DA to assess why Simunye Secondary School obtained a 48% matric pass rate

Today, 30 January 2023, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho MPL, will conduct an oversight inspection at Simunye Secondary School in Bekkersdal, Westonaria to assess interventions needed to improve the matric pass rate.

Simunye Secondary School is the worst-performing school in the province and has obtained a 48% pass rate for the 2022 matric results.

The DA will engage with the school management and the School Governing Body (SGB) to ascertain the challenges faced by the school that are impacting the school’s performance. We will also assess the state of learning and teaching as well as the infrastructure.

We want to establish how the school can be assisted to ensure that it has all the much-needed resources to improve learners’ performance.

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

The details of the oversight inspection are as follows:

Date: 30 January 2023
Venue: Simunye Secondary School
Address: 3373 Godlo Street, Bekkersdal, Westonaria 1779.
Time: 09:00-10:00 am

DA to assess why Simunye Secondary School obtained a 48% matric pass rate

Tomorrow, Monday, 30 January 2023, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho MPL, will conduct an oversight inspection at Simunye Secondary School in Bekkersdal, Westonaria to assess interventions needed to improve the matric pass rate.

Simunye Secondary School is the worst-performing school in the province and has obtained a 48% pass rate for the 2022 matric results.

The DA will engage with the school management and the School Governing Body (SGB) to ascertain the challenges faced by the school that are impacting the school’s performance. We will also assess the state of learning and teaching as well as the infrastructure.

We want to establish how the school can be assisted to ensure that it has all the much-needed resources to improve learners’ performance.

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

The details of the oversight inspection are as follows:

Date: 30 January 2023
Venue: Simunye Secondary School
Address: 3373 Godlo Street, Bekkersdal, Westonaria 1779.
Time: 09:00-10:00

DA to assess why Simunye Secondary School obtained a 48% matric pass rate

On Monday, 30 January 2023, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho MPL, will conduct an oversight inspection at Simunye Secondary School in Bekkersdal, Westonaria to assess interventions needed to improve the matric pass rate.

Simunye Secondary School is the worst-performing school in the province and has obtained a 48% pass rate for the 2022 matric results.

The DA will engage with the school management and the School Governing Body (SGB) to ascertain the challenges faced by the school that are impacting the school’s performance. We will also assess the state of learning and teaching as well as the infrastructure.

We want to establish how the school can be assisted to ensure that it has all the much-needed resources to improve learners’ performance.

The details of the oversight inspection are as follows:

Date30 January 2023

Venue: Simunye Secondary School

Address3373 Godlo Street, Bekkersdal, Westonaria 1779.

Time09:00-10:00 am

 

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

 

 

 

 

GDE R432 million PPE scandal report must be made public to ensure accountability

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is demanding that the Gauteng MEC for Education, Matome Chiloane make public the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) R432 million Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) corruption report to ensure accountability.

This will ensure that officials and politicians implicated in this corruption scandal are held accountable and are made to pay back every cent stolen from the department.

The DA has been reliably informed that the report has been handed over to MEC Chiloane and instead of making it public, he is still keeping it in his office.

The fact that the MEC is keeping the report raises suspicions that he might be trying to shield his comrades that are implicated, or he is playing a delay tactic.

This money which was meant to decontaminate schools and ensure the safety of learners during the Covid-19 pandemic was looted over three months.

The report contains detailed information on how the money was looted and exposes the culprits.

The Auditor General (AG) probed this matter and the department promised that the report will be finalised by September last year.

The DA also tabled questions to the former MEC, now the Premier, Panyaza Lesufi, who indicated in his response that the report will be finalised by October last year. However, to date, the report has not been made public.

The DA will write to MEC Chiloane and demand that he releases the report within 14 working days. Should he fail to release the report, we will use the Promotion of Access to Information Act to force him to make the report public.

If there is nothing that he is hiding, MEC Chiloane will abide by the DA’s demands and release the report within 14 working days.

Emfuleni Municipality yet again fails to pay salaries

The Emfuleni Local Municipality is again unable to pay salaries in January 2023.

This was revealed in a memorandum issued by the municipality on 24 January 2023 and follows the late payment of salaries in December of last year and the non-payment of medical aid, pension and tax contributions by the failed ANC-led municipality.

The reason behind the inability to meet this most basic of financial commitments is the seizure by Eskom of the bank account of the Emfuleni Municipality following a formal court process.

The blame for the impasse can however not be laid at the feet of Eskom who have patiently been making payment arrangements for the amounts owed to them in spite of repeated failures by Emfuleni to adhere to their promised repayment arrangements. It was just a matter of time before Eskom’s patience wore out.

