ACDP says women need to unite and lead to transform the public service

ACDP says women need to unite and lead to transform the public service

Debate on National Women’s Day: Advancing gender equality through inclusive economic growth and the precepts of a capable developmental state

Speech by Marie Sukers MP

ACDP says women need to unite and lead to transform the public service

“Honorable Chairperson,

As Women’s Month comes to a close today, it is evident that we can no longer continue on the trajectory that we are on as a nation.

Our country, South Africa, was been blessed with exceptional women leaders who left behind a legacy of how to lead with conviction and compassion in pursuit of justice. The example of Ma Charlotte Maxeke has long been abandoned by the political leadership of our country: to live a life of self-abandonment is not the political culture of our day. Self-enrichment, we know all too well, but no moral and effective leadership that captures the hearts of our people – to rule by winning the hearts and minds of people takes much more than a food parcel and T-shirt.

Our nation is staggering under the weight of our collective failures to assume responsibility not for colored women, black women or white women, but for all women.

Lydia Ross died in December last year of Covid-19. She was a woman of great character, who waited on a housing waiting list for over 30 years. Chairperson, she died without receiving the house that she was promised with each and every election cycle. She was a mother and grandmother, who worked for most of her adult life, yet she died without a pension, and still waited on her unemployment benefits to be paid out to her – almost a year after having applied for it.

Faranaaz Farmer-Mentoor, 32 years of age, a mother of three, murdered in broad daylight in a wendy house by a repeat violent offender who was out on bail.

Chairperson, both women I have mentioned lost their lives and never owned a home. The ACDP has repeatedly called for accelerated housing initiatives for vulnerable women and their children. We also want these initiatives to provide a degree of integrated social up-liftment and economic advancement.

A disturbing report, by viewfinder, provides a horrific picture of abuse by police against women who seek help. The report covers over 1 000 cases since 2012, with at least a third of the cases registered with IPID, happening while police were on duty at the time these crimes were committed. Most of these cases went unpunished and never saw any convictions or court appearances.

We have a culture of rampant abuse against women that allows for the worst of crimes to go without punishment, and seemingly no remedy to cure it. It prevails because we are unwilling to address the root causes of societal issues, and because the State claims to be able to do all things – which it cannot!!! A sluggish and ineffective State perpetuates the evil we are faced with daily!

Women leaders must lead the way to transform the public service. There has never been a greater need, than there is today, for strong moral leadership in the vacuum that exists.
I would recommend that we follow the example set by the generation of 1956, who united beyond politics to demand justice, and not positions and economic advancement at the expense of good governance.

Chairperson, it must be our purpose, especially in these times, to ensure that there is justice for the many women whose voices we represent in this house.

I thank you.”

We cannot allow government departments to loot the fiscus of hundreds of millions – says ACDP

We cannot allow government departments to loot the fiscus of hundreds of millions – says ACDP

Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Social Development on Impact of civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng on social development services and Department of Social Development’s response for urgent food relief to affected communities and Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on Joint oversight visit with Select Committee on Education and Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture to KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng Provincial Education Departments

ACDP says we cannot allow government departments to loot the fiscus of hundreds of millions

  • questions R400m budget allocation for food relief

“Honourable Chairperson,

The Mercy of God is keeping our nation. We, today, have much to be thankful for. During the recent violent unrest and looting His hand pulled us back from the brink of the abyss. When we consider the damage to property and vital infrastructure that are essential for service delivery, in both Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal (KZN), this may not seem as bad as what could have been.

However, when considering both reports before this house it is evident that we are continuing to edge closer to the abyss.

The estimated cost to repair infrastructure in schools and the offices of Social Development and SASSA exceed R100 million. However, during our oversight we saw little evidence for the hundreds of millions that the departments are seeking. These departments, especially at provincial level, cannot continue to be a sieve through which public funds flow without tangible results or accountability.

Social Development is seeking R400 million for the cost of food relief alone. Is this genuine food relief? Who are the beneficiaries? Chairperson, I am of the opinion that we will see this vital relief tied to buying votes in the upcoming local government elections. Those who are planning to use this food relief allocation to buy votes are also buying our people’s dignity and at the same time selling out our democracy. How can we condemn a mother looting a packet of maize meal and some clothes for her children, when on the other hand we allow government departments to loot the fiscus of hundreds of millions?

Unless this food relief is backed up by changes to policy that will get our people out of State dependency, and into independence, we are stealing our peoples’ dignity in another way. Chairperson, we do not need the government to create jobs, we need government to work with the business sector and civil society to create an enabling and stable environment that will spearhead job creation and give our people back their dignity.

