The DA is the party of the big capitalists- they are racist and are for keeping the working class forever as slaves

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is the party of the rich. They say that job creation must be carried out by the international companies with the help of the local capitalists. But let us look at the track record of these capitalists since 1994:

 

The DA stands for more unemployment

Between 1994 to 2010 national unemployment among ‘whites’ have gone up from 55000 to 147 000 (and increase of 92 000), among ‘coloureds’ from 339 000 to 510 000 (an increase of 171 000), among ‘Africans’ from 3216000 to 5430000 (an increase of 2.2 million). In 2010 the province where there was the greatest loss of jobs was the Western Cape, a nett total of 45 000, many of these in the clothing industry. When Rex Trueform and other clothing companies were closing down, where was the DA? Absent. What did the DA do to fight the loss of tens of thousands of jobs? Nothing.

 

The very companies who have retrenched millions of workers are the funders of the DA. The DA’s claim that they stand for jobs, is false.

 

The DA defends the existence of labour brokers. They claim that they are for self-regulation of the industry. In other words, they say that the labour brokers must make sure that they do not exploit their workers. This is like giving a wolf a manual on how to take care of sheep. The DA is asking the very exploiters, who don’t give any benefits, who pay you the least, who fire you without a hearing, to make sure that workers rights are protected! In other words the DA stands for the slavery of workers; the DA has no problem that 2 million workers are suffering under labour brokers; they open the door to other companies to retrench more workers and to hire more labour brokers which will give the bosses more profits and workers less wages.

 

The DA gives fat contracts to their rich pals while they even go to court to deny black residents of the city decent toilet enclosures. Haw & Inglis, a big capitalist firm was given the major part of the R220 million contract to widen hospital bend (near Cape Town) to ease the traffic congestion. The widening of the N2 into Cape Town should have cost R20 million or less. The flyover from Grootte Schuur to the N2 (inbound) should never have been built (as it is so seldom used), while the outbound construction was a compete failure, causing delays of 20 -40 minutes (sometimes more) for traffic heading home in the afternoon.

 

The same Haw and Inglis was awarded a R150 million contract for widening the N2 along the Knynsa lagoon so that the French soccer team could have a more comfortable travel to their matches from their base there (over the 2 weeks they stayed there in 2010). Yet the City has no money toilet enclosures.

 

The City and province contributed R612 million to the construction of the white elephant, the Cape Town stadium. The capitalists who got the lion’s share of the R4.4 Bn contract for the stadium were Murray & Roberts and WBHO.

 

For the so-called Integrated Rapid Transit  (IRT) network the DA-controlled city awarded the juicy contracts to the big capitalists: Civils 2000 received R144 million; Martin East received R210 million; WBHO received R115 million; Group 5 received R137 million, Baseline R99 million. (and this is only up to January 2010). Now, there is nothing integrated or rapid about the IRT (except the rapid profiteering by the capitalists). The MyCiti buses, costing millions, run empty or with one or two passengers. The West Coast traffic has been crammed into 2 lanes for months while the bus lane lies vacant. Even when the bus lane opens, it is unlikely that the traffic will ease much, as the cost of bus travel which subsidizes the rich capitalist friends of the DA, will not be cheap.

 

The real reason why the DA opposes national criteria for ‘employment equity’ is because they want to maintain the privilege of the white middle class: over 76% of top management are ‘white’, while ‘coloured’ make up only 2% (while being 9% of the population) and ‘african’ make up only 14%  (while being 80% of the population) of the top layers. As the economy is not growing and there is always a high turnover of management, this means that the privileged position of the ‘white’ middle class, who has the highest standard of living of any group in the whole world, is under threat. The Equity provisions deals with new job vacancies and not with dismissing workers to meet targets. The DA claims they are applying regional criteria- but even this is not true as the ‘coloured’ section of the Western Cape population is over 52%; yet the top management is overwhelmingly ‘white’, while ‘coloured’ top managers are only a fraction. The DA is opposing real measures to transform upper layers of companies. This white upper middle class is the base of the DA. This is why the DA is deliberately sweeping up ‘coloured’ and ‘indian’ workers,  falsely claiming they will be dismissed, when it is really only the white middle class who will have themselves squeezed out of the top management positions. The proposed amendments are to give teeth to force the employment of more ‘coloured’ and ‘african’ top managers. This is what scares the DA. Here we see their racism uncovered. The truth is that the DA needs the support of ‘coloured’ workers if they are to retain their hold over the city. This is why the DA is so desperate to create a ‘swart gevaar’ sentiment among ‘coloured’ workers, just as the Nats used to do before 1994.  

