Ekurhuleni Metro fails to repair crumbling Fairleads infrastructure

During the past year (2015) the residents of Fairleads in Benoni have been left neglected by the Ekurhuleni Metro.

The roads in Fairleads are sand-sealed and expire every five years. As a result, these roads cannot be repaired by way of re-tarring the roads, but have to be reconstructed.

However, the Ekurhuleni Metro choose to patch the roads with tar rather than completely reconstructing the road. There is also no storm-water system in this area and as a result the temporary tar-patching washes away every time it rains.

Due to a lack of proper and continuous maintenance by the Ekurhuleni Roads Department, many of the residents can no longer safely drive to and from their homes due to the large amount of potholes. Several residents have also incurred damage to their vehicles due to the potholes.

“Pretoria Road is a main arterial road and we use this road to get our children to school. However, due to the damage in the road we are constantly late,” says Fairleads resident Michael Holmes.

I have been reporting this issue to the Ekurhuleni Roads Department since July 2014 and was informed today that the department have funds available to fix these roads.

However, a date have not been set for when reconstruction can begin and the department assured me that they will maintain the roads until the dates have been finalised.

I will continue to monitor the progress made by the Roads Department and put pressure on the department to start reconstruction as soon as possible.


Media enquiries:

Stefanie Kruger

Councillor: Ward 24, Benoni

076 541 9717


DA Challenges MEC Lesufi To Deliver Furniture To All Schools In Gauteng

The DA has visited a number of schools in Soweto to check on school readiness, focusing on furniture, learner educator-ratio and general state of school infrastructure.

The most disappointing visit was to Siyabonga Secondary School in Braamfischerville – this school performed well last year with a Grade 12 pass rate above 80%, however, the school desperately needs chairs and extra classrooms.

Learners sit against walls, share chairs and in some instances, use desks to sit on.

(Click here to view images).

The Gauteng education department has a responsibility to provide an environment conducive to learning and teaching in schools across the province.

The department has failed learners and teachers at Siyabonga Secondary School and others in and around Soweto.

It is unacceptable that the department allows such discouraging learning conditions to characterise the 2016 academic year.

Once again the department has failed to use early enrolment as a planning mechanism to allocate resources.

Before the MEC Panyaza Lesufi threatens to fire principals and teachers and build state-of-the-art new schools, he must provide schools with basic resources.

Get the basics right, MEC Lesufi.


Media Enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho, MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC of Education

082 398 7375

Gauteng Road Death Toll: Simple Solutions Evade Government

Despite a road safety awareness campaign launched by the Gauteng Legislature’s Roads and Transport Portfolio Committee in the last quarter of 2015, carnage on the provinces roads over the festive season continued unabated.

All that has changed is the upward trend in road fatalities while the hand-wringing continues.

The DA has on numerous occasions highlighted that tough measures will have to be taken against offending road users as there have to be consequences for deliberately and repeatedly placing lives in danger.

Placing road traffic law enforcement under the MEC for Transport, rather than under the Community Safety Department would be a step in the right direction

Following this, law enforcement agencies should revoke licences and impound the vehicles of motorists who demonstrate reckless road behaviour.

The public is fed up with empty conversations and an escalating death toll.

Gauteng has the country’s highest concentration of vehicles and roads. The Provincial Government must implement legislative reforms to ensure the safety of all road users.

If not, it is likely we will be listening to the same litany of excuses in January 2017.


Media Enquiries:

Justus de Goede MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Transportation

060 558 8305

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Best Of Luck For The 2016 Academic Year!

The DA in Gauteng wishes all the learners best of luck for the 2016 academic year.

Education is key to unlock the talent and potential of many young people in order to lead a good quality life.

The class of 2016 must be prepared to give it their all and excel in academics and extra-curricular activities.

The DA will conduct school visits in the province focusing on school infrastructure, school readiness, text books, school furniture, learner-educator ratio, enrolment backlog and the support from districts.

Gauteng learners should never accept mediocre services like sharing a chair, learning without text books, eating unhealthy food and using unclean and blocked toilets.

The DA’s plan is to ensure that all schools have conducive learning and teaching environments. Both learners and teachers must be committed to excellent performance in all grades.

All issues which have a negative impact on the provision of quality basic education will be referred to the MEC’s attention.

The DA is committed to work with the MEC and department of education to improve quality basic education in the province.

The DA will hold MEC Lesufi accountable in delivering quality education, removing all barriers to access and to redress inequalities in our education system.

We encourage the MEC to implement innovative methods of learning and teaching to achieve the best results.

Gauteng must meet expectations from residents to champion economic growth, job creation and attract more investment to fight poverty and unemployment, through an improved education system in the province.


Media Enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho, MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC of Education

082 398 7375

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Albert Luthuli Primary’s Sister School Left Forgotten

Today I attended the official opening of the new Chief Albert Luthuli Primary School 2 in Daveyton with my colleague, DA Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho, and DA Benoni Ward Councillor Stefanie Kruger.

At the event I congratulated MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi on opening the much-needed school in the ever-expanding Chief Albert Luthuli Park and welcomed the introduction of paperless classrooms.

However, while the new school was supposed to reduce the number of learners currently enrolled at Albert Luthuli Primary School 1, this is not the case.

Despite 800 learners being enrolled at the new school, Albert Luthuli Primary 1 still has 200 more learners than its stated capacity of 900, with up to 60 learners in some classrooms.

