No schooling for three weeks at Kwadedangendlale Secondary school due to infrastructure challenges

There has been no schooling for 1 200 grade 8 to grade 11 learners at Kwadedangendlale Secondary School in Soweto for almost three weeks because the parents have shut down the school due to infrastructure challenges. 

The learners are being deprived of their constitutional right to access basic education due to the department’s incompetency. 

Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) conducted an oversight inspection at the school, and we were shocked to discover that there is no learning and teaching taking place at the school.

It is alleged that the contractor has abandoned the R27 million project of building the brick-and-mortar school because the department owes the contractor money. This project was supposed to be completed in 2019, but to date, it’s still incomplete.  

The disgruntled parents shut down the school and vowed to keep their children at home until the department fixes the terrible learning and teaching environment at the school. Most of the mobile classrooms are dilapidated and damaged and not conducive for learning and teaching.

Most of the parents collected learning material at the school for their children, and some have negotiated with neighbouring schools to accommodate their children.  

Please see the images here and here. 

The principal has pleaded with the parents to allow 216 grade 12 learners to continue being taught in the dilapidating mobile classes and some of the classrooms at the old school building. 

Please see the images here and here.

Furthermore, the department has now found an interim solution which is to move all these learners to Ithemba Technical College which is vacant.  

However, the DA insists that the MEC must prioritise implementing a permanent solution for unfinished school projects across the province. We have also written to MEC Lesufi to urgently ensure that schooling resumes for the grades 8 to grades 11 learners at this school. 

We will continue to put pressure on the MEC to prioritise completing all abandoned infrastructure projects so that all learners can have access to a conducive learning environment.






Gauteng Health MEC ducks question on Tembisa Hospital corruption

Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi today ducked my questions at a sitting of the Gauteng Legislature on why a forensic investigation into suspicious payments by the Tembisa Hospital was not done a year ago when murdered whistleblower Babita Deokaran requested it.

According to Mokgethi, there was no official request by Babita, so she declined to give an answer as to why no investigation was done when Babita reportedly flagged the payments and asked the CFO Lerato Madyo to investigate them.

I think that the MEC is being disingenuous by referring to an “official” request for an investigation. According to the evidence in the News24 investigation which is specifically referred to in my question, she had made the request by email and in WhatsApp messages.

Mokgethi also declined to comment on my follow-up question for her to respond to the SANCO statement in June this year that there was corruption at the Tembisa Hospital and that she was allegedly the “mastermind” behind the tender procurement corruption.

It is unacceptable that the Health MEC ducks questions and refuses to take accountability in this serious matter.

Why did she not ensure that there was a thorough probe of everything that Babita was concerned about before she was murdered by people who wanted to silence her?

I suspect that the MEC was part of the cover-up at Tembisa Hospital because it is linked to senior ANC officials in Gauteng.

We know, for instance, that Sello Sekhokho, the treasurer-general of the ANC’s Ekurhuleni region, got three tenders worth R2.3 million for over-priced goods at the hospital.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura is also delinquent in not ensuring a proper investigation was done a year ago.

It is important that politicians do not escape accountability rather than solely blaming errant officials.

DA to grill Gauteng Health MEC on probe of fishy Tembisa Hospital payments

Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi will face official questions tomorrow on the splurge of Tembisa Hospital payments that murdered whistleblower Babita Deokaran flagged as “possibly fraudulent.”

My question on the order paper for oral reply at the sitting of the Gauteng Legislature is as follows:

“With regard to investigations by News24 concerning Babita Deokaran’s request for a forensic investigation into payments made by Tembisa Hospital, will the MEC please indicate:

1. Did the acting Head of Department or any other official at the time receive such a request;

2. If so, why was no forensic investigation done into the Tembisa Hospital payments that she flagged as suspicious;

3. Whose decision was it not to do a forensic investigation into the Tembisa Hospital payments;

4. Was the MEC aware at any stage of any request or observation by Babita Deokaran of suspicious payments at Tembisa Hospital;

5. If so, what was the MEC’s role in this matter?”

After much delay, the Department’s CFO Lerato Madyo has been suspended as well as the Tembisa Hospital CEO Ashley Mthunzi, and Gauteng Premier David Makhura has announced that an investigation will be done.

The burning question is why a proper investigation was not done a year ago after Babita Deokaran was murdered.

We are talking big money – R850 million of payments to fishy companies for over-priced goods, including R500 000 for 100 leather armchairs, face cloths at R230 apiece, and

200 skinny jeans for young girls at R2500 each.

It is important that the Health MEC takes accountability for this as well.

