DA Calls For Debate On Matter Of Urgent Public Importance

The Democratic Alliance in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature has written to Speaker, Lenteng Mekgwe, calling for a debate on a matter of urgent public importance in terms of Rule 128 of the House.

Given Gauteng Premier, David Makhura and ANC Gauteng Chairperson, Paul Mashatile’s decision to break ranks with the ANC and publically condemn President Jacob Zuma after the Constitutional Court ruled against him, it is the DA’s view that residents of the province are entitled to know whether the provincial government’s allegiances lie with the president who violated his oath of office, or with the people.

Date: Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Time: 10:00 am
Venue: Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Johannesburg

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


Media enquiries:

Warren Gwilt

DA Communication and Research Manager

060 963 8320

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MEC Lesufi Must Prioritise Basic School Infrastructure

Willow Crescent Secondary School

The DA visited the Willow Crescent Secondary School in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg, to assess infrastructure conditions as classrooms were burnt down 5 years ago.

Since the fire in the 2011, three classroom have not been repaired. Conditions at the school are appalling and not conducive to teaching or learning.

The school structures are in violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and has been served with an order to comply with Environmental Health Standards.

Deteriorating Infrastructure

The schools lights don’t function, classrooms have no doors, toilets are not meeting norms and standards and ceilings are falling apart.

Despite the crumbling infrastructure, Willow Crescent has managed a Matric pass rate of 73% in the 2015 academic year.

The DA has submitted questions to the MEC for oral reply in the Legislature to establish whether there are any plans to fix the deteriorating infrastructure.

The DA will propose alternative solutions to prioritise school infrastructure in this year’s budget debate vote.

Conducive learning and teaching environments are non-negotiable. Instead of spending R90 million in building one school, the MEC must focus on getting the basics right in all schools in the province.


Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

082 398 7375

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2096 Patients Wait For Kidney Transplants In Gauteng

2096 patients are waiting for a kidney transplant at the Steve Biko and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg hospitals, but only 48 kidney transplants have been done in the last three years.

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

According to Mahlangu, the problem is the shortage of donors for all the transplant categories.

There are also 179 patients waiting for a cornea transplant at the Steve Biko and Chris Hani Baragwanath hospitals which did 33 such transplants from 2013 to 2015.

The situation is better with liver transplants where there are 11 patients on the waiting list at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital which did 79 liver transplants in the last three years.

No patients wait for stem cell transplants at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital which did 18 such transplants in the last three years.

Mahlangu says that waiting times depend on the availability of matching donors, and public education is being done concerning organ donation.

It is tragic that many patients will die before a suitable transplant is found for them.

Our hospitals do good transplant work, but more effort is needed to get extra donors, especially for kidneys where the need is greatest.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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DA To Visit Willowcresent Secondary School

Today, 25 April 2016, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho MPL, and Ward Councillor Peter Rafferty will conduct an oversight visit at Willow Cresent Secondary School.

The school was burnt in 2011 and the purpose of the visit is to check whether the Gauteng Department of Education has renovated classrooms and maintained the facilities since the incident took place.

Date: Monday, 25 April 2016
Time: 10:00 am
Venue: Willow Cresent Secondary School, Ext 3. Eldorado Park

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


Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

082 398 7375

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Joburg Mayor Ditches Zandspruit Residents

Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau

The DA is deeply concerned about Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau’s deafening silence on the plight of Zandspruit residents.

Yesterday residents marched peacefully to hand over a memorandum of concerns to the mayor, only to be told that he is too busy to attend.

Why would mayor Tau not take Zandspruit’s people and their concerns seriously?

A few weeks ago, I went to Zandspruit to meet with residents and engage them on their concerns, and was heartbroken to see the living conditions of these residents, 22 years into democracy.

Human Rights Commission

Electricity remains a major concern, with countless deaths caused due to illegal connections. Instead of providing electricity, the city allowed Eskom to switch off all power to the entire community.

I laid a complaint with the Human Rights Commission over this matter, who have agreed to investigate in the meantime.

