Joint press statement by Leaders of Opposition Parties
Leader of the Democratic Alliance
Leader of the Congress of the People
Leader of the African Christian Democratic Party
Leader of the Freedom Front Plus
Today, we as leaders of opposition political parties met here in Johannesburg to assess the performance of the past year in government, where we collectively govern the cities of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay based on our broad coalition agreement signed in August 2016.
We agreed on a number of shared issues as follows.
Firstly, we are unanimous in our view that the ANC cannot self-correct, and is not fit to lead our country. The ANC’s national conference later this month is to elect the next president of the ANC, not the next president of South Africa. In fact, whoever is elected as the next ANC president is immaterial. There is no saving the ANC. It has become a patronage network that rewards and promotes corruption, and ignores the plight of our people. It is time for South Africa to remove the ANC once and for all – and that is our collective goal.
In this light, we will not allow the ANC to claim back power in cities where the voters rejected them, as they attempted to do with spurious Motions of No Confidence in both Johannesburg and Tshwane. Those motions were defeated, and rightly so. The will of the people must always prevail.
Where we do govern in coalition, we are hard at work in showing South Africans that there is an alternative to the ANC and that alternative is a coalition-led government taking office at the Union Buildings in 2019.
All the parties to the broad coalition, while we may differ on many things, agree on the following set of shared values which guide us in government:
- Zero tolerance for corruption;
- Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law;
- Commitment to delivering quality services to all, especially the poor; and
Make no mistake, governing in coalition has its challenges, which we have faced over the past 15 months. -But despite our challenges, we are committed to working together to bring change to lives of South Africans;
Indeed, we have seen progress where we govern.
In Tshwane, since taking office, 23 000 EPWP work opportunities have been created, bringing hope and empowerment to those left behind. The mayoral mansion has been sold for R5.1 million rand, which will be used to build houses for poor residents. 2804 title deeds have been handed over already, and a further 6000 title deeds are scheduled to be handed over in 2018. Plans are in place to extend the reach of the City’s bus service, A Re Yeng, into high-density areas in a bid to provide a safe, affordable, accessible and reliable transport system for those away from economic opportunity. Almost R1.5 billion Rand has been budgeted for transport over the next 3 years. An Anti-Cable Theft Unit was established this year, to deal with the criminality that hampers the provision of reliable water and electricity to our people
In Johannesburg, we’ve established an anti-corruption unit, headed up by former Gauteng Hawks Head, Gen. Shadrack Sibiya. To date, this unit has exposed over R 2 billion in corruption in the City. The City of Johannesburg currently has 2469 open investigations – resulting in approximately 500 arrests and the suspension of 100 officials – into a number of issues including corruption, fraud, theft, and hijacked buildings. The associated monetary value of these ongoing investigations is R16.2 billion, proving the City has lost vast amounts of money to corruption under the previous administration.
We have launched the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) K-9 unit whose focus has been on the war on drugs and other related crimes such including theft and robbery. The K-9 Unit has:
- Arrested 195 persons for the possession of drugs;
- Arrested 205 persons for the possession of a stolen motor vehicle;
- Arrested 46 people for hijacking; and
- Arrested 39 people for the possession of an unlicensed firearm;
Transport within the City has been a long-standing challenge, with hundreds of thousands of residents requiring access to reliable public transport. The City has thus increased Metrobus’s capacity by 50%, adding 200 new buses to its fleet, providing residents with greater access to transport.
The City has purchased 28 new state-of-the-art fire engines, at a total cost of R189 million, and employed an additional 160 firefighters to enhance the capacity of its Emergency Management Services (EMS).
In Nelson Mandela Bay, in the administration’s first budget, 90% has been allocated to previously disadvantaged individuals and communities, ensuring that those left behind are afforded equal access to opportunity and the playing field is leveled.
The City’s Capex rate is at 93% and boasts a 93.7% revenue collection rate – the best financial position the metro has been in for over 7 years. Confidence in the government of Nelson Mandela Bay has risen in just one year, from the second lowest trusted metro in the country to the second highest – a real vote of confidence in the coalition-led government.
To create a safer Nelson Mandela Bay, the City’s first Metro Police Service was established. This world-class service consists of 114 well-trained officers, with two satellite offices in Bethelsdorp and KwaNobuhle. The fight against crime in Nelson Mandela Bay is well underway.
Before the coalition-led government came to office, 35% of all bucket toilets in South Africa was in Nelson Mandela Bay. We have eradicated over 4000 already, and have committed to eradicating all bucket toilets by the end of 2017.
One of Nelson Mandela Bay’s flagship projects, Operation Buyisa Isidima, was launched in 2017 with a focus on fixing the housing crisis and giving people title to their homes. This has seen the handover of more than 2000 title deeds in a fair and transparent manner. The project seeks to address the housing backlog – currently standing at 80 000 – and to root out corruption in the housing list process
Indeed, 2016 was a watershed moment for South Africa, as a new era of coalition politics was ushered in when South Africa rejected the ANC in favor of change in major cities across the nation.
Come 2019, we will work towards building the alternative: a coalition government at national level that represents all South Africans and is committed to fighting corruption, delivering services and creating jobs for all.