Gauteng Infrastructure’s Late Payments Impact Projects And Lives

Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development

The inability of the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID) to pay contractors within 30 days as required by the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) has dealt a major blow to contractors and service delivery across the province.

DID’s Portfolio Committee evaluated the impact of late payment in response to concerns raised by the Auditor General as well as complaints from contractors who run small businesses. Contractors indicated that the late payments impacted on their businesses to the extent that some of them have been forced to abandon the projects because of cash flow problems.

This also sets projects back and residents of Gauteng are prejudiced by delayed services.


The affected contractors also indicated that it was not only late payments that put their businesses at risk, but also the fact that DID officials poor project management capability stretched out projects further than cash flow allowed. In addition, some contractors indicated that in a few cases, bribes were sought by officials in order to pay invoices within the required 30 days.

Newly appointed MEC for DID, Jacob Mamabolo, apologised to the contractors for late payments and undertook to investigate and resolve the problems as soon as possible.

The MEC also indicated that DID was creating an anti-corruption unit within the department to deal with the allegation of bribes.

Livelihoods at Risk by Government

While contractors appreciated the sentiment expressed by the MEC, they remain concerned that their livelihoods are being put at risk by government. The main contributing factor for this situation is the fact that officials in the employ of government either do not have the correct skills or the correct attitude in order to ensure efficient management.

One unfortunately cannot eat ‘apologies’. The DA will continue to hold DID to account in order to ensure that they pay contractors on time.


Media enquiries:

Alan Fuchs MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Infrastructure Development

060 558 8313

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DA Gauteng To Pose Questions To The Premier And Members Of The Executive

Tomorrow, Tuesday 27 September 2016, the Democratic Alliance Members of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature will pose questions for oral reply to the Premier and Members of the Executive (MECs).

Questions will include matters such as the Premiers delay in responding to PAIA (Promotion of Access to Information Act) requests, R30 million worth of claims against the newly established Department of e-Governance, irregularities at the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) and the roll out of the Gauteng Broadband Network.

Click here to view the questions.

Date: 27 September 2016

Time: 10h00

Venue: Gauteng Provincial Legislature, c/r of Helen Joseph and City Hall streets, Johannesburg.

Interviews will be made available on request. Members of the media are welcome to attend.


Media enquiries:

Warren Gwilt

073 601 6144

Inhumane Conditions At Soweto Primary School

Goza Park Primary School

Learners and teachers at Goza Park Primary School in Freedom Park, Soweto are subjected to inhumane conditions daily.

The DA carried out an oversight visit to the school this morning and found that the Gauteng education department failed to provide the school with decent basic services.

The school has no electricity, no running water and poor sanitation conditions.

This comes despite the department’s quarterly reports claiming 100% supply of water and electricity to all schools in Gauteng.

Click here to view photographs.

School Infrastructure Budget

A total of 956 learners are forced to endure these conditions, which is nowhere near being a conducive learning and teaching environment.

Taps are dry and water pressure from two water tanks on the premises is insufficient to fill toilets, and teachers have to fill buckets and fill them manually.

Classrooms are prefabricated and poorly insulated.

A caring and responsive government would not allow this to happen. These poor conditions will impact on the quality of education and will adversely affect the academic future of learners.

Conditions at Goza Park Primary School begs the question on what exactly the department’s R2.6 billion school infrastructure budget was spent on.

MEC Panyaza Lesufi

The DA will submit questions to Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi to ascertain what plans are in place to improve the learning conditions and delivery of basic services to schools in the province.

Instead of spending almost R100 million to build one school and procuring services without following proper procedures, MEC Lesufi must get his priorities right by focussing on the basics and prioritise no-fee paying schools.


Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

082 398 7375

Gauteng Sports And Recreation Racks Up R194 Million In Irregular Expenditure

Irregular Expenditure

The Gauteng Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (SRAC) incurred R194 million in irregular expenditure during the 2015/16 financial year, as mentioned in its annual report.

According to the Auditor General of South Africa (AG), effective steps were not taken by the department’s financial officer to prevent this irregular expenditure.

