Posts Tagged ‘SONA2015’

South Africans dont need promises – they need service delivery

February 20, 2015

The following speeches were delivered in Parliament by the DA’s Shadow Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nqaba Bhanga MP, DA Shadow Minister of Police, Dianne Kohler Barnard MP, DA Shadow Minister of Energy, Lance Greyling MP, DA Leader in the NCOP, Elza van Lingen MP and DA Shadow Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nosimo Balindlela MP, during the SONA Debate.

Elza Van Lingen in Parliament

Elza Van Lingen in Parliament

Speech by:

Nqaba Bhanga MP 

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

“We need bold moves on land reform, not populism”

Speech highlights:

  • In 1994, the ANC promised to address and remedy the injustices of land removals and dispossession. More than 20 years later we are still waiting for the ANC to make good on this promise.
  • There is unacceptably high failure rates in terms of agricultural activity on land transferred through the land reform programme. Minister Nkwinti himself has put the failure rates at between 73 and 90%.
  • The agricultural sector is heavily indebted and is dependent on the provision financial loans for its survival and growth. Destroy the value of the land on which debt is based and it will destroy the provision of finance. The emerging farmer will suffer as a result.
  • Approximately 21 million South Africans live on more than 17 million hectares of communal land, around 17% of the country’s total farmland area. Yet their land rights remain fundamentally insecure.
  • The ANC government’s disastrous performance in this area represents a lost opportunity to empower millions of South Africans and has ensured their continued expulsion from economic participation in the land of their forefathers’ birth.
  • A vibrant, inclusive rural economy can contribute to economic growth, food security, create jobs and help to alleviate poverty in South Africa. It speaks to the essence of the DA’s vision of an Open Opportunity Society and will remain a key priority for all current and future DA governments.

Speech by:

Dianne Kohler Barnard MP

DA Shadow Minister of Police

“The Real Story of our criminal justice system, and Zuma Inc.”

Speech highlights:

  • The Speaker has seemingly taken over the role of our Minister of Police – ordering SAPS members to enter this chamber, protect the Executive and ‘deal with’ those who disagree with the shabby, shoddy manner in which our Democracy is being treated by the Zuma Regime.
  • The Hawks is the unit the ANC created as a sop to the Constitution which calls for an independent corruption-fighting unit – one which ANC members of the Police Portfolio Committee shamefully rendered as toothless as a chicken
  • Independent thought and action is being hunted down and driven out as we speak.  That is why the ANC stepped on and crushed the globally admired Scorpions, and why they today seek to pluck any feather the Hawks ever dare grow.
  • It was the NPA under Mokotedi Mpshe who is credited with single-handedly leading to the dropping of 783 charges of corruption levelled against President Zuma for undue political reasons as the recent release of the Spy Tapes reveals.
  • The reasons to drop the charges were baseless, irrational and should therefore be set aside.
  • During Zuma’s term of office we have seen the Scorpions crushed; the NPA trussed; the Hawks plucked; SARS purged; and the ACTT chained to the floor.
  • Mr President, powerless anti-corruption units are no anti-corruption units at all but of course you have 783 “good” reasons for that, don’t you?

Speech by:

Lance Greyling MP

DA Shadow Minister of Energy

“Breaking the Eskom monopoly is central to solving our electricity crisis”

Speech highlights:

  • I have watched over the last 11 years as a Member of this House the gradual erosion of Parliament’s authority and the undermining of the role it plays as the custodian of our hard-won democracy.
  • The ruling party believes that the best way to ensure the flow of electrons in our electricity sector is by exerting complete State control over it.
  • This crisis is not merely an inconvenience as you stated last week Honourable President, but a dire threat to our economic growth prospects and will make a mockery of any attempts for us to deal with our challenge of overcoming poverty, creating jobs and reducing inequality.
  • Instead of the ANC’s philosophy of control and coercion of the electricity sector, the DA believes that the best way to overcome this crisis is through entrenching the twin principles of competition and cooperation.
  • The DA believes that we urgently need consensus on an end state vision for this sector and for legislation like the ISMO Bill, which will take the grid away from Eskom, to finally be implemented.
  • I never thought Russia would be more transparent than South Africa, but such is the extent of the ANC’s ideology of control and coercion.

