DA & coalition partners boycott illegitimate Mogale Budget

The DA, along with our coalition partners, boycotted the Mogale City Council meeting today. The ANC was intent upon ramming through an illegitimate Budget and Integrated Development Plan (IDP), which was not taken to the people of Mogale City for their input. Resulting from our absence, the meeting was not quorate and had to be adjourned.

The Mogale City Council must be dissolved and fresh elections must be held so that the people of Mogale City can elect a government that will deliver the change that they want to see. This is the only way to ensure that the ANC does not further corrode stability and loot municipal coffers.

The DA-led coalition has reduced the budget deficit from R400 million to R200 million in just 11 months, since taking office. Similarly, our IDP will see the roll out of a Budget that is financially prudent and puts the people first. The implementation of our Budget would see Mogale City being cash flush by the end of this financial year, with R30 million in the bank. By the end of this term, Mogale City would have R500 million in the bank.

Instead, the ANC was intent on pushing through their illegitimate budget, which was not taken to the public for consultation. Through this illegitimate budget, the ANC planned to take R30 million from Mogale City coffers, to give to their cronies at the West Rand District Municipality. They also planned to escalate debt by including an overdraft of R100 million.

The DA-led coalition government spared no effort in taking the plans for the municipal budget and development to the people. Numerous public participation meetings were held and the voices of the people, regardless of political affiliation, were factored into our Budget.

To ignore the DA-led coalition’s planned Budget is to ignore the will of the people.

The ANC has proven that they are not interested in meeting the needs of the people of Mogale City. They have demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to get back into power in Mogale City, so they can merely further their corruption.

The DA will not stop fighting for the change that the people of Mogale City called for. We, along with our partners, will not simply sit back and let the ANC further plunder municipal resources once more.

DA congratulates Mabine Seabe for being nominated as one of the Top 200 Young South Africans

DA Gauteng congratulates one of their own, Mabine Seabe, for recently being nominated as one of the Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans that are making a difference in society.

Mabine was formerly the DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s spokesperson and has now joined the DA in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature as a Media and Issues Specialist. Mabine (27) was nominated for his outstanding work in politics, in the politics and government category.

The DA is immensely proud of him and is not at all surprised considering Mabine’s dedication in serving the party and working towards winning the Gauteng province in 2019.

Mabine is an inspiration to the young generation and his work speaks for its self.

The DA believes that the youth are the future leaders of the country and are capable of building a better South Africa if equipped with skills and education hence our Rescue Mission for the Lost Generation.

Well done Mabine Seabe, keep the DA flag flying high.

Joburg invests R42m to improve traffic flow and broaden economic activity

The Democratic Alliance is pleased with the continued work of the DA-led City of Johannesburg administration, which always puts the people first by investing in infrastructure that broadens and contributes to economic activity.

The City’s MMC for Transport, Cllr Nonhlanhla Makhuba, stated that the R42 million upgrade to Midrand’s busy Le Roux Avenue on the R101 “is aimed at addressing congestion during peak periods and significantly reducing travelling times for the Midrand community.”

According to the TomTom Traffic Index (TTTI) 2017, Johannesburg commuters spend on average 141 hours every year in traffic, this has a significant impact on productivity, the transport of good and services, and the economy as whole. Therefore the reduction of traffic congestion in the country’s Economic Capital, specifically in an area that links the Administrative and Economic Capitals, should not be understated.

Under the former ANC administration the infrastructure investment and development backlog grew; this particular project was delayed for 5 years. The DA-led administration is therefore working to reduce this backlog, because an investment in infrastructure is an investment in the economy and the future.

The DA is committed to transforming the country’s cities into centres of economic growth and job creation, though, inter alia, infrastructure investment.

MEC Mashatile must investigate Ennerdale land scam

Earlier this year, residents of Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg protested against the slow pace of housing developments in the area – demanding that the provincial government speed up service delivery and address residents’ needs.

It has now emerged that provincial housing officials are involved in the illegal sale of land to unsuspecting community members – who after paying thousands of rands, find themselves out of pocket and homeless.

The continued exploitation of vulnerable residents who are desperate for a place to call home speaks volumes to the depth of corruption in the Department of Human Settlements, as well as the lack of political will to tackle this issue head on.

Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile promised residents of Ennerdale that by the end of July 2017, plans would be underway to fast-track the delivery of infrastructure in this community, however – given the scale of corruption within the department, it is unlikely that these promises will become a reality.

MEC Mashatile must institute an inquiry into the allegations made by Ennerdale residents who have been defrauded of what little funds they have, for homes they will never own.

Failure to do so will deny the resident of Ennerdale the opportunity to dignified housing and security of tenure.

MEC Mamabolo wastes millions to guard dilapidated houses

The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development has spent R22 million to date to safeguard 36 vacant and dilapidated Gauteng Provincial Government houses situated along 14th and 15th Avenue in Boksburg North, Ekurhuleni.

This has been revealed by Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, in an oral reply to the DA questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

According to MEC Mamabolo, a security company was hired in October 2011 to safeguard these houses.

