Workmen’s Comp Owes R38m To Gauteng Hospitals

Gauteng public hospitals are owed R38.2 million by the Workmen’s Compensation Fund, with some claims dating back to 2001.

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

In the last three years, 9061 claims were lodged by the Gauteng Health Department for a total value of R17.4 million, but only R3.34 million was paid out by the Fund.

Workers whose employers are registered with the Fund can claim if they are involved in an accident at work or develop an illness caused by working conditions.

According to Mahlangu, the under-recovery is due to insufficient information provided by the patient with regard to employers’ details, and employers not completing the relevant Employers report (WCL 2).

There is also a lack of response by the Fund to the claims submitted.

The largest amount (R7.5 million) is owed to the Steve Biko Hospital.

Other hospitals with more than R1 million outstanding include the following:

  • Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg – R4.9 million;
  • Tembisa – R4.416 million;
  • George Mukhari – R4.399 million;
  • Thelle Mogoerane (Natalspruit) – R2.47 million;
  • Helen Joseph – R2.19 million;
  • Kalafong – R1.95 million;
  • Chris Hani Baragwanath – R1.78 million; and
  • Leratong – R1.37 million.

The hospital with least owing to it is Rahima Moosa Hospital, where only R5186 is outstanding.

The department appointed a service provider in November last year to assist in recovery of outstanding claims from the Fund, but this measure has clearly failed

It is outrageous that so much is owed from the Fund, as the money is desperately needed to improve treatment in our hospitals.

Effective measures should be taken to ensure that outstanding money is recovered as soon as possible.

 

Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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Learner Safety Compromised As Security Goes To Closed Schools

Security Services at Closed Schools

The safety of thousands of teachers and learners is being compromised as Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza spends much-needed public funds on security services at 50 closed schools in the province.

In a written reply to a DA question, the MEC revealed that the Gauteng Education Department spent funds on security services at closed schools and that these schools are no longer required.

Click here to view the MEC’s reply.

Costs Concerned

Of further concern are the costs concerned – security services at the Thulasizwe Primary School are provided at an exorbitant rate of almost R200 000 per month.

It is a mystery why the Department does not utilise the services of patrollers as it normally does.

It is simply unfair to spend money on security at closed schools, when the Department fails to provide adequate security at functioning schools which desperately need it to keep both learners and teachers safe.

A similar situation occurred in the past where almost R1 million was paid for security at Megatong Primary School in Soweto, while teachers went without salaries.

The DA challenges both Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and MEC Mayathula-Khoza to stop unnecessary expenditure on unused schools and focus on providing for functional schools.

 

Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

082 398 7375

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Gauteng’s Rape Stats Shocker

A total of 8455 rapes were reported in Gauteng – an average of 23 incidents every day.

This horrifying statistic emerged during a 2014/15 crime statistics briefing by Gauteng police commissioner, Lt Gen Lesetja Mothiba on Friday.

Mothiba gave an admirably frank and open response to questions and criticisms.

He gave a number of reasons for the increase of crime in Gauteng, including:

  • The disbandment of specialised crime fighting units, which he described as “the worst mistake ever made”;
  • The increased involvement of SAPS members in organised crime syndicates;
  • Poorly resourced police stations, including the provincial loss of around 130 members every month; and
  • The number of repeat offenders on bail, who re-offend, and are given bail again.

Other than the rape statistic, the most shocking figure to emerge, is the unacceptably low conviction rate of 9,01% of cases reported at police stations.

This is the statistic that really gives an indication of the true state of crime and policing in Gauteng.

It shows that the detection and prosecution of crime and criminals are inferior, and play a large part in Gauteng’s crime crisis.

 

Media enquiries:

Kate Lorimer MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Community Safety

083 642 2727

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Maimane to lead drug march in Eldorado Park

Tomorrow, 10 October 2015, Democratic Alliance Leader Mmusi Maimane MP, will lead a march against drug abuse in Eldorado Park, Gauteng.

Eldorado Park is severely affected by unemployment, substance abuse and crime, yet residents have seen little intervention from the Gauteng or National Government. President Zuma visited Eldorado Park in 2013 and made a number of promises to the community – of which none have been delivered.

Maimane will be handing over a memorandum to Colonel van Dyk at Eldorado Police Station to ensure that the Eldorado Park residents’ calls for action are heard.

Maimane will be joined by Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, Constituency Head, Makashule Gana MP, and Ward Councillor, Peter Rafferty.

