ANC Gauteng Government has no appetite for accountability

The ANC-run Gauteng Government has no appetite to stamp out corruption and stem financial mismanagement, nor does it have stomach to prosecute individuals found guilty of mismanaging public funds.

According to the Public Service Commission (PSC) of the 87 cases reported to it in the 2016/17 financial year, 78 individuals were found guilty of financial mismanagement yet no criminal action for violation of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) was take in 89% of cases.

Similarly, only 5% of guilty individuals were dismissed from their positions – the lowest rate in four years.

The PSC also noted that departments are negligent in recovering monies that have gone missing. The total amount of money involved in cases relating to financial misconduct in 2016/17 amounted to R198 312 821.71, yet the total amount recovered only came in at R282 428.80.

Gross negligence, 17 cases and theft, 52 cases account for the most types of cases reported.

High on the PSC’s radar are the Departments of Economic Development and Sports, Arts, Recreation and Culture who completely failed to submit any finalised cases to the body in contravention of Section 85 of the PFMA.

The lack of willpower by departments to prosecute and recover stolen money is a disservice to the people of Gauteng who will now go without much needed services as a result.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced that he has established an ethics and corruption committee to tackle the challenges faced by his administration, but until there is political will to act, this committee will be another toothless grouping of individuals with more bark than bite.

Gauteng municipalities owed R622 million by ANC Provincial Government

The Gauteng Provincial Government is hampering service delivery in the province’s municipalities as it currently owes a collective amount of R622 105 203.30 to local governments.

The amounts owed are as follows:

Home to the most affected residents, DA-led metropolitan municipalities make up the lion’s share of this debt.

Embattled local municipalities that are hardest hit by the provincial government’s failure to pay back money it owes.

ANC-run Emfuleni, Merafong City and Rand West City owe millions of rands to both Eskom and Rand Water. Emfuleni is already experiencing a decrease in water pressure as Rand Water has restricted flow due to the large debt the municipality is battling to service.

Gauteng MEC for Finance, Barbra Creecy, along with Cooperative Governance MEC, Paul Mashatile, have done very little in turning around the fortunes of these local municipalities and assisting them with servicing the debts they owe.

These local municipalities should have been placed under Section 139 administration to ensure that residents do not continue to suffer under ANC mismanagement.

Both MEC Creecy and Mashatile refuse to take this step because of the embarrassment it will cause to the ANC in the province, as it tries to give off the impression that it has a good story to tell.

If MECs Creecy and Mashatile cared as much for the residents of these municipalities as they did for the image of the ANC, then they would take decisive action and ensures that monies owed were paid timeously to ensure service delivery does not grind to a halt and that basic constitutional rights of residents are not threatened.

The DA will write to MEC Creecy to ensure that these monies are paid as soon as possible because the effects of non-payment will be detrimental to the wellbeing of residents.

DA Gauteng Cabinet Scorecard: Gauteng ANC unable to re-brand itself in the face of DA government successes

During the past twelve months, the political and socio-economic landscape of Gauteng has changed dramatically.

Gauteng is now home to two DA-led coalition governments in the cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane, while continuing to govern with a majority in Midvaal.

In these municipalities, residents have begun to feel and see the DA difference in action. Steps have been taken to root out corruption, re-claim squandered public funds, increase economic inclusion and roll-out better service delivery.

However, these are not the only changes that have taken place.

The ANC-led Provincial Government, in the face of the DA’s successes and on the back of its mother body’s implosion, has desperately tried to resuscitate its image – as the threat of electoral loss in 2019 has become an ever-increasing reality.

At the beginning of his term of office in 2014, Gauteng Premier David Makhura painted a picture of a brighter future, of a city-wide region that would foster inclusive governance, and accountability.

Three years on and that brighter future remains a dream, one that is only likely to come true in 18 months’ time under a different administration.

Crime is up. Unemployment is up. Accountability remains as evasive now as it did in 2014.

