SAPS management is chaotic and undermines command structures

by Kate Lorimer MPL – DA Shadow MEC for Community Safety

The recent debacle of the removal and re-appointment of Gauteng Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt. General Deliwe de Lange shows that the top management of the SAPS and the Ministry of Police are in disarray.

First, we were told Lt. General de Lange had been asked to leave, yet no reasons were given for her removal.

It then unofficially emerged that Minister Bheki Cele’s friend Mzwandile Petros, who was Gauteng Police Commissioner from 2010 to 2013 was to be brought out of retirement to replace Lt. General de Lange.

Now we hear that General de Lange will remain.

This type of irrational behaviour demotivates SAPS members but, more importantly, it destabilises and undermines command and authority of senior officers.

If the ANC is truly serious about addressing the serious crime situation in Gauteng and in South Africa they must get their house in order and act decisively without damaging operational command and control structures.

The people of Gauteng deserve SAPS leadership that inspires confidence and works to keep communities safe. Only a DA-led government can bring the kind of change that Gauteng needs.

ANC shields Brian Hlongwa

by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

Today, opposition parties in the Gauteng Legislature tabled a motion seeking the removal of ANC Chief Whip, Brian Hlongwa, from office following the release of a Special Investigative Unit (SIU) report that implicates him in alleged corrupt activities totalling R1.2 billion which occurred during his tenure as Gauteng Health MEC.

This report had been kept under lock and key by former President Jacob Zuma in an attempt to negate damage to the ANC brand and protect Hlongwa.

Since its release to Section 27, the ANC has remained silent on the matter and has shied away from scrutiny.

The tabling of the motion today afforded the ANC the opportunity to take a firm stance against the rot within its ranks. This was an opportune moment for Premier David Makhura to live up to his word of taking a tough stance against corruption

However, as to be expected, the Gauteng ANC has shielded Hlongwa from scrutiny and has in turn, endorsed the looting of public funds by members of its organisation.

Just like former Gauteng Health MEC, Qendani Mahlangu was allowed to slip off the hook, it is evident that the ANC are going to afford Hlongwa the same treatment.

Despite our motion being shut down by the ANC, we remain steadfast in our call for Hlongwa to resign within the next 72 hours.

State looting has gone on for long enough. Those who steal from our people are not fit to serve in leadership positions.

Hlongwa must go.

DA welcomes reopening of Hlongwa Hawks investigation

by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

The DA welcomes the announcement by Hawks Spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi that they will reopen the crime docket against ANC Gauteng Chief Whip Brian Hlongwa.

This follows the release of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report last week which implicates him in alleged corruption and fraud of R1.2 billion during his tenure as Gauteng Health MEC from 2006 to 2009.

According to Mulaidzi, the Hawks had prepared a warrant for Hlongwa’s arrest, but the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decided against executing it.

This warrant against Hlongwa was issued in October 2014, but no satisfactory reason has been given for why it was withdrawn, which is why I suspect political interference in this case.

Another excessive delay has been with the Asset Forfeiture Unit’s application four years ago to seize Hlongwa’s house in Bryanston which he bought for R7.2 million, allegedly with financial assistance from corrupt sources.

There is such a mound of evidence against Hlongwa that it is simply not credible for him to repeatedly claim that he is entirely innocent in this matter.

According to the #HlongwaMustGo “Hlongwa Monitor”, it is now SIX DAYS since the release of the SIU Report and he has still not been fired by Premier David Makhura.

How many more days before he loses his R1.4 million a year Chief Whip position, and faces trial in a court of law?

MEC protects police over Eersterus protesters

by Michele Clarke MPL – DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Community Safety

It is very disappointing that the Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane is defending the police’s actions of violence that injured many residents during the Eersterus service delivery protest.

The MEC was responding to my oral questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature yesterday, when she sarcastically labelled the protestors as ‘peaceful’.

According to the MEC Nkosi-Malobane the protestors were violent, having barricaded the roads thereby blocking all entrances to and from Eersterus. Protesters were also physically attacking people and damaging their cars and properties. They broke into the Eersterus police station, disarmed the police at the Client Service Centre, damaged SAPS property and stole items. The protestors also looted the shops around the area.

We dispute the MEC’s claims as the Democratic Alliance has been reliably informed that the protest was indeed peaceful until the police fired rubber bullets and teargas at the protestors. The protestors retaliated by throwing stones at the police.

