Tom Moyane intimidates Parliament to protect Jonas Makwakwa

South Africa Revenue Service (SARS) Commissioner, Tom Moyane, has written a threatening letter to Yunus Carrim, the Chair of the Standing Committee on Finance, insinuating that distribution of an FIC report implicating Jonas Makwakwa in financial misconduct was illegally tabled at the parliamentary finance committee.
The FIC report has been publicly available on the internet, but instead of taking action on its findings, Mr Moyane seems to be working tirelessly to stop those implicated from being held to account.
I have therefore written to Malusi Gigaba, the Minister of Finance, urging him to:
• to ensure that Tom Moyane suspends Mr Jonas Makwakwa from his duties at SARS with immediate effect, at the very least until the Hawks investigations into possible money laundering of the proceeds of crime have been completed.
• work with the Minister of Police to ensure that the Hawks investigations into possible money laundering of the proceeds of crime by Mr Makwakwa and Ms Elskie are dealt with urgently.
It is not acceptable that Mr Tom Moyane, as a civil servant, can put Parliament on trial by demanding that the Parliamentary legal adviser provide the link on the internet from which the FIC report was obtained.
Worse still, the claim in Mr Moyane’s letter that the FIC report in my possession was somehow illegal is a clear attempt to intimidate and stop me from holding SARS to account.
This tactic by Moyane is not going to work and only reinforces my resolve to exercise my oversight function without fear or favour.
In the interests of good governance, Mr Moyane’s concern must be to ensure that action is taken on the findings made in the FIC report and the subsequent Hogan Lovells, PWC and Advocate Motoa reports on the Makwakwa issue. These reports must be made public in order to show all South Africans that SARS Mr Moyane is serious about restoring the reputation of SARS.
The DA will hold Mr Moyane and SARS to account until sanity is restored at the tax collection authority.

DA-led Cape Town launches Africa’s first large-scale waste-to-energy plant

In January this year the DA-led City of Cape Town launched a R400 million waste-to-energy plant in Athlone, Cape Town.
New Horizons Energy’s plant processes more than 500 tons of municipal solid waste, wet trade waste and pure organic waste into environmentally considerate energy and recycled bi-products. The plant is the first of its kind in Africa and the well-known gas company Afrox is responsible for distributing the final products to the public.
New Horizons Energy has been working in partnership with the Western Cape Government’s funded entity, Green Cape – which has provided the necessary technical support. At the same time, Green Cape is working with other municipalities and businesses across the Province to roll out similar initiatives.

There are enormous economic advantages to renewable technologies, combined with natural gas. We will keep making progress on this crucial game changer. – Premier’s Spokesperson, Michael Mpofu

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More than 100 000 jobs in the DA-led Western Cape

Despite the drought, more than 100 000 jobs have been added to the Western Cape’s agri processing and agriculture sectors since the launch of the province’s Project Khulisa growth strategy.
Jobs growth, progress on skills development and transformation were among the key points raised at a recent briefing held on the 17th of October 2017. Project Khulisa was launched in 2014 with the target of adding 100 000 jobs to the agri-processing sector, and growing the Gross Value Add (an indicator of all the goods and services produced by the sector).

Since 2014, we have added 127 497 jobs to the agri-processing and agriculture sectors, and GVA has grown by R179 million. Wesgro’s Agri Business unit has secured investment worth in excess of R1.4 billion, exceeding its three-year target of R1.1 billion.
– Minister of Economic Opportunities, the Western Cape Government,  Alan Winde

Read the full article here
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117,483 fewer potholes in DA-led JHB

Over the past year, the DA-led City of Johannesburg has repaired 117,483 potholes, a massive 26,945 (22%) more pothole repairs than the previous ANC-led administration did in 2015/16.
Earlier this year, Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba declared a “War on Potholes” and committed an additional R88 million to fast-track the repairing of failing road surfaces.
This is a big win for the City of Johannesburg, with the DA-led administration showing its commitment to improving service delivery and putting residents first.

I would like to thank our residents for their continued patience and support as we work towards improving the City’s infrastructure and building a better Johannesburg.
– Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba

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12 000 NMB residents receiving basic services for the first time

The DA-led Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has secured R211 million to take services to approximately 3 000 informal homes over the next financial year.
This will see 12 000 residents receiving water and sanitation services straight to their home, for the first time! The Metro will also surface all surrounding gravel roads and install street lighting.

