Merafong’s Mega Sinkhole still Endangering Motorists

The R500 in MerafongIna Cilliers DA Constituency Head: Merafong

The massive sinkhole on the R500 in Merafong has still not been repaired despite assurances from Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC, Ismail Vadi, that the issue would be dealt with as a matter of urgency.

In July 2014, MEC Vadi indicated that this sinkhole would be repaired by September 2014.

To date, the sinkhole has not been attended to by the Department.

Alternate Route in Disrepair

As time goes by, the alternate route around the sinkhole has fallen in to disrepair due to the high volume of traffic and farming vehicles that make use of this route daily.

In reply to questions I posed to the MEC, it is clear that this issue will not be resolved any time soon.

Why so long MEC Vadi

MEC Vadi states that this issue will be resolved before the end of the current financial year – at an estimated cost of R8 million.

It is unacceptable that the department has dragged its heels on this issue – unnecessarily placing motorists in harm’s way.

I will write to the MEC and demand this issue be prioritised.

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

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Randfontein: Another Example of Failed Governance

Randfontein MunicipalityFred Nel DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

The Randfontein Municipality, indebted to Eskom for an amount of R81m, has managed to strike a deal to pay off the debt over 27 months in instalments of R3million a month.

While this will come as a relief to the residents of Randfontein, who were faced with the possibility of being disconnected as a result of the municipality’s debt, the fact remains that the ANC led administration in Randfontein is not up to the task of looking after its residents.

Debt and Low Collection Rates

Debt has been accumulating in the municipality since 2011 due to low collection rates, inadequate measures taken to combat cable theft and poor financial management.

Of considerable concern is that this huge debt will be carried over to the new local municipality when Randfontein and Westonaria merge after the 2016 local government elections.

MEC Must Investigate

Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Jacob Mamabolo, must launch an investigation to probe why the situation was allowed to develop and take action against those responsible.

Local municipalities have become hotbeds for corruption, nepotism and cronyism – driving many into the ground.

Examples need to be made of those responsible, this poor model of governance can no longer be perpetuated in Gauteng.


Media enquiries

Fred Nel MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

083 263 2427

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Shocking Treatment of Teen Orphan with Broken Shoulder

Hospitals Fail to do SurgeryJack Bloom DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

A 17-year-old orphan from Eldorado Park is traumatised and in pain after public hospitals failed to do surgery for his broken shoulder for more than two weeks.

James (not his real name) is a promising football player who broke his collar bone on 21 April. He was rushed to South Rand Hospital where they arranged for him to be transferred to Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital. He spent many hours waiting to be treated, and doctors there said he would have to have surgery.

Last week on Friday he was woken up at 2 am in the morning at CMJH and transferred to Edenvale Hospital which had not been notified that he was coming. They told him to go him this week, and now doctors say he may only be able to have surgery in 4 to 6 weeks.

It’s a shocking saga of poor treatment for a young man who is trying to make a success of his life but is missing school and feeling miserable because of the callous way he has been treated.

Mrs Sam Toweel Moore

A friend and mentor, Mrs Sam Toweel Moore, has posted the following on her Facebook page:

Solutions please : I’m desperate for some guidance if anyone could advise me I would be eternally grateful. On the 21st April a young Growing Champion broke and displaced part of his collar bone. He was raced to the closest hospital – South Rand Hospital and they arranged for him to be relocated to Johannesburg General Hospital as they do not specialise in orthopaedics. They called to ensure there was a bed for him. We were told to check in at Trauma Casualty. So after 5 hours with no pain medication we headed to the new hospital. We waited from midnight to 4:30 am with no assistance. I finally overheard the doctors speaking about “the clavicle “. I explained I’m with the “clavicle ” and as he is under 18 and has lost both parents I would like to be consulted re his care. The doctors said looking as his X rays they would have to do surgery and he will be checked into a ward, I should go home. I called the next day and they couldn’t find him on the admissions list and was told maybe it wasn’t yet updated. I called again at 10 am and was told the same thing. I asked them to put me through to casualty. There he was still sitting bent over in his dirty football clothes with nowhere to rest. He hadn’t been fed either. I called PRO and asked that he be provided with food and a bed as we had checked for a bed before arriving. They said they couldn’t help. At 5pm that day I found him without even a sheet or blanket to keep him warm sitting on the same bench in casualty. He had received NO food or care from the hospital. I pleaded his case and was promised again he would move into the ward. His Coach washed him and we fed him. He spent another night and half a day sitting on the bench watching trauma clients come in. FINALLY he moved to a ward. He was promised surgery every day of the second week of admission, and not fed so he could go to theatre, except he never did. Missing 2 weeks of schooling. On Friday morning he was woken up at 2am told they can’t offer him a bed any longer do they transferred him to Edenvale hospital where he sat in casualty until 7:30 am before getting a bed. Eventually the doctor saw him and told him to go home and rewritten on Monday. When he returned today they told him he may be able to have surgery in 4-6 WEEKS. Will it actually happened? This treatment is inhumane and he has faced so much rejection and unkindness I have to believe kindness is bound to come his way. Please help me help him. Does anyone know of any way I can get this young man who doesn’t have income help? Quickly? 

