DA supports the decision by Mayor Msimanga to suspend City Manager

by John Moodey – DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes today’s press conference held by Tshwane Executive Mayor, Solly Msimanga, during which he announced his recommendation for the suspension of the City Manager, Moeketsi Masola.

The City Manager is facing allegations of misconduct.

These actions by the City Manager has had a negative impact on the delivery of services to the residents of Tshwane.

When the DA took over the Tshwane administration from the failing ANC we inherited a R2 billion deficit.

At the end of our first financial year in office in 2017 we were able to correct this and we now have a surplus.

We have created 16 125 employment opportunities for unemployed residents of Tshwane.

The residents of Tshwane under the DA administration are now experiencing real service delivery and we will not allow the City Manager to derail the progress that we have made.

We call on all political parties in the City of Tshwane to do the right thing and act in the interest of the residents of Tshwane by supporting the Mayor’s recommendation in Council tomorrow to suspend the City Manager.

The residents of Tshwane must come first.

DA calls for Health MEC to act on death due to negligence

by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa needs to investigate and take action regarding the death of a young man who lay injured for four hours at the Goba Clinic in Katlehong which did not have oxygen and the ambulance came too late to save him.

At a sitting of the Gauteng Legislature yesterday I read out the Facebook post of Thando Khanya Mahlangu who details the incident in what he calls “the worst day of my life” (see full posting below).

His younger brother was hit by a speeding car on Saturday 24 November and rushed to Goba Clinic, but they had no oxygen.

An ambulance arrived after two hours but the paramedics were not sufficiently trained to assist, and another ambulance had to be called.

Mahlangu writes as follows:

“I blame the Gauteng health department coz they’ve failed us, how can a clinic have no oxygen? this shows nobody cares about us, and why wouldn’t they release another ambulance if the first one was being delayed? Do these people even Understand the word “Emergency”? No I doubt.

My brother had 4 hours and possibly 1000 chances to survive but because of the delays we lost him.

This really damaged me and I doubt I’ll ever recover.”

This heart-breaking story is unfortunately quite common as ambulances are generally slow, paramedics are not properly trained and clinics run short of basic necessities like oxygen.

I have written to MEC Ramokgopa requesting her to investigate this incident and take the required action.

Lives should not be lost because of the continuing failure of the Gauteng Health Department to provide a decent health service.

Facebook Post

Thando KhanYa Mahlangu is feeling heartbroken.

24 November 2018 — The worst day of my life

So it happened, around 09:20 my younger brother was hit by a speeding car and he was rushed to Goba clinic which is a minute away from the scene and he was immediately attended. I was informed and I also got there at around 09:25 and he was already in the emergency room bleeding heavily and struggling to breathe not responding at all. That’s where all things got messy, The clinic had no Oxygen we were told the ambulance is coming.

We waited an hour there was no ambulance we kept asking about its whereabouts we got no answers. We started panicking and decided to call the ambulance whilst we were inside the clinic they told us they can’t send the ambulance for a person who’s already inside the emergency room the
nurses should call it and there were no ambulances available. Another hour goes by still no ambulance, we drove to Hlahatsi to fetch the ambulance after we requested to take him to the hospital by ourselves and they said they are not allowed to release the patient unless they leave by an ambulance and we got the same response.

After 2 hours the ambulance appeared travelling at a very low speed, no siren and the driver was on the phone.

We were so relieved to see them and he would be rushed to the hospital for a better treatment but little did we know the worst was about to happen, The paramedics who arrived were not trained for patients who were so badly injured we were told so they had to call another ambulance that meant more delays.

To cut the long story short the other paramedics after another hour arrived too late coz on their arrival my brother gave up on life.

The nurses from Goba clinic tried their best to save his life. I blame the Gauteng health department coz they’ve failed us, how can a clinic have no oxygen? this shows nobody cares about us, and why wouldn’t they release another ambulance if the first one was being delayed? Do these people even Understand the word “Emergency”? No, I doubt.

My brother had 4 hours and possibly 1000 chances to survive but because of the delays we lost him.

This really damaged me and I doubt ill ever recover.

