Posts Tagged ‘democratic alliance’

Helen Zille elected as Chairperson of DA’s Federal Council

October 20, 2019

Over the past two days, the DA’s Federal Council (FedCo)– the party’s highest decision-making body in between Federal Congress – sat to elect a new Federal Council Chairperson, and to consider the report of the Organisational Review Panel established following the 2019 national and provincial elections.

Election of new chairperson of Federal Council

The election of a new Chairperson of Federal Council presents an opportunity of renewal and change for the DA.

The position was previously occupied by James Selfe, who led FedCo for just under 20 years with the utmost distinction.

I want to again thank James for his leadership, support and friendship. James is an unsung hero of South Africa’s democratic project and his valiant work has positively shaped the country we live in.

I want to congratulate Helen Zille on her election as Chairperson of Federal Council, and I look forward to the new energy, ideas and vigour that Helen will bring to the leadership collective of the Party.

Helen has served the party in various positions over the past years, and brings experience and political clout second to none

Further, I want to call on all the candidates and members of the party to unite behind the new FedCo Chairperson. The election and campaigns are over, and now is the time to unite and work for the people with the future in mind.

Resolutions adopted

Federal Council considered the Organisational Review Panel’s report. Following extensive deliberation, Federal Council adopted the following resolutions.

  1. That Federal Council expresses its appreciation to the members of the Review Panel and thanks them for producing their report.  Federal Council accepts the report in principle and gives effect to recommendations in the following resolutions.
  2. That a Federal Congress be convened as soon as constitutionally possible, bearing in mind the administrative processes which should be concluded as quickly as possible to give effect to recommendations of the review process.
  3. That a Policy Review Committee be established, convened by the newly elected Chairperson of the Federal Council, to undertake a comprehensive policy review of the Party’s positions on a number of key matters, most particularly on economic justice and jobs.  The process followed by the Policy Review Committee must involve consultation with Party structures and should be discussed by Provincial Councils.  He or she must cause a policy conference to be convened before the Federal Congress.
  4. That Federal Executive determine the job description and key result areas for a new Chief Executive Officer. Federal Executive should also appoint an interviewing panel and should cause applications to be invited for this position as soon as possible.  As is provided for in the constitution, the Federal Executive should appoint a CEO as soon as possible. The appointment be made for a renewable five-year contract.
  5. Dr Ivan Meyer, Deputy Federal Chairperson, must be charged with the responsibility for building teams at all levels of leadership and that his proposals in this respect should be considered by the Federal Council at its next meeting.
  6. That an investigation, the membership of which is approved by the Federal Executive, be undertaken under the leadership of Refiloe Nt’sekhe, Deputy Federal Chairperson, into the events surrounding the Party’s reaction to the event at Schweizer Reneke and the Party’s reaction to this as well as other issues highlighted on page 6 of the Review that were used to exploit racial divisions. Such investigation reports must be tabled before the Federal Council.
  7. That in preparation for the early Federal Congress, a constitutional review committee be established by the Federal Executive to give effect to the recommendations by the Review process and be charged with producing appropriate amendments to the Party’s constitution.  Such proposed amendments should be workshopped through the structures of the Party.  Such a constitutional review committee should inter alia consider term limits for the election of office-bearers.
  8. That a review committee be established to review the organisational and administrative structures of the Party under the direction of Natasha Mazzone, Deputy Chairperson of the Federal Council.  This review committee to be approved by the Federal Executive.  To the extent that such an organisational review results in recommendations that would affect the Party’s constitution, such recommendations should be fed into the constitutional review committee.
  9. That the committee established to consider the organisational and administrative structures of the Party, considers the advisability and practicality of establishing an advisory panel as proposed in the Review Panel as well as a crisis communication committee.
  10. That sections 6 and 7 in the Review Panel Report dealing with the Political Purpose, Culture and Values be networked and discussed with all branches and structures with immediate effect.  Such networking should involve a guided discussion approved by the Federal Executive.
  11. That a proper assessment of the Party’s role in governments and communication thereon by our governments be undertaken by the Governance Unit urgently.  Such assessment shall include polling in these governments.
  12. Focus is paid to all upcoming by-elections before 2021 which will require the participation of all required public representatives as allocated to roles, and as agreed to by national, provincial, regional and constituency leadership.  A roll-out of by-election training is undertaken which requires the participation of all public representatives, relevant operational staff and other key role players in by-elections where appropriate.
  13. Focus be given to the 2021 elections urgently in order that the Party can recruit potential candidates and immediately conduct comprehensive and certified training for such candidates.  That the Party undertake a campaign to interact with voters to communicate the Party’s core values that is aimed at winning the trust of voters.

