The DA’s Economic Recovery Plan

August 19, 2019

In order to avoid economic collapse and bring about rapid growth in South Africa, a clear and concrete plan for is required.

The DA is currently in the process of expanding our “Economic Recovery Plan” – a comprehensive package of reform interventions that are unashamedly pro-growth, pro-investment, and pro-job creation.

The focus of this “Economic Recovery Plan” is on deliberate structural reform that will act as shock to our economy, in order to revive it and usher in rapid economic growth. The plan will include the following proposals, among others:

  1. Splitting Eskom into two separate entities while allowing IPPs to come on board by passing the Independent Electricity Management (IEMA) Bill;
  2. Passing our “Jobs Bill”, consisting of a wide range of incentives for foreign companies to invest in SA – bringing thousands of job opportunities to our shores.
  3. Implementing a government-wide Comprehensive Spending Review aimed at reviewing the efficiency of spending, the composition of spending, and future spending priorities in order to “tighten our belts”;
  4. Placing SAA under business rescue with a view to sell it off;
  5. Scrapping BEE and replacing it with a pro-growth plan that offers real broad-based inclusion in our economy;
  6. Beginning the rollout of a Voluntary Civil Service Year for young people;
  7. Introducing tax incentives for big job-creating sectors including manufacturing, tourism, mining and financial services;
  8. Rejecting investment-killing policies including the National Health Insurance (NHI), Expropriation Without Compensation (EWC), the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and the nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB);
  9. Cutting the Public Sector Wage Bill; and
  10. Creating an enabling environment for job creation by freeing up micro enterprise and relaxing labour legislation.

In addition, provinces in which persistent drought continues to affect the agricultural sector must declare such as a provincial disaster. One such province in the Northern Cape, where over 60 000 jobs are on the line due to 5-year long drought.

This plan and the details thereof will be tabled early next month during Parliament’s urgent debate of national importance on the economy, which I requested in light of our current economic crisis.

In order to halt our economy’s spiralling decline and create opportunities for those left outside the economy, we need bold and urgent reform. This is the DA’s plan, and we intend to pursue it with intensity.

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Wyk 3 neem dienslewering na mense

August 18, 2019

Willem Gertenbach, Wyk 3 DA-raadslid in Jeffreysbaai, se dienslewering-arsenaal is onlangs verdriedubbeld: raadslid, wykskomitee en kantoor – ’n eerste vir dié wyk.

Gertenbach, spog sedert begin Julie met sy eie wykskantoor – meer as nege jaar ná die Kouga-munisipaliteit die gebou vir die spesifieke doeleinde opgerig het.

Die gebou, met sy wit mure en rooi dak, het vir jare in onbruik gestaan.

Gerteenbach se arsenaal word met ’n wyk-assistent, André Joubert, en ’n wykskomitee afgerond.

Die doel?

Om eerstehands die klagtes en griewe van Wavecrest-inwoners aan te hoor.

“Na jare van onderhandeling is daar ’n voltydse wykassistent vir die wyk aangestel,” sê Gertenbach. “Joubert sal my met sekere administratiewe take bystaan om dienslewering tot voordeel van die inwoners te verbeter.

“Inwoners is welkom om hom op weeksdae tussen 08:00 en 16:00 by die kantoor te besoek.”

Volgens Gertenbach sluit pogings om dienslewering in die gebied te verbeter, die oprig van verskeie straatnaamborde in.

“Al die strate in Wyk 3 spog met splinternuwe naamborde,” sê hy. “Daar is altesaam 220 nuwe borde vanaf Poplarstraat tot by Noorsekloofweg aangebring. Dit volg na verskeie klagtes oor onleesbare straatnaamborde – beide deur inwoners en besoekers.

“Die projek is deur die wykontwikkelingsfonds moontlik gemaak.”

Verdere projekte sluit in die oprigting van ’n opelug gimnasium, die aanlê van randstene, die opgradering van speelparke en die bou van ’n gemeenskapsaal.

Vir inligting, skakel 042 200 2209 of 082 552 5402.

Stuur ’n epos na ward3@kouga.gov.za of andre.joubert@bwise.co.za

Kouga Express

Affordable housing scheme for Jeffreys Bay

August 17, 2019

The DA led Kouga Municipality is set to introduce a new project which will open up rental and housing opportunities for residents who earn too much to qualify for a free RDP house.

Kouga Planning and Development Portfolio Councillor Ben Rheeder said the municipality had invited proposals for the first-ever Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) and Social Housing development in the region.

