Saturday, January 1, 2011
The DA want to ensure you make the right mark this year
31 December 2010
Welcome to the latest edition of the Quarterly Report, a newsletter overviewing the DA's performance as a party of government and South Africa's official opposition over the last three months. This edition covers the months October, November and December.
In this edition of the Quarterly Report:
The Lead Story: City of Cape Town is best performing metro in South Africa
DA Youth: Youth acts quickly over ANCYL jaunt
In government: High praise for Western Cape's 100% compliance rate on financial disclosures ... Western Cape government leads the way on audits ... Cape Town voted best city in Africa and the Middle East
Into the future: Western Cape Business Interests of Employees Bill is groundbreaking measure to combat corruption ... No blue lights for Western Cape ministers ... Provincial government plans to increase wellness ... New provincial education bill will improve quality of teaching ... Provincial government launches safety plan for summer holidays
By-elections: Voters endorse DA performance in Theewaterskloof ... DA consolidates hold of Cape Town and Govan Mbeki wards
On the issues: Union strike action: DA submits bill to protect public and non-striking workers ... VAT on books: Finance Committee adopts DA proposal to amend budget ... National government follows DA lead on biofuels
The Official Opposition: DA Cabinet report card: The good and the bad of President Zuma's cabinet ... Simelane case: DA appeals High Court ruling ... DA demands action on mud classrooms ... DA forces Tony Yengeni to resign from illegal directorships
2010 has been an iconic year for South Africa. With the eyes of the world focused on us for an intense month, we rose to the challenge, showcased our immense potential as a nation and hosted probably the most flavourful football World Cup tournament ever. In June/July, we showed what our nation is capable of.
Six months later, those almost halcyon days seem like a distant memory. Starting with that debilitating public sector strike, South Africans have been brought back down to earth to the reality of living in a country not governed as it should be, a country lacking in leadership with vision, accountability and integrity.
The DA’s mission is to lead South Africa to the point where we can realise its potential on a sustainable basis. We want to enable South Africans to be able to collectively deliver the dream of the rainbow nation that seemed so tangible in 1994. This can only be done by realising an open, opportunity society for all in South Africa.
The DA is on track. We are currently in government in the Western Cape province and over 20 municipalities around the country. Where we deliver, we deliver for all the people, especially the poorest South Africans. Next year, we aim to increase the number of councils we govern following the local government elections. Scheduled to take place in the first half of next year, these elections are critical to the future of South Africa and our constitutional democracy.
By winning more municipalities we can demonstrate how the open, opportunity society for all delivers real solutions for our nation. A successful result in 2011 will pave the way for increased growth across the country in the 2014 general election.
By-election results bode well for the DA’s prospects next May. Since 22 April 2009, the DA has won eight seats off the ANC. We are growing. The ANC is haemorrhaging support as more and more South Africans are voting for the DA.
I hope you enjoy this edition of the Quarterly Report and I’d like to wish you and your families and safe and enjoyable festive season.
All the best,
DA Chief Executive Officer
The Lead Story
City of Cape Town is best performing metro in South Africa
The Universal Household Access to Basic Services report, released in November, and compiled by the national government, confirmed that the DA’s City of Cape Town is the best performing metro in the country, in every single service delivery metric.
By way of comparison, the report shows that the DA’s City of Cape Town is comprehensively outperforming other ANC-run metros, in each of the four areas that were reviewed. Indeed, it ranks the City of Cape Town, under its present DA administration, as the top metro in the country for service delivery.
In the DA's City of Cape Town, 91% of residents have access to all four basic services – refuse removal, water, sanitation and electricity. This record far surpasses the record of ANC-run metros: for instance, only 74% of the residents of Durban have access to all four services, while in Tshwane, only 66% do, and in Ekurhuleni, only 78% do.
The report also showed that in each of the individual four categories of service delivery, the DA's City of Cape Town scores better than any ANC metro.
