Gauteng Provincial clinics have no toilet paper

All 50 provincial clinics in Tshwane have been without toilet paper for more than two months, causing considerable discomfort and hygiene hazard for thousands of staff and patients.

My information is that the Gauteng Health Department stopped the purchase and distribution of toilet paper for the clinics on 18 March this year.

Staff have brought their own toilet rolls and sometimes newspaper or pages from telephone directories.

It is unclear why toilet paper was stopped but it is probably because of lack of budget towards the end of the financial year at the end of April, or it could be sheer incompetence which is not rare in this department.

In contrast to this, the 24 clinics run by the Tshwane municipality are receiving their normal allocation of toilet rolls.

The Department has only responded this week to ordering new rolls for the provincial clinics.

Clinics are stressful environments with sick people who don’t need further trauma when they use toilets without paper to clean themselves.

This breakdown in toilet paper availability in clinics highlights the Department’s continuing management problems that need to be rectified in all areas.

R346 million wasted on empty Gauteng Provincial Archives

The DA has conducted an oversight visit to the Gauteng Provincial Archives in Kagiso Ext 6.

Images can be accessed herehere, and here .

Construction of the Provincial Archives commenced in early 2014 and was set to open its doors in February 2016, at a predicted cost of R312 million.

Costs have now escalated to an approximate R346 million. This is excluding the costs for 24 skilled staff, servers, ICT/Broadband, equipment for archive preservation and furniture.

According to a Gauteng Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) report on the archives, the contractors have downed tools without having completed the project.

Our visit to the archives and engagements with members of the Kagiso community revealed that many residents were not aware of what exactly the monumental building was.

It has stood empty for almost three years and according to the department it will open its doors at the end of June this year. The DA will hold the MEC accountable on this promise.

Contractual disputes, poor workmanship and architectural design issues were blamed for the delays.

Gauteng Sport, Arts, Culture, Recreation and Heritage MEC, Faith Mazibuko launched a scathing attack last year on MEC for Infrastructure Development, Jacob Mamabolo, claiming that her department’s failures rest squarely at his feet.

The lack of project management and coordination between the Provincial Department of SRAC and Infrastructure Development has resulted in yet another empty shell.

This building plays a key role in heritage preservation and record management and is legislated by the Constitution and various National and Provincial legislation.

Gauteng residents cannot afford any more wasteful expenditure from the ANC provincial administration.

The DA can and will deliver in Mogale City

On August 3rd 2016, millions of South Africans voted for the Democratic Alliance to take their communities forward. The people of Mogale City voted the ANC out of the majority, sending a clear message that the ANC’s failures would no longer be tolerated.

Since August 2016, in numerous DA led governments, we have begun to deliver on our promises and change has taken root. Across Gauteng, DA-led governments have cut out corruption, exposed ANC looting, dismissed implicated cadres, rescued public money from ANC patronage and landed plans to deliver for those in need.

DA-led governments have produced, with the input of all residents, pro-poor Integrated Development Plans and Annual Budgets. These have been passed by the councils showing the DA commitment to deliver on our promises. In Johannesburg, Tshwane and Midvaal residents can see tangible change. This is what Mogale City deserves too.
But sadly this has not been the case in Mogale City where the ANC has undermined democracy, and has frustrated all attempts to deliver the services so desperately needed by residents.

The ANC has used every trick in the book to prevent the council from operating effectively and has put self-interest and petty political points-scoring ahead of delivery in Mogale City. These efforts to frustrate governance include bringing a flawed motion of no confidence against the DA mayor. The motion was flawed for a host of reasons including that no notice was given to the Executive Mayor of the existence of the motion against him prior to the distribution of the agenda. There was also no indication or proof that the motion was tabled within the prescribed period of time or submitted in the correct manner.

The fact is that Mogale City deserves to have an Integrated Development Plan to bring change and deliver services, but the document cannot pass while the ANC holds the council to ransom.

In the budget to fund the Development Plan, the DA led council plans to register 20 000 or more indigent’s households during the 2017/18 financial year. This will include providing 100% subsidized rates – as per Municipal Property Rates Act, 6 kilo litres free basic water, 50 kW/h free basic electricity, 100% subsidized refuse removal and 100% subsidized sanitation services.

This is the pro-poor change that the DA wants to bring to Mogale City, but which the ANC continues to prevent.

We will continue to fight to carry out the mandate of voters, who voted the ANC out of government in August 2016.

Only 30% of E-toll invoices paid

In response to a Democratic Alliance Written Parliamentary Question, it has been established that between April 2015 and March 2017, on average, 70% of invoices issued by SANRAL, relating to the E-tolls scheme, have gone unpaid. This translates to only 30% of road users paying their E-tolls bills.

The attached table paints a vivid picture of the people’s rejection of a system that the ANC government imposed on them via the backdoor.

This does not surprise us, given the lack of consultation by SANRAL and Government, both Provincial and National, with the people of Gauteng. The will of the people and democratic processes were undermined in order to bulldoze through the unworkable and expensive system.

