City’s Lourensia Park housing project residents receive title deeds

The City celebrated with beneficiaries of the Lourensia Park housing project in Somerset West during a special title deeds handover ceremony. Read more below:

‘I was overjoyed to be part of this special celebration as we handed over title deeds to beneficiaries in Somerset West. We are absolutely committed to enabling redress and transformation and we will continue to hand over many more title deeds to qualifying beneficiaries over the coming weeks and months in areas across the metro.


‘This project has provided opportunities to 150 qualifying beneficiaries. As a caring and inclusive City, we are committed to providing service delivery through the provision of housing opportunities to some of our most vulnerable residents. This project is an excellent example of what hard work and dedication really means. Thank you to our communities, City teams and project steering committee for the hard work and dedication during the completion of this project,’ said the City’s Acting Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Alderman James Vos.


The selection of beneficiaries for housing projects is done in accordance with the City’s Allocation Policy and the City’s Housing Database to ensure that housing opportunities are allocated to qualifying beneficiaries in a fair and equitable manner that prevents queue-jumping.


Anonymous tip offs are welcome:

Residents can report crime and by-law offences anonymously, 24-hours a day, on 0800 1100 77.


For more information:

Residents are encouraged to visit this link to update their details on the Housing Needs Register:

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It is time to unite to Stop Malema

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered by the DA Federal Leader John Steenhuisen during a Live Address to the nation today. Pictures are attached here and here

My fellow South Africans,

In the winter of 1993, our country was on the verge of anarchy and civil war.

Following the assassination of Chris Hani, many South Africans feared that we were about to descend into ethnic and racial violence that would plunge us all into permanent darkness.

And yet, with the world predicting the end of South Africa, we collectively pulled back from the edge of the abyss.

Just a year later, we held our first democratic elections.

It was one of the proudest moments in our history.

But this past weekend, we saw the return of a demon we thought we had buried in 1994.

Standing on a stage in front of 100 000 people in Soweto, Julius Malema resurrected the demon of hatred, division and ethnic violence in South Africa.

This is a man who is determined to ignite the civil war we averted in 1994.

From that stage in Soweto, Malema told thousands of followers that they must “shoot to kill.”

He instructed them to “kill the Boer, kill the farmer.”

Then he mimicked the sound of machine gun fire to members of his political cult, who answered with thunderous approval.

Julius Malema told us exactly who he is. It is time that we believe him.

For far too long, people in government, the media, civil society and constitutional institutions refused to acknowledge Malema for the bloodthirsty tyrant and demagogue he really is.

These people helped to normalise Malema’s hatred and racism.

But a political leader who incites mass murder, is not normal.

A Member of Parliament who calls for the killing of an entire section of society, is not normal.

And cowardly politicians who turn a blind eye to the incitement of civil war, is not normal.

The DA will not look away.

We will confront Julius Malema’s fascism head on.

Many of you will recall that, during the speech I delivered at the DA’s Congress in April, I identified the EFF as political enemy number one.

And I pledged to you that the DA would do everything in our power to prevent Malema from gaining power through a Doomsday Coalition between the ANC, PA and EFF.

I did so for a very good reason.

As I said at the time:

“EFF Doomsday will make the collapse of Zimbabwe look like a dress-rehearsal, and will leave all South Africans destitute – black, coloured, white and Indian…EFF Doomsday will plunge this country into ethnic and racial conflict the likes of which it has never witnessed before.”

With his incitement to commit mass murder on Saturday, Malema has confirmed the urgency of this warning.

He is intent on igniting the civil war that so many South Africans worked and sacrificed to avert in 1994.

The DA will not let him succeed.

That is why I can today announce that we are filing charges against both Julius Malema and the ANC government at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The first element of our UN case will focus on Malema’s repeated incitement of ethnic violence.

The second element will charge the ANC national government before the UN over its years-long failure to take action against their one time protégé even as brutal farm murders continue to escalate in the wake of Malema’s demagoguery.

The charge will be laid in terms of Malema’s violation of, at least, three key UN charters.

The first is the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Article 3 of the Convention makes it a punishable offence to direct and publicly incite people to commit mass murder on the basis of their identity.

The second is the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.

This declaration compels the South African government to ensure that persons belonging to minority groups may exercise their rights – including, in this case, the right to life and to practice the profession of farming – without any discrimination.

The third is article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The DA recently forced the South African government to live up to its international responsibility to comply with warrants issued by the International Criminal Court.

