Western Cape Government co-funds new African finance studies institute

Alan Winde MPP

Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism

Western Cape Government

The Western Cape has become home to the continent’s first academic institute dedicated to producing a crop of African finance sector professionals.

In a joint partnership, the Western Cape Government, the University of Cape Town, Barclays Africa Group, FirstRand and Liberty launched the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management.

The institute has set its sights on becoming the global leader in post-graduate finance studies relating to Africa.

One of its key aims is to meet the demands of industry for skills in the banking, risk management and financial market sectors by developing local talent.

Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism attended the official launch ceremony in Sandton on Wednesday (29 January 2014).

Minister Winde explained that the institute would sit in UCT’s Faculty of Commerce and focus on innovative research and solutions for the continent’s financial industry.

“This institute will play a key role in growing the Western Cape’s pool of black professionals in the finance and business industry, which is one of our key sectors. Currently, finance and business services contribute 32.4% to the province’s Gross Domestic Product.  As the first institute of its kind on the continent, it speaks to the fact that the Western Cape is fast becoming Africa’s innovation and finance hub. It’s also a great example of ‘Better Together’, where academia, government and the private sector have formed a partnership to achieve an outcome that will benefit the entire province,” said Minister Winde.

DA’s impressive By-election results

Athol Trollip MPL

DA Leader in the Eastern Cape

The Democratic Alliance achieved considerable growth in the by-elections held in Mbhashe on Wednesday. We showed significant growth particularly in ward 5 where we polled 530 votes, the results for two voting districts in the wards are still outstanding.

The DA contested 5 wards in Mbhashe after 12 ANC councillors were expelled for “misconduct”. Voters here have expressed their outrage with corrupt government officials, poor political leadership and slow service delivery; they want a government that is focused on creating jobs for the unemployed and developing a credible framework for improving service delivery.

The party’s growth in the Eastern Cape was also reinforced by the results of the Buffalo City Municipality by-election in ward 3 which took place on Wednesday. The DA increased its share of the vote from 52% in 2011 to an 82% majority this year. This is a clear indication of the growing confidence of voters in the DA being a realistic alternative to the ANC.

The DA is South Africa’s most diverse party and one which is determined to continue the fight against corruption and bad governance. We are committed to growing the economy, creating jobs and delivering quality services.

The DA expects to expand its support in every region of the Eastern Cape and we look forward to attaining impressive results in the upcoming elections.

Bethal can rise from years of neglect – Register to vote

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

Yesterday I visited the town of Bethal and Emzinoni in the Govan Mbeki Municipality. Having spent many of my childhood days growing up on a mining village in the nearby vicinity, I know the town well.

While it is evident that some degree of delivery has taken place, some RDP houses have been built, access to the local health facilities (poor as it may be) and access to education has been broadened, a once flourishing local economy driven by agriculture and industry has practically collapsed.

Many businesses have closed shop, factories have closed as investors withdrew, the remaining agriculture sector is under severe pressure, some shopping complexes stand empty and roads infrastructure is on the verge of disintegration.

Poverty and unemployment abounds.

The town is dirty, street lights don’t work. Water supply is unreliable and the slightest sign of thunderous weather activity plunges the entire community into darkness (just as it did last night), with power outages often lasting for days at a time. In fact, every time I visit Bethal the signs of decay, deterioration and government neglect become more and more evident.

In many ways, Bethal and Emzinoni have been relegated to become the ‘step-child’ of the Govan Mbeki municipality, whose primary offices are located in Secunda (not that matters are significantly better there).

The town is a far cry from realising the dream and vision of Madiba and has become a symbol of life under Jacob Zuma’s ANC. So too leaders such as Premier David Mabuza, his cabinet, the executive mayor and other ANC leaders turn a blind eye to the challenges and disintegration of communities like Emzinoni and Bethal, with quality service delivery occupying the minimal portion of any priority list.

The fact is it does not have to be like that. I met residents from all walks of life eager to make a difference in the community. Despite their daily frustrations they are committed to see the towns of Emzinoni and Bethal return to a path of opportunity, prosperity, safety, tidiness and unity.

The DA will work with them to achieve this. But it is without a doubt the power vested directly in the hands of those very residents that can change this community and once again rekindle the dream of a better life – their vote.

