Wednesday, April 28, 2010
DA at Work 28 April 2010
Call to action:
Check out the launch of the new DA Youth website >>>
Quote of the Week
“When people in South Africa today see all the corruption and power abuse and lack of delivery, they get angry and feel powerless: When this happens, we must remember 27 April 1994, and remember that we are not powerless. We have the vote. We can change things with that vote more effectively than through a toyi toyi.”
Helen Zille at the Freedom Day celebrations at the Constitutional Court in Gauteng
Last Week's Highlights
Top Story: Secret Eskom dossier shows all
Pieter van Dalen MP, DA Shadow Deputy on Public Enterprises recently revealed a secret Eskom dossier which showed Eskom’s large discounted electricity tariff rates to companies that had provided little or no benefit to the South African economy.
Van Dalen used the information to question the acting CEO in a recent portfolio committee meeting on public enterprises. He said that the Democratic Alliance (DA) had decided to release the information to the public because they believe the contents were of importance to the South African people.
The information in the large dossier included the fact that:
• Montraco, a Mozambican electricity distribution company, had been paying 12c per kilowatt hour for electricity – an amount far below cost, yet it’s debt to Eskom, had increased to R100 million for which Eskom had not made any provision. Montraco was also the fifth largest electricity user in South Africa, taking 3.7% of all electricity generated in the country; however it supplied 95% of its electricity to Mozal Aluminum Smelter in Mozambique.
• BHP Billiton’s total payment of electricity halved in 2009/10 from what they paid in 2008/09. This resulted in the electricity price charged to BHP to decline as the rest of South Africa was forced to pay more.
• Mozal Aluminum Smelter is also a subsidiary of BHP Billiton. Thus, BHP directly and through its subsidiaries, took up 9.3% of all electricity generated by Eskom – making it the single biggest user of electricity in South Africa.
Van Dalen argued that BHP Billiton only contributed an estimated 0.1% of Gross Economic Product (GDP). He said this was due to the fact that the imported aluminum was exported directly after it has been processed.
What’s more concerning, said van Dalen, was that Eskom gave a guarantee of R 224 million to Motraco, which meant that Eskom had put aside a large amount of money to a company that already owed it money and which had preferential prices.
Van Dalen added that according to an executive overview, in June 2009, the office of the Chief Executive received a provision of R 41.3 million. Van Dalen said this made sense why Maroga claimed R 85 million as severance package.
Van Dalen requested that Eskom be called before the Public Enterprises Portfolio Committee to explain the report and the facts contained in it. He stated that the DA believed that the publication of the secret document was in the best interest of the public and would ensure greater transparency at the utility.
Read more here>>
Who really captains the ship?
Sejamothopo Motau, DA Member of Parliament for Gauteng, raised serious concerns over the mixed messages sent out by the ANC on the issue relating to the Julius Malema’s censure.
Motau said that on the one hand the ANC Deputy Secretary General, Thandi Modise said that charges against Malema were still being formulated; while on the other, the ANC Youth League officials reported that the charges had already been dropped. Motau criticised the ANC saying that they were more interested in creating a smokescreen than actually following due process.
Motau questioned how it was possible that both Modise and the ANC Youth League could come to such conclusions in such a formative stage of the process when Malema still had a case to answer. He said that it was clear that the ANC had no intention of subjecting Julius Malema to a proper disciplinary hearing and that the ANC was clearly buckling under the pressure.
Motau expressed concern as to who really was in charge of the ANC, whether it was Jacob Zuma or Julius Malema. He said that if the ANC formally dropped their charges against Malema it would expose President Zuma as a president who was unwilling to make decisions, unable to confront rogue elements inside his own party and unable to demonstrate any semblance of real leadership.
Motau said it exposed the true extent of the ANC’s hypocrisy on Malema. He asked what Malema had to do for the ANC to take any real action? The fact that, Malema attacked the MDC and backed Robert Mugabe; ejected a BBC journalist from a press conference by hurling abusive language at him; hampered service delivery through his crony ‘tenderpreneurship’ practices in Limpopo; continued to practice racist, apartheid-era politics slurs should be enough to take action, said Motau.
He concluded that there was clearly one set of rules for the President, and another for everyone else, including Malema.
Read more here >>>
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IN OTHER NEWS
Speaker confirms support for DA’s proposed Presidential Portfolio Committee
The DA’s Athol Trollip, Parliamentary Leader and Chief Whip, Ian Davidson met with the Speaker of Parliament, Hon Max Sisulu, to discuss the DA’s proposal for the establishment of a Presidential Portfolio Committee.
The committee would be tasked with overseeing the work of the Presidency and its two new ministries – the National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Performance Monitoring, Evaluation and Administration, said Trollip.
Trollip confirmed the Speaker’s support for the proposal, and discussed the procedures involved in the establishment of the proposed committee. He stated that a draft document on the proposed committee needed to be considered by the various political parties. A multiparty team would be constituted to consider the proposal who would then report its findings to the Chief Whips Forum. The Forum would finally make recommendations to the Joint Rules Committee on the establishment of the body to oversee the work of the Presidency, said Trollip.
Trollip called on the application of appropriate timeframes to ensure that real progress was made and that the establishment of the committee was afforded the attention it deserves. Honourable Sisulu confirmed the government’s commitment to leaving Parliament in a better condition than they found it. The support shown this week in favour of a Presidential Portfolio Committee is an important step in that direction, said Trollip.
Read more here >>>
NHBRC CEO in clear conflict of interest
Butch Steyn MP, DA Shadow Deputy on Human Settlements reported that the Democratic Alliance (DA) was in possession of a contract which revealed that Devgroep Investments, a company represented by Mr. Sipho Mashinini, the CEO of the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) was awarded a contract by the Gauteng Department of Local Government and Housing for the construction of 600 housing units at a cost of R32-million.
Steyn said that the contract also made provision for a phase 2, at an approximate cost of R45-million.
Steyn stated that Mashinini was until recently the acting CEO and had since been formally appointed as CEO of the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) as of 1 April 2010. The NHBRC was established to protect the interest of housing consumers and to regulate the industry, said Steyn.
Steyn indicated that the awarding of a government housing contract to Devgroep, a company represented by Mashinini, was a direct conflict of interest. He called for the resignation of Mashinini as CEO of the NHBRC, and stated that the DA would issue parliamentary questions with regards to the tender process involved.
Read more here >>>
Deloitte audit reveals multi-million rand Metrorail fraud
Manny de Freitas MP, DA Deputy Spokesperson on Transport said that the Democratic Alliance (DA) had obtained a copy of a document detailing a forensic investigation carried out by Deloitte and Touche into two incidents of fraud committed at the Tshwane and Durban offices of Metrorail respectively.
The fraud occurred during June and July 2008 and involved the illegal electronic transfer of approximately R8-million in total from Metrorail’s bank account into a number of privately held accounts within a private bank, said de Freitas. The report revealed that the fraud occurred within an inadequately protected IT environment at Metrorail.
De Freitas stated that according to the report, no-one had been brought to book for the crime. He added that the report noted that the greatest challenge during the investigation was an alleged lack of co-operation from the Manager at the private bank responsible for the investigation.
De Freitas said that because the forensic audit was not completed, a number of questions remain unanswered and therefore required further, independent investigation. He concluded that the Democratic Alliance (DA) would be issuing parliamentary questions on the matter and that he would be writing to the Public Protector requesting further investigation.
Comments by Sonny
We just want to thank Helen Zille for defending OUR CONSTITUTION!