We will now do the same to force it to act against Malema.

In addition to turning to the international community, we will also file a complaint with Parliament’s ethics committee against Malema, in his capacity as a Member of Parliament.

We are further obtaining legal advice on approaching the Public Protector and the courts.

But it is also important that we are honest about one thing.

For more than a decade, the South African state has utterly failed to use appropriate internal remedies to stop Malema.

Time after time institution after institution has turned a blind eye to his incitement.

We saw this again just last week.

Instead of dealing with Malema, senior law enforcement officials drank expensive champagne with him at a fundraiser.

This is exactly why the time has come to turn to the global community.

Ek wil graag ook direk praat met ons boere.


Alhoewel Julius Malema se geweld ons hele land in swaarkry sal dompel, koester hy ‘n besondere haat vir ons boere.


Ek wil u daarom aanmoedig om Malema ernstig op te neem, en binne die raamwerk van die wet, gepaste stappe te neem om u plaas en familie te beskerm.


Waar u enige vrae het, of hulp kort, kontak asseblief u plaaslike DA verteenwoordiger en ons sal help.


In teenstelling met Malema se haat, koester die DA respek en bewondering vir die brawe boere wat ons almal voed.


Daarom sal ons alles in ons vermoë doen om vir Malema te stop.

My fellow citizens,

The time has come to stop Malema.

Even as the DA takes bold new action to prevent anarchy, we need your help.

While Malema’s singular goal is to divide South Africa, the DA is hard at work with our partners to bring people together through the Moonshot Pact.

While it is the responsibility of political leaders to lead the way towards unity and a new government, we cannot succeed without the support of South African voters.

That is why I am asking that you go to to ensure that you are registered to vote DA.

Uniting behind the DA at this dangerous time is not only the best way to ensure that the Pact has the stability and governance experience it needs to succeed in government.

Voting DA is also the single best way to build a big, strong and united political force that can stop Malema in his tracks.

The events of this past weekend have revealed a painful truth that we must now confront head-on.

That truth is that the demon of the 1990s, which very nearly plunged this country into violence from which it would never have recovered, is not dead and buried.

Julius Malema has resurrected it.

The hopeful news is that history shows that when South Africans unite for peace, we can defeat this demon.

But, just like in the 90s, it’s going to take commitment, leadership and hard work.

That is why I am today calling on every political and civil society leader to break the silence and publicly denounce Malema.

I specifically call on President Cyril Ramaphosa to break his silence and publicly condemn Malema.

To the media, I ask that you put pressure on Ramaphosa to come out of hiding for once.

If Ramaphosa fails to denounce Malema, it can only mean that he is too cowardly to honour the oath he took to uphold the Constitution and defend all the people of South Africa.

My fellow South Africans,

What we need in this country a is not hatred and political cowardice.

What we need is not demagogues who resurrect the demons we sought to bury in 1994.

What we need is not destruction that only knows how to break down.

What we need is to build this country.

What we need is unity and cooperation.

What we need is to stop shouting at each other, and to start listening to each other.

What we need is love and compassion, so that we may unclench our fists, lay down the weapons, and take hands to build a country that we can all be proud of.

Thank you.

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Wondering what inverter to get? Check out the City’s list of approved, safe inverters

The City has a list of approved safe and legal inverters on its website. This database is meticulously checked to ensure that customers and installers are using quality equipment for safe and legal systems. Read more below:

‘Safe and legal small-scale embedded power systems reduce the risk of sub-standard, incorrectly wired solar PV inverters and batteries on the grid, including incorrect meters. This is a leading cause of extended power outages in neighbourhoods when the power comes back on after load-shedding. Unsafe systems can also increase the chance of fires or electrocution for building occupants and teams working on the electrical grid. City-approved inverters also enable quicker turnaround time of applications and this is why from October 2023 all systems will need a City-approved inverter and professional sign off,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Councillor Beverley van Reenen.

See Approved inverter and equipment ito NRS 097-2-1 (2023-07-26).xlsx (

National legislation and regulations require authorisation:

National legislation and regulations require the authorisation of all power generating systems connected to the electricity supply. Authorisation requirements must be adhered to and the City continues to work to refine processes to the benefit of customers.

The City has authorised more than 5 700 grid- and off-grid systems to date amid an enormous spike in solar PV applications since the worsening Eskom load-shedding.

