Category Archives: Politics in Madibeng

JB Marks: ANC throws in the towel

The Executive Mayor of the JB Marks Municipality, Kgotso Khumalo, has asked for provincial intervention into his own municipality. For the DA this is an acknowledgement by the ANC that they are not fit to govern the municipality. Khumalo asked the Local Government MEC, Fenny
Goaloalwe, for an intervention in terms of Section 154 of the Constitution and gave the following reasons for his request:

• Required intervention in financial and budget management;
• Required intervention in service delivery; and
• Required intervention with non-compliance in administration related to human relation
management. The DA is not surprised by any of the ANC’s reasons for the required intervention as we have been voicing our concern over the municipality’s failures and shortcomings for months, It is also clear that the amalgamation of Tlokwe with Ventersdorp was mere
gerrymandering ahead of the 2016 elections and no financial and/or human resources risks were ever considered, nor was the public participation process followed in terms of the regulations. We are on record in our objection to the Municipal Demarcation Board in 2015, which includes:

• The Ventersdorp Municipality has no stability, certainty and predictability within its Municipal
Tax Base. In fact, no reliance can be placed on the Municipal Tax Base of the aforementioned to
fund the Municipal Fiscal Framework of the new municipality. The Ventersdorp Municipality would in the first place become an intolerable institutional burden on the “New Municipality” and secondly on the Tlokwe Municipality;

• It must be noted that the Ventersdorp Municipality remains institutionally and otherwise dysfunctional, including being unable to function as a Going Concern and able to contribute to the “New Municipality”; and

• No amount of feedback that may have been received by the MDB to date can be considered as
the official position of the respective communities. At the only public meeting ever attended by the MDB in Ventersdorp, the views of those members of the public present decisively gave a clear message that the relevant community members protest at the top of their voice against the proposed amalgamation. The arrear municipal services debt at the end of March of the 2016/17 financial year is R 262 million and arrear payments to outstanding creditors as at
end of the 2016/17 financial year is reported at R75 million. The Auditor-General report, for which the Municipal Manager should be held accountable, highlights exorbitant fruitless and wasteful, irregular and unauthorised expenditure over the past financial year and, to date, no consequence management was implemented against officials who transgressed any law and/or regulation. Besides the Speaker’s total loss of control over the administration of this council and
his inability to ensure that the council’s rules of order are complied with, he allowed the functioning of the council to be reduced to a mere rubber stamping exercise. In our view, this behaviour a symptom of the total collapse of the municipality under the ANC leadership, which was confirmed by the Executive Mayor by throwing in the towel and requesting the
provincial government for an intervention before the motion of no confidence against him and the Speaker will be served at the next council meeting. The DA requested the Executive Mayor, in writing, on various occasions to provide a comprehensive report to explain the reasons why this municipality is falling behind and is in contravention of the laws that govern municipalities, and what immediate steps must be taken to ensure transparency and a turn-around
plan for our municipality. No reply was receivedThe DA is working night and day across South Africa to unseat corrupt ANC governments – also here in the North West province. We have set goals and targets for the Road to 2019, and we will work tirelessly to achieve them.