Conclusion

The country is currently facing profound challenges noting the current Eskom rolling blackouts, the 10.2 million South Africans unemployed due to our collapsing economy, citizens continuing to live in fear due to the scourge of crime, and lack of access to basic services due to failing local governments and corruption. These challenges require a stronger and united DA because when the DA works, South Africa works.

We come out of this weekend’s Federal Council committed and reenergised to building One South Africa for All – accelerating our work in parliament as the official opposition to offer alternatives to the governing party and hold the national executive accountable. We further made a commitment to strengthen and capacitate our governments in their work of running clean, capable governments that deliver services to all.

It is now time to roll up our sleeves, and work with South Africans from all walks of life towards building a prosperous South Africa for all.

 

Mmusi Maimane

Leader of the DA

No Smart IDs for poor and unemployed South Africans

October 15, 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) can reveal that the Department of Home Affairs has no plans to roll out Smart ID Cards to indigent and unemployed South Africans. This was revealed to the DA in a Parliamentary reply by the Minister of Home Affairs. The reply further states that Government will only provide free Smart ID Cards to the elderly and first time applicants.

The DA believes this will disproportionately affect people who simply cannot afford to pay for the new Smart ID . Assisting indigent and unemployed people with free Smart ID cards, would not be a handout, but rather a means to empower citizens to access employment, educational and other opportunities.

We are of the view that Government should provide indigent and unemployed persons, who earn less than a set amount per year, access to free Smart ID cards.

The ANC government should go an extra mile to empower those South Africans who are poverty stricken largely because of numerous government failures to attract investment that will create employment opportunities.

Living without an identity document can be extremely limiting for the poor as they struggle to access housing, sanitation, healthcare or even basic education, and ultimately excludes them from meaningfully participating in our society.

Housing meeting to take place in Hankey

September 29, 2019

A public meeting will be held in Hankey this October to give the community a progress report on the local housing project.

The meeting will take place at the Vusumzi Landu Community Hall at 19:00 on Monday, October 7.

Speaker of the DA led Kouga Municipality, Hattingh Bornman, said a critical matter that will be discussed, is the relocation of households to the transit site.

“The bush-clearing has been completed and the sub-division, popularly known as ‘pegging’, of the site where the houses will be built, is under way,” he said.

“Once the sub-division has been completed, the relocation will commence.

“The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the details of the relocation, so that we can all work together to minimise the inconvenience to those affected by the move.”

He said once the relocation had been completed, Eskom would start electrifying the plots that will form part of the Hankey housing project, as well as the transit site.

“It was a long and tough negotiation to get a commitment from Eskom to electrify these areas. We look forward to bringing electricity to these households and improving their quality of life,” he said.

The Democratic Alliance has unlocked a number of housing projects in Kouga since taking over the Municipality in 2016.

391 Houses have been built in Humansdorp and construction has started on another 1720 houses in Jeffreys Bay.

No houses had been built since 2007 in the Municipality with service delivery also being severely affected under ANC government in Kouga.

Five ways DA governments across South Africa are innovating

September 26, 2019

Here are five ways that DA governments, across the length and breadth of South Africa, are meeting the challenges of the 21st-century head-on:

Africa’s first plastic road in Kouga:

In the small town of Jeffrey’s Bay in the beautiful Eastern Cape, the DA-run municipality of Kouga has officially started work on Africa’s first-ever plastic road.

“Non-recyclable plastic waste, which ends up in the ocean or clogging up landfill sites, is processed into pellets and used to replace a large component of the bitumen in a conventional asphalt mix.”

– Vicky Knoetze, DA Eastern Cape MPL

Water is the number one cause of potholes on regular roads. The plastic road is therefore said to be stronger and more durable, as it is more difficult for water to penetrate the surface.

Green innovation in the City of Johannesburg:

The DA-led City of Johannesburg’s Housing Department recently won a Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Award at the United Nations 14th Annual Session of the Global Forum on Human Settlements.

The award was won for the City’s South Hills mixed-income housing development, a housing development praised as a “global green model community“.

The South Hills development will yield 6 204 units, with 408 already completed.

South Africa’s first housing app in Stellenbosch:

The DA-run Stellenbosch Municipality recently launched a housing app to increase accessibility and access to the housing database for all residents.

The app is not only a first for Stellenbosch but is one of the first-ever municipal applications in South Africa.

There are currently over 16 300 applicants currently registered on Stellenbosch’s housing database, but the information of many applicants is incomplete or out-dated. The app will allow residents to update their information, and create a secure profile that can be used to complete an application.