I have advised Mrs Moore to write directly to Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in this matter.

This young man has been let down by our public hospital system and deserves prompt treatment instead of possibly waiting several weeks to get his shoulder fixed. He worries that without proper treatment he may never be able to play football again.

I hope that his case prompts action by the Gauteng Health Department to improve service in our hospitals.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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Gauteng Land Invasions a Result of Government’s Failure

Gauteng Provincial GovernmentMervyn Cirota, MPL DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Human Settlements

The failure of the Gauteng Provincial Government to provide adequate housing to the poor is reaching a boiling point, resulting in a rise in land invasions, such as what took place in Eldorado Park Extension 6, yesterday.

Instead of waiting on government to do its job, communities are becoming increasingly determined and are organising to take matters into their own hands.

MEC Jacob Mamabolo

To date Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Jacob Mamabolo has not provided a solution to the problem and despite continuous red flags raised by residents, has failed to acknowledge or understand communities’ plight.

The MEC’s actions continue to be reactive threatening apartheid-style forced removals – only increasing tensions.

Re-evaluation on Housing

Unless a complete re-evaluation on housing provision and allocation is immediately undertaken to deal with the 700 000 unit backlog in Gauteng, protests are likely to continue unabated.

If the MEC refuses to hear the voices and demands of the poorest of the poor, informal settlements will remain a hotbed of political and social instability.


Media enquiries:

Mervyn Cirota MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Human Settlements

060 558 8312

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Barcelona. The Forgotten Community of Ekurhuleni

Basic Services in Ekurhuleni Michele Clarke DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety

Residents of the Barcelona informal settlement in Ekurhuleni have spent the last 21 years living in conditions that are an affront to their basic human rights.

The majority of residents have no access to basic services – despite numerous attempts to have these critical needs brought to the attention of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM).

Community members petitioned the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to have their grievances heard, and subsequently, water tankers were brought in to the area to ease the situation.

However, this is not a viable solution.

The community have now petitioned for the removal of their ward councillor and tabled a petition of no confidence in the EMM to perform its duties.

When asked what steps EMM Mayor, Mondlie Gungubele, had taken to address this issue – I was provided with the terse and empty phrase “… the Municipality have committed to continue providing services and ultimately eradicating informal settlements in line with the Human Settlements Turnaround Strategy.”

Residents of Barcelona cannot continue to live in a manner that strips them of their dignity and deprives them of their basic human rights.

I will write to Gauteng Human Settlements MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, and request that his department monitor the EMM and ensure that they fulfil their constitutional obligations to the people of Barcelona.


Media Enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Benoni

060 558 8309

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West Rand to Remain a Forgotten “Corridor”

Gauteng Premier David MakhuraIna Cilliers DA Constituency Head: Merafong

Despite Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s grand plan to revitalise forgotten municipalities throughout the province, as outlined in his concept of provincial corridors, little has been done to advance the economy of the West Rand.

In fact, the premier’s so-called “corridors” are nothing new – they are geographical areas that arose as a result of Apartheid spatial planning.

Mining Activities on the West Rand

With the decline of mining activities on the West Rand in recent years, the primary employer for many residents, its economy has been dealt a serious blow.

In an attempt to reverse it, Premier Makhura insisted that his administration would roll out a plan to diversify the West Rand economy, focusing on the following:

  • Positioning the West Rand as a hub for agri-businesses, agri-processing and horticulture – as well as the establishment of a freshwater prawn farm;
  • The investment of R20 million, budgeted over the next two financial years, to establish a milling facility in Randfontein;
  • The establishment of solar farms and;
  • Investing in the manufacturing of coaches to supply mass transit bus fleets.

