"We, the people of South Africa, Recognise the injustices of our past; Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.” Preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

ANC refuses to allow DA to table motion to suspend Mayor

The Democratic Alliance today tabled a motion to suspend senior political leaders, including the Executive Mayor Zukiswa Ncitha, Deputy Mayor Temba Tinta, the Speaker of Council Luleka Simon-Ndzele, Councillor Sindiswa Gomba, and the Acting Director of Executive Support Services, Ondela Mahlangu.

These individuals have been arrested and charged by the Hawkes for alleged fraud and money laundering involving Nelson Mandela's memorial service.

The ANC councillors refused to allow the motion to be tabled and they all continue to remain in their positions. This is despite the fact that the ANC national working committee has asked these individuals to “step aside”.

It is standard practice that people are suspended when they have been charged with alleged criminal activity relating to their employment.

The DA welcomes due process and the rule of law, however senior political leaders and municipal officials cannot be permitted to influence the testimony that others may wish to provide.

This scandal is arguably the worst in the council’s history. The public purse has been looted in the name of Tata Madiba – an appalling crime. By remaining in their positions, these accused are bringing further shame to the Buffalo City Metro council. 

Statement by Cllr Lance Weyer, DA BCMM Caucus Spokesperson
Image: Daily Dispatch

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The REAL State of the Metro is not a good story to tell

The ANC of Jacob Zuma has once again staged an extravagant smoke and mirrors exercise, costing hundreds of thousands of rands, which amounts to nothing more than an attempt by the ruling party to find “good stories” to tell just weeks before the election.

This was conducted just a week after an equally elaborate “Council Open Day” was held at City Hall, and is once again in contravention of a National Treasury notice to eliminate non-priority expenditure.

Neither of these events actually served to engage stakeholders and communities, but these were rather an excuse to grandstand and feast at the expense of the citizens of Buffalo City.

In her speech, Mayor Zukiswa Ncitha highlighted several achievements, and totally glossed over the major issues affecting the city.

The real story of the State of the Metro is a bad story to tell - it is one of maladministration, corruption and wasteful expenditure:
·         A qualified audit opinion from the Auditor General.
·         R781 million in irregular expenditure.
·         R102, 9 million in water losses and R85, 3 million in electricity losses.
·         Underspending the capital budget by R384, 6 million.
·         Above-inflation tariff increases.
·         Infrastructure backlogs totalling billions of rands, particularly in roads, water and electricity.
·         A dysfunctional Supply Chain Management Unit.
·         A generally dirty city due to a Community Services Department crippled by poor leadership.
·         Slow pace of housing delivery and electrification of informal dwellings.
·         Pit latrines are considered acceptable sanitation, and there are plans to roll out thousands more.
·         Failure to deal with forensic investigations that uncover fraud and maladministration.
·         Failure to deal decisively with the Nelson Mandela Memorial taxi scandal, including a mayor who hinders law enforcement from conducting investigations into corruption.
·         A municipal manager and mayor who are unable to work together.
·         An ineffective public-participation process that amounts to nothing more than window dressing.

The ANC leadership in Buffalo City has its head in the sand while our city is falling apart around us.

It is clear that the ANC of Tambo, Mandela and Mbeki no longer exists in Buffalo City. Jacob Zuma’s ANC is not in politics to transform South Africa into a better place for all. It is in politics to enrich itself, its friends and its family. We see it every day in our communities – especially here in Buffalo City where we have so many multi-million rand scandals.

The DA in Buffalo City will never stand by quietly while this looting happens. Where the DA governs, people’s lives are getting better and better. More money goes to ordinary people because we are serious about stopping corruption and spending more money on delivering services.

The time for change is now. On the 7th of May voters must send the Jacob Zuma led ANC a loud message that enough is enough.

Together for Change, Together for Jobs.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Mazibuko: Zuma’s failure to condemn anti-gay law an insult to the Constitution

The DA is outraged by the failure of President Zuma to condemn the draconian anti-gay legislation passed in Uganda earlier this year. 


In a reply to my parliamentary question - which I posed to President Zuma to gain clarity on his position on this matter which has received worldwide condemnation - the President said that “South Africa respects the sovereign rights of other countries to adopt their own legislation”.


This is an insult to our constitution and to President Mandela’s human rights inspired foreign policy. President Zuma, and the entire leadership of the ANC, should hang their heads in shame.


The international community did not adopt a ‘hands off’ approach to Apartheid South Africa. We should likewise not stand quietly by as our president adopts this shameful approach when other countries violate the human rights of their people.


To do so is to send a message to the rest of the world that we are hypocrites. 


Uganda's anti-gay legislation has horrific consequences for gay Ugandan citizens. The law provides for:

  • Life imprisonment for having gay sexual intercourse;
  • Life imprisonment for so-called "aggravated homosexuality”;
  • Life imprisonment for living in a same-sex marriage;
  • Seven years for "attempting to commit homosexuality";
  • Between five and seven years in jail or a $40,700 (£24,500) fine or both for the "promotion" of homosexuality;
  • The cancellation of registration of businesses or non-governmental organisations found guilty of the "promotion of homosexuality". These Directors could face seven years in jail.

President Zuma's latest blunder is yet another example of how the ANC of today is merely a shadow of its former self. It is clear that this government, unlike that of President Nelson Mandela’s, no longer shares Madiba’s vision that human rights should be “the light that guides our foreign affairs”. 


One would think a country with a painful history of discrimination like ours, would be the first to condemn such horrid crimes against humanity. 


But President Zuma and his ANC remain detached from what is important both in South Africa and on the African continent.  


The DA will remain dedicated to implementing a foreign policy that is informed by a commitment to human rights.


That is why a vote for the DA on May 7will be a vote for the promotion of basic human rights at home and abroad. 


