DA is fighting the ANC State Capture project at every sphere of government
Note to Editors: The following statement was delivered by DA Leader Mmusi Maimane at a press conference at the Council Chambers in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. The Leader was joined by Solly Msimanga and Herman Mashaba.
Following the release of the Public Protector’s “State of Capture” report earlier this week, our nation has never been more united in its rejection of corruption and plunder by Jacob Zuma and his ruling mafia.
The report contains explosive findings which show just how rotten the ANC has become. Over the last seven years, the ANC has “radically transformed” from a revolutionary movement with high moral standing, to a mafia syndicate that operates only for the benefit of its cadres – looting public money for personal gain.
And this syndicate is run by the “Godfather” of corruption and State Capture, Jacob Zuma. In Zuma, we have a President who was elected with 783 charges of fraud and corruption hanging over his head, who aided and abetted Omar Al-Bashir - a warlord charged with genocide – and allowed him to escape in violation of a court order.
A President who the Constitutional Court found to be in violation of the Constitution and his Oath of Office regarding the now infamous Nkandla upgrades.
A President who allowed the Gupta family to capture the state. From Eskom to the Waterkloof airbase, the Guptas have free reign in South Africa at the expense of the law and the people of our country.
And this is same President who is protected and promoted by the ANC at every juncture, internally and externally.
Jacob Zuma is the ANC. And the ANC is Jacob Zuma. The ANC cannot self-correct. The ANC is beyond repair. The ANC has entered its final hours.
I want to appeal to every South African and say this: Don’t lose hope in our beautiful country and its incredible potential. Don’t lose hope in the Constitutional project we are engaged in, to build a non-racial, prosperous and equal South Africa, united in our diversity.
It is often a challenge to open a newspaper, or watch the evening news and to witness the current state of leadership in our country. But don’t lose hope, because we are winning! The good guys are winning.
This week has been a victory for Team SA. In the ongoing battle between the looters and those who love South Africa, we are winning. South Africa is winning and the corrupt looters are losing.
Once we rid out country of the captors and the corrupt of the ANC, we can move towards facing the real challenges in our country -unemployment, education, poverty, and inequality. But our initial challenge is to fight to end this cancer of corruption in South Africa, for good.
As the official opposition, we are fighting ANC corruption and State Capture with every possible instrument, because without defeating it, we cannot address our stubborn unemployment rate and we’ll never achieve economic freedom and equality for all South Africans. Only when we have defeated corruption, can we defeat the social ills prevalent in South Africa.
In continuing this fight, we have decided to move a Motion of No Confidence in President Zuma, which will be debated in Parliament in the coming days. This is to remove the man at the very top of this cabal, so that we can begin the journey of placing our country back on the right track again.
State Capture at Local Government Level
The ANC’s project of State Capture is not just a national government phenomenon. It is not restricted to just Jacob Zuma and his cronies. It permeates throughout every sphere of government.
We are engaged with rooting out state capture, corruption and nepotism at every level of government. Whether we are in government or in opposition, we are determined to see it that every government in South Africa is clean, transparent, efficient, and serves the people - not politicians.
Just less than 100 days ago, South African went to the polls in the most historic and game-changing election since 1994. South Africa witnessed a seismic shift as the DA won 3 new metros, in Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay, and now controls over 50% of local government budget, and governs for over 16 million South Africans. We recognise the enormous responsibility bestowed upon our party, and the uphill task of turning these cities around following decades of ANC abuse and neglect.
I am joined today by the Mayor of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga, and Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, in order to provide a brief snapshot and birdseye view of some of the rot, corruption and plunder that we have found in these governments, and what we have done in the first 100 days to reverse this.
The City of Tshwane
The City of Tshwane government was technically bankrupt when we took over, due to irresponsible spending and acts of nepotism by the previous ANC administration.
So far, we have discovered that the former Mayor Ramokgopa, enjoyed a R30 million per year discretionary slush fund to spend as he pleased on dispensing patronage and handouts as he saw fit.
In the Office of the City Manager, we inherited a structure inflated and bloated to include four Deputy City Managers, eight Regional Executive Directors, and their deputies, carrying a salary bill of R96 million a year.
The former Mayor’s office wasted an astronomical R90 million on botched upgrades to the Tshwane City Hall, where corruption and kickbacks in the Mayor’s own office have been found and are under investigation by the SAPS after Mayor Solly Msimanga laid criminal charges.
