Another wasteful Gauteng Health contract

The Gauteng Health Department spent more than R1 million on a consultant to do one month’s work on financial matters which could easily have been done internally.

This is revealed by Acting Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Mamabolo, Sekela Consulting and Xabiso Chartered Accountants was paid R 1 059 791.50 to review the annual financial statements and annual report of the Gauteng Department of Health for the 2018/2019 financial year.

They worked for one month in 2019 which Mamabolo says was justified as “the Department lacked internal capacity.”

As with other fishy contracts an open tender process was not followed in appointing this company. For some strange reason the City Manager of Ekurhuleni Municipality granted approval for the Department to participate in contract number A-lA-2017 which covers the appointment of a panel of Audit Firms to Provide Audit and Risk Management Services.

It is also suspicious that this company was appointed by former Chief Financial Officer Kabelo Lehloenya who is now under investigation for the corrupt PPE contracts

Premier David Makhura boasts about the open tender process which he introduced but it is easily bypassed time and again by the Gauteng Health Department.

Radical surgery is needed to clear out all the rot in this department to ensure that all wasteful and corrupt expenditure is eliminated.

Waste removal in Tshwane has stopped and ANC administrators now want to rush a multi-million Rand tender

The ANC administrators’ failure to ensure that the city’s fleet is capacitated has seen waste removal in the city cease. In correspondence sent out to service providers the city’s waste management division has indicated that waste removal trucks procured through the CSS46 tender must cease operations.

Mpho Nawa the head ANC administrator is misleading the residents of this city. In a statement to the Rekord he indicated that the CSS46 tender had been extended for a month to allow for the new tender processes. This is a lie, if it had been extended then waste would be collected and not pile up in the streets.

This came after the DA exposed how the tender for the lease of waste removal trucks and other specialist vehicles and equipment would terminate on 31 August.

The new tender that was advertised to replace it closed on 7 July yet the ANC administrators in the city have failed to ensure that it was awarded.

Now they have instead opted to try and rush through a new tendering process. This is abhorrent and reckless act which could see the ANC administrators committing the city into unaffordable contracts as they desperately try and rectify their incompetence while waste piles up in the streets.

Mpho Nawa the head administrator has indicated that he expects the new tender to be awarded in three weeks. This is outrageous, the original tender for this work closed on 9 July and received over 700 bids. What have Nawa and his team of administrators been doing since then?

In a recent statement Nawa indicates the tender had to be re-advertised three times due to a “number of challenges with bid specifications”. This is the height of incompetence as residents must now watch waste piling up in the streets.

The DA has learnt that various service providers in the city have been notified that they have till the close of business today to submit bids on providing services to the city.

This is incredibly concerning as the ANC administrators are clearly scrambling to try and save face and will quite possibly compromise the city’s supply chain processes in order to facilitate new contracts.

The DA is watching this space carefully, once the unlawful ANC administrators are removed from office we intend to investigate all such contracts. Any officials or administrators who are involved in backdoor deals will face severe consequences.

The end of CSS46 tender provided a unique opportunity for the city to evaluate its fleet requirements, assess which vehicles should still be lease and which the city should purchase.

These are decisions which will incur costs that range into the hundreds of millions, they cannot and should not be rushed.

DA appoints Solly Msimanga as acting DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

The Democratic Alliance (DA) Provincial Executive Committee in Gauteng has appointed the DA Gauteng Caucus Leader, Solly Msimanga MPL to the position of acting DA Gauteng Provincial Leader.

 This follows the resignation of the John Moodey earlier today.

Msimanga is a former Provincial Chairperson. He is the Leader of the Official Opposition in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. He has vast knowledge of the party and has held various leadership positions within the province.

The DA in Gauteng believes that Msimanga will provide stability and that the province is in good hands.

Msimanga’s leadership skills will bring a positive force to all our structures until the Provincial Congress where the new provincial leader will be elected.

 We remain committed to growing our support across the province and to ensure that we work towards our main goal of unseating the ANC under Msimanga’s leadership.

 

DA Speeches: Debate on the gender-based violence motion

Note to Editors: The following speeches were delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s virtual sitting today at the debate on the gender-based violence motion. 

 

Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL All talk with no action from Gauteng Provincial Government with regards to gender-based violence

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development

060 558 8297

 

Crezane Bosch MPL Gauteng Provincial Government should prioritize ending gender-based violence to ensure safety of women and children

DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Social Development

066 010 1035

 

Michael Shackleton MPL DA’s Private Member Bill only solution to curb the scourge of gender-based violence in South Africa

DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Community Safety

066 043 0155

Merafong without Municipal Manager and CFO, but Mayor hangs on

The leadership crisis in Merafong escalated sharply this week as acting Municipal Manager Albie Niewoudt worked his last day on the 31 of August, before retiring.

