Well that didn’t take too long. The National People’s Party has already descended into infighting and expulsions.
The NPP was formed by a number of Western Cape councilors with much bluster and hype who hoped to break the DA alliance on the Cape Town City Council and set themselves up to be king makers in the region. For those of you who can remember back to the most recent municipal elections this was the same tactic the ID tried and just like for the ID it failed miserably, with the DA still retaining control of Cape Town. The ID had to change track when it’s voters went into open revolt over it’s decision to ally with the ANC and is now a partner to the DA.
The NPP, having no voters, instead now has to turn in on itself. Come the next municipal elections I predict they’ll be all but wiped out.
Mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille was arrested for taking part in a march against drug dealers on the Cape Flats.
There seems to be some confusion as to whether the march was legal. This article from News24 claims the march was legal, this article from IOL claims that Zille was arrested for attending an ‘illegal gathering’.The use of ‘illegal gatherings’ to disperse marchers is a bit concerning. According to our Constitution, section 17 of the Bill of Rights states:
Everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions.
So unless these protesters were brandishing weapons and tipping over cars, something I don’t think Helen Zille would associate herself with, there couldn’t have been much of a problem?
The Western Cape provincial branch of COSATU is about to withdraw from the nationwide public services strike. I assume this means they have decided to accept the government’s latest salary increase offer.
I think this is a bit of a watershed moment in labour/government relations. Not only is there a split in the ANC/COSATU/SACP tri-partite alliance but it seems there might even be splits amongst COSATU itself, both at a national level (between Willie Madisha and Zwelinzima Vavi) and now on a regional level. It will be interesting to see how other COSATU provincial branches react.
It’s also interesting to note that many people suspected COSATU planned to use the strike in order to influence the upcoming ANC policy committee meeting. Now COSATU are going into the meeting with even less power than before.
Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool (be sure to read his scintillating blog) is to face a probe deciding whether he misled the provincial legislature about the costs of security upgrades to his house. The DA brought forth the motion and surprisingly it was supported by the ANC. No doubt the ‘Africanist’ faction led by Mcebisi Skwatsha of the Western Cape ANC is behind this, they’ve had their targets on Rasool for a while now.
Still it’s nice to know that bipartisanship is actually possible in SA politics.
Mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille has been elected as the new leader of the DA, beating out DA Federal Chairman Joe Seremane and Easter Cape Provinicial Leader Athol Trollip.
What’s interesting to me was the utter shellacking Joe Seremane received in the voting. Seremane received a mere 65 votes, compared to Zille’s 786. Even supposed no-hoper Athol Trollip received 228 votes. I’ll bet that some spin doctors in Luthuli House are making note of that.
Due to the fact that Zille will retain her position as Mayor of Cape Town and will not be present in parliament, the DA will have to appoint a parliamentary representative to take her place. I assume this will be Joe Seremane.
Although Zille is a competent and able leader I do hope that her reign as leader takes the form of night watchman rather than a long term leader. The DA is still facing a leadership crisis in that the top leadership is still dominated by white males. Perhaps we should be keeping an eye on some of the DA’s Young Guns?
The media is all abuzz with stories that Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille is feuding with DA Western Cape Leader Theuns Botha. What makes the story all the more juicy is that Botha is supposedly in cahoots with ID Leader Patricia De Lille. According to reports Botha is not keen to have Zille become national DA leader as that would make him her subordinate. Tony Leon was quick to jump in and declare any stories about feuds and plots to be little more than media ‘distortion’. Despite proclaiming in his last weekly e-mail newsletter that the DA is proud of it’s transparent leadership selection process it seems when things get nasty it’s time to take things behind closed doors.
If this is all true it’s unclear to me why Botha would be conspiring with the ID. Sure he may not like Zille but why does Patricia De Lille not want Zille to become national DA leader? Perhaps in becoming DA leader Zille would dethrone De Lilla as first lady of opposition politics? Or does De Lille believe it would strengthen the DA in the Western Cape and perhaps thwart any plans the ID had of swapping alleigances (again) when floor crossing occurs again in September?
To tell you the truth I’ve never really liked Theuns Botha. To me he is a leftover from the highly unsuccessful DP/NNP merger and every time I see him I get the feeling the only reason he didn’t follow the rest of his NNP pals to the ANC was because of his still lingering dislike for ‘die kommuniste’. Although I could have the man all wrong.
A few months ago the national and provincial housing departments excluded the Cape Town municipality from the N2 Gateway Housing project claiming that it was a project of national importance. Well that decision seems to have come back to haunt them because the CT municipality would have been perfect scapegoats for the current problems at the project.
Residents slam govt houses
It will cost millions of rand to repair structural damage caused by poor workmanship to the N2 Gateway housing project.
Richard Dyantyi, provincial minister of housing, said it was shocking that problems were being experienced at rental units in phase 1 less than a year after construction.
The N2 gateweay project is still way way behind schedule. 705 units have been made available but when you consider that Cape Town has a housing backlog of 400 000 people then it really is more of a shiny showcase than an actual solution to Cape Town’s housing problem.
Mayor Of Cape Town Helen Zille has announced that she will be running for the position of leader of the DA.
If she wins she will not be vacating her post as mayor and instead will have to simultaneously juggle both positions. For instance she will have daily 7am meetings with her mayoral staff and then an hour later pop over to parliament for another meeting with national DA staff.
Personally I don’t think it’s a good idea. Cape Town is really too important for the DA to mess up. If they do the ANC will pounce on the opportunity to show the DA are incapable of governing. With the upcoming preparations for 2010 and no doubt some further attacks by the ANC on getting her out of power I feel Zille needs to be 100% committed to Cape Town.
We don’t think South Africa is seen as an enemy
That’s National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee Director-General Barry Gilder on whether SA could be a target for Islamist terrorist groups.
Perhaps Mr Gilder has forgotten the bombing spree in the second half of the 1990’s in Cape Town perpetrated by local Islamist groups (at the time thought to be PAGAD and Qibla) including the Planet Hollywood bombing in August of 1998?
Western Cape Transport and Public Works MEC Marius Fransman has proposed a moratorium on employment equity in order to lure back skilled white expats to the Western Cape. While I’m sure many will applaud this proposal the fact is that it’s not going to work.
Most skilled South Africans who leave don’t do it because of employment equity, they do so either to earn more money, for better employment opportunities in their field or for travel. The growing number of black South Africans seeking work opportunities out of the country is a testament to the lure of working overseas. Other countries, especially Commonwealth countries, face the same difficulty of losing skilled workers to London and Europe. There are probably as many Australians as South Africans in the UK but I don’t think they left Australia due to employment equity back home.Update: Manual stands firm in equity debate
Finance Minister Trevor Manuel on Thursday poured cold water on calls for a change to affirmative action and the country’s employment equity law.
However he does admit that current law is not being implemented correctly
It is there. In its practice it frequently is very poorly used. It is sadly abused, but it is there and the intent of the Act is abundantly clear.