Ramaphosa’s ‘political backers’ fall due to corruption

by Zwakele Mncwango – DA KZN Premier Candidate

The DA welcomes today’s media reports that raids were conducted on the homes of individuals linked to the multi-million-rand North Sea Jazz graft scandal, one of whom is ANC KZN deputy Chairperson and Ramaphosa enforcer, Mike Mabuyakhulu.

It is a good day in the fight against ANC corruption and the abuse of state resources to benefit a connected few at the expense of people oppressed by poverty. Reports indicate that properties and cars worth R12 million were attached.

Nothing has changed in Rampahosa’s ANC and his much vaunted ‘New Dawn’. The same failing ANC which enabled Zuma’s disgraced Presidency are still embedded in the system and occupy high positions in the ANC. The ANC remains a broken bus, it just has a driver.

Mabuyakhulu has remained a benefactor of political largesse, through top government jobs, under both Ramaphosa and Zuma.

The DA will keep a close eye on this case to ensure that state resources are not abused in litigation by all those implicated, especially with the ongoing factional wars between Mabuyakhulu and Sihle Zikalala.

The failing ANC has proven time and again that it is not fit to govern. South Africans are faced with a unique opportunity to register in their numbers and vote the failing ANC out resoundingly.

The DA is the only party that can bring change that delivers and turn the tide of lawlessness and looting in KZN. It is time that people of KZN give the DA a chance to foster transparent and accountable governance. The DA has a proven track record of enforcing clean governance and transparency where we govern for the building of a One South Africa for All.

Failing ANC government uses false title deed promises to mobilise for party rally

by Dr Rishigen Viranna MPL – DA Ugu Constituency Head

The DA has come into possession of a letter signed by Mr NB Thabathe, HOD of Corporate Services at Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, inviting Marburg residents to come collect their housing title deeds. The date, venue and time is the same as ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa’s rally at the school. Residents were even advised that municipal transport will be provided to the event.

The DA has come into possession of a letter signed by Mr NB Thabathe, HOD of Corporate Services at Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, inviting Marburg residents to come collect their housing title deeds. The date, venue and time is the same as ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa’s rally at the school. Residents were even advised that municipal transport will be provided to the event.

Click here to see the flyer and here for the letter.

Most shocking is that during and after the event no title deeds were handed over to any residents. The residents left empty handed. Many of these residents have been waiting for their title deeds since 1994.

This abuse of municipal resources for party campaigning shows that the failing ANC doesn’t care about the community, it only cares about itself.

The ANC recognises its dwindling support in Marburg and had to resort to empty promises to fill a rally hall.

The Democratic Alliance strongly condemns the misuse of the people’s money for ANC campaigning purposes. The residents of Ray Nkonyeni Municipality suffer from high unemployment and poverty levels, lack of housing and basic service delivery. Yet this Ramaphosa-led ANC is willing to waste their money on rallies.

This is a blatant indication that Ramaphosa’s ANC is no different to Zuma’s ANC. The bus drivers have changed but it is still the same broken and corrupt bus. This is also an indication that in KZN Ramaphosa can only get the public to attend his events by lying about services which his ANC has failed to deliver.

The DA will be raising this matter within Council and will call for accountability and for heads to roll. Primarily we want answers as to why the HOD of Corporate Services got the municipality involved in what was clearly a political event. If necessary, we will escalate this matter to the Public Protector to investigate this misuse of the people’s money.

Only the DA can bring change that accelerates the delivery of quality services and puts the people first. Only the DA can build One South Africa for All.


DA requests MEC to provide relief to KZN residents as motor licensing bureau crisis worsens

Democratic Alliance media statement by Rafeek Shah, MPL

DA Spokesperson on Transport

DA requests MEC to provide relief to KZN residents as motor licensing bureau crisis worsens

The Democratic Alliance today calls on KZN Transport MEC, Mxolisi Kaunda, to provide immediate relief to thousands of citizens who are the victims of a chaotic situation at Motor Licensing Bureaus (MLBs) around the province.

The call comes following after a five-month long labour dispute involving license printers which has led to long queues and extreme frustration for those trying to renew their driver’s licences, book various tests or sort out vehicle licensing.

The DA is concerned by the lack of urgency on the part of MEC Kaunda and his Department to intervene and ensure that MLB’s are operating at full capacity. These are KZN’s law-abiding citizens and it is unacceptable that they should have to spend hours and sometimes days queuing just to avoid prosecution.

The DA expects the MEC to take the following immediate steps to improve current conditions:

-          Deal with the staff shortages which are hampering service delivery. There are critical and general posts that need to be filled;

-          Implement a system with different queues for different services;

-          Attend to the shocking infrastructure that exists at many MLB’s as a result of poor maintenance. This includes simple things such as fixing toilets and ablution facilities. In many instances the needs of physically challenged persons are also not catered for; and

-          Root out and ensure consequence management when it comes to endemic corruption. This scourge continues to place innocent road users’ lives at risk.

Recent reports citing IT problems at various licensing centres also raise red flags. Funding was set aside to deal specifically with the upgrade and maintenance of such equipment. The question is – why do the problems persist? Was the money ever spent on this and, if so, where are the results? The DA will expect the MEC to account for this.

Last month, the DA made a plea to the MEC and his Department that thoseawaiting renewed licenses – and who could provide proof thereof – to be allowed to drive without threat of prosecution this festive season. The request was turned down.

