Freedom Day is a Day for All South Africans

VELLY MAKASANI MANZINI MP

DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE MP IN THE NCOP

Speech delivered in the NCOP during the Freedom Day Debate

Freedom Day is an annual celebration of South Africa’s first non-racial democratic elections of 1994. Peace, unity, the preservation and the restoration of human dignity hallmarks Freedom Day celebration on the 27th of April of each year. In the spirit of building a South Africa that belongs to all, Freedom Day celebrations are intended to unite all South African’s in consolidating our country’s democracy.

The road to democracy was long and difficult one. All people of colour were denied the vote and hence a say in running of the country. South Africa was never truly independent not democratic. The exclusion of the majority of South Africans from political power was at the centre of the liberation struggle and resistance to white minority rule. Blacks were systematically herded into restricted areas and homeland and their rights to equal opportunity denied.

It is a fact that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white. Black and White fought for this freedom. The Soweto uprising of 1976 saw increased militancy. Even the Church could no longer stand by silently, and added its voice to the liberation struggle. The State of emergency failed in an attempt to suppress the freedom movement. By 1993 a stalemate had been reached. What next? The Government began looking for a way out and as a result started negotiations with the ANC leadership. The ANC, SACP, PAC and other organisations were unbanned on 2 February 1990. The Wind of change was blowing over the sky of Africa. A non-racial Constitution was eventually agreed upon and adopted in 1993. The New Constitution came into effect on 27 April 1994; they the Nation cast its vote in the first democratic election in the country. Nelson Rolinhlanla Mandela was inaugurated as the President of South Africa on 10 May 1994.

Tomorrow, our country will celebrate Freedom Day, to mark the liberation of our country and its people from a long period of colonialism and White minority domination. Freedom Day is a day for all South Africans. When South Africa was liberated both the oppressor and oppressed we liberated. Today we proudly say. “One Nation One Future” It is therefore imperative for South Africans of diverse political and economic backgrounds to work together towards a common objective. On Freedom Day we celebrate the relentless efforts of those who fought for liberation, of the many men and women who took up arms and courted imprisonment, banning’s and torture on behalf of the oppressed Masses.

Are we really free when our people remain poor, unemployed, unwarranted violence due to poor service delivery? On Freedom Day, we remind ourselves to defend our Constitution. We need to ensure that all our people enjoy the fruit to these freedom not merely as theoretical rights but they must form the daily life experience of all South Africans.

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Honour Your Past; Own Your Future

Helen Zille,

Leader of the Democratic Alliance

On this day, the 27th of April, exactly 18 years ago a democratic South Africa was born. Voters went out in their millions, most of them for the first time ever, to make their mark for the political party of their choice. This was a day of elation, joy and relief for millions of people who had unjustly suffered under an oppressive regime which divided our people for decades. This was a day that opened all South Africans’ eyes to a new beginning. There was optimism, and there was trepidation. The outside world did not believe that our country, breaking free from the shackles of oppression could peacefully make the transition to full democracy. And yet South Africa did it.

As our first democratically elected President, Nelson Mandela, put it so gracefully in his inaugural speech:

“We succeeded to take our last steps to freedom in conditions of relative peace. We commit ourselves to the construction of a complete, just and lasting peace.

We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the millions of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity–a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.”

Freedom Day is our most important national celebration, and this particular freedom day is our most important one yet – for today is South Africa’s democratic coming of age. Usually we say someone has come of age when they turn 21. But this is not so for a democracy. Today is the day when anyone born on the 27th of April 1994 can legally vote and participate fully in our democracy. Those South Africans born in 1994 are the “born free generation”. They are representative of a new group, those who must lead the way to the fulfilment of Nelson Mandela’s non-racial, united vision for our country. They can proudly proclaim that they were born into a society where equal human rights, open opportunities and freedom are institutionally protected. They are the generation that carry our hopes for the future.

It is an opportunity for us to rejoice at the freedoms we have won and to celebrate what we have achieved as free people. In an incredibly short space of time South Africa went from being an authoritarian, oppressive and discriminatory state, to a constitutional democracy, committed to building an open society, with the rule of law and in which citizens may define for themselves who they want to be. This was a giant shift which most South Africans have taken in their stride -a great achievement, not only for ourselves but for the world.

As a member of the family of nations, we are now an equal partner, an adult.