The ANC in Gauteng is as intrinsically flawed as the man who leads their organisation.

With the leadership battle for the soul of the ANC having taken centre stage for much of the year, the soul of Gauteng – its 13 million residents, have had to endure an often absent and uncaring government.

The DA Cabinet Scorecard is an analysis based on the individual MEC’s grasp of his/her portfolio demands, leadership skills, approachability, willingness to appear before oversight committees, and quality of written and oral responses to DA questions.


Premier David Makhura

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has become a one trick pony for the ANC in the province. He is used as a publicity figure for announcing commissions, cutting ribbons and being the all-round good guy that the ANC wheels out to give off the appearance of active governance.

What has become obvious is that the Premier is a man of much talk and far too little action. Crime indaba’s, infrastructure summits, commissions of enquiry have all become the order of the day for Makhura – but results of all these endeavours are hard to come by as prosecutions and criminal charges remain at a low.

He set the tone for his term in office by dishing up a limp wristed and sanitised e-Toll white-wash commission which kept the gantries up and perpetuated the unashamed and unjust taxation of our people – simply for using roads.

Just recently SANRAL indicated it would write off R3.5 billion worth of uncollected toll fees because by its own admission – the system has failed. One would have expected this administration to by now have begun lobbying the Transport Minister to pull the plug on this failed project.

It hasn’t. Evidence it does not care about the plight of our people.

Under his watch, the Esidimeni tragedy was allowed to unfold, an event which he completely absolved himself of, despite being the captain of the Gauteng Government ship.

Conduit payments to unregistered NGO’s leading to millions of Rands of resident’s money disappearing into thin air and not reaching beneficiaries.

Increased government wasteful expenditure – money which should have been spent on rolling out critical services.

Violations of supply chain management regulations and treasury regulations opening the doors for corruption.

Overseeing the province’s expanded unemployment levels rocketing up to 33%.

The list goes on.

While running a tight office of his own, he has failed to effectively manage the challenges plaguing the province and the misdeeds of departments in the GPG fold.

The man who was touted as a game-changer in 2014 has shown that he is just a pawn in the ANC’s losing battle to steer the country in the right direction.

Score: 5/10


Finance – MEC Barbara Creecy

MEC Creecy is one of the few individuals who excels in her portfolio. She espouses good financial governance and has had the foresight to steer the province in a direction that will equip it for the coming fourth industrial revolution.

However, she is not without fault.

There remains little consequence for those who waste public funds and abuse the system to the detriment of the residents of Gauteng.

She is often evasive when questioned on the substantive details of cost containment and the running of multimillion rand projects across the GPG, redirecting questions and providing open-ended answers.

As the Leader of Government Business, she presides over a regime that routinely misses deadlines to answer questions and provides incomplete, unreadable and oftentimes misleading responses. Despite many times being requested to address this matter, the situation has remained unsatisfactory.

The MEC must also shoulder responsibility for the dire financial situation that the Gauteng Department of Health finds itself in. While there has been an intervention plan put in place, it is likely that this will have limited success based on the outcomes of numerous interventions that preceded it.

MEC Creecy tends to inflate the efficiency of her department.

The much-lauded Open Tender System was less than useful, as it was virtually impossible to get details of where and when adjudication meetings would be held. There are very few GIFA projects that reach physical reality despite the millions that get transferred to that entity every year, and while the Gauteng Broadband Network has been rolled out in various areas, very few of the departments are using it.

Score: 4.5/10


Infrastructure Development – MEC Jacob Mamabolo

In 2016 Jacob Mamabolo inherited a dysfunctional, leaderless department that had failed to roll-out numerous projects on behalf of client departments.

Since taking office, Mamabolo, to his credit, has attempted to inject some energy into the department and has introduced some methodologies to try and increase the number of projects completed in time and within budget.

In addition, the perennial ‘turnaround strategies’ found in the public sector have been applied to the Maintenance and EPWP departments, the success of which will only be determined in future.

Despite these efforts, the majority of historical projects, have been delayed and still run over budget.