Lindiwe Mazibuko MP

Parliamentary Leader of the Democratic Alliance

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Zuma’s ANC rejects DA motion to condemn Uganda’s anti-gay bill

Democratic Alliance statement by
Sandy Kalyan MP
Deputy Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance 

The DA is deeply concerned and unspeakably disappointed that the ANC today blocked a DA motion without notice condemning the Anti-Homosexuality Bill signed into law by Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, yesterday. 

It is also highly revealing that ANC MPs heckled me today when I raised this issue in the House, illustrating their brazen insensitivity if not support for this shocking measure.

Our motion would have ensured that South Africa continues with the human rights-based foreign policy established by President Nelson Mandela and that we re-gain our moral standing in the international arena. 

It would have also made it clear to the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, that her failure to act decisively on this issue - as made clear in her department's press release today - must be brought to an end. 

The ANC in Parliament did not seek to propose any amendments to the motion. It was merely rejected “in its entirety”.

This continues the shameful failure by President Zuma’s administration to act on this matter. 

We must indeed ask why it is that South Africa always resorts to silent diplomacy when it instead should be providing leadership on the continent. With our proud history of fighting injustice, and with one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, our government should have been first to publically object to the barbaric laws of a state right on our doorstep. 

As the DA, we strongly condemn the passing of this Bill and the criminalisation of homosexuality anywhere on the continent and the world.

The South African government, and the African Union, which is being chaired by, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, must be urged to act to ensure that Uganda’s suppression of human rights does not go without censure.

The DA will continue to push for this to happen without delay.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Why your vote DOES count

The proportion of South Africans who did not vote in national and provincial elections increased from 14% in 1994 to 41% in 2009. In other words, in 1994 some 86% of eligible voters voted in the national and provincial election, but by 2009 that proportion had fallen to under 60%.

Imagine how drastically the political landscape of SA could change if we all voted!

Recent opinion polls suggest this trend may continue. According to an opinion poll carried out by a market research company, Pondering Panda, in July 2013, almost a quarter of South Africans do not intend to vote in the 2014 national elections.

When the same people were asked why they would not vote, almost half (44%) said that things would stay the same no matter who won the election. If you believe that things would stay the same, please watch this clip (click on link below) to see how things changed from 2009 to now after the DA took control of the Western Cape Province.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Lack of funding is no excuse for not delivering services

Note: This appeared in the Daily Dispatch newspaper as a Letter to the Editor on 4 February 2012

We are all familiar with the annual news reports in the Daily Dispatch of how Buffalo City Metro fails to spend its capital budget. Given the number of potholes, leaking water pipes and the aging electricity infrastructure (just a few examples – there are many) it is unacceptable that the council consistently does not spend its capital budget. This year is no different - halfway through the financial BCMM has only spent 27% of its capital budget.

Considering this backdrop, my blood boiled when I received an email from a Buffalo City official in the roads department. After receiving a complaint relating to roads in a terrible condition that desperately needed maintenance, his response was as follows: “I would also like to use this opportunity to advise you that there are 50 Wards within the BCMM and every Councillor is requesting for the roads in their Ward to be rehabilitated / repaired ASAP and the Roads Division has limited resources at their disposal.”

It is absolutely unacceptable that officials use the excuse of limited resources when they have only spent a fraction of their budget. Our city it falling apart, and it is not because of a lack of funds - it is falling apart because of incompetent governance. If we want to see a change in Buffalo City we need a change in leadership - and that can only be done at the ballot box.

Friday, 31 January 2014

DA uncovers another attempt at looting the Buffalo City coffers

Issued by Councillor Lance Weyer, DA BCMM Caucus
31 January 2014
For many months the ANC’s administration has been trying to table a report in council which would see Buffalo City purchasing a piece of invaded land at a price much higher than its fair market value. Documents in the possession of the Democratic Alliance reveal the following information:
  • The current owner, Mr Shoba, purchased the property in May 2012 for R130 000, R160 000 below it’s 2009 market value of R290 000 knowing that the property had been invaded by some 200 squatters. The property was registered on October 4, 2012.
  • Only two months later Buffalo City officials issued a purchase requisition for an evaluation of the same property as the owner would like to sell the property to Buffalo City in order to avoid evicting the squatters.
  • On the 13th of December 2012, the Acting CFO sent the evaluation to the Director of Planning and Economic Development. Worryingly, the date on the evaluation is a day later, 14 December 2012.
  • Officials at Buffalo City claim that of the five independent valuers they contacted for an evaluation, only one submitted a quote to appraise the property, but submitted it late.
  • The Finance Directorate conducted their own evaluation. The CFO’s valuers assessed the property’s value at a staggering R16,5 million – 127 times the original purchase price only months earlier.
  • Documents show that comparable average sales price, based on the 20 most relevant comparable sales in the area, is only R1,8 million, far less than the figure obtained by the municipal property valuers.
The Democratic Alliance Caucus believes that Mr Shoba purchased the property for R130 000, knowing that the property had been invaded by squatters, with the intention of selling it to Buffalo City a few months later at a price much higher than it’s true value. We further believe that officials have colluded with Mr Shoba to inflate the price. 
Just as members of the governing party have allegedly used the death of Nelson Mandela to loot the coffers of Buffalo City Metro of millions of rands for their own gain, this is another attempt at corruption where the plight of impoverished people is being used as a tool to loot even more money from the city and points to an entrenched culture of corruption in Buffalo City.
The Democratic Alliance will therefore ask in Council for this matter to be referred to a full open, public investigation to be conducted by the Municipal Public Accounts Committee. All those found guilty of corrupt practices need to face the full extent of the law. If the ANC does not adequately investigate this matter and deal appropriately with the culprits, we will take this matter up with the Public Protector and the Hawkes.