Youth acts quickly over ANCYL jaunt
In November, the DA Youth exposed an attempt by the ANC Youth League to hijack millions of rands of public money for a gathering of radical international youth organizations, the World Festival of Youth and Students. The nine day workshop was officially hosted by the National Youth Development Agency, a government entity. However, it was in fact initiated and managed by the ANCYL.
DA Youth representative Aimee Franklin exposed the fact that Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, had personally requested that provincial governments contribute R42 million to this event; as a result the DA Youth then took the decision to withdraw entirely from the NYDA, asserting that it was now simply a vehicle for channeling funds towards ANC Youth League cadres.
Later, we called for the auditor general to investigate, after it was revealed that R40-million in lottery funds had been designated to the event.
The Western Cape provincial government immediately declined the Presidency’s request for additional funds, and this initiated a trend whereby other provincial governments likewise chose not to make the requested funding available. The ANCYL was then left only with the money allocated to it by the Presidency and the Lotto Board, and was forced to substantially downscale the event - from its initial R370-million proposed budget, to a figure closer to R70-million.
High praise for Western Cape's 100% compliance rate on financial disclosures
The Financial Disclosures Framework Act requires senior public service managers to submit detailed information on their financial interests. In November, Minister of Public Service and Administration Richard Baloyi publicly praised the DA’s Western Cape administration for being 100% compliant with this requirement – the only province to achieve this.
During a presentation on non-compliance of directors general, Minister Baloyi cited the DA administration as a powerful example of what happens when the right “management” and “political authority” are in place. He said at the meeting:
“…with the Western Cape at 100 (percent) it is possible, but what does it take? It takes management. […] Of course it is not only management you should have, you also need a political authority. You need a political authority to actually enforce these things.”
In sharp contrast to the DA’s performance, national departments achieved a woeful 42% compliance rate, and in several ANC provinces the rate was far lower.
Western Cape government leads the way on audits
On 20 October the auditor general released a report rating the DA-run Western Cape as the province with the best financial administration in South Africa for the 2009/10 financial year. Every provincial department and all the public entities below them received unqualified audits, a feat unmatched by any other province.
The results constitute further evidence that where the DA governs, it delivers a better run administration than the ANC. And, because that administration is well managed, service delivery is of a higher standard.
A clean audit is testament to an efficient and professional provincial treasury and good political leadership. In both of these three areas, the DA-run province differs from the ANC. We do not practice cadre deployment. We do not indulge in fruitless and wasteful expenditure; indeed, austerity has been one of the Western Cape’s hallmarks. And we do not interfere and attempt to control every element of governance. This is the blue sky between the DA-run Western Cape and other ANC-run provinces.
Cape Town voted best city in Africa and the Middle East
On 21 October the Condé Nast Traveler 2010 Readers Choice Award was awarded to Cape Town, after being voted the Best City in Africa and the Middle East. More than 25 916 readers worldwide voted on some 10 000 destinations.
The impact of a well-run city on tourism cannot be underestimated. Since taking over the management of Cape Town in 2007, the DA-led administration has worked tirelessly to turn the city around, root out crime and corruption, improve service delivery and embody the vision of an open opportunity society for all.
Into the future
Western Cape Business Interests of Employees Bill is groundbreaking measure to combat corruption
On 8 December, Western Cape premier Helen Zille signed the groundbreaking Business Interests of Employees Bill into law.
The bill moves to restrict provincial government employees from doing business with the provincial government, and additionally requires provincial government employees to disclose their business interests, as part of wide-reaching DA measures to curb corruption and cronyism in the public service.
No blue lights for Western Cape ministers
In November, following a resolution by the Western Cape provincial government, all blue lights and sirens were removed from provincial ministerial vehicles. The last sirens were removed on 23 November from the vehicle of Theuns Botha, Western Cape Minister of Health.
MEC Botha said that: “Our agendas are not more important than that of anyone else on the road. In this way we can ensure that blue lights and sirens are restricted to emergency vehicles only, and enable emergency response vehicles to be acknowledged and responded to immediately.”