The Council meeting was called to address the vacancy collapsed in chaos. Disgruntled community members occupied the council chamber and the virtual component of the meeting was so poorly managed that the Speaker abandoned the meeting.

The situation is now that there is no municipal manager duly appointed by Council, no permanent CFO (Thys Wienekus was recently arrested over the VBS saga) and a Mayor who was told to step down by the ANC, but is clinging to power.

The DA is deeply concerned that this anarchy within the administration will lead to unprecedented looting and escalating corruption, as basic checks and balances are absent. The DA is aware that the Municipal Public Accounts Committee is dysfunctional and poorly prepared to stop irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

With Council meetings unable to quorate, there is now no proper oversight on behalf of the people of Merafong and the remaining members of the executive will be able to carry on without being held accountable.

The DA has already called on the ANC to remove the Mayor from their PR list and inform the IEC accordingly, a call they have thus far ignored in the same vein as a call from President Ramaphosa that implicated members step down from their leadership roles.

We stand with all the residents of Merafong who are currently experiencing a total collapse of service delivery and have therefore laid criminal charges against the Mayor.

The actions of the ANC in Merafong makes a mockery of the calls of both the President and Premier Makhura that corruption must be rooted out at all costs.

It is now 24 days that the Mayor is in defiance of her party’s wishes and counting…

 

 

Gauteng Health pays R220m collection fee for RAF claims

The Gauteng Health Department has paid R220 million to a company to do the investigative and administrative work to claim from the Road Accident Fund (RAF) in the past three years.

This is revealed by Acting Gauteng Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Mamabolo, Batsumi Claims Management Solutions was paid R220 million and collected R524 million from the RAF. This amounts to an exorbitant 42% collection fee as the Department only received R304 million of the RAF money.

Mamabolo says that the Gauteng Health Department has outsourced the collection of accident information “because of its legal nature and lack of internal capacity to collect information and get accident reports from the South African Police Services and Metro police.”

Batsumi has had a contract with the Department since 2006, initially through an open tender but “the second award for this contract was through participation of the Free State Department of Health tender (DOH (FS) 126/16/17) in terms of Section 16.A6.5 of Treasury Regulations.”

Mamabolo claims that there is value for money in this contract as it has enabled the department to meet its annual revenue targets.

I find it suspicious that an open tender process was not followed for Batsumi’s second contract but instead piggybacks on a tender from another province.

There are surely other companies that can do this work at a much lower rate. Premier David Makhura praises the open tender system, but there are far too many examples where it is bypassed, as in this 14-year contractual relationship that should have been reviewed long ago.

There are lots of these long-term cosy contracts either because of inefficiency or corruption.

A management shake-up is needed to ensure that all contracts are awarded through a fair competitive process

Over 721 cases of theft, burglary and vandalism have been opened by Gauteng schools since 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is shocked to learn that over 721 cases of theft, burglary and vandalism have been opened by Gauteng schools since 2019.

This was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to MEC Mazibuko, the schools in Gauteng have opened 721 cases of theft, burglary, and vandalism.

Of these cases reported, the following arrests have been made since 2019;17 for theft, 45 for burglary and 5 for vandalism.

It is very worrying that there is a low arrest rate despite the high number of cases reported.

The DA believes that there are more cases than the 721 cases of theft, burglary and vandalism opened by Gauteng schools as these responses do not include cases opened during the lockdown period.

The fact that there is a low arrest rate clearly indicates an ineffective school safety strategy and that the SAPS are failing to prioritize schools as there is no investigation progress report for the cases opened.

It is concerning that the department continues to lose millions in theft and burglaries while not much is being done to safeguard assets. The department has failed dismally in preventing incidents of theft, vandalism, and burglary in our schools.

Untrained and unarmed school patrollers alone will not be able to safeguard our valuable assets. There is also a need for community members to take ownership of the schools.

We will recommend that the department explores the feasibility of employing permanent security guards to safeguard schools, particularly in areas that have a high crime rate.

The DA calls on the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko to liaise with the Gauteng Provincial SAPS Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela to ascertain why there is such a low arrest rate with regards to theft, burglary and vandalism at Gauteng schools.

DA Gauteng protest against the Speaker in the Gauteng Legislature sitting over ANC’s abuse of power

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature protested in today’s House Sitting because of the ANC’s attempt to subvert the rules of the Legislature to suit their own agenda.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had tabled a motion regarding the insourcing of cleaning staff in the Gauteng Government, a move which the DA is not against, as we did this in the City of Johannesburg and Tshwane. We raised the points that a proper system needs be put in place where there won’t be corruption, cadre deployments and nepotism.

