Friday, July 2, 2010
DA @ Work 30 June 2010
Call to Action:
Helen Zille has a busy and exciting programme over the course of the World Cup. Follow her tweets on www.twitter.com/HelenZille or her posts on Facebook at www.facebook.com/helenzille.
Quote of the Week
"Our constitutional negotiators in the mid 1990s considered the concept of "openness" so important that they include it in the first clause of the first chapter of our Constitution. It is a sign of the progress we have made that many South Africans today exercise the rights and freedoms of the "open society" without thinking about them. They speak their minds, make their own decisions, and express themselves boldly even if their views run counter to popular opinion. They reserve the right to change their opinions, if new information arises. This culture is the bedrock of democracy, sustainable development and technological progress. It creates opportunities for growing numbers of people, and encourages them to take responsibility for improving their lives."
Helen Zille in her recent SA Today newsletter, 'The "Thugocrats" that threaten our future’
Last Week's Highlights
Top Story: DA calls for Narcotics Bureau to be reinstated
As South Africa took note of national Drug Awareness Week, the Democratic Alliance (DA) called on the reinstatement of the Narcotics Unit in the South African Police Services.
Mike Waters MP, Shadow Minister of Health said that the disbanding of this specialised unit by the national ANC government had been a serious blow to our ability to tackle the drug trade effectively.
Waters stated that it was important that the National Departments of Health and Social Development to learn to work together, to provide a multi-front approach to dealing with the social effects of drug and substance abuse.
A recent study conducted by the Medical Research Council (MRC) in 2005 revealed that one in three respondents reported using either crack cocaine, cocaine hydrochloride, methamphetamine (tik), or methcathinone (CAT) as their primary or secondary stimulant, said Waters.
Since 2009, the DA-led administration in the Western Cape had prioritised the fight against drug abuse by implementing a two-pronged programme which aimed to both prevent more individuals falling into the trap of addiction and abuse and assisting those who are already in the cycle of drug-abuse by providing treatment.
Waters said that some of the DA’s key prevention interventions in the Western Cape included, drug testing in schools under our new cabinet approved Provincial education legislation and increasing the use of social workers by 400% (from 49 to 200) to serve our schools in the Province.
In terms of treatment, Waters indicated that the Western Cape administration was undertaking to set up more youth intervention and treatment centres and establish new community-based ‘drop-in centres’ to provide information to the public, screening, assessment and referral services, as well as evidence-based out-patient and aftercare services.
Waters said that the reestablishment of the Narcotics Bureau, was an important first step in tackling the national drug crisis. He added that he would be requesting a meeting with the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, and the Minister of Social Development, Mrs Edna Molewa, to table the DA’s proposals and ensure that South Africa as a whole had a targeted and effective anti-drug policy.
Read more here and here
Corruption rewarded…Minister must explain
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will call on the Minister of Agriculture to appear before the Portfolio Committee to explain why the former acting chief-executive of the Land Bank, Phil Mohlahlane, who was dismissed over a corruption scandal, had been appointed to another senior position in the department.
Dr Lourie Bosman MP, Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries stated that the Minister must explain why Mr. Mohlahlane's shameful past conduct had been entirely ignored and why he was now being trusted with any sort of responsibility where public funds are involved.
Recent reports in the media revealed that Mr. Mohlahlane had been recently appointed to the position of CEO of the Limpopo Agricultural Development Corporation which will oversee the allocation of millions of rands worth of project grants in the province, said Bosman.
Mr. Mohlahlane was dismissed from his former position at the Bank after a forensic audit revealed severe irregularities in the management of the Agri-BEE fund under his control. Bosman said that Mr. Mohlahlane personally enriched himself from the fund and investigations revealed that some of the money was channelled to support the extravagant lifestyles of several politically well-connected individuals.
Bosman criticised the ANC government stating that the reshuffling of corrupt officials was business as usual and that Mr. Mohlahlane was only one of a number of officials with corruption allegations against them to be quietly appointed to new positions where in fact, any action had been taken against them at all.
Bosman said that the DA would be asking the Minister whether she shared the same view and, if so, how the Department could explain itself.
Read more here >>>
Back to top >>
IN OTHER NEWS
DA welcomes announcement of SAFA development plan
Donald Lee MP, Shadow Minister of Sport and Recreation welcomed the announcement by the South African Football Association (SAFA) that it intended to inject new life into school-level soccer development.
Lee said that identifying and nurturing young sporting talent was absolutely critical if South Africa was to build on the recent successes of the 2010 World Cup and make an even bigger impact on the international stage at the next World Cup in 2014.
Lee stated that the success of youth football development depended on three factors:
• A long term plan to identify and nurture talented young footballers, from grassroots development programmes in the form of well-organised leagues and quality school coaching to the promotion of young professionals, was needed.
• Sufficient resources is to be allocated to sports development with the bulk of the R2 billion SAFA received from 2010 ticket sales, together with the appropriate Lotto funds, to be allocated to youth sports projects.
• A national centre of sporting excellence, in the form of a South African Sports Academy, needs to be established, to provide talented young sportsmen and women with the best possible coaching and facilities.
Lee said that the DA would be writing to the president of SAFA, Kirsten Nematandani, to request details of the turnaround strategy and submit to him the DA's proposals for a South African Sports Academy.
Read more here >>>
DA welcomes ICD investigation into Malema
The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomed the recent announcement from Moses Dlamini, spokesperson for the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) that the ICD will conduct an investigation into what appears to be blatant police misconduct at an ANC Youth League Provincial Congress in Limpopo.
Dianne Kohler Barnard MP, Shadow Minister of Police said that the DA laid a formal complaint with the ICD after video footage posted by the Times showed that members of the SAPS VIP Protection Unit appeared to act on orders which were given to them by Julius Malema, to remove rival delegates from the venue.
Kohler Barnard said that due to DA action, the ICD would be investigating the matter. She added that the impartiality and integrity of the police must be maintained at all costs. We cannot permit a situation where SAPS members follow orders given to them by civilians, and for party-political reasons, said Kohler Barnard.
Read more here >>>
Miss Deaf SA to compete in Miss Deaf World 2010
Denise Robinson MP, Shadow Minister for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, recently hosted a fundraiser to enable the local winner of Miss Deaf South Africa 2008, Portia Oliver, to compete internationally for the coveted title of Miss Deaf World 2010.
Robinson said that this year’s competition would be held in Georgia, Russia and all funds raised at the event contributed towards covering Portia’s expenses.
Robinson stated that Portia was unable to compete in the 2009 international competition due to lack of funds, but remained involved with the competition by being a part of the judging panel for Miss Deaf Seychelles.
Miss Deaf South Africa was started in 2001, created to raise awareness about the deaf society, the talents and ambition of these people, to nurture their self confidence and to offer a platform of integration within society, said Robinson.
‘Organisations such as Miss Deaf South Africa need our help to encourage inclusivity and to assist all people to grasp opportunities that come their way. There is no place for exclusion or discrimination in South Africa today,’ concluded Robinson.
DA Public Relations Dept.