Provincial government plans to increase wellness
On 12 October the DA-run Western Cape government launched a plan to increase the wellness of all the people of the province.
The first part of the strategy is to tackle the primary drivers of mortality and morbidity, including HIV/Aids, TB, asthma, cancers and mental illness. This will entail, amongst other things:
- The roll-out of our mass HIV Counseling and Testing Plan, which seeks to test 1.2 million people and provide ART to 31 000 new clients.
- The further development of its substance abuse strategy, including increasing the number and reach of drug treatment programmes.
- The introduction of a Healthy Lifestyles campaign.
The second part of the strategy is to improve the quality of care at the province’s health care facilities. This strategy will place a heavy emphasis on identifying and measuring indicators and targets better, and then setting targets for improvement.
New provincial education bill will improve quality of teaching
On 1 December, MEC for Education in the Western Cape, Donald Grant, announced that the Western Cape Provincial School Education Amendment Bill has been approved by the provincial legislature. This bill will provide the provincial government with a number of important tools to help improve the quality of education.
This bill puts the rights of learners to a quality basic education first, by building greater levels of accountability for teachers, principals and officials. Officials will have the right to inspect schools to assess teacher performance in the classroom, and principals and their deputies will for the first time in South Africa have performance contracts directly linked to student outcomes.
The bill also gives authority to the Head of Department to strengthen the role of schools-based assessments, to allow for far more effective remedial action at underperforming schools.
Provincial government launches safety plan for summer holidays
On 6 December the Western Cape Provincial Government announced a programme to make this summer safer for everyone in the province.
The Department of Transport and Public Works, through its Safely Home campaign, aims to halve the number of fatalities on our roads by 2014, by spreading the message that road safety is everyone's responsibility. This will include a no-holds-barred radio campaign, 250,000 pamphlets which drive home our key messages, and a brand new Safely Home Drunk Driving Operations War-Room in George.
During the last three months of 2010 The DA continued a pattern of growing its support at the expense of the ANC.
Voters endorse DA performance in Theewaterskloof
On 10th November the DA’s CEO, Jonathan Moakes, announced that the DA had won a by-election in Theewaterskloof (Botriver), securing 55% of the vote.
The DA’s comprehensive victory is a sign of faith in the DA-ID memorandum of understanding -- in 2008, the ID won Ward 7 off the ANC in a by-election where both the DA and ID stood separately.
It is also a clear message that people understand that where the DA governs, it delivers better services. Earlier this year, the DA-run Theewaterskloof municipality won the Top Municipality of the Year Service Delivery Award.
Finally, the result constitutes yet further evidence that the ANC’s share of the vote in the Western Cape continues to decline. In 2004 the ANC won 56% of the vote in Ward 7; by November, their share of the vote had declined to just 36%.
DA consolidates hold of Cape Town and Govan Mbeki wards
On 8 December the DA recorded two more noteworthy victories in by-elections in the City of Cape Town (ward 19, Delft-Kuilsriver) and Govan Mbeki (ward 5, Secunda, Mpumalanga) municipalities. While both wards were previously DA seats, voters returned the DA to office with significantly increased majorities.
In ward 19, in 2006, the DA and ID jointly polled 57.9%. The DA’s comprehensive victory in December, polling some 17% higher than even the combined 2006 total, is a sign of faith in the DA-ID merger. The ANC received 14.6% of the vote, down from 33% in 2006.
In the Govan Mbeki ward 5 by-election, the DA polled 92.45%, a 35% increase in support from the 2006 result of 57.05%. The ANC polled 6.5%, down from 27.3% in 2006.
On the issues
Union strike action: DA submits bill to protect public and non-striking workers
South Africa has over the past few years been rocked by violent strike action, which has involved intimidation, injury and even the deaths of non-striking workers and members of the public, as well as the destruction of property. The right to strike is enshrined in our constitution; equally important, however, is the right of those people who wish to work being free to do so, without fear of intimidation, or violence. Further, just as a petroleum company should be liable to pay damages for an oil spill, a union should be held responsible for breaches of the law during strike action.
