Sharp Increase In Foreign Doctors In Gauteng

Foreign Doctors in Gauteng Public Hospitals

There has been a sharp increase in foreign doctors working in Gauteng public hospitals and clinics, rising from 261 last year (4%) to 750 this year (12%) out of 6270 doctors employed in total.

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

Mahlangu says that all their qualifications are checked through the SA Qualifications Authority, they have to register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, and the validity of their work permits and immigration/refugee status is done quarterly.

Future plans are to ensure that foreign doctors “are utilized within the district services where the need is.”

Cuban Doctors at Bheki Mlangeni Hospital

I am concerned by the poor expertise and language skills of some of these foreign doctors.

For instance, there are four Cuban doctors at the Bheki Mlangeni Hospital in Soweto who can barely speak English, write poor scripts and are accused by other staff of endangering patients.

Meanwhile, I am aware of locally trained doctors who can’t get jobs in Gauteng hospitals.

Preference should be given to our local doctors who are generally well-trained and knowledgeable about the local disease profile.

There should also be better monitoring of the performance of foreign doctors to ensure that they provide a quality service to patients.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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ANC In Gauteng Rewards Failed Limpopo Finance MEC With R2-Million Job

Dr David Masondo

Gauteng Premier David Makhura today defended the appointment of Dr David Masondo, former Limpopo Finance MEC, as ‘what a cadre should be’ in response to questions about his appointment as the CEO of a major provincial government entity.

Mr Masondo is reportedly earning R2 million a year salary.

Dr Masondo was finance MEC in Limpopo when national treasury had to intervene to save the province from complete financial ruin, placing several departments under administration for financial mismanagement.

After the 2014 election, Dr Masondo was not returned to the post, and was quietly given a position as a staff member in the Gauteng Provincial Government before being appointed to the position of head of the Automotive Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) – a key provincial government entity that promotes investment in the automotive sector.

Maladministration at the AIDC

Subsequent to his appointment, there have been allegations of recruitment rigging and a toxic working environment in the entity. The DA has learned that the board of the AIDC has sent a written warning to Dr Masondo for maladministration in respect of staff appointments. In correspondence, the board has indicated to Dr Masondo that they would consider moving him to another position in the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency as a result of his actions and conduct.

In his response to irregularities at the AIDC under Dr Masondo’s tenure, Premier Makhura defended the appointment, referring to Dr Masondo as what a cadre should be.

The premier also conceded that there are severe irregularities at the AIDC under Dr Masondo which has resulted in the commissioning of a report into the matter – which has not been made public.

Premier Makhura’s claim of running a clean government and making staff appointments on merit is shattered by this appointment and the allegations of impropriety at this entity. The ANC in Gauteng are have a long history of using government entities as employment agencies for ANC members, and this appointment is no different.

The DA will be demanding the release of the report commissioned to investigate allegations of maladministration at the AIDC, as well as continue to hold the ANC accountable for its failed system of cadre deployment that paralyses government and its entities.


Media enquiries:

Ashor Sarupen

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance

060 558 8303

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Family Traumatized After Patient Wrongly Declared Dead

Kopanong Hospital

A Meyerton family is angry and upset after being told that their daughter and sister was declared dead at the Kopanong Hospital in Vereeniging, but when they arrived to fetch the body they found that she was still alive.

Last week on Wednesday a policeman came to inform them that 26-year-old Tracy Palesa Hugo had died. She had been taken earlier in the week to the hospital after suffering a stroke. They told family members across the country about her death, and posted it on Facebook.

On Monday this week, they came with an undertaker to remove the body, and then discovered that she was alive and being treated in a ward.

A nurse told them that Tracy’s body had already been wrapped for removal after being declared dead, but then it was discovered she was still living. But other versions of what happened have been told to them, and they are confused about what really happened.

Negligence by Hospital

It seems that the police were called to inform the family of Tracy’s supposed death because the hospital claims they did not have a phone number for the family, but the police were not informed later that Tracy had not actually died.

The Hugo family are immensely traumatized by what has happened and want to sue the hospital.

They suffered for five days grieving over Tracy’s death when she was still alive.

This is inexcusable negligence by the hospital.

An inquiry must be held urgently into this distressing matter, and should make recommendations to ensure that nothing like this happens again in our hospitals.

(Contact details of the family can be supplied on request).


Media enquiries:

 Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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Emfuleni’s Exorbitant Luxury Car Hire Costs

Emfuleni Local Municipality

In a reply to a DA question, Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC, Paul Mashatile revealed that Emfuleni Local Municipality is hiring luxury cars at over R120 000 per month.