The MEC has tried to distinguish between the old, dysfunctional DID, and what he calls the “new” DID. He does this to try and escape culpability for the historical projects in the pipeline that do not meet time and budget constraints.

Mamabolo has staked his reputation on projects being more efficiently implemented post the process changes he has implemented in the department. Time will tell.

Of major concern is the department’s lack of response to queries received from members of the public. Despite paying lip service to the concept of serving citizens, the department does not respond empathetically or timeously to issues raised.

The quality of responses from DID to formal questions from the Legislature is also poor. Whether this is done to hide information, or whether the officials do not have a grasp of the issues is uncertain.

The department is feeling the pressure of the financial crunch as more than half a billion Rand to be paid to creditors is shifted from one year to the next because of insufficient cash flow.

With infrastructure development a major driver of growth and job creation in Gauteng, it is imperative that MEC Mamabolo gets his department into top gear and concern himself less with publicity stunts.

Score: 6/10


Economic Development, Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs – MEC Lebogang Maile

The Gauteng Department of Economic Development, Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs looks good on paper. It has received an unqualified audit opinion and has achieved many of the targets it has set itself.

However, these targets are deceiving because the economic climate of the province has not altered significantly over the past 12 months for the average person on the street looking to get ahead.

Innovation and dynamic thinking is sorely lacking under the guidance of MEC Lebogang Maile. There is a growing disconnect between the formal and informal economies of Gauteng set against a backdrop of a rising 33% unemployment rate.

MEC Maile, like MEC Mamabolo likes to punt a PR campaign and is often on the charm offensive – the numerous billboards around the province adorned with his face stand testament to this.

But the devil is in the detail, and when it comes to zooming in on the difficulties plaguing the department MEC Maile is noticeably absent. This can be evidenced in the way the Gauteng Liquor Board has been allowed to go rogue, flaunting its own regulations and the tardy approach taken to effectively supporting farmers affected by the Avian flu outbreak.

This department is the engine room for economic success in Gauteng. It is responsible for ensuring that millions of aspirant job-seekers, entrepreneurs, graduates and businesses are facilitated with an environment to succeed.

Sadly, under MEC Maile, the bind of sluggish growth and increased unemployment will not be broken.

Score: 5/10


Community Safety – MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane

MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane does not have a substantive vision for the Department of Community Safety.

Under her leadership the department has become disorganized, fragmented and under-utilized.

As leader of the department, MEC Nkosi-Malobane fails to exert her executive authority and repeatedly allows staff to violate auditing processes, as has been evidenced by the Auditor General repeatedly flagging the department’s poor record keeping.

Constitutionally the department ignores its mandate, as it never holds the South African Police Service to account for failing to meet their Key Performance Indicators.

The result of this has seen Gauteng becoming the most dangerous province in South Africa. Despite this – we have heard nothing from the MEC about any strategic plans on how this ANC administration intends to deal with this to keep our 13 million residents safe.

A great assistance to this department would be to strengthen the Civilian Oversight Programme. However, year on year, this programme fails to reach expenditure and activity targets and is not given the support it needs to carry out its mandate.

Another critical failing of this department is ensuring that Gauteng’s roads are kept safe. Not enough is done to stem the number of fatalities on the roads, and despite numerous one-hit-wonder “Arrive Alive” campaigns, road fatalities are on the increase.

MEC Nkosi-Malobane is one of the worst performing MECs in the GPG. She has a duty to the residents of this province to keep them safe.

Her arrogant attitude hinders her from taking on new approaches to tackling the criminal elements across the province, eating away at our social fabric like a cancer.

Score: 3/10


Roads and Transport – MEC Ismail Vadi

MEC Ismail Vadi is one of the more responsive members of the executive council, but is frustrated by a less responsive head of department.

A notable short coming of MEC Vadi is that he was too slow to act against his head of department who is also implicated in financial irregularities.

Internal management failures have seen the department slow to award tenders, hampering project roll-out as well as an underspending of capital funds.

