There is no reason for load-shedding other than politics

John Steehuisen says that the Out of Order index finds that local service delivery is collapsing under ANC mismanagement


20 October 2021

News24’s recently released Out of Order Index finds that the top 5 best-run municipalities in South Africa are all run by the DA. Twelve of the top 20 best-run municipalities are DA-run, including DA-run Midvaal as the best-performing municipality in Gauteng and DA-run Kouga as the best-performing municipality in the Eastern Cape, while 14 of the top 20 best-run municipalities are in DA-run Western Cape.

DA outperformance is even more striking when one considers that the DA runs fewer than 10% of all municipalities in South Africa.

The Out of Order index finds that local service delivery is collapsing under ANC mismanagement, with 107 municipalities classified as dysfunctional. This number comprises the 64 municipalities classified by CoGTA in August as being delinquent or under administration and a further 43 rated by the index as facing imminent collapse.

Importantly, the study suggests that this crisis on the frontline of delivery is likely to deepen.

This reveals a stark choice facing voters. After 1 November, they can either enjoy service delivery under the DA or suffer collapsing delivery under the ANC. A reliable or patchy water and electricity supply. Well-maintained or potholed roads. A thriving or dying local economy.

The DA is the only party that can protect citizens from the worst consequences of an ANC collapsing under the weight of cadre deployment, political instability and financial mismanagement.

DA-run local governments protect citizens not just by getting the basics right and spending public money on the public, but in many cases by taking over responsibility or augmenting delivery where the national ANC government is failing in its responsibility.

DA governments already go above and beyond their mandate in many types of delivery. And citizens in DA-run areas will benefit from a lot more of this in the next five years.

DA going above and beyond on electricity

The City of Cape Town already protects its citizens from one level of load-shedding through its Steenbras Dam energy storage station.

Now its focus is on buying energy and energy storage capability from independent producers, to end loadshedding altogether. For every 100 megawatts of energy the City can buy from independent suppliers, its citizens are protected from another level of load-shedding. The City has taken national government to court for this right of local governments to buy electricity directly from independent power producers (IPPs).

There is no reason for load-shedding other than politics. Local and foreign investors are lined up and ready to supply the South African market with cheaper and cleaner energy. The solutions to load-shedding are readily available, but national government does not want citizens to access these and is fiercely protecting its Eskom monopoly.

But DA Cape Town mayoral candidate Geordin Hill-Lewis has made it clear he is not going to stand back and wait for national government to allow the City to solve its energy problem.

Likewise, through its Energy Resilience Project, the DA is putting in place measures to enable six DA-run municipalities to purchase electricity directly from IPPs. These municipalities are Stellenbosch, Drakenstein, Mossel Bay, Overstrand, Saldanha Bay and Swartland. Once the model has been perfected with these six “pilots”, we will roll it out to all DA-run governments.

DA going above and beyond on water

The DA protected Western Cape citizens from Day Zero, despite national government failure to fulfil its mandate of increased bulk water supply, by sourcing additional supply from aquifers and desalination and by driving an effective water saving campaign.

Cape Town’s New Water Programme (NWP) aims to deliver an additional 300 million litres per day by 2030. The City is also targeting a 55 billion litre annual reduction of water losses by ramping up the clearing of invasive alien vegetation in water catchment areas. Clearing efforts are set to increase from the current 1250 to 9000 hectares per year in partnership with The Nature Conservancy.

DA going above and beyond on local safety

The City of Cape Town provides the most extensive safety and security programme of any local authority in South Africa, to compensate for SAPS failure.  This includes specialised units such as a metals theft unit, an anti-gang unit, a water unit, a K9 unit, an anti-land invasion unit, and a law enforcement unit which has tripled the arrest rate since 2016.

DA will go above and beyond on passenger rail

Metrorail has all but collapsed in Cape Town. This has hit the poorest communities hardest. Today, only 36% of residents still have access to a working train station in the neighbourhood where they live. Nearly two thirds of Capetonians have lost access to passenger trains.

There is no way national government will ever restore Cape Town’s train service to full capacity, never mind upgrade it. DA mayoral candidate Geordin Hill-Lewis will fight to take control over Cape Town’s trains, so that we can fix the trains and build a truly modern, affordable, integrated public transport system.


This fight for devolution of power is in line with the DA’s commitment to the principle of federalism, which holds that power should reside at that level of government closest to the people, which is able to deliver.

Being bold about fighting for more powers to fix problems that national is unwilling or unable to fix is the only way to secure your city’s future. The DA is the only party that does this, and it can only do this with a DA majority. Voters cannot expect this level of protection with a hung municipality or a weak coalition government.

On 1 November, vote DA to protect your community from a failing ANC, because only the DA gets things done.

Warm regards,

John Steenhuisen