The following remarks were made by Mmusi Maimane MP, DA Parliamentary Leader, Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth, as part of his Power to the People tour, to consult South Africans on the real state of the nation. Maimane was joined by DA Eastern Cape Provincial Deputy Leader Bobby Stevenson MPL, DA Eastern Cape Provincial Chairperson Veliswa Mvenya MPL and Constituency Head Nqaba Bhanga MP:
It is good to be in Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) this morning where, looking at the past 4 election results, the DA keeps going from strength to strength.
I am filled with hope when I think of this metro, because I know that in 2016 the DA can win NMB and restore power to the people!
The ANC in NMB is a sinking ship because residents here have realised that they do not deliver on promises, and that President Zuma does not have the interests of the people at heart.
Nelson Mandela Bay is a story of missed opportunity. The metro that bears the name of the father of our democracy should be a shining example of service delivery to its people.
This city has a great deal of potential, but that potential is being undermined by the same poor governance and corruption that I have seen in so many communities around this country, in places like Atteridgeville, Mogalakwena, Riverlea and Ikageng.
The R4 billion infrastructure backlog in this metro means that Airport Valley residents are forced to use bucket toilets. Their use in has NMB increased dramatically from 22,500 buckets in 2012, to 30202 in 2013.
Last year, ANC funders allegedly benefited from contracts worth millions to build the Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS), with none of these contracts going out to tender. The stagnant project has cost the metro millions, with no benefit to the community. This is another example of fruitless expenditure and corruption under the leadership of the ANC.
Unemployment is also unacceptably high in NMB at 37%, with major job-creating investments being lost in the metro due to electricity supply concerns.
We will not see the residents of Airport Valley and elsewhere get ahead until basic services are in place, and our economy can provide jobs to the millions of South Africans who are without work.
But as long as Eskom is unable to supply the power our economy needs to grow, this will not happen.
Each time the power goes out in Nelson Mandela Bay it costs business here between R20,000 and R100,000, according to local reports.
How can we expect business to build new factories and expand their operations in this city while Eskom cannot provide a reliable power supply?
Electricity here in NMB is also amongst the country’s most expensive.
The problem of overpriced, and yet undersupplied, electricity is what cost the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) a massive investment in a $2,7 billion aluminium smelter here, which was moved to Canada instead.
It also the reason why major companies are locked in a legal battle with the metro.
Make no mistake – the electricity crisis is ANC-made, not Apartheid-made. We must demand accountability from the President and his government and not tolerate his excuses.
I want to talk to the conscience of the President and the ANC. That is why I will be delivering an address tomorrow at Chancellor House, not the ANC’s front company that profited from the electricity crisis, but at Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo’s law firm by the same name.
This place, now a museum, symbolizes more than any other the shift from the values and freedoms on which our democracy was founded, to the self-interest and crony capitalism behind South Africa’s electricity crisis.
On Thursday when President Zuma accounts to Parliament for the ANC-made electricity crisis, he must announce the reforms needed to clean up his party’s mess.
He must announce that the Eskom monopoly will be broken by taking the management of the national electricity grid away from them. He must announce a massive up-scaling in renewable energy, and electricity contributions from independent power producers. And he must abandon the R1 trillion nuclear deal for which future generations of South Africans will pay in electricity price hikes.
We will also be listening closely to how the President accounts on the issues of crime, corruption, education and unemployment – especially among the youth.
We reject attempts from both the ANC and the EFF to undermine Parliament’s constitutional role of holding the President accountable for the state of our nation.
Reports of special security training for Parliament’s protection officers ahead of Thursday, and the EFF’s plans to disrupt the opening of parliament, make a mockery of the crises our country faces, and Parliament’s role of ensuring accountability.
These theatrical gestures only serve to damage our democracy and provide an excuse to the ANC to capture the institutions of our state.
The DA has shown that real accountability can only happen through our democratic institutions.
Through our use of the courts, we will soon see a review of the NPA’s decision to drop 783 counts of corruption, fraud and racketeering against the President.
It has taken 5 years, but there is no doubt that the President has his day coming. In this time of crisis for our country, we will respect the institution of Parliament and its role of holding the President to account for the state of the nation.
Power to the People!
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