DA Gaining Momentum Towards the 2019 Election
Note to Editors: The following statement was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press briefing following a two-day sitting of the Party’s Federal Council in Durban, KwaZulu Natal. Maimane was joined by the Chairperson of the Federal Council, James Selfe.
The Democratic Alliance wishes all South Africans of the Muslim faith a happy and blessed Eid Mubarak.
We today concluded a two-day Federal Council meeting in Durban to attend to a number of pressing matters concerning the country. Since the last sitting of the DA’s Federal Council, there has been a seismic shift in South Africa’s political landscape. The state capture that the DA warned about in 2013 is now an undisputed reality.
In this light, our country is approaching the most important election since the dawn of democracy. The 2019 General Elections will define whether South Africa can turn around our present decline, and grow to be the prosperous modern democracy that we envisage. We know what many voters are realising day by day - the ANC cannot self correct, and we are determined that Election 2019 will see the end of the ANC’s occupation of the Union Buildings.
The Federal Council this weekend unpacked the latest DA polling data revealing that the DA is gaining ground on the ANC. It is greatly encouraging to report that the ANC is polling below 50%, which means that it can be unseated at the next election.
It is time for all South Africans to unite against the corrupt Gupta-led ANC and to vote for change at the next election. Over the next 700 days, the DA’s primary focus will be to prepare for national government and to mount an election campaign of unprecedented scale and reach.
A crucial part of achieving this objective is developing a policy offer that is compelling and credible. To this end, the Federal Council discussed a number of key policy areas for further development including: jobs and the economy, education, land reform, health, and human settlements.
Through our vigorous and thorough policy process, we will offer a complete suite of policy positions for national government. This remains one of our key focuses in the lead up to 2019.
Of equal importance is ensuring an expanded pool of excellent, diverse and hard-working DA candidates for the 2019 national and provincial elections. In this regard, we considered proposed amendments to the DA’s candidate selection process.
The DA is the only political party that rigorously assesses the performance of all its public representatives and holds them to a performance agreement. We believe that public representatives must be accountable and available, must be well informed on their portfolios, must be involved in their communities, and must contribute positively in their legislatures.
We have worked on streamlining our performance evaluation system, and have now launched our new Political Performance Assessment System (PPAS). The new system is entirely digitised and optimised for mobile technology, so that performance assessment for all DA public representatives can be tracked live via a mobile app. The new system has already gone live, and is being used by all provinces in a individual target setting process for all public representatives.
Federal Council also recognised the crucial role that our track record of good governance will play in increasing our support in 2019. To this end, Federal Council noted the DA’s strong performance in the Western Cape where we are continuing to deliver excellent results.
The Western Cape Premier’s Office was this week praised by the Auditor General as being most actively engaged in helping to improve audit outcomes and deliver sound, clean financial management of public monies. Under DA leadership, 80% of Western Cape municipalities got clean audits, with KwaZulu Natal in second place with just 18% clean audits. The City of Cape Town was the only metro to receive a clean audit in the 2015/16 financial year. Moreover, the DA-run Midvaal was the only municipality in Gauteng to get a clean audit in 2015/16.
The Federal Council considered detailed reports on the monitoring and evaluation of the four DA-run Metro Municipalities, namely Johannesburg, Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay and Cape Town. What is overwhelmingly evident is that the scale of the financial mismanagement and corruption inherited from the previous ANC administrations in the three new DA run metros is far worse than was even imagined. However, after just 10 months of governance, we are seeing the tide turn in all of our new metros.
Some of the notable highlights are:
All four metros have passed their first Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) and annual budgets under DA governments. These budgets provide for the massive re-direction of funds towards infrastructure investment and maintenance, basic service delivery improvement, the upgrading of informal settlements and delivery to the poor. In addition we are making sure there are larger additional allocations to fighting crime and drugs, and to improving economic investment so as to create jobs. In order to do these things, we are cutting waste and ruthlessly rooting out corruption, and this work will intensify. We have no tolerance for those who steal or waste public money meant for the poor.
We have increased the allocation to the City’s EPWP programme, which will see 23 000 additional job opportunities over the 2017/18 financial year, with the city allocating R122 million towards this.
The city will invest R480 million over the medium term on basic services in informal settlements to begin addressing the unacceptable living conditions in many of the City’s settlements.
The formalisation of 7 informal settlements is underway. This will see a total of 2300 homes connected to water and sewerage reticulation in these informal settlements.
R13 billion has been allocated to infrastructure investment and maintenance over the medium term
The City’s target over the next 3 years is to upgrade 51 informal settlements. A budget of R115 million has been allocated for the electrification of informal settlements.
Nelson Mandela Bay
In tackling crime in the city, the DA committed in its manifesto to establish a dedicated Metro Police service. We are pleased to report that over 220 metro police officers are now employed and operational, ensuring greater safety for NMB residents. The Metro Police will be expanded continuously to address the high prevalence of drug abuse in the Metro.
The theme emerging from this DA Federal Council is clear: time is running out to save South Africa. Our current government is slowly destroying our precious country, with the ANC on course to lose the next election. The DA will work night and day to unseat the corrupt Gupta-led ANC government from office. We have set goals and targets for the Road to 2019, and we will work tirelessly to achieve them.
Statement issued by Mmusi Maimane - Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 25 June 2017