DA concerned about increase in sexual abuse and physical assaults of learners by teachers

by Khume Ramulifho MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

The DA is deeply concerned by the increase of number of complaints of physical assault and sexual abuse of learners by teachers in Gauteng schools.

According to the Gauteng Department of Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, 175 complaints of physical assault of learners by teachers and 43 complaints of sexual abuse of learners by teachers were reported to the department in 2017/18 financial year.

Of the 175 complaints of physical assault of learners by teachers, 118 cases resulted in guilty verdicts. In 43 complaints of sexual abuse of learners by teachers, 19 complaints resulted in guilty verdicts against the teachers.

The following table indicates the total number of cases of physical assault and sexual abuse of learners by teachers reported in three financial years:

Financial year Number of complaints of physical assault of learners by teachers Number of complaints that resulted in guilty verdicts Number of complaints of sexual abuse of learners by teachers Number of complaints that resulted in guilty verdicts
2015/16 131 114 34 22
2016/17 107 85 17 14
2017/18 175 118 43 19
Total 413 317 94 55


The number of complaints of physical assault and sexual abuse of learners by teachers increased in the 2017/18 financial year. This indicates that teachers are failing to adhere to the policy against corporal punishment and the sexual abuse policy that are in place.

It is disappointing and disturbing that teachers who are entrusted with the responsibility of looking after learners at school are also abusing them.

In addition, the department has reported 81 cases to the South African Council (SACE) of Educators, 55 teachers have been found guilty and 41 were dismissed from employment. 41 department officials were also reported to SACE.

The DA calls on MEC Lesufi to engage with teachers on corporal punishment and the sexual abuse policy so that there is a culture of zero tolerance for these incidents in all our schools.

Gauteng government departments will pay for R161 million Esidimeni award

by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

The funds to pay the R160.64 million arbitration award to 135 families of Life Esidimeni patients who suffered and died will come proportionately from all provincial government departments.

This was said by Gauteng Director-General Phindile Baleni at a meeting last week on Friday of the Oversight Committee on the Premier’s Office in the Gauteng Legislature.

She said that the National Treasury will not provide any funds for this, and the money will be taken from the budgets of the provincial departments.

The National Health Department has been asked to assist, but this does not seem likely as they already paid R6 million for the relocation of Esidimeni patients from unsuitable NGOs to proper treatment centres.

The deadline set by Justice Dikgang Moseneke for the payments is 19 June.

I am relieved that the money has been found to pay the financial redress for Esidimeni victims, but it is unfortunate that it has been diverted from funds that are needed for service delivery.

It’s the price that has to paid for the inexcusable arrogance and negligence that lead to the deaths of 144 patients in the Esidimeni disaster.

Tshwane: DA welcomes pro-poor budget as City absorbs tariff increases

by John Moodey – DA Gauteng Leader

The DA-led City of Tshwane has set and passed its R36.8 billion budget for the 2018/19 financial year by 124 votes in favour and 83 against. The DA welcomes this pro-poor budget which will benefit the people of Tshwane. Tariffs will remain low and more will be invested in infrastructure that will enable opportunities.

The vote ends months of public participation meetings, where the City’s financial plans were discussed with residents.

Thousands of residents in areas like Hammanskraal, Mabopane, Winterveld and Bronkhorstspruit will now have access to electricity, water and better sanitation, where there was previously no investment into bulk infrastructure.

Although the National Energy Regulator, NERSA, and Rand Water have proposed electricity and water tariff increases of 7.32% and 6.5% respectively, the City will absorb a part of these tariff charges by cutting all unnecessary expenditure. The DA-led City of Tshwane will therefore only charge residents 6.5% for electricity and 10% for water to assist poor people who cannot afford basic services.

This is despite the fact that when the DA took over the administration of the City, we inherited a service delivery backlog owing to many years of ANC maladministration and illegal contracts. These include the PEU Smart Meter Broadband contract that cost the City more than a billion rand a year.

We have also ensured that municipal supply chain processes, which were never followed by the ANC administration, are now enforced.

The City will put R122 million towards creating the 23 000 Expanded Public Works Programme jobs that were promised to residents earlier this year. 16 000 People have already benefitted from the City’s EPWP jobs initiative.

We are pleased that crime has also been prioritised as R2 billion will go towards the Tshwane Metro Police Department’s crime fighting initiatives.

It won’t happen overnight but the DA is working hard to bring change to the people of Tshwane. Through clean governance, the DA is committed to bringing about order that builds one South Africa for all.

Gauteng provincial government should have prepared for Joburg hospital violence

by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa should have anticipated yesterday’s violence at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital and put in extra security to prevent it happening.

There were signs earlier in the week that violence by disgruntled workers was brewing, which included tyre burning and blocked entrances on Wednesday.

Police should surely have been on standby at the hospital on Thursday as it was likely the violence would intensify.

And once again, Premier David Makhura’s much-vaunted war room failed to pick up clear warning signs and intervene early both to address the worker grievances and to prevent further vandalism at the hospital.

Following the trashing of the hospital at the end of April, Makhura made promises that workers would receive their bonus pay, but the delay in doing this led to the deplorable disruption this work.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi now calls for the hooligans to be arrested, but why did this not happen after the previous vandalization?

The Gauteng Health Department has handled this whole matter poorly – they need to settle worker grievances speedily and fairly, and also ensure that hospitals are able to provide their essential service at all times.