Drug dealers openly trade in Boksburg as SAPS fails to act

I recently witnessed two drug transactions taking place within one hour in North Rand Road, Boksburg. This transaction did not take place in secret, but in the open on a Sunday morning. Both transactions took place in the exact same manner – the buyers parked their vehicles in the sleeve next to Medicross where they met the drug dealer and exchanged the money for drugs through the front window in a matter of seconds.

However, this is not a new occurrence in North Rand Road. I have reported this spot to the Ekurhuleni Metro Police and Boksburg North SAPS on numerous occasions over a number of years.

Last year May, DA Boksburg Constituency Head Janet Semple MPL and I led an anti-drug march to the Boksburg North SAPS. We presented a memorandum to Boksburg North SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant Juanita Coetzer outlining our proposals to fight drugs in the area.

However, by September 2015 it was revealed in a written response from Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane that the Boksburg North SAPS claims to have never received our memorandum (we have the photo and news coverage to prove otherwise). It was further revealed that the police station has failed to conduct any operations focused on combating drug abuse and trafficking since we presented our memorandum to the station between.

It is clear that another four months later, nothing is being done.

The fact that drug dealers in Boksburg feel comfortable enough to openly conduct their transactions indicates the lack of visible policing and failure by the Boksburg SAPS to fight drugs and trafficking in the area.

The SAPS is mandated to prevent and combat crime in communities. The Boksburg North Police Station’s failure to conduct any drug operations or to act on our memorandum shows that they don’t care about the safety and wellbeing of residents in the area.

The failure of the Boksburg North SAPS and Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department also extends to a failure by national government to reinstate specialised drugs units. I have corresponded with MEC Nkosi-Malobane on numerous occasions requesting her intervention in this matter. Unfortunately she continuously responds by saying she is in the process of taking up this matter with national Minister of Police Nkosinathi Nhleko – which has resulted in nothing being done to date.

I will be writing to MEC Nkosi-Malobane and request a report on how many operations the Boksburg North SAPS has done since receiving our memorandum, how many arrests have been made and how many led to convictions.

We need dedicated and well-resourced specialised units that can investigate and secure convictions of drug dealers to ensure they are taken off our streets. This is the only way we will tackle the scourge of drugs plaguing our communities.

Media enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety

060 558 8309


Johannesburg’s success is only possible if Soweto succeeds

Democratic Alliance statement by

Herman Mashaba

DA Johannesburg Mayoral Candidate

The DA’s campaign to win Johannesburg today came to Dobsonville – because Soweto is at the heart of our plan to turn the city around through property ownership and job creation.

Soweto needs to be transformed into a commercial and cultural hub that complements and rivals the city’s most successful districts.

It embodies the promise and vitality of Johannesburg and its importance to the success of this great city cannot be underestimated.

In fact, Johannesburg is not succeeding because Soweto’s entrepreneurial potential has not been tapped into.

At the present time, Soweto’s economy is held back because not enough has been done to change the apartheid design of the city.

It is unacceptable that Soweto’s residents spend up to half of their salaries travelling to work in the more prosperous districts of the city.

A prosperous Soweto and Johannesburg demands that we create booming businesses close to where the majority of people live to reverse the ebb and flow of apartheid spatial planning.

The most important way for Soweto to succeed is to give its residents title deeds. With title deeds, people can build a home to pass on their children, and have the collateral to access funds to establish their own businesses.

The former ANC mayor of Johannesburg, Amos Masondo promised title deeds to Soweto’s residents and businesspeople, to date, almost none have been handed over.

When the DA wins Johannesburg, we will fast-track title deed handover so that citizens are empowered to own their own homes.

We also promise that through effective asset management we will better maintain the city’s rental stock so that people live in dignified conditions

In step with these changes we will end the corruption in housing beneficiary lists and make the process transparent.

Soweto is at the heart of the DA’s promise to bring change to Johannesburg.



Tshwane is on the cusp of a qualified audit

The City of Tshwane is negotiating with the Auditor General to avoid a qualified audit opinion.