City speeding up application process

  • From October 2023 all SSEG systems will need a City-approved inverter and professional sign off. Currently many systems using non-approved inverters are not wired correctly, posing risks to the safety and integrity of the network. This significantly slows down the registration process because there are too many different wiring configurations, many of which are unsafe and illegal, for the City professionals to consider. Reducing the wiring configurations speeds up the process.

To note: this applies to solar PV and battery systems connected into the wiring of the building. It doesn’t apply to backup inverters that plug into wall sockets, as those are regarded as electrical appliances.

  • The City will officially be prioritising grid-tied installations as these submissions are faster to approve.
  • Work is well under way on an online application process that further aims to improve customer experience.

Checklist to guide customers through the process:


List of approved inverters: See Approved inverter and equipment ito NRS 097-2-1 (2023-07-26).xlsx (

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DA demands progress report on rebuilding of Parliament missed deadlines

Please find attahed a soundbite by Siviwe Gwarube MP.

  • Today was the deadline for clearing the debris and rubble on the burnt Parliamentary precinct.
  • The deadline was clearly missed, and the DA wants answers from the Executive Authority of Parliament.
  • Parliament is a public institution and South Africans deserve answers.

The DA has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa- Nqakula and the Chairs of the Joint Standing Committee of the Financial Management of Parliament (JSCFMP) to request a progress report from Parliament on the rebuilding project of the burnt precinct.

According to Parliament’s own records and reports, the bulk work of clearing the debris and rubble should have been completed today. This is clearly not the case as seemingly no work has been done to the burnt down buildings.

It has been 18 months since the Parliamentary precinct was burnt down; rendering key parts of the institution unusable not only for the Members of Parliament but also restricted access to members of the public. Public access to Parliament is a right that is enshrined in the Constitution and key to the work that we do as public representatives.

The last report that was provided by Parliament on the key project milestones that ought to be met in order for the rebuilding project to take two years was on the 12th of May 2023. During that meeting it was committed that the rebuilding of offices for Members of Parliament should be completed by June 2023 and the clearing of the rubble and debris of the burnt buildings will be done by today, 31st July 2023.

This has simply not been done. The construction of offices is still underway and no clearing of the rubble has taken place.

This is why we are calling on Speaker Mapisa – Nqakula and Chairperson Masondo who are the Executive Authority of Parliament to take the public into their confidence and provide a status update on the rebuilding project of Parliament. Clearly the deadlines that Parliament set for itself and the implementing agent, Development Bank of South Africa, have been missed.

Now we need to understand when the work will commence and how this will affect the budget that was initially allocated and the duration of the entire project.

Parliament must understand that the institution is a public one. The rebuilding project is of great public interest and need for effective public representation by MPs. If there are delays and overruns, we need transparency.

The Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, alongside the Secretary to Parliament must account for the delays and provide clarity on the status of the project.

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20 reported shot as Riverlea’s zama zamas battle for control

There was another major gun battle between different gangs of illegal miners in the Johannesburg suburb of Riverlea last night.

Residents reported gangs of men armed with automatic weapons moving through suburban areas and heavy gunfire. They say up to 20 people were shot. One resident says they treated a seriously wounded man and woman on the pavement outside their house while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Other residents say a man was shot and wounded and taken away by police. Videos being circulated show armed men moving through the suburb and to the sound of continuous automatic gunfire. Other local reports say one gang left the area carrying what appeared to be two bodies wrapped in blankets.

Last week a Riverlea resident was killed in crossfire. It is unclear whether it was crossfire between rival mining gangs or whether it involved the police.

Windows are regularly broken and cars damaged by flying bullets as rival gangs attempt to assert control over the Zamamphilo mining settlement, a collection of hundreds of shacks where most of the occupants appear to be foreigners and where the primary activities are illegal mining and illegal gold processing. The settlement is a few meters from Main Reef Road and sits between Riverlea and Industria. It lies atop the buried Transnet fuel pipeline and a major high-pressure water main. This is another major source of concern. If illegal mining activities rupture either pipeline, large numbers of people could be killed or injured.

There have been many gunbattles in and around Zamimphilo and Riverlea for months. Police are usually absent from these battles. Whether they are involved or not, it seems they do not issue public statements about it. The same is true about police actions, if any, against illegal miners countrywide. The failure of the police to inform the public about what is happening and what they are doing about it is unacceptable in a democracy.

