OPS cancelled as laundry shortage hits Bara Hospital

Hundreds of operations have been cancelled at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital due to a shortage of clean laundry for the past three weeks.

The shortage appears to be caused by broken machinery at the hospital’s in-house laundry in yet another instance of poor maintenance causing a disruption in health services.

Meanwhile, doctors are frustrated that surgery has to be cancelled even though there are long waiting lists.

In the case of hip and knee surgery, many patients have waited years for these operations only to be bitterly disappointed when they are cancelled.

Theatre patients also freeze in the cold weather because there are no blankets.

Laundry shortages are common in Gauteng public hospitals because they have to use the five provincial-owned laundries which are notoriously inefficient.

The laundry machines are poorly maintained and often break down.

I have often questioned the Gauteng Health Department as to why they continue to run expensive and unreliable laundries when it is not their core business.

Hospital CEOs should be able to use private laundries otherwise laundry disasters will continue to cause patients to suffer.

It is terribly disappointing that this hospital has to battle with so many avoidable problems, including food shortages earlier this year.

When will we see the effective leadership to fix our public hospitals instead of desperate open letters from medical staff who see their patients die needlessly?

DA governments in Gauteng on track as they pass 2022/2023 budgets

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is excited that the City of Johannesburg, Midvaal Local Municipality and West Rand District Municipality have all passed their 2022/2023 financial budgets.

Midvaal Local Municipality and the West Rand District unanimously approved their budgets during their Council meetings which took place yesterday.

In Johannesburg, Mayor Mpho Phalatse and MMC Julie Suddaby passed through their budget with support from all coalition parties and will thus begin with the golden repair to get Johannesburg working again. The following capital expenditure allocations were made:

•R1.2 billion capital expenditure on electricity infrastructure.
•R1.1bn capital expenditure on road infrastructure.
•R930 million capital expenditure on water supply and sewer infrastructure.
•R89 million capital expenditure on sports and recreation facilities.

Midvaal adopted a fully-funded budget which was approved by all political parties in Council. Through this, Mayor Peter Teixeira and his team will be able to continue with the excellent service delivery that Midvaal Local Municipality is well-known for. Here are some of the allocations and plans:

•The capital infrastructure projects will be a top priority with a total budget of R180,6 million.
•There will be upgrades to the Waste Water Treatment Works and the electrification of important corridors along the R59.
•R25 million has been allocated towards the improvement and expansion of road networks to unlock the structural transformation of Midvaal.

In the West Rand District, Mayor Hullet Hild, and MMC Alderman Brian Blake remarkably passed their first annual budget with the support of all political parties with a capital budget of R45,7 million.

The district faces a lot of challenges which includes but are not limited to the provision of unfunded and underfunded mandates, non-restoration of powers and functions as prescribed in Section 84 of the Structures act, the district will have to work hard to be able to table a funded budget in the next two outer years.

The municipality has put in a plan to achieve this; the budgeted operating surplus or deficit for the 3-year 2022/2023 medium-term period is R16 036 (surplus), R1.12 million (deficit) and R8.77 million (deficit) respectively. In other words, the municipality is budgeting for a surplus, in 2022/2023, and then budgeting for a deficit for both 2023/2024 and 2024/2025.

The City of Ekurhuleni and Tshwane also passed their budgets on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

Mogale City will be holding their budget Council meeting on Tuesday 31 May 2022 and we are confident that it will get passed.

The DA wishes to congratulate all the Mayors and their Mayoral Committees, we look forward to seeing improved services across the municipalities and seeing them getting things done for their residents.

DA welcomes substantial improvements in Ekurhuleni’s Energy Department

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Springs welcomes the major improvements in the City of Ekurhuleni’s Energy department that saw the building of a new temporary substation and restoration of electricity to over 200 000 residents.

On 20 May 2022, the Munic substation, a major substation that provides electricity to Springs, burnt down leaving the entire town without power.

Had this power outage not been attended to so rapidly, it would have plunged businesses into a crisis as they rely on electricity to function. This would have threatened business confidence and would have led to job losses.

The prompt response by the metro is a huge improvement to the type of service the people of Ekurhuleni experienced under the previous ANC administration.

In May 2021, under the ANC, the entire Springs town was plunged into darkness for four days due to a single cable fault.

In 2020, again, under the ANC, a substation fire in Springs saw large parts of the town without electricity for more than two weeks, while the business industry was plagued with outages and cuts for a further two years, placing thousands of jobs at risk.

