No Spectacles At South Rand Hospital

Department’s Ineptitude Causes Suffering to Patients

Patients with sight problems at the South Rand Hospital in south Johannesburg have been unable to get spectacles since January last year because there is no agreement between the hospital and the service provider.

This is according to a written reply by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

There is an optometrist at the hospital who did 166 eye tests on patients last year, but none of them got spectacles.

Ramokgopa says that “Problems experienced with manufacturing spectacles are due to the non-existence of a service level agreement between the hospital and the service provider.”

This is a poor excuse that shows bad management and an uncaring attitude to patients.

Ramokgopa says that additional funds from the 2017/18 budget will be allocated to improve service delivery in this area, but it will probably still be some months before patients can get spectacles at this hospital.

It’s one more example of the department’s ineptitude that causes suffering to patients.



Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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Merafong Services Grind To A Halt As Fuel Dries Up

Service Delivery at a Standstill

Service delivery in Merafong has come to a standstill as the municipality has run out of fuel for its vehicles.

Traffic enforcement, power and lighting maintenance, grass cutting, refuse removal and the provision of water via tankers to isolated communities has ceased as the ANC-led council has failed to adequately plan and implement correct supply chain management policies.

Thousands of Merafong’s residents will now be at risk of opportunistic crime, lengthy power outages and in some instances – denied basic human rights such as access to clean drinking water.

Municipal Debt Continues to Climb

This is not the first time that the residents of Merafong have been subjected to the mal-administrative practices of the ANC.

Coupled to this, municipal debt continues to climb with no end in sight.

The MMC’s for Finance and Corporate and Shared services should be hauled before the Municipal Accounts Committee to not only explain how the situation has been allowed to deteriorate, but to provide a recovery plan of exactly how service delivery will be restored.




Media Enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL

DA Constituency Head: Merafong

060 556 4344


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Sinkholes In Khutsong Avoidable If Council Sorts Out Water Leaks

Sinkholes in Khutsong

The growing number of sinkholes in Khutsong could be mitigated if the ANC-led council in Merafong took decisive action to curb the growing number of water leaks in the municipality.

Houses in the area are built on dolomitic land which is susceptible to developing sinkholes when exposed to water over sustained periods of time.

The high number of water leaks in Merafong is a major contributing factor to this problem. In Khutsong last year, the municipality failed to repair a burst water pipe for 6 weeks, losing more than 1.6 million litres of fresh water for the period.

Gauteng Disaster Management Fund

Last week, the Merafong Municipality declared the area a disaster zone – but the municipality has not yet received any funding from the Gauteng Disaster Management Fund.

I will question Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance, Paul Mashatile, as to when this funding will be made available to ensure that the residents of Khutsong and other affected areas are assisted during this difficult period.




Media Enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL

DA DA Constituency Head: Merafong 

060 556 4344

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Gauteng SAPS Must Root Out Criminal Elements

Victims of Crime Survey

Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane must explain how expelled SAPS Colonel Innocent Khumalo, and police reservist Lehlohonolo Leeba were at the centre of a bank robbery in Roodepoort.

Despite their arrest, this incident raises concerns over SAPS’ ability to weed out rogue elements operating within the force and the vetting process for new applicants.

The recently released Victims of Crime Survey has highlighted that there is a serious breakdown in trust between the public and the SAPS.

Rogue elements within the service who work in conjunction with criminals undermine the work of honest SAPS members and should be brought to book to face the full force of the law.

The DA will submit questions to MEC Nkosi-Malobane to ascertain what steps her department is taking to root out corruption and criminality within the service and how many criminal SAPS members have been identified thus far.



Media enquiries:

Kate Lorimer MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Community Safety

083 642 2727


Warren Gwilt

Economic Cluster Manager

073 601 6144

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Clinic Staff And Patients Suffer In Sick Building

Jeppe Street Clinic

Staff and patients at the Jeppe street clinic in inner-city Johannesburg are suffering from moldy walls that smell and cause health problems.

I visited the clinic last week after receiving complaints that staff were getting chest infections because of the poor state of the old building in which the clinic is based.

The emergency room is worst affected, with ugly mold infesting the walls giving off a pungent smell (photographs available on request).

This is clearly unhealthy and unacceptable in a health facility.

Staff and Patients Affected by Sick Building

There are other problem areas of mold and leaking ceilings at this clinic.

Staff at this provincial clinic have protested several times about their poor working environment but have been ignored by the Gauteng Health Department.

It is unacceptable that the health of staff and patients is affected by this sick building.

It is yet another example of inadequate maintenance in our health facilities.

The Department needs to act speedily to fix the clinic building otherwise the situation will deteriorate even more.




Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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Gauteng Budget Needs To End Wasteful Spending And Create Jobs

Gauteng Government Irregular Expenditure

On Tuesday, 7th March 2017, the Gauteng MEC for Finance, Barbara Creecy, will present her budget speech outlining exactly how the provincial government will be spending, or rather misspending, our hard-earned money in the year ahead.

What the province sorely needs is a frugal spending plan that slashes extravagances such as lavish catering menus, as seen at the State of the Province address a couple of weeks ago, travel, entertainment and advertising and focuses instead on the serious service delivery backlogs in key areas such as education, healthcare and infrastructure development.

For the period under review, the Gauteng government incurred irregular expenditure amounting to R4 billion, unauthorised expenditure totalling R12 million (all incurred by the Department of Sports) and fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R29 million. This is just another part of the culture of corruption where the same service providers benefit from government tenders over and over again.