The DA calls on police to tell the public what they are doing about illegal miners in Riverlea. Until they do so, the belief will spread that police are too weak to tackle the gangs or else they are paid off to do nothing proactive about the centre of criminality that is Zamimphilo.

Until there is a deliberate and systematic effort to tackle criminality associated with illegal mining the government will continue to lose control of parts of South Africa and the police will be relegated to mere collectors of bodies after the shooting is done.

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‘Kill the Boer’ – DA determined to Stop Malema

“An alliance between the violent EFF and corrupt ANC in national government will be Doomsday for our country. We call on all South Africans who wish to keep the bloodthirsty Malema out of the Union Buildings, to urgently register to vote DA so that we can bring a Moonshot Pact government to power instead of the Doomsday Coalition.”

The DA unreservedly condemns the chanting of “Shoot to kill” and “Kill the Boer, kill the farmer” by Julius Malema during the EFF anniversary rally. We view this act as completely unacceptable and firmly believe that incitement to violence has no place in our society.

Political leaders have a greater responsibility to foster nation building and social cohesion. Malema’s continued chant of this racially inflammatory phrase sets a dangerous precedent that undermines our country’s path towards reconciliation.

During his speech to Congress earlier this year, DA Leader John Steenhuisen identified the EFF as political enemy number one of our organisation for precisely this reason: Malema is a dangerous demagogue who will plunge our country into violence and anarchy if he comes into power.

Malema’s utterances yesterday confirm the urgency of Steenhuisen’s warning. The EFF has already formed Doomsday Coalitions with its destructive partners in the ANC and PA in Gauteng. Its plan is to replicate this at national level next year, in order to catapult Malema into the Union Buildings.

The DA is the single biggest political obstacle standing in the way of Malema unleashing violence on South Africa. We remain crystal clear in our focus: the DA will do everything in our power to stop Malema and keep the EFF away from the levers of power.

An alliance between the violent EFF and corrupt ANC in national government will be Doomsday for our country. We call on all South Africans who wish to keep the bloodthirsty Malema out of the Union Buildings, to urgently register to vote DA so that we can bring a Moonshot Pact government to power instead of the Doomsday Coalition.

A vote for the DA is not only the best way to create a stable and effective Pact government. It is also the best insurance policy against Julius Malema. The bigger and stronger the DA, the better we will be able to stop Malema in his tracks.

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The DA moves to prevent the multi-million Rand looting of Metsimaholo Municipality

Following the DA’s successful interdict to prevent the Metsimaholo municipality making further payments in a multi-million Rand looting scheme supported by the ANC/EFF, the DA is now standing firm to prevent the ANC/EFF removing the municipality’s DA Mayor, Jeff Zwane, from office.

The DA has also exposed the unlawful and unethical process by which the ANC/EFF removed an honest official, the Municipal Manager, after he sought to prevent this looting scheme.

The ANC/EFF suspended Mr Leaoa Mofokeng, when he refused to authorise payments after the ANC/EFF started pushing through initial payments, towards an amount of R35 million, to a Trust to which the Municipality does not owe the money.

When Mr Mofokeng took a firm stand against this corruption, he was targeted by the ANC/EFF, who made unsubstantiated allegations against him without following any proper process. They used these allegations to summarily suspend Mr Mofokeng without any regard for the law.

The ANC/EFF then immediately and unlawfully elevated a Mr Fusi Motlaung to act as Municipal Manager, following his unlawful initial appointment to the municipality by the ANC in 2019.

Within two days of being unlawfully elevated to the position of Acting Municipal Manager, Mr Motlaung began authorising unlawful payments to the Trust. This was only disclosed after the Court had to demand that he disclose what payments were made.

The DA successfully applied for an urgent interdict to the Free State High Court to stop all further payments. The interdict was granted on Friday 28 July.

Following receipt of the DA’s Application, the ANC/EFF moved immediately to submit a Motion of No Confidence (MONC) in the DA Mayor, Mr Jeff Zwane, to bring down the DA minority government in Metsimaholo, so that they can continue with their looting schemes in the run-up to the 2024 election.

Under the DA government, Metsimaholo is the only local municipality in Free State whose finances are recovering. This episode has clearly demonstrated the extent of the abuse of ANC/EFF councillors to deploy cadres into key positions to help them loot public funds.

The DA will not sit back and enable the ANC/EFF to continue to run municipalities into the ground.