I was extremely alarmed by the replies to questions I posed regarding the above to Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Lebogang Maile.

All initiatives for the establishment of agri-businesses, agri-processing, horticulture and the freshwater prawn farm are to be driven by the private sector – with no financial support or involvement from the provincial government.

Similarly, the solar farms and mass transit manufacturing of buses are both private sector initiatives.

The People’s Premier

Despite proposing to invest R20 million in the milling facility over the next two years, no effort has been made to link this project to its related market – its success is to be measured on its physical construction and not its economic viability.

While Premier Makhura has been touted as the “people’s Premier”, it would appear that the façade of unsubstantial rhetoric is starting to slip.

The West Rand will not experience the economic stimulation required to regenerate and prosper under this ANC-led administration.

Its people will be forgotten, unemployment and inequality will spiral out of control, while the Government of the day continues to provide plans devoid of substance.
Media enquiries:
Ina Cilliers MPL
DA Constituency Head: Merafong
060 556 4344

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Cockroaches in Joburg Hospital

Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg HospitalJack Bloom DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

Cockroaches infest a number of wards in the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital.

The situation is particularly bad in the Ophthalmic department in wards 266 and 267.


Mrs Ellen Levy of Victory Park in Johannesburg took her grandson’s caregiver there yesterday for urgent eye treatment, and was distressed to see cockroaches scurrying around on the floor (photo available on request).

Staff shrug their shoulders about the cockroaches that plague the hospital.

It is shocking that poor hygiene allows cockroaches to flourish in parts of the hospital.

High standards of cleanliness are non-negotiable in a hospital where infection risk needs to be minimized.

Hospital management should attend to the cockroach problem as soon as possible.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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Lights to Shine Again on Atlas Road

Lights on Atlas RoadGraham Gersbach DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Roads

After years of constant persistence by the DA in the Gauteng Legislature and DA Ward Councillor, Andre du Plessis, Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, has finally instructed departmental officials to ensure the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) repair the lights on Atlas Road in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni.

Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport

While I have received confirmation that work has begun on this stretch of road, MEC Vadi has failed to provide a completion date for the project.

This is most likely as a result of previous timelines having not been adhered to.

The MEC has, on numerous occasions in the past, provided completion dates for repairs to lighting on this stretch of road, all of which were never met.

While the DA is pleased that MEC Vadi has finally taken action, I will request that we are provided with a detailed work plan that outlines the roll out and completion of this project.


Media Enquiries:

Graham Gersbach MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Roads

060 556 4346

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Is the Gauteng Government Prepared for Initiation Season?

Initiation SchoolsLebo More - DA Gauteng Constituency Head: Katlehong

As the onset of winter approaches, the DA remains concerned over the readiness of the Gauteng Provincial Government and Traditional Councils to prevent any possible deaths at initiation schools.

Hundreds of young boys across our country tragically lose their lives at these schools as a result of unhygienic conditions and unsterilized equipment.

Training Cultural Practitioners and Traditional Surgeons

The DA-governed Western Cape has developed progressive strategies to train cultural practitioners and traditional surgeons in the fields of first aid and fire management.

One death would be too many.

Gauteng MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

I will write to the Gauteng MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Jacob Mamabolo, to assess the state of preparedness across Gauteng.

It would also be strategic for medical officers to be on standby in case of emergencies.

It is better that preparations are done timeously to curb the unacceptably high mortality rates experienced at these schools.


Media queries:

Lebogang More MPL

DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Katlehong

072 273 4487

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Bara Doctors not Paid Overtime

Chris Hani Baragwanath HospitalJack Bloom DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

About 30 doctors at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital have not been paid overtime for the past month because of an administrative error.

Overtime pay typically accounts for as much as a third of a doctor’s income, so it is very distressing when it is unexpectedly not paid.

Overtime for Doctors

According to a source, the overtime forms for registrars were not processed and were found on the desk of an official.

This incompetence highlights yet again the poor management at this hospital which frequently makes things difficult for both staff and patients.

The Gauteng Health Department should intervene to ensure that the hospital functions effectively instead of lurching from crisis to crisis.

Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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