Today, the DA’s Federal Executive (FedEx) convened for a special sitting to consider and determine the party’s approach to the systematic and calculated attack on DA-led coalition governments by the newly formed coalition of corruption between the EFF and the ANC.
Following the events over the past few days, and amid such attacks on the will of the voters, as Leader of the DA I felt it important that the FedEx met to decide on a way forward. FedEx discussed and considered the past two years of governance by DA-led coalitions in major cities following the 2016 Local Government Election.
When DA-led coalitions took office in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB), we committed to achieving three goals: cutting corruption, growing the economy to create jobs, and speeding up the delivery of basic, quality services to all residents. Together with our partners ACDP, COPE, VF+, IFP and UDM, we took over from ANC administrations that had built networks of patronage and corruption to steal the people’s money for themselves.
Before we could begin on delivering on these commitments and moving in the right direction, the rot of corruption and self-enrichment that existed needed to be cleaned out. From day one, the sheer enormity of the financial mess inherited from previous ANC governments was as clear as daylight. This took months and months of hard work by these governments, and today we are yielding the fruits.
I want to commend these DA-led coalition governments on this outstanding work, which has resulted in freeing up more public money to spend on delivering services to all. Tshwane has moved from a R2 billion deficit to a R704 million surplus, and Nelson Mandela Bay has a R615 million surplus – its best financial position in over a decade.
These governments have also made huge inroads into cutting corruption. Johannesburg has uncovered R18 billion in corruption within the city, Nelson Mandela Bay cancelled corruption contracts to the tune of R650 million and opened tender adjudication processes to the public, and Tshwane has cleared out corrupt officials in the administration and fought against the corrupt R 2 billion PEU contract in court and won.
Tshwane has tripled the amount of direct 9nvestment into the city and has been named the fasting growing city in Africa. Johannesburg has created 103 000 new jobs in the first six months of this year, and Nelson Mandela Bay has tripled the number of EPWP jobs while creating a young graduate programme for young jobseekers.
In terms of service delivery, in Tshwane the luxurious mayoral mansion of the previous ANC government was sold for R5 million rand in order to build houses for poor residents without a home, and 1800 bursaries to the value of R34 million have been awarded to young people.
Johannesburg saw the electrification of 6000 homes for the very first time, while Nelson Mandela Bay eradicated almost 10 000 bucket toilets and ensured 12 000 residents received running water and flush toilets in their homes for the first time.
Real progress is being made, and in just two years DA-led coalition governments are doing what ANC governments could not do in two decades. Millions of South Africans are receiving clean, efficient and delivery-orientated service not ever experienced under the ANC before 2016. Indeed, the biggest electoral threat to the ANC and the EFF has been the successes of DA-led coalition governments.
In light of this, FedEx considered the current status of DA-led coalition governments and came to the following resolutions.
Firstly, we recommit to the formal coalition agreement signed by all coalition partners in August 2016 following the last Local Government Elections. We still believe this document provides the founding values and principles on which governments are build and maintained in the best interests of citizens. This agreement remains open to any political party that shares the values of constitutionalism, non-racialism, the rule of law, a market-based economy, the eradication of corruption, and the speeding up of the delivery of basic services to all. In this light, the DA-led coalition government in Johannesburg will continue the work of the people.
However, in light of the UDM’s joining of the coalition of corruption in NMB, FedEx has resolved to formally approach coalition partners to review the inclusion of the UDM in this formal agreement. It cannot be that the UDM consistently acts in cahoots with corrupt parties, and in contravention of the agreement. I will be meeting with the leaders of the coalition partners ACDP, COPE, VF+ and IFP soon, and the outcome of this will be communicated in due course.
It is important that the coalition partners strengthen our resolve against the coalition of corruption that has been formed by the ANC, EFF and the UDM, and I want to thank Rev. Kenneth Meshoe, Terror Lekota, Dr Pieter Groenewald and Prince Mangosotho Buthulezi for their steadfast resolve against this new coalition of corruption.
Secondly, FedEx notes Monday’s sitting of the Nelson Mandela Bay council where the new coalition of corruption between the ANC, EFF and UDM attempted to remove Executive Mayor Athol Trollip, and replace him with a corrupt new Mayor and ANC-dominated Mayoral Committee. We echo the view that this decision was invalid and has no effect in law. Athol Trollip remains the mayor of NMB, and the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth will consider this matter tomorrow morning. The DA and our partners will come out in numbers to support Mayor Trollip because we believe a victory on this matter will be a victory for the people of NMB.
FedEx fully supports Athol Trollip in this fight and believe that he remains the de jure mayor of NMB. Mayor Trollip’s coalition government has brought change to the lives of NMB residents, and we won’t allow the coalition of corruption to steal back the city through the back door.
Thirdly, FedEx considered tomorrow’s scheduled Motion of No Confidence in Tshwane Mayor, Solly Msimanga. The DA has full faith in Solly Msimanga in his current role as Executive Mayor. He has led the city remarkably well over the past two years and has taken all necessary steps to act against any allegations of maladministration in the city. This support for Solly is unanimous and is echoed by all 5 DA regional chairpersons in Gauteng, who join me here today. Tomorrow the DA and our partners will be out in our numbers outside the Tshwane council in support of Solly Msimanga and the DA-led coalition government in the Capital City.
Therefore, the DA will not be fielding a new candidate for Tshwane Mayor in tomorrow’s council sitting as arrogantly demanded by the EFF. The DA upholds consistency and transparency. The voters elected Solly Msimanga as their mayor, and we will not cave to the demands of the minority. The mayor’s office does not have a revolving door policy determined by the whims of the minority.
If the EFF decides to formalise its coalition of corruption with the ANC tomorrow and supports their Motion of No Confidence in the DA-led coalition government in Tshwane, then they have showed their true colours as being nothing more than the military wing of the ANC – aiding and abetting corruption and looting.
The DA will stand on principle and if that means losing power in any governments, so be it. We refuse to compromise on our values to this new coalition of corruption. If the EFF hand back any DA-led coalition governments to the corrupt ANC, it will be for the people of SA to punish them at polls next year.
History has shown the EFF to make serious judgments of error in the past – from Jacob Zuma, to Public Protector Mkhwebane, to the VBS bank. Tomorrow the EFF is faced with an important decision. History, and the voters, will judge them for their choice.
If the EFF decides to support the removal of the DA-led coalition in Tshwane, they will have shown the people of South Africa that they are happy to remove clean governments and give these cities back to the ANC.