DA says ANC implosion opened local elections wide


Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen said the implosion of the ANC has opened the doors to the upcoming local elections on November 1.

In his speech at the launch of the party’s manifesto on Saturday, September 25, he said that all the elements were in place to “finally emerge from the shadow of a failed post-liberation government and enter a new era.” of delivery, responsibility, honesty and professionalism ”.

“Dozens of municipalities are already totally dysfunctional, and many more are moving in the same direction,” he said. “And while all of our global peers have started their post-Covid recovery, our economy is stuck in first gear and our own recovery looks a long way off. Never before has the need for change been more urgent. But the good news is that the stars are aligned for us to make history as a country. ”

The DA launched its 37-page manifesto on a virtual platform under the banner “DA gets things done”. Steenhuisen, who made no mention of possible coalitions in his speech, said the manifesto was easy to understand and “applicable whatever the situation in your city”.

DA-led coalitions toppled the ANC in the 2016 local elections in three major metropolises, including Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay. But the party’s coalitions also led to its downfall in all three subways when relations with the Economic Freedom Fighters deteriorated.

His coalition deal with EFF had been seen as a catalyst for the resignations of former DA chief Mmusi Maimane and former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.

“Smart choices”

“Our country now stands at a historic crossroads,” said Steenhuisen. “We need to make smart choices now – informed choices that will protect and preserve this country for our children and their children. This means knowing what the main candidates are proposing on the ballot. Take their manifestos and read them critically.

The DA has promised to release unused state-owned land in municipalities where it governs to build housing, saying state land should not sit idle until people live in decent settlements.

The party would focus on densifying existing, well-located, low-density neighborhoods through proper zoning and investment in infrastructure.

“Where possible, we will ensure in situ modernization of informal settlements and provide residents of previously informal settlements with security of tenure. We will manage lists of housing opportunities, including serviced sites, which are credible, free from manipulation and ensure the development of a standard, transparent and fair process for selecting beneficiaries, ”said Steenhuisen.

The DA has been heavily criticized in the past for its intention to change Cape Town’s municipal bylaws relating to streets, public places and noise prevention. His proposal to change city bylaws was seen as criminalizing homelessness.

Recently, GOOD party leader and former DA mayor Patricia De Lille said her proposal to free up public land in downtown Cape Town was the source of its fallout with DA, “to which the conservative cabal and their backers were strongly opposed, “according to an IOL report.

Local law enforcement

The DA has also pledged to modernize the police at the municipal level by investing in localized law enforcement.

In his speech, Steenhuisen said the party’s aim was to delegate a large part of the police functions of the national government to the relevant subways and municipalities, adding that the party would fight against attempts by the state to consolidate all police services. metro police and municipal law enforcement in one police service.

“DA governments will invest in crime intelligence services and intelligent policing focused on information, intelligence and data. This includes CCTV cameras, gunshot detection, crime data analysis, integrated and computer-assisted call taking, dispatch and on-board mobile activation systems that make police more accountable. and accountable and produce crime and business information that enables effective management.

“We will implement surveillance memories for ill-prosecuted crimes. Members of the monitoring unit go to courts to observe court proceedings in order to detect inefficiencies in the police and courts, ”the manifesto said.

Strategic investment

The party also promised to make its municipalities more attractive to investment to create jobs. Steenhuisen said municipalities should invest early in research exploring the competitive advantages of the local economy and look to sectors with the most growth potential.

“We will formalize relationships with strategic business partners in important sectors locally. Municipal public procurement will not enrich politically connected people, but will reduce inequalities by using competent, value-for-money service providers that enable us to provide reliable basic services and public infrastructure for all. Informal trade and post-pandemic economic activity, if regulated proactively and effectively with an enabling approach, will become even more important to local prosperity. ”

The party proposed a more conducive environment for informal traders, saying seizing their goods would be the last resort as a punishment for serious breaches.

Steenhuisen said the party would ensure that official shopping areas are well located in areas with high pedestrian traffic and provide appropriate infrastructure for informal commerce, depending on the type of activity, he said.

The DA chief said hiring only suitable people in government and then holding them to account would be one of his priorities, adding that the DA has zero tolerance for corruption.

“We are obsessed with minimizing all unauthorized or irregular spending. In other words, spend every penny of public money in the most efficient way and where it has the most impact, ”he said.

Steenhuisen said the DA will eliminate corruption, adopt best practices in good governance and ensure community resilience through effective disaster risk management.

Service Level Agreements

“DA governments will clearly communicate service level agreements (SLAs) and turnaround times for garbage collection, broken pipes, power outages, potholes and other filed queries. We will also link each SLA and turnaround time to the responsible politician to ensure accountability.

“Where we govern, we are used to cutting unnecessary and unnecessary expenses and keeping personnel costs low. We are committed to paying wholesale suppliers on time to avoid service disruption and to paying all suppliers within 30 days, ”he said.

Steenhuisen presented an ambitious plan to integrate public transport systems into subways using unique ‘smart’ ticket systems to enable commuters to use all forms of public transport.

He said the municipalities managed by DA will partner with the private sector, such as taxi associations, to ensure that public transport is efficient, sustainable and integrated.

“This can be done by including the drivers and owners of minibus taxis in the municipal integrated transport plan. ”

He added that the party will study the feasibility of providing free metro transport for job seekers, potentially on designated days and times.

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