Auditor-General slams Gauteng misspending on Covid-19 that should have been used to save lives

Auditor-General Tsakane Maluleke has slammed a host of irregularities in the Gauteng provincial government’s spending on Covid-19 activities.

This highlights how misspent money could have been used to save lives as Gauteng public hospitals now struggle to treat a flood of Covid-19 patients.

Special Reports from the A-G’s office were recently tabled in the Gauteng Legislature and included the following findings:

  1. 23 unlisted suppliers were used to procure PPE amounting to R862.5 million.2. 300 000 K95 medical masks were ordered, but KN95 non-medical masks were delivered instead.3. R127 million worth of PPEs were ordered but not received by the Gauteng Health Department.

    4. There were 22 instances where PPE contracts were awarded to suppliers with no previous history of supplying PPE, the total value being R442 million.

    5. There were 6 instances where prices were paid in excess of Treasury regulations, with a potential loss of R182 million because of overpricing.

With regard to the NASREC field hospital which cost more than R260 million, the A-G said that payments of R22.5 million were made to the supplier outside the agreed terms in the signed contract. The Department paid for the purchase of items that were leased by the supplier, and did not invite as many suppliers as possible, with no prior approval from Treasury.

With regard to the refurbishment of the Anglo Ashanti mine hospital, the A-G says:
“There were 6 instances where emergency procurement awards amounting to R495 million were not reported to the provincial treasury within the required 30 days.”

According to the A-G, the root cause of all this malfeasance is the tone and culture at the top, which led to “a breakdown in the organisational level controls to enable an ethical and effective control culture, including leadership effectiveness and conduct.”

This is a devastating indictment of Premier David Makhura who has presided over all these irregularities without taking any accountability for his failure to prevent them.

The problem has not been a shortage of money but it has been spent poorly instead of properly preparing health facilities for the expected third wave of Covid-19 cases.

Going forward, we can do so much better as shown by the Western Cape Health Department which gets a clean audit every year and has better served patients affected by the Covid-19 epidemic.



When will Joburg hospital treat covid-19 patients?

The limited reopening of the cancer unit at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital is a step forward, but we need to know when critical care beds at the hospital will be used to treat desperately ill Covid-19 patients.

There are more than 100 ICU beds that need to be put in operation as soon as possible, but no timetable has been given as to when this will happen.

Doctors at other Gauteng hospitals are making agonising choices about which patients get the chance to survive in a ICU bed, while others die because they cannot get specialist care.

It is still a mystery why large sections of the hospital that have been assessed as structurally safe cannot be opened immediately.

Premier David Makhura has said that he is prepared to go to jail for opening the hospital despite non-compliance with technical safety issues by the Johannesburg city council that would otherwise keep the hospital closed until September.

If this is the case, why is the rest of the structurally sound part of the hospital not reopened immediately?

Makhura does not need to be melodramatic about going to jail when he can simply use emergency powers or apply for an exemption while fire safety doors are installed.

He also needs to account for the appalling incompetence of the provincial department of infrastructure development which took five weeks to issue a tender for 19 fire doors.

There is no time to waste in restoring the use of critical care beds at the hospital to save lives during this terrible epidemic.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

Keep Gauteng gyms and fitness centres open so people can retain strong immune systems against Covid-19

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to Gauteng Premier David Makhura, requesting him to engage his counterparts in the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and provide the evidence to the DA that Covid-19 has been spreading in Gauteng gyms and fitness centres and whether these are the reasons for their total closure during level 4 lockdown. We have requested this information to be provided to us no later than Monday, 5th July 2021.

The sudden closure of gyms and fitness centres is set to have a negative impact on employees, who are at risk of not receiving any salary. The anxiety of trying to figure out how to survive the next month with a reduced income is unimaginable for some of us, but is the terrible reality for many others.

These closures are also set to affect members of these facilities, who will now have their regular exercise routine halted, possibly leading to weaker immune systems and become more vulnerable to Covid-19.

The reality is, since gyms and fitness centres were reopened in August last year, these facilities have successfully enforced strict compliant health protocols that ensured safe exercise for all members. To date, gyms and fitness centres have not been found to be super-spreader venues and are often more safe than the standard grocery store.