 

According to StatsSA, in the categories of unskilled workers, plant and machine operators, craft and related trades, sales and services, ‘African’ workers are already at 80% of the national profile. [Craft workers are 71% ‘African’]. This means that no ‘Coloured’ , ‘Indian’ or ‘White’ worker will be affected in the Western Cape nor in any other province in these categories. In any case it is illegal to dismiss workers to achieve a ‘equity target’.

 

Clamping down on ‘illegal squatting’- a new form of influx control:

When the Abahlali Western Cape tried to occupy some vacant land in Khayelitsha a few months ago, they were brutally suppressed by the City’s ‘land invasion’ unit. Many of the residents were (and still are) living under electricity pylons- something which is hazardous to their health. The DA-controlled city does not want any new squatter camps- this is really a new form of influx control- similar to what the apartheid regime used to do- in the past, ‘african’ workers were expelled because they did not have the dompas; now the city expels ‘african’ workers with the excuse of acting against illegal squatting. The result is the same- to send the excess ‘african’ unemployed worker to the rural Eastern Cape to die of starvation.

 

Dismiss teachers who ‘came from the Bantustan education system’

The DA’s Wilmot James (on the 13th April 2011) called for the dismissal of bad teachers, many who ‘came from the Bantustan education system’ as a key part of improving the education system.

 

The international companies that the DA promotes, only need Africa as a place for exporting raw materials- they do not need much skilled labour. This is the reason why the education system produces largely unskilled workers. If the capitalists needed huge numbers of skilled workers they would have funded more teacher training and educational institutes. The technology to produce a computer microchip, for example, is kept away from Africa so that we can always be dependent on the international companies.

 

The DA blames the teachers and covers up the role of the international companies in keeping the latest scientific knowledge away from the working class. The DA’s threat to dismiss teachers is really a threat to weaken if not destroy the base of the Cosatu teacher union, Sadtu. There is over 40% unemployment in many working class areas across the country- how are children expected to learn if for millions, the only meal a day is the sandwich they receive from the school feeding scheme (and in many cases there are no feeding schemes). The root of ‘poor’ teaching is the capitalist system

 

Privatization of water and electricity, disguised as an ‘indigent’ ‘policy’

The DA makes much of their ‘indigent policy’, implying that they are so generous and caring for the poor. A closer look at the implementation of the policy shows their true colours:

 

Before you can get onto the indigent scheme you have to pay off your debts. People apply because they do not have money, are unemployed or work for peanuts for some labour broker. So to try to get onto the indigent list many people resort to selling their furniture, their beds, their stoves, their basic necessities to Cash Crusaders. Thus to get on the list you have to make yourself even more indigent. Some even take out loans from the loan sharks just to get on to the list. Many land up paying off part of their debts with the city but do not manage to get on to the list, only deeper in debt.

 

Secondly to qualify for the list you have to sign that you will have a pre-paid water and electricity meter installed. This is nothing else but preparation for the privatization of water and electricity. The fight for water and electricity now becomes individualized, and thus weaker. If you do not have water, it is because you did not pay. Your neighbour may scrape together a few Rands to pay for water so does not feel the pressure when your water gets cut off.

 

Some pensioners have complained that they used to pay R150 per month for water and they now pay R750 per month (now that the water meter is installed). Several people are sitting with water bills of R7000 and R11 000. This is because the City does not send people to come out to even read the meters that they installed. The City estimates the water usage, despite having meters installed. Even if you pay your water bill after it is cut off, the water is often only re-connected the next day (in some cases it takes days).

 

What the water meter does is transfer the bill for leaking pipes of the city onto the shoulders of the poor. The water meters being used do not even carry the SABS approval and as such are untested.

 

The electricity meters have made it difficult for the working class to take up a joint fight against electricity price increases. [if you do not pay, you do not have electricity]. The increased use of water meters opens the way for the privatization of water and thus their massive increase in prices, much as electricity has been hiked for the masses while big capital gets low rates (in effect being subsidized by the poor).

 

We call for the city to open their books to reveal the top 20 of those with arrears in water payments- we are confident that the list will reveal that the companies are the main defaulters that are treated leniently, while the poor suffer the brunt of the city’s ‘indigent policy’.

 

When residents were demanding electricity in Brown’s Farm, Du Noon and Phillipi East, the DA’s response (in the person of Richard Bosman) was : ‘it is not the city’s reponsibility’.

 

Further, the DA-controlled city admitted they were aware for a long time that people were eating food that had past its sell-by-date from the municipal dump. They did nothing about it.

