In a response to my written questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL), Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile denied that a service provider was appointed by the Sedibeng District Municipality to provide personal protection to the Municipal Manager.
Yet MEC Maile released a media statement stating that there is an investigation underway into the irregular appointment of the Mafako Security Company to provide personal security for Stanley Khanyile.
This investigation will enquire into the allegations of corruption, maladministration, financial management and acts of nepotism levelled against Khanyile and the municipality.
This clearly indicates that the MEC misled us, knowing full well that there was an irregular appointment of bodyguards for Khanyile.
This also raises the question as to whether the MEC was protecting Khanyile at the expense of taxpayers.
The DA will closely monitor the progress of this investigation to ensure that those implicated pay back the money stolen from the municipality and are arrested for corruption.
We also call on MEC Maile to provide a timeframe as to when this investigation will be concluded.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) is thrilled to report that the party is enjoying exceptional growth in its membership in Gauteng, with over 26 000 valid members.
The energy and passion we are seeing amongst our members bodes well for the upcoming elections and the growth in our numbers is a clear sign that the people of Gauteng are desperate for change.
The DA has held successful branch annual general meetings (AGMs) all over Gauteng, despite the challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic, as a crucial element of building a substantial political base for the party’s 2021 local election campaign.
Branch AGMs allow the party to elect branch executives as well as delegates to higher structures in order to elect the Party’s leadership. The newly elected branch committees will immediately start campaigning towards the 2021 elections and drive the message of the DA to every corner of Gauteng.
We will continue to provide a platform for hope and change to the millions of residents in Gauteng.
With service delivery collapsing throughout Gauteng, it is imperative that the DA wins the election next year so that it can get the administration back on track and enable the province to survive and prosper.
The DA has a proven track record for turning around the fortunes of a province, as evidenced by the party’s achievements in successfully governing the Western Cape for the past 11 years with successive clean audit outcomes and good governance.
The residents of Gauteng deserve the same opportunity to thrive and prosper.
Khula DA! Khula!
The Gauteng Department of Community Safety has failed to set up even a single virtual meeting with the Gauteng SAPS leadership over the last three months.
This information was revealed in the department’s first quarter report for the 2020/2021 financial year.
According to the first quarter report, the department had a target of preparing and presenting specifications to the Bid Specification Committee and Bid Adjudication Committee with regards to the procurement of 35 high powered police vehicles, 17 bakkies and 4 mobile police stations.
This target was not achieved, and the reasons given by the department for not achieving this target is that the process is dependent on SAPS. Escalating Covid-19 infections made it impossible to secure a virtual meeting with SAPS leadership.
This is ridiculous and clearly indicates the severity of this department’s incompetency.
Since the president declared the state of disaster most of the institutions particularly government institutions have been engaging with stakeholders and hosting virtual meetings to ensure that work is done, and services are rendered to our people.
The meeting with the SAPS leadership is important and should have been prioritised by the department instead of using Covid-19 as an excuse.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will hold MEC Mazibuko to account for failing to set up a virtual meeting with SAPS leadership as this has resulted in a delay in the process of procuring much needed policing vehicles and mobile police stations to enhance service delivery.
Gauteng’s worst hospital CEO has been reinstated one day after Acting Gauteng Health MEC Jacob Mambolo informed me that she was on precautionary suspension while investigation continued into a psychiatric patient’s murder of another patient at the hospital in May this year.
Ruth Mabyana has been the CEO of the Bheki Mlangeni Hospital in Soweto since it was opened six years ago with high expectations but ended up as one of the five worst hospitals in Gauteng.
During her tenure there has been a jobs-for-cash scandal involving 111 workers appointed irregularly, more than 140 disciplinary actions against staff, and at least 10 violent attacks this year by psychiatric patients, including the stabbing to death of an 85-year-old patient.
The hospital has a poor reputation in the local community where it is known as AVBOB because of the high number of deaths.
Earlier this year a pregnant woman was locked in a room and refused food as they suspected she was infected with Covid-19. In reply to my questions this week Mamabolo disclosed that 150 staff members caught the virus, which is one in seven of the 1050 total staff.
This shows persistent poor management that has harmed both staff and patients. There are allegations of a clique of crooked top officials who make nepotistic appointments and are feared by staff.
It is a mystery why Mabyana has not been removed for gross incompetence. I suspect she may have been protected because she knows things that could implicate others.
The Gauteng Health Department has been rocked by the R2.2 billion PPE contract scandal, but there is more rot that needs to be uprooted to ensure that all hospitals have competent and honest management.
A Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report recommended that a top official in the Gauteng Health Department face disciplinary action for the appointment of a fishy contract 12 years ago, but this was not implemented because the SIU reported wrongly that he had left the Department.
This is revealed by Acting Gauteng Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
I asked why this official, who is a director of human resources management and organizational development, had not been disciplined even though the SIU criticized his role in the irregular appointment of Kalvest Consulting Services for a R127 000 contract to evaluate a transformation project at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in May 2008. The SIU says that Kalvest was appointed through an unjustified deviation from the tender process and did not do a proper job.
According to Mamabolo, the Department is aware that the official was adversely mentioned in the SIU report, which was completed in March 2017 but only made public in May 2018. Furthermore, he confirms that the Department is aware that the SIU report indicates erroneously that the official had left.
Mamabolo now says that he has instructed the Department “to compile a report on all outstanding disciplinary cases and immediately institute disciplinary measures.”
I wonder what other disciplinary matters have been delayed or ignored for years, and who is protecting these officials. Why is it only now that an Acting MEC is cracking the whip on these cases?
