Elza van Lingen re-appointed as NCOP delegate for Eastern Cape

Athol Trollip (MPL)

Eastern Cape Provincial Leader

The DA is happy to announce that Elza van Lingen (MP) has been selected as permanent delegate to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

Her nomination and subsequent endorsement as representative to the NCOP was based on her exemplary performance and conduct as NCOP-member for the past five years, representing the Eastern Cape.  This was strengthened by her stellar performance in her constituency, which was highlighted by the DA’s victory in the Kouga Municipality in the general election.

The DA in the Eastern Cape Legislature looks forward to another five years of close co-operation and professional co-ordination between the legislature and the NCOP.

DA welcomes new Gauteng Premier

John Moodey MPL

Provincial and Caucus Leader

I welcome the new Premier, David Makhura, to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, and congratulate him on his appointment.

Gauteng holds a great many challenges which face the new Premier, and the DA looks forward to his plan of action. This must include a bold vision to create at least 2.3 million jobs in the province, provide security to its citizens, deliver housing, solve the healthcare crisis, and ensure a world-class education for its youth.

While these challenges are great, the opportunities in Gauteng are even greater, and the Premier must ensure that his government delivers.

Previous provincial governments have made grand promises, only to fall short on actual delivery. While David Makhura might have years of party leadership experience, he will need to overcome his lack of practical government experience.

I hope that this administration will be a breath of fresh air, and provide the people of Gauteng with the government that they deserve.

Dark days for Mpumalanga’s people as Mabuza gets second term

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

The Democratic Alliance notes with concern the election of DD Mabuza as Mpumalanga Premier. His ‘election’ does not bode well for the people of our province, and frankly our province is in for a torrid five years.

While the premier may take a moment congratulate himself on this feat (which none of his predecessors managed to achieve), his tenure will go down in history as the worst decade ever in the history of Mpumalanga.

During premier Mabuza’s first term in office, hundreds of millions in public funds were lost as corruption ran rampant and service delivery deteriorated. According to the Auditor General’s report for 2012/13, unauthorised expenditure in the province increased from R1.3 million in 2011/12 to R136 million in 2012/13 in the province.

While Mabuza made repeated public proclamations about being serious on fighting corruption, the truth is that his political allies were protected and opponents ruthlessly swept aside. Mabuza, also stands in violation of the ministerial handbook, after spending over R5 million rand on purchasing three luxury vehicles in the final months of his previous term of office.

While it waits to be seen who Mabuza will appoint to cabinet, it is clear that he has ensured only his closest allies and loyalists are elected to the legislature, indicating that he will have carte blanche on the provincial government. The DA as the official opposition will have our work cut out for us to hold Mabuza and his cabinet to account. A task we are ready for.

We also note the election of the new Speaker of the Legislature, BT Shongwe. While undoubtedly she will have a clear mandate to shut down the opposition voice which she desperately tried to do as ANC chief whip in the previous term, the DA sincerely hopes that she will take her position seriously as head of the institution and execute her tasks in the impartial manner that is befitting to the position of Speaker.

As the fifth Mpumalanga legislature takes office, the score board is telling, the ANC is smaller the DA is bigger and we will use every platform and opportunity to our avail to hold the executive to account and advance the interest of the people of our province.

Swearing in ceremony of the 5th Legislature term of office

DA Leader in the Eastern Cape

Note: This is the text of a speech delivered by Athol Trollip at the swearing in ceremony of the 5th Legislature term of office in Bhisho.

It is indeed a proud day for the DA, its representatives, past and present and all those that have been voting for it and its predecessor parties to finally become the official opposition in this legislature. Our Party’s growth has been spectacular in every election since 1994 and today we represent the biggest ever opposition caucus in the history of the legislature.

Our Party’s history began here in this legislature in 1994 where we only had one representative, that being the inimitable Hon. Eddie Trent.  The fact that there are now 10 MPL’s and a permanent delegate to the NCOP is an enormous credit to what he achieved in the five years he served here as a lone MPL and what our predecessors achieved in the past 20 years.

The DP and the DA have always punched well above their so called weight division in this house and our performance in the 2014 election is testimony to our tireless and consistent presence as a party that prides itself in being the best opposition we can be.

I can assure this house, the public present today and the people of the Eastern Cape that we will continue to be a scrupulous opposition that will hold the executive and their departments to account for the duration of this term of office.

I also wish to place on record that this amazingly diverse, talented and competent team of public representative will fulfill our oath of office and offer even more muscular opposition oversight and plausible alternatives to the current government than ever before. Their presence here today is testimony to their hard work growing the DA’s support in all communities across this Province, Well done!

I would also like to pay tribute to our colleagues who served here before and who weren’t elected as well as those who worked so hard as candidates who weren’t elected, we have arrived here on the back of their herculean efforts. Thank you.

I would also like to congratulate Hon. Phumulo Masualle on being nominated by his party as the Premier candidate for the Eastern Cape. I also wish to remind you of the words of William Shakespeare from Henry the 4th. “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”.

You will no doubt also appreciate that your tenure has begun with an ominous cloud hanging over your head and crown.

The passing of our beloved and iconic former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and his subsequent funeral has been regrettably blighted by scandalous corruption that has not only cost this province dearly it has brought its name and that of the ANC into disrepute.