Residents felt neglected by the ANC-governed Ekurhuleni metro and that the administration was indifferent to their plight.

In contrast, under the new DA-led administration, the energy department moved quickly to restore energy despite the scale of damage, building a temporary substation in just five days, and having started with energy restores less than 24 hours after the fire. 95% of the town was back online in just five days.

This is a real demonstration of the DA difference, confirming that the DA does get things done.

The DA welcomes the approach by the MMC for Energy, Cllr Senzi Sebeko, and Executive Mayor, Ald Tania Campbell – to trust the engineers in the city and not interfere in their work, opting to support them and ensure that they have all the resources to do their job.

The DA applauds and thanks the engineers and technicians who worked for days on end, with very little sleep, to get the power back online.

Springs is no longer the forgotten town of the metro, and the community is grateful that resources and staff from across the metro were seconded to Springs to restore the electricity.

This is the DA difference in action. We look forward to further improvements in service delivery in Springs and across the metro in the coming months.

Lesedi Local Municipality budget fails to pass, putting the delivery of basic services at risk

The residents living in the Lesedi Local Municipality area will once again struggle to access basic services after voting on the budget for the 2022/2023 financial year was deadlocked.

I have been reliably informed that 13 councilors voted for the budget and 13 councilors voted against.

What is even more distressing is that this budget was tabled as an unfunded one and that the Speaker who already voted as a councilor wanted to cast a deciding vote which is not allowed according to Section 160.2 of the Constitution.

An unfunded budget occurs when the revenue projections are unrealistic, operating expenditures are too high or you have an over ambitious capital budget.

The fact that the Speaker wanted to double vote in this week’s council meeting to pass the budget raises some serious questions and we are demanding that a legal explanation on the way forward be sought.

In accordance with existing legislation the DA demands that within seven days another meeting be scheduled to resolve the deadlock.

The deadline for all municipal budgets to be passed is the 30 June 2022.

If the unfunded budget is then approved, the DA is demanding that a funded budget strategy accompany the unfunded budget that will indicate how the budget will be funded during the current financial year.

It is very concerning that residents of the Lesedi Municipality will once again be subject to non-existent service delivery while they continue to pay their rates and taxes.

The DA has already reported this matter to the MEC for Finance, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko through the Gauteng Finance Portfolio Committee Chairperson as well as to the Deputy Director General for Local Governance, Owen Witbooi from the Gauteng Provincial Treasury.

Tshwane passes 2022/2023 financial budget

The Democratic Alliance (DA) congratulates the City of Tshwane’s multi-party coalition government for passing their 2022/2023 financial budget.

During his presentation speech, MMC for Finance, Alderman Peter Sutton, indicated that the budget’s main priority is to advance service delivery and gearing towards financial stability.

The adopted budget will do exactly this by prioritising the maintenance and upgrades of infrastructure to improve the supply of bulk water and electricity services, repairing roads and patching potholes; and implementing social relief programmes while ensuring that the municipality’s finances are well managed.

Here are some of the budget highlights:

• To curb the scourge of cable theft, R10 million has been allocated to capacitate the Tshwane Metro Police Department’s anti cable theft unit.
• R57 million has been allocated to fast track the installation of prepaid meters to improve debt collection measures and the accuracy of the billing system.
• Over R3 billion has been allocated to the city’s various social relief programmes which will benefit indigent households.
• R4.8 million has been allocated to the city’s food bank which supports more than 15 000 families and 24 non-governmental organisations.
• R1.2 billion of the capital budget will be used to build, maintain and refurbish critical electricity and water infrastructure.
• To improve the state of our roads – R154 million has been allocated for road maintenance, R62 million to address potholes and road repairs and R7.5 million to ensure that roads are well maintained.
• R58 million has been allocated to maintain sewers and address blockages.
• To keep Tshwane illuminated, R88 million has been allocated for repairs and maintenance of street lights.
• To keep water losses to a minimum, R113 million has been allocated to address water leaks.
• To avoid injury and harm, R29,5 million has been allocated to repair sinkholes across the city.
• Tshwane is committed to keeping the city clean and beautiful. R131 million has been allocated to grass cutting of parks, sidewalks, pavements and open public places
• R25 million has been allocated towards the rehabilitation of Centurion Lake.
• R188 million has been allocated to spark economic activity and attract investments into the city.
• R101 million has been allocated to complete the e-health system and digitisation of municipal clinic services.
• R23 million has been allocated to restore Wi-Fi connections affected by vandalism and theft. This is another way the city is working to connect residents to access and wide web of information.
• R1.8 million has been allocated to support smallholder farmers with technical training to support food security initiatives and job creation in the agriculture sector.
• R702 million has been allocated towards household refuse removal and rudimentary services in informal settlements.
• R31.7 million has been allocated to strengthen the fight against drug abuse in communities.
• The city will continue to provide short term employment through its Public Employment Programme worth R140 million in funds allocated by the National Treasury.
• The Emergency Services Department has been allocated R972.4 million to ensure it continues to deliver on this mandate which includes disaster management and responding to fires and accidents.
• Land invasions hamper service delivery as critical land earmarked for development is illegally occupied. TMPD has been allocated R2.5 billion of which R31.5 million of that will go towards fighting land invasions.