The blanket closure of gyms and fitness centres is just another irrational, selfish decision by government, who should rather approach this more pragmatically, and enforce a 50 person limit in all gyms and fitness centres, like it has done before. This limit already exists for funerals under the current lockdown level 4 regulations, and was managed very well by gyms and fitness centres under previous harder lockdowns.

Once again, the residents of Gauteng now have to pay the price because government miserably failed to enforce their previous lockdown regulations and adequately equip the health care sector to avoid such a dangerous third wave.

The DA will not let this go. Gym and fitness centre owners and members have been responsible during this entire pandemic. Government will be made to account for this irrational decision, and if no evidence is provided, be demanded to allow gyms and fitness centres to reopen.

Residents denied their service delivery with GIFA just another cash cow for Gauteng Government

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is deeply concerned that the Gauteng Infrastructure Financing Agency (GIFA) is not capable of assisting municipalities in sourcing funding needed to complete important projects that will improve service delivery, such as water and electricity stability, and create job opportunities for the residents of Gauteng.

During a recent presentation to the Gauteng Finance Portfolio Committee, it was revealed that the affordability in municipalities where these projects are to be undertaken, where GIFA is only able to provide technical advice to municipalities and assist with feasibility studies, while funding such projects remains a very problematic issue.

According to the presentation, two projects that are supposed to be completed include the Tshwane Alternative Waste Treatment Technology project which was initiated in 2016, and the Sedibeng Government Accommodation, which was initiated in 2014. However, these municipalities have indicated that funding remains a challenge. It is clear that projects undertaken by GIFA take a long time to get off the ground and be completed.

A prime example of this is the Ekurhuleni Waste to Energy project. The project was initiated in 2015 when the Waste Management Department wrote a letter to GIFA, requesting financial assistance for a feasibility study into Alternative Waste Treatment Technologies. In 2018 it appears as if GIFA stopped communicating with the municipality on this and only picked up on it again in 2021.

It is clear that GIFA is just another entity created by the Gauteng Provincial Government to waste taxpayers’ money as it is unable to provide value for money and takes close to seven years before any project gets off the ground. These projects should be directly administered by the municipalities, and not through GIFA.

Furthermore, the DA believes that this entity should be integrated into the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management, as this department already provides the infrastructure needed to government departments. These are the same sentiments held by all the members of the Finance Portfolio Committee, yet the MEC for Finance, Nomantu-Nkomo-Ralehoko indicated that this will not happen.

A DA provincial government would ensure that municipalities across the province would be equipped to manage and complete these projects on their own, so that residents do not have to suffer, waiting on bureaucratic red tape to get the services they deserve.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

More job losses as 10219 businesses robbed in Gauteng

Gauteng businesses owners live in fear as they are constantly under siege from criminals who rob and pillage them.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is deeply concerned about 10219 cases of attacks, crimes, and robberies against businesses in the province, a clear indication that businesses are under severe threat. This has created unnecessary anxiety about the ability of SAPS to ensure business safety through visible policing, with aspiring entrepreneurs too scared to pursue their dreams of starting their own business at risk that it could be targeted.

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

According to MEC Mazibuko, the 10219 cases of attacks, crimes, and robberies against businesses in Gauteng were reported from April 2019 to December 2020.

Of these cases reported, the Ekurhuleni district is leading with 3486 cases, followed by the Johannesburg district with 3186 cases. The Tshwane district is at position three with 2160 cases, followed by the Sedibeng district with 748 cases, with the West Rand District at 639 cases reported.

The top police stations that recorded the highest cases include:

Johannesburg district: 

  • Johannesburg Central with 299 cases
  • Hillbrow with 163 cases

Ekurhuleni district: 

  • Kempton Park with 215 cases
  • Germiston with 183 cases

Tshwane district:

  • Temba with 164 cases
  • Pretoria Central with 132 cases

Sedibeng district: 

  • Evaton with 137 cases
  • Vanderbijlpark with 124 cases

West Rand district: 

  • Randfontein with 114 cases
  • Kagiso with 112 cases

Furthermore, spaza/tuckshops/general dealers were the businesses that experienced the highest number of attacks, crimes, and robberies from April 2019 to December 2020 with 618 cases, followed by clothing and shoe retailer stores with 150 cases, while convenience stores, which includes restaurants at filling stations totalled 129 cases.

