Gauteng Economic Development MEC Silent on Job Creation

Jobs Created Through Gauteng Department of Economic DevelopmentJanet Semple DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Economic Development

Despite numerous requests by the Gauteng Legislature’s Economic Development Committee, MEC for Economic Development, Lebogang Maile, has failed to provide the number of jobs created through initiatives administered by his department.

Over the four quarters of the 2014/15 financial year, the committee repeatedly asked the MEC to provide these figures.

Sadly, they were never produced.

Transformation, Modernisation and Reindustrialisation (TMR)

As part of Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s vision of Transformation, Modernisation and Reindustrialisation (TMR) for the province – the Department of Economic Development has a critical role to play.

Without tangible figures to pair with budgetary expenditure, the success or failure of this department, and ultimately the TMR programme, will be impossible to assess – and in all likelihood come to naught.

This trend is set to continue, as the MEC failed to include any forecasts in this year’s (2015/16) Annual Performance Plan.

Unemployment in Gauteng

In a province with an unemployment rate sitting just over 46%, it is critical that the Department ensures that it has a system in place to adequately adapt to the demands of the people.

I will continue to push for these indicators to be included in the Department’s performance assessment plans towards realising freedom, fairness and opportunity for all.

To this end I will be submitting oral questions to the MEC demanding an explanation as to how the Department aims to increase job creation without targets and outcomes measurement of programmes.

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

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School Tablets Recall Points to Farcical Roll Out Plan

Pilot E-Learning Initiatives

The announcement Gauteng Education MEAshor Sarupen DA Gauteng Spokesperson for ICTC Panyaza Lesufi  that tablets provided to schools to pilot e-learning initiatives would be recalled due to rampant theft indicates that the department was ill-prepared for the roll-out.

The ANC in Gauteng has trumpeted the roll-out of tablets to schools on its own as a major success, but the fact that over 3000 have already been stolen, and of 88 000, only 60 000 are still in the field points to the fact that the education department was not ready to implement e-learning or manage these tablets effectively.

Tablets Distributed Without Tracking Technology

It has now been revealed that the tablets were distributed without any tracking technology, necessitating the recall so they could be fitted with trackers after a spate of burglaries in schools that appear to have targeted these tablets.

Schools were each provided with 40 tablets, meaning that at least 75 schools would have had to have been burgled for 3000 to be stolen. The cost of repairs to these schools after a burglary alone would be massive, let alone the costs of replacing the tablets.

The fact that tablets were rolled out without tracking devices to deter theft demonstrates that this was not properly planned or thought through.

In the entire process from procurement to roll out to monitoring, the ANC government has shown scant regard for effective management of public resources.

The Auditor-General

The Auditor-General found that the procurement process for purchasing these tablets was deficient, with points awarded to the winning bidder outside of advertised tender specifications.

In many schools, the teachers were not adequately trained to use them as a teaching aid.

Mostly, they became a target of theft.

Gauteng Online

Gauteng Online was aimed at proving computing labs to every school in Gauteng. These labs proved to be unworkable and marred by widespread theft and inadequate training.

This ultimately led to its failure.

No lessons appear to have been learnt despite over R2-billion in public funds spent with reckless abandon. One would expect the ANC government to be better prepared for future projects.

It appears no lessons have been learnt. The DA will table questions to enquire what the direct impact of the withdrawal of these tablets will have on learners, as well as demand why the implementation was deficient and did not anticipate and mitigate the risk of rampant theft.


Media enquiries:

Ashor Sarupen

DA Gauteng Spokesperson for ICT

060 558 8303

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Good News Finally for Wonderboom Airport, Much Still to be Done

State of the City AddressJustus de Goede DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Transportation

The DA welcomes Tshwane Executive Mayor Kgosienso Ramokgopa’s announcement during his 2015 State of the City address that two airlines would provide three daily flights between Wonderboom Airport and Cape Town.

The announcement came as a surprise, as the decision was presented neither to the city’s Transport and Roads Committee nor to Council. It is nevertheless a positive step for Wonderboom, which has been seriously neglected in recent years.

Hopefully, this will be better planned than the previous attempt to introduce scheduled domestic flights.

Preservation of Wonderboom Aiport

The DA has fought a long campaign in the Metro Council for the preservation and utilisation of Wonderboom as an economic asset, and has consistently urged that the necessary changes be made to allow the airport to reach its full potential.

For years the many private flying schools and air charter companies based at the airport have battled both with a lack of and price of fuel, which for long was the highest in the country.

Questionable Tenders

Both these problems had their roots in questionable tenders approved by municipal officials.

The struggle by operators to obtain fuel and keep their businesses going is well documented, but in the process many paid large amounts of money to construct their own fuelling structures.

However, the new Wonderboom Airport bylaw, which will shortly go to Council, stipulates that the municipality will be the sole fuel supplier at the airport.

This of course raises the question of whether operators will be compensated for their outlays as a result of fuel problems not of their making.

Tshwane Executive Mayor Kgosienso Ramokgopa to Calrify

Mayor Ramokgopa should clarify this as a matter of urgency, as well as confirm that the Civil Aviation Authority has approved the routes he has announced.