We have therefore issued a lawyer’s letter demanding the ANC Speaker to revoke his notice of the meeting for 1 August by 17:00 on 30 July, when the MONC has been scheduled. The entire process embarked upon by the Speaker and unlawful Acting Municipal manager is fatally flawed.

Any decisions taken under the authority of an unlawfully appointed Municipal Manager will be illegal. This entire process has revealed the lengths the ANC/EFF will go to loot, and the torment they create for honest officials trying to prevent it.

It is essential, for the survival of South Africa, that we all stand together to support honest officials and prevent the ANC/EFF from destroying municipalities entirely, through their looting schemes.

To drive this point home, the DA will be leading a picket at the Multipurpose Sports Hall in Zamdela, Sasolburg at 12:00 on Tuesday 1 August, where the Council meeting is scheduled to convene to remove the DA’s Mayor. The public are invited to join in order to prevent the complete collapse of Metsimaholo.

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#EndSchoolPitToilets: From EC to KZN, pit toilets persist across the country

The past two weeks the DA’s Shadow Minister of Basic Education, Baxolile Nodada, Shadow Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Marina van Zyl, provincial DA spokespersons and local DA councillors did oversight at various schools that still rely on pit toilets in the provinces.

The #EndSchoolPitToilets campaign started in the Eastern Cape where learners and staff are still forced to suffer the indignity of using dangerous and unsanitary pit toilets.

At Bantwanana Junior Secondary School in Mqanduli, learners are forced to relieve themselves outside as the Zink toilets that were donated by the community as the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has failed to ever provide the school with toilets of any kind. These toilets are now so full of faeces that learners and teachers often get infections from the horrible toilets.

Despite these horrendous conditions, Bantwanana has never formed part of the Department’s Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) Initiative, nor has the Eastern Cape DBE budgeted for sanitation facilities at the school.

At the Qwe Qwe Junior Secondary School, grade R learners have learned to shield each other when they are forced to use the dangerous, unhygienic open pit toilets. The size of the seats isn’t suitable for small children, who are also forced to clean the toilets with a stick once they are full. When it rains, the learners have to use the veld to relieve themselves.

Although the Department has done numerous oversights at the school, it has not been prioritised for safe toilets.

The learners at Mngcisane Senior Primary School in Mount Frere still use the pit toilets built in 1993.

Not only are these toilets a hygienic nightmare, their seats are too big for the small grade R learners that are also forced to make use of them. Recently, a goat was found dead in one of these pit toilets and parents, as well as children, fear that they might be next.

What is equally worrying is the distance and location of these pit toilets from the school. It is roughly 200 meters from the school, down a hill and very close to the very low, open fence which makes small children an easy target for possible trafficking, rape, or attack.

Sadly, this school has also not been earmarked for either the SAFE or Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) programmes meant to eradicate pit toilets at schools.

The parents that we met at Nomkholokotho Senior Primary School were extremely worried about the danger of several horrific open-air pit toilets at the school that’s not in use but have never been demolished. They are rightly worried that their children might fall in when they’re playing outside and pleaded for immediate intervention.

The staff toilets are made of Zink, while those meant for the learners are overflowing and not serviced, despite the fact that the school has a reliable water supply.

Sadly, pit toilets are not the only dangerous infrastructure that the school is forced to deal with. The school’s crumbling infrastructure has already endangered learners when the ceiling collapsed, and the fear is that it will happen again. As a result, learners have to make use of classrooms built in 1989. There are not enough desks for all the learners, so they have resorted to using their chairs as desks – kneeling on hard floors for a full school day in an effort to get a quality education.

Learners at Niyona Primary School in Mzimvubu are forced to use dangerous Zink pit toilets that fail to meet the infrastructure norms and standards for schools.

The DA donated shoes to learners during our oversight to ET Thabane Primary School in Ugie. We also wanted to assess whether President Cyril Ramaphosa has made any progress on his promises to rebuild this asbestos school – the only non-fee-paying primary school in the area.

Even though ET Thabane was identified as one of the schools to benefit from the ASIDI programme, there has been no intervention from the Department since the DA has started doing oversight at the school in 2020. The atrocious conditions persist with asbestos and other dilapidated infrastructure regularly raining down on learners and staff. There are allegations that the money meant to upgrade the school has been squandered by EC DBE.

This portion of the #EndSchoolPitToilets campaign ended in iLembe, KwaZulu-Natal, where the DA did oversight at three schools.