As the DA, we warned the ANC that they cannot force this system down the throats of already over-burdened South Africans, who cannot afford the additional tax. This is because the ANC does not listen and does not care about the people of South Africa, especially the poor who are affected by the rising costs of food due to the increased cost of transporting goods and services on Gauteng’s tolled roads.

There was a cheaper way to finance the project, which the DA proposed, through a 10 cents fuel levy. If this levy had been introduced, the roads would have been paid for already.

We also asked the Minister of Transport to provide the monetary value of the unpaid invoices during this period, to which she responded, “Due to the year-end processes and audits still to be concluded, the value of outstanding debt can’t be disclosed. This will be available once the Auditor-General has concluded the audit on 31 July 2017.” This is rubbish.

The Minister went on further to say that “[the] audited results as at 31 March 2016, reflects the outstanding value (trade receivables), which would be for unregistered users, as R7 206 million.” That is over R7 billion in unpaid invoices for registered users.

The people of Gauteng are tired of the ANC taking their money, only to use it on corrupt activities and to send it to Dubai with the Guptas.

The DA will continue to champion for an affordable system that does not overburden the residents of Gauteng. It is this kind of caring and responsive DA –led government that the people of Gauteng will vote for in 2019.

Residents’ petition over vacant provincial houses ignored

The ANC-run Gauteng administration continues to ignore Boksburg North residents’ petition over vacant provincial houses that have been converted into brothels, illegal drug trading centres and a place to harbour criminals.

The residents of Boksburg North in Ekurhuleni lodged a petition with the government in 2012, and to date no action has been taken by the Gauteng administration.

There are over 60 houses situated along 14th Avenue in Boksburg North that belong to the Gauteng Provincial Government; 36 have been left vacant.

The state of these houses is terrible and not habitable; there is no maintenance and the buildings are dilapidated. Municipal services such as water, electricity and refuse collection have been cut off which makes these houses a health hazard.

The illegal occupants have turned these houses into brothels and illegal drug dealing centres putting the security of the residents under threat.

The concerned residents claim that the dilapidated state of these houses, as well as the criminal activities occurring within these houses, are devaluing their properties.

Lebo More, DA Spokesperson for Petitions and Janet Semple, DA Political Head for Boksburg East Constituency visited the houses yesterday and met with the concerned residents. They also consulted with the Department of Infrastructure Development, which confirmed that there are vacant properties in Boksburg North.

However, the Department of Infrastructure Development claims it has no plans on what to do with these houses; they are waiting for a directive from the Department of Roads and Transport on whether they are continuing with the road construction in the area.

Both MECs for Infrastructure Development and Roads and Transport must act swiftly in finding a solution to the problem as this petition has been dragging for over five years now.

The DA believes that residents have the right to petition and their pleas must not be ignored.

The DA will table questions at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to ascertain the following:

  • How many houses situated in 14th Avenue Boksburg North belong to the Gauteng Provincial Government?
  • When were the houses purchased?
  • What were the reasons behind the purchase of the houses?
  • For how long have the houses been left vacant?
  • Do people who occupy the houses pay rent, if yes, to whom are they paying rent to?
  • What does the Gauteng Provincial Government intend to do with the houses?
  • When is the Gauteng Provincial Government going to respond to the petition of the residents?
  • Why has there been a delay in responding to the petition?

Time to go, Mayor Mofokeng

Please see the following speech by DA Gauteng Leader, John Moodey MPL, that was delivered outside the Emfuleni Municipality buildings today.

Fellow democrats,

We are gathered here today in solidarity with thousands of residents in Emfuleni, to say to Mayor Simon Mofokeng – your time is up! Please view pictures herehereherehere,here and here.

It is time to go Mayor Mofokeng. We have had enough. Enough is enough. No longer will we allow you to loot the coffers of Emfuleni. Unemployment in the Sedibeng region is nearing 50%, yet Mayor Mofokeng and his ANC cronies have decided that only ANC members deserve jobs. Service delivery has come to a screeching halt in Emfuleni.

Yesterday, democrats, the office of the Sherriff took car keys from the Speaker’s office because small business have not been paid. The ANC-run administration in Emfuleni has failed to pay service providers. Mayor Mofokeng is protecting contractors that have conducted bad work and have taken millions of rands.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine 6 figures in my bank account. These people have taken more than 6 figures, in some cases 8. Taking from the poor to feed the rich should be a crime. Mayor Mofokeng should be behind bars. Democrats, our people are suffering, yet this Mayor continues to eat our money.

He is not worried about anyone but himself.

This mayor is being investigated because he spends more time in hotels and spending public money at Nando’s than in the office, running the municipality. The ANC has refused to take action against him. This man is a disgrace and an embarrassment to the people of Emfuleni.

If you want to see a prosperous future for your family and your children, you should all be talking about this one man – just like President Jacob Zuma. The DA can bring about the change we need to see in the municipality. We will continue to fight against this corrupt mayor.