The nature and cost of any improvements to the airport to meet national safety standards should also be put to Council without delay.

The DA looks forward to the privatisation of the management of Wonderboom Airport, to allow it to operate on business principles separate from the municipality, as well as to the granting of international status, which has been dragging on for more than a decade.


Media Enquiries:

Justus de Goede MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Transportation

060 558 8305

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Tembisa Schools Sanitation: Government did not Heed Earlier Warnings

Lack of Suitable Sanitation FacilitiesMervyn Cirota, MPL DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Human Settlements

The lack of suitable sanitation facilities at Gauteng schools is unacceptable, and the Department of Education cannot continue to ignore this humanitarian disaster.

Schools in Tembisa have been in a state of crisis for more than two years, with more than half the schools seeing up to 100 students forced to share one toilet , where one in five toilets are broken as well as general shortage of soap and toilet paper.

These shortages are nothing new and were brought to the attention of former Education MEC Barbara Creecy 2013.

At the time a survey showed that 90% of Tembisa schools had insufficient infrastructure or sanitation facilities in place.

R115 million for Infrastructure Development

Despite Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi’s 2014 promise of R115 million for infrastructure development at 587 schools, schools in Tembisa remain in a state of disarray.

The need for proper sanitation infrastructure in schools cannot be over-emphasised.

A lack of proper facilities poses a great health risk to learners and educators alike, and the DA calls on both MEC Panyaza Lesufi and Infrastructure Development MEC, Nandi Mayathula Khoza to urgently attend to this crisis.

The DA deplores the ANC government’s lack of sensitivity to the dignity and basic needs of learners in our province.


Media enquiries:

Mervyn Cirota MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Human Settlements

060 558 8312

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DA Welcomes Gauteng Education Findings on Food Poisoning and Curro

Food Poisoning and RacismKhume Ramulifho, MPL: DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

The DA welcomes findings by the Gauteng Education Department into the Emma Primary School food poisoning incident and racism at the Curro Primary School.

So too do we appreciate MEC Panyaza Lesufi relaying the findings of the food poisoning and convey our sympathies with the parents who have lost their children. We further call on the South African Police Service to investigate the alleged intentional food poisoning by one of the learner’s grandmothers.

Remedial Steps

We further note the remedial steps taken by Education MEC Panyaza and his strong condemnation against racism at the Curro School, Pretoria which the management admitted received pressure from white parents to separate learners based on their cultural backgrounds.

It is shameful that after 21 years of a democracy racism continues to plague our society.

The Heartbeat of our Democracy

We live in a culturally diverse society and wholly inclusive society, with people of different cultures, races and socio-economic backgrounds.

Diversity is the heartbeat of our democracy and the DA calls on parents across our province to foster a sense of unity in diversity among our children, and build a society of freedom, fairness and opportunity.


Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho, MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

082 398 7375

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West Rand Metro: Minister Gordhan Succumbs to Internal ANC Pressure

Merger of Four West Rand MunicipalitiesSolly Msimanga DA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson

Cooperative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s sudden turnaround on the merger of four West Rand municipalities into a single metropolitan area is not based on the needs of the people, but to placate provincial ANC interests.

In its latest circular, the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) refers to a letter from the minister requesting that after consultations with Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC Jacob Mamabolo, the Mogale, Randfontein, Westonaria and Merafong municipalities be merged into a single metropolitan municipality.

Click here to view the circular.

Opposition to the Proposed Merger

While the Minister does not provide any further explanation, pre-emptive moves by the provincial ANC, such as past statements by MEC Mamabolo in the Legislature, the appointment of a “change manager” to manage the merger, and media statements by the West Rand and Gauteng ANC welcoming a proposed merger, are clear indications that vested ANC interests are at play.

The DA opposition to the proposed merger is a matter of record, based on the premise that the area in question does not comply with requirements as set down by legislation, such as high population densities, viable economic nodes and where there is a large movement of people, goods and services within the administrative area.

Spatial Segregation

Furthermore, the so-called assertion that metros are effective service delivery vehicles is untrue, as government’s own research shows that in all South African metros (except the City of Cape Town after 2006 when the DA took over), costs rose and the quality of service delivery declined.

The creation of a Metro will also not address spatial segregation, as all municipalities are mandated by sections 152 and 153 of the Constitution to deliver services, to promote social and economic development, and to budget in such a manner so as to prioritise those needs.

There is no evidence that suggests that basic service delivery and the quality of life of communities in poor performing municipalities improved after being incorporated into metros.

In fact it only happened in the DA-governed City of Cape Town and in municipalities across the country where the DA was elected to govern, such as Midvaal in Gauteng.

Competent Local Government

To this end, the DA will register its opposition to the establishment of a metropolitan municipality in the West Rand with the MDB within the 21-day period, and we call on all affected residents to do so as well.

We will also launch an intensive campaign across all four affected municipalities, explaining to people the reasons behind our opposition, and ask them to join us and lodge their own submissions opposing the merger.