Speech by:

Elza van Lingen MP

DA Leader in the NCOP

“Municipal Demarcation should pass Constitutional Muster”

Speech highlights:

  • The DA firmly supports the Constitutional provision for the re-demarcation of municipal boundaries. This must be based on a thorough assessment of the ability of our municipalities to provide South Africans with better service delivery. What we do not support is using a democratic process to hold on to political power.
  • The BIG question is whether the current round of Municipal Demarcation will improve service delivery, and ultimately whether it will improve the lives of South Africans.
  • In ANC municipalities like Makana in the Eastern Cape and Ngaka Modiri Molema in the North West, there is no accountability, no political will to deal with mismanagement, and a lack of planning.
  • Most ANC municipalities are in financial distress and their municipal managers are under-qualified and over-paid. How can 170 Municipal CFO’s out of 278 not possess adequate qualifications to do their job?
  • Unless corrupt, incompetent public servants and cadres are removed, sanctioned and black-listed, good governance will remain elusive.
  • It is easy to see that the reason for the current proposed demarcation of municipal boundaries, is to centralize authority, to amalgamate dysfunctional municipalities into one bigger disaster, and to run away from the true responsibility of accountability and good governance.

Speech by:

Nosimo Balindlela MP

DA Shadow Minister of Water and Sanitation

“South Africans don’t need more promises, they need basic services”

Speech highlights:

  • The taps that were installed in Khalimashe Village last year are dry, like so many taps in so many other communities across South Africa.
  • There is a water crisis in this country and the rural poor are suffering the most. For once be honest about the scale of the problem.
  • The current ANC government has long forgotten that they are here to serve the people.
  • Unlike the Western Cape government, other provinces are slow to give home owners their title deeds, condemning them to a future without the precious capital that is rightfully theirs.
  • The ANC does not have the political will to address our biggest service delivery failures.

What is happening in Parliament this week

February 17, 2015

This week the State of the Nation Address (SONA) will be debated over two consecutive days in the National Assembly in joint sittings with the National Council of Provinces.

Win Kouga

The first sitting will commence today, Tuesday 17 February at 14:00 and continue on Wednesday at 14:00.

These will be fairly long debates.

On Thursday the President will respond for about an hour and thereafter parliament will continue on our normal work of oversight and the various legislative documents before the committees.

We expect a couple of very good speeches and very hot debates. These will be published on the DA blog for your information.

On Friday 20 February the Eastern Cape Premier will deliver the State of the Province Address (SOPA), which will also be followed carefully because promises are made from year to year.

It is the delivery that is a matter of concern. You will be fully briefed in terms of the promises and the follow up debates next week.

We are looking forward to an exciting year in politics.

Elza van Lingen, MP

The State of the Nation

February 13, 2015

The scenes last night inside Parliament’s chambers tell the story of a national embarrassment that played itself out not just here, but on news networks across the globe.

nelson mandela

The forceful invasion of the chambers by armed police officers was a fundamental violation of the Constitution, and the separation of powers between two spheres of state.

This was not a haphazard operation. It was planned with military precision by the security forces, in direct collaboration with the Speaker.

Before the sitting even began, water cannons, and armed riot police staged a forceful crackdown on DA supporters outside the precinct. These were peaceful spectators to a state event who wanted to make their voices heard about South Africa’s electricity crisis.

In doing so, riot police cited “instructions from above” to remove us from Adderley Street “before the President comes”. Five arrests were made in the process, including the DA’s National Spokesperson.

This was followed by the scrambling of signal in the National Assembly, violating the constitutional freedoms of all those in its chambers.

It is not hard to see how this would culminate in armed police entering the chambers.

The police report to the executive. They cannot, under the threat of lethal force, seize control of South Africa’s Parliament.

The fact that this was a result of a direct order by the Speaker and Chairperson of the National Council Provinces, is a grave violation of their constitutional obligations. They preside over Parliament; they cannot be central to breaking it down.

The DA is consulting with our lawyers on the legal recourse available to us to prevent the armed police from entering the chambers of Parliament unless there is a clear and present danger to life and limb.

We are also giving written notice asking the house to refer both Presiding Officers to the Powers and Privileges Committee for investigation and sanction.

We believe that the conduct of the Presiding Officers warrants the harshest sanction: they must be removed from office in line with section 12 (5) (e) of the Powers and Privileges Act.

There must be accountability for the disgraceful events of last night so they do not see a repeat of them.

This process, however, must not detract from Parliament’s role of holding the President accountable for the state of the nation.

We must make it the number one priority to urgently return Parliament’s business to the crises facing our nation.


The crises of electricity, unemployment and crime remain with us today.

As elected representatives of the people, we have an obligation to South Africans to put the real issues at the centre of Parliament’s agenda.

We will return to Parliament on Tuesday to do just this. President Zuma delivered a criminally weak account of the state of our nation last night.

It is clear from his address that Jacob Zuma is no longer a President. He has completely lost touch with South Africans, and is today no more than a man trying to stay out of court on 783 counts of corruption, fraud and racketeering.

Next week it is crucial that the true state of the nation becomes Parliament’s focus.