Learners at Sapebuso Primary School in Soweto will not receive their first term progress reports today due to the fact that they were not assessed by teachers who have blamed overcrowding as a hindrance in their ability to perform their duties.
The DA has been informed that in some classes, such as grade 5, the teacher to learner ratio is as high as 1:65. It is impossible for quality teaching and learning to take place in classrooms where the number of learners who require the attention of a teacher has to be split among 65.
Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi has failed to prioritise the basics. The Department has not rolled out additional classrooms and schools fast enough to meet the growing demand for education in Gauteng. Rapid migration into the province requires smarter solutions than the ones that have been offered by the MEC.
Gauteng Premier, David Makhura has highlighted the need for increased infrastructure expansion to solve many of the challenges faced by the province. The fast-tracking of school infrastructure will not only alleviate the growing numbers of learners in classrooms, but it will also improve the quality of education received by learners.
The DA will write to MEC Lesufi insisting that he intervene to ensure that the rights of learners at Sapebuso Primary are not infringed and that they are assessed as soon as possible.
Khume Ramulifho MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education
082 398 7375
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144
[Image Source: http://bit.ly/2o5nJCP]
The child trafficking motion brought before the Gauteng Legislature by the DA was supported unanimously by all political parties in attendance.
This is great victory, as human trafficking is one of the fastest growing illegal activities in the world today generating more than $150 billion every year.
Through force, fraud, and coercion, people across South Africa are being bought and sold against their will and sometimes without their knowledge. Most victims don’t even know that they are victims of a crime.
Occasionally people are trafficked onward to foreign destinations for sexual exploitation. Sometimes they are trafficked inter-provincially or even between municipalities and towns.
Today, the Department of Home Affairs has revealed that a syndicate, most likely operating with officials within that department has been prevented from exporting as many as 15 young South Africans at OR Tambo International Airport.
The DA tabled this child trafficking motion in the Legislature, not only to highlight the severity of this heinous crime – but also to stir law enforcement agencies and other relevant departments to action.
It is also our belief that organisations, such as Kaleideo which is now an affiliate of A21 and Tshwane Home of Hope – who do so much in the fight against human trafficking, are recognised and supported by this administration.
Can you imagine the fear and agony a young child undergoes, not knowing if they will ever see their loved ones again? The physical and mental abuse that all of the victims of these crimes endure leave scars that may never heal.
No one deserves a future as bleak as the one faced by a victim of human trafficking.
Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development
060 558 8297
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144
Fifty-nine days have passed since the Health Ombudsman released his report on the deaths of mental health patients who were transferred from Life Esidimeni.
In his report, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba recommended as follows:
“All patients from Life Esidimeni currently placed in unlawful NGOs must be urgently removed and placed in appropriate Health Establishments within the Province where competencies to take care of their specialized needs are constantly available, this must be done within 45 days to reduce risk and save life; simultaneously, a full assessment and costing must be undertaken.”
This 45-day deadline was passed two weeks ago, but the majority of Esidimeni patients, perhaps as many as 500 patients, are still with the NGOs.
I acknowledge the difficulty in finding alternative suitable facilities and to move with due care in not repeating the failures in the previous transfers of patients, but we need to be kept up to date with the transfers.
It appears that the Selby Park Clinic and Life Esidimeni facilities will take most of the patients but need time to prepare properly for this.
The Gauteng Health Department should disclose the full reasons for the delay and a timetable for the transfers to be concluded as soon as possible.
Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222
In a reply to written DA questions, Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane revealed that the expenditure incurred from “KFC” take-away food for prisoners at Leeuwkop Prison was in fact R126 000 and not R60 000 as was reported last month to the media.
This was clearly a desperate attempt to buy prisoners’ votes with KFC at the Leeuwkop Prison.
According to the department’s response, all procurement procedures were followed and the expenditure incurred came from the budget of the Office of the MEC.
Why would the department mislead the public and the media in saying it cost just over R60 000, when in fact it had been signed off from the Office Budget for over double the amount?
Furthermore, MEC Nkosi-Malobane, tried to justify this expenditure in saying prisoners were out of their usual environment and would’ve missed their “prison food”.
Indeed, convicted criminals deserve to have their human rights upheld, however, by transgressing the laws of the country, engagements with criminals certainly do not warrant a dish-out of take-away chicken.
The DA will submit further questions to obtain the alleged three service provider quotations and all supply chain procurement documentation. We will continue to haul the MEC over the coals and grill her for her decision in dishing out finger-licking food.
Michele Clarke MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety
060 558 8299
DA Social Cluster Manager
076 721 8613
[Image Source: http://bit.ly/2nzGfPG]
The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital has operated without a permanent Chief Executive Office (CEO) since January last year, but an appointment process is in place for a new CEO.
This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
According to Ramokgopa: “The vacant position of Chief Executive Officer was advertised in the national media with a closing date of 15 December 2016. The department received four applications in this regard and the appointment process is in place.”