The answer to improved service delivery does not lie in merging poor performing municipalities into metropolitan municipalities, it lies in competent local government, staffed with skilled professionals who put the needs of the people first.


Media enquiries:

Solly Msimanga MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson

060 558 8308

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Gauteng Sport Department Parties on While Athletes are Short-changed

Gauteng Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture (SRAC)Solly Msimanga DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sports

The Gauteng Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture (SRAC) is more focused on hosting lavish events than nurturing young sporting talent in Gauteng.

In December 2014, the Department spent R3,9 million over two days to host a “Gauteng pre-camp” event for athletes attending the SA Schools Championship to be held in 2015.

According to the Department this event hosted 1 266 people.

This number seems extraordinarily high considering that only 250 young athletes qualified for the Gauteng team to attend the SA Schools Championship.

No Funding Secured

In March of this year, letters were sent out to the parents of the 250 qualifying learners indicating that funding had not been secured to supply transport, accommodation and food at the event hosted in Rustenburg.

While this funding comes from the National Department of Sport, the Gauteng SRAC Department should have made up the shortfall, as many qualifying learners could not afford to attend.

Instead, the department sees fit to utilise its budget on costly events.

The DA has for years been calling for the re-prioritisation of the department’s expenditure from hosting lavish events and overseas trips for MECs to focussing its attention on budding young talent.

A Crushing Blow to Sport Development

Gauteng Sports MEC Molebatsi Bopape, like her predecessors, continues to ignore this advice – dealing a crushing blow to sport development.

The DA will demand MEC Bopape provide more detail of the event hosted in December – and whether it entailed coaching, whether coaches were certified and how the event prepared learners for SA Schools Championships.

The DA will continue to pressurise MEC Bopape until this department re-prioritises itself from being a “department of events” to one that develops and nurtures the province’s sporting talent.


Media enquiries:

Solly Msimanga MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sports

060 558 8308

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DA to Reveal Financial Impact of Tshwane’s Pre-paid Smart Meters

On Wednesday, 13 May, DA Gauteng Provincial Leader, John Moodey MPL, DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Procurement, Adriana Randall MPL, DA Tshwane Shadow MMC for Finance, Cllr Lex Middelberg, will brief the media on the planned R1,4 billion contract exit fee expenditure for prepaid electricity meters, and the true state of the City of Tshwane’s finances.


Date: 13 May 2015

Time: 10:00

Venue: DA Gauteng North Regional Office, Midcity building, 501 Jorissen Street, Sunnyside


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


Media enquiries:

Cllr Lex Middelberg

083 627 3713

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Investigate Zonder-Water Housing Project: DA

Zonder-Water Housing DevelopmentKingsol Chabalala DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Evaton

Of 935 homes to be built as part of the Zonder-Water housing project in Evaton, Gauteng, only 256 have been constructed – despite 92% of the budget having been already spent.

In 2011, work began on the Zonder-Water housing development, but came to an inexplicable halt in March 2013.

For the past two years, the construction company that won the tender to carry out work on the project, Rirothe Construction, has not been on site.

The budget for this development was set at R5,5 million, but despite their having been no activity on site for the past two years, R5,1 million has already been spent.

Intervention by CoGTA

It is of great concern that the Department for Cooperative Governance, Housing and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) has not yet intervened on the matter.

In a written reply from MEC Jacob Mamabolo, it is indicated that this project will be complete in the 2016/17 financial year.

It is highly unlikely that 73% of the work that needs to be carried out can be achieved with little over 8% of what remains of the budget.

The DA will request the Auditor-General and the Public Protector to investigate the matter – as it is clear the Gauteng Provincial Government does not effectively deal with maladministration.

I will question MEC Mamabolo about this matter and demand he explain how this project has been ignored by his department, while residents of Evaton have been left stranded.


Media enquiries:

Kingsol Chabalala MPL

DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Evaton

060 558 8299

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DA Urges Education MEC to Include All Stakeholders in Merger Talks

Failed Merger between Megatong and Sediba-Thuto Primary SchoolsKhume Ramulifho, MPL: DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

The DA notes Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi’s intention to consult stakeholders regarding the future of the failed merger between Megatong and Sediba-Thuto primary schools on Monday 11 May in Soweto.

However, it is regrettable that the MEC chose to only invite local ANC branch members and excluded the rest of the community from participating in this crucial meeting.

Undermines Transparency and Good Governance

This clearly undermines transparency and good governance practices, as communities will only support government initiatives after comprehensive consultation.

In 2008, former education MEC Barbara Creecy merged the two schools, but despite the department’s efforts, the practicality of the merger proved difficult.

The DA raised concerns with former MEC Creecy about the merger – which subsequently led to an investigation task team to look into the matter.

As a consequence, stakeholders have to be engaged again.

Education is Crucial

This merger will continue to remain contentious unless proper consultations are held, and the DA urges MEC Lesufi to ensure that all the stakeholders, including the community, parents, opposition parties and interested groups are invited on Monday.

Education is crucial to creating opportunities for a better life, and the MEC’s refusal to listen to the needs of all members of communities will cripple our democratic ideals.


Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho, MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

082 398 7375

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