The Ensikeni Primary School principal is forced to fetch water from the river for learners and staff to drink, wash their hands and cook their food. When the Department built the school in 1995, it was without the necessary water and sanitation infrastructure. In 2020, a borehole was donated to the school, which unfortunately broke down soon after. Letters to the Department pleading for intervention remain unanswered, and Ensikeni’s 330 learners now have to relieve themselves in the bushes.

  • (Please see attached pictures here and here.)

The Prospect Farm Primary School was built in the 1950s. Due to a broken borehole and the Department’s unfulfilled promises, the 14 flush toilets are locked. The 390 learners and staff have to make use of two pit toilets.

Despite Matamzana-Dube Secondary School’s adequate water supply and the Department’s 36 installed ventilated improved pit toilets (VIPs), the more than 900 learners and 53 staff are forced to use six portaloos as DBE has yet to officially hand over the other latrines. This situation has understandably led to some frustration and the community has protested the Department’s dragging of feet and the alleged tender irregularities of the project.

The DA has always been passionate about the eradication of dangerous school infrastructure, and since May this year, we have visited more than 65 schools at part of our #EndSchoolPitToilets campaign – 24 in Limpopo, 21 in KZN, 15 in the Eastern Cape, and 5 in North West (excluding the schools visited the past two weeks).

Of those 65 schools visited, only 5 did not have any pit toilets, and only 53.8% (35 schools) had a water source close to the toilets where learners can wash their hands.

Only 18 schools (27.7%) indicated that the Department had contacted them regarding the eradication of the pit toilets.

The DA will continue the fight to ensure that all learners receive a quality education in a safe and dignified environment.

DA oversight reveals dangerous conditions persists at Witbank Hospital

Last week, the DA conducted an oversight to the Witbank Provincial Hospital, mere weeks after assisting a pregnant woman in distress at the facility.

Unfortunately, our visit revealed that little has been done to address the shocking and dangerous conditions that endangered Cindy Steyn and her baby’s life.

Severe shortages of beds, personnel and supplies, medicine stock-outs, maintenance and equipment failures that creates an unsafe and unsanitary facility, and mismanagement of available space to provide necessary health services are just some of the systemic failures that places patients’ lives in unnecessary danger.

The DA has requested that both the Health Ombud, Prof Taole Mokoena, and Human Rights Commission investigate the situation.

Had her partner, Pierre Botha, not managed to contact DA Shadow Minister of Health, Michele Clarke, Cindy Steyn might not be alive to tell her harrowing tale.

She was 22 weeks pregnant when her appendix burst while waiting to be seen at the Witbank Provincial Hospital. After hours of waiting, she had her appendix removed and was admitted to the surgical ward where she allegedly experienced neglect and abuse and bore witness to the ill-treatment of many of the other patients in her ward.

After her discharge, Cindy was instructed to attend the local clinic every two days for wound care. However, her wounds became infected and septic, and she was referred back to Witbank Hospital on 16 June, where she was initially refused treatment.

At this point, Michele Clarke, was alerted to Cindy’s dire situation and called Dr Nicholas Crisp, Deputy Director-General at the Department of Health, on whose instruction the personnel at Witbank Hospital finally deigned to treat Cindy.

A few weeks later, Cindy started experiencing severe cramps. She was rushed to hospital, where she was initially refused a Caesarean section, even though a nurse experienced with her wounds and treatment warned staff that Cindy would be unable to deliver her baby another way.

While Cindy has been discharged and only needs to visit Witbank Hospital for wound care, she has not been issued with the required antibiotics to prevent re-infection of her wounds due to a stock-out at the hospital.

Unfortunately, Cindy’s experience is one echoed at many public health facilities all over the country that suffer from the same mismanagement and lack of care systemic of the public health system.

Hospitals should be places of safety and peace where patients receive quality care. Yet, many people subjected to public health care fear for their lives, not knowing if they will leave hospitals sicker than when they entered. Unless the systemic ineptitude, callousness, and mismanagement is rooted out completely, the public health sector will continue to crumble.

It is a terrible tragedy that the ANC government continues to tout the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill as the silver bullet, all the while knowing that it’s destined to fail because they refuse to the things that will actually turn the tide – holding corrupt cadres, useless managers and uncaring staff to account.