1994 feels a long way away today. As a nation, our adult years must be defined by us. We have a responsibility to write our own story. We must own our future, by crafting it bit by bit. And when we look back in twenty or thirty years’ time, we will see that the last 18 years have only been the opening chapters of the South African story.

The free elections of 1994 gave the story an intriguing and inspiring beginning. When South Africa successfully hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup and the 1996 African Cup of Nations and went on to win both, South Africans felt a real sense of brotherhood that had hitherto been painfully absent. We experienced the joy of joining the international community once again and celebrated it in the best way possible – with victories!

The signing of the 1996 Constitution by President Mandela was a momentous event in our history. With the ratification of this document, all South Africans received a guarantee that their rights were in every way equal to those of all other South Africans. The sense of dignity that this has offered millions of South Africans is unparalleled, and our party continues to defend and protect that document from the multitude of threats that try to rise against it from time to time, and from all quarters.

It is the Constitution that continues to act as a firewall, serving to protect South Africans from a return to tyranny and the abuse of political power.

Free and fair elections have been a trademark of the new South Africa – with four general elections and three local government elections having taken place since the advent of democracy. The Independent Electoral Commission has played a central role in this achievement. In fact our electoral process is rated so highly that the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Index of Democracy for 2008 put us on par with the United States and Japan in that regard.

But successful democracies do not rely only on regular elections. There must also be meaningful political contestation, through voters who are prepared to change governments through the ballot box. That, in turn, requires citizens who know how powerful they are, and who use their power to full effect – enforcing accountability, ensuring service delivery, writing their own future.

There are encouraging signs that our democracy is getting stronger and stronger. Increasingly, no political party can claim to own any group of South Africans. People are increasingly voting for the party that delivers the best, that offers the most attractive vision of the future, and that unites South Africans.

As with any coming of age, turning 18 brings with it not only more freedom, but also real responsibility. Just as these 18 young people in front of me must soon cast off the ways of a child and deal with the pressures of adult life, so too must South Africa. It is now the time to take ownership of not only our many achievements, but also our faults. Only in doing so will we be able to honestly assess what eighteen years of freedom have meant so far, and determine what future we would like to build.

All of the checks and balances on government power, including the Constitution, the Courts, Section 9 institutions, the free media and civil society help restrict power abuse. But in the end the fundamental point at which the government must be held to account, is at the ballot box.

This is the best way that South Africans can embrace the power and responsibility that their freedom has bestowed upon them. South Africa’s history is one that is chequered with hardship in the face of adversity – many died in order to ensure a free future. We owe it to them to stand strong and use our freedom to define the future we wish to see.

That is why we are having this 18th birthday celebration here today, in a venue that in 1994 was a voting station. This is one of the places in which our democracy was born, along with similar schools, halls, churches and tents across the country. We have come here today, to the birthplace, to honour our past.

And not only to honour our past, but to take ownership of our future. That is why these eighteen young South Africans, all of whom are turning 18 years old this year, are here. They are the “born free” generation, and you have heard in their own words today, the vision, the aspirations, the soaring sense of hope and the big dreams they have for the future.

They have spoken about a nation in which each person has their place in the sun. They’ve told us their dream for a nation that prospers, a nation where everyone can work for a living, raise a child in a home in a safe community, and where all South Africans are reconciled one to another.

That is the DA’s vision too – one that has at its heart a commitment to all people, and a commitment to build a society in which all can live in dignity. To create an open opportunity society for all.

It is the “born free” generation that can now participate as full and active citizens without the deep emotional scars of the past. Come the 2014 national election, they too will have the chance to make history. Our democracy was born at the ballot box, and our future must be written at the ballot box.

Today, as the most important day of celebration and rejoice in our country, we honour our past, and we own our future.

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We Honour Our Past and Take Ownership of Our Future

Anthony Benadie MPL

DA Leader in Mpumalanga

The following is an address by Anthony Benadie during the Freedom Day Celebrations in eNtokozweni (Machadodorp).

Today is a very auspicious day in the history of South Africa.

Today marks 18 years since all South Africans of all race groups cast their vote in this country’s first fully democratic elections. Where we brought true democracy to this beautiful land of ours.

And like a new baby in the family, we were excited, and sometimes anxious, trusting and hopeful that our ‘democratic baby’ will survive – and as we watched, while fragile at times, our miracle learnt to crawl and walk.

