GDE HOD is shielding Gauteng City Region Academy CEO’s fraud, and maladministration while learners suffer without much-needed resources

Gauteng City Region Academy (GCRA) learners continue to suffer without much-needed learning resources, yet the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) Head of Department (HOD), Edward Mosuwe is shielding its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who is implicated in maladministration, corruption and fraud as identified by the Auditor General(AG).

It is unacceptable that GCRA is failing to provide necessary support to young people like learnerships, bursaries and apprenticeships because of a corrupt official.

There were several allegations against the CEO, and they were substantiated as facts.

This includes amongst others, appointment of Mr Y, centralising budget functions from line managers to the CEO’s office, appointing companies which claimed to have developed bursary, learnership, apprenticeship policies while the auditor general couldn’t find existence of such policies.

While there are three companies which claimed to have developed such policies and have been paid for the services rendered.

The recommendations were made by the AG that the department’s HOD should open a criminal case against all officials involved in this corruption scandal and inform the Treasury, AG and the department’s MEC.

Instead of implementing such straightforward recommendations, the HOD opted to appoint a law firm to look at the matter. This is delaying tactic costing department more money instead of actioning AG’s recommendations.

The DA has written to the Gauteng Department of Education MEC, Matome Chiloane, demanding that he must urgently take action against the HOD for failing to implement the Auditor General’s recommendations.

It is unacceptable that the accounting officer is playing delaying tactics to avoid taking actions against the wrongdoers.

Certain actions should have been taken such as opening criminal cases, and even suspending the CEO.

The DA has noted that the department is appointing a law firm to consider the evidence and advise on the appropriate course of action that the department should take. However, there are recommendations to be implemented.

The DA will continue to fight to ensure that the AG’s recommendations are implemented by the HOD. It is high time that MEC Chiloane instil confidence to the people of Gauteng that he does not tolerate maladministration, corruption, and fraud under his watch.

Tembisa Hospital probe should extend to all Gauteng Hospitals

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the SIU report which confirms the allegations of massive maladministration, fraud and corruption in the award of contracts by Tembisa Hospital to fishy companies.

Yesterday’s raid by the Hawks to obtain documents from the hospital should help in laying criminal charges against business owners and colluding officials.

The SIU has applied for a Presidential Proclamation to extend its probe of Tembisa Hospital contracts, but this should be extended to all Gauteng public hospitals.

For instance, according to replies to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature, the three companies owned by ANC bigwig Sello Sekhokho got 225 contracts worth R84 million in the last three years from other Gauteng hospitals. This was in addition to R14.5 million from 55 Tembisa Hospital contracts.

Another example is that companies linked to Hangwani Morgan Maumela got R356 million from Tembisa Hospital in the last three years, as well as R22 million from Mamelodi Hospital, and R2.4 million from other hospitals.

All implicated companies should be blacklisted immediately, and steps taken to recover money spent on grossly overpriced goods which may not even have been delivered.

I suspect there are high-level officials at Gauteng Health’s head office who collude in these hospital payments scams. They need to be exposed and prosecuted.

Hospital money should be spent properly to ensure the best treatment for patients, rather than squandered on fraudulent contracts.

MEC Maile must account as hundreds of Protea Glen residents suffer due to flash floods

Hundreds of Protea Glen residents in Soweto are now suffering as their houses have been severely damaged by flash floods, yet the Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Lebogang Maile is ducking responsibility for permitting the contractor to build houses on wetlands.

The residents have lost all their valuable belongings and have nowhere to go due to Maile’s department’s failure to assess the land before granting permission for houses to be built.

The DA is shocked to learn that Maile’s department permitted a contractor to build over 100 houses in a wetland in Protea Glen and now these houses have been swept by flash floods.

It has also been reported that the floods have caused sinkholes on roads and some bridges were swept away, over 2000 homes have been severely affected by the rain across the province.

Maile’s department must account for granting the contractor permission to build on a wetland. This indicates poor project management and incompetency by this failing department.

The DA propose the following to be done:

• MEC Maile must urgently outline a proper plan to address the state of disaster in the province.
• MEC Maile must address the affected residents of Soweto and outline how and when they will be assisted by the province.
• Timelines must be outlined to highlight when these residents’ houses will be replaced.
• An urgent investigation must be launched to determine those that are responsible for the approval of housing development on a wetland.

The DA will continue to put pressure on MEC Maile to account for allowing the contractor to build houses in wetlands which has resulted in 100 houses in Protea Glen being severely damaged by flash floods.

DA pressure leads to the eradication of asbestos infrastructure at Randfontein Secondary School

The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) exerted pressure has successfully forced the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) to finally prioritise the replacement of asbestos infrastructure to brick-and-mortar structure at Randfontein Secondary School.