The City also spent R12 million to upgrade the mayoral house, which ended in disaster. Large scale loss occurred, as the plumbing system, cupboards, and even the roof were left damaged.
But this all pales in comparison to uncovering the fact that the Mayor’s own office was inflated to employ over 900 people, costing almost R250 million a year in salaries. Many of these were political deployees, including active ANC members.
This speaks the capture of the government in order to continue patronage networks and hand out money to those connected to the ANC – at the expense of poor and unemployed South Africans.
Since taking over less than 100 days again, the DA administration, led by Mayor Solly Msimanga, has begun to turn the tide of corruption in the city.
We have stopped lavish catering, banquets and parties, to save money for delivery and to not spend it on politicians stomachs. We have also rejected luxury cars for politicians. Just before the DA took over Tshwane, the ANC administration purchased 10 new BMWs for politicians and senior officials Mayor Msimanga immediately redirected these new luxury vehicles to form a new Anti-Hijack unit in Tshwane, which will fight crime on our streets.
Mayor Msimanga has also reconstituted the Tshwane Special Investigating Unit (SIU) which was disempowered and did not operate under the ANC. It now handles all corruption and fraud investigations in the City Tshwane, reporting directly to the Mayor.
While the extent of damage caused to the administration by the ANC, we are making progress in reversing this turmoil, so that the City of Tshwane can serve its people.
The City of Johannesburg
The state of the City of Johannesburg, that we have inherited, is characterised by a historical neglect of the basics of local government. This has resulted in a City with serious backlogs in critical areas, central to achieving economic and job growth.
The previous administration in Johannesburg seemed content in vanity projects, criss-crossing the globe portraying an image of a ‘World Class African City’ while failing to address the fundamental challenges that face its residents on a day-to-day basis.
Johannesburg faces massive challenges of stagnant economic growth with 30% of the population of the City being unemployed. The previous administration have created a massive backlog in infrastructure development, maintenance and a R232 Billion funding gap to address our capital expenditure needs. The previous administration boasted of R100 billion invested in capital expenditure over the next 10 years. This was wholly inadequate and effectively served as a commitment to fail in turning around the economy. Rather than addressing priorities, the City focussed itself on speculative investments into dubious economic projects such as mushroom farms and solar powered bakeries using imported mango flour.
Our socio economic challenges are massive, and are hampered by the defunct administration we inherited.
Johannesburg has a housing backlog of 300 000, while only delivering around 3500 houses per year. At the current pace, it would take over a century to address just the current backlog.
Johannesburg has 180 informal settlements, many of which have no basic services and people who have waited for decades on a housing list which has never been transparent and available to them.
Upon taking office, we have identified 2000 title deeds many of which residents have waited more than 20 years to receive. The City also faces major billing challenges. Residents have to endure endless inefficiency, red-tape and callous disregard for their billing problems. This has been allowed to develop to the current state of affairs while the previous administration denied any existence of a billing problem.
The “anti-graft unit” had been rendered ineffective by the ANC and operated with funded vacancies in critical positions for extended periods of time. Countless forensic reports have been received which demonstrate a lack of political will to deal decisively with findings of these reports.
During the campaign we were consistently challenged to produce evidence of corruption, now upon taking office we are inundated with cases that were hidden from the public eye. We will be making announcements in respect of these reports, as well as an important announcement on measures we are taking to combat corruption.
We have also inherited a demoralised public service, infested by patronage. Having just concluded a strategic planning session, we are impressed by the commitment of so many senior executives to pledge their support for the new direction the City is taking.
We will continue to work hard towards making the economic hub of Africa a truly world class city, where competition is fair, and growth is fostered to address our country’s unemployment crisis.
Nelson Mandela Bay
The fact that the annual budget of Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is fairly small in comparison to other metros did not stop Danny Jordaan and his predecessor from diverting public money to for private gain. When the DA took office, it immediately became apparent that the ANC falsely presented a large cash bank-balance as a solvent position when in fact it had devastatingly cut all city maintenance to instead put money in the bank.
Even still, under the ANC the Municipality only had 1.8 months of cash reserves which is half of the legal requirement. The DA has now implemented strict debt control measures to begin recovering some of the R2 billion owed to the Municipality.