The Democratic Alliance is in possession of a copy of the 30 November 2015 version of the Auditor General’s Management Letter to the City of Tshwane leadership as well as a copy of the audited Annual Financial Statements of the city upon which it was based.  This Management Letter is a damning indictment of the financial state of the city.  It is not clear on what basis the city can avoid qualification if not actually a disclaimer by the Auditor General.

However, we are concerned by the fact that in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), the Auditor General’s prescribed schedule, his audit report for the city had to be signed off by end December 2015 (Section 126(4), MFMA).  The Management Letter is dated 30 November 2015 and there is no reason why the audit report could not have been signed off by or before the legislated end December cut-off time.

It is a serious matter for the audit report not to be ready by the prescribed date.  When the Auditor General is unable to sign-off on an audit report before the end of December of any year he has to submit a report to Parliament, The relevant Provincial Legislature and to the Municipality concerned to explain the reasons and circumstances of the default.

Despite the fact that Tshwane’s audit report has not been completed, the AG has to date failed to comply with section 126(4) of the MFMA to provide reasons for the delay.

We are aware of discussions between political office bearers of the governing party and the Auditor General regarding the political implications of a qualified audit for the capital city of South Africa in an election year and that the final sign-off by the Auditor General is being held back pending the outcome of these discussions.  We believe that a dangerous precedent is being created by these discussions and the delayed sign-off and we call on the Auditor General not to allow the independence and integrity of his office to become impaired by anything done as a consequence of these discussions.

Already the process of democratic oversight is being seriously impaired by this delay as councillors have not yet received the Audit Report and audited Annual Financial Statements for the City that are to be tabled at the Council meeting of 28 January 2016.  This means that it is too late for councillors to prepare thereon as both the report and the Annual Financial Statements are voluminous and complicated documents that need to be studied carefully before any meaningful debate could be had about it.

We sincerely hope that the Auditor General will not in the process of finalising his current audit report on the City of Tshwane derogate the integrity of his office.

Together, with Tshwane residents we can stop the cancer of corruption, grow the economy, create jobs and ensure that all citizens have access to services and opportunities.

We are also committed to ensuring every cent of public funds is spent on improving the lives of Tshwane residents.

The DA will bring change to Tshwane. Change that stops corruption, the mismanagement of public funds and starts service delivery.


Media Enquiries:

Solly Msimanga

DA Tshwane Mayoral Candidate

083 612 0492


No jobs for the disabled in Ekurhuleni

During January 2016 I visited centres caring for the disabled in Ekurhuleni as part of the DA’s Jobs Campaign. Through these visits it has become clear that the Ekurhuleni Metro has forgotten the disabled.

The centres I visited continuously struggle to obtain funds to pay for trained staff and keep the doors of the centres open.

Little Eden who cares for over 300 intellectually disabled residents in Edenvale and Bapsfontein is forced to employ untrained staff and have to use their own funds to provide on-site training. Unfortunately, many of the newly trained staff have repeatedly found better employment elsewhere as soon as they have completed their training and the process of training staff starts over again.

The residents of Little Eden cannot be trained to fulfil a place in the open job market due to their intellectual disabilities. They can only fulfil basic chores inside the home under the guidance of a supervisor. Some of the residents of Little Eden fulfil tasks such as washing the dishes or making tea.

This is also the position of the intellectually disabled of East Rand Protective Workshop in Kempton Park where the staff have to help mentor and enhance the skills of the 33 permanent residents as well as 60 day visitors. Local businesses in Kempton Park sometimes provide employment to the residents in the form of easy repetitive tasks such as packing gadgets.

Disabled students or learners with intellectual / special educational needs rarely have the opportunity to access the jobs market. However, fifteen learners from Thembinkosi School for Learners with Educational Needs in Tembisa recently received training and secured a job after completing their schooling in 2015.

Thembinkosi School attempts to place more students in the jobs market, but their biggest challenge is using public transport to get to and from work.