We are pleased that the department has initiated a rehabilitation process at a budget of R112 175 165 for Randfontein Secondary School following the DA’s oversight inspection at the school a month ago.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Education, Matome Chiloane, in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to MEC Chiloane, the rehabilitation project is currently at a concept stage. However, in the meantime, a contractor was appointed to eradicate the asbestos infrastructure and the work done is at 13% progress.

The MEC also confirmed that the contractor will amongst other things fix the broken toilets, replace broken ceilings in the classrooms, replace the staircase and replace the asbestos infrastructure with a brick-and-mortar structure.

Six years ago, shoddy renovations were done at the school, instead of replacing this school with a brick-and-mortar structure, the department contracted a service provider to construct a wall to cover the asbestos material. This wasteful exercise cost taxpayers R300 302,45 whilst the problem was not fixed.

Please see the images here, here, and here.

The wall has since cracked, and the bricks are starting to fall off which poses a danger for both learners and teachers.

Randfontein Secondary School is one of the 22 asbestos schools where learners and teachers have for years been exposed to an unsafe and unhealthy environment.

The DA will monitor the process of eradication of the asbestos infrastructure at Randfontein Secondary School to ensure that there is no shoddy workmanship. We will also continue conducting several oversight inspections at the school to ascertain the progress and ensure that the project is completed within the stipulated timeframe and within budget.

We will also continue to fight to ensure that all asbestos schools across the province are replaced with a brick-and-mortar structures.

Lesufi should act on Tembisa Hospital report without fear or favour

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi should act without fear or favour tomorrow when he releases the SIU report on the Tembisa Hospital payments flagged by murdered whistle-blower Babita Deokaran.

Lesufi says four prominent business people have been implicated in the looting of the hospital’s finances.

It is likely they have connections with the ANC and have high-level accomplices in the Gauteng Health Department.

We already know about Mr Hangwani Morgan Maumela, who is a nephew by marriage to President Cyril Ramaphosa and reportedly “the don” of Tembisa Hospital with direct access to its procurement office. Companies linked to him have got contracts worth R381 million in the last three years from Gauteng public hospitals. He is reputedly close to Bejani Chauke, the president’s chief advisor, who is the front-runner candidate to be the ANC’s treasurer-general.

We also know that Mr Sello Sekhoko, the treasure-general of the ANC’s Ekurhuleni region, scored nearly R100 million in contracts from Gauteng public hospitals awarded to his three companies.

Lesufi should immediately blacklist all implicated companies so they never sell again to any Gauteng hospital.

It’s not just Tembisa Hospital as other hospitals have paid millions of rand for over-priced goods from fishy companies.

I expect more officials to be suspended and disciplined for collusion in corrupt contracts. Criminal charges should also be laid against them.

President Cyril Ramaphosa needs to extend the SIU investigation to all public hospitals in Gauteng so that all corrupt officials are exposed and dismissed.

There should be no half-measures in stopping the rampant corruption that hurts staff and patients in our hospitals.

Gauteng will continue to suffer due to loadshedding as its dams are nonviable for hydroelectricity

There is absolutely no relief in sight for Gauteng residents who are being subjected to daily power cuts. Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi admits that at this stage, the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) does not procure power for direct distribution to citizens or businesses.

This information was revealed to me in a reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) regarding the possible procurement of hydroelectricity for the province.

According to the Premier, there are ten significant dams in the province but none of them are deemed suitable for hydro-power production. Historic attempts by the City of Tshwane to run hydro-power production to proof-of-concept level at Rietvlei dam specifically have generated poor yields and indicated that such an approach is not commercially scalable.

In addition, the GPG is now more focused on microgrids to enable increased energy efficiency for large energy consumers. These microgrid systems will focus on cleaner energy solutions such as LNG, renewable energy and energy storage. While this is a step in the right direction more needs to be done to ensure that the entire province is less reliant on Eskom so that the number of blackouts experienced per week can be reduced.

The DA is very surprised at this answer as it would appear as if the Vaal dam is the most viable option to use for hydroelectricity. We will be submitting further questions in the GPL, to ascertain exactly who had carried out the research and why it is deemed not to be a feasible option to use the dams for hydroelectricity. It is high time that Gauteng considers sourcing electricity from independent power producers to ensure that the wheels of the economy continue to turn despite the country now being on stage 6 loadshedding.

Thousands of people are being denied opportunities as more than 40 000 Police Clearance Certificates have not been issued

Thousands of people continue to suffer and are being denied access to work and travelling opportunities due to a backlog in issuing police clearance certificates.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) have received information that there is currently a backlog at the Pretoria Police Criminal Record Centre of more than 40 000 police clearance certificates not being issued.

Applications have not been processed since early October and the backlog dates from July this year.

In general, a police clearance certificate should not take longer than 14 days to be processed. This is an important document for many South African’s livelihoods as this is required for a large number of work applications, emigrations, and immigration cases with Home Affairs.