Passing the budget will allow the city to continue in its effort to provide quality services to the people of Tshwane.

The DA commends Mayor Randall Williams, his Mayoral committee and his entire team for all their work on this, we look forward to seeing improved service delivery across Tshwane.

The lack of resources at Boschkop SAPS is negatively impacting police visibility

Note to Editors: Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Crezane Bosch here.

The lack of human and physical resources at the Boschkop Police Station in Tshwane has greatly impacted its ability to provide visible policing that will protect residents and prevent crime.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) recently conducted an oversight inspection at this police station and engaged with the management of the station and the CPF to discuss the challenges they are facing that are impacting negatively on the functionality of the station.

This station has jurisdiction of approximately 300 square km and 50 000 residents, yet it only has one single vehicle and two motorbikes for visible policing and only 86 of the 106 allocated members. This leaves this station with a 20% vacancy rate.

Two days ago, another farm murder occurred, adding to the high spike of farm attacks in the area which begs the question as to how the police are expected to be visible with just one vehicle.

Boschkop consists of mostly informal settlements and farms, and it is not practical for police officers to have only one vehicle for visibility in those areas. Without the necessary resources, the station is unable to do visible policing within this rural and farming community.

Moreover, the cells in the station have been closed after a suspect escaped and have not yet been repaired or maintained. There is no space or holding cells for any suspects who get arrested. The detainees are now being transported and charged at Garsfontein station which is a further 20kms away.
This shows that this police station is in dire straits and unable to implement its core mandate.

The DA has identified numerous challenges affecting police service delivery at Boschkop Police Station. We will be submitting a range of questions in this regard to the MEC of Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko to probe why there is a delay in the filling of vacancies at the station, repairing of the broken vehicles and a lack of support from the provincial and national police departments.

The safety of our residents is of utmost importance hence the DA will continue to put pressure on the current government to ensure that all our police stations are well equipped with the necessary resource to fight crime.

Pretoria Central Police station on the brink of collapse

Sections of the Pretoria Central Police Station stand at a high risk of collapse due to no maintenance for at least 30 years which is putting the lives of staff and the public in danger.

While the living quarters of the building were upgraded, other areas like the cell area administration offices were not upgraded.

The building’s problematic sewer lines are at the top of the building causing infrastructural problems as they constantly get blocked.

This causes raw sewage to flow outside of the drains and passages.  See video here.

See picture here. 

A sewer line that is not maintained or upgraded on a regular basis should at least be constantly deep cleaned with a high-pressure water nozzle to effectively flush out faeces, dirt, sludge and litter.

Our police officers and members of the public must be able to access a police station that is fully compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

While the maintenance of this police station is a national competency there should at least be a line item in the provincial budget for general maintenance at the police station.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will be engaging directly with the MEC of Infrastructure Development, Tasneem Motara to ensure that a proper upgrade of this station is done as a matter of urgency.

We also urge the department to consider allocating a sufficient general maintenance budget for the day-to-day maintenance issues at the Pretoria Central Police Station.

DA will push full disclosure on Gauteng corruption reports

Gauteng Premier, David Makhura has repeatedly missed his own deadlines to release all the corruption reports on his provincial government that have been handed over to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), but has finally committed to releasing a consolidated report by the end of next week.

This was disclosed by Infrastructure Development MEC Jacob Mamabolo on behalf of the Premier in an oral reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature earlier this week.

Initially Makhura said in a written reply that he would release a consolidated report in June last year, and later in a committee meeting said by the end of 2021.

According to Mamabolo, the delay was due to the need to verify information with all departments and other agencies.

I pressed him as to why the individual reports would not be made available, but he refused to comment on this.

The individual reports cover all investigations since March 2014 and probably contain dynamite information on corruption involving billions of rands.