There is no reason why the people of KZN should be expected to pay for a problem caused by a failed ANC government. There is also no reason why KZN’s people they should not be provided the same relief as those living within the DA-led Western Cape. In that province:

-        If a law-abiding citizen applied to get their license renewed before it expired, they can still drive with the old one for a period of three months after the expiry date;

-        Only if they applied after the expiry date do they need to get a temporary driving license which costs R45 – in KZN the cost is R90 – and is valid for 6 months; and

-        In the case where an individual applied for a renewal before the expiry date, and whose three month grace period has lapsed, a six month temporary license is issued free of charge.

The question is – if this can be done in the Western Cape then why isn’t MEC Kaunda doing it here in KZN?

A DA-led government in KZN would prioritise service delivery across all platforms. And we would listen to what the people want.

As the political head of Transport in KZN, MEC Kaunda is answerable to every road user in our province. The DA will hold him to this.

KZN artists suffer while government commits to fund Zuma’s music career

by Phumzile van Damme MP – DA Team One Spokesperson on Corruption

Today the DA met with the BAT Community Arts Development and Cultural Entertainment Centre management to discuss the challenges that struggling artists face on a daily basis. It is public knowledge that many artists die as paupers because of the lack of funding and support.

“We will be writing to the eThekwini Council to halt all funding to Zuma and to direct that funding to artists who need and deserve support”

During the visit we learned that eThekwini Municipality used to fund the centre by over a million rand, funds that were used to develop up and coming artists. However, the municipality has since stopped this funding, leaving the centre to fend for itself.

Yet, on the other hand, the eThekwini Council has committed to fund former President Jacob Zuma’s music career.

The Bat Centre located in Durban works very closely with a number of smaller centers throughout the province, with a spillover to the Eastern Cape, focusing on Visual Arts and Music. The centre depends on funding for survival. The stoppage in funding without any explanation has opened a gap and led to many projects being cancelled including the Sunday Jazz session.

The DA will therefore escalate the matter by writing to the to the Department of Arts and Culture to ascertain as to why the cutback in funding.

It cannot be that the failing ANC chooses to use the people’s money to support someone who engineered a project of grand ANC-sponsored state corruption, which saw 2 million people join the ranks of the unemployed, thus robbing our people of opportunities.

“Following today’s meeting, the DA will plan meetings with artists across the province who are struggling to put food on the table. We will be writing to the eThekwini Council to halt all funding to Zuma and to direct that funding to artists who need and deserve support” said Van Damme.

“If eThekwini goes ahead with the proposed funding of Zuma’s record deal, it will be seen as an act of corruption, and we will be forced to take action that comes with combatting acts of corruption, and call for those facilitating these corrupt activities to be prosecuted leading to 15 years in prison. The theft of the people’s money cannot be treated with kid gloves”.

The DA committed itself in assisting the centre to fulfill its vision of focusing on observing the quality of the arts and performances displayed by local artists.

Only the DA can bring change that builds One South Africa for All, where the people come first and acts of corruption are acted upon, leading to 15 years of imprisonment. The people of KZN deserve a government that acts in their interests, not the interests of corrupt and failing politicians.

DA to consider legal action against MEC Dhlomo over proposed January 2019 KZN medical registrar intake

by Dr Imran Keeka MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson on Health

The Democratic Alliance will consider legal action against KZN Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo and his Department following a leaked internal circular, dated September 2017, which alludes to a directive that all 100 posts for medical registrars for 2019 be filled with Black African candidates only (view here).

The circular further claims that the reason for the decision is in order to address the Department’s lack of compliance in terms of Employment Equity policy until now. It further states than in the event that there are no suitable Black African candidates for the 100 posts then they must be re-advertised until such time as they are filled.

While the DA fully supports addressing the imbalances of our past and creating a country, economy and job market that is inclusive and free from unfair discrimination, we wholly reject the application of quotas in terms of filling registrar posts.

While the process has already begun with interviews and authorisation of the filling of posts, it must be challenged and the DA will be considering legal action against the MEC and his Department should there be no consideration given to overturning this decision.

It is also the DA’s considered view that every individual affected by this quota system – resulting in their exclusion from accessing opportunities – purely on the basis of their skin colour, should approach the Equality Court to lay criminal charges against MEC Dhlomo.

It appears that after some 10 years at the helm of this critical Department – and after 25 years of ANC rule – that MEC Dhlomo and his cohorts have suddenly woken up and decided to try to rectify their own Equity inaction in one fell swoop. This is not in keeping with Equity Law, nor is it in the spirit of our country’s Constitution.

The MEC’s decision to ignore all other suitable candidates is also set to have a devastating impact on healthcare service delivery in the months to come.

The people of KZN have already suffered enormously under MEC Dhlomo. The many hundreds who died as a result of inadequate access to oncology treatment is testimony to this. That the MEC now wishes to block perfectly good applicants from filling these critical posts  – thereby further reducing the quality of healthcare – is yet another indication of how little he and the failing ANC government in our province cares.

South Africa’s rich diversity is one of its greatest assets. Commitment to ensuring diversity is also in keeping with what our Constitution affirms – that South Africa belongs to all who live in it.  As such, any attempt to redress the injustices of the past must also ensure that we remain committed to our Constitution and ensure that this diversity is represented.

Ours is not yet a fair society and in order for talent to be unleashed, in a fair society, all rights accorded to South Africans within the Bill of Rights must be upheld. There must be no exclusion – especially based on the colour of our skin.

MEC Dhlomo and his Department must ensure that they remain committed to these principles. If they refuse to do so, then legal action becomes a strong consideration. The DA will not stand idly by while this Human Rights violating MEC supports what is potentially illegal system.