She is required to answer my questions, and then take a follow-up question.

The DA will continue to press for full accountability and decisive measures to root out corrupt officials who steal money while hospital patients suffer from poor service.



More needs to be done to recover millions spent on Gauteng blue light SAPS tender

Gauteng police stations are battling to deliver police services to their communities due to a lack of much-needed resources because of mismanagement of state funds and corruption.

The R191 million tender that was irregularly awarded by the SAPS to a service provider to supply and fit blue lights and sirens for Gauteng police vehicles came as a financial setback for the provincial police service.

The DA welcomes the work done so far by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to expropriate assets worth R75 million at the homes of the former Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane and six other senior police officials implicated in this corruption.

However, this has taken too long because it has been seven years since these officials have been allegedly implicated in this controversial multi-million rand “blue light” scandal.

Police stations across Gauteng are barely functional due to a severe lack of resources and personnel.

The DA has witnessed the injustice done by the Department of Community Safety to our police services through our 100-day #GautengPoliceWatch tour to give sufficient support to our stations.

Most police stations do not have enough vehicles to do visible policing which impacts negatively on the work of police officers.

The DA commends this significant breakthrough and believes that if there is more corruption within Gauteng SAPS, it should be exposed without any delays.








Westbury residents struggle with no proper sporting facility as Mabaleng Sports Complex is still incomplete

The Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation’s (SACR) failure to complete the R26million Mabaleng Sports complex continues to deprive the community of Westbury access to a proper sporting facility to nurture grassroots development.

The R25 975 885 facility was meant to be handed over to the City of Joburg by the department in February 2019, but to date, it has not been handed over due to structural issues that need to be fixed.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) conducted an oversight inspection at the Mabaleng Sports Complex and discovered that it was built with cement bricks around the pitches which poses a serious risk to athletes.

Furthermore, the drainage system needs to be fixed as rain causes the pitches to become waterlogged and the ablution blocks have been vandalized.

There are several unfinished and neglected sporting and recreational projects across the province.
Monies are being wasted on these unfinished projects by the department which creates financial strain and prevents it from achieving other deliverables.

The DA insists that the Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation’s (SACR), Mbali Hlophe takes full responsibility and ownership of all the department’s infrastructure projects from the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development which constantly fails to complete projects within budget and according to the stipulated timelines.

We will also write to MEC Hlophe to ascertain when the infrastructural defects will be fixed at the Mabaleng Sports complex.

Cash-strapped Emfuleni returns over R50 million of unspent funds to National Treasury while service delivery collapses

The Emfuleni Local Municipality which is unable to provide proper service delivery to its residents has returned R56,581,000 in unspent grant funding to the National Treasury.

This is very concerning as the municipality often blames a lack of funds for poor service delivery, yet it failed to spend its allocated funds during the budgetary period.

This money was from the Municipal Infrastructure Grant, which was intended to improve municipal infrastructure for service delivery.

A further R4.8 million allocated to education was returned unspent, despite the extreme need for resources at our schools.

This information was revealed in a written reply to our questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

In his response, the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lebogang Maile explained that the underspending in Emfuleni was because of the late appointment of service providers due to supply chain processes and poor performance by some of the appointed service providers.

However, the supply chain processes in the Emfuleni Municipality are directly controlled by the MEC’s own office, as the municipality is under the administration of the province.

This is therefore an admission on the part of the MEC that he and his department have failed in their task of fixing the mess in Emfuleni.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will be putting pressure on Premier David Makhura to reassess MEC Maile’s fitness for office and to re-prioritise the situation in Emfuleni under more capable leadership.

The dissolution of the Council in terms of section 139 of the Constitution has become unavoidable so as to give the people of Emfuleni a chance to elect leaders who can fix this broken municipality.

DA welcomes Gauteng Health suspensions but more is needed

The DA has called for four weeks for the suspension of Gauteng Health CFO Lerato Madyo and Tembisa Hospital CEO Ashley Mthunzi, and we welcome their suspensions today.

But more needs to be done to ensure accountability for the growing scandal of suspicious payments totalling R850 million by Tembisa Hospital that murdered whistleblower Babita Deokaran flagged as “possibly fraudulent”.

The department has been slow to suspend the CFO and the Tembisa Hospital CEO.

We need to know more details of the investigation promised by Gauteng Premier David Makhura which needs to be no-holds-barred, speedy and decisive in holding to account all those involved in corruption.

We Need Justice For Babita!

