DA to launch 16 days of activism in Musina

Katlego Suzan Phala (MPL)

DA Spokesperson of Quality of Life, Status of Women, Children and People with Disability

Tomorrow, 29 November 2014 , the DA will be launching 16 days of Activism For No Violence Against Women and Children to stand against any kind of abuse to woman and children across the country.

A woman is raped every 60 seconds and our country has the highest incidences of child and infant rape in the world. This year, the DA will be focussing and encouraging people to contribute on eradicating violence against women and children by reporting abuse the moment they become aware of it.

We will start a day by conducting door to doors , mini workshop and mass mobilization to listen to the challenges faced by residents on the daily basis regarding abuse in their areas.

There will be opportunities for photographs and interviews.

Date: 29 November 2014
Time: 11h00
Venue: Happaermine , ward 6 (Musina)

HIV/Aids – We are all responsible

Jane Sithole, MPL

DA Mpumalanga Legislature Member

Note: This is a member’s statement by Jane Sithole MPL, Democratic Alliance Spokesperson on Health, to the Mpumalanga Provincial legislature, on 28 November 2014, during the Snap Debate on HIV/AIDS.

HIV/Aids – We are all responsible

December is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the response against HIV/AIDS, show our support for people living with HIV/AIDS and to commemorate people who have passed on due to this epidemic.

There’s no doubt that more still needs to be done.  South Africa has come a long way and we have a long a way to go.

Just last month, government launched Operation Phakisa, which is primarily aimed to ensure:

  • Our health facilities provide quality health care
  • Eliminate long waiting hours
  • Deal with rude and uncaring health workers
  • Eliminate late delivery or unavailability of medication, especially essential medication.

Our health workers need to understand that all people who visit our health facilities must be treated with dignity, irrespective of their background or social status.

It is the Democratic Alliance’s belief that only when each and every South African knows their health status, we will then be able to win the fight against HIV.

South Africa has adopted the National Development Plan as its blue print for the next 30 years. In Mpumalanga there are so many NGO’s and NPO’s at local level, aiming to improve treatment and support programmes for persons living with HIV/AIDS in their communities. However their work is challenged when government and business does not support these organisations financially or even supply the Home Based care facilities with the basic equipment and things such as latex gloves, etc. This places an unimaginable burden on those who want to help those infected and affected by the pandemic.

We must continue this fight.  This fight needs all of us to work together with NGO’s, NPO’s, civil society and individuals who are either infected or affected, only then can Mpumalanga, South Africa, Africa and the world be HIV/AIDS Free. To Millions of South Africans who have embraced life despite their HIV status, The DA salutes you all!

Limpopo police above the law, in contempt of court

Jacques Smalle (MPL)

DA Limpopo Provincial Leader

The current political infighting that has left service delivery paralyzed at the Mogalakwena Municipality has led to police in the area illegally involving their services in support of a faction in the midst of the power scandal.

The high court issued an order (case: 80496-2014) against the local police to not interfere with the operations of the municipality and its officials after they had forcefully removed the staff and its management. This was done after one of the factions elected its leadership and imposed it to the municipality.

However Police defied the order and continue to illegally deploy its officers to deal in particular, a single faction involved in the power struggle.

Another court order (case: 138/2004)was issued for the police to remove the disputed mayor and his faction but they failed to adhere to the order, defying

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa which provides that the objects of the police are to amongst others “ENFORCE THE LAW”

This clearly shows that police in this area disregard the orders of the high court and put our democracy and The Constitution of the state at risk. They visibly use state resources for political gain and distort separation of power.

The DA strongly condemns the police action. We continue to support the applicants in this matter for as long as it is in the interest of the Mogalakwena people.

We urge the ANC to start respecting our democracy and The Constitution.

The people deserve much better than being canon fodder in the ANC political battles.

Come 2016, the DA will restore quality service delivery to the people of Mogalakwena and ensure that they forever enjoy their much deserved constitutional basic human rights

Western Cape Government to announce winner of Public Art Competition

Minister Nomafrench Mbombo

Western Cape Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Sport

On Sunday, 30 November 2014, Cultural Affairs and Sport Minister, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, will be announcing the winner of the Public Art Competition.

As part of the celebration of 20 years of democracy, the Western Cape Government launched a Public Art Competition inviting artists to submit their design proposals for an artwork installation that will be placed on permanent display outside, in the Long Street pedestrian route on the corner of Long and Dorp Streets.

The site marks a new pedestrian plaza on lower Dorp Street. Artists were requested to integrate the theme “20 Years of Freedom and Democracy” incorporating the World Design Capital 2014 “Live Design, Transform Life”  into their designs.

Minister Mbombo will be joined by members of the judging panel and the winner of the competition.

Members of the media will get an opportunity to walk over to the site where this artwork will be erected with the Minister, the artist and the judging panel.

DA questions effectiveness of the Mpumalanga Adjustment Appropriation Bill, 2014

Anthony Benadie, MPL

DA Provincial Leader and Spokesperson on Finance

Note: Address by Anthony Benadie MPL, DA Provincial Leader and Spokesperson on Finance, to the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature on 28 November 2014, during the debate on the Adjusted Appropriation Bill, 2014.