Mayor Tau’s callous response stands in stark contrast to the DA’s caring approach where we govern.

In Cape Town this past week, when protestors took to the street in Dunoon, Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille immediately stepped in, held an urgent engagement with Dunoon community leaders, and took their concerns to be handled by the Mayor’s Office.

Change is Coming

Yet in Johannesburg, Mayor Tau’s blatant disrespect for the people of Zandspruit shows just how the ANC government only cares for the select few.

The DA has a track record of clean governance and better service delivery where it governs.

Where the DA governs, we offer the most comprehensive basket of free basic services to the poorest communities, to uplift communities and to improve lives.

Change is coming to Johannesburg, just as it’s sweeping across the rest of South Africa.

Because where the DA governs, life is better.


Media enquiries:

Willie Venter for Herman Mashaba

Director: Communications and Research

060 963 8260

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DA FedEX To Embark On A Mobilisation Blitz Ahead Of Manifesto Launch

Tomorrow, 22 April 2016, Democratic Alliance Leader, Mmusi Maimane MP, and members of the Party’s Federal Executive (FedEx), will embark on a mobilisation blitz ahead of Saturday’s manifesto launch.

The FedEx comprises of the Party’s most senior office-bearers and officials, like the Federal Leader, Provincial Leaders, the Chairperson of the Federal Council and the CEO, among others.

Ahead of the manifesto launch, FedEX will meet to give its stamp of approval to the Party’s Local Government Election Manifesto for Change.

The FedEx blitz will take place as follows:

Date: Friday, 22 April 2016

Time: 07:30

Venue: Noord Taxi Rank, Johannesburg

Address: 90 Plein Street, Johannesburg

There will be photo and interview opportunities.



Media Enquiries:

Mabine Seabe

Spokesperson to the DA Leader

084 677 7851


Nkele Molapo

Media Officer

072 041 4842

076 127 0719

East Rand Hospital Packed With Patients

Thelle Mogoerane Hospital

The Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus (formerly the New Natalspruit Hospital) is experiencing very high numbers of patients who have filled all the beds in most departments.

This is putting great strain on both staff and patients.

Relatives are also distressed by a broken switchboard so they can’t get through to the hospital to ask how patients are doing.

It appears that the onset of cold weather has led to a dramatic increase in sick patients, many of whom are from neighbouring provinces.

The Gauteng Health Department needs to step in urgently with extra resources to help this embattled hospital, and some patients may need to be transferred to other hospitals.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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The real State of the City: Overturning the legacy of empty promises, half-completed projects and insiders and outsiders

Over the last 60 day I have travelled the length and breadth of our beautiful city to see for myself how the people of Tshwane are living and the service delivery challenges they are facing.

And I have realise that it is time for the residents of Tshwane to be honest about the state of our city. Not only our city, but the city that houses the seat of government, and bore witness to the birth of our democracy in 1994.

We have come a long way since then, but progress has stalled as the ANC continues to make and break one promise after the next with the residents of cities like ours suffering from an uncaring ANC that is no longer the party it once was.

So let us be honest about the state of our city and the plight of its residents. Assessing this city has to start with three tests:

Firstly, we have to keep track of broken promises.

Secondly, we have to take stock of half-completed projects.

Thirdly, we have to count the insiders and the outsiders created by the mayor and the current administration in the past five years.

Before the DA or any other party can bring real change to Tshwane, we have to be honest about what we stand to inherit after the local government elections in August.

But let me be clear. While the task ahead of us is daunting, I am filled with hope by the ambition, the discipline, the honesty and the hard work of the people of Tshwane who are getting along with their lives despite adverse circumstances.

I am inspired by the young people who want to work, so that they can contribute to society and look after their families; the families who boil the water they get from municipal taps; the parents fighting with everything they have against the scourge of Nyaope; the commuters who travel long and expensive distances to work in what is supposed to be a capital city of excellence.