It is disappointing that the Ekurhuleni Metro has failed to thus far provide any initiative that accommodates the disabled in its job market.

It is crucial that the Ekurhuleni Metro invest in the education and training of their disabled residents. It is also crucial that the metro invest in infrastructure that will make traveling to and from work safe and easy for the disabled residents who have a job.


Media enquiries:

John Anticevich

PR Councillor: Ward 5 / 89

Deputy Spokesperson: Ekurhuleni Metro Disability Oversight Portfolio

082 296 4773


Wasteful expenditure and failure to deliver services: Alberton residents suffering under EMM

Outsourcing, lack of maintenance and failure to allocate budget for prioritised IDP projects in Alberton by the Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality have led to residents reaching a point of desperation.

In Ward 38, the bridges in Hennie Alberts Street and Delphinium Street respectively have been left to overgrow to such an extent that residents cannot safely cross it. I have sent numerous requests during 2015 to the metro for the cleaning of both these bridges, but to date nothing has been done.

What seems to fuel this lack of maintenance by the metro is their continuous use of outsourcing. The contractors do not clean the roads, curbs or bridges on a rotating basis but seem to operate on a once-off cleaning basis and then after a few months the next contract begins.

As a result neighbourhoods are left to deteriorate over long periods of no service delivery.

The WA 10 Upgrade of the Sewer System in Brackendowns and Brackenhurst in Ward 38, prioritised in the IDP between 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 financial years have also been left unbudgeted for to date. This is disappointing as there are amongst the residential houses and businesses, seven schools within the boundaries of Ward 38, where the health risk of continuous sewer spills get increasingly serious.

At Laerskool Orion there have been 13 complaints during the past 13 months alone and a petition requesting the immediate upgrade of the sewerage system have been signed by two schools so far. Other schools are now also partaking in the campaign.

In Ward 37, after many requests and a long wait, the Metro eventually appointed a contractor to replace dilapidated paving in Alberton North staring with an area on the corner of 2nd Avenue and Gerrit Marritz Street. Upon enquiring if there were any funds to repair further sections of pavement I was informed that those repairs cost R290 000 – almost the entire budget for 2015/2016.

This is totally ludicrous as this piece of pavement is not bigger than 270 square meters and cannot possibly have cost R290 000 to repair.

I contacted different companies who quotes between R180 – R250 per square metre to remove and dispose of old paving as well as supply and lay new interlocking brick paving. According to my calculations this could amount to a cost of a maximum of R81 000 for the paving of 270 square meters, even allowing for a cost of R 300.00 per square meters.

An urgent investigation by the Ekurhuleni Roads Department into how the cost of this paving was calculated is of the utmost importance. It is unacceptable that the Ekurhuleni Metro wastefully spends ratepayer’s money.


Media enquiries:

Bruna Haipel

Councillor: Ward 37



Estelle Visser

Councillor: Ward 38, Alberton


Please note: Quote Councillor Visser for Ward 38 issues and Councillor Haipel for issue in Ward 37.


The DA has the vision to beat unemployment in Johannesburg

Randburg Labour Office

Today the DA visited the Randburg Labour Office in Johannesburg, to better understand the desperate plight of unemployed South Africans.

Job creation will be our first priority from day one in Johannesburg, when a DA government takes over governance in the city.

At the labour office, we reviewed the quality of service delivered by officials and spoke with numerous unemployed South Africans who have to queue each day to register their plight.

Managers briefed us on the number of job seekers who visit the centre every month, and the success rate of job seekers finding jobs. These numbers horrified and disturbed me, as so many more of our fellow South Africans join the ranks of the unemployed daily. I was deeply moved by the desperate poverty so many of our people find themselves in.

Expanded Public Works Programme

For this campaign to win Johannesburg, we have made it our mission to meet job-seekers every day, to take their plight on board and to make it our every effort to get into government and start a tidal wave of change that will create jobs and opportunities for millions of people.

In this campaign we want to hear first-hand accounts of how long people have been unemployed, how many times they have visited labour centres, and how many (if any) job opportunities and interviews they may have had.