Supra chooses another Zuma over poor residents on the NW

The Democratic Alliance is taken aback that the North West Premier Supra Muhamapelo sees no problem in abandoning his official responsibilities in the Provincial Legislature to spend a
week co-campaigning with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in her quest to become the next President of the ANC. A sitting in the NW Provincial Legislature, scheduled for Tuesday was moved to Thursday. The excuse given for the postponement was that some legislature members were attending a NCOP event in the Free State. However, as the week progressed, it became clear
that the postponement was in fact to accommodate Supra who was tailing NDZ around the Province as she attended to ANC business. Yesterday, Thursday 24 August 2017, the Premier failed to attend the rescheduled sitting despite having called for a debate on the state of the provincial economy. When he called the debate he had indicated that he wanted to “teach the opposition a lesson in Economy 101”. Instead of giving that “lesson”, he chose to attend an ANC
Cadre’s Forum in Matlosana. Of major concern is that Speaker Susan Daantjie allowed herself to be used to violate the rules of the house to appease Supra, NDZ and the ANC. She made no effort to reprimand the Premier for not tendering an official apology for failing to attend a
debate that he called for. The rules of the house are clear. If a member calls for a debate, they should lead and close the debate. If they are unable to attend the sitting, they should submit a
written submission on their failure to attend and delegate the responsibility to another
member. This week the report on Trends on Poverty was released and it confirms the DA’s point that our local economy is in shambles. This was clearly not a good enough reason for the Premier to debate the issue and act in the interest of the millions of unemployed and poor people in the Province. The only economic policy that the ANC is committed is so-called
“radical economic transformation”, which has been exposed as a vehicle for mass corruption and looting by the ANC. It is nothing but a cover to loot and rob people of opportunities. For Supra, supporting another Zuma for the Presidency is much more important than the long-suffering residents of the Northwest. The Premier is openly supporting the current President Jacob Zuma who is one of the main reasons for the decay and regression in South Africa. Now he is clearly vowing his support to another Zuma. Apparently, her becoming
President is more important to the Premier than the suffering and hardships people
in this province have to endure under the ANC government on a daily basis.

ANC blatantly lies about operational rural safety units in North West

The ANC in the North West misled the Provincial Legislature about the existence of rural safety units in the province. On 24 May 2017 the ANC claimed that rural safety units were already operational in the North West. This was after the DA had issued a member statement
on the death of a farmer in Tswaing, whose wife survived the attack. The DA followed up on the claims of the existence of the rural safety units by submitting direct questions to the MEC of Community Safety and Transport Management, Mpho Mothlhabane. He has now acknowledged in writing that no such units exist. What is extremely worrisome is that in his response, he makes a dubious claim that there is a decline in reported crimes in the rural communities.
He further claims that:
• That there are daily patrols in the rural sectors at
station level as part of sector policing.
• There are enhanced daily deployments in the
hotspot stations identified in the Province for
crimes in the rural area.
• That there are Stock Theft and Trio Crimes task
teams deployed to investigate, track, trace and arrest
suspects.
These interventions have obviously not made any
impact as crime continues unabated on farms. Since
May 2017, the following members of the farming
community in the province have either died or were
attacked on their farms:
• June 2017 – Woman farmer assaulted and raped
near Sannieshof in her house;
• June 2017 – A 46-year old farmer was shot dead
near Lichtenburg on his farm;
• June 2017 – Man attacked and wounded on a farm
near Rustenburg;
• June 2017 – Elderly farm lady killed on her farm
while putting flowers where her husband died on the
farm near Schweizer-Reneke;
• June 2017 – Two separate farm attacks in the Derby
area;
• July 2017 – A farmer shot dead on his farm
Friesland near Vryburg – his wife seriously wounded;
and
• August 2017 – An elderly couple in their seventies was tortured on their farm outside Potchefstroom and burnt with hot oil and boiling water. While the ANC would have us believe that there are operating rural safety units, the evidence on the ground suggests otherwise. The attacks on farming communities continue unhindered, even increasing on a year-onyear
basis. If the ANC wants to be taken seriously, they need to establish rural safety units and make
public their mandate and their operations. All people in farming communities, farmers and
farm workers, are affected and dehumanised by crime and violence. The DA has repeatedly
called for a new approach to rural safety that will prioritise the use of rural safety units which will act as a buffer against farm attacks. Please sign our petition to stop farm murders and where we call for the establishment of rural safety units here: https://www.stopfarmmurders.co.za/p/
stopfarmmurders?