They deserve more than five more years of broken promises, half-completed projects and the systems of lucky insiders and unlikely outsiders which colour the reality of daily life in the capital city.

In order to offer a real alternative in Tshwane – change which will stop corruption, start delivery and create jobs – we must first be honest about the State of the City.

Before we can shape the future, we must assess the economic damage, point out the harmful policies and express the anger, frustration and disappointment of the people of Tshwane.

What has been promised

In successive State of the City Addresses and in community meetings across the City, the mayor has made wild and wonderful promises to the people.

To young people of Soshanguve and Garankuwa desperate to work, he has promised EPWP and Vat Alles Jobs.

To the informal car washers of Mamelodi, he has promised city investment in a car wash facility that would bring them into the formal economy.

To the media, and no doubt to the millions of unemployed youths of Tshwane, the mayor promised the completion of projects like the Centurion Aviation Village, Symbio City in the North, and Rainbow Junction in the South.

To the families which this city evicted from the Schubart Park housing complex in 2012, the mayor promised the West Capital Development Project.

To the Constitutional Court he promised  that his administration would refurbish Schubart Park, which would allow him to restore the occupation of the evicted families. To the students of TUT and other colleges in the west of the city, he promised affordable accommodation in Marabastad as part of the same West Capital Development Project. Indeed the West Capital Prescient was going to change the face of the city.

To the elderly, the disabled and those who cannot afford municipal services, the mayor promised a system of smart prepaid meters to enable these residents to control their consumption and to meet their commitments.

He promised them, as indeed is required by law, a quotient of free water and electricity. And implicit in the promise was a commitment to actually apply the indigent policy of the city, so that free services for those most in need are not squandered.

To the city’s sports enthusiasts, the mayor promised that the HM Pitje stadium would be refurbished. He promised that Giant Stadium would finally be completed.

To residents who feel unsafe in the streets and in their own homes, he promised two metro police units in each ward.

To the families torn apart by the lure of drugs, especially Nyaope, he promised specific interventions.

And so the list of promises has grown as the mayor has made one hollow commitment after the next.

What has been delivered?

But we will not let him get away with this. We will not allow him to escape accountability for misleading the citizens of this great city.

There’s usually little that can stop the mayor from making a good promise. But invariably his promises catch up to him.

The mayor’s promises also catch up to the officials of the city, many of whom are dedicated to their jobs and making a difference, but whose attention is constantly diverted towards creating hype for the mayor’s next big project, his next big promise.

So let us consider how many of them have been kept.

As I crisscrossed Tshwane in the past few months, seen the faces of its people, shook their hands and listened to their stories, I have had a unique chance to see which promises have been kept and which have been broken.

I have also been able to judge first-hand how the duplicity of all the political promises have undermined the ability of the city to fight corruption, deliver services and drive job-creation.

Let us consider jobs.

Young people have told me, over and over again, that EPWP and Vat Alles jobs are not open to everyone. You need an ANC membership card. You need to be aligned to the right factions in the ANC.

This has confirmed reports in the media that these so-called beneficiaries of government job creation in Tshwane are used for ANC door-to-door canvassing. It has also confirmed what disgruntled Vat Alles workers have told us about the system of personal and political favouritism which determine Vat Alles appointments and promotions.

The city-sponsored car wash in Mamelodi is operational, but the people you’ll find working there are not associated with the cooperative of informal Mamelodi carwashes. They are EPWP workers. And they aren’t washing many cars. In fact they sit around a closed gate manned by a security guard. None of the other businesses which formed part of the project’s original design, the Laundromat, the tuck-shop or the chesanyama are open.

Let us consider infrastructure.

The much lauded Centurion Aviation Village is an open piece of red soil. Rainbow Junction is nowhere to be seen. The super towers of Symbio City are as of yet still a figment of the mayor’s imagination. And yet, even as I speak, the mayor and his closest allies are dreaming up even more projects, even more promises, and even more preoccupations which will divert the attention of city officials away from stopping corruption, starting delivery and winning the trust of investors.