There were about 129 police officers and 40 public order police officers deployed during the protest.

This raises questions about the adequacy of training that the police receive as the MEC indicated that all police officers are trained in public order policing, and yet appeared to be ill-equipped to deal with the Eersterus protesters in non-violent manner.

So far 16 of the protesters have been arrested for possession of stolen property and drugs.

While we strongly condemn any violence and criminality by protesters, it is essential that our police officers are capacitated to maintain order during any public gathering in a peaceful and effective manner.

The DA calls on the MEC to investigate the conduct of the police during this protest. If it’s found that the police did not follow the correct public order procedures, then swift action needs to be taken against these individuals.

Criminal charges laid against Joburg hospital vandals

by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

Criminal charges have been opened against those who violently disrupted the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital in the last two months.

This was disclosed yesterday by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in an oral reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

Ramokgopa said that the charges included malicious damage to property, intimidation and attempted murder.

Police are looking at the footage of the CCTV cameras to identify the perpetrators.

I hope that the police do a proper investigation that can secure convictions in court as past perpetrators of violence at health facilities have gotten off because of police incompetence in collecting evidence.

There should be tough consequences for those who trash a hospital and threaten staff and patients in what should be a place of healing without any violence.

Gauteng youth must be equipped with IT skills to build a successful futur

Speech by Adriana Randall MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance

This speech was delivered in the Gauteng Legislature during the debate on the 2018/19 e-Government budget.


June is the month when we celebrate and recognise the role of youth in the liberation of South Africa from the Apartheid regime.

I therefore want to dedicate my speech today to all the young people of our province and country.

Those who are unemployed, those who keep families together and to those who have become unemployable due to a lack of opportunities to develop skills to afford them a better chance of employment.

The e-Government department has a massive role to play in terms of developing our youth and providing them with the opportunity to grow and participate in our economy.

The Innovation Hub is a perfect example where the culture of innovation development is promoted amongst young people and where start-up companies can create high growth potential.

The Action Lab strategy aims at contributing towards youth employment, growth and digital entrepreneurship and building the ICT industry in townships with ICT concepts from township entrepreneurs.

The number of township developers appointed to develop e-services is a target of 5, but the DA would welcome specific targets for young people who can access learnerships.

One of our main concerns regarding this department remains critical occupation.

The consolidated general report on National and Provincial audit outcomes indicated that IT controls in Gauteng regressed for security management and IT continuity.

This is due to vacancies, shortage of IT skills on lower levels, budget constraints and a lack of oversight to ensure that corrective actions were taken.

This begs the question- was a skills audit done and how much was paid for this?

Security contracts should have been renewed by now (GSOC) and specific focus must be on progress in terms of the interoperability of systems and tight security of information.

In the 2017/18 financial year a common platform with functional layers was to be implemented. The department was to receive an acceptable proposal from SITA to complete the platform as of 31 January 2018

The crucial question now is, was the platform implemented?

The target for several entities assessed for cloud readiness must also be achieved in this new financial year.

By the 2019/20 financial year, all sites must be connected as per instruction of the Premier.

According to an audit, some schools have already connected themselves. (Nthirisano service, and liquor applications online already).

The private sector must be targeted to ensure better relationships and to explore ways and means to work better, together.

The 4th Industrial Revolution will challenge government on a continuous basis and it will be important to engage with all stakeholders on the possible impact of this on future employment in the province.

It is in this area where the department has been battling to get strong stakeholder buy-in on their programmes and will have to work hard to turn the current situation of poor stakeholder buy-in around.


Despite all the challenges we are faced with, we must agree that today is better than yesterday, and tomorrow should be greater than today. We can’t keep dwelling on the past, for the future must be better than the past.

DA urges Gauteng e-government department to secure citizens data, streamline processes

Speech by Ashor Sarupen MPL, DA Gauteng Spokesperson on e-Government

This speech was delivered in the Gauteng Legislature during the 2018/19 budget debate for the Department of e-Government.

Madame Speaker,

The 2018/19 budget for the department of e-government demonstrates several significant improvements that make Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) as a whole more effective and efficient.

Since 2014, I have consistently raised the importance of broadband as a driver of economic growth, and furthermore, the impact that technology can have on making government more accountable and responsive to the needs of citizens.

