Unattended Merafong water leaks causing new sink-holes

by Ina Cilliers MPL – DA Constituency Head: Merafong

Unattended water leaks have created a new sinkhole in Carletonville between 15 & 17 Erica street.

The municipality recently replaced a water meter in the street but failed to seal the pipes which has led to underground water seeping into the dolomitic ground causing the sinkhole to open up.

The sinkhole is situated between the driveways of 15 & 17 Erica street and as a result, the owners cannot access their homes with their vehicles.

Continued water leaks across Merafong are creating an untenable situation as roads, homes and public infrastructure are falling victim to sinkholes.

The municipality famously under-utilized its emergency funding last year which was meant to address the sinkhole problem.

It is evident that the ANC-run municipality has no tangible plan of action to address the situation. Instead of fixing the cause, which is rampant water leaks – they delay and might sometimes just treat the symptoms which are the sink-holes.

I will write to Cooperative Governance MEC, Uhuru Moila to ascertain what the provincial government intends to do to assist the municipality in resolving the water leaks issue once and for all.

Residents of Merafong are in constant danger of the ground beneath them giving way at any moment.

This is a major crisis and must be attended to swiftly. The DA will ensure that this issue does not fall by the way side as people’s safety is at risk.

Gauteng residents give DA-led governments the thumbs-up

by John Moodey MPL – DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

Gauteng residents have in the past come out strongly against the lack of service delivery under the ANC mainly due to corruption and its blatant disregard for residents.

A recent Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) survey rated government services in three categories; service with highest satisfaction, highest dissatisfaction and most valued government service.

The DA-led coalition governments in the cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane both showed an 80% satisfaction rate when it came to water accessibility.

Johannesburg scoring the highest approval rating of 86%.

In the both Tshwane and Johannesburg, the most valued government service was “economic support and job creation”. To bolster this area, the DA has implemented opportunities such as a renewed EPWP Programme, inner city rejuvenation and eKasiLab Programme.

We have committed ourselves to improving service delivery to ensure employment and economic development flourish with infrastructure as the key driver. We have invested in the upgrade M2 West Highway as one example of this.

The fact that the survey from both these cities specifically valued “economic support and job creation”, means that our work truly is making difference to the ordinary citizen.

Since assuming office, the Democratic Alliance has committed to improving service delivery and creating an environment conducive for employment.

The people of Tshwane and Johannesburg can be proud of the decision they made to vote for the DA as they are now reaping the benefits of a clean and effective government.

DA-led coalition government making in-roads in Johannesburg

by John Moodey MPL – DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

Since assuming office in 2016, the DA-led coalition government has made strides in redressing this situation and restoring Johannesburg’s golden image.

That said, today’s address by DA Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba, pulled no punches when expressing the difficulties that his administration inherited from the ANC.

Poorly maintained roads, crumbling infrastructure and an inner-city decaying at a rapid pace.

Nonetheless, Mayor Mashaba’s administration is working around the clock to deliver on its commitment to create job opportunities, stop corruption and deliver quality services.

The hallmarks of Mayor Mashaba’s plans to regenerate the city include inclusionary housing, renewed land-use policies, economic revitalisation and a pro-poor budget.

More support for SMMEs and businesses are key features of this administration.

We have also gone to great lengths to stem corrupt activities and hold those who have plundered the public purse to account.

This administration has taken full accountability for its actions and has shown that it has a no favour approach to its own when they are not beyond reproach.

The DA would like to thank Mayor Mashaba and his team, as well as our coalition partners for the hard work that has been put into making Johannesburg a world class African city.

We would also like to thank the residents of Johannesburg for taking us into their confidence and affording us the opportunity to implement the DA-difference to improve their quality of life.

Together, we will make Johannesburg a shining example of good governance.

Joburg hospital operating normally today

by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

I am relieved that the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital is operating normally today following last week’s disruptive action and threats of further protest action.

I visited the hospital this morning and found that the trash has been cleaned up although a vending machine is still lying on its side.

Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa was also there when I visited and I welcome her assurances that worker grievances will be addressed.

Workers told me that they were angry that performance bonuses and overtime had not been paid, and there were other grievances as well.

They said that 23 people had been injured when police were called in last week and fired rubber bullets and tear gas at what they claimed was a peaceful picket. The vending machine was pushed over so they could shelter from the bullets.

NEHAWU has suspended pickets in the wake of the court order obtained against them by the Gauteng Health Department, but I am concerned that a planned lunch-time picket tomorrow over national wage negotiations is properly controlled.

There is a surgery backlog because many operations had to be cancelled because of a shortage of clean linen.

The priority should be to cut backlogs and ensure that the hospital runs smoothly in the best interests of patients.

OR Tambo cultural precinct in a state of disrepair

by Kingsol Chabalala MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR)

It is a disgrace to the legacy of Oliver Reginald Tambo that the center named after him and showcasing his life’s work is in a state of disrepair.

During an oversight visit to the OR Tambo Cultural Precinct in Wattville, Benoni, it was visible that the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality is failing to take ownership of this historical monument as they are mandated to do. The facility is starting to become overgrown with weeds and grass.

There are structural defects and when it rains water comes through the wall and floods the craft center. Two interactive monitors were damaged by water leaking from the wall.