“We are working all out to uplift the lives of our poorest residents. Soon these residents will be able to turn on a tap in their very own homes.”
– Mayor Athol Trollip

The new Nelson Mandela Bay government is committed to – not just building houses – but building integrated, safe and accessible communities; improving living environments as best they can.
After being left behind by previous governments, residents now have hope for the future.

“In our forward-thinking and caring city we want, increasingly, for every single resident to live in a community under improvement where the changes can make them proud to live there.”
– Mayor Athol Trollip

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Western Cape has best Matric results in SA

In a reply to a parliamentary question, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has revealed that the Western Cape, and not the Free State, was the top-performing province in the 2016 Matric results.
This is according to the Department of Basic Education’s new format of reporting known as “An Inclusive Basket of Criteria”. This new format replaces the previous narrow focus on the Matric pass rate when Matric results are announced.
The table below shows the performance of each Provincial Education Department in Matric 2016 in terms of the Inclusive Basket of Criteria:

Province Weighted Basket Scores
Overall Basket Score Overall Pass % (W: 35%) % Maths Passed (W: 10%) % Physics Passed (W: 10%) % Bachelor Passes (W: 15%) % Distinctions (W: 10%) %  Maths Participation (W:10) % Throughput Rate (W: 10%)
Western Cape 60.7 30.1 7.7 7.3 6.1 0.7 3.1 5.6
Free State 59.4 30.9 7.1 7.5 5.4 0.4 3.9 4.2
Gauteng 57.9 29.8 6.9 6.9 5.4 0.5 3.7 4.8
North West 53.8 28.9 6.3 7.0 4.1 0.3 3.3 4.0
Mpumalanga 51.0 27.0 5.4 6.4 3.4 0.2 4.3 4.4
Northern Cape 50.7 27.5 6.1 5.7 3.9 0.2 2.8 4.5
KwaZulu-Natal 46.1 23.2 3.8 5.8 3.7 0.4 5.5 3.8
Limpopo 44.1 21.9 5.4 6.2 2.8 0.2 4.3 3.3
Eastern Cape 40.5 20.8 3.8 5.0 2.8 0.2 4.8 3.2
NATIONAL 49.4 25.4 5.1 6.2 4.0 0.3 4.3 4.0

This is important because a low throughput rate indicates a high number of learners either dropping out of the system, or being held back. Indeed, a high pass rate can be manufactured if weak learners are actively held back or encouraged to exit the system.
The top-performing province was, in fact, the DA-governed Western Cape. Besides achieving the highest proportion of mathematics passes, bachelor passes and distinctions, the Western Cape also had the highest throughput rate. The Free State, by contrast, had the fifth highest throughput rate.
This means that the Free State was not the top-performing province as claimed by Minister Motshekga and the Free State MEC, Mr. Tate Makgoe.
Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the Free State’s high pass rate in 2016 was due to its low throughput rate.
The practice of holding learners back to inflate the pass rate, known as ‘culling’ or ‘gatekeeping’, is well known. Just last week, a Deputy Director-General in the Department of Basic Education told Parliament that some Principals deliberately hold back learners to inflate their school’s matric pass rate.
Despite this, Minister Motshekga has refused to entertain the DA’s request for a ministerial investigation into the practice known as ‘culling’ or ‘gatekeeping’.
Reporting on the ‘Inclusive Basket of Criteria’ will go some way to expose those principals, education officials and politicians who attempt to ‘game’ the system. But only a full-scale investigation will identify those guilty of ‘culling’, hold them to account and serve as a deterrent to those tempted to engage in the practice.
Principals, education officials and politicians should be focused on improving learning and teaching, not devising ways to artificially increase their pass rates. We, therefore, congratulate the Western Cape government for improving all aspects of education in the province, including its throughput rate.
Click here to read more delivery success stories from the DA’s 2017 year in local government

Tshwane Mayoral Mansion SOLD to build 52 RDP houses

The City of Tshwane’s mayoral mansion has been sold for R5.1 million from a reserve price of R4.8 million. From this sale, a total of 52 RDP houses inclusive of land and services will be built for those who need it most in the City of Tshwane.
The DA-led multiparty administration made it clear when they took office in 2016 that they will prioritize the needs of the residents of Tshwane, especially the poor and cut down on everything that the administration deemed to be frivolous.