The march will take place as follows:

Date: Saturday, 10 October 2015

Gathering Time: 12h00

Start Time: 12:30

Start Venue: Cnr of Mahonie Cresent and Hoof Road, Eldorado Park

End Venue: Eldorado Park Police Station, cnr of Buckingham Ave and Hoof Road, Eldorado Park

Coordinates: 26°17’43.6″S 27°55’10.4″E

There will be opportunities for interviews and photographs.

Media enquiries:

Graham Charters

Acting Spokesperson to the DA Leader

072 635 0440

Nkele Molapo

Gauteng Media Officer

072 041 4842

DA approaches Public Protector and Auditor-General over Zonder-Water Housing Development Corruption

The Evaton community has today taken their plight regarding the corruption at the Zonder-Water housing project to the Emfuleni Human settlements offices in Vereeniging.

They have instituted a sit-in at the Human settlements office and are demanding answers regarding this stalled housing project.

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

For the past two years, the construction company has not been on site

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 paid to the construction company.

Of 935 homes to be built as part of the Zonder-Water housing project, only 256 have been constructed – despite 92% of the budget having been paid to the construction company.

Rirothe Construction was contracted to build 256 houses, but another 100 was added to the order. These they could not complete due to not being paid by the department.

The community is claiming now that Mister Kabila Makhangane, who employees the current contractor working at the site, is an employee of the Department of Cooperative Governance a Traditional Affairs (COGTA).

Questions needs to be asked over why the department of human settlements paid over R5 million to the construction company despite the houses not having been completed and why no action has been taken against the company in light of its non-performance to date.

The DA has submitted complaints  regarding the project to both the Auditor-General and  the Public Protector, who have confirmed that they will investigate the matter.

It is critical that anyone guilty of corruption and financial maladministration must be held accountable

The DA is committed to bringing change where it governs. Change that stops corruption and starts service delivery.

Media enquiries:

Kingsol Chabalala MPL

DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Evaton

060 558 8299

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Emfuleni Local Municipality in serious financial trouble

Although it is well known that the Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) has been in financial trouble for number of years, the Auditor-General report indicating the financial position of the municipality as at 30 June 2014 describes a very concerning financial situation.

Considering the contents thereof as well as the fact that an Auditor-General report for the year ending June 2015 should also have been available to the municipal manager by the Auditor-General, we call on the municipality to indicate what action steps have been taken to resolve its financial crisis.

According to the AG report as at 30 June 2014, the municipality suffered material losses to the amount of R175 million (in the financial year 2012-13: R169 million) for water losses being 34% of the water purchased by the municipality and suffered a further loss of R278 million (in the financial year 2012-2013: R1.211 billion) for electricity distributed by the municipality.

These losses alone amount to a staggering R453 million!

More concerning however, is the remarks by the AG that the ELM incurred a deficit of R192 million during the 2013-14 financial year alone and that its liabilities exceeded its assets by R160 million.

As stated by the AG, these figures create significant ongoing doubt on the municipality’s ability to operate.

In short, it means that had the municipality been a private company, it would in all probability have had to close its doors or be in the process of doing so.

Underlying this literally financially bankrupt municipality, is the reliability of certain information provided by municipal officials to the AG in the course of its duties.

With regard to the reliability of information pertaining to the municipality’s duties to provide services for water, electricity and waste water management, the AG reported that the information issued by the municipality was not valid, accurate and complete when compared to the source information or evidence provided.

These are very concerning statements as it appears to be clear evidence that the administration of the ELM is not functioning as it is supposed to be.

It was stated unequivocally by the AG that the financial statements submitted by the ELM were not prepared in all material respects in accordance with the required legislation.

The municipal manager did not adequately exercise oversight responsibility

In fact, it was found by the AG that the accounting officer, being the municipal manager, did not adequately exercise oversight responsibility regarding financial and performance reporting and compliance with certain laws and regulations.

It is clear where the failures of the ELM arise: an inept ABC controlled council appointing an inept municipal manager running an inept administration.

I will be writing to the Municipal Manager asking what the municipality will do to turn this situation around.

Media enquiries:

Hendrik Schmidt MP

Constituency Leader: Emfuleni South

083 227 5658

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DA Congratulates Pirates On Stunning CAF Semi-Final Victory

CAF Confederation Cup

The DA congratulates the Orlando Pirates soccer team on reaching the final of the CAF Confederation Cup.

This comes after the Pirates beat the Egyptian team, Al Ahly 4-3 in the second leg semi-final played at the New Suez Stadium on Sunday.

We are proud of this victory and will closely watch and support the Orlando Pirates team when they face up to Tunisian side, Etoile du Sahel in a two-legged tie in November.

The DA believes that all sporting codes contribute to nation building and we firmly stand behind our teams at home and abroad.

