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
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
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
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
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
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
Dismiss teachers who ‘came from the
The DA’s Wilmot James (on
The international companies
that the DA promotes, only need
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
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
In 2008-9 when the Israeli
army brutally murdered 1400 Palestinians in
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
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
Recently, despite local
The DA was the first party
The bombing campaign in
The DA is part of the
Liberal International. The Liberal International has as members Alassane
Ouattara of the Rally of the Republicans in the
Other members include the
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
‘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
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
In its bid to keep
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
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
Issued by Workers
International Vanguard League 1st Floor Community House, 41 Salt
River rd, Salt River, 7925