Gauteng Health Audit Committee warned about unsafe buildings and hygiene risks

by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

This is a summary extract of a speech delivered today by Jack Bloom MPL in Debate on the Gauteng Health Department Annual Report

The 2017/18 Gauteng Health Department Annual Report shows dismal failure, with only 64 (43%) out of 147 targets achieved.

The Auditor-General says that effective and appropriate steps were not taken to prevent irregular expenditure of R1.7 billion and fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R38 million.

Most of the irregular expenditure was because goods and services were provided without following competitive bidding processes, and the cause of the fruitless and wasteful expenditure was interest levied on overdue accounts.

But no disciplinary steps were taken against officials who incurred or permitted irregular expenditure.

Year after year we hear that the department is going to be turned around, but we still don’t have a clean audit report.

According to the Audit Committee: “the overall control environment of the Department has regressed during the year under review.”

In their report dated 31 July 2018, they say that “compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act is still a significant problem as most institutions did not have dedicated Occupational Health Officers.”

And furthermore “facilities are at risk of non-compliance with the National Building Regulations and there is a direct impact on the spread of disease especially in isolation wards and theatres.”

And still more: “The Audit Committee reports its dissatisfaction with minimal progress made with the implementation of the Disaster Recovery Plan and the Business Continuity Plan. This continued to be a high risk for the Department.”

Tragically, their warnings were not followed as disaster did strike with the fire at the Bank of Lisbon building which led to the deaths of three firefighters.

We have also seen the deaths of 6 babies from antibiotic-resistant Klebsiella at the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital and 9 babies died at Rahima Moosa Hospital from Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC).

I hope that occupational safety and hygiene risks are tackled effectively at our hospitals and clinics to avoid more disasters.

All in all, 22 key strategic risks are identified, including:

  • inadequate access to quality health services for mental health patients
  • increase in maternal, new born, infant and child morbidity/mortality
  • high death rate due to increase in the number of HIV and TB infections
  • financial losses due to litigation
  • fraud and corruption
  • aging infrastructure and health technology
  • shortages in pharmaceutical supplies
  • inadequate Human Capital Management
  • Serious Adverse Events
  • financial losses due to litigation

The good news is that the Audit Committee is doing excellent work in identifying risks and areas for improvement.

The bad news is that there is little progress in fixing the deficiencies.

DA calls for urgent intervention to resolve chaos at SASSA Meyerton Office

by Bridget Masango – DA Team One Gauteng Spokesperson: Social Cohesion and Forgotten Communitie

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) at the Meyerton Local Office is affected by serious staff shortages, issues with its card swap processes and poor client relations and management.

Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Team One Gauteng Spokesperson on Social Cohesion and Forgotten Communities, Bridget Masango, and Midvaal Constituency Head Dennis Ryder, conducted an oversight inspection to the SASSA Meyerton Office and engaged grant beneficiaries who alerted the DA to their plight.

It is unacceptable that SASSA has not succeeded in migrating all cash recipients of social grants who used to be paid by Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to the new SASSA Post Office cards. The migration is part of a Constitutional Court judgment issued last year, which found that the contract between SASSA and CPS was unlawful.

It was concerning to hear beneficiaries complaining about having to wait for three to four months for their grants while they struggle to feed their families.  It is a staggering indication of the high levels of a leadership vacuum and lack of political will to look after the poor and vulnerable.

Only the DA can bring change that accelerates the delivery of service and puts the people first. We call upon all citizens to vote for the party that is working to build One South Africa for All.

Premier Makhura has failed to change state of Gauteng

by John Moodey MPL – DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

The following speech was presented in the Gauteng Legislature today by DA Gauteng Provincial Leader, John Moodey MPL, during the debate on the annual report of the Office of the Premier.

Madam Speaker,

Once again, we find ourselves at that point in the year where we are tasked to assess the work of the executive and how they have performed in their duties in service to the people of this province.

One must commend the clean audit status of the provincial government. It is good to know that the boxes are being ticked to satisfaction, but when targets are set as low as the ones this government lays out – it would be criminal not to climb over such a low bar.

Again, the Office of the Premier has performed well. His office is one of the very few that runs efficiently. I would praise the Premier for this, but he – on numerous occasions, pats his own back, so I need not.

One would imagine, given the audit status of Gauteng that we were living in a thriving province, alive with possibility and hope.