“FLISP is a housing programme that makes it easier for South African citizens who earn between R3 501 and R22 000 per month to become first-time home-owners while Social Housing is a key model that provides affordable, medium-density rental housing to low and middle-income households,” he explained.

He said a portion of erf 335 in Jeffreys Bay, bordering the Aston Bay road and Koraal Street, had been approved by Council for the development.

“The project will unlock opportunities for a whole new segment of our population and help to address the lack of affordable housing in the region,” he said.

“We will be starting in Jeffreys Bay, where the biggest need has been identified, but we would also like to launch similar projects in our other towns.”

He said the municipality had already received an in-principle approval from the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) and the provincial Department of Human Settlements for the development.

Development proposals for the project were invited in June and evaluation of the submissions is currently under way.

Rheeder said that while the municipality would be making available the land, it would be the responsibility of the developer to secure the necessary funding, implement the project, handle the marketing and manage the subsequent tenanting of the stock or sale of the units.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the Council was proud to launch another “first” for Kouga.

“This is the latest in a string of recent housing successes,” he said.

“Social Housing, in particular, contributes to transforming urban spatial patterns as it promotes integration and densification in close proximity to economic and social amenities.”

He said as part of Council’s commitment to transparency, housing committees have also been established to improve communication between communities, the municipal administration, Council and the provincial and the national departments of Human Settlements.

National Health Insurance (NHI) more about pillaging than pills

August 16, 2019

Having wrecked public healthcare, looted some R1.4 trillion from the public purse, rendered 10 million adults jobless, and put Eskom into a death spiral, the government is now turning its attention to nationalizing our healthcare system, tabling its National Health Insurance bill in Parliament last week.

Does anyone really believe the government can deliver a functioning NHI system? On the contrary, it will be catastrophic for our society and economy. If necessary, the DA will challenge the constitutionality of this bill.

Without doubt, everyone in South Africa should have access to quality healthcare. This is non-negotiable in our unequal society.

The point of disagreement is how to achieve it. Two distinctly different plans are on the table: the DA’s Sizani Universal Healthcare plan; and the ANC’s NHI.

NHI centralizes the provision of healthcare, making the national department of health the sole provider in the country and forcing all doctors and other providers to contract to the state.

This removes choice and competition and effectively creates a new state-owned enterprise, the NHI Fund, with all the usual vulnerabilities to institutionalised looting and state capture.

It envisages a central fund to buy healthcare services for South Africa’s entire population. It has not been costed but certainly requires a vastly greater budget, to be funded through higher taxes, and will take 10-15 years to implement.

Government spent R4.3 billion between 2012/13 and 2016/17 on ten failed NHI pilots. Yet it now seeks to roll out the failed system nationwide.

Inevitably, our talent and tax base will erode as both medical professionals and taxpayers flee SA in droves to avoid having their lives at the mercy of our corrupt, incompetent government.

Far better is the DA’s Sizani, premised on the principle of leveraging what already works well (SA’s private health sector and private pharmacies) to bring improvements to what is currently dysfunctional (SA’s public health sector).

The plan allocates a universal subsidy to every South African resident to cover a comprehensive package of health services within the public health system – free at the point of access to everyone, while retaining and reforming the medical aid system.

It is affordable and can be implemented relatively quickly (5-8 years), funded using the existing health budget together with the tax benefit currently allocated to medical aid members.

Sizani is based on localising accountability to hospitals and district health authorities and decentralising decision-making and appointment process. Costs would be driven down as the public and private sectors become more competitive.

Aspects of Sizani have been implemented in the Western Cape, where the DA provincial government runs the best healthcare system in South Africa.

Mortality rates are half of other provinces and life expectancy is highest. Hospitals and clinics are far better maintained and resourced.

The WCPG seeks to bring service at public hospitals in line with the best private hospitals. At some hospitals, such as Paarl, they have already succeeded.

By contrast, any equality in health provision achieved by NHI will be through destroying what works, rather than by fixing what is broken.

As with expropriation without compensation, prescribed assets (forced investment of pensions in SOEs) and nationalising the Reserve Bank, NHI is a blatant attempt to open more opportunities for looting.

We need to stop playing political games with people’s lives, reject NHI, and adopt Sizani.

Warm regards,

Mmusi Maimane

Leader of the DA

What is the NHI bill and how will it affect South Africans

August 14, 2019

The DA has done a comprehensive analysis of the NHI Bill and highlighted the aspects of the Bill which are catastrophic, not just for the health system but for the economy at large.

Should this Bill be passed in its current form, all South Africans will be the main causalities of this system. There are deep inequalities in the system. 84% of South Africans are dependent on an ailing health system with only 16% of our people who can afford private medical care.

The broader inequalities of insiders and outsiders in this country play themselves out painfully within the health system. In line with global trends, South Africa must move towards Universal Healthcare – however not in the form of NHI.

The greatest tragedy of this Bill is that it will not in any way achieve universal healthcare for South Africa. Instead, it is bound to destroy the health system as we know it by fragmenting it, eroding provincial powers, centralizing and nationalizing healthcare, and establishing a multi-billion rand SOE that will be in the hands of the politically connected few.

The DA is opposed to the following aspects of the draft Bill:

  1. The establishment of The National Health Insurance Fund as a public entity or State-Owned- Enterprise – the Bill explicitly states that the fund will operate as a public entity which will be constituted by the pooling of funds both from the public and private sector. The Minister has sole discretionary powers over this fund. In addition, the board which is appointed by the Minister, will be tasked with overseeing this fund, leaving very little room for adequate checks and balances. In addition, the Bill makes provision for investigative powers in cases of corruption and maladministration within the National NHI Fund Office , and not through any independent body. This fund will serve as just another SOE vulnerable to grand corruption at the expense of the nation’s entire health system.
  2. The nationalization of healthcare and clear erosion of provincial powers – the Bill completely centralizes the provision of healthcare by placing the management of all central hospitals under the national department. This is, in our view, is the undermining of provincial powers as enshrined in the National Healthcare Act of 2003. In practice, the equitable share of funds to provincial departments will directly finance the fund, meaning poorer health outcomes for ordinary South Africans. Provincial departments are already stretched in terms of the healthcare services they are required to rollout, and a reduction in their equitable share will be disastrous for the actual delivery of healthcare. Provinces are at the coalface of the delivery of health services and must be given more funds to improve public health care, not less.
  3. Fragmentation of the health system – Currently, the health system is premised on an all-encompassing referral system, from community health workers who form part of the primary health system right through to tertiary hospitals. The Bill seeks to change this by having tertiary hospitals under the management of the national department. This will lead to a complete breakdown in the system, and ordinary South Africans will not be able to hold provincial departments to account for poor outcomes. In addition, the referral system that is prescribed by the Bill, will slow down the provision of emergency care. According to the legislation patients would need to follow a cumbersome and bureaucratic referral path before being seen by a specialist. This will curtail the powers of all medical healthcare professionals who can easily identify emergency cases that need urgent attention. Fragmenting the health system will bring normal functioning systems to a grinding halt, and take power and decision making further away from people, not closer to them.
  4. The additional tax burden that will be imposed on South Africans – The financing model of this Bill will mean the removal of the tax credit benefit afforded to medical aid clients while imposing a new tax on ordinary South Africans to fund this new SOE. Ordinary South Africans have been squeezed dry by government and cannot be subjected to yet another tax.
  5. The complete removal of choice for South Africans – this Bill removes the autonomy of South Africans to choose their own healthcare. It mandates the national department of health as the sole provider of healthcare in the country while all private healthcare providers will be contracted by the state. This means that there is absolutely no choice for people on which services to purchase, nor will there ever be competition to drive up the quality of healthcare. Medical aids will cease to be useful as the model makes the state the only provider of healthcare in the country. Considering that the ANC government will be the sole medical service provider in the country, medical aid companies will also have to contend with payment from the state. Currently, the ANC government is battling with upholding the 30-day rule of paying service providers and this problem will only be compounded. This was clearly demonstrated at each and every NHI Pilot Project where payments were never made on time and private GPs simply pulled out of the system. This will, no doubt, lead to massive brain drain and erosion of talent in our health system. Doctors and health professionals will seek opportunity beyond our borders.

The DA’s Sizani Universal Healthcare Plan

In contrast to the NHI, the DA’s Sizani Universal Healthcare Plan will ensure all South Africans are provided with quality healthcare, without crippling the economy.

The DA plan would ensure the following:

  1. It will be funded through the current budget envelop which includes the tax benefit currently afforded to medical aid clients;
  2. It would strengthen the role of primary healthcare in many communities;
  3. It would invest heavily in the provision of maternal and child health services, and the training and provision of healthcare professionals;
  4. It would reinforce the powers of provinces by ensuring they are adequately funded and equipped to provide quality healthcare to all;
  5. Through these interventions, all South Africans would have access to a quality health system that provides them with a standard package of care across all facilities;
  6. Medical aid companies would be used as a top up measure for those South Africans who choose to use them and who can afford to do so;
  7. Ultimately this system would increase competition, drive up quality, and afford every South African the choice of which medical provider they wish to use.

