Politics

SA Political Diary – Wednesday 20 July 2011

By Simon Williamson 20 July 2011

The DA says the ANC is disturbing its flood-relief preparations in Cape Town. Julius Malema's new house is causing all sorts of consternation. The ANC Youth League wished the deputy president a happy birthday in the most praising statement of all time and Mangosuthu Buthelezi wants more funding for traditional councils. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.

DA leader Helen Zille’s latest weekly newsletter dealt with pre-emptive flood-relief plans, which she claims are being derailed by the ANC and communities in ANC wards. The basic premise of her argument is ANC councillors would rather have their people living in risky poverty than have a DA-designed flood-relief programme, and that communities see flood relief as a way for newcomers to skip the housing queue. This has resulted, she claims, in a project meant to serve 1,774 soon-to-be affected families only having the potential to serve 384 families. Well, the ANC didn’t take this lying down, with chief whip Xolani Sotashe accusing the DA of only spending R5.1 million of its R16.2 million budget earmarked for the development of informal settlements and accusing the party of lying and ineptitude. “Why is [the mayor of Cape Town] De Lille, who has previously acknowledged that they did not spend their entire capital budget, not saying anything? Zille now realises that the ANC has exposed their incompetence.”

Read more: The New Age, Politicsweb
 
Julius Malema’s new house is causing a ruction or two. Firstly, over the weekend, the DA’s shadow minister of police Diane Kohler Barnard, called for a Sars investigation into how Malema could afford this (allegedly R16 million) house on his R20,000 a month salary, as well as pay R78,000 for a stay in a game reserve in cash. The Youth League retorted that Sars was not supposed to be taking orders from the DA, but said Malema would cooperate with any investigation. Barnard wrote to Sars yesterday, obtaining a reference number on receipt of the letter, but a Sars spokesman said he had not yet received it, although he did confirm that discussions would be had, as is protocol, on whether an investigation was merited. The Freedom Front Plus has called upon Malema to be honest about his finances, since much of his personal information – such as tax returns and payments – would remain confidential if Sars investigates.

Read more: Sapa, Sapa, Politicsweb


IN BRIEF

Fedusa has agreed to join a protest with Cosatu over the proposed Gauteng tolls. Said Dennis George, general secretary: “The open road tolling system is aimed at consolidating the privatisation of our national roads and this simply cannot be allowed to happen.”

The ANC Youth League wished deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe a happy birthday yesterday in a statement full of gushing praise leaving us in no doubt as to how the league feels about him: “Kgalema Motlanthe held the ANC together amidst massive difficulties of intolerance and purging of leaders of the ANC,” “Kgalema Motlanthe excellently and modestly managed the transition…” in “a very modest and wise manner”, “Kgalema Motlanthe represents a brighter future of the ANC” and so on.

Read more: Politicsweb

The DA is unimpressed with the proposed Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill which seeks to up rates bills of as-yet unspecified properties. It is expected that guest houses and people who own more than one property will pay rates in a higher bracket. James Lorimer and Marti Wenger said in a statement: “That clarification will be helpful to know the deputy minister’s intentions, but will not change the DA’s opposition to any redefinition of residential property for ratings purposes.” You’d think we’d at least be allowed to get used to Eskom and tolls increases first, wouldn’t you?

Read more: Politicsweb
 
The ANC’s post-lekgotla press conference statement acknowledged South Africa’s education mud pit, delighted in the increase in voluntary HIV testing, mentioned something about starting SA’s own pharmaceutical company, agreed on a comprehensive rural development plan and decided local government was a point of much-needed focus.

Read more: Politicsweb, Daily Maverick

Manguang municipality (where you will find Bloemfontein) will start shutting down the water supply to residents who have not paid their accounts. The DA has expressed concern at this and reminded the municipality that access to water is a Constitutional right. Councillors said the municipality could only provide free water if people registered for it.

Read more: Sapa

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has called for more funds for traditional councils and said, “People who work in those offices do not get paid and there is also no money for water and electricity. This is bad. We did not expect this treatment from our black government.” Buthelezi said the councils were to promote the role of traditional leadership and enhance unity among traditional communities. He made these remarks at a two-day workshop also attended by acting traditional affairs minister Nathi Mthethwa and KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize.

Read more: Sapa

Meanwhile, Mkhize claimed the ANC leadership in his province was still 100% behind ANC president Jacob Zuma. He also, expectedly, denied that the probe into two senior ANC members in the province had anything to do with political motivation or succession.

Read more: Sapa

The DA in Gauteng has begun a campaign to force deadbeat dads to cough up with cash for mothers they’ve abandoned. This follows a rights-awareness campaign in Western Cape last year in which 150 defaulting fathers handed themselves over to police, 120 were arrested at roadblocks and R300,000 was recovered.

Read more: Sapa


Photo: Reuters

Gallery

ANALYSIS

Zondo Commission will be long and thorough – will it outlast President Ramaphosa?

By Ferial Haffajee

Microwave popcorn is nothing special. You can have the same effect with normal popcorn kernels and a brown paper bag.

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