In our current, fiscally constrained environment, technology also offers significant efficiencies in costs.

The department, in the new financial year, is resolving the issues that prevented us from supporting this department’s budget. Specifically, we are glad that our comments on the following have been headed:

  1. A uniform cloud service for all departments, with significant cost savings and government departments finally not working in silos on this;
  2. Savings being realised from voice-over-internet protocol reducing internal telephony costs. Government should never be paying a private provider to place a phone call to itself in the era of digital infrastructure;
  3. The department will provide an end to end solution in rolling out Gauteng Broadband Network (GBN) connectivity, including local area network installation.
  4. A single online presence for GPG and GPG applications all accessible on a single site.

LAN installation in particular will finally allow GPG to benefit from the GBN and hopefully begin to digitise its administrative functions as well as its services.

Our qualified support for the department this year is based on the fact that the APP and budget addresses these critical areas that have been severe bottlenecks.

However, the GPG is still plagued by the following problems when it comes to e-government:

  1. Many functions are still undertaken in a silo mentality – citizens should not have to collect information from one arm of government to give it to another;
  2. Government does still not have a single view of the citizen and consolidate citizenry data;
  3. Departments have inconsistent ICT maturity, and no common standards, leading to wildly varying costs and complexity;
  4. The State Information Technology Agency still lacks the capacity to support the ambitions and strategic plan of the department, and the relationship between the department and SITA will require political acumen to achieve the targets set by the department.

Furthermore, major data breeches have exposed citizens here and abroad to significant risks in relation to their rights to privacy, to the point of facilitating identity theft and fraud.

The recent data leaks from the local portal, as well as the deeds registrar, have exposed the personal details, including ID numbers and home addresses of millions of our citizens.

Additionally, we have recently learnt that while the online school enrolment system has managed to prevent 99% of cybersecurity breeches, the rest of the Department of Education’s systems have not been audited for nor protected from attacks.

I suspect the same is true for most departments and their associated private service providers.

As we further move into this brave new digital world, we must ensure that all systems are built from the ground up with a focus on preventing data breeches and denial of service attacks, and ensure that we protect the information of private citizens.

The department cannot resolve these issues on its own, and it will be a testament to the skill of the MEC if she is able to get everyone on the same page to achieve this.

If, in this new financial year, the MEC is able to get SITA, GPG departments, agencies and local governments to co-operate on the goals of the e-government department, then it will be on the road to success.

Our support, MEC, is qualified on you both achieving what you set out to do this year, which I have raised consistently since 2014, as well as addressing the concerns we have raised today during the course of the year.

The DA is not the party of no, we don’t oppose for the sake of opposing, we will lend our support to this budget vote. But, this is not a blank cheque, it is a cautious leap, and we hope your team will not disappoint us.

Gauteng Treasury lacks ingenuity

Speech by Mike Moriarty MPL, DA Gauteng Chief Whip

The following speech was delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature during the debate on the 2018/19 Treasury budget.

Madam Speaker,

I looked up the Treasury website and I found on the home page a statement that says, “The Department’s mission is to be an activist Treasury…”

Now I don’t know what colleagues in this House understand by “activist Treasury” but I understand they intend their role to be more than just provincial bean-counters.

If this is true, then they have failed in their mission in several key areas.

I would welcome the MEC’s view whether the role of the Treasury is to anticipate and provide effective intervention strategies where municipal finances are failing?

Surely an activist Treasury would arrive at the Finance Portfolio committee with a clear (albeit dire) picture of the imminent financial failures in Merafong and Emfuleni, long before MPLs from this side of the House do?

Madam Speaker,

Not only did this activist Treasury let down the members of the Portfolio Committee, but they grossly failed the good citizens of Emfuleni and Merafong.

I wonder if the MEC will educate us with a list of previously undisclosed interventions that were indeed attempted, but without alerting the public, who, paying their taxes, have a right to know?

I wonder if she will wring her hands and say, “we can only do so much”.

But madam MEC, you are the ANC! Not only do you govern here, you govern in

Merafong and Emfuleni!

The very least you can do is replace the one person who has enormous powers to fix the situation or do tremendous damage, the Executive Mayor.

You did so in Emfuleni.

Was it really so hard? Of course not. But unfortunately, it was all too little and very much too late.