Under Zuma’s ANC, tender obsession, jobs for pals and corruption will continue, with little hope for the future. But, in a unified action directed at the betterment of their lives, these residents can use their power to choose a better life by voting for a party that is committed to serving their interest first. It is the DA only, which understands that in order to bring about a better life for all; we need to create job opportunities in this area.

We need to attract investment, starting by inviting those industries who have left, to return to this community.

Through a massive clean-up operation and the rectification of basic services such as water provision and sanitation – and our active commitment to addressing the wide-spread housing shortage in this community, coupled with building and fostering relationships amongst all communities – we can restore the dignity and pride of residents.

But, in order to bring about democratic change through the ballot box, residents of Emzinoni and Bethal must ensure they are registered to vote in Election 2014. On 8 and 9 February, residents will have the last chance to register for the upcoming 2014 General Election – then go out and vote – and together we can set the people of Emzinoni and Bethal on the path of attaining a better life all.

Free State water crisis

Patricia Kopane MP – DA Leader in the Free State

David Ross MP – Constituency head of Lejweleputswa

Today, DA Free State Provincial leader, Patricia Kopane (MP), and David Ross (MP), met with the national Department of Water Affairs regarding the continuing water crisis in the Free State. The reason for this meeting was to seek immediate intervention from the national department into the water crisis.

For almost a year the DA has been petitioning ANC-governed municipalities, the provincial department of cooperative governance, and the Office of the Premier to come forward with concrete plans to address the issue around water security and access to adequate water supply to all communities in the Free State, to no avail. The DA also reported the provincial government to the Human Rights Commission and the Public Protector for the violation of the constitutional Rights of the people to enjoy access to safe and reliable water supply.

The water crisis in the Free State is set to continue and worsen if the provincial government and municipalities fail to immediately address the failing water infrastructure and the appointment of qualified and competent water engineers.

The ANC-led government of the Free State and the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality have made serious accusations that the reasons for the province’s enduring water crisis lies at farmers who steal water above their allocated water rights quotas. After engaging with the National Department of Water Affairs about these allegations today, the department dismissed these allegations as fabrications. According to the national department, more than 90% of Free State farmers are compliant with water use regulations. According to the national department, they enjoy excellent relations with the Free State Agricultural Union and work closely together in the management of our water resources.

According to the national department the causes of the water crisis range from deteriorating infrastructure, poor management, skills shortages, appointment of unqualified persons in positions of authority by local government and illegal water connections. The drought in the Free State contributed to an already strained water infrastructure and supply network.

It is unfortunate that the ANC government in the Free State and the Mangaung metro would seek to politicise the water crisis for their own selfish gain before the elections, including racialising the issue. This is playing petty politics with people’s basic Human Rights. It is unacceptable.

The DA is waiting for the Public Protector and the Human Rights Commission to conclude their investigations into the Human Right violations in 26 Free State towns, where people have been forced to live with no or interrupted or unsafe water supply.

DA welcomes health standards body

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

I welcome the formation by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi of the Office of Health Standards Compliance.

I look forward to inspectors arriving unannounced at hospitals to assess key aspects like cleanliness, medicine availability and staff attitudes.

These inspectors must have teeth to enforce compliance.

There must be consequences for non-performance such as the repeated generator failure at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital that has seen surgeons operating by torch light twice in one week.

All inspection reports should be made public so that we can assess whether progress has been made

Education MEC must address the use of corporal punishment in our schools

James Masango MPL

Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition

The DA is shocked to once again learn of teachers still using corporal punishment as a means to instill discipline in learners.

According to recent media reports a Grade 4 teacher at a Matsulu Primary school was seen beating a learner with a stick. The teacher is also alleged to have threatened to beat the other learners if they did not submit their work.

The National Education Policy Act of 1996 clearly states that no person may administer corporal punishment at a school and that anyone who does this is guilty of an offence.

This incident is not the first of its kind in Mpumalanga, and following the reports of beatings in the Tonga, Emalahleni and Thembisile Hani Areas in 2012, the DA expressed its concern over the increasing levels of intolerance among teachers, and that it may develop into a trend.

We made repeated calls on MEC Mhaule to address teacher behaviour and embark on an aggressive campaign to educate teachers around corporal punishment, the South African Schools Act, as well as applying non-violent and effective methods of discipline, and to date, have yet to come across evidence of such a campaign.

MEC Mhaule must realise that corporal punishment is a reality in Mpumalanga’s schools, and must be acted upon. If not, it will completely spiral out of control.