A clear and radical strategic intervention plan is needed to grow the economy

Mahikeng – Premier Supra Mahumapelo has called for the compilation of a radical Provincial Development Plan with a clear strategic Intervention plan which will speedily address challenges that the province is facing to grow the economy and decrease poverty, inequality
and unemployment. Premier Mahumapelo was addressing the Provincial Development Plan –
PDP Colloquium at Cookes Lake Mahikeng earlier today, which was hosted by the North West Provincial Planning Commission. The Colloquium is intended to receive inputs from top structures of all the stakeholders, into the already existing Provincial Development Plan with a view to improving its quality. During the Colloquium the Provincial Departments, Municipalities, State Owned Entities, the Private Sector and other major stakeholders contributed to the document which is to provide the direction for the rebranding, repositioning and renewal of the province and economic growth. Premier Mahumapelo believes there’s a need for a
plan that will attract long term investments in the province without threats. “We must ensure that Agriculture thrives to become the economic driver of the province. Due to the possibility of minerals depletion and the possibility of the decrease in the commodity price, investment in the mining sector has its own threats and this is not the cause with Agriculture because the consumption of food is necessary on a daily basis. That is why we must make mining a strategic tributary to strengthen the Agriculture, Culture and Tourism sectors, grow the economy and attract investors” remarked Premier Mahumapelo. The Spatial Economist Roelof Middlejans
from HIS Markit made a presentation which reflected a worrying picture of unemployment and poverty rate in the province which necessitates a special focus to turn the situation around. “The decline in unemployment and poverty is not happening as envisaged by the NDP. We
need a developmental process that will address this. Our mining sector must be competitive and must flourish. If there’s more competitiveness the economy will grow. However currently it is very difficult to keep investors and that is the choking point of the economic growth in the province.” said Middlejans who also applauded the province for a continued good performance in matric results and improvement in provision of basic services. In order to deal with the unemployment rate in the province Premier Mahumapelo believes sweeping interventions are necessary. “We must know which skills unemployed youth possess and develop a plan on how best we can deploy such skills to the economy for the market. This PDP must have the paradigm shifting actions that we must embark on. We must use the same money that we have
to change the situation. If possible we must cut A clear and radical strategic intervention
plan is needed to grow the economy unnecessary expenditure in government” remarked
Mahumapelo. Professor Tebogo Mokgoro of Ikatisong School of Governance highlighted the need for the relevant skills in the province. “We need to ask ourselves what are the skills needs of our economy. We need to identify the skills demand and have skills development plan. We also need to have institutions where these skills will be developed and deployed to influence our economy. Our PDP must indicate those” said Professor Mokgoro. This was emphasized by Premier Mahumapelo who said the province must identify and develop skills necessary
for the VTSD economy. “Graduation ceremonies are taking place all the time but they are contributing to the unemployment. This is because we are producing skills that are not relevant to the economy. We must develop human capital with practical skills which are required by the economy. This is will strengthen the agricultural sector especially in our VTSD areas” added Mahumapelo. Jan Pienaar of Agri North West has emphasized the importance
of ensuring the relevant implementation plan to the already available Agriculture Master Plan.
“As we make the PDP, we also need to draft an implementation plan that will assist in the
implementation of the Agricultural Master Plan and elevate the Agricultural Sector to a level where it should be. We have the necessary skills and we need to work together” said Pienaar. All inputs made will be added to the draft to come up with a comprehensive Provincial Development Plan which will be North West version of the National Development Plan

DA criticises ANC January 8 Statement

Perhaps the most fundamental question in our politics since the local elections has been whether or not the ANC can “self-correct”, whether it can stop the slide. All of the evidence presented in 2016 suggested that it could not. 

The Nkandla judgement, the State of Capture report, the refusal of President Jacob Zuma to take responsibility for anything, the Gupta’s influence; all of this indicated the ANC was heading in just one direction. But to listen closely to Zuma speaking at a packed and wet Orlando Stadium on Sunday, 8 January 2017, and then to read the ANC National Executive Committee’s full January 8th Statement, is the party planning to change for the better?  That it really has heard the message sent so loudly last year. However, the ANC Women’s League’s behaviour over the weekend suggests that it is still going to be a long struggle for the party to change.

