Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen has outlined what he believes are the reasons behind the non-functioning of several municipalities in South Africa, saying the needs of the public are not being put first. It comes as South Africa prepares for Local Government Elections on November 1.

Steenhuisen was addressing the DA’s final rally in Mary Fitzgerald, Johannesburg.

“Why must South Africa be this country? Why must we have the world’s highest youth unemployment? Surely we can do better than that? And the answer, Democrats, is yes we can. Because you see, as a party of government, the ANC has a fatal flaw. It puts its own interests ahead of the interests of the people it is meant to serve. When this is repeated across all the departments for many years, local governments simply stop working, and because no one is ever held accountable for their performance, it carries on and on until the entire thing just collapses.”

GALLERY: DA final rally

Steenhuisen says his party understands what it is to run an efficient municipality and the positive effect this can have on people’s lives. He says various rankings by local and international institutions bear out the DA’s claim that it gets things done.

“Objectively you are more likely to have access to water, electricity, and regular refuse removal if you live in a DA municipality. Objectively you are more likely to receive services for free if you are poor and live in a DA-run municipality. Objectively you have a better chance of finding work if you live in a DA-run municipality, objectively less public money will be wasted, stolen, or misreported in a DA-run municipality. And because all these things are true DA municipalities operate in a sustainable cycle.”

Unemployment rates

Steenhuisen adds that municipalities run by the party consistently work towards lowering unemployment rates and ensuring financial sustainability.

“It’s DA governments that are shown to have the most pro-poor offer of services. Stats SA also tells us where you will find the highest and lowest unemployment rates. Here we can see that CTN has the lowest unemployment rate of all the metros by some distance and that DA-run Midvaal has a far lower unemployment rate than any of its ANC-run neighbours. We can rank municipalities according to their financial sustainability and these rankings put DA-run municipalities in the top five positions.”

Steenhuisen delivers keynote address at DA’s final rally: 23 October 2021