After being voted in as the political head of the City of Tshwane, I refused to move into the Mayoral Mansion because I have long maintained, even during my days on opposition benches, that corrupt activities took place with respect to that house by the former ANC administration.
– Mayor of the City of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga

 After an investigation, it was found that at least R12 million was spent to “renovate” the house. Yet the latest valuation on the property indicated that it could only be sold at a minimum of R5 million.

I therefore thank the successful bidder for helping us help the people of Tshwane by taking this property off our hands. We can tend to our core business which is to help our people live a better life of dignity. I equally thank all the other bidders for showing interest in this property.
– Mayor of the City of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga

 A house for just one man under the ANC has been sold to build houses for more than 200 under the DA.
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DA Mayor Mashaba cracks down on corruption

A newly established corruption-busting unit in the City of Johannesburg has investigated over 2,500 cases of corruption, uncovering fraud and corruption worth over R16 billion. More than 600 people have been arrested and more than 100 City employees have been suspended or dismissed. Thirteen more have resigned.
Databases of indigent residents have also been cleaned up, removing the names of hundreds of City and government officials who were benefiting improperly from services that were meant to go to the poor.

Corruption steals from the poor and must be stopped. I have zero tolerance for corruption, in both the public and private sector.
– Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Herman Mashaba

The neighbouring City of Tshwane has equally stepped up the fight against corruption in the past year by introducing transparent public disclosure of tender processes. Corruption took place behind closed doors and many contracts were handed to cronies during the ANC administration. Many suspicious and dodgy contracts worth billions are being cancelled legally and criminal charges have been laid against those who allegedly involved in corruption.
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DA-led Tshwane makes dreams of 705 homeowners a reality

705 overjoyed Tshwane residents received title deeds to their state-subsidised houses this weekend.

Solly Msimanga’s administration is speeding up the delivery of title deeds to state-subsidised houses so that recipients have legal ownership of the property where they reside or operate businesses from, giving homeowners an important economic asset to leverage.

You are now the sole and legal owner of the house being allocated and registered in your name. Home ownership is an exciting experience, as it restores pride, dignity and respect.”
– MMC for Housing and Human Settlements, Cllr Mandla Nkomo

The title deeds were handed over to beneficiaries who have been allocated low cost houses or serviced stands in Hammanskraal West Extensions 1 and 2 in Ward 49.

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Mashaba forfeits international travel to fund extended clinic hours

DA-led Johannesburg Mayor, Cllr Herman Mashaba forfeited his international travel budget in order to fund the extension of service hours at Princess Clinic in Roodeport, following a cry for help from a mother of a sick daughter who resides in  Princess Park Informal Settlement.
The Princess Clinic project, which was adopted on the 1st of November last year entailed extending service hours from the normal eight hours to 15 hours, Monday to Friday and from 07:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays, which added a further six hours. Since the beginning of the extended hours at the clinic, 7000 patients have been helped.

Due to the success of the pilot project at Princess Clinic, the extended hours were rolled out to five other clinics in the City, namely:
o   Freedom Park Clinic;
o   Hikensile Clinic;
o   Randburg Clinic;
o   Zandspruit Clinic; and
o   Albert Street Clinic.

I could not sit back and not act after Miss Maziko and her child touched my heart. I pleaded with Council soon after we were elected to find funds to enable us to at least extend service hours at this clinic (Princess). Luckily there was huge budget available for the previous Mayor to travel abroad. As I had no intention to travel abroad, we used that budget to fund the extension of service hours at Princess Clinic.
– Johannesburg Mayor, Cllr Herman Mashaba

In just 12 months since the Mayor launched extended hours, there has been an increase of those who access the City’s health institutions after hours, especially working mothers.

The DA-led coalition government in the City of Johannesburg values the lives of residents, and will continue to invest heavily in their health and wellbeing. After all – a healthy city is a working city.
– MC for Health and Social Development, Cllr Mpho Phalatse

The Mayor promised the residents of Princess Park Informal Settlement that he will continue to serve them with dedication by improving service delivery across the city.
Read the full article here.
Click here to read more delivery success stories from the DA’s 2017 year in local government