And we are going to tell each and every one of these mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, of our plans to kick-start Johannesburg’s economy, and to create jobs for the thousands of unemployed people.

We are going to explain how the DA will place all available Expanded Public Works Programme, Community Works Programme, City of Johannesburg internships, and other government jobs on a central database, which will be accessible via the Internet and at job centres such as this one in Randburg.

Transforming City of Johannesburg

A DA-governed Johannesburg will invite the private sector to advertise their job vacancies on this same database so as to expand the pool of available jobs.

People will hear from me and the DA over the coming days and months how the City of Johannesburg led by the DA will offer a conditional subsidy to small businesses which have limited financial means, in order to recruit new workers, provided new  upskilled on the job.

For too long the City of Johannesburg has only sought to boost the local economy and to create jobs for insiders and connected cronies – yet the DA is ready to transform the city into South Africa’s and Africa’s powerhouse through fair job creation and a commitment to economic opportunities for all.


Media enquiries:

Willie Venter

Director: Communications and research

060 963 8260

Medical Casualty Still Closed At Baragwaneth Hospital

Bara Medical Casualty Unit

The medical casualty unit at the Chris Hani Baragwaneth Hospital is still closed despite promises last year that it would be reopened this year once renovations for a new casualty section were completed in December.

I visited the hospital last week on Friday and found that the trauma casualty is now housed in the newly renovated section, but there is no new section for medical casualty.

The main burden falls on the Bheki Mlangeni Hospital in Jabulani to treat medical emergency cases like heart attacks, fevers and breathing problems.

The closure has also led to an increased number of psychiatric patients being sent to South Rand Hospital which is not properly equipped to handle them.

Inconvenienced Patients and Staff

I saw another part of the casualty section at Bara Hospital that is completely gutted and would take some months before it can be refurbished for medical emergencies (photos available on request).

I am disappointed that medical casualty cases will continue to be diverted from Bara Hospital for some time.

It seems that there has been a change of plan for this renovation that has so far cost R8.3 million when it was only supposed to cost R4.5 million.

Patients and staff are inconvenienced by the delay and the alternative hospitals are taking strain in treating them.

The Gauteng Health Department should explain why all the renovations have not been completed by now, and set a firm deadline for the reopening of the medical casualty at Bara Hospital.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

[Image source]

Herman Mashaba To Visit Randburg Labour Centre

Today, Monday 25 January 2016, DA Johannesburg mayoral candidate, Herman Mashaba and DA Shadow Minister for Labour, Ian Ollis MP will visit the Randburg labour centre to assess the quality of service delivery and to engage with job seekers.

Date: Monday 25 January 2016

Time: 10h00

Place: Randburg labour centre, Hillview centre, c/r Oak and Hill streets, Randburg

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


Media enquiries:

Nkele Molapo

DA Johannesburg media officer

082 953 8330

Small business owners desperate as Kempton Park SAPS fails to fight drugs and prostitution

On Friday I  visited small business owners in Kempton Park who are being affected by the increase of crime and prostitution in the area.

Ms Amanda Williams, owner of El-Shaddai Vetkoek Kombuis in Kempton Park is having to down scale her operations and Mr Awie Williams is struggling to keep the doors of his business Executive Lawnmowers open.

Mrs Carolyn Hurly, owner of Swim-Tech Swim School has had inquiries from clients regarding the amount of scantily clad women walking up and down the street. This could drive potential clients away.

This is disappointing as the DA presented a memorandum to the Kempton Park SAPS calling for more visible policing 3 months ago. Kempton Park SAPS accepted our memorandum and pledged their support to making the community safe. However, when I recently met with Kempton Park SAPS Station Commander Brig Bertha Kgoroba, she did not have the memorandum and asked me for a copy. Even worse is that during my meeting with Head of Tembisa Cluster SAPS Major General Sithole about the increase in drug-related crime and prostitution in the area, he was not even aware of our memorandum.

