Current democracy will become more relevant than ever
There is no doubt that 2016 saw a defined shift in the political landscape of South Africa. The local elections produced a turn of events that shocked the ever cool ruling party’s leadership, ensuring that their ever-long ticket to rule the country was fading fast.
At OUTA we believe that during 2017 the policial conflict and divide within the ruling party will continue to grow. This will be a defining year for the country as the ANC’s leadership debate heats up and new fall-outs take hold, reducing its once frightening power.
Excitement and positive energy abounds in the OUTA office. This comes from knowing that – despite the developments on the political playing field as the respective parties prepare for a very important election year – our work of holding to account those who abuse their authority, continues to produce results.
This is what we call “current democracy”. Effective civil action means that we can tackle today’s abuse of power today. We can take on the rot of maladministration and corruption, of which there is no shortage in SA. We certainly have our work cut out for us in 2017 and we can’t wait to do it.
OUTA’s organisational growth
Following a successful re-launch of OUTA’s mandate in early 2016 to tackle matters beyond the e-toll debacle, we have seen our public support grow in leaps and bounds. This has enabled the introduction of new team members and an organisational structure that is scalable to take on the numerous projects that require our attention.
The e-toll debacle will continue to attract our time and attention. The test case will be heard we believe, by the middle of the year. Every detail and effort is being put into our papers to expose the unlawfulness and irrationality of this failed scheme. We will keep our members alerted to the developments as they unfold..
With the appointment of Mr Skhombuzo Macazoma as SANRAL’s new CEO, we are pleased to see a far more engaging manner of leadership, one that will engender greater transparency and a desire to fix this stressed organisation. If indeed Mr Macazoma is true to his demeanour, we believe that SANRAL can be returned to an entity that is better able to serve the interests of the people while expanding our road network infrastructure. OUTA will be engaging with SANRAL rather extensively with many questions and information sought to address past transgressions and ensure that SANRAL’s high costs of road construction are brought in line.
SAA: OUTA has several projects that will expose the shocking behaviour of SAA’s past leadership, and our actions will ensure these people are held to account for their gross transgressions. Within the first quarter of 2017, serious charges will be laid against the perpetrators of gross misconduct.
SABC: Our criminal charges against Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng (the SABC’s rogue COO) will be driven to reach their intended conclusion, and new charges will be laid against many others who have perpetrated abusive conduct and reduced the value of this once proud SOE.
OUTA has also worked hard and contributed largely to the Ad Hoc committee established by Parliament to look into irregularities at the SABC. We believe this committee’s work will produce good outcomes in 2017.
The TV license issue has received a lot of attention in 2016 and OUTA’s efforts to address the abuse of these revenue flows is at an advanced stage. Our investigations have enabled us to lay charges against a company called Pritchard and Associates, who have been given the task of collecting outstanding TV licence fees for the SABC. Watch this space as we uncover dealings, conduct and revenue flows of state capture in the SABC.
The Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, also comes under our spotlight early in 2017 as we expose her unacceptable conduct and manipulation of the disgraced board’s work.
ESKOM: The energy sector remains firmly in our focus, even more so after we discovered that the Department of Energy tried to sneak through another very important document on South Africa’s energy future. The New Energy Efficiency Strategy (NEES) will impact heavily on our country’s future economy, and possibly paves the way for nuclear to be added to the energy mix. OUTA’s work in 2017 will focus on the need to ensure that Eskom gets in line with its mandate to serve the country’s electricity needs, in the best interests of the people. We will also work hard on ensuring the country’s energy mix and Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) remains credible.
It has often been said that the third world war will be fought over water. In a water-scarce country such as ours, it is even more important to look after this very scarce resource. Unfortunately, not everybody understands this. OUTA’s newly established ‘Water & Environment’ portfolio will investigate serious claims of maladministration and corruption within the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and will keep you informed on our work to uncover the rot that keeps bubbling to the surface.
We take this opportunity to wish you, the active citizens of SA, the very best for the year ahead and thank you for making a difference. Your contributions to OUTA go a long way to ensuring that we can do our work. Every day we do our work at OUTA, South Africa moves a little closer toward a better and more prosperous state.
Thank you for being part of our success.