“Our new housing app and the implementation of our housing demand database will allow us to keep accurate records and plan according to the needs of our residents.”

– Stellenbosch Mayor, Gesie van Deventer

A future-focused school in rural Worcester:

Thanks to a partnership between the DA-run Western Cape government and private donors, a state-of-the-artworld-class primary school has officially opened in rural Worcester.

Botha’s Halte Primary places an emphasis on e-learning, demonstrating how 21st-century technology can be used to reach and contribute to quality education in rural and outlying areas of South Africa.

Digital technology is changing the way learners are educated. The school has already become an educational hub for the district and, through digital teaching, seamlessly links with other teaching institutions such as the University of Stellenbosch.

For the last 18 months, the DA-run City of Cape Town has embarked on an innovative project to tackle harmful methane emissions from Cape Town’s landfills.

Waste to energy in the City of Cape Town:

By safely trapping methane gas pockets produced by decaying rubbish in landfills and then burning the gas, the City of Cape Town is eliminating harmful greenhouse gasses.

The innovation, however, doesn’t stop there. The City will now embark on phase two of the project which will see the harmful methane gas used as a heating fuel in industry, to generate electricity or as a fuel for vehicles.

This initiative will be a useful case study for all other local governments across South Africa, with other DA governments, in particular, focused on fighting greenhouse emissions.

Public meeting with Athol Trollip in Jeffreys Bay

September 25, 2019

The Democratic Alliance will be holding a public meeting in Jeffreys Bay this evening with Athol Trollip, the federal chairperson of the Party.

Trollip will be joined by the Shadow Minister of Police Andrew Whitfield as well as the Mayor of Kouga, Horatio Hendricks.

The meeting will take place at the Seaviews Resort at 6 pm this evening (25 September 2019).

Trollip will also visit the housing projects in Ocean View and Pellsrus.

No RDP houses were built in Kouga since 2007 and when the DA took over the Kouga Municipality in 2016, a number of housing projects were unlocked, which saw 391 houses being built in Humansdorp, with construction underway in the two projects in Jeffreys Bay.

Tomorrow Andrew Whitfield will meet with rate payers of Aston Bay and Marina Martinique and he will be joined by Councillor Brenton Williams.

Municipal issues as well as crime will be discussed at the meeting which starts at 2 pm at the Marina Martinique hall.

DA shows growth in Eastern Cape by-elections

September 19, 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) yesterday retained Ward 19 in the Buffalo City Municipality, following a tightly contested by-election.

The DA’s Derek Green emerged victorious and received 71% of the valid votes cast. This shows massive growth after the DA received 57% of the vote in this ward in the 2019 National and Provincial Elections.

The by-election was also contested by the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the African National Congress (ANC) the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The ward became vacant as a result of the tragic passing of former DA councillor Richard Rooy.

“This result is a vote of confidence in the DA, and the endorsement from the voters proves that the DA remains on track ahead of the 2021 local government elections.

It is also a clear indication that the residents of the Buffalo City Metro are tired of being neglected and ignored by an uncaring ANC government,” said DA Provincial Leader Nqaba Bhanga/.

The DA also contested Ward 20 in Nelson Mandela Bay and showed growth, with our candidate, Nandipa Qongqo, receiving 5.65% of the vote. In the 2019 National and Provincial Elections the DA only achieved 2.1% of the vote cast.

This ward became vacant as a result of former ANC councillor Bongo Nombiba being found guilty of fraud and money laundering and sent to jail for 5 years.

The ANC showed a big drop in support to 66.65%. In the 2016 Local Government Election the ANC won the ward with 72.24% of valid votes cast.

STOP the NHI. Help save South Africa

September 7, 2019

The NHI Bill, as it stands, will not provide universal healthcare to the people of South Africa. Instead it will only nationalise healthcare, and as a result, it will bring the same corruption and complete mismanagement that the ANC has bought to Eskom, SAA, local government, and just about everything else it touches.

Along with banning private medical aid, forcing all South Africans to use government healthcare and raising personal taxes by up to R5000 more a month, the ANC’s NHI will destroy medical aids and collapse the economy.

If you cannot trust the ANC to keep the lights on, how can you trust them with you and your loved ones’ healthcare?

We call on every single South African to take a stand against this disastrous ANC-sponsored bill.

It will drive medical practitioners out of the country, collapse medical aidsremove the individual choice of healthcare providers and lead to a large-scale brain drain from South Africa – making the unemployment crisis even worse. It will even give government the right to refuse you life-saving treatment when budgets are depleted!