The cost reported and presented by the KZN province of over R100 million, and the cause of damage does not correlate with what we saw on the ground. It is up to this House to be the vanguard to defend the dignity of our people by turning over every cent this government spends – several times before it is spent. Our weapons in this fight are oversight visits – the reports of these – and debates we have in this House. These reports underline the need for us to strengthen our oversight and demand clarity in reporting. This we must execute to the best of our ability.

The ACDP supports both reports.

I thank you.”

ACDP wants government to send a national recuperative and preventative strategy to all in the business sector

ACDP wants government to send a national recuperative and preventative strategy to all in the business sector


ACDP wants the government to send a national recuperative and preventative strategy to all in the business sector

“Honourable Speaker,

At the outset, the ACDP again wishes to place on record its condemnation of the wanton looting, destruction of property and the needless loss of lives during the week of madness in early July this year.

Clearly, this was an attack not just on the business sector and the residents of our communities, but also an attack on the democracy and freedom of all in South Africa. I had the opportunity to visit many of the sites where the looting took place, Amaoti, Phoenix, Cornubia, Durban central, Isipingo and Pinetown, before the oversight visits of our respective Portfolio committees. It is the view of the ACDP and many others that the protests in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng were planned and deliberate. The first group of looters were the “brains” who formed the spear of looting and destruction. This “spear” gained access to buildings and premises targeting ATMs, safes holding cash and other valuables, before the masses arrived, including the criminal element, who took advantage of the easy access to buildings and valuables.

It must be said that SAPS were hopelessly outnumbered, under-resourced, ill-prepared, threatened and hence stood back. In many instances, they were conspicuous by their absence. Of great concern to the ACDP were the allegations of police involvement in the looting and protest, if not physically and in person, then complicit by their inaction. Additionally, there was a glaring deficit of intelligence sharing between the crime-fighting agencies, which is in place, could have prevented much of the looting and destruction in KZN and Gauteng. The threats, by those supporting former President Zuma, were either not taken seriously or were simply ignored. The internal battle for power within the ruling party has manifested externally and once again, South Africa as a nation suffers collectively.

The economic and financial loss resulting from destruction to property and business disruptions across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng has been estimated to be in excess of R50 billion and some 150 000-250 000 people may lose their jobs. Business confidence is at an all-time low and the reputational damage to the country is extensive and possibly incalculable, with billions of rands worth of potential investment wiped off the books. Furthermore, economists predict that the damage caused, will shave off 1% from our GDP.

The ACDP welcomes the recommendations and financial incentive packages in both reports but notes that for many businesses, it may be too little too late. We have further called for a national, interdepartmental, recuperative and preventative strategy to be sent to all in the business sector. It’s time for change and the ACDP stands ready to unite, build and grow our country, its economy and its people.

I thank you.”

ACDP believes looting and destruction of property exposed an appalling weakness within government’s intelligen ce sector



ACDP believes looting and destruction of property exposed an appalling weakness within government’s intelligence sector

  • says the security cluster should have been fired for their incompetence

“Speaker, The large-scale looting of shopping malls, violent protests and riots that led to the destruction of properties, both state and privately-owned, from Friday the 9th July 2021 to Sunday the 11th July in particular, was shocking and unprecedented.

What was even more disturbing was to note that not a single police officer in the first three days of the looting was seen anywhere. Where were they? Where was the Minister of Police who always wants to be seen and heard whenever acts of criminality take place?

Like most South Africans, the ACDP believes that the looting and destruction of property that took place between the 7th and 16th July 2021 exposed an appalling weakness within the government’s intelligence sector. Social media was awash with hints and threats leading to those awful events and days that we believe should have been contained more effectively by the police, who should have been ready. But they were caught napping, and consequently failed to prevent the looting and extensive damage of our infrastructure, including 161 malls, 200 shopping centres, 1,400 ATMs, 300 banks and post office branches. As an estimated impact on our GDP amounted to R50 billion.

The ACDP is very disappointed that after such costly damage to our infrastructure, the torching of about 23 trucks on the N3 at Mooi River Plaza and the loss of more than 200 lives, there have been no heavy penalties imposed on the security cluster.

The whole security cluster that failed the nation of South Africa should have been fired for its lapses and incompetence. The important question we are now asking is what is the government going to do to prevent a repeat of the wholesale looting, destruction of property, and the loss of so many lives?

With a total of ten law enforcement officials having been charged so far for allegedly taking part in the looting, is there any hope that the police will ever succeed in eradicating criminality and criminals from their ranks? We have seen reports that some of the police officers even rent out guns to criminals, which is shocking indeed.

Besides the fact that our police need better training, their numbers should be beefed up significantly. During the looting frenzy, we could clearly see that the police were far outnumbered by the protestors.

To all those police officers who did their best to contain the madness taking place in July, the ACDP wants to say “thank you.” Your commitment to protect our communities and to do your work with diligence and excellence is commendable and greatly appreciated.

May the Lord continue to keep you and protect you and your families.

I thank you.”