Thus far over half a million has been spent on hiring Mercedes Benz C Class vehicles for the Mayor and the Speaker of the council.

Click here to view the reply.

According to MEC Mashatile, these vehicles are courtesy vehicles whilst the Mayor and the Speaker’s official vehicles are in for service.

Ultimate Exotic Travel and Events

What makes no sense, is that these vehicles have been hired from January to September 2016. The official mayoral vehicles cannot possibly be in for a service every month.

The service provider, Ultimate Exotic Travel and Events have been raking up funds from the Municipality.

At over R120 000 per month per rental the Municipality could have bought a brand new small sedan or hatchback vehicle every month.

I will submit further questions to the MEC to get to the bottom of these rentals.

Cost-cutting measures should have been implemented in all municipalities in the province.

Hiring of luxury vehicles flies in the face of the many indigent residents of Emfuleni.


Media enquiries:

Kingsol Chabalala MPL

DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Emfuleni North

060 558 8299

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Bara Hospital Without A CEO For Nine Months

Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital

The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital has been without a permanent Chief Executive Officer since January this year, but Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu says that the hospital is “run extremely well” by an acting CEO.

Mahlangu said this yesterday in an oral reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

CEO Dr Sandile Mfenyana

She said that the performance of the previous CEO Dr Sandile Mfenyana was rated as satisfactory but he was moved to the head office and his contract will terminate at the end of October this year.

It is still a mystery why Dr Mfenyana was moved as Mahlangu ducked my question on this.

She said that a “very thorough exercise” was being done in looking for a new CEO.

I am appalled that the CEO of our largest hospital was removed without any stated reason and has still not been replaced after nine months.

The delay in filling this crucial post is inexcusable.

There are many staff and patients who are not happy with management at the hospital, which needs a dynamic and competent CEO as soon as possible.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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DA Challenges Gauteng Premier To Fire Health MEC

Madam Speaker, 14 days ago in this House the Honourable Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu admitted in reply to a question that 36 psychiatric patients had died at the NGOs to which they had been transferred after the cancellation of the contract with Life Healthcare Esidimeni.

This has been compared to the lives that were lost at Marikana.

I have been informed by a relative that one more patient has since died at the Cullinan centre.

There has been a justified outcry at this high number of deaths in a short time at NGOs that were quite obviously not suitable to look after these patients. We were also told that they were transferred without the files that contained their medical history.

The Health Ombudsman is doing an investigation, but it is clear that the primary blame and negligence lies with the Health MEC. She was warned by relatives, NGOs and interest groups that the transfer process should not be rushed and that there were not enough NGOs with the expertise and resources to take so many patients.

I also gave warning in this House and requested the Honourable MEC to extend the contract with Life Healthcare Esidimeni for another six months.

In most other democracies, the political head would have shown accountability by resigning, but we have an arrogant ruling party that cares more about itself than the people it should serve.

I have launched a Mahlangu Monitor on Twitter that is counting the days before the Honourable Premier gets the political courage to do the right thing and fire the Health MEC responsible for so many avoidable deaths.

The Monitor is updated every day. It is now 14 days and the Honourable Premier has still not fired her.

The reputation of his administration suffers for each extra day that she remains in office.

How many more days before the Honourable Premier appoints a new Health MEC who will be conscientious and accountable in treating sick people with decency and dignity?


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

MEC Creecy Disconnected From Gauteng Broadband Project

Gauteng Broadband Network

Gauteng MEC for e-Governance, Barbara Creecy, is disconnected from the reality that the Gauteng Broadband Network has not reached all its intended end users, with some institutions still waiting for connectivity despite the instillation of equipment.

In reply to questions that I posed to the MEC in the Legislature about the roll out of the network across the province, Creecy indicated that all top 20 priority sites had been connected.

This is however not the case.

Although the Refilwe Clinic has been identified as one of the Top 20 priority sites, it has not been able to connect to the network since the installation of equipment on site some 6 months ago. The Refilwe Clinic manager informed me that the situation has become so dire that she has to leave her office and move to the Refilwe Community Hall to connect to the Tshwane Wifi to get her work done.

Connectivity Issues

When I raised this with the MEC, she shifted blame to the Department of Health, stating that her office is simply in charge of rolling out the hardware and that connectivity issues lie with the relevant departments who want to make use of the network.

This sudden shift in responsibility is an indication that MEC Creecy does not have her finger on the pulse of one of the Gauteng’s most costly – and most game changing project.

