Posts Tagged ‘democratic alliance’

Why Service Delivery is so important

June 9, 2021

Nothing could better underscore the importance of voting – and voting DA – in the upcoming local government elections than yesterday’s news that dairy group Clover has decided to close South Africa’s biggest cheese factory, in the North West town of Lichtenburg.

This decision comes on the back of large financial losses due to poor or non-existent service delivery by Ditsobotla Local Municipality.

The frequent water and electricity supply disruptions and crumbling municipal infrastructure including the practically impassable road leading to the factory means it is no longer feasible for Clover to operate there.

Clover is consolidating its production activities in its Durban factory, a move which will cost Clover R1.5 billion. This is a massive vote of no confidence in Ditsobotla municipality and a massive blow to the community. Some 330 breadwinners will lose their jobs. Other smaller businesses in the municipality will suffer a drop in demand for goods and services.

On the other side of the spectrum lies Midvaal Municipality, the only local government in Gauteng that the DA runs with a full mandate.

A decade of solid delivery under the capable leadership of DA mayor Bongani Baloyi has attracted investment to the area and boosted local economic activity, giving rise to its reputation as the fastest-growing municipality in Gauteng.

Unsurprisingly, Sedibeng Breweries, South African distributors for Heineken chose to establish its national office there, bringing with it new opportunities for job creation and small business.

Other major organisations operating there are Ferrero Roche, New Hope, BSI Steel, South 32, Paramount Trailers and the Oprah Winfrey School. You will not find any of them closing or moving because of poor municipal service delivery.

Midvaal is rated one of the top five best-run municipalities out of 278 municipalities in the country, by independent ratings agency Ratings Africa. It is also the best-performing municipality in Gauteng, and the only one that can boast seven consecutive years of clean audits, meaning public money is reliably spent on the public.

This tale of two municipalities shows the clear blue water between DA- and ANC-run governments. It also makes clear the relationship between local government performance and the area’s ability to attract and retain investment.

More investment means more jobs, more economic activity, and more revenue that can be spent on things that improve people’s lives, such as electrifying informal settlements and building community sports facilities. DA-run Midvaal Municipality does these things and much more.

Local government is the coalface of service delivery and is therefore especially important to vulnerable communities. It is also the essential foundation on which our country’s economy is built. Businesses like Clover vote with their feet.

No business will risk investing in a municipality that can’t guarantee delivery of the most basic services required to run a business profitably – water, electricity, roads, sanitation, refuse collection.

It should therefore come as no surprise that the broad unemployment level in DA-run Western Cape province, where most DA-run municipalities are located, is 17.5 percentage points lower than the average for the other eight provinces.

This is according to Statistics SA’s recently released figures for the first quarter of 2021, which show unemployment at 27.9% in the Western Cape and at 45.4% in the rest of South Africa.

The DA is the only party with a proven track record of delivery. If we want to revive the dying economies of our towns and cities, we have to install DA governments in municipalities and metros across the country. The upcoming local government elections on 27 October 2021 is a crucial opportunity for voters to do this.

Yesterday, the DA was first out of the blocks with its voter registration campaign, fixing DA registration posters to street poles in Nelson Mandela Bay.

DA registration posters will be going up across the country from this week, calling on all South Africans who will be 18 years or older by 27 October to use the registration weekend of 17 and 18 July to make sure they registered to vote DA.

If we want South Africa to work, we need to fix it. There is no more powerful action step you can take to fix your town or city than to vote DA on 27 October 2021, because the DA gets things done.

John Steenhuizen

Leader of the DA

Service delivery gets fiery boost

June 4, 2021

A state-of-the-art water tanker and fully equipped fire and rescue vehicle are set to significantly enhance the DA governed Kouga Municipality’s ability to respond effectively to emergency situations across the entire region.

The two new vehicles were procured at a combined cost of R3.5 million – boosting Kouga’s emergency fleet to 14 fire and rescue vehicles which are stationed across the Municipality.

The new fire and rescue vehicle replaces the old bakkie that will now be solely used for rescue operations. The municipality’s Housing Department, furthermore, boasts a brand-new Nissan double cab bakkie.

“We are very proud of this latest addition to the municipal fleet,” said Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks. “The two new fire-fighting vehicles will strengthen the capacity of our fire department to keep Kouga safe, while the newly-purchased bakkie will help to improve service delivery.”