Of further concern is that since opening its doors in 2013, Albert Luthuli Primary 1 is still without Internet access, computers or telephone lines. The room initially earmarked for computer class is being used as a storeroom.

Introducing paperless classrooms to Daveyton is commendable, but there is little point in spending R92 million on one school when others in the area are without the infrastructure they most need.

This despite numerous engagements with the MEC regarding the shortages at this school, and nothing has been done about it.

Parents have also questioned the languages of instruction at the new school. Learners will be taught in primarily isiZulu, isiXhosa and isiTshonga, despite the fact that most people in the area speak predominantly seSotho and Sepedi.

To this end the DA will write to the MEC to determine why Albert Luthuli Primary 1 still remains without computers, internet access or telephone lines, and what will be done to ensure that the school swiftly receives these much needed resources.

The DA believes that everyone has the right to receive quality education, and every school must be equally resourced to ensure that no learners are unfairly disadvantaged.


Media enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

Benoni Constituency Head

060 558 8309


Tanya Heydenrych

Gauteng Provincial Media Officer: Ekurhuleni

073 701 6729

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DA Plan To Help Businesses Create Jobs In Bertrams

Bertrams is an old suburb in east Johannesburg near the inner city.

It is a mixed residential and business area, but is in need of law enforcement and upgrading which will assist in creating new jobs.

DA Constituency Head, Jack Bloom MPL and Ward Councillor Carlos da Rocha invite the media to meet business owners who will explain how the incompetence of the Johannesburg City Council prevents them from creating more jobs that will assist everyone in the area.

The DA will also present a plan to increase Bertrams’ job-creating potential should the DA win Johannesburg in the local elections that are due to be held this year.


Date: Thursday, 14 January

Time: 11:00

Venue: Katherine House, 33 Frere Road Bertrams (between Queens and Viljoen streets)


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


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Joburg East Constituency Head

082 333 4222

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Real Accountability Needed For Generator Fail At Joburg Hospital

Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital

I welcome the firing of the in house engineer at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) but there has to be real accountability for the mass generator failure that occurred there yesterday.

I suspect that he is a quick scapegoat for failures at a more senior level.

There needs to be a public enquiry into the causes of the generator failure which endangered the lives of many patients and severely disrupted the operation of the hospital.

Opsense Management Consultants

I have previously questioned why a fishy company called Opsense Management Consultants was appointed without a tender process in 2011 to service the generators at CMJAH.

According to official company records, Opsense is a closed corporation with an address in Phokeng in the North West Province, and was in the process of deregistration.

Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu was previously MEC for Infrastructure Development which is responsible for hospital generators, and in this capacity she declared at a press conference in March 2013: “I can now confidently stand before you and say that in the event of a power outage, generators at Chris Hani Baragwanath and the generators at Charlotte Maxeke will power the hospitals.”

Failed Promises

Mahlangu has repeated promises since then that all generators will work, but we have still had many failures, including at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

She is the one who should be fired for incompetence and failed promises.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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Democratic Alliance Soweto West constituency marches for jobs

The Democratic Alliance Soweto West constituency recently marched against the high unemployment rate in Soweto.

In attendance was the DA Soweto West constituency leader, Toby Chance MP, Councillor Makatisane Papo, DA Activists and the Protea Glen 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 march followed just days after 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. Our march echoed this statement.

We are the only party that has a plan. A plan 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. The event saw engagement with unemployed members of the community who interacted with DA activists and spoke of the hardships unemployment brought to them and their families.

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

Media Enquiries:

Toby Chance

Soweto West constituency Leader

083 251 5613


Generators Fail At Joburg Hospital

Generators at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital failed to operate this morning after the hospital was hit by a power cut in the area.

At about 10 am this morning the generators did initially kick in, but then they failed across the entire hospital for about two hours.

Doctors had to complete surgery using the light from their cell phones and manual systems had to be used to assist a number of ICU patients.

Lifts were stuck, making it impossible to move patients to and from certain areas.

Partial generator power was established later in the morning.

We need to know why the generators failed despite all the assurances by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu that this would never happen again at any Gauteng hospital.

It is inexcusable that generators have failed yet again at a major hospital, endangering the lives of patients.

There must be accountability for this failure and effective steps to ensure that all generators work when required.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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50 000 Gauteng Learners Yet To Be Enrolled

2016 Enrolment Process

The DA urges Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, to speed up the 2016 enrolment process at schools to ensure that all learners are afforded an opportunity to attend school from day one this Wednesday.

Last year parents heeded  the Education Department’s call to apply on time for enrolment, yet the department has still failed to place more than 50 000 learners.

It is unacceptable that learners are not able to go to school from day one.

2015 Medium Term Expenditure Framework

Parents have to buy uniforms, pay school fees and arrange transport. The department should have employed sufficient teachers, bought text books and built more classrooms to accommodate all learners.

Over the 2015 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period, the department has set aside R5.4 billion to construct new schools – but poor planning led to major delays in their completion.

Not all 19 schools which were planned to be ready to open on Wednesday, will be operational.

Some schools like Glenvista and Panorama are on hold due to non-compliance with by-laws, including unapproved plans and non-compliance with environmental impact assessment regulations.

Quality Basic Education

MEC Lesufi must take ownership of these challenges and resolve them urgently.

All learners deserve quality basic education, and the department has a responsibility to place each and every one, especially those who applied on time.


Media Enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho, MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC of Education

082 398 7375

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