Gauteng ICT entrepreneurs continue to struggle as e-Government fails to provide much-needed training

Struggling Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) entrepreneurs in Gauteng are once again being failed by the department of e-Government in the province.

ICT is a much-needed crucial skill for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses so as to contribute to the struggling Gauteng economy.
For the first quarter of the 2022/2023 financial year, the department undertook to train 20 struggling ICT entrepreneurs.

This target was not met by the department. This information was revealed in the first quarter report for the department for 2022/2023.
According to the department, the failure to meet this target was because of a low response by the applicants.

This is very worrying as technology plays a huge role in job creation in our economy.

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey statistics released this week, unemployment currently stands at 2 515 000.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, all eyes have turned to the 4th Industrial Revolution and the critical role technology plays in how we do our work. Furthermore, technology has also shown us over the last two years that e-Commerce will be key to growing our economy.

The failure of this department to ensure that it successfully reaches ICT entrepreneurs who will benefit from this training is a clear indication that the government is not committed to creating new job opportunities for our unemployed, particularly the youth.

Furthermore, this department has also failed to roll out a broadband network across the province which is impacting negatively on ICT entrepreneurs.

Through the mechanisms in place at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, we will continue to put pressure on this department to improve its marketing tools used to advertise the various training and skill development opportunities. The DA also propose that this department establishs a database of all ICT entrepreneurs across the province in order to assist with the marketing of this development programme.

Delays in in-situ upgrades to informal settlements force residents to live in appalling conditions

The unnecessary delays by the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in implementing the in-situ upgrades to informal settlements forces residents to continue to live in inhumane and appalling conditions.

Informal settlement residents across the province continue to suffer, and their living conditions are not suitable for human habitation. They do not have access to basic services such as proper sanitation, water, and electricity.

The department has not upgraded any informal settlements in-situ in Gauteng as activities before the actual upgrading were still in progress. The work on upgrading plans has, however, commenced which will inform upgrading processes going forward.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile, in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

In the past five years, the department has only provided interim sanitation services (chemical toilets and honeysuckers) to 70 informal settlements in Emfuleni, Mogale City, Rand West and Merafong.

This department is not doing enough, considering that we have more than 70 informal settlements across the province that do not have access to sanitation.

Furthermore, the department has spent R105 359 358,10 providing interim sanitation services to 70 informal settlements.

This money spent on interim sanitation services could have been used to build dignified houses for our residents in dire need of housing, should this department have had a plan and was properly managed.

This current government has failed to provide dignified housing for our people, and the only solution is to vote for change by putting the DA in power.

The DA government will provide a workable and implementable plan to curb the over 1.2 million housing waiting list. We will also ensure that all unfinished housing projects are completed, and all completed housing projects are allocated to the rightful beneficiaries so that our people have access to dignified housing.

2 515 000 Gauteng residents remain unemployed as Makhura’s job creation plans stumble

The slight decrease in the unemployment rate in Gauteng may be an indication that markets are stabilising in the wake of a pandemic-induced economic shutdown.

However, it does very little to inspire the 2 515 000 unemployed residents that might believe the government is doing everything in their power to create an environment conducive to more job opportunities.

Currently, there are also 657 000 discouraged job seekers in the province.

This was revealed this week when Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the second quarter of 2022.

The high unemployment rate is very concerning as this means that the interventions that Premier Makhura claims are in place to address the unemployment rate are not having an impact on the ground. The Gauteng Township Economic Development Act was promulgated back in March. According to its provisions, municipalities have six months to pass the by-laws required to fully implement the Act. It is also unclear how far the provincial government has come with the establishment of the Fund provided for in the Act, which is meant to support township businesses with start-up capital.

The DA supported the Act because as a piece of legislation, it contains all the building blocks needed. However, as is often the case with the government, the implementation lags far behind. What is required is a “whole of society” approach. The government needs to see businesses, big and small, as partners, not beneficiaries. Every member of society, whether in a township or not, must be seen as a potential customer, with spending power.

Premier Makhura’s cabinet appears unable to make the ideological and policy shift towards maximum personal and economic freedom that engages all of society.

Just the ICT sector alone has shown signs over the last two years that with the correct training and skills development our unemployed residents, particularly the youth would be able to use technology to start their own businesses. The ICT disruption brought about by the pandemic means there are many opportunities out there for our unemployed residents to mine.

The DA is ready and willing to forge a new path and collaborate with anyone who shares our values on economic freedom. We believe that it can be done, and we are making strides where we govern.

In the meantime, we will continue to put pressure on the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to have our motion of no confidence in Premier Makhura put on the agenda for debate as soon as possible.