If you agree with any of the below statements, then we need your help to fight the NHI Bill:

  1. REFUSE to pay an extra tax, over and above all the taxes I currently pay, to fund the ANC’s National Health Insurance.
  2. will NOT travel abroad for specialist treatment because the NHI has driven our best healthcare practitioners out of the country.
  3. will NOT let the ANC-government decide what healthcare I receive. I should be allowed access to private healthcare if I want it.
  4. The ANC government should NOT be allowed to manage the NHI fund like any other State-Owned Entity (SAA, Eskom, PRASA, etc.), giving the Minister of Health sole discretion of how the funds are used.

SUBMIT your objection. Make your voice heard!

YES, there are unacceptable inequalities in our healthcare system. These must be addressed through the hard work of government.

The DA in the Western Cape has managed public healthcare in such a way that people, no matter their socio-economic status, can access quality healthcare. This did not require destroying choice and private healthcare in the process.

The DA has a plan called the Sizani Universal Healthcare Plan that would ensure all South Africans are provided with quality healthcare, without crippling the economy!

Read the DA’s full plan here.

Sign the petition to stop the NHI here

DA calls for activation of National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure

September 3, 2019

The DA notes with grave concern the outbreaks of violent lawlessness targeting the economy across South Africa.

The past 14 days have been characterised by looting, attacks on foreign nationals, the burning of trucks, and violent riots.

In part, these incidents are due to a failing economy in which more than 10 million South Africans cannot find work or have given up looking for work. While the national Government throws billions in bailouts at failing state-owned entities, the national fiscus grows weaker by the day.

To maintain law and order, which is a key requirement for stability and therefore economic growth, we need a co-ordinated approach to actively monitor and rapidly respond and end any violence or disturbances which could cause destruction of property, a loss of life, or further harm South Africa’s economy.

The DA will, therefore, write to the National Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, to request that he activate the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS), in response to these increasing incidences.

The violent truck protests across the country have seen at least 20 trucks per week torched in June, and several highway blockades as recently as today.

Truck torching has involved several other violent incidents in the past few months, including bricks hurled through the windows a driver’s truck in the Eastern Cape, a delivery truck that was petrol bombed in Somerset West, and a driver who died of his injuries after his truck was petrol bombed near Touws River. An attack on trucks is an attack on the economy.

The NATJOINTS is empowered to coordinate all security and law enforcement operations throughout the country and is therefore well placed to first anticipate and if necessary, to respond timeously to incidents of criminality and disorder when they occur.

It is time the Government acts to curb the increasing number of violent attacks on our economy across the country which is compromising stability, the flow of goods and ultimately jobs. Activating the NATJOINTS is in the best interest of the safety and economy of South Africa and her people.

Andrew Whitfield

DA Shadow Minister of Police

DA fully supports Mboweni’s economic reform strategy

September 2, 2019

Tito Mboweni’s economic strategy paper released on Tuesday is a ray of light and hope on an otherwise dark horizon. His prescription is exactly what our failing economy needs. His proposed reforms are practical, realistic and achievable, policies that the DA has long been calling for.

They will have the desired effect of boosting jobs and growth and reducing poverty, unemployment and inequality. They should be implemented immediately.

The DA in parliament will work with Mboweni to make this plan a reality. Where we govern, we stand ready to implement his recommendations. This is about changing the lives of millions of South Africans who are without work, without dignity and losing hope.

It is about reversing South Africa’s slide, breaking the vicious cycle of low growth leading to debt leading to low growth, and setting up a virtuous cycle of growth generating opportunities for more and more people generating more growth. What Mboweni needs now to push his plans through is vocal, robust support from all quarters, be it civil society groupings, think tanks or opposition parties. Most of all, he needs President Ramaphosa’s full support.

South Africa’s economy is in such a bad way and the reform required so obvious that the complete lack of change under the new administration has been perplexing and dismaying. Of course, there are many in the ANC who seek to obstruct reform because it threatens their entrenched interests.

But Minister Mboweni and others in the ANC who support reform surely know that they would have the full support of the DA and many other opposition parties too for any reforms they choose to pass.

This reform agenda is based on the principle, long held by the DA, that only a growing economy can deliver real, broad prosperity and generate more tax revenue for the state to spend on social services. It shows a welcome commitment to a market- rather than state-led economy and to the fiscal discipline we need to get us out of our current debt trap. It seeks to make it easier for businesses to start up, operate, and compete globally. It is music to our ears!