The half page “advert” placed in yesterday’s daily dispatch entitled “Provincial treasury fact on the State funeral of the late first democratic State President” can only be described as shameful and a feckless attempt to whitewash wholesale disregard and flagrant disrespect of legislative prescripts by the very people responsible for upholding proper financial and procurement regulations in this province.

You Sir, will have to answer to this house how you came to be the recipient of between R300 000 and R500 000 in your own personal bank account. What happened to that money and what will happen to those responsible for all the irregular and unlawful expenditure and transactions in the name of the late President Nelson Mandela.

If you can’t or don’t explain to everyone’s satisfaction how all of this happened and what action will be taken, you sir, will become mired in similar controversy that surrounds the person that appointed you, President Jacob Zuma. You can bet your job on the fact that this DA caucus will do all we can to get to the bottom of this untenable and embarrassing fiasco.

DA welcomes new members of Provincial Parliament

Mark Wiley, MPP

Chief Whip for DA Western Cape Provincial Parliament

The DA in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament welcomes the following sworn in members:

  1. Theuns Botha
  2. Lorraine Botha
  3. Anton Bredell
  4. Sharna Fernandez
  5. Albert Fritz
  6. Donald Grant
  7. Nceba Hinana
  8. Denis Joseph
  9. Basil Kivedo
  10. Rodney Lentit
  11. Ricardo Mackenzie
  12. Bonginkosi Madikizela
  13. Anroux Marais
  14. Letta Mathlodi Maseko
  15. Lennit Max
  16. Ivan Meyer
  17. Namafrench Mbombo
  18. Masiszole Mnqasela
  19. Beverly Schafer
  20. Debbie Schafer
  21. Mireille Wenger
  22. Mark Wiley
  23. Alan Winde
  24. Dan Plato
  25. Piet Pretorius
  26. Helen Zille

The members were sworn in today, 21 May 2014, by Judge John Hlope.

Helen Zille was elected as Premier of the Western Cape for a second term. Sharna Fernandez was elected as Speaker of the Provincial Parliament and Piet Pretorius was elected for a second term as Deputy Speaker.  The Chief Whip for the DA is Mr Mark Wiley. The Deputy Chief Whip is Mr Denis Joseph.

The DA Western Cape representatives in the National Council of Provinces are Cathy Labuschagne, Eugene von Brandis, Jaco Londt and Thandi Mpambo-Sibhukwana.

DA congratulates MPLs on being sworn in to Legislature

James Masango MP

Provincial Chairperson – Mpumalanga

The DA congratulates its three members on being sworn in as Members of the Provincial Legislature (MPLs) in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature.

Anthony Benadie

This will be the third term of office for the Mpumalanga provincial leader and Leader of the Official Opposition. He brings a wealth of experience to the caucus and will play a defining role in holding Premier DD Mabuza’s government to account.

Jane Sithole

This will be the provincial deputy leader’s first term as MPL, after serving as local councillor on the Emalahleni local council since 2000. During her years with the DA Jane has shown much empathy with the plight of the people of Mpumalanga, prompting her to make a career change into full-time politics. She brings years of corporate experience to the Legislature, where she will serve as Chief Whip of the Official Opposition.

Bosman Grobler

The youngest member of the DA’s Legislature caucus and a product of the DA’s Young Leaders Programme, Bosman served on the Nkangala local council since 2011, and as chairperson of the DA’s Steve Tshwete constituency.

The DA is extremely proud of this team and has the fullest confidence in their abilities to serve the needs of Mpumalanga’s people.

An announcement on spokespersons for the various parliamentary portfolio committees will be made as soon as the Legislature has finalised the composition of the committee clusters.

DA members take up their posts in the Northern Cape

Andrew Louw MPL

DA Leader in the Northern Cape

The Democratic Alliance is excited to get started as the official opposition in the Northern Cape!

In the past, the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature’s (NCPL) functions have been hampered by the refusal of the ANC caucus to take executive oversight seriously. Also, not all portfolio committees, which are the engine rooms of the legislature, have been functioning optimally. As a direct result, mismanagement of government departments and corruption have been given free reign to flourish.

The DA will work hard to reverse the current trend of “rubber stamp oversight” practised by this legislature.

We will strive to ensure that the NCPL fulfils all of its constitutional obligations and retains its rightful place as the most important check and balance on the executive.

In doing so, we will not shy away from holding the ANC caucus to account. Especially as they increasingly serve to protect a government increasingly out of line with the principles set out in our Constitution.

We will also attempt to bring back robust debate to this institution, and maximize opportunities to ask parliamentary questions and table motions.

We owe this to all the people of the province who voted for the DA.

The DA legislature team, who all took their oaths of office during the legislature’s inaugural ceremony today, include:

  • Andrew Louw (DA Provincial Leader)
  • Harold McGluwa (DA Provincial Chairperson)
  • Boitumelo Babuseng
  • Safiyia Stanfley
  • Pule Thole
  • Ismail Obaray
  • Isak Fritz

The team has further elected its caucus leadership. Louw will serves as caucus leader, McGluwa as DA Whip and Obaray as Caucus Chairperson.

Thank You!

Thank you to every voter who supported the DA in the 2014 general and provincial elections.

Through your support we were able to increase our MPL’s from 65 to 91! We have also increased our NCOP representation to 13 members.

Congratulations to all our new members, we look forward to networking with you.

We will resume the normal posting of news from DA caucuses in Provincial Legislatures and the NCOP within the next week.