This Treasury’s failures don’t end there:

Why do the Health Department’s financial woes continue to be sick without any effective remedy?

Why does GIFA’s efforts show so little return for such massive investments?

Why do independent reports such as those of the Public Service Commission show that the Gauteng Provincial Government does not punish many people for the extensive corruption that is exposed by its own audits.

I could go on, but time does not permit.

Madam Speaker,

No doubt the Treasury does well at bean-counting. Indeed, they receive awards for it.

But unfortunately, they set themselves a very high bar. They should hold themselves to it. I certainly do.

Activist Treasury? Really? I think not.

Treasury must prioritise effective spending and accountability

Speech by Adriana Randall MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance

This speech was delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature during the debate on the 2018/19 Gauteng Treasury budget.


Gauteng Provincial Treasury holds the province’s purse and must realize how powerful this purse is in a stagnant economy, where greater accountability, transparency and value for money is critical.

In-migration and cuts to the Provincial Equitable Share and conditional grants continues to place more pressure on the department to ensure effective performance with limited resources (fiscal consolidation vs increasing demand for quality public services).

The total appropriated amount for vote 14 for the 2018/19 FY amounts to R796 413 000.00.

The interest revenue budget is set conservatively given that increased spending in the province would reduce cash balances and result in lower interest earned.

The DA welcomes this target, as we have always argued that it was more important to increase spending on infrastructure and other projects that will improve service delivery to the residents of the province, versus interest earned on cash balances in the bank.

We further note that the department’s structural reconfiguration has seen the surrender of unutilized budgets for vacant posts and suspension of funds to e-Government during the adjustment budget process.

Compensation of employees is up from R460 million in 2017/18 to R590 million in 2018/19. This is an increase of R130 million at a time when stabilizing the wage bill is critical. As such, a biometrics system must be implemented to monitor staff.

Nothing has been said about the Capacity Building and Training Plan or if it was approved in the previous financial year. Work on this plan was supposed to start in the 2nd quarter of 2017/18 financial year.

Gauteng Infrastructure Financing Agency (GIFA) receives an increased allocation of R58.5 million that is aimed at ensuring a sustainable pipeline of strategic infrastructure projects which are envisaged to be catalysts for socio-economic development in the province.

One of these projects is the long awaited Kopanong Precinct Project. The conclusion of this project is envisaged in this financial year, but I would not hold my breath.

GIFA continues to disappoint in terms of progress on projects and are we still awaiting the two investor roadshows that were supposed to have already taken place.

The other question that comes to mind is, when will economic researchers be appointed to assist with SEIA reports, as no reports were produced in the previous financial year.

In 2017/18, only one feasibility project/study was completed.

With a 40% spend of procurement on registered Gauteng Township suppliers, priority should be given to the completion of several logistic-hub projects as these hubs will assist township entrepreneurs in transporting their goods to and from markets and potential customers.

Specific attention should be placed on improving spend in the Western and Southern corridors.

According to the Auditor General (AG), municipal instability continues to be an issue. Vacancies point towards a serious skills gap and this contributes towards a lack of accountability.

We welcome the amendment of the Public Audit Act, as it will provide the AG with power to refer material irregularities to appropriate authorities to investigate and include a level of remedial power including recovery of money lost because of irregularities.

Illegal VBS Bank Investments, unpaid Eskom and Rand Water bills by municipalities in our province has had, and continues to have severe consequences and impacts negatively on service delivery.

Urgent consideration must be given to innovative infrastructure funding such as municipal bonds, municipal pooled financing, municipal project financing, PPP’s, SPV’s and tax incremental financing.

As far as Gauteng Audit Services is concerned, there is still a lot of work to do to improve effective internal controls. One of the key priorities now is to implement an Internal Audit Plan.

There is no report on how GPT intends to strengthen internal controls and systems to avoid the recurrence of irregular expenditure. The department must deal decisively with fraud and corruption, if not it will continue to be the gift that keeps on giving to a select few in government.


The Premier spoke about the New Dawn, where the following will be achieved = cost benefits on all megaprojects, development of revenue incentive schemes, the ring-fencing of critical service-funds for all departments and municipalities, stabilization of the wage bill, reduced accruals as disclosed in the Annual Financial Statements and effective fraud detection systems.

Only time will tell if this will happen or if it will continue to be business as usual.