The DA will continue to keep a close eye on the roll out of the Gauteng Broadband Network so that it positively impacts on service delivery, and that residents of Gauteng receive value for their money.


Media Enquiries:

Adriana Randall MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC on Finance

060 556 4342

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DA Debates Motion On Heritage Day

Speech by: Paul Willemburg MPL

“Are we succeeding in building a cohesive society?”

  • We won’t be successful in uniting our Nation, by continuously playing the race card.
  • We should have respect for religion, ethnicity and race, but we should also have respect for gender; respect for sexual orientation and respect for the disabled. It means tolerance and acceptance and the willingness to learn about the cultures and make a concerted effort to learn at least one of our indigenous languages.
  • Xenophobia still raises its ugly head in our country; as does homophobia. The murder of young lesbians in townships continues.
  • This new evil is rampant and prevalent in every sphere of government, and it’s called Corruption.

The full speech can be obtained here


Speech by: Kingsol Chabalala MPL

“In glimpsing backwards, we learn to move forwards”

  • Our country’s rich heritage and diversity is something every South African should be proud of. We were once divided, now united.
  • Reflection is the driver which ensures we move forward, but we are in charge of the GPS that will determine whether or not the direction we move in is favourable and inclusive to all South Africans.
  • It is important that we learn from each other in order to build a strong and united society. We must constantly open ourselves up to learning from each other.
  • If there are lessons, traditional medicines and other practices from other cultures which may improve the way we live and view the world we should take the opportunity to do so.

The full speech can be obtained here


Media enquiries:

Paul Willemburg MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage

082 450 0815


Kingsol Chabalala MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Sport, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage

060 558 8299

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DA Welcomes Proposed Sale Of Gauteng Premier’s Official Residence

Premier’s Official Residence in Bryanston

I welcome the announcement today by Gauteng Premier David Makhura that the Premier’s Official Residence in Bryanston Johannesburg will be sold along with all houses owned by the Provincial Government.

He said this in an oral reply to my questions in the Legislature.

According to Makhura, the Department of Infrastructure Development has been given an express mandate to sell all houses owned by the Gauteng Provincial Government.

He said: “We are confident that this decision will not only save us money from maintenance but it will help raise additional resources to fund the TMR priorities such as student bursaries and rollout of Tshepo 500 000.”

Last year about 50 engagements and meetings were held at the Bryanston house, which costs about R1.5 million a year to run.

Emoyeni Conference Centre

Makhura said that more details about these meetings would be provided to me this week in response to an application I made in March this year in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).

It was revealed last year that R4.2 million was spent on the house since May 2014 when Premier Makhura took the decision not to live there.

My view is that it is much cheaper to use the province-owned Emoyeni Conference Centre or a private venue as the annual cost of the Bryanston house works out to about R30 000 a meeting just as a venue.

A lot of money could have been saved if the house was sold earlier as it is a white elephant.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Member the Oversight Committee on the Premier’s Office and Legislature

082 333 4222

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Lesufi Must Rid Gauteng Schools Of Sexual Offenders

Teacher-learner Sexual Relationships

Growing reports of sexual misconduct by teachers in Gauteng schools has parents fearing for the safety of their children in the classroom.

Despite the Gauteng Education department denying that there had been any cases reported of teacher-learner sexual relationships in the past two years, media reports this morning revealed that a teacher found guilty of breaching the code of conduct by having a sexual relationship with a 17 year old learner may soon be back in the classroom.

This does not bode well for parents having to leave their children to attend a school where a teacher was found guilty for sexual harassment.

Whilst the department claims that the teacher has been “rehabilitated” and will be closely monitored, children who are placed in this persons care may be susceptible to unwelcomed sexual advances that will negatively impact on learning.

Realogile High School

The DA urges Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi to investigate all cases of sexual misconduct by teachers in schools and to take a firmer stance when teachers are found to be guilty.

Recently, the DA received messages from whistle blowers who reported sexual offences to schools and district offices but no action was taken to date.

At Realogile High School in Alexander, a parent has approached the district on several occasions but nothing has been done. It is alleged that the teacher involved belongs to SADTU and enjoys protection whilst continuing to victimize learners at the school.

Any information received by the DA from whistle blowers on sexual harassment in schools will be directly sent to the MEC’s office.

We encourage parents and learners to immediately report cases to the department or to the South African Police Services.

It is the duty of the MEC and his department to rid Gauteng schools of any sex pests in schools.


Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

082 398 7375

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