DA congratulates Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse on her Mayoral Committee

The Democratic Alliance is delighted to announce the Mayoral Committee (MayCo) for the City of Johannesburg.

Mayor Mpho Phalatse announced the following group of councillors to her MayCo:

MMC for Finance- Cllr Julie Suddaby (Democratic Alliance)
MMC for Group Corporate and Shared Services- Cllr Leah Knott (Democratic Alliance)
MMC for Transport- Cllr Funzela Ngobeni (Action SA)
MMC for Development Planning- Cllr Belinda Echeozonjoku (Democratic Alliance)
MMC for Housing- Cllr Mlungisi Providence Mabaso (Inkatha Freedom Party)
MMC for Economic Development – Cllr Nkuli Mbundu (Action SA)
MMC for Health and Social Development- Cllr Franco De Lange (Freedom Front Plus)
MMC for Community Development- Cllr Ronald Winston Harris (African Christian Democratic Party)
MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Service Delivery- Cllr Michael Sun (Democratic Alliance)
MMC for Public Safety – Cllr David Thembe (Action SA)

While success will not be achieved overnight, we know that Mayor Phalatse and her team are more than capable of turning things around and restoring the shine to the city of gold.

The DA wishes Mayor Phalatse and her team all the best as they work towards restoring service delivery and getting things done for the residents of Johannesburg.

DA welcomes Tshwane Mayor’s Mayoral committee announcement

Today, Executive Mayor Randall Williams announced a dynamic group of councillors who form part of the Mayoral Committee (MayCo) that will continue to bring good governance, quality service delivery and financial stability to the City of Tshwane.

This multiparty MayCo comes after weeks of coalition negotiations with other political parties to ensure a stable government that will put the residents of Tshwane first.

Mayor Williams announced the following councillors to his committee:

MMC for Finance and Leader of Executive Business– Alderman Peter Sutton (DA)
MMC for Human Settlements – Cllr Abel Tau (Action SA)
MMC for Community Safety – Alderman Grandi Theunissen (VF Plus)
MMC for Roads and Transport – Cllr Dikeledi Selowa (DA)
MMC for Economic Development and Spatial Planning – Cllr Andre le Roux (Action SA)
MMC for Health – Cllr Rina Marx (VF Plus)
MMC for Social Development and Community Services – Cllr Peggy de Bruin (Action SA)
MMC for Corporate and Shared Services – Cllr Kingsley Wakelin (DA)
MMC for Utility Services – Cllr Phillip Nel (DA)

The MMC for Environment and Agriculture will be announced in due course, in the meantime, MMC Dikeledi Selowa will act in this capacity.

The DA wishes Mayor Williams and his team well, we are confident that they will serve in the interest of the people of Tshwane.

SAPS in Alberton work in dilapidated offices as completion of R16 million building is delayed

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is concerned that the SAPS in Alberton continue to operate from an old dilapidated building while the completion of new premises continues to be delayed.

The DA conducted an oversight visit to the newly built building which remains incomplete and submitted written questions to the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia De Lille to determine the delay in handing over the building.

In her reply, the Minister stated that the project still required the renovation of existing offices, alteration of public toilets, upgrade of the holding cells and construction of a new double-storey office block.

When asked about the cost of the project, Minster de Lille replied – “The contract sum, i.e. the tender amount inclusive of VAT as accepted by the department during the offer and acceptance stage, for the advertised scope of this project as outlined above was R16 105 868.44. The total expenditure at the termination of the contract was R13 521 427.72 exclusive of VAT’.

The Minister further stated that the contract with the company has since been terminated as a result of poor performance by the contractor.

While the building sits empty the costs continue to escalate due to theft and vandalism.

Additional costs include the hiring of a private security company to guard against theft and vandalism, the cost of which could easily be eliminated by fast-tracking the completion of the new building.

The DA calls on Minister De Lille to act decisively against the contractor who bled the state of millions whilst leaving an incomplete project such as this one.

Her department must also ensure that the project is completed speedily to ensure that the SAPS work in a conducive environment so they can do their jobs effectively.

DA welcomes Mogale City mayoral committee

The DA is delighted to welcome the new mayoral committee members for Mogale City.

Mayor Tyrone Gray announced the following dynamic group of councillors to his mayoral committee:

Finance: Cllr Jacobus Holtzhausen (DA)

Corporate Support Services : Cllr Aletta Van Loggerenberg (DA)

Utilities Management Services: Cllr Kagiso Lekagane (DA)

Local Economic Development: Cllr Zillah Wehinger-Maguire (DA)

Public Works Roads and Transport: Cllr Louis Whitey Moleba (DA)

Integrated Environmental Management: Cllr Edwina Mahne (DA)

Social Development: Cllr Lesego Lucia Lekoto (DA)

Public Safety: Cllr Lydia Sokwang Lebesa (ACDP)

Sports Heritage Arts Recreation & Culture Bongani Nkosi (IFP)

Human Settlements and Rural Development Cllr Danny Molefi Thupane (ATM)

We trust that Mayor Gray and his team will work hard to address the serious service delivery challenges, financial mismanagement and lack of economic growth and productivity that has plagued the municipality. By getting the basics right, Mayor Gray and his mayco team will work to restore service delivery, revitalise the local economy and fix the public transport system.