Just scratch a little below the surface however and things are not as they seem.

Gauteng is home to 14 million people. 14 million people who rely on the competence of their government to ensure that they live rich, meaningful lives.

Sadly, under this failing ANC administration they do not.

Local governments run by the failing ANC are collapsing.

The people of Emfuleni, Lesedi, Rand West and Merafong are on a daily basis, subjected to untold hardships because of ANC failure.

The millions of Rands owed to Eskom and Rand Water has created a situation where at any moment the taps could be closed and the lights turned off.

Over and above this, these municipalities are bankrupt. Most of them have had to present unfunded budgets for the up-coming financial year. In light of this, please explain to the people gathered in this House today how service delivery is going to be rolled out?

I will answer for you. It won’t.

We have already seen how staff in the West Rand District have gone unpaid. This is just the start.

The illegal investments made by these municipalities with VBS bank were of no concern to this government – despite warnings from the DA that action needed to be taken.

Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy went as far as to say that investigating the matter was none of this government’s concern – until the mounting pressure to acknowledge the problem became too great to ignore.

And now, we are still waiting to know what action will be taken? Again, let me answer for you – none.

This is the failing ANC way. We have seen on numerous occasions that those who are morally bankrupt and corrupt are shielded by the failing ANC.

One need look no further than the murderous former Health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu – the architect of the Esidimeni tragedy, purportedly corrupt Brian Hlongwa or the deviant Simon “sex-pest” Mofokeng to know that there are no ramifications for cadres in the failing ANC.

In fact, delinquency is rewarded as these fine fellows remain part of the party’s provincial decision-making body.

It is no wonder then that residents of Gauteng endure hardships if these are the people entrusted to guide us.

Crime and poverty are inseparable.

The ANC’s failure to stimulate the economy of this province has unleashed a crime epidemic experienced nowhere else in South Africa. An unprofessional police force, that has become a law unto itself, has exasperated this problem.

Crime summit after crime summit we hear the same old tune. Actions speak louder than words, and there has been a deafening silence by this administration.

The lack of will by this government to tackle crime head-on can be summed up by the utterances of Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane who recently encouraged communities to take the law into their own hands.

Two million unemployed young people have the failing ANC to thank for their perilous position. Some have lost all hope of ever being employed, with many turning to illicit substances to escape their hopeless situation.

These lost young souls, our nation’s future, are locked out of the economy by poor policy decisions and cumbersome legislation.

In 2014, Premier Makhura announced that the province would be re-industrialised, that corridors of development would be the game-changers to reignite the economy.

Four years later, what has happened? Nothing.

I for one cannot see evidence of these game-changing projects.

River cities, prawn farms, solar power for government buildings – the recommissioning of power stations. Where are these fanciful projects? They remain on the pages of your inaugural speech, Premier.

Similarly, the provision of housing is another fanciful tale of this administration. Every year the demand for housing grows. It grows at a rate that far outstrips the supply that can be offered by the department.

As a solution to this problem, mega-human settlements were envisaged to move our people out of the squalor in which they currently live. However, these settlements have yet to begin to take shape.

Those that have moved from the planning phase, have been hijacked by so-called “business forums” who have stalled their roll-out. Earlier this year, Premier you told this house that there was going to be action taken against these illegal forums – but like so much of what you say, nothing has come to fruition.

It is likely that the corrupt elements within the failing ANC are benefitting from the work of these forums which is why you have failed to act.

Premier, when you assumed office in 2014, the contentious e-Toll system had not long been operational yet it was clear that the people of Gauteng would not accept this taxation. Throughout the course of your time in office you have made numerous utterances on how the system has negatively impacted the people of Gauteng.

A white-wash commission and a few marches later, the gantries remain active.

As the 2019 elections draw near, you have once again become quite vocal on the matter. This is no doubt an electioneering ploy – because if you truly had the intention to stand up for the people of Gauteng you would have lodged an inter-governmental dispute.

You would have also lobbied national government to not renew the collection contract with Kapsch when it is up for renewal next month. You have not done this either.

From the mouths of both the Finance Minister and Minister of Transport, under the failing ANC these tolls will continue to be operational.