Despite much talk of change, G-fleet remains a dysfunctional entity racking up billions of Rands of inter-departmental debt. The abuse of petrol cards remains an issue that MEC Vadi has failed to nip in the bud.

The MEC’s fixation with expanding the Gautrain network, when cost effective public transport is virtually non-existent in the province, speaks volumes to the mis-direction of the MEC’s priorities.

This is highlighted by the constant confusion and disorganization of provincial bus subsidies which frequently threaten commuter’s plans to get to and from work. Bus operations are a nightmare and unsafe which require assertive action from the department.

What the MEC sorely lacks is strategic thinking and operational running of the department to ensure that the provision of roads and public transport is sped up to improve the movement of goods and people in and around Gauteng.

The MEC has a partial vision for his department but is stifled by officials who do not live up to his expectations.

Score: 6/10


Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements – MEC Paul Mashatile

Paul Mashatile’s deployment to the Gauteng Provincial Government has been to play politics and bolster the ANC’s image ahead of the 2019 election.

He is by no means a competent MEC.

Under his watch, there have been no plans announced to address the numerous outstanding housing projects scattered across the province, neither have there been any moves to allocate completed housing units to beneficiaries.

The MEC’s proposed Mega City initiative remains nothing more than a long-term hope which is financially unsustainable and lacking in depth and long-term viability.

MEC Mashatile’s conduct in office has been disconnected, evasive and lacking in substance. He has acknowledged shortcomings in his department but continues to recognize deficiencies without providing effective and measurable solutions.

Although there are continued undertakings to deal with corruption and non-performance within the department very little is being done to effectively deal with the problem, with the striving towards operational and ethical excellence is severely lacking.

The residents of ANC-run Emfuleni have had to pay a heavy price for the lack political leadership under Paul Mashatile. His inability to place this bankrupt municipality under Section 139 administration has severely impacted on the quality of life for residents.

His answers to oral questions are regularly without any detail or substance. He has not attended a single portfolio meeting this year and as such his input has been negligible.

The MEC’s attention is certainly not on the job at hand. Gauteng is facing a housing shortage on a grand scale, yet this critical department is floundering under the lack of vision and competent leadership.

Score: 3/10


Health – MEC Gwen Ramokgopa

MEC Gwen Ramokgopa took over in February this year in adverse circumstances following the resignation of former MEC Qedani Mahlangu over the devastating Health Ombudsman’s report on the Esidimeni tragedy.

The Department’s admirable vision has been undercut by its manifold administrative deficiencies that the MEC has shown little sign of tackling energetically and comprehensively, and she has also not done well in coping with new crises.

She was unable to avoid the cut-off of telephones at her head office and at a Soweto hospital because of non-payment, and the Sheriff of the court pays frequent visits to take away furniture to settle a debt or payment of a medical negligence settlement.

She is trying to fix the mess and would have scored higher but for two incidents where she failed abysmally:
• The illegal mortuary strike in June and July which lasted four weeks and caused incredible anguish and expense to families who waited many days to bury their loved ones. She mishandled this strike from the start as mortuaries are an essential service and she should have used an existing court order to stop it while addressing the genuine grievances of Forensic Pathology Officers as was done in other provinces.
• Lack of cooperation with the police in providing information on the Esidimeni tragedy to the extent that a subpoena had to be served on Acting Head of Department Ernest Kenoshi in this matter. This is extremely shameful and should never have been allowed to get to this point.

A low point was claiming in a written reply that she did not have figures for the waiting lists of patients at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, and then revealing when pushed by an oral question that 11 736 patients are waiting for operations there and the longest waiting time is five years for a hip operation.

The Gauteng Department of Health needs to be resuscitated, but it is unlikely that MEC Ramokgopa is the person to give it the kiss of life.

Score: 2/10


Education – MEC Panyaza Lesufi

Panyaza Lesufi is the darling of the Gauteng Provincial Government. He is an innovative MEC who applies out-of-the-box thinking to the challenges facing his department.