No more, democrats, no more. We cannot after 23 years of democracy still be fighting corruption. Services must be delivered. If the ANC continues to ignore the people, the people must take action. That is what we are doing here today. Taking action and taking a stance to say – no more.

Mayor Simon Mofokeng, it is time to go!

Gauteng Education Department undermining quality education

The Gauteng Education Department has taken a deliberate decision to appoint a Deputy Principal to Pholosho Secondary School, in Alexandra, who did not emerge as the best candidate during its interview process. This was done in defiance of the Department’s own policies, which include proper consultation with the School Governing Body (SGB) should there be a deviation.

The decision to pick a second-rate candidate has resulted in the appointment being set aside by the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC), which is mandated to “promote the maintenance of labour peace in the public education sector, through the provisioning of dispute resolution and prevention services.”

MEC Panyaza Lesufi has said that teachers will be promoted and hired based on merit but his Department has failed to use merit in appointing the Deputy Principal at Pholosho Secondary School.

Despite the poor decision, made by MEC Lesufi’s Department, being set aside, the Department has taken another ill-fated stance by taking the matter under review. While we respect that the Department has the right to review the decision of the ELRC, as the DA we believe that the review process will arrive at the same conclusion, which is that the Department acted irrationally by failing to follow due process.

At a time when education, particularly that of the black child is of an inferior quality, it cannot be right that schools have teachers and leadership of an inferior quality imposed on them. In this instance it appears that the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU), which is representing the inferior candidate, are determined to place one of its members at the Alexandra school.

It is common cause that where the undemocratic teachers’ union rears its ugly head, the quality of education and leadership of schools is of a poor quality. Backed by the ANC, SADTU continues to break an already broken education system.

As the DA, we are determined to ensure that learners receive quality education and that teachers and principals are supported and held accountable for the performance of their learners; we will do this through the introduction of a National Education Directorate.

Anyone who opposes measures to enhance the quality of education is an enemy of building a better future for all South Africans.

Horrifying rape at Lenasia Clinic

I am horrified at the reported rape yesterday of an 18-year-old woman at the Lenasia South Clinic.

According to the police, she went to the toilet and was raped there by an unknown man who then ran away.

A full investigation is needed into this terrible incident which highlights criminality that has no boundaries whatsoever in perpetrating a heinous deed in a place of healing.

There have been other rapes in hospitals but usually at night or over a weekend.

We need to know how a security lapse occurred at this clinic which is guarded by a security company that is paid more than R6 million a year.

The security cameras should assist in identifying the perpetrator.

I hope that the police apprehend the rapist as soon as possible.

Gauteng Health fails to pay suppliers on time

According to a reply from the Gauteng Provincial Treasury to a question asked by the Democratic Alliance, the Gauteng Department of Health takes, on average, 66 days to pay suppliers for work done. In monetary terms, this translates into R 4,3 billion in unpaid invoices and losses to companies.

Despite hollow commitments from both Premier David Makhura, during his State of the Province Address, and MEC Babara Creecy, during her Budget Speech, to put measures in place to ensure that the 30 day payment regulation is complied with, specifically at the Health Department, which remains a wholly problematic Department, the situation has not changed.

The failure by the Department of Health to pay its invoices within the stipulated 30 days, not only undermines Provincial and National Treasury regulations, but it also amounts to writing a death certificate for small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) which depend on a regular and punctual income stream for the work that they do for the ANC-run Gauteng Provincial Government.

SMMEs are renowned economic and change drivers, which play an important role in creating jobs and, building an inclusive and growing economy. It is clear that the ANC in Gauteng has no interest in creating jobs and growing the economy but is committed to its directionless, job-killing, Gupta-mandated policy of so-called radical economic transformation.

The people of Gauteng deserve a DA-led Gauteng Government that is caring and responds to the needs of the people and the economy. Our commitment to creating jobs and building an inclusive and growing economy is not a hollow one, because unlike the ANC the DA works in service of the people and the economy.

The Democratic Alliance will continue to ensure that those who sabotage the economic prospects of the people and the country are held accountable.

Emfuleni Mayor using municipal security to guard his private guest house

Emfuleni Local Municipality Mayor, Simon Mofokeng, is allegedly making use of security contracted to the municipality to guard his own private guest house at a cost of R1 million.

The DA has been reliably informed that more than four security personnel have been stationed outside his guest house.

This is yet another example of Mayor Mofokeng’s flagrant abuse of state resources for his personal use; the DA recently uncovered the Mayor’s shocking R1.7 million spend on Nandos, KFC and hotels.

The DA is in possession of a document which stipulates the amounts paid to security per month at various station points in the municipality.

According to the document, “Mayor’s Additions” is stipulated in the fine print for additional security personnel.

Enough is enough. Mayor Mofokeng and his cronies have taken enough from the poorest residents in Emfuleni.

The municipality deserves better leadership and a responsive government willing to address the myriad of issues facing the local council.

The DA will be marching towards the Emfuleni town hall tomorrow to call for the resignation of Mayor Mofokeng.

All documentation is available upon request.