DA saddened by passing of Senyaka Kekana

The DA is deeply saddened by the passing of legendary kwaito musician, Senyaka Kekana in Vereeniging yesterday.

Senyaka was born and raised in the Vaal, and has left an indelible mark on an entire generation of youngsters, who grew up listening to hits such as Go Away, Chesa Mpama and Romeo wa Nkolota.

While many will remember him for his influence on the South African music scene, thousands of residents in the Vaal will honour him as one of our own, and keep his memory alive.

The DA passes its deepest condolences to Senyaka’s bereaved family, because their loss, is our loss.

May his soul rest in peace


Media enquiries:

Kingsol Chabalala MPL

DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Evaton and Sebokeng

060 558 8299

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64 Essential Medicines Short at Gauteng Hospitals

A total of 64 essential medicines are unavailable or in short supply at Gauteng public hospitals, causing severe problems for patients who need them.

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Mahlangu, 86% of Vital medicines and 76% of Essential medicines are available.

Varying Shortages

Medicine shortages vary at different hospitals, depending on the level of care that is given.

Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital is the worst affected, with 51 drugs out of stock, followed by Leratong Hospital (50 items) and Kalafong Hospital which is short of 49 medicines.

The shortages at other major hospitals are as follows:

  • Helen Joseph Hospital –                 46
  • Steve Biko Academic –                  45
  • Edenvale Hospital –                       39
  • Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg –   37
  • South Rand Hospital –                   28

Out of stock medicines include:

  • Paracetomol tablets 500mg
  • Atenolol tablets
  • Amoxycillin acid suspension
  • Pethidine hydrochloride injection
  • Rantidine hydrochloride injection
  • Ibuprufen suspension 100mg
  • Calcium carbonate tablets
  • Zinc sulphate syrup
  • Lactulose syrup
  • Omeprazole capsules

(Full list available on request)

MEC Blames National Tenders

I am aware of cases where patients are given a script and told to buy from a private pharmacy, but many cannot afford to do this.

Mahlangu says that if stocks are low, patients get a one month supply instead of the usual 3 month supply, and that institutions assist each other where medicines are in short supply.

She blames the non-availability of medicines on national tenders and the failure of suppliers to build up the necessary stock levels to meet the province’s needs.

It is scandalous that nearly one in four essential medicines are not available in Gauteng public hospitals and clinics.

This appalling situation has dragged on for far too long and requires effective measures to ensure that medicines are always available.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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What is the Future of Sizwe TB Hospital?

Today is World TB day on which we should reflect on what should be done to combat this scourge in our country, where 15 000 cases of drug-resistant TB are diagnosed each year but only about half are treated.

While Gauteng has achieved a commendable TB cure rate of over 80%, there is a big question surrounding the future of the Sizwe Tropical Diseases Hospital in Sandringham, Johannesburg which is the only specialized TB hospital in Gauteng  for treating drug-resistant TB cases.

According to a written reply by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature, only 150 out of 266 beds are currently used at this hospital.

According to the MEC: “The number of admissions dropped due to the national decentralization policy where Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB) patients can now be initiated on treatment at decentralized sites near their homes”.

The hospital is short of 8 Professional Nurses, 4 Staff Nurses and 10 Assistant Nurses.

The MEC says that there are no plans to close this hospital in view of the extensive Rietfontein housing and commercial development nearby.

But residents have been told by the Rietfontein developers at one meeting that the Sizwe hospital will be closed.

The Sizwe Hospital is a national monument and has an important role to play in combating TB in Gauteng, as well as treating MDR-TB cases from neighbouring provinces.

The Gauteng a Health Department needs to assure us about the future of this hospital in treating specialised TB cases.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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Delayed Electrification Sets Khutsong Ablaze

Residents of Khutsong south, ext. 5, near Carletonville, have taken to the streets, burning tyres and blockading roads over the non-electrification of RDP houses in the area.

Over a thousand RDP units in the area are still without power – despite owners taking occupation more than three years ago.

This is another example of how residents in Merafong have been forgotten by the ANC-led municipality.

In the third quarter of this financial year, only 21% of Merafong’s R294 million capital budget had been spent, and it is likely that residents will continue to suffer at the hands of an uncaring government.

In February of this year, I called on the Gauteng MEC for Local Government, Jacob Mamabolo, to institute a provincial intervention in terms of Section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution and to place Merafong under provincial administration.

To date, there has been no move to by the MEC to take the matter in hand.

As a result of this inaction, the DA has moved to petition for the removal of the Mayor and Municipal Manager before the situation is beyond fixing.

This petition has so far collected 6 000 signatures and is rapidly increasing.

If no action is taken soon, residents of Khutsong ext. 5 will continue to remain on the periphery of society.