Also, the MEC must finally bring an end to the problem of paying last year’s bills with this year’s money. This amounts to billions of rands and eats into a budget that is supposed to bring better service delivery and a better life for all. These are the so-called “accruals”.

Below are the critical areas which MEC Creecy needs to focus on in her budget so as to improve the lives of Gauteng’s residents and to enable the province to prosper:


The start of the 2017 school year was an unmitigated disaster with 58 000 unplaced children in the province despite R3bn allocated to the department for finishing 12 new schools, upgrading 26 existing schools and the rehabilitation of 123 existing schools. The department built 936 classrooms in public ordinary schools compared to the target of 1 100 classrooms. Furthermore, 306 instead of 450 Grade R classrooms were built. The departmental targets set for examinations and education-related services was not achieved. Of the seven conditional grants that the department received, there was under expenditure in three, namely:

  • National School Nutrition Programme- R347 thousand
  • HIV/AIDS- R1.7 million
  • OSD for education sector therapists- R3.2 million

The departmental targets set for examinations and education-related services were not met.

Infrastructure Development

Infrastructure development within the province has the power to drive social change, create jobs, support businesses and improve the lives of Gauteng residents. With roughly 300 000 people moving to the province every year, it is essential that infrastructure projects are completed on time, within budget and meet quality criteria. The department had 64 targets under the Public Works programme of which 33 were not met; these included critical projects such as the number of new schools completed and the number of schools which have been converted into smart schools.

The department owes R61 million to various service providers and other state institutions for services received in the previous year which points to a lack of financial controls and realistic budget planning.

It is imperative that the departmental budget is correctly allocated so as to unlock the infrastructure potential of Gauteng and fast-track back-dated projects.

Economic Development

We spend over R1bn each year for little or no return; the department has yet again failed to achieve key economic infrastructure targets such as:

  • Initiation of the Gauteng ICT Park-Nasrec SEZ;
  • Construction of JMPD bulk infrastructure at Airport City IDZ;
  • Construction of the Nissan Incubation Centre;
  • Refurbishment of 5 industrial parks in townships – none were refurbished.
  • Establishment of 2 industrial parks in townships – none were established.
  • Completion of a feasibility study for the green technology incubation centre in the western corridor.

Clearly there needs to be less money spent on conferences and vanity projects and more spent on the completion of critical projects which would stimulate the economy and effectively grow small businesses.

Community Safety

With 65.3% of Gauteng inhabitants having increased their home security in the last two years, it is clear that the majority of us still do not feel safe in our province. And rightly so – serious crimes such as murder and hijackings are still commonplace. Yet despite this, the department underspent by R 21 352 million as positions remain vacant and more than 40 Gauteng police stations are underperforming when compared with the 2015/2016 crime statistics.

The irony is that while MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane splurges on Streetwise Twos for prisoners, a third of our traffic police unit are staying home on full pay because there aren’t enough patrol cars for them to do their jobs. Community Safety alone had lawsuits amounting to R52 million which could have been better spent on crime fighting measures and interventions.

The department needs to start spending its budget on its citizens’ core needs if it hopes to create a safe province in which people feel free to travel, walk the streets and let their children play in public places without the fear which haunts so many of our daily routines.


Overall, the Gauteng Department of Health underspent by R472.5 million; legal claims against the department have grown by R3.8 billion in the last year to an astounding total potential liability of R16.5 billion – R13.45 billion of this is for medico-legal claims, R1.6 billion is for civil claims, and R1.5 billion for premature termination of contracts. Yet the Gauteng Department of Health is yet to make the budget adjustments that will enable it to respond to the findings and recommendations of the Health Ombudsman’s report on the death of the 94 Esidemeni psychiatric patients.

About 1‚900 patients were removed in June last year from the Life Esidimeni homes after the department ended its contract with the Life hospital group to save R200-million a year. The Gauteng Department of Health is now spending more on some psychiatric patients than it did when they were housed at Life Esidimeni care homes; this shows the consequences of ineffectual attempts by our provincial departments to cut costs on priority areas, such as healthcare for our most vulnerable groups.


MEC Creecy needs to review her budget priorities, and allocate budget to the province’s critical areas while eliminating inefficiency and cutting non-core spending on frivolities. The DA’s vision for Gauteng is that of a prosperous province that delivers better education for a better future for our children, more jobs, better healthcare and reduced crime. In so doing, the people of Gauteng will enjoy a better life. When Gauteng works, South Africa works.

Please note: DA Finance members will be available for interviews on the 3rd floor DA boardroom of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature immediately after the budget speech has been delivered on Tuesday the 7th of March.




Media Enquiries:

Adriana Randall MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC on Finance

060 556 4342

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Gauteng Crime Situation NOT On The Road To Recovery

Crime Statistics

Even though there have been 632 fewer instances of contact crime in Gauteng, the level of violence seems to have increased.

In terms of the Crime Statistics released for the period April to December 2016, murder, attempted murder, sexual assault and robbery with aggravating circumstances have all increased.

Questions must be asked as to whether this is an SAPS leadership issue in Gauteng.  Is the current Provincial Commissioner Lt. General Deliwe de Lange tough enough on crime and criminals?  In my view, she is not.

Minister of Police

We have seen no extra-ordinary measures being put in place to address increasing crime, since the previous release of crime statistics in September 2016.

In order to see a substantial difference in the outcome, one must make a substantial change to the way in which crime is addressed.

We still have no response on the timeline around the re-introduction of specialised crime units flighted by the Minister of Police in March 2015.  Without these, we are on a road to nowhere and not on the road to recovery.




Media enquiries:

Kate Lorimer MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Community Safety

083 642 2727

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