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DA: Joint Statement by Janet Semple, Tim Nast and Marti Wenger, DA Gauteng leader, DA mayor of Midvaal, and shadow minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, on the Midvaal municipality (27/05/2010)

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DA: Joint Statement by Janet Semple, Tim Nast and Marti Wenger, DA Gauteng leader, DA mayor of Midvaal, and shadow minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, on the Midvaal municipality (27/05/2010)

27th May 2010

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A report from the Gauteng Planning Commission's Quality of Life Survey, released earlier today by Provincial Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, ranks the Democratic Alliance-run Midvaal Municipality as the province's top municipality for quality of life.

Midvaal has been governed by the DA since December 2000, and over the last the decade we have been working hard to bring the Democratic Alliance's vision of an Open Opportunity Society to Gauteng. This survey, which was conducted in 2009, shows that at almost every level, across numerous ranking categories, Midvaal residents experience better living conditions and governance than those living in ANC municipalities.

The report shows that Midvaal has the highest satisfaction rating for any municipality in Gauteng. Midvaal is the only municipality in Gauteng whose residents express more confidence in municipal government than in the provincial and national governments, and the only municipality in Gauteng where more than half of all residents are either satisfied or very satisfied with local government.

This is extremely noteworthy, as municipal governance is the coalface of service delivery. Without well-functioning local governments, development efforts will collapse into service delivery protests, as we see daily across South Africa.

Of particular significance in this report is the fact that 68% of residents in Midvaal say they are either very satisfied or satisfied with the dwelling in which they reside. This is the highest percentage in the whole of Gauteng. Only 7% of residents say they are very dissatisfied with their dwelling. These figures come on the back of the launch in 2008 of the R8-billion Doorkuil integrated housing development in Midvaal, which is in the process of constructing 18 000 new residential housing units, 60% of which are finance-linked housing for lower income earners.

Unemployment in DA run Midvaal, at around 26%, is far below that of other ANC run municipalities (Tshwane, at second position, stands at around 40%). This reflects the municipality's ability to attract investment - by companies such as Heineken and Ferrero Rocher - which in turn creates employment for local residents.

It is absolutely clear that, where the DA governs, jobs are being created in a way that simply does not happen in areas run by the ANC. Midvaal's record on job creation mirrors the performance of the DA elsewhere; in the Western Cape, for instance, the provincial unemployment rate dropped sharply in the first three months of this year, even while it was rising across the ANC's provinces. This is what happens when administrations create the right environment for job creation, and expanding opportunities. The ANC, on the other hand, is only interested in securing jobs for its elites.

In addition to all of this, Midvaal has the lowest incidence of absolute destitution: only 3% of households lacked money to feed children in the 12 months preceding the survey. The corresponding figures for ANC municipalities are all in the double digits.

Midvaal also registered the lowest rate of alienation of any municipality in Gauteng; fewer than one in five residents believe that "no one cares about people like me", and Midvaal has the highest proportion of residents who believe they can influence decisions around them.

None of this is cause for complacency, as even a few incidences of poverty are too many to be ignored. However, this is positive proof that the DA's vision of an Open Opportunity Society is the path to a bright future.

The results of the survey, together with the DA's exceptional by-election results across the country last night, prove that, where the DA governs, we are delivering real, tangible and lasting benefits to all South Africans.

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