He is often swift to respond to problems that are raised by the DA and, although not always having the best solutions, is willing to robustly debate a position.

While the MEC made an effort to ensure that learning was not disrupted during the shocking revelations of sexual abuse of learners at school, there were few systems in place to provide support to affected learners. A commission of inquiry should have been established to ascertain the severity of the problem, and to develop methods to root this scourge out of the education sector.

One of the failings of this department at the beginning of the school year was to ensure that all school-going learners in grades 1 and 8 were placed on the first day of the new school year. Some learners were only seated in a classroom up to a month after schools had opened.

A challenge that plagues this department is its ability to safe-guard its ITC equipment.

The introduction of smart boards and tablets have bolstered the department’s attempts to increase quality educational outcomes, however these devices are often stolen from classrooms and are costly to replace. The department should do more to safeguard against the theft of these high-end goods.

MEC Lesufi must do more in his department by getting the basics right and stamping out corruption decisively.

MEC Lesufi continues to out-perform his counterparts based on the fact that he has the best interests of learners at heart and has introduced a number of innovative strategies to ensure that quality educational outcomes is the main objective of the department.

Score: 7/10


Social Development – MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza

With a provincial population that is growing at a rate of 200 000 people per annum, it is imperative that the department of social development is fully capacitated to assist the people of Gauteng who turn to it in their time of need.

With MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza at the helm of the department, socio-economic ills are not being attended to with the decisiveness and compassion that is required of its political head.

A million of the province’s most vulnerable were left in a desperate situation this year when social workers went on strike. The MEC did not have an adequate contingency plan in place to ensure that these residents were provided for in their hour of need.

The elderly and disabled members of our society are still treated as second class citizens by the department whose main objective is to ensure that they are well looked after.

Similarly, those who suffer with substance abuse have not been given a helping hand to climb out of despair as the budget for substance abuse facilities has once again gone unspent.

Under the MEC’s watch, conduit payments were not used to benefit those who are supposed to benefit.

The real work of welfare to work programmes is not accounted for and is under-reported on thus belying the MEC’s soft words and apparent concern

Gauteng’s forgotten deserve a clean break and a new hope, but until someone else occupies the MEC’s seat, this will not become a reality.

Score: 4/10


Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture – MEC Faith Mazibuko

This department was historically one of the few in the Gauteng Government to obtain a clean audit opinion with no findings.

However, since the appointment of Faith Mazibuko as the Executive Authority, there has been a regression in the performance of the Department of SACR.

Material underspending of R33 million on the Library Grant is of major concern, especially as this MEC and her department are expected to create a culture of reading in the province.

This is coupled with the continuous failure to complete libraries on time and within budget. Shockingly the libraries in Venterspost, Kagiso Ext 6 and Naturena are completed but still closed to the public.

The provincial Archival Centre in Kagiso still not fully functional almost two years after completion.

Memorials such as Boipathong, the Women’s Memorial are not fully operational, even though they were officially “opened”.

Under Mazibuko, unauthorized expenditure is up from R12m to R17.9m mainly due to overspending on compensation of employees. This is due to the non-alignment of its organizational structure, the same cause for the previous year’s unauthorized expenditure finding, even though MEC Mazibuko assured that it would not happen again.

The much-lauded Operation Mabaleng remains a pipe dream for the second year in succession.

MEC Mazibuko is another MEC in the GPG fold who has been recycled through the ANC’s policy of “pass one, pass all”.

The importance this department has in developing the youth, fostering a culture of learning and encouraging the arts should not be left in the hands of an individual who is not committed to the development of our people.

Gauteng Health underspent R217m that could have paid for Esidimeni

Suspended Gauteng Health Department Head, Dr Barney Selebano, told the Esidimeni arbitration hearings yesterday that the contract with Esidimeni had to be cancelled because there was no money.

But the Department failed to spend R217 million of its budget last year, as revealed in the Department’s 2016/17 Annual Report.

