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.