Schools should foster a safe environment that encourages learning and not be a place where learners live with a constant fear of being assaulted by their teachers.

Emfuleni by-election victory shows DA on track to win Gauteng

John Moodey MPL

Provincial Leader

The resounding victory for the DA in yesterday’s by-election in Ward 15 in Emfuleni shows that the DA is on track to win Gauteng in this year’s provincial elections. Mmotlane Mashabela is the new councillor for the ward.

The DA retained the ward with 1 257 votes against the ANC’s 744. This is a crushing defeat and poor poll performance for the ANC considering their 1 618 in the 2011 local government elections in this ward.

Yesterday’s victory is a testament to the confidence Gauteng voters have in the DA’s vision for Gauteng and our policies and candidates.

The DA is proud of the diverse list of dynamic candidates we are able to present to the people of Gauteng.

We are confident that the skills and experience of our candidates can deliver better governance in Gauteng and the vision of opportunities for all residents.

We thank all the DA voters, supporters, public representatives and volunteers who ensured this DA victory. In particular, I would like to thank the constituency head, Adv Hendrik Schmidt MP, and his team for their hard work and effort to ensure the DA not only retains the ward, but does so with a clear majority.

With this kind of enthusiasm, dedication and hard work, a DA victory in Gauteng is certain!

The DA shows great growth in Buffalo City Ward 3 By-election

Athol Trollip MPL

Leader of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature

The Democratic Alliance retained its seat in the ward 3 Buffalo City by-election held on Wednesday, 29 January 2013. The DA increased its share of the vote from 53% in 2011 to 82,26%.  On the other hand the ANC declined from 38% to 17,66%.

The by-election was a result of the DA firing a non-performing councillor. I am particularly proud that the residents of ward 3 have endorsed our standpoint of accountable governance by giving us an increased share of the vote with an unambiguous mandate to represent the ward.

The ANC has lost support because of its on-going mismanagement of Buffalo City. There’s no doubt in my mind that the recent R9million taxi scandal played a role in this regard.

Voters of this ward want to stop corruption and ensure that we have clean government that can create jobs, maintain infrastructure and make Buffalo City a winning city. This victory will create momentum for the DA march towards winning Buffalo City Metro.

Confidential Candidate Announcement

John Moodey MPL

Provincial Leader

The DA is proud to announce the name of one of the confidential candidates on our Gauteng list for the 2014 Elections.

Bridget Masango is a marketing professional and is currently working as the Communications Manager at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

Previously she worked in the same capacity at the National Development Agency.

She hails from rural KZN and is a Communications and Public Administration Graduate.

Bridget’s career has straddled both private and public sectors, leading teams in public relations and government agencies.

Developing, implementing and monitoring corporate and development communications strategies has been central to her career.

This experience has gifted Bridget with a deep understanding of the development needs of South Africa and how government, NGO’s, business and other stakeholders can partner to build the nation.

The DA is proud of the diverse list of dynamic candidates we are able to present to the people of Gauteng.

We are confident that the skills and experience of our candidates can deliver better governance in Gauteng and the vision of opportunities for all residents.

Western Cape economy is real winner of J&B Met

Alan Winde MPP

Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism

Western Cape Government

The Western Cape will once again host South Africa’s most historical horse race, the J&B Met, at the Kenilworth Race track on Saturday (1 February 2014).

Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, extended a warm welcome to the local and international visitors in the city for the event.

South Africa’s top show horses will this weekend compete for the R2.5 million jackpot.

“With its R2.5 million main prize, the J & B Met is a premier fixture on the Western Cape’s events calendar. I believe the Western Cape economy is the real winner of the Met, as the event attracts over 50 000 visitors and generates an estimated R68 million for the province. It’s a key economic driver and plays an important role in job creation, most notably in the events tourism space,” said Minister Winde.

This year’s theme, “Made to Fly – Dress Victoriously”, is sure to inspire creative fashions. It has been estimated that the event generates R14 million in fashion sales alone.

“The J&B Met illustrates the importance to our economy of events tourism. It’s one of 19 events which contribute more than R1.3 billion to our regional GDP. In the previous financial year, these major events attracted close to 200 000 tourists to the Western Cape. Over the next few weeks several signature events will be taking place including the Mining Indaba, the Design Indaba and the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon,” said Minister Winde.