Jacob Zuma is not someone who likes to concede a point. He would not resign after the Shaik judgement in 2005, he did not take personal responsibility for Nkandla, he has continuously claimed the Gupta family’s apparent success has nothing to do with him. Speaking of the economy, the ANC has again (yawn?) promised “radical economic transformation”. There was a time when capitalists were really scared of that phrase. No more. The ANC does not seem able to agree on almost any aspect of policy at the moment, never mind something as complicated as an economic policy. Even something as technical and minor (for most people) as the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act is the source of very real disagreement. Which surely suggests that proper change to the economy driven by a united ANC is almost entirely out of the question.

Considering that this is (presumably) Zuma’s last January 8th address as ANC leader, it is probably important to say a few things about the touch-and-feel of the address.  Zuma himself is not who he was just a few years ago. For those who support the ANC, Sunday’s event turned out to be important, the first signal is that the party wants to turn around the corner. There are many things that did not happen that are also important; Zuma was not booed, the stadium was not empty – despite the rain, everyone was disciplined.

But there was also the absence of real celebratory spirit. The ANC is not what it was when its previous leader gave his final January 8th Address in 2007. Back then, it was possible to keep the veneer of unity in public. No longer. It is hard at this point to see how the party could get that spirit back. Zuma has stolen the party’s spirit, the sense that it is unique. Now, it’s a political party. And it has to act like one, and find a way to manage the competing interests within it.  Below are some of what the president unfolded.The president said, “the ANC must have unity of purpose and display unity in action in advancing the NDR! The ANC must concentrate on radical economic transformation and ensure that the people become more prosperous. We must grow the economy, create jobs and return the land to our people!”

“President Tambo often emphasised that the ANC has a vision of South Africa in which black and white live in conditions of peace and prosperity. The struggle for economic freedom and prosperity of all South Africans underpins all our actions during this phase of our transition.” “Building a non-racial society is a necessity in a country as diverse as South Africa. It does not matter where we came from. We are all here now. The humanist approach of the ANC is that all people are equal. Respect for the inherent humanity and dignity of all people, especially the historically oppressed majority, must inform all our actions.” “President OR Tambo recognised that the struggle for national liberation is intrinsically linked to the emancipation of women and advocated that women take up their roles “among the fighting ranks of our movement and its command posts.”

“We are proud that our Constitution espouses progressive values and protects all persons equally. We are especially proud of the protection available to women, children, persons living with disabilities, the provisions aimed at safeguarding cultural, linguistic and religious rights and those entrenching the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) South Africans.” The president concluded by saying, “Our world is increasingly moving away from the concepts of unity across nations and multilateral engagement on issues of global importance. There is an apparent upsurge of right wing nationalism in Europe and worrying signs of similar phenomena in other countries,” said the president. The Democratic Alliance (DA) has described President Jacob Zuma’s January 8 Statement as a repetition of past statements from the African National Congress (ANC).

The DA says this shows that the ANC has run out of ideas and lacks a vision for the people of South Africa. Zuma delivered the ANC’s January 8 Statement at Orlando Stadium in Soweto earlier on Sunday, 8 January 2017. DA spokesperson Mabine Seabe says the President didn’t dwell much on corruption and an economic plan for the country.  “The ANC January Statement generally forms what will be said at the State of the Nation Address.”

“Therefore, as the Democratic Alliance (DA) we are left feeling empty by the hollow words of the ANC and President Jacob Zuma with very little said about corruption and a proper economic plan for the people of South Africa.”  “With our education system being one of the worst in the world, especially when it comes to Maths and Science, there were no plans around that. Young people continue to face the brunt of unemployment, joblessness and the poor economic system set up by the ANC,” he says.

ANC downsizing the capacity for January 8th Statements

The ANC president delivered his January 8 statement on Sunday, the 8th of January.  This time at Orlando Stadium.  Downsizing the space venue for its supporters following the embarrassment done in 2016 elections where the party lost a number of most of its supporters to the opposition.