And then our democratic child became a teenager, and as most of you with teenage children would know, that’s when the bad influences starting to come in. We saw, when our democracy was 13, 14, 15 years old, how bad influences had a negative impact on it, and there developed much reason to worry. Even today, as we celebrate its 18th birthday, we often worry about our democratic child’s well-being, decisions and future.

While we celebrate this country’s young adulthood, we have to remember the injustices of the past, and how that led to the creation of our democracy and ultimately Constitution. We have to learn from the past, honour our past and remember those who came before us.

We cannot forget how millions of ordinary South Africans weren’t allowed the freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of association, and of course, the freedom to choose who shall govern us.

Our Constitution, with the Bill of Rights at its heart, protects us all. It is OUR response to the oppression of the past, and offers the best that humanity can provide: dignity, a love of freedom, a commitment to equality and the embrace of tolerance.

As we stand here today, each and every one of can say:

We love our country

We love our freedom

But most importantly today’s celebration is about owning our future. Political freedom is meaningless without economic freedom and opportunity. Our future is in our hands.

But we are not free while almost half of our country’s people are caught up in poverty, when a quarter are unemployed, and when violent protests take place because people do not have basic services.

The struggle against apartheid is over, but the struggle for freedom from suffering continues. We must offer people pathways out of poverty, and the passport to that is a decent job. Our economy is strong enough to provide our people with work, and the opportunities that follow from it.

We must teach our 18-year-old young adult to look after those who do not have an income and access to life’s necessities. We must teach it to care for others by delivering for all, and by treating every person with the respect they deserve.

We have to teach our young adult the value of human life, of dignity, of mutual respect, reconciliation, and kindness. We have to teach our young adult to love our land, and ALL who live in it, and not to forget what we had to go through to get here. We have to teach this young adult that every person has the right and the means to live a life they value.

While our young grown-up democratic South Africa has achieved much in its first 18 years, we have to continue to teach it the values we hold dear. South Africa, thank you, we love you, Happy Birthday.

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No Freedom Without Education

Bobby Stevenson MPL

DA Leader in the Easter Cape Legislature

Life is better in South Africa since we obtained freedom in 1994. For this we celebrate and rejoice. We must at all times never take this freedom for granted and must be vigilant in protecting our rights under the Constitution.

It is one thing to enjoy the freedom that we have under our Constitution. It is another thing to advance the right to real freedom that every South African should enjoy.

The right to real freedom in this country is limited by high unemployment, poor health care and particularly in the Eastern Cape by a rotten education system.

Education is the foundation of real opportunity: the opportunity to get ahead in life and realise your dreams. Until we have a decent education system in this province, learners’ opportunity to experience the freedom of choice to get decent jobs will be severely restricted. There can be no real freedom without breaking the shackles of a poor education system.

There is a new struggle for freedom to be fought in this country and that is for jobs, decent health care and education. We must continue to advance the frontiers of true freedom if all South Africans are to experience total liberation from the miseries of the past.

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The Future Looks Bleak for Many of KZN’s Municipalities

George Mari, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs

A RECENT oversight visit by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and members of the KZN COGTA portfolio committee to some of KwaZulu-Natal’s more far flung municipalities has revealed severe deficiencies, to the extent that both committees have appealed to government’s newly established Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) to immediately assist with funding for the provision of water, electricity and sanitation to communities.

The visit, conducted last week within the Uthekela, Abaqulusi,Edumbe,uPongola,and Umkhanyakude districts has highlighted an absence of skills and capacity, with major deficiencies found within leadership, governance and financial controls – all of which is directly impacting on the ability to deliver basic services. Fraud, corruption, maladministration and unauthorized and fruitless expenditure are rife and municipalities have very little cash to survive due to poor collection rates and a lack of a revenue base. The visit has also revealed a lack of oversight by councilors, while “jobs for pals” and the flouting of SCM processes are endemic, with councilors awarding tenders. Despite this, little punitive action is taken against officials found to have plundered municipal coffer. The DA views with the suspension of municipal managers, chief financial officers and other senior managers on full pay as unacceptable. There are also far too many “acting” positions and officials must immediately deal with this growing trend. At Indaka, the municipality is onto its fourth administrator following problems of co-operation with previous administrators. This municipality had an adverse report from the Auditor-General in 2010 and a disclaimer last year.

It is clear that the disestablishment of Umsekeli Support Services, despite earlier warnings by the DA, is a contributing factor. One of the many problems identified as result of this move is the increased use of consultants, by municipalities, particularly for the preparation of financial reports. This is a costly exercise which must be stamped out. Other problems include poor debt control and the absence of an indigent register, which is contributing to rising municipal debt.