Media enquiries:
Ina Cilliers MPL
DA Constituency Head: Merafong
060 556 4344

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DA Calls for Urgent Intervention at Lyttelton Police Station

This morning Councillor Clive Napier of Ward 57 (Lyttelton-Centurion) and I visited the Lyttelton Police Station which remains under-resourced almost a year after the Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malubane was made aware of the problem.

Residents of the greater Centurion area have for months been victim of sustained criminal activities, ranging from hijackings, to armed robberies and burglaries, while the Lyttelton Police Station has simply not had the necessary manpower and resources to protect the community.

Despite a number of dedicated police officers at the station, they are hampered in their work through understaffing, a shortage of vehicles and the lack of safe holding cells.

The reconstruction of the gate house and charge office has been on hold for years, further hampering the effective operation of the police station.

The DA has received a petition with hundreds of signatures from Centurion residents requesting a thorough and urgent investigation into the staffing and equipment shortages of the police station as well as the condition of its infrastructure.

The DA will hand over the petition to MEC Nkosi-Malobane and Provincial Police Commissioner Lesiba Mothiba, and demand that the shortfalls are addressed with utmost urgency, and for the police station to be upgraded

Centurion’s residents need an effective and well-resourced police station to combat rapidly spiralling crime levels in the area

Media enquiries:

Solly Msimanga MPL

DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Centurion

060 558 8308

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West Rand Merger Politically Motivated, Not People Centred

The proposed merger of the Randfontein, Westonaria, Mogale City and Merafong local municipalities into a single metropolitan municipality will have a detrimental impact on the lives of its residents.

Municipal Demarcation Board

In January 2015, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Pravin Gordhan, called on the Municipal Demarcation board to initiate the process of forming the merger.

Should the MDB continue with and complete the merger, wards – which are already under-serviced in the West Rand, will become much larger.

Spatial distance already poses a problem to service delivery, and should the merger go through, residents will have little or no access to their elected representatives.

Costs vs Quality of Service Delivery

Research indicates clearly that in almost all cases where a Metro has been established, the costs of services to residents have risen, and the quality of service delivery has markedly declined.

This drastic proposal is an attempt to cover up for the poor state of local government.

All four municipalities, specifically the two most dysfunctional – Westonaria and Merafong, have received qualified reports from the Auditor-General and have recently been investigated for corruption.

Coupled with this, the largest municipality in the West Rand, Mogale City, has repeatedly failed to spend its municipal infrastructure grant which it receives from national government for infrastructure development.

Due to mismanagement and underperformance, this grant has been revoked.

Efforts to Address Municipal Incompetence

It is clear that the ANC’s efforts to address municipal incompetence by establishing a Metro in the West Rand is a blatant effort to manipulate borders of voting districts in a desperate attempt to cling to power– and has nothing to do with the wellbeing of residents.

Results from the 2014 national and provincial elections showed the ANC in Gauteng on the decline.

By merging these municipalities, the ANC is attempting to dilute opposition support by circumventing the ballot box – as it is highly possible that Mogale City will become another DA-run municipality in Gauteng.

The process to re-evaluate the external boundaries of municipalities normally takes 2 to 3 years.

This proposal from the ANC, only 17 months prior to the next local government election, places our democracy in a very precarious situation.

The creation of a Metro will not create more jobs in the private sector, increase service delivery, nor encourage economic development in the West Rand.

It will not change the lives of residents of the West Rand.

In fact, the situation is likely to worsen if the Municipal Demarcation Board is bullied by the ANC into accepting this proposal.


Media enquires:

Johan Jooste

DA Deputy Chairperson: West Rand Region

082 376 6520

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DA Moves to Stop Illegal Tshwane Land Auctions

The land auctions announced by the City of Tshwane municipality to take place tomorrow (24 March 2015) should be stopped as they are not legal.Fred Nel DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

In a reply to me last week from the Gauteng MEC for COGTA it transpired that the City did not follow proper public participation processes to determine whether the properties it intended to sell are necessary for current or future municipal service delivery.

Public Not Properly Consulted

It is my view that the public and other stakeholders were not properly consulted to determine whether the land to be auctioned was necessary for municipal service delivery.

At least 11 of the properties are currently zoned as public open space and selling it off could find the City in contravention of its own Spatial Development Framework (SDF), which requires a minimum number of public open spaces required for the city’s population.

In the light of the City’s densification policy, public open spaces are a critical design element.

Click here to view the list of properties on auction (Pdf, 15Mb).

Land for Education and Low Cost Housing

One of the properties offered for sale is currently zoned for education purposes. The report that served before the council to seek approval for the sale of the properties did not indicate whether the Department of Education would require this property for future use as a school.