With this in mind, on 5 October, DA Shadow Minister of Labour Ian Ollis submitted a Private Members Bill to Parliament to amend the Labour Relations Act. The legislation, if approved by parliament next year, will make unions liable to pay penalties and damages for the illegal and undisciplined behaviour of individual members. Such penalties would be imposed upon unions, or indeed any party to a strike, if prescribed good practice is not followed during legitimate strike actions. This would not undermine the right to strike, but would better ensure that such strikes stick to the letter of the law.
VAT on books: Finance Committee adopts DA proposal to amend budget
The promotion of literacy is the most powerful weapon we have in the fight to beat poverty. Following a proposal made by DA MP Deon George, on 8 November Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance made a request to the National Treasury to produce a report on the impact of zero-rating VAT on books.
If this results in a request to parliament to amend the budget next year, it will make history. The Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Bill was signed into law on 16 April 2009, giving parliament its constitutionally entrenched right to amend money bills. But it has not yet been used.
National government follows DA lead on biofuels
On 12 October, the DA led a delegation to the Department of Energy to put forward the proposal that South Africa lift its ban on South African maize being sold for ethanol production. This was in light of a large maize surplus - of four million tonnes - for the 2009/10 season, which saw prices falling steeply and could see many small farmers going bankrupt.
Shortly afterwards, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson announced that although it would not be possible to change the law this year, the government was warming to the idea of re-examining policies on biofuels to allow the country to use its excess maize for this purpose.
The Official Opposition
DA Cabinet report card: The good and the bad of President Zuma's cabinet
Democratic governments must account subject themselves to regular evaluation. In December, the DA released its 2010 Report Card evaluating the performance of President Zuma's cabinet over the past twelve months.
President Zuma himself was, in fact, one of the weaker performers in his own Cabinet, scoring only 2, earned for a year of broken promises and for his complete failure to drive critical projects. On the other hand, we found that there have been some significant successes.
Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan received a score of 9, the highest score the DA has ever given to a minister. His record has been dazzling in every respect. He was closely tailed by Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi, who is quietly and judiciously going about undoing all the damage done to this department by two former ministers.
In the midst of the controversy surrounding the Protection of Information Bill, it is heartening to see how many members of the Cabinet appear to take their responsibilities to account to parliament and the public seriously. However, almost all members of the Cabinet need to improve their performance in both developing and implementing policy and in managing their departments better.
Simelane case: DA appeals High Court ruling
During the three month period covered by this report the DA kept up the pressure to have President Zuma’s decision to appoint Adv Menzi Simelane as National Director of Public Prosecutions set aside. In October the North Gauteng High Court dismissed the DA’s initial application, while noting several exceptionally concerning aspects of Adv Simelane's appointment. The DA has now lodged an application with the North Gauteng High Court for leave to appeal that judgment.
The case concerns issues that are of such critical importance to the future of our country and to the integrity of our legal system that we believe we have a responsibility to continue to fight this matter to the end.
DA demands action on mud classrooms
During November, DA shadow minister on basic education, Wilmot James, carried out a tour of mud schools in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo to bring attention to the plight of these teachers and learners, who are taking the government to court over its failure to provide them with their constitutional right to a basic education.
He called for a debate be held in Parliament on the challenges facing basic education in South Africa, and requested of the Eastern Cape and Limpopo MECs to provide details of the steps being taken to eliminate the desperate infrastructure shortfalls at these schools.
DA forces Tony Yengeni to resign from illegal directorships
On November 4th, ANC general secretary and convicted fraudster Tony Yengeni was forced to resign from the directorships he had held in six companies, after DA shadow minister of trade and industry Tim Harris laid criminal charges against him. The charges concerned Yengeni’s breach of the Companies Act by retaining these directorships despite his fraud conviction
Look out for our next Quarterly Report in March.
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Comments by Sonny
Let's drive the ANC out all our municipalities in 2011.