It appears that many investigation reports were simply filed away years ago and not acted on.

I hope that the consolidated report will not hide key details in the individual reports that may implicate MECs or other senior ANC officials.

There should be no cover-up or fudging of accountability for corrupt or negligent acts that have wasted huge amounts of money that should have benefited people in this province.

Stealing government money hurts the poor the most as they suffer when clinics and schools are not built in time, or welfare benefits don’t reach them.

The DA will push for full disclosure of all the reports and the full implementation of corrective actions to stop the stealing.

#NoFutureBudget: 2022/2023 does not do much to improve basic service delivery to Gauteng residents

HYBRID HOUSE SITTING – Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Gauteng residents are in desperate need of a province that has a growing economy which offers a conducive environment to attract private sector investment. This can only be done if our government is serious about rooting out corruption within its ranks.

Many of our girl children miss school for days because they do not have access to sanitary towels. The Gauteng government does offer some assistance in the form of dignitary packs, but the harsh reality is that it is not distributed to our girl children in need.

Access to dignified housing remains a key challenge for our residents in the province. Many of our residents are still living in backyards and do not have access to proper basic services like sanitation and electricity.

While this budget on paper caters to the needs of our residents, there is however no hope for the future of our residents as it will not be spent on the programmes that are intended to uplift and provide dignity to our residents.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng delivered its position on the 2022/23 budget votes for the Office of the Premier, Department of Social Development, Department of Human Settlements and Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA).

Below are the speeches delivered during today’s budget vote debates in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL):

Office of the Premier

Gauteng residents can no longer afford to foot the bill for corruption. It is high time that the anti-corruption frameworks translate into action.

See speeches here:


Department of Human Settlements

Human Settlements budget fails to set out a plan for a better future

See the speech here:

Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
Gauteng residents continue to suffer as municipalities continue to regress

See the speech here:

Department of Social Development

Gauteng residents continue to suffer while the Department of Social Development can’t pull itself together

See speeches here:

Ekurhuleni passes R51.2 billion 2022/2023 financial budget

The DA is excited to announce that the City of Ekurhuleni has passed its R51.2 billion 2022/2023 financial budget.

The MMC for Finance, Cllr Fana Nkosi, presented the Back To Basics budget speech during an ordinary Council meeting and laid out the city’s plans to get the basics of service delivery right and ensure growth for the city.

The budget was drafted after months of broad consultation with our coalition partners, meetings with different stakeholders and public consultations.

The R51.2 billion Budget will prioritise getting the basics right in terms of delivering quality service delivery. Here are some of the budget priorities:

• R4.5 billion has been allocated to social relief efforts for registered and indigent households. Social relief packages include; free refuse removal, 50kwh of free monthly electricity, free indigent burials and free emergency services.
• R922 million has been allocated for the provision of electrical repairs including substations, transformers and meter boxes and street lights.
• R782 million has been allocated to the Water and Sanitation Department to reduce water outages, mitigate the development of sinkholes, installation of smart water meters in indigent households and maintenance of sanitation infrastructure.
• Around R600 million has been allocated for refuse removal and R90 million towards grass cutting to keep the city clean.
• R370 million has been allocated for repairs and maintenance of roads; including the patching of potholes. An additional R283m has been allocated for asset renewal.
• Transport Planning and Provision will receive a capital budget of R303 million, and repairs and fleet maintenance will receive R170 million.
• To improve our emergency service and protect residents from losing their properties and lives through fire: R20 million has been allocated for the completion of Katlehong Fire Station, R5 million has been allocated for the completion of the Isando/Elandsfontein fire station and R5 million has been allocated for upgrades to the Etwatwa Fire station.
• Human Settlements Department will receive R582 million, of which: R25 million has been allocated to the Leeupoort mega project, R9.7 million is budgeted for the completion of 259 serviced stands and R15.3 million is budgeted for the completion of 144 social housing units.
• The Department of Health has received R190 million grant funding from the Gauteng Provincial Government that will be used to improve primary health care services and embolden the city’s AIDS unit.
• R21 million in grants will be spent on the city’s libraries to benefit the youth.

This budget is the first step towards correcting years of mismanagement, and we know that success will not be achieved overnight, but the DA and its coalition partners are determined to deliver quality services for the people of Ekurhuleni.

The DA congratulates Ekurhuleni under the leadership of Alderman Tania Campbell, MMC Nkosi and the entire Mayoral committee for this remarkable achievement.