This money would have covered an extra year for the 1700 patients at Life Esidimeni, which was paid R10 000 per month for each patient.

A study commissioned by the Department in 2015 showed that the contract for mental patients at Life Esidimeni was providing good value.

According to Selebano, the Department could have purchased the Esidimeni facilities for R100 million, which was another option that was not pursued.

The mystery deepens why former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu was so adamant about cancelling the Esidimeni contract even though she had the budget to pay for it and mental health professionals warned her about the consequences.

I am also concerned that Selebano said that he was aware of 36 deaths at the NGOs in July last year, but this was the same number of deaths that Mahlangu told the Gauteng Legislature in response to my questions on 13 September.

We now know that there were at least 77 deaths by September, so the Legislature was knowingly given a wrong figure.

Selebano needs to explain why the mounting death toll was covered up and why more was not done to prevent further deaths.

DA debates 2016/17 Gauteng SACR Annual & SCOPA Report

The following speeches were delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today by DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR), Paul Willemburg MPL and DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) Dr Heinrich Volmink MPL, during a debate on the 2016/17 Annual Report of the Gauteng Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) Department and SCOPA’s Report.


Speech by
Paul Willemburg MPL

“Department lacks leadership and political-will to manage finances better ”

  • Material misstatements were only corrected by the Department after the errors had been pointed out to them by the AG. Had this not occurred, they would have received a different audit opinion, possibly a qualification;
    • Action plans developed were not effectively implemented and monitored. This is often the case with SACR – great on paper, but poor on implementation;
    • It is quite obvious that the measures and systems the Department supposedly put in place in reply to SCOPA resolutions on Expenditure has not worked or what was promised, was not fully implemented by management; and
    • Weakness in leadership, financial and performance management and governance remains a finding even though measures had been allegedly put in place after the last financial year.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Speech by
Dr Heinrich Volmink MPL

“Serious action must be taken for supply chain mismanagement”

  • This department has an important role to play both in terms of developing the economy and fostering social cohesion in Gauteng, as described in its vision;
    • Firstly, it is disconcerting that irregular expenditure in the Department ballooned and that a major reason for this was a failure in Supply Chain Management processes;
    • Year after year issues of supply chain management are identified, and year after year we are presented with interventions that simply don’t seem to work; and
    • We will be scrutinizing the quarterly reports that SCOPA has requested on the implementation of measures to prevent irregular expenditure and will be carefully monitoring the Department’s steps, or missteps, in ensuring consequence management.

The full speech can be obtained here.

DA debates 2016/17 Gauteng Social Development Annual Report

The following speeches were delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today by DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development, Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL and DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Social Development Justus de Goede MPL, during a debate on the 2016/17 Annual Report of the Gauteng Social Development Department.

Speech by
Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL

“Lazy department, sluggish results: Social change requires swift action”

  • The department could do more to attract persons with disabilities. Out of a target of 1948, 1916 was achieved. The department could not place 32 people;
    • The department failed to source all 40515 beneficiaries with HIV and Aids for receiving meals. They only reached 34 752;
    • Increasing the number of specialized social workers, would ensure that more children are moved out of Child Youth Care Centres and into foster care; and
    • It is not sustainable to have current social workers, work the current caseloads for placement to foster care, this severely compromises the attention and quality given to each individual case. More foster care placements would provide children with a loving home with parents.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Speech by
Justus de Goede MPL

“Trim the fat off the budget to ensure better social services are offered”

  • Despite the dramatic increase in substance abuse, specifically in disadvantaged areas, receives the lowest allocation in the budget. The substance abuse program receives a mere 5% of the Departmental budget;
    • Funded NPOs cannot provide adequate care for the aged, because of the low ceiling of per capita funding by the Department. The result is that many of these facilities support a small percentage of their capacity;
    • These issues have been raised with the MEC and the Department and the usual answer is that the budget cannot fund more social or auxiliary social workers or increase the subsidies to NPOs caring for the elderly; and
    • The Department should be directed to reprioritise the budget and ensure that the fat in certain programs, like Program five, Development and Research, is trimmed and channelled to where it should be, basic social services on the ground.