He said the three new vehicles brought the number of vehicles that had been added to Kouga’s fleet over the past four years to 58.

The vehicles procured include eight TLB’s, eight Toyota LDV’s and two chippers. A new 4×4 bakkie and quad bike have also been purchased for the municipality’s lifeguards, as well as five brand new bakkies for the municipality’s Electrical Services Section.

“The municipal fleet was in a terrible condition when we took over control of the municipality in 2016,” said Hendricks.

“This had a devastating impact on service delivery and the morale of staff who had to struggle to get things done without the right equipment on hand,” he said.

“We have since then been implementing a fleet replacement plan. In addition to the new vehicles, we strengthened the capacity of the municipal workshop. “The workshop team has been doing an incredible job and has refurbished over 115 vehicles, adding further muscle to the municipality’s service fleet.

”One of the latest refurbishments is an old Komatsu TLB and a MAN tipper truck, two cherry pickers and one old fire truck.

They have also repaired and refurbished four sewerage suction tankers, and one old redundant refuse compactor has been converted into a sanitation truck.

“Kouga continues moving from strength to strength and we are grateful to everyone who has supported our drive to establish a culture of service excellence across the region,” said Hendricks.

The truth about by-election trends

May 26, 2021

A summary of the main trends revealed in the 19 May by-elections are: 

  • the ANC’s support base is collapsing in South Africa’s cities.
  • In contrast the DA is showing considerable growth in wards representing 89% of South Africans —  ie among both black and white voters.

Of course, there was also some bad news.  We lost four wards in specific circumstances where smaller ethnic- and race-based parties are splintering the opposition, and making it difficult for us to do the really important work of South African politics  —   beating the ANC.

This is bad news, not only for the DA, but for all South Africans and we need to address it.

But it is only one part of the picture, (and a small one at that).

The really important trends (that already became apparent in by-elections during 2020 and were reinforced during 2021), have not been analysed anywhere, as far as I am aware.  I therefore do so here:

The bottom line is this: Across 64 by-elections where the DA faced-off against the ANC, in November and December 2020 and in May 2021, the ANC grew in only 18 and declined in 46.

In contrast, the DA grew in 36 – well over half — and declined in 28.

Moreover, the DA’s support doubled in several of these by-elections, while ANC support doubled in none.

Some of the most notable examples include:

  1. In the City of Cape Town (in the by-elections of 11 November 2020) the ANC declined by 37%, (from 71% to 46% in Ward 88 Philippi), where the overwhelming majority of voters are black.
  2. In Tshwane, in Wards 3 and 92, both majority black and both contested last week, the ANC polled a paltry 31.6 % and 31.5% respectively.  In both these wards, political commentators were predicting a DA loss.  We had a comfortable win, so the result was predictably ignored by the same commentators.
  3. In Ekurhuleni Ward 42, a ward in which the ANC had an absolute majority in the 2019 general election, we came within 88 votes of winning.
  4. The DA is growing in wards with a demographic profile in which we previously would never have stood a chance.  In Ward 92, Central Pretoria, a ward that is now majority black, the DA won comfortably last week.  We came within 85 Votes of winning a black ward in Matjhabeng and took a voting district off the ANC in a ward in Ekurhuleni.
  5. We are the only party building the moderate, non-racial centre of politics  —  and we are able to beat back challenges from both the Freedom Front Plus, and the ANC, on the same day in the same City.  No other party can do this.

These are simply remarkable results compared to what we were polling only a few years ago.

A truthful analysis of the by-elections reveal that it is the ANC that is imploding while the DA is growing across the board all over South Africa.

Helen Zille

DA Federal Council Chairperson

IEC review of Election date completely unnecessary: DA ready to go to polls

May 21, 2021

The DA does not agree that a review of this year’s Local Government Election date is necessary, and we reaffirm that the DA and South African voters are ready to go to the polls this year.

For the DA, the election must proceed on 27 October 2021. We are ready.

South Africans facing increasingly dire circumstances are crying out for change, which can only come through the ballot box at regular and timeous elections.

It is, in fact, every citizen’s constitutional right to participate in regular elections to make their voice heard and to vote out failing and corrupt governments.

Our participatory democracy rests on the IEC’s mandate to conduct free, fair, and regular elections.