The complete and utter capture of the state by nefarious individuals under the watch of the failing ANC has eroded our economy, our morale and hope.

Do not for one moment think that Gauteng has been immune to the effects of state capture.

In the Metros of Johannesburg and Tshwane that the DA took over in 2016, corruption and pillaging was endemic. In the two years that we and our coalition partners have been in office, we have taken drastic steps to arrest this scourge.

We have reinvigorated the term “servants of the people”. The money we have saved from rooting out corruption, pulling the plug on vanity projects and challenging illegal tenders worth millions, we have re-prioritised for our people.

Water, electrification and housing are the order of the day.

We have also shown no fear or favour for those within our own ranks who have been found to be wanting. Unlike the failing ANC we tackle issues head-on

Next year, the people of this province will have the opportunity to vote for change. To elect a government that puts their interests first.

A government that will get Gauteng to work.

Premier Makhura, you tried as best as you could with the dead-weight that comes with being in the failing ANC hanging around your neck, but now it is time for change. Real change for One Gauteng for all!

148 GPG employees still doing business with government

by Kingsol Chabalala MPL – DA Team One Gauteng Spokesperson on Corruption

It has come to the attention of the Democratic Alliance (DA) that a total of 148 employees are still doing business government.

This was revealed to me in a reply to written questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

According to the MEC for Finance, Barbara Creecy, the following departments have employees who are doing business with government:

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development 4
Department of Community Safety 1
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs 1
Department of Economic Development 1
Department of Education 48
E-Government 3
Department of Health 70
Department of Human Settlements 3
Department of Infrastructure Development 7
Provincial Treasury 2
Roads and Transport 2
Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation 6


The department with the most employees doing business with government is the Department of Health.

According to MEC Creecy, the information obtained about the number of employees doing business with government is currently being analysed further.

This raises serious concerns about the measures that are in place to ensure that government tenders are awarded in a fair and transparent process and that corruption is eradicated.

I will be tabling further questions in the house to ascertain the following:

  • When will the investigation into the officials doing business with government be finalised?
  • What action has been taken against government officials found to be doing business with government?
  • What measures will government be implementing to ensure that this does not happen again?

It is high time that the government implements a transparent tender system that promotes fair access to tenders for all Gauteng businesses.

If the failing ANC government is serious about promoting township revitalisation to ensure sustainability of small business then they should ensure that the tender system is accessible.

Come 2019, when we govern in Gauteng we will establish an independent unit dedicated to identifying, fighting and prosecuting corruption.

Failing ANC not doing enough to deal with violence against women and children

by Stefani Ueckermann – DA Team One Gauteng Spokesperson on Women

Today marks the start of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.

Gender-based violence is increasing in South Africa, while Gauteng is experiencing a high number of crimes against women and children.

The safety of our women and children is under threat as it is reported on daily basis that women and children are being victimised.

Women and children are vulnerable but not enough is being done by the Gauteng Department of Community Safety and Social Development to ensure their safety and security.

In most cases the victims are hesitant to report domestic violence to the South African Police Service (SAPS), as they have lost faith in the ability of SAPS to effectively deal with domestic violence.

A study released by the Commission for Gender Equality earlier this month revealed that police stations surveyed across three provinces do not have clear, coherent and well-defined long-term programmes of action to tackle the scourge of domestic violence within their areas of jurisdiction.

Furthermore, the study also found that while most police stations surveyed had a Victim Support Centre (VSC), these centres did not have enough staff and in some cases only had one volunteer staff member.

The DA believes that the only way to fight the scourge of gender-based violence is through professionalising our police service. We need police officers that are specifically trained to deal with gender-based violence and who have thorough knowledge of the legislative frameworks on gender rights and the rights of child victims of crimes.

We call on communities to speak out on issues of gender-based violence as this social ill has a negative impact on the well-being of all our people.

The DA will also be running a petition calling for the fixing of the SAPS through professionalising police service to ensure that they are adequately trained to deal with victims of rape and other sensitive crimes.

Premier Makhura fails to keep pledge on Lifestyle Audits

by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Member of the Oversight Committee on the Premier’s Office

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has walked back his commitment to subject himself and his MECs to lifestyle audits this year.