The full speech can be obtained here.

ANC Chief Whip refuses to explain his advice to Esidimeni MEC

ANC Chief Whip Brian Hlongwa refused today to explain his advice to former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu that she go overseas following the deaths of former Esidimeni patients.

I challenged him in my speech on the debate on the Annual Report of the Premier’s Office to use the rule allowing personal explanation to explain his comments on Mahlangu in an interview with Power FM earlier this year.

His exact words were as follows:

“I spoke to her privately, you must leave the country, going into exile for two years.”

Hlongwa did not take the opportunity to explain his words but instead said he refused to have his agenda set by me.

It is profoundly disturbing that the ANC Gauteng Provincial Executive gave permission to Mahlangu to go overseas and study while the Esidimeni arbitration hearings are going on where her testimony is the most crucial of all for the grieving families.

Hlongwa’s advice to Mahlangu to go overseas fuels suspicions that she could further damage the ANC in Gauteng by revealing the true story about the Esidimeni deaths and other dark secrets in her long political career.

DA debates 2016/17 Annual Report for Office of the Premier

The following speeches were delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today by DA Gauteng Provincial Leader, John Moodey MPL, the DA Gauteng Shadow MEC For Health, Jack Bloom MPL and the DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Social Development, Justus De Goede MPL, during a debate on the 2016/17 Annual Report for the Office of the Premier.

Speech by
John Moodey MPL

Smooth talker Premier Makhura fails to measure up to the task”

  • In the years that he has occupied the Office of Premier, he has turned around the rather pitiful existence of his predecessor quite remarkably. Clean audits received, targets met and in fact, many over-achieved and excellence in projects run through his office, stand testament to the work ethic of the man.
  • Premier Makhura has repeatedly used his provincial oversight visits, Ntirhisano, to communicate that this administration has a good story to tell – but this is far from the truth.
  • He set the tone for his term in office by dishing up a limp-wristed and sanitised e-Toll white-wash commission which kept the gantries up and perpetuated the unashamed and unjust taxation of our people – simply for using the roads.
  • The tragic loss of life, the avoidable loss of life during the transfer of mentally ill patients will remain an irremovable stain on the legacy of the Premier.
  • Against expert, political and familial advice the Premier, stood by idle while former Health MEC Qendani Mahlangu, sent 143 people to their deaths. We wait to hear with bated breath what evidence will be presented by the Premier which will shine a light on his action or inaction in this matter.
  • The Premier likes to give the impression, which is nothing more than hot air I might add, of doing something to arrest the many ills plaguing this administration and the province.
  • Crime is up – most notably, home robbery, the place where our people are supposed to feel the safest.
  • Unemployment is up to 33%, indicative of the fact that ANC policy direction is laying waste to the hopes and aspirations of residents who want to get ahead in life and deserve a new beginning.
  • Quietly fermenting in the background, under this Premier’s watch is the systematic collapse of the ANC-run municipalities of Emfuleni, Merafong and Mogale City.
  • Residents from all corners of this province deserve a more proactive government than the one currently offering knee-jerk responses

The full speech can be obtained here.

Speech by
Jack Bloom MPL

“Poor calibre of health senior staff exposed at Esidimeni hearings”

  • It was obvious that the termination of the Esidimeni contract was going to be a disaster. There were demonstrations, court cases, warnings from public health professionals, prominent media reports, and questions raised in this House. And yet, the Honourable Premier and his Office chose not to see, not to hear, and not to act.
  • When it was disclosed in this House that 36 mental health patients had died, why was Qedani Mahlangu not immediately fired and a new person put in charge who could have saved many lives at that stage?
  • The very poor calibre of health department senior staff has been exposed at the current arbitration hearings.
  • And this is the problem that is in front of your nose, Honourable Premier, but you don’t see it.
  • The Honourable Premier has an idealized conception of what cadre deployment should mean in terms of competence to do the job.
  • But the reality is that provincial government departments are full of people like Dr Manamela who don’t care about real service delivery and will lie and cover up to protect themselves and their political seniors.
  • Honourable Premier, the most sophisticated Deliverology system will not help if you obstinately, for political and other reasons, refuse to see what is in front of your nose.