Small businesses that operate in townships play a critical role in creating employment opportunities in these local communities, where residents are battling to find employment in city centres or CBDs that are often a costly travel distance from where they live.  These businesses also bring investment into townships, which makes their safety even more critical for the economic stability of these communities.

The DA has already demanded that MEC Mazibuko should ensure that there is police visibility across the province to ensure the safety of our people and their businesses.

We also urge local business forums to conscientize their members to ensure the safety of their businesses, by tightening security and safety measures such as the installation of CCTV cameras, alarm systems and hiring private security.

Where the DA governs in Midvaal, tangible action has been taken to ensure improved safety for residents and businesses, with the implementation of a crime prevention strategy that involves 3000 community patrollers, working with police to ensure the safety of residents.  The department should replicate what the DA-led administration has implemented in Midvaal across the province to ensure the safety and security of our people and their businesses.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

DA terribly saddened at the passing of MPL Lebo More

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is totally heartbroken to learn of the passing of our colleague and friend, Lebo More, a DA Member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

Lebo had been serving the DA as the Shadow MEC for Sports, Arts, Recreation and Culture in the province – a role which saw him take on many issues, including the non-payment of Covid-19 relief funding for struggling artists and athletes.

Lebo first joined the DA in 2003, where he was shortly elected as the DA Youth Branch Chairperson at the Mogale City Branch. Between 2005 and 2013, Lebo continued his work in politics, where he became a member of the DA Gauteng Commission on Youth and then as a Councillor in Mogale City that saw him go on to serve as Deputy Chief Whip for the DA’s caucus in that municipality.

In 2013, Lebo was sworn in as a MPL in the Gauteng Legislature.

Lebo’s record of unconditional and dedicated public service was a demonstration of his commitment to fight against corruption and help build a South Africa for all. He leaves his DA colleagues, family and friends in mourning, while still honoured to have known and worked with him.

We hope his soul finds everlasting peace. He will never be forgotten.

While DA in Tshwane proudly shows support for LGBTQIA+ community, ANC backtracks on raising pride flag

Despite the adoption of a Democratic Alliance (DA) motion in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) on 15th June 2021 to show support for the LGBTQIA+ community by raising the pride flag over the GPL, the ANC Speaker to date has still failed to ensure the flag has been raised over the province’s highest decision making body.

Further to this, the DA is also deeply disheartened by the attitude of the Speaker in the Johannesburg Council who disallowed a motion by DA Councillor Chris Avant-Smith to have the pride flag flown over the Johannesburg Council. The DA can only surmise that the office of the Speaker and the Mayor are innately opposed to this important issue based on personal prejudice and a lack of understanding of the inclusivity of the Constitution of South Africa which enshrines the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.

The lack of enthusiasm by both these ANC-led legislature bodies to show uncategorical support for LGBTQIA+ South Africans is horrifying, especially with many recent cases of homophobic-based violence in the province and across South Africa. Of these attacks, the recent murder of Anele Bhengu in KwaZulu-Natal comes to mind. Anele, who was a young lesbian, was stabbed to death and found in a ditch almost two weeks ago.

South Africans of the LGBTQIA+ community now more than ever, need to see solidarity from their public representatives across all spheres of government. While the ANC seems to drag their feet on demonstrating their support, the DA does not hesitate in advocating for the rights of all South Africans.

During a meeting of the Tshwane Council yesterday, DA Councillor Malcolm de Klerk called on the Council to raise the pride flag in the chamber. The Speaker of the Council allowed this, followed by a declaration of support from the Council for the LGBTQIA+ community, including positioning the City of Tshwane to fully realise programmes that will serve and protect its LGBTQIA+ citizens.

The DA remains committed to fighting against any form of injustice or attacks of any kind against any member of the LGBTQIA+ community. We will not stop until every member of the community is free and safe in their country, in their province, in their city, and in their home.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

Gauteng 2021/22 budget is a missed opportunity but the priority is getting through this Covid Crisis

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has voted against the 2021/22 Budget that was tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) earlier today.

Despite a year of lockdowns, with many irrational, livelihood-damaging restrictions while thousands of lives lost to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) has failed to learn from their mistakes and produce a budget that sufficiently equips the province’s health efforts in combating the virus, as well as providing suitable reforms for economic growth that can actually result in the opening of new job opportunities.