Properties currently zoned for housing are also among the list, which may impact on the Gauteng government’s plans to deliver housing to the poor.

Land for low cost housing is already scarce and by selling it off land Tshwane worsens the situation. It also goes against Premier David Makhura’s plans to use state owned land to spark development and growth.

Two of the properties are currently zoned as transport hubs and one property earmarked for sale was required as a future transport hub.


There is also concern that some of the properties have rivers, streams and fountains, and may be ecologically sensitive, which disqualifies them from being sold.

It also seems as if the projected prices properties may fetch as presented to the Tshwane Council, were heavily inflated – as many were based on future value after development had taken place.

Current value may be much lower than purported by the Tshwane municipality.

To this end I wrote to Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC Jacob Mamobolo to urgently intervene in terms of his powers as provided for in the Municipal Systems Act.

In the meantime, the DA will compile a submission to the Office of the Public Protector to investigate the legality of the Tshwane land auctions.


Media enquiries

Fred Nel MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

083 263 2427

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Departmental Bungling Could Shut Down SMMEs

At least five SMMEs participating in the Mohlakeng Hub on the West Rand face closure if the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) fails to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Randfontein Local Municipality to inject R6 million in to this project over the next three years.Janet Semple DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Economic Development

GEP has until 31 March 2015 to sign this agreement.

Aim of the Hub

Coupled with this cash injection, the Gauteng Department of Economic Development and its entity, GEP, have agreed to foot the bill for participants’ municipal bills, but cannot do so until the MoU is signed.

The aim of the hub is to incubate SMMEs in the following sectors:

  • Carpentry;
  • Furniture manufacturing;
  • Welding and steel works;
  • Embroidery and clothing manufacturing.

Not Functional

At a presentation to the Gauteng Economic Development Portfolio, it was revealed that despite service provider WESTCOL facilitating training, the hub is currently not functional.

What is of even more concern is that there are no partnerships in place with experienced incubators or hubs to increase the knowledge capacity of participants.

The hub also requires an intensive incubation programme to assist participants in growing their businesses and understanding the market environment.

The Importance of SMMEs

Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, in his State of the Province Address emphasised the importance of SMME stimulation and growth to aid in the re industrialisation of the province.

However, Mohlakeng is one of many examples where the administration jeopardises the future of small and medium sized business by not creating an environment conducive to sustainable market access or competitiveness.

Rather, for many it is like starting on the back foot.

Gauteng Economic Development MEC, Lebogang Maile, must ensure that this MOU is signed before five more SMMEs in the province fail as a result of bureaucratic bungling.

The DA will monitor this situation closely to ensure the sustainability of this project.


Media enquiries
Janet Semple MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Economic Development
082 462 8239

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Gauteng Hospitals Owe R2.9 million on Over-priced Diesel

Gauteng hospitals owe R2.9 million to companies that supply diesel for boilers, tractors and back-up generators.

This is revealed in a written reply by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.Jack Blom DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

Companies Owed

The Gauteng Health Department buys diesel from a number of companies in terms of a contract by National Treasury.

The following companies are owed money:

  • Kiarah Chemicals cc                     R936 835
  • One Line Project Solutions cc          R491 150
  • Kebaratile General Trading             R29 227
  • Afric Oil Pty Ltd                             R373 219
  • General Energy Systems Pty Ltd     R1 065 358


I am aware of cases where late supply of diesel has led to generators failing after power cuts, and boilers with no steam to provide heat and sterilise surgical instruments.

Discounted Rates

I am also concerned that the department pays R12.38 per litre of diesel, which is a bit more than you would pay at a local garage.

Surely a discount rate could have been achieved as part of the diesel tender?

This is yet another example where the department is getting poor value for money and there are supply disruptions because of non-payment.

The department should pay its bills and ensure a reliable diesel supply for hospitals.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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John Moodey to Present the True State of Ekurhuleni Metro

This morning DA Gauteng Provincial Leader, John Moodey, DA Ekurhuleni Caucus Leader, Cllr Fortune Mahano and DA Ekurhuleni caucus members will brief the media over the true state of the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality.


The briefing will take place outside the Wanneburg Clinic in the informal settlement of Makause near Primrose, Germiston, where the DA will present its policy alternatives in the run up to Executive Mayor Mondli Gungubele’s State of the City Address on Wednesday.



Date: Monday, 23 March 2015


Time: 09:30


Venue: Wanneburg Clinic, Pretoria Road, (between Bus and Mimosa Roads) Primrose


Click here to view map.



There will be ample opportunity for interviews and photographs. Members of the media are welcome to attend.



Media enquiries:

Cllr Fortune Mahano

DA Ekurhuleni Caucus Leader

072 451 2645


Angela Barnes

DA Media Liaison – Ekurhuleni Caucus

083 701 9972