Daily Maverick

DA puts people above politics where we govern

Original photo by EPA

The party is rising to the challenge of taking into account the sometimes conflicting needs of as many as 16 million people across the country and of negotiating the often choppy waters of coalition governments.

A recent article published in Daily Maverick alleges that the DA is undergoing a “mayoral meltdown” and cites examples of difficulties facing the party.

It is no secret that the DA has faced challenges over the past few months and we have always tried to address these transparently. Some of these challenges are the result of being a fast-growing party that now governs more than 16 million South Africans across the country. We have had to face the realities and complexities that come with governance, particularly in the era of coalition governments.

Despite this, the DA has and always will be focused on serving the people of South Africa. We will never compromise on this principle.

The DA, unlike the ANC, is steadfast in our commitment to deliver where we govern and that includes rooting out maladministration and corruption even when doing so could potentially harm our own image.

In 2016, millions of South Africans gave the DA the mandate to serve in municipalities across the country. While we have drawn attention to corruption in our role as Opposition in these councils, after the local government elections, the endemic culture of corruption in the former ANC- controlled governments came starkly to the fore.

In the City of Johannesburg, under the leadership of Mayor Herman Mashaba, hundreds of officials have been fired, following extensive investigations uncovering rampant corruption in the municipality. In the City of Tshwane, nearly 1,000 people were employed in the former mayor’s private office as part of an extended patronage network spanning the entire former administration.

This is the legacy of a party that does not hold their leaders accountable. Seemingly the only way for an ANC mayor to be taken to task is when they speak out against the president. In the case of the North West, it was not a deep held ethos of accountability that forced action against Supra Mahumapelo but rather sustained public pressure and a complete breakdown of the administration of the province.

In fact, the disposed premier faces no real consequences as he remains a MPL and the ANC’s provincial chairperson in the province. This lack of accountability extends to the top where the ANC brought South Africa to near collapse with their continued support for then-president Jacob Zuma.

The ANC’s internal battles across the country prove that the ANC cares little for the plight of constituents.

The DA operates on a different mantra of clean governance, where individuals elected to serve a community do not come before the community. Not only did the DA include an accountability clause to our party constitution in order to hold elected officials to account, we have a performance management system that tracks performance of officials throughout their tenure. The intention behind all of this is to ensure service delivery and accountability are always prioritised.

While the continued ANC infighting compromises service delivery, we in the DA have never lost sight of our mandate to deliver where we govern. The Western Cape continues to see the highest year-on-year employment increase over the past year with 123,000 net new jobs created. This represents 75% of all jobs created in the entire country in the past year. In fact, since 2009 when the DA was first elected, 487,000 net new jobs have been created by the DA-led Western Cape government.

The DA will always expose maladministration and wrongdoing even if it presents itself within our ranks; South Africans deserve nothing less. DM

Natasha Mazzone MP – DA Deputy Chairperson of Federal Council.

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