The DA notes the tabling of the Mpumalanga Adjustment Appropriation Bill of 2014 on the 18 November 2015; however the DA is not convinced that this adjustment will have the desired service delivery effects on communities at large.

Hon. Speaker, it is not looking good for South Africa. Since the beginning of 2014, the economy has grown by 0% overall, while our African counterparts continue to reap the rewards of sound fiscal and monetary policy. South Africa has lost the title of the first economy on the continent and we have the present administration to blame, and no one else.

The policy direction of this administration has failed to create an environment that nurtures small business and encourages big business. Infrastructure is falling apart; the electricity grid is under pressure, forcing dodgy deals to be made with the Russians. One day its willing buyer willing seller, and the next it’s we want 50% of the farm land. What rational local or foreign individuals and companies would want to invest their money in a state that doesn’t know where they are going, I know I wouldn’t.

Hon. Speaker, how much longer is this government going to continue to blame weak global economic conditions for our dismal performance? The ANC government needs to look within and realise that it is because of their contradicting policies that we find ourselves in this situation. The ANC needs to realise it is through their policies that inequality levels are worse now than they were in 1994.

It is through ANC policy that the provincial unemployment rate sits at a whopping 42.2% as of the 2nd quarter, using the expanded definition of which 75% are the youth. It is through ANC policy that the provincial economic growth rate has been revised downward to only 1.3% for this year. It is because of policies like cadre deployment that this province had irregular expenditure amounting to over R 1 Billion for the previous financial year.

Looking at past trends, I will say this again, the DA is not convinced that this appropriation will have the desired positive effect on the people of Mpumalanga.

Hon. Speaker, Nelson Mandela once said, “Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will”. With that said, the people of Mpumalanga are still looking for that freedom, and government needs to create the conditions for this freedom to be attained, but alas, it is still not yet Uhuru.

The DA notes the extra R17 million that this Legislature will be receiving, and we hope that it will be used improve institutional efficiency and not for catering purposes. The extra R54 million given to CoGTA needs to utilised effectively. In order for success to prevail, we need our government officials to be capacitated and not simply hold an ANC membership card.

We are concerned about the decrease of R15 million for DARDLEA and hope that it will not have a negative effect on support to emerging farmers. This budget cut proves that the ANC does not take the empowerment of emerging farmers seriously, and only uses them opportunistically during election periods to get votes.

The increase of R 47,9 million to Public Works will have no positive effect of the department. Considering past trends, I can confidently stand here today and say that Public Works will not even achieve 70% of their targets, which begs the question of where does the money go, because our roads and infrastructure are in a horrid condition.

Hon. Speaker, the DA supports the net increase of R598.4 million towards the Provincial Fiscal Framework, and as such the Mpumalanga Adjustments Appropriation Bill, 2014 but with certain conditions.

Let this money be used to improve the lives of our people, to support small business, let it be used to empowered the youth, women and people with disabilities and let it be used to capacitate government officials. This money must not be used to line the pockets of well-connected cadres who are in good standing with the right faction. I’d like to leave you with a quote from Benjamin Franklin, which reads “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”

Northern Cape: Looking forward to the results

Safiyia Stanfley, MPL

DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education

The Democratic Alliance is happy to note that the 2014 National Senior Certificate examinations ran its course without any serious incidents taking place in the Northern Cape. There are unique challenges to the administration of the examinations. While we have the smallest cohort of candidates, we have the largest geographical area to cover.

It is welcome to see that there have been no reports of exam papers being leaked or sold.

We trust that the deregistered students from John Taolo Gaetsewe will have been preparing for the supplementary examinations in March 2015.

We want to encourage them to study hard so that they will not be held back any further.

We are looking forward to the announcement of the official results. We know that the MEC of Education has planned for an 80% matric pass rate. We are especially interested to see if more candidates have been able to complete their schooling with good marks in Maths and Science.

We encourage matriculants to take this period of rest to plan for their future and we wish the class of 2014 all the best with their future endeavours.

Cogta must intervene in Emakhazeni

Bosman Grobler, MPL

DA Spokesperson on CoGTA

Note: Members Statement by Bosman Grobler MPL, DA Spokesperson on CoGTA, to the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature on 28 November 2014.

I rise to deliver a member statement on behalf of the Democratic Alliance

The municipality of Emakhazeni is in crises. Disgruntled municipal workers have been on strike for the past 6 weeks. As we speak the town of Belfast has been without water for most of these 6 weeks, because the pumps have run dry and are now ruined. The electricity in the town of Belfast is disconnected periodically and now striking workers have also sabotaged the electricity supply for the town of Machododorp.

What is most concerning is that the reason for this strike seems to be the internal politics of the African National Congress. Factionalism has caused a split in the workforce and strikers are unhappy that their faction is mistreated by managers siding with the other faction. They are also unhappy about the current municipal manager.

The DA calls on the MEC of CogTA to immediately intervene in the matter. It is unacceptable for the residence of a municipality to suffer as result of a strike, cause by factionalism in government.