She added “no appointment has been finalised.”
It is highly regrettable that this large hospital has suffered without a permanent CEO for so long.
Former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu is to blame as she removed the previous CEO Dr Sandile Mfenyana without any explanation and dithered in finding a replacement.
I hope that Ramokgopa moves speedily to finalise the appointment of a dynamic and competent CEO to lead this major hospital which treats many thousands of patients.
|Jack Bloom MPL
|DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
|082 333 4222
The Democratic Alliance has noted the default judgement awarded in favour of the South African Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) and continues to encourage motorists to not be pressurised by SANRAL to purchase an e-tag.
Despite claims by SANRAL, this judgement does not set a precedent against motorists who have refused to pay e-Toll fees.
The current judgement was made against a company in liquidation which had chosen not to defend itself in court.
If a case were brought before the courts, where a defendant sought legal counsel, it is probable that a court would not rule in favour of SANRAL.
The DA encourages motorists to join the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), who have offered legal assistance to motorists who may be issued summons by SANRAL.
The DA continues to reject the taxation of the provinces freeways which has had a negative impact on the provincial economy.
R185 million has been spent in the past four years on maintenance and repairs at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital, but there is little to show for this huge expenditure as the hospital continues to be in poor repair.
Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development Jacob Mamabolo revealed yesterday in an oral reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature yesterday that the following amounts had been spent on maintenance and repair at the hospital:
2013/14 – R18 million
2014/15 – R40 million
2015/16 – R60 million
2016/17 – R67 million
It is difficult to see that this money has been properly spent as the hospital has broken ceilings, leaks in many places and broken air-conditioning.
The total amount of R185 million could have built about five clinics or a small hospital.
I suspect that much of the money was wasted on contractors who were not able to complete the job.
The contractor who was responsible for the collapsed roof at the hospital was clearly incompetent and should never have been chosen to fix water leaks.
There needs to be proper controls and expertise to ensure that all future money is spent effectively to ensure that this hospital is in good condition.
The Democratic Alliance is saddened by the passing of one of the founding fathers of our nation, Ahmed Kathrada.
His life was dedicated to the struggle for universal suffrage and freedom for all South Africans. After his release from prison, Uncle Kathy continued to lend support for those who were disenfranchised.
The greatest testament to his life will be that he, along with countless others, continued to fight against insurmountable odds so that we could enjoy the freedoms we have today.
Our nation owes you a great debt of gratitude, Uncle Kathy.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kathrada family and loved ones during this very difficult time.
The Gauteng Health Department spends R101 million a year subsidizing 6661 mental health patients in NGOs.
This was revealed today by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in an oral reply to my questions at a sitting today of the Gauteng Legislature.
Ramokgopa said that there was a process of reviewing compliance with all the licenses of these NGOs.
She clarified that this was separate from the unlicensed NGOs to which the Esidimeni patients were transferred which led to more than 100 deaths.
The figures given by Ramokgopa directly contradict the statement by Premier David Makhura in his State of the Province address that “The Executive Council and I would have never approved a plan to outsource mental health, a primary responsibility of the state to care for the vulnerable in society, to NGOs”.
It is in fact a long-standing policy and practice for the Gauteng Health Department to subsidize mental health patients in NGOs.
This has merit provided the NGOs are properly licensed and monitored, unlike the NGOs where the Esidimeni patients were sent.
Makhura has shown inexcusable ignorance of what the health department is doing with regard to mental health patients, which implicates him further in the lack of oversight that led to deaths of the Esidimeni patients.
Cooperative Governance MEC, Paul Mashatile, has once again misled the Gauteng Provincial Legislature and the residents of Emfuleni on the Mayor’s involvement with Shakespeare Hotel in Vanderbijl Park.
In the oral question session today, MEC Mashatile said the Emfuleni Local Municipality does not lease three offices in this hotel.
However, according to a first written response signed by the MEC, Emfuleni is leasing three offices. (Click here to view the first response)
In a second written response signed by the MEC a few days later, he denies the existence of the three offices and instead mentions stakeholder engagements that take place at this hotel. (Click here to view second the response)
It is has now become apparent that either the Emfuleni Local Municipality Mayor, Simon Mofokeng, is lying to the MEC or the MEC is shielding the mayor from having to take accountability.
When Simon Mofokeng was the mayor of Sedibeng District Municipality, over R2million was spent at the Shakespeare hotel, and now as mayor of Emfuleni just over R300 000 has been spent to date at the same hotel.
The DA will request the Auditor-General of South Africa to investigate the alleged money laundering in Emfuleni.
Further to this, the DA will request the Office of the Integrity Commissioner in the Provincial Legislature to investigate MEC Mashatile’s misleading remarks in the house.
|Kingsol Chabalala MPL
|DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Emfuleni North
|060 558 8299
|DA Social Cluster Manager
|076 721 8613