 

Media enquiries:

Kingsol Chabalala MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sport

060 558 8299

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EMM City Manager must act on Tembisa sewerage spillages

The ANC run Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality has failed to fix a number of sewerage leakages in Tembisa.

I have submitted petitions to the municipality over the past four months calling on them to address the sewerage leakages in Wards 10, 11 and 90 in Tembisa, but they have failed to permanently fix these leakages to date.

Instead, municipal officials temporarily fix these spills, only for these to return a few days later.

As a result, these spillages are a weekly occurrence and residents are forced to walk through sewerage filled streets on a regular basis.

In Ward 11 next to the Umthmbeka Primary School, spillages have resulted in the school not being able to use their garden as the sewerage leaks onto the property. This poses a major health risk for learners and teachers at the school.

Every South African citizen has the right to live in a safe and healthy environment

The DA believes that every South African citizen has the right to live in a safe and healthy environment. By allowing sewerage to spill into the streets of Tembisa on a daily basis, the Ekurhuleni Metro is failing in their responsibility to keep their residents safe.

In August, after the DA tested the water of the Kaalspruit in Tembisa and found that the water contains a high amount of harmful bacteria, mainly due to faecal contamination, Ekurhuleni Metro spokesperson Themba Gadebe conceded that the metro’s infrastructure needs to be upgraded and better maintained.

Yet nothing has been done about the aging sewerage infrastructure in Tembisa.

On the 4th of September 2015, the DA laid charges against Ekurhuleni City Manager Khaya Ngema for contravening the National Water and Environmental Act and also wrote the South African Human Rights Commission about the quality of water in Tembisa.

The DA now calls on Ekurhuleni City Manager, Khaya Ngema, to adhere to his responsibilities and provide a permanent solution to the constant sewerage spillages and pure quality of water in Tembisa.

Media enquiries:

Phillip Thamahane

DA PR Councillor: Ward 10, 11 & 90

Lethabong Constituency Chairperson

073 910 7272

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PEU: DA seeks inter-departmental forensic investigation

Ladies and gentleman,

The City of Tshwane and PEU Capital Partners, the firm appointed to install the city’s prepaid electricity “smart-meters” infrastructure, have agreed to call it a day after the city has lost about R 1 billion in service fees or commission to this ill-fated contract in the past financial year alone.

Before the agreement was entered into, the DA forewarned that the provisions of the contract would effectively lock the city in with this single service provider ad infinitum as the costs of terminating the business relationship with PEU would be prohibitive.

Despite this, the City of Tshwane went ahead with signing the contract and it was then subsequently compelled to terminate the agreement.

City of Tshwane has to pay over R1.3 billion just to get out of the contract

The result is that the city is now forced to pay the agreed contract exit penalty, in the form of continued “service fees”, which will amount to a minimum of R 600 million payable over six months. Additionally, the city will have to pay PEU the market value and acquire the prepaid electricity smart metering infrastructure that has already been installed. PEU have valued the market value of a complete rollout of all smart meters at R 7 billion. An estimated 10% of the smart meters have already been rolled out, which means the city owes another R700 million.

This means that the City of Tshwane has to pay over R1.3 billion just to get out of the contract.

If this R 1.3 billion is added to the original service fee or commission of R 1 billion it in effect means that the ratepayers of Tshwane have had to pay, R2.3 billion – the price of nine Nkandla’s – to extricate itself from the contract.

Over and above the DA’s warning to the municipality, former Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan and his National Treasury department addressed a letter to Tshwane Executive Mayor, Kgosientso Ramokgopa and City Manager, Jason Ngobeni, instructing them not to enter into this contract.

These letters are in the possession of my colleague, DA Shadow Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Kevin Mileham.

Executive Mayor Ramokgopa and Mr Ngobeni chose to ignore this instruction

It is clear that Executive Mayor Ramokgopa and Mr Ngobeni chose to ignore this instruction from a national minister and department. Further, a National Minister and the officials of his department failed to take action in keeping with his oath of office to protect the Constitution and uphold the laws of the country despite the fact that he and his department had identified several breaches thereof.

The DA will therefore be writing to Minister Gordhan, in his current capacity as Minister of COGTA, and in his previous capacity as Minister of Finance, together with current Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, to request that they institute an inter-departmental forensic investigation into this matter. Further that they investigate the decision taken by the leadership in the Tshwane municipality to ignore these instructions and to enter into a contract with PEU.

When the contract was initially tabled in Council, Executive Mayor Ramokgopa justified its approval on the basis that the contract was entirely “off-balance-sheet” and that the city would not incur any cost on account thereof as it was “self-funding” from the cash flows of an agreed 19.5% service fee on electricity revenue actually collected. This service fee was held up to be 8% below the actual “cost of collection” that the city incurred to collect its electricity revenue under the existing post-paid regime.