It is unacceptable that three months later the Kempton Park SAPS has failed to adhere to their responsibility. They are failing the community of Kempton Park and small business owners in the community.

“I took over the business in February 2010 and in the beginning people would queue down the street to buy from us. Now, if we have 50 clients a day that is a lot. I have asked clients why they do not come regularly anymore and they told me it is because of the prostitutes and drug-dealers who approaches them in the street outside my restaurant. I am considering closing my restaurant because nothing is being done by the police.”

Ms Hurly says: “We started the swim school from scratch in 2006. Recently four of our security cameras were stolen and we spent about R50 000 on security upgrades last year due to the amount of drug-dealers and prostitutes just down the street. I have two teenage sons who I do not want to get involved in the easy accessible drug-dealing in the area and I cannot move my school because I have two heated pools. It is our property values and businesses at stake and many of us cannot simply start over somewhere else.”

“My business is now being vandalised by these criminals because we chase them away. Recently the windows of my business were broken and I do not feel it helps to contact the police because they do not do anything. I have asked some of the police officers who come to El-Shaddai Vetkoek Kombuis next to my business why they do not do something about these known drug dens and prostitutes and they simply said they are scared of them” says Mr Williams.

In the current economic climate, small businesses can only flourish if they operate in a safe environment. To make this a reality, specialised units must be reinstated, all SAPS members must be equipped with the tools they need to do their job and communities must be more involved in the fight against crime.

Therefore the DA is in the process of working on a crime-fighting initiative with Head of Tembisa Cluster SAPS Major General Sithole. We will also work closely with the local neighbourhood watches and community policing forum to keep Kempton Park residents safe and the doors open of small businesses such as Ell-Shaddai Vetkoek Kombuis.


Media enquiries:

Jaco Terblanche

Ward 16 Councillor

083 413 2429


Democratic Alliance Tladi Branch marches for jobs

The Democratic Alliance recently marched against the high unemployment rate in Tladi, Soweto.

In attendance was the Soweto West constituency Chairperson, Motau Maloma, DA ward 21 branch chairperson and aspirant candidate for 2016 local elections, Samson Tsagae, ward 21 PR Councillor, Given Mogane, DA Activists and the Tladi Community members.

Unemployment is the primary challenge in the lives of South Africans at present and the march demonstrated the DA’s commitment to presenting solutions to this issue.

The event saw engagement with unemployed members of the community who interacted with the DA activists and spoke of the hardships unemployment brought to them and their families.

Thato Moletsane, a 24 year old man from Tladi, relayed the story of how unemployment and the lack of opportunity to access employment has stripped him of his dignity as his family looks up to him to provide.

The DA set aside the month of January as a Jobs month, during which we will campaign to highlight the increasing unemployment rate under the current economic climate and offer the solutions we have as a party, to help improve our economy and its ability to create job opportunities.

On Thursday, 07 January 2016, the DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane launched the Party’s January Jobs Campaign in downtown Johannesburg. Maimane unveiled a billboard, with a ticker that shows the additional number of people who have become jobless since President Zuma took office: 1 842 000 so far, and increasing by an average of 774 per day.

At the launch, our Leader said that job creation was the best way to fight poverty and thus ensure the happiness, health, safety and prosperity of our collective citizenry. The Tladi march echoed this statement.

We are the only party that cuts corruption and creates jobs.

The DA Jobs Campaign highlights the Party’s five-point plan to reduce the levels of unemployment in South Africa:

  • Invest in infrastructure
  • Improve education
  • Change labour laws
  • Reward businesses that create jobs
  • Create a nation of entrepreneurs

A DA-led government would immediately implement policies to put our five-point plan into action.

We are set on winning Johannesburg in this year’s local elections. We want to bring change to Tladi and the rest of Johannesburg, a change that stops corruption and starts service delivery. We want to bring positive change to the people of Tladi and create employment opportunities.

Media Enquiries

Samson Tsagae

Chairperson for Ward 21 in the City of Johannesburg Municipality

079 468 4494