Keeping our streets safe is our mission

August 12, 2019

The DA Shadow Minister of Police, Andrew Whitfield, met with residents of Madiba Bay on Saturday and discussed the issue of crime that is affecting all communities in Jeffreys Bay.

Whitfield, who is also leader of the DA in Kouga, said that children need to grow up in communities that are safe and free from criminals who roam the streets, robbing people and making them fear leaving their homes.

“We have a responsibility to leave the world a safer place so that our children do not grow up in fear,” said Whitfield at a meeting of community leaders in Madiba Bay.

“We need to build a safe community so that people wont fear to leave their houses to go and work. Its important that local government, the Police and initiatives like a neighbourhood watch work together to fight crime.

We must build a safe community so that we can build a prosperous community and that includes more visible policing in our streets,” said Whitfield, who was joined by Mayor Horatio Hendricks and other Jeffreys Bay Councillors at the house meeting of community members who want to establish a neighbourhood watch in Madiba Bay.

Whitfield also went door to door with the DA activists and met with residents who shared their concerns about crime and signed the petition requesting the Minister of Police to increase Police visibility in our towns and communities.

The DA petition calls for the following:

  • More visible policing and frequent patrols of crime hotspots.
  • Frequent raids of drug dens and known crime areas as well as the hideaway spots of criminals.
  • Drastically improve on the response time when attending to complaints of violent crime.
  • Formulation of a collective crime prevention strategy.
  • More resources committed to crime prevention initiatives.

Kouga is making progress under DA governance

August 8, 2019

Under the DA’s leadership after winning the Municipality in 2016, Kouga is financially stronger than it has ever been.

Mayor Horatio Hendricks showcased Kouga at a media briefing in Johannesburg yesterday and said that the collection of debt has increased from 72% in August 2016 to 94% in August 2019.

The municipality’s cash-on-hand has grown from R 38 million in June 2016 to R 214 million in June 2019.

The DA-led council also adopted an anti-corruption strategy and established a Financial Misconduct Disciplinary Board.

Kouga municipality implemented a borehole project to augment its water supply and secured R151.2 million in drought funding for ground water development and Water Conservation and Demand Management projects.

Thirty boreholes were drilled at Jeffreys Bay, Oyster Bay, Hankey and Patensie, with 12 delivering good yields and quality. Seven boreholes were drilled at Humansdorp. The test results are being awaited.

The municipality has also invested millions to upgrade its water and wastewater treatment works, benefitting thousands of households.

Under the previous ANC regimes, the building of new government-subsidised housing came to a standstill.

“This changed under the leadership of the DA when in 2017 work started on the top structures of 391 houses at Kruisfontein. Another two housing projects are currently underway and another seven are in the advanced planning stage.

When the DA took over in 2016, Kouga had almost 4000 household which still relied on a bucket toilet system.

The DA-led municipality is currently in the process of eradicating more than 2000 bucket toilets through current housing projects, and has also launched a multi-year programme in the 2018/19 financial year to eliminate the use of buckets in Kouga entirely,” said Hendricks.

The regional landfill site at Humansdorp and Hankey waste site were upgraded, an official recycler was appointed, and new drop-off zones were opened at Jeffreys Bay, St Francis Bay and Oyster Bay.

In addition, the municipality has started distributing wheelie bins to households to replace black bags. A total of 7 713 wheelie bins were delivered to Hankey, Patensie, Loerie, Thornhill and Humansdorp during 2018/2019, with the roll-out set to continue in the new financial year.

In 2016, the DA-led municipality inherited a vehicle fleet which was almost entirely broken. Only 4% of the fleet was fully operational. A fleet replacement plan has subsequently been implemented, by the DA, and at least 90% of the fleet is in operation daily.

“We also became the first municipality in the Sarah Baartman district to launch an app-supported call centre for residents to submit service requests.

A total of 35 201 service requests and faults were resolved through the Kouga Call Centre and Link service delivery app during 2018/2019. This is more than double the number of 17 298 that were resolved the previous year, added Hendricks.

From 2017 to 2018 the DA-led municipality distributed an historic 1 827 title deeds. A 98-year-old resident from Patensie recently became the official owner of a home for the first time.

Tuli Wilson Tanda had been living on the property for more than 15 years, and only under the DA was it registered in his name in July 2019 for the first time.

The DA-led Kouga will be pioneering the first road made from plastic waste in Africa, a stronger and more durable alternative to traditional asphalt mixes.

A total of 7 785 potholes were repaired during the 2018/2019 financial year and 32 roads and parking areas, totalling 140 977m², were resealed.

Kouga is poised to become the first municipality in the Eastern Cape to roll out free unlimited WiFi to the public. An agreement has been reached between the Council and Cell C.

To ensure the safety of both residents and visitors in Kouga, the DA-led municipality installed security cameras along the main beachfront of Jeffreys Bay, for the first time, and spotlights were recently erected at the informal settlement in Donkerhoek and at the entrance to upper Vaaldam in Humansdorp.

Brutal assaults on Eastern Cape farming communities continue to rise

August 7, 2019

The latest, alarming statistics on farm attacks in the Eastern Cape show that our rural communities are continually under siege and the brutal assault on the farming community continues to rise.

In the 2016/17 financial there were 26 farm attacks. Over the last three years there have been 113 attacks. There has been an 84% increase between 2016/17 compared to 2018/19.

“In response to a parliamentary question, MEC for Safety, Weziwe Tikana, said that farm attacks in the province had increased from 39 in 2017/18 financial year, to 48 in the 2018/19 financial year.

A further nine attacks have been registered since April to mid-July 2019,” said Bobby Stevenson the DA leader in the Eastern Cape Provincial Government.

“The DA believes we need a new approach to rural safety and security.

SAPS need to embrace the fourth industrial revolution, and start incorporating new technologies, such as drones, which can be used to remotely patrol our vast rural areas.

These drones need to have thermal imaging capacity and night-time vision.

An extensive network of CCTV number plate recognition cameras needs to be established so that our rural communities are alerted if unknown vehicles enter the area.

The Democratic Alliance will continue to call for a separate specialized unit of the SAPS, namely a National Rural Safety Unit, along with provincial rural intelligence centres and rapid response units.

This is desperately needed so that we can stem the rural crime wave. This is evidenced by the recent attacks by armed robbery syndicates targeting small rural towns, such as those operating in Elliotdale and Mqanduli.

In KwaMlaza village in the Port St Johns Municipality, for example, violent crime has led to villagers fleeing their homes after nine people, eight of them women, have been hacked to death or raped and then killed in the past five years, with not one successful prosecution,” concluded Stevenson.

Supplier day for SMME’s in renewable energy sector

August 6, 2019

The Kouga Municipality and the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) are hosting a supplier day for local SMMEs interested in business opportunities around renewable energy plant developments.

Presentations will provide information on how to meet the requirements to supply to this sector, as well as what services and assistance various development agencies can offer SMMEs.

Exhibitors on the day will include DEDEAT, Kouga Municipality’s Local Economic Development Unit, SARS, SEDA, South African Bureau of Standards, Standard Bank, SEFA, The Business Place and SAICA Enterprise Development.

The exhibition will run from 9:30-15:30 and presentations will run from 9:30-13:00.

The Kouga Supplier Day is being held on:

Date: Wednesday, 7 August 2019
Time: 09:30 – 15:30
Venue: Newton Hall, Goedehoop Street, Jeffreys Bay

This invitation is open to all SMMEs with a trading address within the Kouga Municipality.

Water supply to Boskloof to be interrupted

August 5, 2019

The water supply to Boskloof in Humansdorp will be interrupted periodically from August 5 to 16 to allow for the activation of the newly-installed main line.

Kouga Infrastructure and Engineering Portfolio Councillor Freddy Campher said the longest interruption will take place on Wednesday, August 7, when a pressure relief valve (PRV) will also be installed.

“The water supply will be off for about six hours, from 8:30am to 14:30, on Wednesday for the installation of the PRV.

“Residents can then also expect shorter interruptions of the water supply from time to time over the period August 5 to 16 as we bring the new line in use,” he said.

Campher said a 650m-long section of the old 75mm asbestos main line to Boskloof had been replaced with a 110mm UPVC pipe.

“Boskloof has been battling with regular pipe breaks. A section of the old pipe in Protea Street has been replaced to help reduce pipe breaks and water interruptions.”

He said UPVC was a more durable and fire-resistant material.

“It is a safe means of transporting drinking water and can also be recycled, making it an eco-friendlier option than asbestos.”

He said the installation of the PRV would also help to mimimise pipe bursts and water losses within the area of Boskloof.