The full speech can be obtained here.

Speech by
Justus De Goede MPL

“Premier spends unnecessary on consultancy fees”

  • In the case of the Office of the Premier there is a non-financial issue which deserves attention: when the Ntirhisano War Room was first announced, the DA warned that the public was insufficiently informed and even the officials in various municipalities who were recruited and trained as part of the War Room network, seemed uncertain about the exact functioning of the system.
  • Despite early claims of success, it seems now that customer satisfaction with the system is only at 32%, which is a reminder that projects are dependent on long-term and continued monitoring.
  • There is also an issue on which the jury is still out, namely the Deliverology project, on which R 29 million in consultancy fees has already been spent.
  • That is the outcome of the Public Service Commission’s recently published investigation entitled “State of the Public Service in Gauteng 2017”. This study reveals that, in the last seven years, suspended officials in the Province have cost the taxpayer no less than R 76 million. The PSC describes this as the result of “inefficient and ineffective use of human resource management.”
  • Just between the 15/16 financial year and this year, payments increased by 10%. 607 cases of financial misconduct were recorded, involving R 1,3 billion across all departments. Finally, the PSC observed that Gauteng Departments are reluctant to lay criminal charges in cases of financial misconduct.

The full speech can be obtained here.

Under 1% of entire school’s budget spent on maintenance in Gauteng

Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi in response to a DA question revealed that his department spent just under 1% of the department’s entire budget on maintenance and repairs at schools for the 2016/17 financial year (FY).

As of 30 September 2017, over R63 million was spent, which may see the department scrambling to spend more of its maintenance budget before the end of the new FY in March 2018.

This speaks to poor planning and target setting by the department. Since the 2012/13 FY to date, the department has spent just over R2 billion on repairs and maintenance of its assets.

It is disheartening to note that very little was spent on maintenance and repairs despite the many significant infrastructure challenges facing schools in Gauteng.

Click here to view the reply.

This year, in a series of visits to schools across the province to monitor the quality of schooling, the DA exposed the following basic maintenance issues:

  • Slow progress on the construction of additional classrooms;
    • Shattered windows;
    • Leaking roofs;
    • Non-flushing toilets;
    • Blocked drains;
    • No fire extinguishers; and
    • Lack of electricity and water connections at some schools.

The department only reacts to address issues after the DA highlights them which is deeply problematic and shows that the MEC is reactive rather than being proactive.

MEC Lesufi continually fails to execute his mandate of delivering quality education to all our children; he would do well to ensure that the maintenance and repairs budget is spent according to targets set, not hastily arising to issues at schools as they arise.

The DA will continue conducting oversight visits to schools in the province to hold the MEC accountable for the delivery and creation of a conducive learning and teaching environment in our schools.

MEC Lesufi must get the basics right at schools first before cutting ribbons at new state-of-the-art schools and making more empty promises about quality education to communities across the province.

DA welcomes court decision on Esidimeni official

I welcome the court decision to dismiss with costs the application by suspended Gauteng Head of Department Dr Barney Selebano to avoid appearing before the Esidimeni arbitration hearings.

He may well fear that by telling the truth he will incriminate himself but he needs to account for his actions before the relatives of those who died because of decisions in which he was complicit.

He has been paid about R1 million since he was suspended with pay in February this year and the Gauteng Health Department’s disciplinary process against him should proceed forthwith as well.

The delaying tactics by senior officials and former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu do not reflect well on them as they should be anxious to atone and apologize for what they have done.

The court’s decision is a clear signal that justice requires the full and truthful testimony of all implicated persons without delay.