This was the opportunity for the GPG to produce a budget that could have really answered to the dismal health and Covid-19 response in the province.

The rising third wave in this province is claiming more innocent lives. Many residents have lost a loved one to Covid-19, often receiving news of their passing in a hospital ward all alone, other residents have faced retrenchment, forced to sell their homes or cars to keep their heads above water.

Unfortunately the third wave is upon us and it is too late to turn around. Together we can stop the rise in infections if we take the necessary precautions. We still have the power to stabilise the case numbers by taking the personal responsibility for our actions. If we can ensure our continuous mask wearing, hand sanitising, and limiting who we physically interact with outside of work, we can get out of the third wave a lot faster, and work towards economic recovery where new jobs can be created, and those that had to resort to extremes like selling their homes or cars, or did not even own anything of value before the pandemic, can have new opportunities to pursue and have financial stability.

We as residents can defeat this virus and deadly third wave. We got through the first and second wave and we will get through this again.

Let us all do our part and support the health department’s efforts. Once we are through the crisis, we will review and demand accountability. But right now it is about survival – life and death.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

A better tomorrow for our people in the province can only happen if we all work together to grow the economy

Madam Speaker,    

Premier David Makhura,    

Today this house meets to debate the budget allocated to the office of the Premier. As we do so, the latest unemployment statistics paint a bleak picture for our residents of Gauteng. Currently there are just over 34% of Gauteng residents who are sitting at home unemployed, and it is not for a lack of trying to find gainful employment. The current pandemic has made the task of seeking employment even more difficult, with regulations cutting trading times for businesses and restricting movement of individuals. 

Critical job skills training under the Tsepo1Million and Thint’iMillion programme did not take place during the 3rd and 4th quarter of the previous financial year because this government was unable to implement and put in proper social distancing methods so that these valuable training programmes could continue. These programmes would have equipped the youth by giving them much needed skills and given them an important boost in finding employment under this current and challenging climate. Many of those who go through similar skills development programmes are able to start their own businesses and have the capability to pass on skills they have learnt to other unemployed youth in their immediate communities.    

Failure by the Gauteng Provincial Government to create a conducive environment for both foreign and private investment to flourish in the province is holding back our economy from growing and preventing the unemployment rate from coming down. Madam Speaker, we can no longer use Covid-19 as an excuse for government not meeting their job creation goals, and skills development goals on an ongoing basis, especially when our taxpayers’ hard-earned money is at stake here.   

During a recent oversight to an Industrial Hub in Pennyville, Soweto where furniture is manufactured, one of the complaints I received during my interaction with the tenants of the hub was that they are not able to directly pitch for tenders for government, but instead have to rely on bigger furniture manufacturing companies to give them a portion of the tender, yet the work they produce is of better quality. This narrative is not new. In many cases small businesses like the one we visited are constantly overlooked by government, yet we have an entire policy dedicated to the revitalisation of townships and the economy. If we want to energise township economies, this government has to start empowering smaller businesses and enterprises.  

For example, the employment of five people by one of these businesses does not mean the empowerment of only five people, but possibly of five households with many other dependents. But if this business fails to get any work from government, these many dependents are left without food on their table, no money for primary, secondary or tertiary education, and no money for transport to seek work opportunities. The only way in which government can help township businesses to flourish is by cutting the red tape and making tenders accessible to them so that they are no longer reliant on a middleman or subcontracting.   

During the hard lockdown last year, informal traders who were trying to make ends meet, had their fresh produce confiscated by this government because they were not adhering to the lockdown regulations. Was it really necessary to confiscate their livelihood because of a lockdown regulation violation?  Why couldn’t the law enforcement just indicate to the informal trader of what they were doing wrong and request them to adhere to the rules? Instead of this government assisting our informal traders to keep food on the table, they were being unfairly punished. This was an ideal opportunity for the office of the Premier to fully embrace the 4th Industrial Revolution and help our informal economy move into the formal economy space and embrace technology.   

Premier, Madam Speaker this was extremely disheartening to hear given that every year during the annual State of the Province Address (SOPA) a considerable amount of time is spent on how this province will be concentrating its focus on the township economy so that businesses in the township can grow and employ more people.   