The rot in this department needs to be thoroughly cleaned out, otherwise the thievery and massive wastage of resources will continue instead of quality care provided to everyone.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on the Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Lebogang Maile to provide clarity with regards to the process used to select beneficiaries for the allocation of the RDP houses at Obed Nkosi in Ratanda, Lesedi Local Municipality.
This follows the allocation of 60 housing units in Obed Nkosi by the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements on 13 August 2020.
The DA has received numerous complaints from the residents who claim that some of the people who were not on the housing units waiting list benefited while the rightful beneficiaries were not allocated any houses.
There are allegations that some of the beneficiaries who are on the allocation list who received houses are not on the housing unit waiting list.
These allegations are serious considering the fact that the Gauteng housing unit waiting list is plagued with corruption.
For far too long the DA has been calling on the department to make public the provincial housing waiting list however to date nothing has happened.
Lack of transparency of the Gauteng housing unit waiting list has made the system vulnerable to corruption and manipulation.
It is high time that the department conducts an audit of all the beneficiaries before allocating the houses to ensure that they are the rightful beneficiaries.
The DA calls on MEC Maile to conduct an audit on people who were allocated the houses to obtain clarity as to whether they are indeed the rightful beneficiaries and if not, who the rightful beneficiaries might be. Should it be found that there are people who were allocated houses, but are not the rightful beneficiaries then these people must be arrested for corruption.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is deeply concerned that the Mayor for Merafong, Maphefo Mogale Letsie, has still not stepped down.
This despite the ANC asking the Merafong Mayor and the Mayor of West Rand to step down for their involvement in the illegal investment of R50 million with VBS.
Instead, Mayor Letsie told councillors that she was asked to resign and not instructed to do so and feels that it is her right to refuse.
The R50 million that was illegally invested with VBS under her watch will probably never be recovered.
The fact that Mayor Letsie has refused to step down shows that the ANC structures including the integrity commission along with the PEC are toothless and are unable to root out cadres who facilitate corruption.
In addition, this also has implications for President Cyril Ramaphosa whose seven page appeal to his party, shows that it is more talk and no action.
Furthermore, it is also concerning that the media and the public is under the impression that Mayor Letsie has indeed stepped down and this perception needs to be rectified.
The DA is therefore calling on the ANC to remove her from its Proportional Representative (PR) list in Merafong and to inform the IEC that she is no longer on their candidate list.
Today, the ANC with its single seat majority in the Gauteng Legislature passed what can only be described as its “adjustment budget of corruption”.
The upward adjustment of R4 billion has already seen the wolves trying to break down the door, salivating to get their teeth around these funds – funds whose sole purpose is to fix a broken economy and keep our people safe from COVID-19.
Last week, Gauteng Treasury released its report on PPE spending by this provincial government. Many red flags were raised upon a closer reading of the report and it comes as no surprise that it is riddled with numerous contradictions while highlighting that daylight robbery seems to be the order of the day under the ANC.
To date, National Treasury has not rescinded its emergency procurement instruction which subverts transparency and the safeguards usually in place to safeguard the public purse.
A simple gazette is all that is required to make sure that the green and yellow vultures circling our dying provincial fiscus is safe guarded.
The failure to undertake a simple stoke of the pen calls into question this governments commitment to clamp down on the brazen fleecing of the state at all levels.
The impact COVID-19 has had on our lives is yet to be fully determined but it will pale in comparison to incompetence, bungling, looting and wilful theft which has only been exacerbated by the pandemic.
We have seen the government pay R13 000.00 for a hospital bed spent at the Nasrec field hospital, R65 000.00 for shacks that are being built in Joburg and Tshwane and the sickening irony of R4 million spent on catering for well-paid officials and staff when cooked food wasn’t even allowed to be sold.
These things will pale in comparison compared to what today’s adopted adjustment budget will unleash.
And when the time comes, and our ears are ringing with the hollow words from Captain “in-action” Makhura busy re-arranging the deckchairs while the Titanic Gauteng sinks to her murky death, the DA will be there to make sure no stone is unturned and every last crooked Cadre is brought to book.
150 staff have been infected at the Bheki Mlangeni Hospital in Soweto, which amounts to one in seven out of 1050 staff in total.
This is revealed by Acting Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo in an oral reply to my questions at a sitting today of the Gauteng Legislature.
The hospital CEO Ruth Mabyana is currently on precautionary suspension after a psychiatric patient allegedly murdered another patient in May this year.
This hospital has always been badly managed since it was opened with great expectations six years ago. There was a jobs-for-cash hiring scandal and persistent labour relations problems that placed it on the list of five worst hospitals in Gauteng.
Poor management is a major factor in the high number of staff infected with COVID-19 because of poor infection control and a lack of quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
According to Mamabolo, there are ongoing investigations at that will decide the fate of the hospital CEO.
My view is that there needs to be a total change of top management at the hospital to rectify deep-seated problems that grievously hurt staff and patients.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is urging parents to send their children back to school as schools have re-opened for more grades on the 24th August 2020.
The Gauteng Department of Education has an obligation to ensure the safety of both learners and teachers during this national lockdown period as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Gauteng school attendance rate based on grade 7 and 12 is currently at 78 percent and we should avoid learners dropping out by ensuring that all learners go back to school.
Those parents who will not be sending their children back to school must apply for home schooling immediately so that their children do not miss a day of schooling. It is compulsory for any child of school going age to access basic quality education.
The DA will hold the department accountable to ensure that all schools adhere to health regulations and provide quality PPEs to both learners and teachers.
The department should ensure that all schools have adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) so that learning and teaching will not be disrupted.
The DA will continue to monitor teaching and learning during this difficult period and ensure that the department provides all our schools with all the necessities required to ensure the safety of our learners and teachers.
All other organizations must work with the department to ensure that we provide necessary support to both learners and teachers under these difficult circumstances.