Gauteng Budget Does Not Finance Premier’s Promises

Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy’s budget speech today was an attempt to steer the provincial budget ship in a new direction to reprioritise expenditure to new programmes as government tries to placate unhappy ANC voters.


However, many years of poor ANC policy and direction means that there is no more fiscal space to meet Premier David Makhura’s new promises.


MEC Creecy has made no attempt to announce efficiencies on salaries, and the DA believes that the wage bill may erode the ability of the government to fulfil its programmes should there be a public sector wage strike.


Furthermore, the MEC has tried to create value for money by mentioning certain reductions, no announcement was made on the use of consultants. This in effect means that government pays people to do the job that those it is already paying are supposed to do – putting more pressure on the fiscus.


While the DA welcomes certain reductions in administration fees and expenditure on venues and facilities, we note with increasing concern that travel and subsistence allowances have been reduced by only 1,5%, despite Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s call for a 7% reduction.


Of further concern is government’s advertising budget only being reduced by a paltry 0,5%. Will Gauteng residents see yet another flurry of billboards in the ANC’s black green and yellow proclaiming government successes as we head for the 2016 local government elections? Only time will tell.


So too is the announcement of an additional R45 million allocated to the Legislature’s public participation budget. What more convenient manner to bring senior provincial ANC politicians to the people without dipping into the ANC’s election budget.


The more one digs into the budget, the more evident it becomes that the ANC is in full campaign mode.


Development corridors should focus on economic development, industrialisation and the creation of jobs, not only on the delivery of houses. Housing development must be accompanied by economic opportunity, which this budget does not do.


Development corridors were announced as a way to bring economic transformation, today all we heard was houses without jobs. This while the total infrastructure spend is R13 billion including conditional grants‎, but a lot is refurbishment and social expenditure rather than economic infrastructure.


Scant attention is paid to township development, with very little plans or details on bringing business to townships. MEC Creecy only made available R140 million for this purpose, down 20 million from the R160 million promised in October last year, and nowhere near the R300 million promised by Premier Makhura last Monday.


While the 2015/16 Gauteng budget may have the hallmarks of an execution plan for the agenda of achieving transformation, modernisation and reindustrialisation, it in fact remains business as usual while the ANC tries to placate disgruntled voters.


Media enquiries:

Adriana Randall MPL

060 556 4342

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance


Ashor Sarupen MPL

060 558 8303

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance




Gauteng Department of Community Safety dithers on drug master plan

The Gauteng Department of Community Safety has spent nearly an entire year promising the completion of a drug master plan to effectively deal with the scourge of drugs across the province.

In an about turn, the department now claims that the drug master plan falls out of its purview, and is the responsibility of the Gauteng Department of Social Development.

This was revealed in a written response to a question I posed to Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane.

However, at the recent Provincial Youth Summit, MEC Nkosi-Malobane stated that her department will be reinstating specialised drug units to deal with drug abuse.

The MEC’s department is responsible for the Drug Law Enforcement Framework, which will only be due in September 2015.

If Community Safety is charged with completing the framework by which the law is to be enforced – surely it would follow that they too would be responsible for the production of the provincial drug master plan?

The mixed messages emanating from the MEC leave little confidence in this ANC-led provincial administration to treat substance abuse with the gravitas it deserves.

The DA will continue to drive this issue, failure to do so will only allow this scourge to perpetuate while the ANC sticks its head in the sand.


Media enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng spokesperson on Community Safety

060 558 8309




Gauteng Health Pays R276m for Medical Negligence

The Gauteng Health Department paid R276 million over two years for 110 legal claims, the vast majority for medical negligence at hospitals.

This is revealed in documents I obtained from the department after making an application under the Promotion of Access to Information Act.

The highest pay-out was R16.5 million in the case of Kutloano Ntsebeng Makgomarela, who was brain-damaged when she was born at the Tembisa Hospital.

The Sheriff of the court visited the department seven times in 2013/14 because of overdue payments, and R4.4 million was wasted in paying interest on overdue accounts

R155 million was paid for 59 legal claims for the 2013/14 financial year and R121 million in the previous year for 51 court cases,

The upward trend in negligence cases is worrying, as is the department’s poor handling of these cases as it has lost every single case in the past four years.

I hope that the court cases spur action by the department to root out bad medical practices that injure patients.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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Criminal Gauteng SAPS members continue to serve

There are 271 South African Police Service members in Gauteng who continue to perform active duty despite having been convicted of committing criminal offences.

Of these, 248 have been convicted of committing serious crimes.

This was revealed by the MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, in a written response to a question I posed to her regarding this matter.

Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, in his State of the Province Address indicated that he would take a tough stance on crime and rebuilding confidence in the SAPS.

It is hard to imagine how this will be achieved when there are convicted criminals within the ranks of the SAPS.

Closer scrutiny and background checks should be done to ensure that the good guys in blue are not tarnished by nefarious characters.

The DA will demand that MEC Nkosi-Malobane takes steps to have these individuals relieved of their duties.

Media enquiries:
Michele Clarke MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety
060 558 8309