🔒 PREMIUM BNC#5: Helen Zille Part 2 – Backstories on why ANC cut De Ruyter loose; what PA wanted in Joburg; and more

In Part 2 of her Nightcap conversation at the 5th BizNews Conference at Champagne Sports Resort, Democratic Alliance chair Helen Zille shares some Second Level thinking on various topics. Starting with why the Patriotic Alliance demanded Joburg’s Economic Development portfolio (and why the DA refused), the real reason why the ANC top brass let Eskom CEO André de Ruyter get hung out to dry, and more riveting insights from this veteran of SA politics as she freewheels on a range of topics. She spoke to Alec Hogg of BizNews.

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See timestamped topics below:

  • 00:00 Helen Zille on André De Ruyter’s disclosure of suspected criminal activity at Eskom to Pravin Gordhan
  • 02:29 On how patient South Africans have to be to see change
  • 05:31 On the inadequacy of the SAPS and how this can be addressed
  • 07:18 Whether the DA’s relationship with Herman Mashaba and Gayton McKenzie can be repaired
  • 08:14 On economic affairs in Johannesburg
  • 14:57 On non-racialism
  • 20:37 On why she returned to politics
  • 22:26 On TW Johnson’s claim that the DA and ANC will never form a coalition as Putin pulls the strings
  • 25:07 The influence of Russia in South Africa27:12 On Mashaba and McKenzie’s refusal for ActionSA and the Patriotic Alliance, respectively, to form a coalition with the DA unless she goes

Excerpts from Part 2 of Alec Hogg’s fireside chat with Helen Zille

Helen Zille on André De Ruyter’s disclosure of suspected criminal activity at Eskom to Pravin Gordhan

Well, first of all, the question is what De Ruyter disclosed in the first place. He told Pravin Gordhan that two cabinet ministers [were] running criminal cartels, stealing a billion rand a day from the country. And Pravin Gordhan said, “Yes, I know.” The DA wouldn’t say that. If we knew, we would have done something. We also know who they happen to be. I’m not free to say that. But there is no way that the president didn’t know. Believe me; the DA would never have allowed it to get to that place. 

Read more: PREMIUM: BNC#5: Helen Zille exacts revenge on detractors; shares inside story on coalitions; and more (Part 1)

Under the DA, Eskom would be merely a transmission company. They would have a grid, and all the private providers would feed into that grid, including every household with solar panels feeding excess energy into that grid. We would have a lot of baseload energy like that, and if necessary, we believe that you have to have some nuclear. So Koeberg would remain. And small pebble beds are not a bad idea. At all. So we’ve been preparing for that. We’ve got the whole wheeling regulatory environment fixed in the Western Cape all over, and we are moving very quickly. And Geordin [Hill-Lewis] is moving particularly quickly and other local authorities towards that. 

We’re not asking permission anymore. A national government competency under the Constitution is to generate electricity. We’re not allowed to do that, actually. Local government’s competence is to reticulate energy. But we can’t articulate if the national government isn’t generating. So we’re saying we have to do our job under the Constitution, so now, sorry, the private sector is going to generate. 

On social grants

Voters seem to be infinitely patient. Infinitely patient. Social grants are a big reason. People get social grants, and we support social grants, but we’ve got seven million registered personal taxpayers and shrinking. And we’ve got – the last figure I heard from a very reliable source – 25 million social grants paid out every month. You can’t sustain that ratio. You just can’t. And something is going to have to give unless there is massive economic growth. 

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