 

Water should be free for everybody. Down with the water meters! Electricity provision should be freed from the clutches of Anglo American and other capitalists. Scrap the electricity subsidies for big capital. Solar and wind energy should be used for electricity.

 

Workers have reporting losing their houses due to their inability to pay their water bills. What does the City do? Evict the indigent from their houses and from squatter camps, to a living hell, a tin shack town called Blikkiesdorp, far from the centre of the city. The city was part of the attempt to evict the 20 000 residents from Joe Slovo in Langa, to Blikkiesdorp.  

 

Shoot their eyes out…Hangberg

The DA-controlled city claims that they are caring for the poor but in Hout Bay. When the homeless residents started to object to the land being sold to some rich capitalist, they occupied a small barren stretch of rock. The City sent in the police and in the process several people were shot, including 3 who had their eyes shot out. When Samwu shopsteward, Petros Msiza, was shot down by the police in a recent municipal drivers strike in Gauteng, the DA did not condemn it but were more concerned with the inability of the Council to replace the drivers who were on strike (See statement of Justus De Goede 4.4.2011 in the Eastern Times). The DA cannot claim to stand with the family of Tatane when they use the same police violence against the masses, not only in Hangberg, but all over the city.

 

Palestine

In 2008-9 when the Israeli army brutally murdered 1400 Palestinians in Gaza (among them many women and children), the DA called on both ‘sides’ to refrain from violence. They refused to condemn the massacre of the largely unarmed Palestinians by the 4th biggest army in the world.

 

The DA does not support the right of return of the 6 million Palestinian refugees who are scattered in concentration camps throughout the region. The DA stands for a Bantustan for the Palestinians comprising Gaza and part of the West Bank.

 

The DA supported the Mitchell and Tenet plans which call for the joint working together of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Israelis to put Palestinian fighters in jail on the West Bank. Today hundreds of Palestinians are in the jails of the PA, while over 7000 Palestinians (including many women and children) are held in prisons in ‘Israel’ (for example Nael Barghouti has been in prison in Israel for 34 years- Israel holds the title in the Guinness book of records of keeping prisoners the longest in jail).

 

Recently, despite local objections the DA-controlled City hosted an Israeli Ice hockey team. During this tour, back in Gaza, Israel was bombing the innocent yet again. A Palestinian man was called from the mosque where he was praying only to be told his daughter and wife had been bombed to pieces by the Israelis. His daughter was to be married the next week.

 

Libya

The DA was the first party in South Africa to call for the imperialist UN to invade Libya. They congratulated the ANC government for voting on the UN Security Council in favour of bombing the masses in Libya. Now the imperialists are in a feeding frenzy, falling over one another’s feet to get the oil of Libya. The UN uses radio-active ‘depleted’ Uranium bombs in Libya, devastating areas that will now be unusable for thousands of years.

 

The bombing campaign in Libya opened the door for the UN to send French troops to invade the Ivory Coast.

 

Liberal International

The DA is part of the Liberal International. The Liberal International has as members Alassane Ouattara of the Rally of the Republicans in the Ivory Coast. Ouattara has been installed through the invasion of French troops, with the blessing of the imperialist UN. Ouattara was an IMF (International Monetary Fund) deputy director for 5 years and is clearly the tool of the US and French imperialists, who now have control over the world’s biggest cacao producer.

Other members include the Alliance for Renewal of the Congo, which is part of the government of the DRC. This government has been involved in the rape and plunder of the resources of the DRC in wars (that are still continuing), where over 6 million have been killed, while Anglo American and other imperialists walk off with the diamonds, gold and cassiterite (the world’s biggest deposit is in the DRC- this mineral is used for laptops, cellphones and Sony playstations).

 

Other members include the Israeli Liberal group that is part of the Israeli parliament which oversees all the atrocities against Palestinians.

 

Other members include the Tomorrow party (el Ghad) which was part of the parliament during the days of Mubarak in Egypt- in other words, they operated with the blessing of the dictator and gave legitimacy to him.

 

‘Rent a cop’

In the DA’s ‘fight’ against crime, they offer us their ‘rent a cop’ scheme (privatizing the police). The only ones who would be able to afford to hire the cops would be the rich. Imagine some druglord using somebody as a front and hiring the cops- they would be able to buy protection from the police against the masses. (Some may argue that the druglords already have the cops on their payroll and this scheme just formalises it.)

 

The DA privatizes everything. If there was a way to bottle air and sell it to the masses, you can be sure the DA would long ago have introduced pre-paid air meters.