While success will not be achieved overnight, the DA will prove to the residents of Mogale City that where there is political will and commitment to clean governance, service delivery and prosperity will follow.

The DA wishes Mayor Gray and his team all the best for the colossal task ahead. We believe that they are more than capable to get things done.

MEC Maile succumbs to DA pressure to investigate the illegal extension of employment contracts for Emfuleni political staff

Following the public criticism of the Emfuleni Local Municipality by various stakeholders for advertising several political support office positions two weeks before the Local Government Elections, which were later withdrawn, there are now allegations that the process continued in secret and political staff members had their contracts extended before the elections.

There are allegations that those advertised positions were extended before the elections and raises great concern, considering that is illegal. The standard legal procedure requires the Emfuleni Local Municipality Human Resources Department to advertise the post after the election of the new administration which entails the Mayor, Speaker, and Chief Whip.

Failure by Emfuleni to follow the legal standards of employment recruitments indicates that the ANC wanted to secure jobs for their pals considering the nature these positions are party affiliated.

In response to my oral questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, virtual sitting, the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile stated that they treat these allegations seriously, and that they will investigate the matter to get to the bottom of the facts and accordingly ensure that the applicable legislation is followed to the latter.

He further highlighted that there is a new Mayor, Speaker, and Chief Whip in Emfuleni and there was no response readily available on the matter.

While we welcome that these allegations will be investigated, we will continue monitoring the recruitment processes in Emfuleni, as there are new political leaders to ensure that standard recruitment procedures are followed.

Emfuleni is where it is today because of cadre deployment. It is high time that the new ANC-led administration focuses on restoring service delivery and using municipality coffers wisely for the benefits of its residents instead of lining their cronies’ pockets.

Gauteng Health spends more than R1 million on e-Tolls

The Gauteng Health Department has spent R1 064 420 on e-tolls for its vehicles since January last year.

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Mokgethi, the Department has no outstanding e-toll payments except for R65 000 for a current invoice in process.

The e-tolls in Gauteng were launched 8 years ago on 3 December 2013, and have cost the Department more than R4 million over this entire period.

Despite Premier David Makhura’s frequent promises that the e-tolls would be scrapped, they remain as an unnecessary expense for government departments and those business that still pay them, although most motorists don’t.

There is no sense in continuing the e-tolls as the collection costs outweigh the money that is brought in.

Government’s excuses are wearing thin – the e-tolls need to go!

Gauteng Health wastes R12.7 million as 70 000 litres of sanitiser expires

The Gauteng Health Department has wasted 141 000 half-litre bottles of sanitiser which cost R12.7 million as it has expired and is no longer useable.

This is disclosed by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Mokgethi, R100 million was paid for 544 000 units of sanitiser to assist with the Covid-19 epidemic, but only 392 000 units (74%) was used. The remaining 141 000 units which totals 70 000 litres cannot be used as they have expired and are currently being stored at Kushesh Warehouse quarantine area.

Mokgethi says that the sanitiser had a limited product validity period of one year from 31 March 2020 to 31 March 2021. Samples of the sanitiser were submitted to the Quality Assurance department in December 2020 to check the quality, but no feedback has been received to date.

I am concerned that poor quality sanitiser was bought as it should normally be valid for at least three years. Why has the Quality Assurance department still not given a report on this after one year?

Health workers often complain that they are not given sufficient sanitisers, which adds to the risks they face with rampant Covid-19 infections.

Corruption may well be involved as has occurred with much of the PPE procurement.

We need accountability in this matter and penalties for companies that have provided substandard supplies.

Small businesses kept waiting as GEP fails to allocate the full R100 million Rebuilding Fund

It is extremely disheartening that the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) has only disbursed R2 million of the allocated R100 million of the Rebuilding Fund which is meant to assist small businesses affected by the looting and unrest in July, as well as the Covid-19 lockdown.

Many small businesses rely on this assistance offered by government as their stores were destroyed, to the point where they would have to fix the damage caused by the violence and looting, while also needing to procure more stock.

Furthermore, they would also no need to find an alternate way of paying their workers as they were unable to trade during the violence that erupted earlier this year.

The longer it takes for the money to be disbursed to qualifying small businesses, the sooner they may be forced to permanently close their doors, putting more strain on our economy and contributing to the rise in the Gauteng unemployment rate.

This is of deep concern to the DA, as we cannot afford to have more people face unemployment because of the ineptness of the provincial government.

It is becoming clearer by the day that the GEP lacks the necessary skills and expertise needed to ensure that the Rebuilding Fund does exactly what it is meant to do.

The GEP should source temporary expertise from the Industrial Development Corporation to assist in disbursing the funds as quickly as possible. In doing so, it will ensure that small businesses can get back on their feet and start to once again contribute to the Gauteng economy.