During the Special Oversight Committee for Community Safety and Security on Wednesday, this was indeed confirmed by the Provincial Police Commissioner, citing that this is a national competency and that the Criminal Record Centre is awaiting delivery of government paper.

The DA is concerned that a simple thing such as the lack of paper can cost thousands of people the opportunity to make a living and ensure their economic independence.

The DA will write to the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele and the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety and Security, Faith Mazibuko, to urgently intervene and ensure the delivery of the paper to process the police clearance certificates. Contingency plans should also be put in place to ensure that the backlog is addressed, and police clearance certificates are issued as a matter of urgency.

DA to lay charges with the Special Investigations Unit for Fraud and Corrupt Activities in the City of Tshwane from 2011-2016

The Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow MEC for Community Safety, Crezane Bosch MPL, and the Councillor and member of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee in the City of Tshwane, Cllr Siobhan Muller will today, Monday, 5 December 2022, open a case with the Special Investigating Unit.

Councillor Siobhan Muller has been working through the systems and structures available to her in council on alleged fraudulent and corrupt activities relating to the purchase of properties by the city since 2017. In terms of Section 34 of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004, the DA has a duty to report such cases to the Special Investigating Unit for investigation.

Members of the media are invited and there will be an opportunity for interviews and photographs.

Details of the oversight inspections are as follows:

Date: 5 December 2022

Time: 11.00

Place: Special Investigating Unit, 74 Watermeyer Street, Meyerspark.

Gauteng Health won’t blacklist non-compliant companies

The Gauteng Health Department will not blacklist the 12 non-compliant companies that got R381 million in contracts from Gauteng hospitals in the last three years.

I asked Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko whether her department would blacklist these companies, and she responded in a written reply:

“A company can only be prevented from doing business with the Department if the
the matter has been investigated and if the investigation report recommends that the
the company must be prevented from doing business with the Department.

The 12 companies are linked to Mr Hangwani Morgan Maumela, a nephew by marriage to President Cyril Ramaphosa. In her previous reply, Nkomo-Ralehoko said “none of the listed companies has SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) approval for the sale of medical products”, and she blamed “inadequate processes and oversight.”

The companies got R36 million from Tembisa Hospital last year, amongst many payments that murdered Babita Deokaran identified as “possibly fraudulent”.

Maumela has been identified as a central figure in the Tembisa Hospital purchases that Babita flagged. He is reported to have ties with Bejani Chauke, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s chief political advisor.

My view is we don’t need to wait for the conclusion of a lengthy investigation as it is already admitted that the companies were not compliant in various ways and should not have got the contracts.

Quick scrutiny shows outrageous overcharging e.g. Tembisa Hospital paid R456 960 for 50 stainless steel kidney dishes. This amounts to more than R9000 a dish!

Another example is 50 flat-bottomed round bowls bought for R496 555.

This price gouging should surely disqualify companies from any further contracts.

Hospital patients suffer most when huge amounts of money are wasted on fishy companies that grossly inflate the prices of goods.

I will continue to press for a freeze on all new contracts with non-compliant companies that charge ripoff prices

Vulnerable elderly residents are left without reliable accommodation as Mohlakeng Old Age Home stands empty

Mohlakeng Old Age Home still stands empty with no beneficiaries while the most vulnerable community members are not benefiting from this much-needed facility that is meant to provide social services and accommodation.

This facility was completed in 2016 and the Gauteng Department of Social Development launched it on 26 April 2019. Mohlakeng Old Age Home still does not have any beneficiaries despite the department training 24 people and promising that they will be employed at this facility which has not yet happened.

These vulnerable people that have been promised employment were only fed lies and dumped by the department. They were paid subminimum wages with promises that once the facility is open, they would be paid decent salaries.

It was only after going to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) that the department was forced to pay the employee’s retrenchment packages.

The department has shifted blame for not utilizing this facility to not receiving an Occupation Certificate for the building. Surely, getting an Occupation Certificate cannot take so many years.

Despite a spectacular launch, the expensive white elephant is still standing without any residents, the gardens are overrun, the grass is knee-high, and nobody seems to care what is going to happen with this over R43 million building.

This shows that the department has no intention of assisting the vulnerable and old people in our communities but is only interested in spending the money as fast as possible to enrich their politically aligned allies through the issuing of tenders.

The DA demands that the Gauteng MEC for Social Development, Mbali Hlophe, speed up the process of fixing the infrastructure glitches to ensure that this building complies with the standard building regulations so that it can be issued with an Occupational Certificate.

Furthermore, the DA will be lobbying the Gauteng Provincial Government to conduct a forensic audit of all the completed infrastructure projects to determine whether they have been issued with occupational certificates. This will help to ascertain the reasons why many of the completed infrastructure projects are not compliant and it will help to provide a permanent solution to the issue.

We will no longer tolerate a situation whereby completed infrastructure projects stand empty and do not benefit their residents.