 

Make the masses wait forever to return to District 6

We can see that it is election time. A handful of houses are being built in District 6 to show that ‘progress’ is being made, while the thousands of claimants are kept waiting. Since the last election, several of the claimants have died. The DA is part of an Advocacy group which champions the cause of the property holders who were from District 6- many of them from the rich upper class who have their own houses. Many of those evicted from District 6 were tenants for the Advocacy group members that the DA defends.

 

A pensioner was reported to say that she could not afford to move back to her home in District 6 as she could not get the required R200 000 loan from a bank. The DA has privatized the return of those evicted from District 6 by the apartheid regime. Surely the City (and other levels of government) should accept that the state was responsible for the eviction and should bear all the cost for the return of the masses to District 6.

 

World class mayor?

Lastly, the DA makes much of Zille’s award as best mayor in the world for 2008. Firstly the award is not made by the people but by a select group of self-appointed ‘experts’ (a help-us-become-president club). The criteria are purely capitalist and do not deal with factors such as housing all people in decent homes; were all druglords locked up; was there state violence against the poor, etc.

 

Secondly, the Mayor of the year awards is designed to boost the profile of the recipient using capitalist criteria. The 2010 winner (Marcelo Ebrard- mayor of Mexico city) is considering running for president in their 2012 elections.

 

Yet Greater Mexico city, home to 25 million people, is largely a massive slum. More than 60% of the dwellings are one-room shacks. Many do not have electricity and water. Many of the multinational companies that operate there are exempt from labour laws, setting up maquiladoras (sweat shops), where workers work as casuals. More than 26% of the workforce work in these sweat shops. The multinationals make huge profits from this flexible labour market. Yet Ebrard won the award because he developed an ‘indigent policy’ with a few crumbs which kept the masses from the path of revolution (for the moment). There are slum areas in Mexico city which each contain more than 1 million people. The rich and the capitalist politicians buy up lots, subdivide them and sell them, without services, at a profit. In other words even the slums are privatized. The capitalist politicians sell plots and services for attendance at political rallies. To get bank finance you have to attend 100 rallies; if you want to get a sidewalk in front of your ‘house’, you have to attend 40 more rallies.

 

In its bid to keep Mexico as its slave camp and increasing the desperation of the masses, over 30 000 Mexican workers were killed over the past 2-3 years at the borders with the USA. The multinational corporations made huge and increased profits over the past few years. In 2009, 44 000 workers at the state electricity company were dismissed. Such is the background to the award to Ebrard for mayor of the year.

 

While Zille was mayor of Cape Town they promised the same housing project in Pelican Park to different communities; the city moved to evict a number of communities from their informal settlements; the over 200 squatter camps in the City still exist and the masses are still waiting for housing. In fact, despite the efforts of the city to demolish more squatter camps, the numbers are growing because housing development is lagging behind population growth and the banks control the land and charge huge prices that enslave people who can afford them, for 20-30 years, or exclude the vast majority.

 

For helping to maintain this desperation for housing, creating huge profits for the banks, the DA’s Zille was given the award of ‘best mayor of the year’.

 

A lack of transparency

The DA claims to be transparent yet they refuse to reveal where they get their funding from or how much they are spending on the elections. Now if the DA had really delivered to the masses why do they have to put up so many posters (on virtually every lamppost throughout the Cape Metro, if not all the cities and towns in the country). The cost of decent toilet enclosures for the masses in Khayelitsha would have cost far less and would have been real delivery instead of artificially trying to build up their image.

 

Let us tell the masses who really funds the DA: it is the companies who are responsible for high prices, who are evicting the poor and re-possessing homes, who are retrenching huge numbers of workers, who promote cheap labour through their use of labour brokers. This is why the DA does not want to reveal this information, why they are not transparent, because the masses would easily see who the DA is really loyal to, the big capitalists.

 

This is the DA, who wants your vote, who does not even have a policy on the rural areas (except to drive the excess homeless out of the cities to such areas). This is the DA who now wants to take over the running of the train network at local level. We can only expect train fare to double and triple in the hands of the DA as they will hand it over to the capitalists to make a profit(and judging from the hospital bend debacle you will pay triple and still be late for work).

 

The time has come for the masses to unite, as the masses in Egypt have begun to show us- let us get rid of the capitalist system and thus the parasites that live off the sweat of the working class but do nothing.

 

Issued by Workers International Vanguard League 1st Floor Community House, 41 Salt River rd, Salt River, 7925 South Africa ph 0822020617 email workersinternational@gmail.com web www.workersinternational.org.za

17.4.2011