Cape Town breaks all-time record for municipal infrastructure spending

Top performing directorates include Human Settlements, which spent 99,3% of its R880m capital budget, Safety and Security (99,6%), Water and Sanitation (95%) and Energy (96,9%).

With an R11bn infrastructure budget in 2023/24, Cape Town now aims for a further 41,5% increase in infrastructure spending compared to 2022/23, and a 134% increase over three years, with a total spend of R43 billion.

This three-year infrastructure investment is expected to directly create 135 000 jobs in Cape Town aside from the broader economic growth benefits. The City has seen four straight quarters of job growth and another new record – the highest number of people employed in Cape Town ever, at 1,7 million people, with 279 000 new jobs added over the last four quarters.

‘We have just clocked the highest capital expenditure the City has ever achieved – even exceeding the mega projects before the 2010 World Cup. This year, we have invested a record R6,94 billion in capital investment and infrastructure, or 93,5% of our planned budget.

‘What makes this number even more impressive is the fact that this was the first time ever that the City didn’t allow any mid-year write-downs on the planned budget. This speaks to a significant culture adjustment, and really puts that 93,5% spend on planned capital investment into perspective.

‘Our country’s path to recovery should be built on the things that unlock potential and convince investors that we’re a risk worth taking. Our path to recovery has to be built with real bricks and mortar – with kilometres of pipes dug, power lines run, megawatts installed, concrete poured and tarmac laid.

‘In Cape Town, we’re on that path already. We’re building for the future, because we know that if we do this – if we make our city a good bet for the future – the investment, the businesses and the jobs will follow. That’s how you build a City of hope, and that’s how we can build a Country of Hope,’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis.

Hill-Lewis said 74% of the City’s R11bn infrastructure budget in 23/24 will directly benefit lower income households. These investments are enabling economic advancement with Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain once again topping the number of residential building plans approved for 22/23.

Given the collapse of critical infrastructure in South Africa’s major cities – including sewer, electricity and roads infrastructure – it is vital that metros urgently ramp up their infrastructure investment.

‘I’ve made the point before that our infrastructure spend over this three-year period will be more than Johannesburg and Durban combined. If that didn’t mean anything to you before, I hope it does now following the fatal explosion in Johannesburg’s Bree Street.

‘While it is still to be determined whether the blast was due to a natural gas leak, a build-up of sewer gas, or a combination of the two, it is clear that the city’s neglected and chaotic underground infrastructure played a major part.

‘The failure to clean and maintain sewer pipes, the failure to expand sanitation infrastructure as a city grows, and the failure to comply with safety protocols in the planning and building of infrastructure not only robs residents of dignified services, it can also be deadly,’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis.

Hill-Lewis went on to summarise progress made in the first full financial year of his administration, including:

  • In the fight to end load-shedding, the City issued renewable and dispatchable energy tenders for 200MW and up to 600MW, respectively; and awarded a tender for 60MW of demand management aggregation.
  • Concluded contracts for the Potsdam extension and upgrade, the second biggest infrastructure project in the province
  • Exceeded the 50km sewer-pipe-replacement target, ramped up repairs and upgrading of pump stations, and improved response times to sewer spills. As a result, there have been significant improvements in water quality and a steady downward trend in sewer spills.
  • Launched a 24-hour highway patrol and a 24-hour law enforcement deployment in the CBD, with officers across the City increasingly supported by cutting-edge technology like number plate recognition dash cams.
  • In a first for the African continent, Cape Town launched our own Ease-of-doing-business index to track our progress in continuously improving our systems and processes to make it easier for businesses to grow and create jobs.
  • Approved the release of well-located City land for more than 1100 social housing units this year.
  • Broken ground on the MyCiti Metro South East corridor to Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain – this being the biggest infrastructure project in the province.
  • Expanded two safe spaces in the CBD and one in Bellville, helping more than 1400 people off the streets. A third safe space is also on the cards in the CBD – the biggest to date.
  • Approved a substantial review of the Municipal Spatial Development Framework, with a focus on growing the economy and enabling investment.
  • Launched a city-wide clean-up campaign to get Capetonians to take more pride in a cleaner city
  • Launched the new City App, improved the C3 service request system, with more improvements coming.

‘And besides these big things, we are making progress in smaller but no less important things too. We are fixing buildings, re-opening community swimming pools, and I feel that sense of hope well up even when I see our newly-repaired old clock at the top of City Hall, which has not worked for nearly two decades but which now keeps the time perfectly,’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis.