Posts Tagged ‘democratic alliance’

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

Government must act now against gender-based violence

August 9, 2020

Today we commemorate Women’s Day, but as the scourge of violence against women and children escalates in the Eastern Cape, and across the country, it is very difficult to celebrate this day that so many brave women fought for.

Women and children are being kidnapped, raped and killed on a daily basis and gender-based violence (GBV) has long ago reached crisis proportions – with the Eastern Cape being a particular hotspot for these heinous crimes.

The recently released crime statistics for the 2019/20 financial year indicated that common assault against women increased by 0,6%, while 25 801 cases of rape against women and children were reported countrywide

A recent case reported in the media highlighted that one of the most shocking acts of rape took place in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape after nine men entered a woman’s home and raped her for two days.

South Africa is unsafe for most women and statistics indicate that GBV is skyrocketing while the ANC government turns a blind eye.

“Our women have, however, not thrown in the towel and yesterday, 8 August 2020, I attended eight Democratic Alliance Women’s Network (DAWN) EC Women’s Day events in the DA-run Kouga Local Municipality.

I was joined by Kouga Executive Mayor, Cllr Horatio Hendricks, and DAWN representatives from the Tsitsi-Kouga area in distributing food parcels, gift packs and clothes, and attending soup kitchens. All of this was made possible due to generous donations made by local business people and residents,” said Georgina Faldtman – DAWN EC Provincial Chairperson.

“We visited areas such as Pellsrus in Jeffreys Bay, Donkerhoek in Humansdorp and Hankey and urged women to rise up and not allow GBV to destroy their futures. Women can no longer remain silent – we must speak out in order to save lives.

The government needs to get serious about protecting our women and children. Too many perpetrators are walking around free and too many women are being buried.

DAWN is committed to advancing women’s rights and in fighting for a society where women can feel safe and thrive,”added Faldman.

Caring for the elderly in Jeffreys Bay

August 4, 2020

A Jeffreys Bay councillor is helping to look after the frail and elderly in his ward.

Ludwig Vorster, the DA ward councillor for ward eight, recently delivered six new wheelchairs to the Amala Nursing Home.

The wheelchairs were bought through Kouga Municipality’s Ward Development Fund (WDF).

Amala matron, Estelle Botha, said the wheelchairs were heaven sent and would go a long way towards ensuring quality care for those who live at the nursing home.

Other projects that have been completed in ward 8 through the Ward Development Fund include new street name boards and speed bumps.

Speaker Hattingh Bornman joined Clr Vorster for the delivery of the wheelchairs.

Kouga’s future is looking bright

July 31, 2020

More than 1 000 streetlights and floodlights across the DA led Kouga Municipality have been retrofitted with LED lights.

The advantage of LED lights is that they are brighter than conventional bulbs but actually use less energy and last longer, which brings with it cost benefits.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the programme had been rolled out in the 2019/20 financial year after the municipality’s Electrical Services section secured R4-million from the national Department of Energy for Energy Efficiency Demand Side Management (EEDSM).

“Municipalities can apply for this funding to implement projects such as streetlight replacements and to increase the energy efficiency of municipal buildings and assets such as pump stations,” he explained.

“It, therefore, presented us with an excellent opportunity to decrease the region’s electricity usage, especially during peak periods when Eskom charges a higher tariff, without compromising on quality.

“Reducing energy consumption is also good for the environment and in line with our efforts to keep Kouga green.”

The project included the replacement of 161 1000W floodlights with 400W LEDs while 80 400W floodlights had been replaced with 200W LEDs. A further 860 125W streetlights had been replaced with 37W LEDs.

The funding also made provision for job creation, which enabled the municipality to employ six youths from the area for a period of three months.

Hendricks said the project had been complemented with an awareness drive to encourage residents to minimise their electricity usage between the peak hours of 5pm and 7pm and 6am and 9am.

“I would like to congratulate our Electrical Services team for successfully implementing the project despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

“Going forward, the LED lights will save the municipality money while staff will also have more time to attend to other projects aimed at improving service delivery to communities.”

He said the municipality would be applying for more funding as part its commitment towards service excellence and cutting down on carbon emissions to help save the planet by supporting green energy.

He said the aim was to roll out the programme to towns within Kouga fed by Eskom, so as to reduce the streetlight bill from Eskom in those areas as well.

New wheels for Kouga’s Electrical Team

July 30, 2020

More than 50 new vehicles have been purchased over the past four years to strengthen Kouga’s service delivery fleet.

Among the latest acquisitions are five brand new bakkies for the DA led municipality’s Electrical Services section.

(Pictured) Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks, Electrical Services manager Theo Madatt, Infrastructure and Engineering Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu and Infrastructure & Engineering director Victor Felton joined staff from the Electrical section for the hand-over

Kouga Infrastructure and Engineering Portfolio Councillor Bryan Dhludhlu welcomed the extra wheels for the section.

“It is essential that our Electrical team has reliable transport as they have to travel across Kouga to do new installations, maintenance or repairs,” he said.

“They used to rely on 12 bakkies, of which two were constantly breaking down.

“The new bakkies will enable them to respond to call-outs sooner and improve this service to communities.”

He said the municipality’s Fleet section had also refurbished three old cherry pickers for the Electrical section.

“The cherry pickers are now as good as new and proved invaluable during the recent roll-out of LED streetlights.”

Past municipal leaders slammed for wasting money

July 7, 2020

More than R32 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure, incurred under the watch of Kouga’s two previous Councils, has been certified as irrecoverable and written off.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said it was an indictment on the municipality’s past leaders that millions of Rands had been wasted when it could have gone towards improving service delivery to communities.

According to an item tabled to Council last Friday, a total of R32 89 407 in fruitless and wasteful expenditure was incurred by the municipality from 2008 to 2016.

“That is an average of more than R4 million a year,” he said.

He said several measures have been implemented since the inauguration of the current Council to curb fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

“The success of these measures, driven by the DA-led Council, is evident in the sharp drop of the amounts, with the fruitless and wasteful expenditure for the most recent audited year, 2018/2019, totalling R53 650 only.”

He said the municipality was on track to eliminate fruitless and wasteful expenditure completely so that ratepayers would get maximum value for their money.

He said the bulk of the fruitless and wasteless expenditure from 2008/2009 to 2015/2016 was the result of interest that had to be paid to creditors due to late payments by the municipality.

“We have been able to minimize this through the appointment of competent staff and by adopting fully funded budgets, with realistically-estimated revenue.

“A standard operating procedure has also been developed for the submission of invoices from service providers to prevent late payments due to non-receipt of invoices.”

Keeping the grass short and the economy growing

July 3, 2020

Kouga Municipality is doubling up its efforts to keep grassy public areas neat and trim.

Twenty industrial lawn mowers, 38 brush-cutters and 12 grass-blowers were delivered to the municipality last week.

Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor, Daniel Benson, said the equipment procured at a cost of almost R750 000, would strengthen the municipality’s efforts to keep town entrances and sidewalks clean and attrac-tive.

“It will also improve the maintenance of public facilities such as sport fields, cemeteries, community halls and caravan parks, as well as the lawns at municipal buildings.”

He commended the municipality’s Parks and Public Amenities section for the good work they have been doing to keep grassy areas neat despite the constraints they faced.

“They also assist schools and crèches to keep their premises tidy and safe for Kouga’s youngest residents.

“This purchase more than doubles their arsenal of equipment, which will allow them to do even more in their pursuit of service excellence.”

He said regular grass-cutting not only boosted public health but also had the potential to help grow the economy.

“Investors are drawn to areas that are well looked after. That was one of the reasons the Keep Kouga Clean campaign was launched and we are pleased to be taking it another step forward,” he said.

End the hard lockdown say South Africans

May 23, 2020

The results from our lockdown poll are in!

89 % of South Africans want the national hard lockdown to end.

South Africans have a right to choose to get on with their lives, citizens need to safely get back to work.

Let’s save both lives and livelihoods while ensuring our health services can cope with the expected spike in the curve of COVID-19 infections.

Our legal papers are now with the Constitutional Court.

The ANC’s national hard lockdown must end immediately.

The DA pioneers digital democracy in South Africa

May 18, 2020

The DA’s Elective Congress will be held, using a virtual platform, on 31 October 2020, despite the challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic.

This is in line with the mandate of the Party’s Federal Council to hold an Elective Congress this year.

To achieve this, Fedex resolved that the Chair of the Federal Council, Helen Zille, and the Chief Operations Officer, Liana van Wyk, would prepare a detailed proposal on plans for holding an elective Congress via an accessible, secure, digital platform, with systems in place to ensure that every delegate will be able to participate fully and fairly.

This proposal will be submitted for scrutiny and ratification at the party’s online Federal Council meeting in July.

Since the start of the hard lockdown the DA has been busy transferring its systems to digital platforms. By the time we hold the elective Congress, almost every major party function will be operating online, and the process of adaptation continues.

So far, our Federal Executive, Provincial and Regional Executives, Constituencies, the Parliamentary Caucus, the Provincial Caucuses and many of our Council Caucuses have moved their work onto online and videoconferencing software to ensure that the business of our internal democracy continues, and that the DA represents the needs and aspirations of voters during this difficult time.

The DA was the first party to run a fully online mayoral selection process recently, as well as the first ever virtual political town hall meeting in South Africa.

We will be the first party to run a fully online Local Government Policy Conference scheduled for May 29, to begin the process of compiling our local government manifesto for the 2021 election.

Our biggest strength as a party is resilience. We are able to diagnose problems, and develop innovative solutions to them. This has never been more apparent than during the Covid-19 lockdown crisis.

We will continue to offer South Africans coherent policy solutions as we work to reconstruct our ravaged post-lockdown economy. In order to be able to do this, our internal democratic processes must continue unimpeded.