Corruption takes away opportunities from the poor

The DA has long advocated that corruption, wasteful expenditure and cronyism kills service delivery and job creation. Corruption takes away opportunities from the poor, in order to benefit a few people who are politically connected to the ANC.

For example, the R2.3 billion that will be spent on this terminated contract could have delivered 28 750 RDP houses, 209 000 flush toilets or 1 150 000 stand pipes in poor communities.

At the time of entering into the contract, Executive Mayor Ramokgopa claimed that it would be the solution to the city’s ailing finances. He claimed it would improve the city’s cash flow, improve revenue collection, reduce debt impairment, completely obviate non-technical electricity losses (i.e. electricity theft) and above all, save the city 8% of the value of its electricity sales, which could be spent on delivering additional services to residents.

But in reality the city’s cash flow has deteriorated substantially. As at the end of the 2014/15 financial year the city had failed to collect approximately R 1 billion of its budgeted revenue, had to spend R 1 billion on irregular expenditure on the PEU contract and had otherwise overspent on several votes to the value of approximately R 500 million. This has caused a budgeted surplus of R 1.1 billion to become a deficit of R 1.4 billion for a total variance of R2,5 bn.

Considering this massive adverse variance from its original budget, the city also had to cut service delivery expenditure by R 2,5 billion over the period.

To make matters worse debt impairment has also gone up from 54% to 67%.

It is evident that not a single one of Executive Mayor Ramakgopa’s claimed benefits of the PEU contract have materialised.

Wasting R 2.5 billion of public money is unacceptable

The DA believes that wasting R 2.5 billion of public money is unacceptable and inexcusable under any circumstance.

It is also not the first time the Executive Mayor Ramakgopa has squandered public money. Last year he cost the city R 48 million on the failed Dinokeng Music Festival.

Neither him nor Mr Ngobeni are worthy of the public’s trust after this fiasco, particularly when it comes to managing municipal finances.

This is why it is critical that Minister Gordhan and Minister Nene institute the inter-departmental forensic investigation as a matter of urgency.

All those officials who were behind the failed PEU contract must be held accountable for their actions.

This is why we are also currently seeking legal advice on laying criminal charges against those implicated in this matter.

The scourge of corruption and maladministration under the ANC’s watch is the single biggest enemy to creating job opportunities in Tshwane. Instead of opening up opportunity to all residents, the ANC Tshwane municipality is more focused on providing fat handouts to the politically connected few.

The result is that investors have been scared off from Tshwane and job creation in the city has stalled with unemployment standing at 29.6%.

This is in stark contrast to the DA’s values

This is in stark contrast to the DA’s values of Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity. The DA will continue to ensure that every cent of public money is spent on improving the lives and creating opportunities for all residents of Tshwane, and that job-killing corruption is eradicated, once and for all.

The DA will bring much needed change to this great City in 2016. Change that stops the cancer of corruption, grows the economy, creates jobs and ensures that all citizens have access to services and opportunities.

Media Enquiries:

Solly Msimanga

DA Tshwane Mayoral Candidate

083 612 0492

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New Private Hospitals Proposed For Gauteng

New Hospitals

Thirteen new private hospitals with 1304 beds have been given the go-ahead to be built in Gauteng.

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

Private hospitals require a permit from the Gauteng Health Department, which has in previous years refused some major hospital applications, with preference given to township areas.

The largest approved hospitals include the following:
• 200 bed Mediclinic Hospital in Boksburg;
• 170 bed Thomas Makhonya Hospital in Eikenhof in south Johannesburg;
• 170 bed Longlake Hospital in Longmeadow, Edenvale;
• 170 bed Clinix Protea Glen in Soweto;
• 130 bed Tumisang Private Hospital in Hartebeespoort;
• 100 bed Phelang Maletsatsi Private Hospital in Mamelodi;
• 100 bed Netcare Pinehaven Hospital in Krugersdorp; and
• 100 bed Head and Neck Specialized Hospital in Lynnwood, Pretoria.

A number of Day Clinics have also been approved including in Waterfall, Groenkloof, Benoni, Midrand, Roodepoort, Lynnwood, Fourways and Vereeniging.

The increase in private hospital beds is good news as greater competition should bring down prices.

Day Clinics will bring down the cost of operations as they do not have the expense of keeping patients overnight.

The new beds will bring the total number of private hospital beds to more than 16000, and any spare capacity could be used to assist public patients as recently mooted by Health MEC Mahlangu.

Media enquiries:
Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222