficiary, so it was unsurprising that he restated his commitment to BEE in the house yesterday. BEE may be legal, but it is not moral. It is simply an instrument to enrich a small connected elite at the expense of the poor majority, under the guise of “transformation”. It enables the glue of corruption that holds the ANC together.

But let us imagine the ANC somehow held together even as most of its leaders were sent to jail. Even in this unlikely event, the Titanic would keep sinking. Because the party is committed to a “state-led economic recovery”, which is frankly a contradiction in terms. The experience of Venezuela, Zimbabwe, North Korea and The Soviet Union show that centralized control sinks economies.

The ANC is South Africa’s ZANU-PF. It will sink South Africa as surely as ZANU-PF has sunk Zimbabwe.

We do not need the DA to get over 50% of the vote to save the Titanic. Rather, we need to bring the ANC below 50%, and then lead a coalition that shares our commitment to the rule of law and accountable government.

Warm regards,

John Steenhuisen