The ANC wanted to change the motion un-procedurally, which  the DA voted against, as did other opposition parties. Yet the ANC, who fear losing ground to the EFF, attempted to subvert legislative mechanisms to “amend” the motion during the Sitting.

 If a motion is voted down, it must be reworked and re-submitted in the House at a later date. It cannot be dealt with in the same Sitting in which it was voted down.

 The ANC have throughout this lockdown period attempted to subvert the rules of the House to drive their own agenda.

The Speaker, who is supposed to be impartial, has done the bidding of the ANC Caucus in the Legislature to refuse any DA motions to be tabled despite these complying with the rules of the institution.

Today’s blatant disregard for due process once again highlights that the ANC cares not for the people or procedure, but rather its own skin.

The DA has sought legal counsel on the impartiality of the Speaker, and today’s attempted coup in the House only reiterates our claim that the ANC is not for the people of this province, they are against them.

The DA will request that today’s fracas be investigated by the Legislature’s integrity commissioner as the wanton disregard for the rule of law by the ANC cannot go unchecked.

 

 

ANC Administrators in Tshwane have earned over R10 million while the city collapses

The DA has learnt that the unlawfully deployed ANC administrators in Tshwane have, for the past five months earned R955 940.00 each. The salary bill for these Administrators has cost the taxpayers over R10 million to date.

This is more than twice the amount the city’s Mayor would earn and five times the salary of a councillor.

A further R2 million can be added to this amount for the legal bill which has been incurred by the provincial government in trying to defend their unlawful deployment.

This is a shocking abuse of public funds as the ANC Administrators have overseen the capital city falling into ruin.

Under the ANC Administration, Tshwane has lost millions of Rands in revenue due to non-collection.

This comes on the back of long running salary disputes with municipal staff, many of whom were not paid last week.

They have also approved and implemented a budget, unlawfully, after not following due process which has plunged the city into a billing crisis.

They have also failed to ensure a core service delivery tender was awarded as well as a new tender that would ensure that the city is capacitated with specialist vehicles to support waste removal processes, water pipe repairs and electricity outages.

Even though the tender closed in early July 2020, the Administrators failed to provide oversight on the supply chain processes and have now compromised core service delivery across the city.

With the rainy season upon us, nothing has been done in terms of preparing for this period. Storm water drainages, pruning of overgrown trees touching power lines and pothole filling are some of the seasonal issues that haven’t been prioritized, which spells disaster and prolonged outages for Tshwane residents.

It has been one systematic failure after another since the ANC Administrators unlawfully took office.

While residents in the capital suffer, deployed ANC cadres continue to collect their exorbitant salaries while the municipality falls apart around them.

The DA is confident that our legal appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeals will be successful and the DA and its coalition partners can get Tshwane back on track.

The DA will ensure that Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC, Lebogang Maile is held to account for the perilous state Tshwane finds itself in due to his unlawful actions.

MEC Mazibuko not doing enough to curb the scourge of gender-based violence in Gauteng

The Gauteng Department of Community Safety has failed to roll out nine Green Doors meant to ensure that the victims and survivors of gender-based violence receive prompt and effective services and prevent secondary victimisation of the survivors.

This information was revealed in the department’s first quarter report for the 2020/21 financial year.

According to the first quarter report, the department had a target of rolling out nine Green Doors.

This target was not achieved, and the reasons given by the department for non-achievement is that due to lockdown, no green doors were erected because of the inaccessibility of the homes.

A Green Door is a safe space in the community that is at least 5kms away from a police station and run by community members. It offers debriefing, containment and referral to necessary stakeholders such as local NGOs, SAPS, and courts. Green Door is a link between the community and SAPS, and the victim can stay up to 6 hours at the site.

The department’s failure to establish Green Doors clearly indicates that the ANC-led Gauteng government cares little about ensuring that the victims of gender-based violence are protected during this difficult period of lockdown as a result of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.

With the increase of gender-based violence cases across the country during the lockdown, the department should have prioritised the establishment of Green Doors in the province instead of using Covid-19 as an excuse.

The DA calls on MEC Mazibuko to ensure that these Green Doors are prioritised to provide adequate and effective services and support to the victims and survivors of gender-based violence.

The DA has also tabled a Community Safety Private Members Bill which will ensure that cases of domestic and interpersonal abuse are treated with the concern they deserve by creating specific offences with serious consequences for those who fail to assist the victims in accordance with the duties placed on them by the Act, such as the police  officers and court officials.