Special Economic Zones is another key driver of our economy and one that can be put to good use to drive employment opportunities. The Tshwane Automotive hub is a prime example of this. Here, 8600 short term jobs have been created for the people of Tshwane with a further 2000 direct jobs that will be created through this hub to alleviate poverty and help our residents put food on their tables. This is not a handout but a tangible effort by the DA-led government of Tshwane to ensure that our residents are given a hand up so that they are able to dig themselves out of the trenches of poverty. The time for talking about these specialised zones needs to end. We need action now. Not tomorrow or the day after.    

Madam Speaker,    

Another key driver of the economy in Gauteng is transport. It is a cost-efficient way to transport goods from one province to another. But sadly, in Gauteng it is more expensive because of e-Tolls. Businesses who have trucks transporting goods through the province have to fork out additional taxes for e-Tolls, where this additional cost is now simply passed on to the consumer. Since the inception of e-Tolls in 2013, the DA has been opposed to its implementation. We have offered various solutions one of which was to use a portion of the fuel levy to supplement the costs of road infrastructure. The DA has also requested the Premier to lodge an intergovernmental dispute with national government on this matter. We still wait to see any action on this matter.    

Instead, the e-Toll saga has now been used as voting fodder ahead of the 2021 local government elections. Voters are now told that a solution to e-Tolls is imminent- something which we heard in 2018, 2019 and 2020.  

It is 2021 now and the same thing has been said about e-Tolls. We even recently had the MEC of Transport, Jacob Mamabolo go onto SAFM and say that for all intense and purposes e-Tolls has been scrapped only to retract this comment and say that they are against e-Tolls.    

When can we expect an announcement on this? Will a debt write off for historical e-Toll debt be included in this? Our residents have had this unfair tolling system foisted upon them with no proper consultation and cannot make ends meet with their already limited earnings. To make matters worse, a portion of this now has to go to e-Tolls.  

Madam Speaker,   


We are firmly in the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the province. Just yesterday the number of infections stood at just 17000. This is of great concern. The pace of vaccinations in the country and the province is slow. This is something that needs to be addressed. Come 26 July, children are scheduled to go back to school on a daily basis and rotational teaching and learning will end for primary school children. Our concern is that since the country moved to Lockdown Alert Level 1 early this year, the daily Covid-19 call between Caucus Leaders in the Legislature and the Premier have not resumed. We no longer receive the critical updates that are needed so that we can provide practical solutions to help prevent or overcome any stumbling blocks that may occur in hospitals and at vaccinations sites.   

The Gauteng Health Department has officially recorded 10 770 deaths from Covid-19 but acknowledges that this is only about 42% of the excess deaths figure that is estimated by the SA Medical Research Council which is of great concern to the DA. We need accurate figures of exactly how many Covid-19 deaths have occurred in the province and exactly how many people are infected. The public has to be given accurate information at all times. Our government hospitals resources are already constrained without a pandemic so it is important now more than ever that Premier Makhura is transparent about what is needed and how we can all work together as political parties to ensure that adequate resources are provided to hospitals and that loss of life is kept to a minimum.     

What we need to do now Madam Speaker, is to work together with government to find solutions to the problems our government is faced with. The only way in which we can do this if we start meeting regularly as caucus leaders to discuss the new trends in the Covid-19 pandemic, use our portfolio committee meetings to discuss tangible solutions to our unemployment rate in the province and a solution to e-Tolls in the province, so that we are able to provide a better tomorrow for all our people in the province.  

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

DA welcomes partial reopening of Joburg hospital

The DA welcomes Premier David Makhura’s announcement today that parts of the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital will be reopened, starting with the Cancer unit on Monday 28 June.

According to Makhura, sections 1 and 2 of the hospital are structurally safe, as well as parts of sections 3 and 5, but section 4 is severely fire-damaged.

I hope that the hospital’s ICU beds are made functional as soon as possible as they are desperately needed to save lives as a tsunami of Covid-19 cases flood Gauteng hospitals.

Questions remain as to why the hospital could not have been opened earlier, but I am immensely relieved that a way has been found to enable the hospital to save lives during this terrible epidemic.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.