In the first weeks, we discovered contracts entered into for the supply of light bulbs at R600.00 per bulb, and a splash-out by the former Mayor of R250,000.00 to get his face onto the front cover of a magazine.
We then discovered a contract worth R22 million with Mohlaleng Media which duplicated the work of municipal staff and predictably delivered negligible outcomes. Mayor Athol Trollip immediately froze this contract.
Also in Nelson Mandela Bay we uncovered that over R21 million was spent on a vanity project called the ‘City of Champions’ that was nothing but a frivolous waste of money with no local government purpose, function or outcome. Mayor Trollip will investigate this spending and is adamant the City will retrieve every cent that was spent
Furthermore, we discovered that over R95 million was spent on CCTV cameras for the IPTS project, which were never installed and remain locked away on the service provider's property.
In the administration, it is believed that some staff were appointed by the ANC without the requisite qualifications, and as such they are unqualified for the positions they hold. One senior Executive Director in Nelson Mandela Bay was appointed by the ANC government despite criminal convictions against him, and outstanding criminal investigations for corruption. In the electricity department alone, we have uncovered that 5 of the 6 senior managers were left in acting roles for many months, which created instability and uncertainty. This while the infrastructure and engineering directorate itself had over 160 vacancies which were left unfilled and contributed to poor service delivery for the people of Nelson Mandela Bay.
Mayor Trollip has begun the work of rolling back decades of financial waste and corrupt financial management, by freezing contracts, and launching investigations into every instance of suspected corruption.
To prevent this from happening in the future, Mayor Trollip recently launched an anonymous fraud and corruption line, directing calls to an independent forensic firm, seeking to root out municipal corruption.
Political offices have been slimmed down and salaries have been slashed, securing R40 million worth of savings over the first term of office.
The purchase of Business class flights and luxury cars have been prohibited.
In due course, the DA government will see to it that the metro named after our nation icon, Tata Madiba, represents all the values he stood for, of which none still live within the ANC.
Although Ekurhuleni is not a DA run city, it is useful to consider the state of affairs in this metro, and to use it as further evidence of the levels of state capture and corruption under the ANC.
The woes began with the illegal appointment of the City Manager, Khaya Ngema. Once that position in an administration is captured, corruption follows unabated. The city manager was involved in numerous acts of mismanagement, including:
· Providing misleading information to the National Treasury, the Auditor General and the Municipal Public Accounts Committee in at least two annual financial statements and reports on matters of irregular and fruitless expenditure;
· Attempting to bribe three Bid Adjudication Committee officials with their jobs by coercing them to provide false evidence in a court of law and the suspension and dismissal of one of the Bid Adjudication Committee member who refused to participate in such illegal conduct; and
· Obstructing the Public Protector’s investigation into unlawful expenditures, and withholding information from Council and the Public Protector.
Following the capture of the City by the City Manager, large scale corruption followed, including:
· Irregularly awarding an IT tender worth R35 million;
· Fraudulently awarding a tender for the procurement of Water Meters for R205 – million;
· Irregularly awarding a tender for an ‘institutional review’ for R32-million;
· Irregularly awarding R100-million worth of tenders in the Roads and Transport Departments;
· Ignoring the Constitutional Court ruling on the illegal forced removal and relocation of over 1000 people from Bapsfontien to the N12 informal settlement; and
· A string of police chiefs who are either not qualified or under criminal investigation
This excludes dozens of smaller instances of chronic corruption and mismanagement, as well as wasteful and fruitless expenditure.
Under new Ekurhuleni mayor and staunch Zuma ally, Mzwandile Masina, this rot will continue, and Ekurhuleni will never become a hub of industrial economic activity and job creation.
This is no doubt just the tip of the iceberg in these metros, and we are expecting to uncover many more examples of capture and corruption in the coming months. But let me reiterate my call for all South Africans to not lose hope. We are fighting, and we are winning. The tipping point is fast approaching.
While we have less than 1000 days until the national elections – which will be a public referendum on Zuma and his ANC – we need to act with haste to ensure every sphere of government acts for the benefit of the its people, particularly the 8.9 million South Africans who are without work.
Whether in government or opposition, the DA will fight tirelessly, through every mechanism possible, to free our institutions and our governments from State Capture and corruption.
Issued by the DA, 6 November 2016