Authorities probe 30 Limpopo municipalities

Jacques Smalle (MPL)

DA Limpopo Provincial Leader

The DA welcomes the various investigations being conducted by the Public Protector, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (HAWKS) and Special Investigations Unit (SIU) into Limpopo municipalities.

This came to light in a parliamentary reply by the national department of COGHSTA to the DA’s questions about the state of accountability in municipalities.

There are 27 municipalities being investigated for various offences by the Public Protector. These allegations are from the public and not from the incapacitated COGHSTA Limpopo.

The priority municipalities that are being investigated are Polokwane municipality with five cases while Giyani, Makhuduthamakga, Vhembe and Thulamela had 2 cases each.

The Hawks are investigating 11 municipalities such as Capricorn District Municipality, Mogalakwena, Mopani, Fetakgomo and Blouberg to name a few. They refused to disclose the names of officials involved because some matters are still sub-judice.

The SIU is investigating   the Vhembe District   and Greater Tubatse Local Municipality.

It is not surprising that COGHSTA is faced with such action, considering how municipalities in the province are plagued with under spending of Municipal Infrastructure Grants, non- filling of critical posts such as CFO positions and persistent disclaimers, as indicated by the 2012/13 Limpopo Municipal Performance Report (Section 47).

As the DA portfolio spokesperson, I will write a letter to the MEC of COGHSTA , M.G. Mukhurupetje, emphasising that these investigations are a sign of an ailing local government that is disintegrating into a state of collapse. I will urge her to table a comprehensive programme of action that would enable the provincial department to take decisive political action to nurse our municipalities back to health.

The people of Limpopo will vote for the DA in 2016 as it is the only party that can turn this situation around and provide an alternative to the poor track record of the ANC’s leadership in governing municipalities.

DA cautions road users ahead of festive season

Pule Thole, MPL

DA Provincial Spokesperson on Transport, Safety and Liaison

The DA is concerned about the road accidents on the province’s roads especially as the festive season approaches where many holiday makers will spend a lot of time traveling.

According to the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison in the Northern Cape just between January and June 2014, a total of 4 324 accidents were recorded with 170 fatalities which included 7 781 people.

It is extremely worrying to note these figures we cannot accept that so many people die on our roads. These figures should be reduced significantly through rigorous law enforcement campaigns to ensure that we create safer road across the Northern Cape.

It is also concerning that most of the road carnage on our roads is due to, but not limited to the (a) abuse of alcohol by both drivers and pedestrians, (b) speeding too high for particular circumstances leading to loss control and or inability to avoid hazards, (c) use of cellphones while driving and not wearing seat-belts, (d) dangerous overtaking at barrier line and or overtaking in the face of oncoming traffic and (e) vehicle fitness: such as defective tyres as well as fatigue; no resting after about 200 km of travelling and overnight driving etc.

These contributing factors are avoidable and require a comprehensive approach to change attitudes, perception and habits of all road users.

The DA appeals to all road users to obey and respect all road rules and drive with caution rest where possible and be patient especially during the festive season.

We also call on the police and traffic officers to be more visible on the roads and enforce the law at all times.  No stone should be left unturned to deal with those who disobey road rules, they should face the full might of the law.

Meanwhile the DA welcomes the proposed intervention from the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) to introduce safety measures aimed at reducing the high rate of crashes particularly fatal accidents in the Kimberley area. We have noted serious accidents on our roads specifically on the intersections on the N12, N8 and R357 as well as the notorious R31 to Barkley West.

The DA has also noted road safety campaigns and outreach programs carried out by the department that reached more than 10 000 people such as door-door, roadblocks, inter denominational church services, pedestrian safety campaigns, cyclists safety as well the establishment of regional road safety council across the province.

We believe more still needs to be done in order to reach more people and we are concerned that the department’s budget of just more than R2 million for road safety programs is not enough to fulfill this role.

More Vehicle Check Points need to be held in the province to minimize road fatalities as well as more integrated road blocks to ensure road safety compliance.  Law enforcement agencies should be well capacitated and resourced in order to render efficient and effective services. Ours should be a comprehensive action plan going forward if we seriously want to deal with road safety in the province.

Western Cape: 16 Days of Activism Campaign – DoCS, SAPS and community march for safety

Minister Dan Plato

Western Cape Government, Minister of Community Safety

This weekend, Friday and Saturday 28 – 29 November 2014, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the respective communities will take a public stand against violence and abuse.

The Department of Community Safety, the SAPS and safety role-players will take the 16 Days of Activism campaign for No Violence Against Women and Children, to the communities of Kraaifontein, Tafelsig and Beacon Valley.

Through meaningful partnerships, like the partnership between the SAPS, the Department of Community Safety in the Western Cape and the public, we are uniting behind the theme: “Safety starts in the family”.

The activities during the upcoming 16 Days of Activism will be centred on empowering communities with the knowledge, the opportunity and the capacity to take a stand against abuse and encourage them through key motivators to break the cycle of abuse.

We, as a collective, challenge every person in the province to ensure that Safety starts in the family and observe 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children towards 365 days of action to eradicate violence from our communities, Better Together.