The DA strongly supports the proposal of “full or partial exemptions for SMMEs from certain kinds of regulations, including labour regulations, to mitigate the start-up costs for SMMEs, but also to reduce the considerable regulatory requirements”. Unlocking small business activity is the key to mass job creation and skilling.

We also welcome the proposal that municipalities should take over control of local transport including rail. This will enable us in the Western Cape to develop an integrated bus-rail commuter system, which would take some half million commuters off Cape Town’s roads and into safer, greener, cheaper buses and trains while alleviating road congestion.

And of course, we whole-heartedly embrace the focus on boosting labour-intensive activity such as tourism and agriculture by relaxing visa regulations and creating an enabling environment for investment in agriculture including by upholding private property rights.

We have long called for more competition in the energy and communications industries to increase access and reduce costs. So, we welcome the proposals to unbundle Eskom, sell its coal stations and introduce an independent grid operator, as well as to open Telkom’s fixed-line broadband network and auction spectrum.

The only criticism we at the DA could level at Mboweni’s reform strategy is that it does not go far enough. Cities must be able to purchase power directly from independent producers (IPPs) and the police service must be provincialized.

We’d like to see BBBEE scrapped or completely overhauled to enable real redress, and an unequivocal rejection of Reserve Bank nationalisation, expropriation without compensation, the national minimum wage and national health insurance (at least until we have a more solvent and capable state), all of which introduce risk and deter investment.

But I say this only for completeness, recognising that Mboweni faces constraints within his own party, and his need for pragmatism. We understand that he’s biting off just as much as can realistically be chewed right now.

If the pattern of support for this reform agenda could be mapped, it would show clearly that the ANC is ideologically schizophrenic with the majority in the party resisting change to protect vested interests. However, I believe an overall majority in South Africa’s political establishment would support these reforms. Hence a realignment of South Africa’s politics is required.

We need a coalition that places South Africa as the priority and supersedes party interests. Our constitution binds us as citizens and requires us to advance the interests of all citizens. It is the basis for the broad consensus that can ultimately ensure we agree on a workable plan.

The fiscus must be managed in such a way that we build a capable state that can combat corruption and execute this plan. At the end of the day, only broad consensus on reform and a capable state can deliver real prosperity to our nation.

Warm regards,

Mmusi Maimane
DA Leader

Patients and public suffer due to shocking state of Livingstone Hospital

August 31, 2019

Staff shortages, long queues, broken public ablution facilities and thin, old mattresses are some of the daily challenges facing patients and the public at the Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth.

“On 29 August 2019, I was joined by DA Eastern Cape Provincial Leader, Nqaba Bhanga, MPL, and local DA Nelson Mandela Bay Councillors, Jonathan Lawack and Shirley Sauls, in conducting an oversight inspection at the Livingstone Hospital,” said Jane Cowley the DA EC Shadow MEC for Health.

It was during this oversight inspection that some shocking revelations were made.

Public ablution facilities in the hospital were in a dreadful state. The urinals in the men’s toilets were blocked and urine had spilt onto the floor. The toilet seat in the female toilets was broken. In the women’s general orthopaedic ward, sheets were worn and full of holes and many of the mattresses were uncovered and very thin.

A recent incident in the hospital saw a dying man lying on a mattress so thin that his sister had to beg for another mattress for him to lie on. Her request was met with disdain by a security guard who removed her from the ward. As a result, she was unable to be with her brother when he passed away.

Patients that the delegation interacted with were very grateful for the visit and willingly shared the challenges they face in the hospital, such as very long queues and long waiting periods before being attended to.

However, the compassion and care of the nurses, who work under difficult circumstances due to ongoing staff shortages, was noted and appreciated.

“It is no wonder that the Eastern Cape Department of Health is on the ropes and is now going as far as to try and deny members of the legislature their constitutional right to do oversight at state institutions.

After our presence at the hospital was reported to the MEC for Health, Sindiswa Gomba, she made several attempts to prevent the delegation from fulfilling their constitutional duty to conduct oversight in this organ of state.

However, the delegation was not deterred and continued with the oversight inspection despite being verbally threatened.

I will write to the MEC for Health to establish what budget has been allocated for items such as bedding, mattresses and linen, and whether these items have indeed been requisitioned during this financial year. I will also request a breakdown of ongoing staff shortages and a report on steps being taken to rectify this unacceptable situation,” said Cowley.

In the DA-led Western Cape, efficient health care service delivery includes all aspects of health care, including consumables such as linen and bedding. This holistic approach to health care delivery has resulted in longer and healthier lives of the citizens in our care.

Only a DA government can provide our people with the high-quality health care they deserve.