This is regarded as one of the worsed since the year 2012, when Mangaung 40 000 capacity stadium was filled with the ANC supporters for the celebration.  In the year 2015, the celebration was held at the Western Cape stadium in Cape Town. A stadium with the capacity space of about 55 000 people, even in that stadium, ANC supporters managed to fill up the whole area and in 2016, the celebration was held in Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg.  The stadium carries about 44 530. The party depreciated enormously and causes its members to squeeze themselves in a small space, this proves dismally that the factions and corruption in the organisation has cost the party big shots.  Though they have managed to fill up the stadium, the party needs to up its gears to please the supporters.

The president’s address was to provide the party’s program for the year ahead.  The first January 8th statement was in 1972, issued in exile, the founding date of the ANC.  This statement outlined the organisation’s programme for the year. Following a hiatus, the ANC issued its next January 8th statement in 1979. The idea of marking the anniversary of the founding of the organisation with a statement became a tradition over the years and is known as the January 8th Statement.  However, in the years between 1972 and 1979 the ANC issued statements related to major events or issues. These were known as Special Statements. The 2016, was a watershed year in the country’s democratic history after August 3 local elections seriously dented the African National Congress’s (ANC) domination in party-politics.  The elections showed that democracy is maturing and that liberation movements could fall if the ANC do not respect the will of the people.

The ANC saw its electoral support decline nationally as it lost control of the key metros of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay to DA-led coalitions.  As 2016 winds down, the ANC has reflected on its eventful year, the worst since it took power in 1994. The country’s capital city of Tshwane, the financial hub of Johannesburg, as well as Nelson Mandela Bay are now run by the opposition, DA.  The ANC ended the year reeling from major crises, which captured international headlines.

Its worst performance in the elections, led to calls by some within its ranks for the current leadership to step aside.  The party admits the loss came as a shock, and a wake up call to redeem itself.  The dismal performance resulted in a wave of calls from senior party members for President Jacob Zuma to resign. And now the ugly succession debates, seem to be coming to the fore, if this is not handled well, it may lead to the worst outcome in the 2019 general elections.  This is a threat to tear the party apart, ahead of its elective conference in 2017.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to lock horns with outgoing AU Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in a bid to succeed President Zuma.  This thing called succession can’t be a function of individual ambitions; it can’t be just a function of lobbying.  It can’t be a function of friends and associations who are promoted. It should be about what is the kind of leader the party need currently.  Also, the party should be determined that they must talk to the challenges facing the movement today and try to find a leader who can actually be reflective of the challenges facing the movement. Hopefully, the party should elect credible leadership in 2017.  There should be leadership that leads the motive forces of change.  It should be leadership that understands challenges of the day. And the leadership that is attached to the forces of change; then society is going to come back.

Corruption and factionalism are also some of the key challenges confronting the ANC.  One of the things that the party must do to act against strongly as the ANC is the importance of no longer talking about corruption as a perception. They must deal with corruption as a reality facing the society and confronting it.  Another issue is the question of factionalism that a divided movement can never be at its best.  Members must work for unity and cohesion of the movement.

EFF to Finally attend council in 0veralls

On Wednesday, 16 November 2016, after being kept from attending council for two sittings, EFF councillors had finally attended  council  wearing their red overalls. The speaker of Mahikeng Local Municipality finally recognised their constitutional right as EFF Councillors to attend their first council on Thursday, 17 November 2016, clad in their red overalls. The EFF in Mahikeng regard this as a victory indeed for the official opposition in Mahikeng Local Municipality.  “As EFF we are ready to discharge the people’s mandate by contributing to a vibrant discourse that will positively influence the service delivery agenda in council and provided a comprehensive oversight that service delivery in itself is delivered to the citizens of Mahikeng,” said EFF representative.

It is alleged that this culture of the EFF attending meetings wearing their red overalls will escalate to all municipalities including the Local Municipality of Madibeng.  What is the law saying about political party leaders’s uniforms in municipal chambers? A number of political movements have involved their members wearing uniforms, typically as a way of showing their identity in marches and demonstrations. The wearing of political uniforms has tended to be associated with radical political believes, typically at the far-right or far-left of politics, and can be used to imply a paramilitary type of organization. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) a self-declared Marxist-Leninist political party that has formed in opposition to the dominant African National Congress (ANC), and adopted red overalls as its uniform brought a new style of attire in parliament and in legislatures, now municipalities.