What about the West Capital Prescient? Last week city officials admitted to a committee of the city council that the contractor who won the West Capital tender cannot do the job. They haven’t started building yet. They haven’t even submitted the basic city planning applications for processing and approval. In the meantime, the city has forgotten the former residents of the Schubart Park and the students who were promised affordable accommodation.

In Mamelodi, HM Pitje is still not ready to be used for practices. In Soshanguve, Giant Stadium is yet to be completed.

And let us consider basic living conditions and essential services.

We now have many police officers, but they aren’t engaging in the fight against Nyaope dealers. They are mostly wandering around aimlessly in the inner city, no hint of system of disciplined system of command and control which direct their tasks. Try to find a city-funded drug rehabilitation centre which provide free accedes and support to the families of Nyoepe addicts,

Prepaid electricity meters were never delivered in full. Those that were didn’t work properly. The contract to procure these meters was illegal. The finance minister warned the mayor of this fact, as did the DA. He nonetheless signed the deal, and as of today we are still paying for prepaid electricity meters which were never delivered and did not work. More money has been wasted on these meters than the entire Zuma family could spend in a lifetime.

And finally, the elderly, the infirm and the disadvantage endure a daily struggle with the municipality. Because the city does not know who it’s registered in terms of its indigent policy, services are cut sporadically. Because the city’s infrastructure is creaking under the massive strain of under spending on maintenance, we lose millions of litres of water and kilowatts of electricity every month.

And so while the list of promises has grown, so too has the list of those the mayor as broken.

This weekend the DA will be launching our Manifesto For Change that will focus on stopping corruption, creating jobs and delivering better services. This will be a Manifesto that will help move South Africa forward again.

With this Manifesto, we will be able to fix Tshwane and ensure that our people live a life of dignity, with opportunities, that they can value.

The citizens of Tshwane deserve change and we are committed to bringing it on August 3rd.

The DA is determined to win Tshwane at this year’s municipal election, and together with residents of Tshwane, to usher in a government that delivers better services, cuts corruption and creates jobs.

Change is coming to Tshwane, with a new DA government, after Election 2016.


Solly Msimanga

DA Mayoral Candidate for Tshwane


DA Welcomes Gauteng Hospital Bed Mamangement System

Electronic Bed Management System – eBMS

I welcome the Gauteng Health Department’s launch of the electronic Bed Management System (eBMS) which is intended to streamline the allocation of patients to available hospital beds.

This system is needed to cut down on long waiting times for beds and assist ambulances in finding hospitals with open beds.

The initial roll-out is in the Tshwane hospital cluster which includes Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Tshwane District Hospital, Kalafong District Hospital and Pretoria West Hospital.

Shortage of Beds

I hope that this modern system avoids cases like that of Mr Herman le Roux (43) who broke his knee last week on Wednesday and had to wait 20 hours before he was admitted to a bed at the Steve Biko Hospital.

He has detailed his experience of poor treatment in a series of Facebook posts, including waiting three days while his surgery was repeatedly postponed. He was finally operated on yesterday.

Better management of beds is a step forward, but the overall shortage of beds and staff needs to be addressed in the province as a whole in order to provide a quality health service.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 3334222

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Hundreds Of Soweto Health Workers Not Paid

Community Health Workers

Hundreds of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Soweto are in despair as they have not been paid since February this year.

I have received complaints about this from CHWs at the Chiawelo, Zola, Dobsonville, Tladi and Lillian Ngoyi clinics in Soweto.

They have been given various excuses as to why they were not paid their R2500 salary last month.

Last year they were also not paid for many months and received an apology from Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu who blamed an administrative problem.

SmartPurse Solutions

It is unclear whether the non-payment is because of the new R87 million contract awarded to SmartPurse Solutions Pty Ltd to take over the payment of CHWs.

The CHWs do valuable work that includes home-based care, delivering medicines to house-bound patients, and going door-to-door to assess the health status of households.

It is disappointing that yet again there is a payment problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 3334222

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