The AG also noted in its report to the department the following:

  • Financial statements submitted for auditing were not in accordance with the regulations of the Public Financial Management Act;
  • Effective steps were not taken to prevent unauthorised expenditure amounting to R12,8 million;
  • Goods and services with a transaction value above R500 000 were procured without following proper procedures;
  • The head of department did not perform adequate oversight over financial reporting, compliance with legislation and related internal controls;
  • Management did not identify areas of non-compliance in supply chain management regulations due to a lack of training and understanding; and
  • There are various investigations in progress relating to procurement irregularities, fraud, theft and negligence within the department.

Sports MEC Faith Mazibuko

The annual financial statements of the department clearly shows SRAC is unable to manage its finances.

Further to this, SRAC, underspent its budget by over R90 million, which could and should have been spent on recreation and sporting facilities, library materials and sporting kits for disadvantaged teams.

Sports MEC Faith Mazibuko has a responsibility to ensure sound financial management practices are in place to prevent further financial losses.


Media enquiries:

Kingsol Chabalala MPL

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

060 558 8299

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Emergency Ambulance Response Times Down In Gauteng

Gauteng Health Department’s First Quarter Report

Officially recorded emergency ambulance response times have plummeted in Gauteng from 77% of all Priority 1 calls responded to within 15 minutes in urban areas last year, to 54% this year.

This is revealed in the Gauteng Health Department’s First Quarter Report which was recently tabled in the Gauteng Legislature and covers the April to June period.

According to the department “a large majority of P1 calls are delayed due to location of dispatch points in relation to pick up points and the districts such as City of Johannesburg, City of Tshwane and Sedibeng are often affected. The ongoing challenge of both staff and vehicle shortages also impacts negatively on response times.”

But only R199 million (17%) of the R1.2 billion Emergency Medical Services budget for 2016/17 had been spent by the end of June.

DA-run Municipalities

I am very concerned about the poor ambulance response times in Gauteng and the shortage of working ambulances even though the budget is typically underspent.

This leads to tragedies like the ambulance that did not arrive to pick up the late Mandoza in Soweto three hours after it was called.

The new DA-run municipalities will need to work with the provincial health department to ensure that ambulances reach 80% of all Priority 1 emergency patients within 15 minutes, which is the world class standard.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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Chaos Erupts At Noordgesig Primary School

Noordgesig Primary School

Chaos has erupted at Noordgesig Primary School in Soweto this morning as parents took children out of the school as conditions there are not conducive to learning.

It is almost 7 years that the community have been waiting for “renovations” at this school.

Concerned parents are protesting and want immediate action to be taken by Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi as promises made were not met.

Earlier this year, R90 million was set aside to fix the school, over and above the millions which have been budgeted since the 2010/11 financial year.

Alternative Schools

The department allocated R2.6 billion for infrastructure related projects in the 2016/17 financial year, yet it seems Noordgesig Primary School was not a priority.

Parents have now taken matters in their own hands and are calling on MEC Lesufi to urgently provide their children with alternative schools or classrooms.

I urge the MEC to communicate with the teachers, learners and parents to properly inform them as to when the renovations will start and be concluded.

Solutions must be sought, it is unacceptable that learners continue to attend a school that is near to falling apart.

The DA has been monitoring the lack of progress for the renovations at the school and demand swift action by the department.

It is unacceptable that the MEC isn’t seeing this as a priority.


Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

082 398 7375

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DA Launches Monitor To Push For Firing Of Gauteng Health MEC

Lifehealthcare Esidimeni

I have launched today a “Mahlangu Monitor” that will record the days that Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu still remains in her job after she admitted that 36 psychiatric patients had died in unsuitable NGOs where they were sent after the cancellation of the contract with Lifehealthcare Esidimeni.

Mahlangu disclosed this information in an oral reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature last week on Tuesday 13 September.

It is now SIX DAYS and Mahlangu has not resigned or been fired by Premier David Makhura.


The Mahlangu Monitor can be found at #MahlanguMustGo on Twitter and will be updated every day on my @JackBloomDA Twitter account.

Mahlangu bears the prime responsibility for the deaths as she stubbornly persisted with a rushed transfer of patients to NGOs despite many warnings that they did not have the capacity to look after them.

This is yet another example of ANC arrogance and lack of feeling for those who suffer from poor governance.

Premier David Makhura

Every day that Mahlangu remains in office is an insult to those who died and their relatives who expect justice and accountability in this matter.