The EFF’s overalls are, in and of themselves, a radical political statement. According to party rhetoric, the jumpsuits are meant to express solidarity with the country’s domestic workers and manual labourers.  Their red color represents a connection not only to communist parties past, but also to the blood of labourers, including 34 platinum miners who were massacred by police in Marikana in 2012, at the very site where the EFF announced its formation one year ago. Is there any rule that orders political leaders to wear a certain uniform for specific meetings?  What is the impact on political leaders?  Should all political leaders wore their political rigalias during council meetings?

SANCO Urges Wagpos to treat students equally

SANCO proclaims that Wagpos High School could allegedly be racial against black students.  It is further alleged that the expression raised by SANCO members and some of the parents came after few complaint were made regarding the behaviour rendered by the school management.

Parents allegedly expressed that Wagpos High School in Brits is promoting racism against students.  Apparently, the school is allegedly accused of refusing to admit black students who are coming from black community schools. It is alleged that the whole incident happened when new admissions was supposed to be made for the coming year.  Eyewitnesses revealed that parents had expressed their frustrations after visiting the school to register their children.  The same incident happened last year, students were turned away because of the language policy.   Wagpos High School did comment on the accusations on the 18th of March 2016 when SANCO first went to them about the matter.  They said the accusations are incorrect and that they give all learners a fare chance, regardless of race and language.

The management emphasised that Wagpos is an Afrikaans speaking school and that classes are not held in English, except the English second additional language class. According to the report given by the school management, racism is not tolerated at Wagpos and it is a big offence when someone gets caught making any racial comments.  The school hosts a Autumn school each year during the holidays that benefits 1500 learners from outside, all of them are English speaking students.

The South African Civil Organisation (SANCO) once again intervened in the matter and requested to have a meeting with the school to find out why the school is not treating students equally. SANCO, urged that the school should change their system and policies simply because they are literally benefitting from the government.  “Every year, the school is hosting a matric farewell and receives money from the government.  They are doing business with the government but fail to accommodate black students because of their language policy,” he said. “As SANCO we will engage with the department of education at a later stage to find out what could be the problem with regards to the language policy in the school,” he said. According to the information given, the schools teaching medium and first language is Afrikaans and is designed for students with those particular needs. This first language syllabus develops learners’ ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively they have expressed. They learn how to employ a wide-ranging vocabulary, use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, and develop a personal style and an awareness of the audience being addressed.

It is alleged that the school’s focus is agriculture through farming and basically that is the most valuable ‘culture’ of white people and that is why black students are segregated from the school.  The school split and refused pupils because white parents threatened to remove their children.  According to one parent, it is alleged this could be very much expected from the white Brits community known for holding deep racist prejudices. The majority of parents are predominantly white and allegedly wanted to remove their children from the school. The institution gave in to the pressure by the racist parents and therefore this is considered as being racist.  The school denied the accusations and argued that it accommodates pupils based on culture but has since apologised for the remarks. If they were not racist or wrong to begin with, there would be no need for an apology – or has all logic lost its predominance.

The government needs to convene a summit where a transformation charter should be presented to principals and school governing bodies (SGB). The report further says black and white students attend the same classes, not the whites only Afrikaans classes and the black students only in English classes.  Wagpos is an Afrikaans medium school. That simply means what counts for the one counts for the other.  Mathematically, it could be impossible for the school to be a double medium school for the school is already full and the  infrastructure does not allow it.

To clarify the statement, Wagpos is not a racism school according to the management and does not deny English students to be part of the school.  Researchers indicates that Afrikaans is the second biggest language in South Africa and 13.5% of our nation speaks Afrikaans. English is lower than Afrikaans and only 9.6% of our nation speak the language.  The following is what Wagpos had to say about all the allegations;

1. Is the school, the First Language Afrikaans school designed for students whose first language is Afrikaans?  Afrikaans is the (LOLT) language of teaching and learning.  Any learner who wants to receive teaching in this language can enroll at Wagpos.

