Until election day on 1 November, The Citizen is opening up space for political parties and independent candidates to promote themselves and their platforms in their own words.
To level the playing field, all parties and independent candidates will answer the same five questions in a maximum of 150 words per question.
If you wish to take part, please e-mail amandaw@ citizen.co.za.
Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) speaks.
Democratic Alliance Q&A
1. Complete the statement: I believe the DA is the best to elect to run municipalities because …
… there is plenty of hard evidence that when the DA gets a strong enough mandate, we clean up a town, stabilise its finances, plan and invest for the future and improve service delivery, creating jobs in the process.
We want to bring this same record of excellence to South Africans across the country. Where the DA governs, we get things done.
In the DA-run Western Cape and our municipalities and metros across South Africa, this tide of corruption, despair and economic decline is coming to a stop. This is evident by the fact that the top five municipalities in the country are all governed by the DA.
2. How will you cut municipalities’ costs such as excessive salaries, vehicle allowances, staff complements and the like?
Where the DA governs we have a track record of reducing fruitless and wasteful expenditure and keeping staff costs down.
We can achieve this in more municipalities, if elected, by ensuring that government officials are appointed fairly, based on the value that they add to the organisation and not their political connections.
We will also conduct skills audits in municipal departments to ensure the filling of posts by skilled personnel.
3. How will you hold your local government representatives accountable? (How will they report to the people?)
The DA has committed itself to ensuring transparency and accountability.
Like in Mossel Bay municipality, where a service monitoring committee meets weekly to discuss service delivery issues and officials have to account for unresolved reported problems.
We will communicate service level agreements (SLA) and turnaround times on all service delivery queries lodged.
We will also link each SLA and turnaround time to the responsible political principal/official to ensure accountability.
Where there has been a persistent failure of basic services, the DA supports municipal residents’ associations to enforce their rights against local governments.
4. People are broke and battling to pay their municipal bills, unemployment is at a record high. What are your plans to stimulate the local economy and help ratepayers meet their obligations?
The national government’s years of economic mismanagement, coupled with the continued lockdown and many regulations, have left an already struggling South African economy on the brink of implosion.
In spite of this backdrop, DA governments have continued to create jobs and attract foreign direct investment.
Where we get into government for the first time, simply getting the basics right will be the biggest contribution we can make to the economic prosperity of residents.
5. What are your 100 days in office goals?
A DA government will ensure that every community has access to reliable, clean, running water. The DA wants to provide hygienic environments for all South Africans through effective waste collection and rubbish disposal.
The DA will also work to free residents from Eskom load shedding and enhance access to reliable, affordable,
and sustainable electricity.
We will also seek to build world-class roads and public transport, be tough on crime, collaborate for sustainable
housing and adopt a holistic approach to keeping communities in good health.