While the investigations under way will establish negligence at other levels, it is abundantly clear that Mahlangu shoulders the bulk of the blame for this tragedy that has been compared to the Marikana deaths.

Premier David Makhura’s professed commitment to accountability cannot be taken seriously until he fires Mahlangu and replaces her with someone who ensures that the health department treats all patients with dignity and decency.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

Gauteng’s Asbestos Schools Pose Major Health Risk For Teachers And Learners

Teachers and learners exposed to asbestos dust in Gauteng schools face major health challenges.

Most asbestos school buildings are deteriorated, panels are cracked, broken and exposed in classrooms.

At Randfontein Secondary School, the department merely built a wall right around the asbestos building, leaving the asbestos exposed inside the building.

This was revealed to the NCOP delegation on oversight at schools in the province, during the NCOP provincial week.

If the lives of learners and teachers were of paramount importance to the department, they ought to be moving swiftly in eradicating the asbestos school backlog.

When maintenance work disturbs asbestos matter, or they start to deteriorate over time, asbestos dust can enter the air and be inhaled. Exposure to the dust puts any person at an increased risk for mesothelioma, lung cancer and serious lung conditions.

The DA will submit a written question to MEC Lesufi, to ascertain exactly how many asbestos schools, their location and name, what financial provision will be made available to eradicate the number of asbestos schools in Gauteng by the 2017/2018 financial year.

The DA vows to hold MEC Lusufi to his commitment to eradicate all asbestos building schools in Gauteng in the next two years.


Media enquiries:

Jacques Julius

DA Member in the NCOP – Gauteng

083 420 1309

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Merafong Loses 1.6 Million Litres Of Fresh Water Every Month

Merafong Municipality

For the past six weeks, the Merafong Municipality has done nothing to repair a burst water pipe, losing more than 1.6 million litres of fresh water per month.

The burst pipe is the result of a massive sink hole, which in itself is caused by Merafong losing 51% of its water monthly due to leaks. This has caused damage to the main water supply in the area, severely affecting supply to Khutsong Ext 3, 5 and Welverdiend.

As a result, residents are forced to rely on sporadic water supply from roving water tankers.

This sinkhole is less than 10 metres away from residential homes and is a danger to residents, especially children.

MEC Paul Mashitile

I raised the issue with Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance, Paul Mashitile, as a matter of urgency – expecting a swift response.

Instead, in a written reply from the MEC, he merely indicates that his department is aware of the problem and that funds have been secured to assist residents in receiving water from tankers.

However, there is no indication as to when the pipe will be repaired, simply that an “investigation is underway”.

Given the current drought conditions, it is unthinkable that this volume of water is simply allowed to be lost.

Debt to Rand Water

Of further concern is Merafong’s debt to Rand Water, which stands at just over R47 million over 90 days.

If left unattended, this water pipe will end up costing the municipality hundreds of millions of rand.

It is beyond belief that neither the MEC nor the municipality has taken immediate action.

I will follow this matter up with oral questions to MEC Mashatile in the Gauteng Legislature to ensure the leak is contained and residents receive the services they deserve.


Media enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL

DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Merafong

060 556 4344

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DA To Draft Private Member’s Bill To Combat Road Fatalities

Private Member’s Bill

The DA will draft a Private Member’s Bill in order to declare provincial traffic officers as an essential service.

Every year the Gauteng Traffic Department sets targets to reduce road fatalities by 10% per annum.

These targets are never achieved, while road traffic fatalities increase by more than 10% year on year.

According to road traffic statistics most fatal accidents occur over weekends from Friday at 18h00 to Monday mornings at 02h00.

Alcohol abuse, reckless and negligent driving, as well as motorists colliding with pedestrians not wearing visible clothing are the main contributory factors increasing road fatalities.

Public Service Act

Provincial traffic officers are employed in terms of the Public Service Act and work 40 hours a week from Monday to Friday from 06h00 to 22h00. Their profession has not been declared an essential service in terms of labour legislation.

Therefore, provincial traffic officers refuse to work in shifts to ensure a 24 hour presence every day and on weekends, which is now regarded as overtime, placing a major strain on the departmental budget.

It is imperative that the provincial traffic profession is declared an essential service.

Traffic law enforcement needs to take place 24 hours a day, otherwise road users will continue to break the law, severely compromising road safety.


Media enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety 

060 558 8299

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