2. It came into our attention that the school refuses to register black students who are from the black community schools, is it true?  This is definitely not the truth.  No learner has ever been refused to enroll on the grounds of race.  We recently enrolled English speaking black learners.  It was communicated to them that Afrikaans is the language of teaching.  They left the school after halve a week.

3. Some of the parents feel that the school is practicing racism – Is the school practicing racism?  Not at all.  Wagpos endorses the constitution, as well as the School’s Act and in line with it.  Racism is not tolerated.  The school hosts an Autumn school during the holidays which benefits 1500 learners from the outside, al English speaking.

4. It is alleged that the Afrikaans classes are predominately made up of white pupils, while black children are in the English classes.  Is the above mentioned statement correct?  Not true.  The school does not differentiate between learners on the grounds of race.  The school does not have English classes, it is a Afrikaans medium school.

5. How many registered black students and white students are in the school?  Not of any importance.  There are 884 Afrikaans speaking children in the school.

6. SANCO believes that by hosting matric students every year, the school benefits financially from the government and therefore it is against the law that the school refuses to register black students because of the language policy.   If so, is the school intending to change the school policy to accommodate every citizen in this community?

The school is already full.  Infrastructure does not allow the consideration of dual medium.  The school and department communicated at the end of 2015 to address the needs of the English community and an agreement was reached that a task team will be established. The task team put a report together and is in communication with the department regarding the outcome of the report.  Two decades after the end of constitutionalised racism, one of the greatest challenges facing us is to continue fighting for the world as it should be, fighting a new form of racism, which is far different from the racism that reached a climax through the Struggle, but far more difficult to fight and overcome. There is also the issue of ‘chequebook apartheid.’ This divides people according to their annual income – being the have and have nots – an economic freedom fight thus ensues.

We’re not talking about the obvious racists. We are talking about a silent epidemic of hidden agendas of covert racism. The type of racism that declares segregation to be a thing of the past.  Parents expressing their dissatisfaction that their children were refused by the school authorities to register due to the language policy. As a nation, have we made gains in fighting racism? How sad it was to discover a dire truth: racism is alive and well even in school halls and playgrounds. It is racism that excludes and oppresses instead of creating cohesion and inclusion. It is racism that is gentle on the surface, but unrelenting and horribly damaging at its core.

It is racism disguised as cultural differences. White pupils, particularly Afrikaans pupils, are culturally different from black pupils. But Zulu, or Ndebele, let alone Sotho pupils, are not culturally different from Venda, Tsonga or Xhosa pupils. So, where do we draw the line. According to academics, philosophers and psychologists racism includes but is not limited to feelings of hatred or dislike for individuals because of their race, ethnicity or even nationality. More broadly, racism includes support for and or cooperation with laws, policies, and practices that put groups at a disadvantage because of their race or ethnicity and because of their culture.

Essentially then, racism has much more to do with the power and position of an individual’s group in society than with just attitudes toward an individual who happens to be of a certain race or ethnicity.  With that in mind, researchers say it should be easier to see how certain groups can get away with things for which members of another group would be severely punished.  It becomes easier to see how people of certain groups can secure and retain wealth more readily than those of another group. It becomes easier to see how groups with the power use the education system to build up or tear down groups based upon race and ethnicity. Pedagogic or rather educational apartheid is also a reality. This has to do with the know nots and the know hows.

Unfortunately, this quiet, hidden and overt racism continues today because we are not forced to confront these uncomfortable truths. Too many of us have chosen by default to ignore them. Why? Because too many good-minded South Africans are too busy with their lives and their careers to notice it, let alone do anything about it. The point is that, as parents, we should ask ourselves whether our children are learning racism at school.   Are they learning self-hatred or learning how to hate each other? Are they learning it from their teachers or their parents at home? These are the kind of questions we are faced with. We know that children are born without hatred, accepting and loving one another, racism is learnt and taught over the years of adolescence and especially in the teenage years. This is done by stereotyping and seeing bad experiences like crime or bullying as one with a particular culture or race.