To date the Department has paid R22 million for the security services and, with no apparent plans for these houses, this cost is set to escalate.

While the Gauteng ANC-led administration continues to waste the people of Gauteng’s money, the infrastructure that it is responsible for continues to fall into an unusable state.

These houses now have a much lower market value than what is being spent to guard them and are not in a habitable state.

We will hold MEC Mamabolo accountable to ensure that there is an immediate solution regarding these houses which are costing the province millions of Rands annually in unnecessary expenditure.

Mogale City: DA to forge ahead to deliver services to the people

The DA condemns in the strongest terms the undemocratic occurrences in Mogale City last night. We may have lost the Mayoral seat but with our coalition partners, we remain completely committed to serving the residents of Mogale.

Since taking over the municipality in August 2016, the DA has exposed corruption, stopped fruitless and wasteful expenditure and set about putting service delivery systems in place.

Last night, during the mayoral election in Council, in a truly undemocratic fashion, the ANC Speaker, Patrick Lipudi, refused to recuse himself even though he was running for the Mayoral seat.

He further insisted on having councillors vote by using a stamp instead of a pen – the result of which was a number of spoilt votes which may otherwise not have been spoilt.

While the ANC has managed, by hook and by crook, to secure the Mayoral seat, this does not give the party, which ran Mogale City into the ground in the first place, control of the municipality.

The DA remains committed to working with other opposition’s parties and the events of last night give us no reason to doubt our partners.

The fact is that over the last ten months, since the 2016 elections, the ANC has actively and purposefully worked against plans to improve the lives of Mogale residents for no reason other than political point scoring.

It is clear that cheque book politics is at play and that the ANC has prioritised petty politicking over getting to work to ensure that the people of Mogale City are delivered the services they rightly deserve.

The DA-led coalition together with the residents has worked tirelessly to put together an integrated development plan (IDP) and budget that would serve the needs of the residents and not officials and cadres.

The IDP and budget the DA put together prioritised the following spending:

  • R15 million electrification project for the 2017/18 financial year which includes an R3 million 20 MVA transformer and substation upgrade, R3 million for the conversion to Smart Meters in Munsieville and R3 million for new street lighting;
    • R35 million budgeted for water projects including pipe repairs and a rural water strategy;
    • Almost R80 million has been budgeted for sanitation projects, a crucial element in restoring the dignity of citizens without adequate sanitation services;
    • R17 million for projects to deal with roads and storm water systems. This includes R4 million to be spent on the Western Rural Area roads and R12 million on the Kagiso Extension 3 area.

In the first of what will in no doubt be many fights, our focus now turns to ensuring that the ANC is not able to pass a budget that will negatively affect the municipality.

In contrast to the DA’s cost-cutting measures that included the decision not to have an extravagant state of the City address and cutting down on staff in political offices, the ANC budget includes an R100 million credit extension which would only add more strain to the municipality’s ability to service their debt. This action is evident that the ANC cares more for the funds they can utilise than for the communities that they are meant to serve.

Such a budget has not been through public consultation and would put Mogale City into further debt to the detriment of service delivery for residents.

The DA will now look forward to being the principled opposition to the ANC and will continue to fight in the best interest of the people of Mogale.

DA debates speeches on the role of GPG Departments in supporting Youth Empowerment and DevelopmentGee

The following speeches were delivered today in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature by the DA’s Shadow MEC for Economic Development, Janet Semple MPL, and Spokesperson for Finance, Ashor Sarupen MPL during the debate on the motion with regard to the role of GPG Departments in supporting Youth Empowerment and Development.

Speech by

Janet Semple MPL

Gauteng ANC-led administration has not done enough to curb youth unemployment

  • Statistics SA recently released damning figures that tell a painful story about our youth. Black youths endure the hardest life today. Statistician-general Pali Lehohla described it as a “cocktail of disaster”.
  • In June this year, SA’s unemployment rate hit a 13 year high. The youth unemployment rate rose by 1.6 percentage which points to 38.6% with 58% of unemployed people aged between 15 and 34.
  • The Youth Accelerator Programme run by the Department of Economic Development has a budget of R20 million for the 2017/18 financial year and one of their objectives is to create access to markets for the youth owned businesses in Gauteng.
  • Other young entrepreneurs are also developing exciting new products in our Province. Watch the space around the Soweto Cooling Towers. No money needed there but support and opening of doors would be appreciated.
  • Red tape is a big hindrance to SMMEs and all departments in this Province need to look at a programme like the Western Cape’s From Red Tape to Red Carpet. This programme saved the Western Cape over R600 million rand last year, money that can be ploughed back into entrepreneurship.
  • The youth of this Province, whether they are unemployed or trying to succeed as entrepreneurs, need the support of everyone in this Province if they are to make it in life and it is up to all of us to make sure that happens.

The full speech can be obtained here.