There are cracks in the walls, the ceiling of the NC Conference room is falling apart and the library roof is leaking.

There is absolutely no maintenance even though there is a budget of R67 000,00 annually for maintenance of this monument.

We were informed that there were no cleaners for a month due to delays in renewing contracts.

There is clearly a lack of management and supervision of the staff at this center.  When we arrived at the centre there was no one at the reception and staff were basking outside in the sun. The visitors’ register was also missing.

The centre has adequate resources to attract tourists and to educate our people about the history of OR Tambo, however, it is not sufficiently marketed. The place was very quiet, and we were also informed that residents are not utilising the centre as they are not well informed about its purpose.

It has become apparent that under the ANC in Ekurhuleni, service delivery and implementation of projects remains a problematic issue.

The DA will table questions to the MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Faith Mazibuko to ascertain why there is no maintenance at this center and what is being done with the funds allocated for the maintenance of this monument.

Monuments such as these play a crucial role in educating our people about the history of our freedom fighters as well as growing the township economy by attracting tourists.

Come 2019, DA will bring Total Change and ensure that monuments are taken care of and well marketed to ensure that all South Africans benefit from the country’s legacy.

DA wishes Gauteng workers a peaceful Workers’ Day

by John Moodey MPL – DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

The Democratic Alliance would like to wish all workers in Gauteng a restful and peaceful Workers’ Day.

It is the working and middle classes that contribute immensely to keeping Gauteng on track but are often the first to bear the brunt of government failings and misguided policy choices.

The working and middle classes have had to endure the costs of e-Tolls, increased VAT, fuel and food prices which have pushed many of them beyond their means.

The DA will continue to champion policies which ensure that families and communities receive a break from the rising cost of living.

We will also introduce policies to create an environment conducive to afford more unemployed residents of the province an opportunity to get ahead in life through meaningful employment.

Come 2019, we will radically shift the playing fields for all of Gauteng’s residents to ensure that there is more than a new dawn. We will create a better tomorrow.

Threats to close Joburg hospital

by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

I am extremely concerned by threats that the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital will be closed by striking workers this Wednesday.

Staff and patients have told me that these threats have been widely publicized in the hospital and are causing anxiety.

This follows the trashing of the hospital last week by disgruntled workers and some outsiders who joined them.

The protesters included general workers, porters and some nurses, including members of the National Education and Health And Workers’ Union (Nehawu).

The cause appears to be grievances over non-payment of overtime and performance bonuses.

The Gauteng Health Department needs to effectively enforce the court interdict it has obtained against the striking workers.

Further disruption of this major hospital will have a horrendous effect on the welfare of patients.

Every effort should be made to maintain health services and resolve worker grievances peacefully and speedily.

MEC Creccy fiddles while West Rand and Merafong Municipalities Finances Burn in VBS

by Ashor Sarupen MPL – DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Finance

Despite the fact that her Finance department runs an extensive municipal support programme at huge cost to the taxpayer, Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy has washed her hands of the fact that ANC municipalities in Gauteng illegally invested its finances into VBS bank.

It was recently revealed in Parliament that two Gauteng Municipalities, the West Rand District Municipality, as well as the Merafong Local Municipality, have significant sums of money still trapped in VBS bank. Merafong Local Municipality has R50-million still invested, while the West Rand District Municipality has some R46-million still invested.

It is unconscionable that the MEC refuses to intervene in the situation or hold officials and political office bearers to account. The flagrant violation of financial regulations for municipalities to benefit the bank that gave Zuma a homeloan points to the possibility that ANC deployees in these municipalities either have close links to the former presidents network or are too incompetent to comply with law around managing and investing public money.

In both written and oral questions in the Gauteng Legislature, Creecy has made extensive effort to deflect and swat away the VBS matter, referring the DA to National Treasury.

The DA will be writing to the Chairperson of the Finance Committee in the Gauteng Legislature to summon officials from both provincial treasury who oversee municipal finances, as well as finance officials from the West Rand District and Merafong Local Municipalities for hearings on this matter, so that there is accountability for their illegal and negligent actions.

Delayed payments put thousands of Gauteng’s most vulnerable at risk

by Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development

The DA has been reliably informed that a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and non-profit organisations (NPOs) in Gauteng have not received their grant funding from the Department of Social Development.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between NGOs / NPOs and the government have not yet been signed which means that these organizations have not received any payment.
This is a calamitous situation as NGOs/NPOs rely on these grants to operate and to provide services to the most vulnerable members of our society.

The NGOs/NPOs provide critical care to the aged, children and people with disabilities hence it is imperative that they get funding timeously from the department.

Some managers at NGOs/NPOs are now giving staff transport money from their pockets so that they can come to work and services can continue.

This mess happened last year during the Social Workers strike. The DA warned the department and they should have had systems in place after last year incident.

The DA believes that it is the responsibility of the Gauteng Social Development MEC, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza to ensure that internal financial controls are strengthened to ensure timeous payments to NGOs in the province.

We will write to MEC Mayathula-Khoza to ascertain the reasons behind the delays in payments and to urge her to fast-track payments to the NGOs. We will continue to monitor the situation as another Esidimeni-type tragedy cannot be allowed to occur.