The future for these municipalities looks very bleak unless something drastic is done soon.

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Why is KZN COGTA MEC Bowing to Ethekwini Officials?

George Mari, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA)

DESPITE media reports claiming that KZN COGTA MEC, Nomusa Dube, called a clandestine meeting with senior officials and ANC Provincial Secretary Sihle Zikalala on the eve of the release of the sanitized version of the Manase report, the MEC has flatly denied such a meeting.

The denial forms the basis of a parliamentary reply to questions posed by the DA. Further questions include who was present, the reason for the meeting, what was discussed at the meeting, whether it was ethical or legal to convene such a meeting, whether officials or councilors fingered in the report received an assurance from the MEC that they would not be “named and shamed” and whether those present were given an opportunity to respond to the allegations. The final question to the MEC is why only a select group of officials were allegedly invited to the meeting. The MEC’s denials should set off alarm bells for Ethekwini ratepayers. The DA believes that it points to the protection of certain ANC officials and councilors, a claim supported by the fact that, despite numerous efforts by the party to ensure the release of the Manase report, it remains hidden from public view.

The DA is also disappointed by a different reply from the MEC, to questions posed in connection with Ethekwini’s earlier Ngubane Report in which she indicates the unlikelihood of this document ever being released. In the reply, the MEC states that since the Ngubane report was instituted by the municipality itself, any information pertaining thereto remains the property of the municipality. She further states that she cannot make the information available to the public because it is not within her ambit of control.

The question is – why is the MEC, as head of local government in KwaZulu-Natal, bowing to the wishes of a local municipality in the face of serious allegations of rampant fraud and corruption? The consequences of such conduct within the province’s largest municipality cannot be under-estimated and ratepayers have a right to know what has been going on. The MEC must commit to complete transparency.

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LAND DISPUTES HINDER UPGRADING OF INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Caucus Leader

Land disputes are a major factor preventing the upgrading of informal settlements in the Germiston and Katlehong areas on the East Rand.

I discovered this yesterday on my tour of deprived communities as part of the DA’s “Don’t forget the forgotten” campaign. It is my eighth such visit which I do one day every month to different places in Gauteng.

I was accompanied by DA Constituency Head Paul Willemburg MPL and DA councillors Tania Campbell, Fortune Mahana, Ernest Hlatshwayo and Silvester Bodibe.

It is really shocking that there are only 10 taps for 9000 people at the Makauwse informal settlement in Primrose. Uncollected rubbish lies in heaps and only pit toilets are available.

This used to be part of a mine, and part of the land is undermined and dangerous, which is why some people have already been removed.

But it is a long-standing settled community and could be upgraded if the land issue was settled with the owner.

At the Mandela informal settlement in Katlehong there is a also dispute over who owns the land.

There is a huge quarry that should be fenced as it is dangerous for children and bodies have been found in the water there.

There are only six taps for 6000 people even though there is a nearby water reservoir.

Wood fires are used as there is no electricity, which is really unhealthy.

I stayed the night at Mandela informal settlement in the shack of Mr Jeremiyah Kakazi, so I experienced a bit of the difficulties they face every day.

The Ekurhuleni Metro Council and the Gauteng Provincial Government need to negotiate with the owners of the land so that there is an acceptable deal for everyone as large-scale removals of settlement communities is not desirable or feasible.

There needs to be certainty so that upgrades can take place.

The DA will be assisting the residents of these communities to submit petitions in this matter so that their lives can be improved.

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Be Safe on our Roads this Long Weekend

Minister Dan Plato,

Western Cape Minister of Community Safety

As the long weekend approaches I would like to urge all motorists in the Western Cape to please obey the rules of the road and ensure that they get to their destinations safely.

Many of us will use the opportunity to take a short break and enjoy some rest and relaxation at a holiday destination – I would like to ask all our road users to please buckle up, keep your lights on, stick to the speed limit, maintain a safe following distance at all times, don’t drink and drive, and remain calm during stressful situations, like when in a road block or being slowed down by road works.

I would also like to appeal to all pedestrians, who are responsible for almost half of the road related deaths in the Western Cape every year – only cross roads at safe places such as footbridges and zebra-crossings and check properly before crossing any road. Crossing national highways is illegal and I will be asking our traffic officers to arrest any pedestrian seen on all freeways (N2, N1, R300 and N7).