In a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature he says:

“President Cyril Ramaphosa has recently announced in Parliament that he has established a Task Team led by Dr Cassius Lubisi, Director General in the Presidency and comprising of senior officials from the Auditor General, the South African Revenue Service, South African Police Service, the Anti-Corruption Task Team, the Public Service Commission, the Financial Intelligence Centre and other entities.

The Task is charged with the responsibility to develop a Framework tor the Lifestyles Audits. This Framework for the Lifestyles Audits will provide much-needed guidance to all spheres of government on how to conduct lifestyle audits.

Gauteng provincial government keenly awaits the completion at this Framework ensure that our provincial lifestyle audits are done in line with legal prescripts.”

This contradicts his pledge in his State of the Province address in February where he said “I want to take a lead together with MECs to subject ourselves to lifestyle audits this year.”

Makhura waited four years into his premiership before declaring that he would institute lifestyle audits for politicians and senior officials, but it is extremely unlikely that any will be done before his term of office ends in May next year.

He does not have to wait for state agencies to do lifestyle audits as private companies can do it with the voluntary assent of individuals.

It shows yet again that the ANC in Gauteng is not serious about fighting corruption, which is rampant in provincial departments with little action taken against those like Brian Hlongwa who has been implicated in R1.2 billion corruption in the Health Department but still sits in the ANC’s Provincial Executive Committee (PEC).

Failing ANC-led Gauteng fails to comply with Supply Chain Management requirements

by Kingsol Chabalala MPL – DA Gauteng Team 1 Spokesperson on Corruptio

The failing ANC-led Gauteng administration is not serious about improving financial management and adhering to the Supply Chain Management (SCM) requirements in the province.

The Auditor-General this week released his general report on the national and provincial audit outcomes for the 2017/2018 financial year which showed that Gauteng only achieved a 52% clean audit rate.

This is exactly the same as last year.

Irregular expenditure remains high at R6,4 billion of which R4,9 billion related to non-compliance with SCM requirements.

This clearly means that Gauteng departments are failing to abide by SCM requirements.

Of the R4,9 billion in irregular expenditure related to SCM, R2, 1 billion was due to the extension of the bus subsidy legacy contracts at the Department of Roads and Transport.

While R2 billion in irregular expenditure by the Department of Health and Education was due to multi-year non-compliant contracts awarded in the previous years.

This indicates that there is serious financial mismanagement in our provincial departments.

The Gauteng provincial departments still do not have a proper supply chain management rotation system in place.

The DA calls on the Gauteng Province to implement the supply chain management rotation system to ensure that suppliers on the database are fair and equal access to work.

The current SCM system in place is still open to human manipulation and there is a need to strengthen the oversight and monitoring system to ensure that the departments abide by the SCM policies.

Where the DA governs in the Western Cape, we have achieved an 83% clean audit rate, while the failing ANC-led Gauteng achieved a 52% clean audit rate – a 31 % difference between the two provinces.

This clearly indicates that the DA is committed to adhering to SCM requirements, to ensure that there is transparency, accountability and honesty in terms of the handling of public funds.

It is clear that the DA is the only party that can bring real change to Gauteng by building One South Africa for All, where the people’s money is invested into bettering the lives of the people.

Esidimeni officials still free to Practice

by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

I am appalled that the SA Nursing Council and the SA Health Professions Council have made little progress in removing the right to practice of those implicated in the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

According to Fezile Sifunda of the HPC, Dr Barney Selebano, the former Head of the Gauteng Health Department, was referred in December last year, but no decision has yet been taken in his case.

And Adri van Eeden of the SANC says that they are waiting for information from the Gauteng Health Department before acting against the former Mental Health Director Makgabo Manamela.

He could not confirm whether her deputy Hannah Jacobus, and chairperson of the Gauteng Mental Health Review Board Dumi Masondo had been referred to the SANC as recommended by Justice Dikgang Moseneke after the Esidimeni Arbitration hearings.

This is unacceptable. How can those who are implicated in 144 deaths of mental health patients still be professionally registered to practice medicine?

It is abundantly clear that medics who grossly disregarded their duties in the Esidimeni disaster should never be allowed to practice again.

Proceedings should be speeded up so that their licenses are revoked as soon as possible.