The IEC has shown, through the series of by-elections over the past seven months that it can hold completely free and fair elections, in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.

By-elections since November last year have seen good, and in some cases, above-average turnout which shows that voters are keen to come out, safely, and cast their ballots despite the pandemic.

During these by-elections campaigning has been free and fair, political operations have adapted as required, and voters have been reached by their parties on the ground through digital media and an array of other communication platforms.

The IEC has, to their credit, run very successful Covid-19-compliant by-elections in all instances. Queues have been social distanced, masks have been mandatory, and equipment has been sanitised, which bodes well for the 27 October local government election in every ward across South Africa.

The IEC has already proven that elections can be held during a pandemic. There is no reason why it cannot proceed with this year’s Local Government Elections as planned.

Being ready for the election later this year means that the DA is well underway with our planning and preparation for the campaign, and we will be first party out of the blocks this weekend as we hold our Time for Change Rally – the first national DA rally in the lead-up to our campaign.

We are excited and very proud to hold our Time for Change Rally on Saturday, connecting thousands of DA members and supporters in over 400 watch parties in locations across the country.

Our rally this Saturday is a bold statement of intent: The DA is ready for Election 2021, and our preparation toward 27 October is proceeding at full steam.

The unnecessary review of the election date, announced by the IEC today, is not about empowering voters, it is about an unprepared, weak, and divided ANC which has no momentum to campaign, and an increasingly irrelevant EFF which has failed to adapt campaign operations during the pandemic.

The IEC should not bow to the whims of these party-political issues. The Constitutional right of each and every South African to cast their vote should not be determined by any party’s preparedness in any election season.

This election is about South Africans and the future of our country, not the ANC.

South Africa needs this year’s local government election to proceed, to give effect to voters’ rights to choose their governments, and to ensure accountability at local government level. South African voters desperately want change. The IEC must give them the right to it.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.

John Steenhuizen

Leader of the Democratic Alliance

1500 rental units for Jeffreys Bay

March 3, 2021

Some 300 temporary and 20 permanent job opportunities will be created through a new housing programme in Jeffreys Bay.

The social housing programme was officially launched at the corner of Koraal Street and Dolphin Street in Ocean View, Jeffreys Bay on Monday, February 22, opening rental opportunities for residents who earn between R1 500 and R15 000.

With construction of the first phase set to commence in the 2021/ 2022 financial year, the target is to deliver at least 1 500 rental units over the next five years.

The Keep Kouga Growing campaign was also launched on the day. This campaign ties in with three other campaigns already launched: Keep Kouga Safe, Keep Kouga Clean and Keep Kouga Green.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, said that the municipality had secured a place in the “Municipal Social Housing Support Programme” run by the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA), the agency of the Department of Human Settlements 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 social housing 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 1 500 rental units over the next five years, but according to SHRA, the project can be approved, built, tenanted and managed withing 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.”

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 Institute, in October 2019 for the planning and implementation of social housing and FLISP projects.

“This is the latest in a string of recent housing successes,” said Hendricks. “Social Housing, in particular, contributes to transforming urban spatial patterns as it promotes integration and densification in close proximity to economic and social amenities.”

Have your say on the Expropriation Bill

February 19, 2021

Fellow South African,

It is crucial for each and every South African to voice their reservations directly to the political body in charge of the Expropriation Bill, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure.

                                              Photo: Joey Nel



They have given the public until 28 February to object.

Either: Send a WhatsApp to 060 550 9848 or Email expropriationbill@parliament.gov.za

Consider saying:

I, Name Surname, hereby object to the Expropriation Bill.

I reject a bill that threatens my constitutional right to own property. In its current form the Expropriation Bill:

Has a list of five circumstances where zero compensation could be paid but it allows government to extend this list endlessly.

Offers government near unlimited powers to simply expropriate personal property – even going so far as to suggest that copyrighted and patented property could be at risk.

Is weighted in favour of the ANC government, whose reputation for greed precedes them.

Provides very little in terms of oversight opportunity by experts to ensure fairness to ordinary South Africans.

Will clearly and severely impact property rights and cannot be trusted in its present form to a corrupt government.

Kindly note my objection.

It is very important that the national government gets your objection in writing so that it counts.

Together, let’s protect the property rights of all South Africans – rich and poor.

Warm regards,

The 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.