DID grossly underfunded

Speech by Alan Fuchs MPL, DA Shadow MEC for Infrastructure Development

This speech was delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature during the 2018/2019 Budget Vote of the Department of Infrastructure Development

Anyone who supports this DID budget is defeatist and has already given up the battle to ensure that the department is able to meet its mandate. This is because of the gross underfunding of the budget.

It is really disheartening that sufficient resources are not provided to a department that may not have all the expertise required but has the desire to contribute towards the socio-economic upliftment of Gauteng.

I have said it before and I say it again, this is tantamount to sending the department to war with its hands tied behind its back.

Of the total DID budget, more than a third is allocated to employee salaries, just under a third is allocated to payments to local government for rates on government-owned properties and one sixth is sucked up by accruals. The result of this is that less than 20% of the budget is available for the core functions of the department.

Madame Speaker,

Because this budget is underfunded the core functions of the department, namely the construction and the maintenance of the province’s social infrastructure, cannot be efficiently achieved.

If we look at the projects that DID is required to manage on its own behalf, we see a drastic drop in throughput.

Looking at capital expenditure across the whole administration, we see that the estimate for this year is almost R1 billion less that the adjusted appropriation from last year and a further R1 billion less for next year. This comes about as a result of a reduced allocation from national government.

These facts inform us that infrastructure is the biggest loser in our budgets. Years of underfunding of maintenance, a constrained fiscal environment because of poor policy choices and a lack of expertise in the public sector will prevent the achievement of the infrastructure targets as defined in the National Development Plan. These targets call for an investment in infrastructure by the public sector equivalent to 10% of GDP and 20% of GDP for the private sector. The public sector is not likely to achieve 50% of the target and the private sector will be loathe to invest in a populist political environment where private property rights are under threat.

During the course of last year, it became clear that the property management function within the department was almost non-existent. This resulted in neither DID as the custodian department of assets, nor the user departments from enforcing the Government Immovable Asset Management Act (GIAMA). The result is that many of our assets have not been maintained and have deteriorated over a period of time.

The inability of the department to manage its assets is a throwback to poor business planning at the time when the department split from Roads and Transport in 2009. The result is that nine years after the creation of the infrastructure department, the property management function now has to be outsourced.

Infrastructure investment is one of the few elements of leverage that government possesses to positively influence socio-economic conditions. Because of the dynamics mentioned, we have lost the potential opportunities afforded by increasing infrastructure development.

DID have done some positive things such as the creation of the Project Readiness Review Matrix and project pipeline management. The problem is that the measures implemented have a positive impact for a short period of time and then the performance of the department deteriorates again to the same point it was prior to the intervention. This lack of sustainability in terms of improvements points to management weaknesses.

The Kopanong Precinct Project, which aimed to a precinct to accommodate all the officials of the provincial government, is a perfect case study of the waste, inefficiency and poor political management that has resulted in infrastructure investment in Gauteng going backwards over a long period of time. The project was launched in November 2003 by former Premier Shilowa. In 2005, the then MEC for Finance, Paul Mashatile indicated that the project would cost the tax payer R2, 5 billion.

The project limped along with the City of Johannesburg being strong armed to support the provincial proposals and a spat emerging with heritage experts. In 2013, the then Premier Mokonyane announced that the project had been shelved due to what she called, “reprioritisation.”

Then in 2015, this administration resurrected the project. A project manager and transaction advisors were appointed and a feasibility study undertaken. The resultant report indicates the following:

  • The cost of construction has now escalated to R7,5 billion
  • The cost to Gauteng tax-payers to pay for construction and operations is estimated to be between R800 million and R 1 billion per annum for 22 years.
  • This equates to a total cost of between R36 and R50 billion over that period.

While the government has dilly-dallied for 15 years, the 19 buildings in downtown Johannesburg that were bought for this project have deteriorated and have contributed towards the crime and grime in the city centre. As a result of poor political management and delays, we have seen this huge escalation in costs and have foregone the potential benefit of economic upliftment in the city centre.

Madam Speaker,

To my mind, someone must be held accountable for this gross and obscene waste of scarce resources. While most of the culpability lies with administrations that came before this one, whether we like it or not, we have to conclude that the building and maintenance of infrastructure is not one of your party’s strong suites. For the reasons mentioned, this budget cannot be supported.