If you plan on drinking alcohol, please do so responsibly, ensure you have a sober designated driver or use a taxi service, and please do not walk on our roads if you are under the influence, you are just as dangerous as a drunken person behind the wheel of a car.

Our traffic officers will be conducting road blocks over the entire long weekend and have a zero tolerance approach towards anyone breaking the rules of the road.

Buckle up, drive responsibly and get Safely Home!

Please report any traffic related incident/problem to our 24/7 hotline on (021) 946 1646 for immediate assistance.

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Division of Revenue – Who is Eating the Cake?

Jac Bekker MP

DA NCOP Delegate

Speech delivered in the NCOP during the Division of Revenue Bill debate

The division of revenue bill provides for the division of revenue raised nationally to be distributed amongst the three spheres of government.

I believe we all wish the amount was significantly larger and that there was enough for houses for all, free medical care and grants for the deserving indigents so that every citizen could lead a respectable life. This division of revenue will change when gross income increases. The division of revenue will change once the recent census results become available in November this year.

Furthermore it is affected as citizens are moving from one province to another in search of a job or a better life. Migration for a better life from our neighbouring African countries also places stress on our limited resources as discussed today.

Ons het nie ‘n probleem met die verdeling of die formule vir die verdeling nie. Ons het ‘n problem met die grootte van die koek wat verdeel moet word en wie plunder daaraan.

Ons het gister ‘n voorlegging van die Nasionale Ontwikkelings-plan deur Minister Trevor Maunal aangehoor. Dit is uitstekend en ons ondersteun dit. Die probleem is egter die uitvoering of toepassing daarvan. Dit blyk ietwat onmoontlik as ons na die huidige gewilligheid om uit te styg bo die lipdiens en ons voer die plan uit.

Gistermiddag is dit tydens ons gesprek met die Ouditeur Generaal ,Terence Nontembane bevestig. Nie een van die drie vlakke van regering beskik oor die nodige kennis, vermoeë en politieke begeerte of wil, om die geld doeltreffent aan te wend nie.

Amptenare wat nie opgelei is of oor die nodige vaardighede (skills) beskik nie, word vertrou met groot projekte en dus groot bedrae. Ons kommer is dat die geld toegedeel word, maar dit word nie doeltreffend aangewend nie. Dit lei tot ewe groot bedrae wat in die niet verdwyn.

Amptenare word aangestel weens hul politieke konneksies, ongeag vaardighede en kwalifikasies. Hulle faal gevolglik diwels, maar word dan net iin ‘n ander posisie herontplooi.

Die President sowel Minister van Finansies het baie klem gelê op infrastruktuurontwikkeling en werkskepping, maar daar is geen oorsig oor die implementering van die planne nie.

Die ekonomie moet groei om te voorsien in ons land se behoeftes. Werkskepping is ‘n duidelike gevolgvan groei in die ekonomie. Groei in die ekonomie beteken ‘n styging in die fisiese lewering van dienste en produkte. Die DA se beleid van 8% groei in die bruto binnelandse produk (BBP) is juis noodsaaklik om werkskepping te verseker. Ons markte is beperk en moet uitvoere e stimuleer. nOm dit suksesvol te kan doen, moet ons kompiterend wees. Dit beteken ons moet goedkoper produseer. Dit word verkry deur ‘n effektiewe verbetering in produktiwiteit wat die arbeidskomponent verlaag en produkte en dienste meer bekostigbaar maak.

Ons sal moet kers opsteek by ons vennote in die BRICK lande waar daar goeie groei is. Gister het in Minister Manual dit duidelik aan die Nasionale Raad van Provinsies (NRVP) gestel dat ons nie moet toelaat dat die vakbonde die SA ekonomie regeer nie.

Tydens die Internasionale Monetêre Fonds se besoek aan die aan die finans komitees van die parlement in 2010, was die oorheersende vraag ook hoe loonverhogings die koers van inflasie kon oorskrei, veral met die onaanvaarbare hoë werkloosheid syfer in SA. Die nasionale beplanningskommisie beveel self aan dat arbeidswetgwing ernstig heroorweeg moet word om werkskepping en die kompiterende aspekte aan te spreek. Geen wonder dat die Minister van Finansies sy ernstige kommer uitspreek oor die hoë salaris- en loonkomponent van die begroting nie.