They are unaware of the racism that exists in the world when children come into being, but they begin to feel it when teachers, pupils and other adults make these ‘differences’ obvious.  Schools, from the teachers to pupils, must be a representation of our society, an example of our rainbow nation.

Parents unfortunately cannot monitor every moment of their children’s school day. It is imperative to prepare your children for the inevitability of racism. As parents, you should never forget that you are the first teachers your children will ever come to know. You need to prepare your children for the world they will inhabit as adults. Everyone has an interesting heritage or an interesting mix of heritages. Take pride in each one, but not the kind of pride that looks down on others  A true respect for other cultures and races has to start with respect for where we came from ourselves.

Blacks and whites need to continue talking, let us even bring our coloured, Indian and Asian friends into the mix.  Everyone has the burden of winning every racist over, and every racist has the burden of dismembering racism within themselves. The end of racism starts with each of us within ourselves.

Audit outcomes a SupraStar failure

The 2015/16 Auditor General outcomes for the North West Province vindicates the DA’s position that Premier Supra Mahumapelo and his ANC administration are deteriorating and failing the people of the North West, as seven entities received a disclaimer of audit opinion.

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The North West Provincial Government’s irregular expenditure has increased from R2 billion to R2,9 billion in the 2015/16 financial year. There is a total balance of R13.2 billion in unresolved irregular expenditure for the Province. This is R13.2 billion in public money that Premier Supra Mahumapelo’s government has misspent. We consider this to be a SupraStar failure.

The current performance and outcomes can be attributed to a lack of effective monitoring by the provincial leadership as well as the respective departments. We will therefore insist that the North West Standing Committee on Public Accounts investigates each and every breach of the financial rules and laws, and holds those accountable to book. The Provincial Government has failed to implement simple key controls such as record management, regular financial and performance reporting. Furthermore, vacancies in key leadership positions continue to badly impact the ability of proper leadership in the province. Non-adherence to supply chain management laws has resulted in 98% of the irregular expenditure incurred. This means that goods and services are in a way which allows corruption to flourish. The ANC government in the North West has failed to lead by example and to hold officials accountable for poor performances as well as implementing consequences for financial misconduct.

In the past three years, auditees have experienced increased pressure on their financial viability. Most public entities were unable to pay their creditors within 90 days and at the end of the year their debt would exceed the cash they had available. The North West Tribal and Trust Fund financials have been outstanding since 2001; this has resulted in a disclaimer of opinion as financial books and accounts of the 92 individual tribal authorities have also not been submitted for auditing since 1994 as required by the North West Traditional Leadership and Governance Act.

Whilst the province has managed to submit financial statements, the quality and availability of the underlying financial records remain a problem. Auditees are unable to submit credible financial statements and rely on the audit process to produce credible financial statements.

Premier Mahumapelo’s Administration has failed to effectively monitor departments and implement a turnaround strategy to address the financial misconduct and misstatements within the Province. It is clear that Mahumapelo simply does not care enough about public money to protect and guard it. In contrast to the financial negligence in the North West, where the DA governs the AG reported that not one Western Cape department received an adverse audit outcome. Irregular expenditure has decreased to just R28 million in the Western Cape, compared to R2,9 billion in the North West. It is clear that the DA puts South Africa first, unlike the ANC who continues to put itself first.

MEC for Tourism in the North West Province Mme Desbo Mohono

We have learned of the tragic accident at Hartebeespoortdam where a boat allegedly caught fire. We have noted the report that 5 people have lost their lives as a result of this accident. The department and the North West Province send their deepest condolences to the families of the deceased. We wish the other passengers who may be hurt a speedy recovery.

Our heartfelt thanks to the emergency teams that reacted with speed to the accident thus preventing the loss of more lives. More facts on the accident will be revealed after the authorities have done their investigations.

At this point, we urge everyone to treat this matter with the sensitivity it deserves and to allow the families to mourn in peace and to be supported.