Speech by

Ashor Sarupen MPL

ANC has failed to empower the youth with Fourth Industrial Revolution

  • The interventions discussed by the ANC, indeed the paradigm the ANC is obsessed with, is that of the second industrial revolution. This outdated thinking, in which economic thought is drawn from the turn of the last century, has woefully failed our youth.
  • None of the interventions discussed by the ANC today have made a meaningful impact on these persistent, systemic and wicked problems. The reality is that the ANC has failed to adjust its thinking, away from the second industrial revolution to the fourth. This is why, as we speak, by narrow definition, more than half of our young people are not able to use their talents and productive energy to better their own lives.
  • The ANC’s 1994 election manifesto, ironically, showed that the party was once capable of paradigm shifts, but, since 2009 the ability of the ANC to think, learn, change its minds and adopt policies for the modern era has declined.
  • The ANC now serves the Gupta family, not the youth of South Africa, and this is why, in 2019, the country will undertake a paradigm shift and boot the ANC out of office, and elect a government that will ensure that our youth are given the skills and knowledge they need to compete in the fourth industrial revolution.

The full speech can be obtained here.

MEC Mashatile‘s Back to Basics goes bust in Merafong

While Gauteng Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements MEC, Paul Mashatile, is boasting about the success of his Back to Basics interventions in Merafong, municipal staff from the Water and Sanitation Department are on strike over unpaid overtime and violent altercations are erupting between staff and senior management.

The situation is compounded by the unavailability of diesel as a result of unpaid accounts.

The MEC must immediately intervene to ensure that Merafong residents have access to water and sanitation services while municipality workers are on strike.

Merafong residents, including schools and NGOs, have been hard hit by the strike that began on Monday.

Mohalieshoek and Welverdiend residents have not had any drinking water delivered to them since the strike started.

Our people cannot suffer because of the working dispute between the Merafong ANC-led administration and its workers.

Access to water and sanitation are basic human rights enshrined in the Constitution, and local residents cannot be deprived of such rights.

Despite the fact that water is now a scarce resource, clean water is flowing on the streets as a result of unattended water leakages and burst pipes.

Furthermore, there are allegations that the current large water leak in Onyx Drive is as a result of sabotage by the municipal workers themselves.

As much as the municipality workers are entitled to strike, they must be warned not to tamper with municipality facilities as such acts are criminal and cannot be tolerated.

The DA believes that the rendering of services to the community must be the first priority of any municipality.

MEC Mashatile must go back to the drawing board to assist Merafong with its chronic and severe cash flow problems that are contributing directly to the collapse of governance in Merafong.

The DA will continue to hold MEC Mashatile accountable to ensure that there is service delivery in Merafong.

Emfuleni’s Dickenson Park a R48million disgrace

The Emfuleni Local Municipality has spent R48 429 722.00 from 2009 to date on what is now a derelict park in Vereeniging.

Dickenson Park was supposed to be a precinct for the local residents to enjoy – equipped with a stage for performances, a clubhouse, VIP parking, reception and a ticketing building.

The lavish designs included ablution facilities elevated by columns which were supposed to be accessed via lifts.

But R48 million later and this is what Dickenson Park looks like. Click here, here, here and here to view images.

The DA recently conducted an oversight visit to view the precinct that has been completely abandoned. A lone security officer is guarding the precinct.

According to a response from Cooperative Governance MEC, Paul Mashatile, the initial budget for the park was just over R27 million – 8 years ago.

Renovations at the park started in February 2009, yet it still remains a pipe dream for the community.

It is disgraceful that the Emfuleni Local Municipality has spent almost R50 million on a park that is unfinished.

This is yet again a “sorry story” of the ANC administration in Emfuleni. The municipality cannot pay R70 million to Randwater to prevent the taps from running dry, yet it can waste the residents’ rates and taxes on a lavish park.

The DA will, over the coming weeks, reveal further information relating to Dickenson Park.

Mayor Simon Mofokeng must do the honourable thing, take his pension and resign from public office for good. He lacks the political will to tackle these issues in Emfuleni.

We will not stand by and watch how officials and politicians in Emfuleni sit on their hands and abuse public money.

Gauteng mortuary strike drags on despite concessions

The illegal strike by forensic assistants in the 10 Gauteng state mortuaries has dragged on for three weeks despite concessions made to meet the demands of the workers.

Pathologists are doing the best they can with 10 military medics and 8 volunteers from the National Association of Funeral Directors assisting them, but the backlog is still about 200 bodies.

Autopsies are taking more than 7 days instead of one day, to the great distress of families who have to delay funerals.

Unions representing the workers are being unreasonable and cruel in continuing this illegal strike in an essential service.

Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa has mishandled the strike from the start by not getting a court order against it.

She is bumbling from one crisis to another, including the disgraceful non-payment of subsidies to 159 NGOs looking after mental health and other patients.

I welcome the intervention by Premier David Makhura to promise payments to mental health NGOs by the end of this week.

I agree with his statement that the health department needs a “big shake-up” and I hope that the cabinet committee he has set up to assist Health MEC Ramokgopa is successful.

They must get it right this time as many previous efforts to “turn-around” the department have failed.

Makhura’s intervention is urgently needed to resolve the mortuary strike as well.