Die grootste probleem wat doetreffendheid benadeel is die onwettige of korrupte besteding van fondse. Daar is te veel bewyse van die onreëlmatige besteding en ook misbruik van fondse deur politici en amptenare op alle vlakke van regering. Ja ons wil tog so graag “uithang” en spoggerig wees – kyk na ons Agbare Minister van Sport.

Net gister het Minister Manuel die Agbare Charl De Beer gevra waarom die NRVP die dag se vergaderings in ‘n spog hotel moes aanbied. Waarom nie binne die perseel van die parlement nie? Wat ‘n beredeneerde vraag!

Ek is oortuig dat ons as politici in die spieel moet kyk. Dis waar ons moet begin. Ons wonder waar die politieke oortuiging is om toestande te verander. Ons verteenwoordig ryk en arm. As politici moet ons soos ons hier sit, polities verantwoordelikheid te aanvaar, eties korrek en met respek op te tree – dis ons plig. Op die oomblik het mislukkings en korrupsie nie ‘n baas nie, maar kom ons sit hulle in die tronk, nog voordat hulle kan verskuif na die volgende ontplooïng.

Let u s take hands across political divides and execute our oversight responsibilities as affirmed on the day we were sworn in as members of the NCOP.

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DA Reveals How TMT Coined Millions

Anthony Benadie MPL

DA Mpumalanga Leader

After months of investigation, questions, statements, complaints and enquiry, the DA can today reveal how the company, Traffic Management Technologies (TMT) coined millions of rand during their three-year contract with the Mpumalanga provincial government. TMT, through the provision of unmanned speed cameras made a whopping R63 million, from the inception of their contract in 2009 to October 2011, of which R47,28 million was made in the final year of their contract alone.

According to the service agreement between the provincial government and TMT, the company would generate and issue fines to motorists exceeding speed limits, through the strategic deployment of unmanned cameras on Mpumalanga roads. TMT would then be paid R48 (excluding VAT) for every “infringement notice captured/printed” (fine issued) and R12 (excluding VAT) for each fine paid by motorists. TMT would invoice the department on a monthly basis, whereafter government agreed to pay such invoices within 30 days.

Assuming that few or no fines would be less than R100, TMT would have had to issue over 750 000 fines in 2011 alone, in order to generate the R47 million paid to them last year. This, however implies that only 26 000 fines were issued in the preceding two years of the agreement (2009 and 2010), as TMT was only paid approximately R15,7 million during that period. This scenario is not only highly questionable, but also highly unlikely, as it would imply that in 2011 TMT issued over 2 045 traffic fines a day, and that all were paid.

Of significance is that, in 2011 TMT actually cost the government and taxpayers money, as they were paid more than the amount of revenue they generated. According to a written reply in response to DA questions, the MEC for community safety, security and liaison, Mr Vusi Shongwe indicated that while TMT generated R45,1 million from 1 February 2011 to 31 January 2012, TMT was paid R47,28 million for their services rendered during this period. Based on the contractual agreement, this is practically impossible. In fact, considering that the department should not have paid TMT more than R60 per fine issued and paid, it only makes logical sense that government should have generated a greater revenue income from the contract than TMT.

Of concern is the fact that despite an undertaking by MEC Shongwe on 8 November 2011 to audit the TMT bank account, the MEC has now indicated that “the Audit was not conducted as the Office of the Premier’s Internal Audit Unit that was requested only indicated during the month of February this year that there may not have the capacity to audit previous years account as their focus is more on current and limited to the dcssl”.

While the DA believes that this is a deliberate act not to reveal answers to the questionable deal between TMT and government, an audit should technically not be required as, according to the contract with TMT, the department would have been invoiced monthly before payment was made. As such, rather than an audit, the department could merely have provided the monthly reconciled invoices and evidence of monthly payments to TMT. This in turn begs the question, was TMT paid without monthly reconciliations and invoicing? Regardless, the department will have to provide this evidence to the Auditor General for its annual department audit anyway.

While the DA has already submitted a formal complaint against the department with the Public Protector regarding the validity of the fines issued by TMT, a finding by the Public Protector in favour of the DA and declaring such TMT fines invalid would have a devastating impact on government, as the millions mentioned above would potentially have to be repaid to motorists.

It is clear that TMT coined millions out of Mpumalanga motorists, through a highly questionable contract that sought only to benefit TMT, and as such, the DA will be requesting the Auditor General to conduct an audit of the concerned accounts, invoices and payments to TMT, and based on the findings, will determine further action on this matter.

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