The Emfuleni Municipality is bankrupt and has no financial means to fulfil their Constitutional obligations. This was demonstrated in the response of the Emfuleni Fire Department to a burning house in Unitaspark. When called for assistance, the Emfuleni Fire Department was unable to respond as their vehicle had no diesel. The neighbouring Midvaal Municipality’s Fire Department responded to the emergency, clearly showing the DA Difference.

The financial problems of Emfuleni Municipality are, however, nothing new with the municipality having been under Provincial administration since 2017.

This administrative intervention was later lifted by then MEC for Co-operative Governance in the Gauteng Province Lebogang Maile in 2022 in a political move aimed to bolster Maile’s failed personal bid for the position of Premier of Gauteng.

The result is that the residents and workers of Emfuleni sit without service delivery and without salaries due to the inability of the ANC government to manage their finances.

The Democratic Alliance has repeatedly called for the National government to intervene in terms of section 139(7) of the Constitution and dissolve the municipality, and we are repeating this call.

The municipality has failed entirely, and residents can no longer be subjected to the ebbs and flows of ANC internal politics.

The DA will continue to fight for all the residents of Emfuleni.

Gauteng residents continue to suffer as R3.7 million is wasted on the non-existent Lindley Waste Water Project

Gauteng residents continue to suffer due to the high cost of living which has been made worse by the ongoing loadshedding, yet the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) has spent R3.7 million on the non-existent Lindley Waste Water Project.

The Lindley Waste Water Project is one of many projects under the Gauteng Infrastructure Finance Agency (GIFA) which are meant to revitalize the economy and create employment opportunities. However, in the past ten years, GIFA has continuously misled the public about the progress regarding the development of capital infrastructure.

During the DA’s oversight inspection at the Lindley Waste Water Project in Lanseria, we were shocked to discover that the project does not exist despite GIFA having spent R3.7 million from the R8 billion budget for the project.

See images here, here and here.

We learnt that it was not possible for GIFA to build a sewer pump project next to BM Foods, a food manufacturer that has been functioning in the area for 35 years because of safety and health concerns.

This is a result of poor planning and failed administration by the current government which continues to fail its residents.

In February 2018, the DA submitted questions on the progress of the project and the MEC confirmed that it was at the commercial close stage and negotiations with Rand Water were still underway.

We also received a project progress report for the 2021/22 financial year which also confirmed that the project is still at the financial close stage. However, we were recently informed that the project is back at the feasibility stage which means they are going back to the drawing board.

The DA is highly concerned that the Lenasia Smart City concept needs a wastewater project of this magnitude, but the government is has made extremely slow progress in building capital infrastructure projects.

The DA will use all mechanisms available to us to pressure GIFA to make public a detailed report on all the provincial capital infrastructure projects. GIFA must also explain and provide evidence on how the R3.7 million of the Lindley Waste Water Project was spent since there is nothing to show for it.

The current Eskom blackouts have exposed the government’s lack of development and maintenance of infrastructure which has severely compromised our water supply system.

Gauteng does not have enough wastewater treatment plants; hence, the government needs to speed up the development process.

The DA will continue to assess all GIFA project sites to establish if these projects do exist. We further emphasise that the government must complete all capital infrastructure projects on time and within budget to help grow the Gauteng economy.

Bez Valley residents suffer as the school allows illegal businesses and squatters

Fed-up residents of Bezuidenhout Valley in east Johannesburg have put up a sign “Welcome to Pigz Valley (nice hey?)” on a plot of land owned by the nearby Athlone Boys High School that is an eye sore with illegal businesses and squatters (see a photo here).

Earlier this week I visited this large stand with local DA Councillor Carlos da Rocha.

We saw an illegal driving school, a failed urban farm, overgrown bushes, dumped rubble, and a squatter settlement.

I was told that a local squatter gets money from businesses that illegally dump rubble on the property.

After Clr da Rocha wrote to Education MEC in August last year, the department did an internal investigation on the issues he raised. This is according to an official reply by the Gauteng Education Department to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

They say the school has hired out the stand to three private businesses, including the driving school and a creche, and In the last two years, the unused portion of the land was illegally occupied by squatters.

The district has advised the school to:

• Put in place measures to manage and maintain the land; and ensure compliance with the applicable legislative frameworks and municipal bylaws in all contracts entered into on behalf of the school.

• Over and above this, the Department will assist the school by requesting the State Attorney for an eviction order. It should be noted that the eviction process is a time-consuming process.

This is not good enough. It is appalling that the school’s governing body has turned a blind eye to illegal activities on this land for so long.

Residents are justifiably aggrieved by this unsightly property (see photos here and here).

We also met with the school’s acting principal Mr Shumani Singo to express our concern in this matter.

I will be following up with the Education Department to ensure that all illegal activities cease on this property and that it is cleaned up and used for a better purpose.

Dam water overflows into classrooms compromising the safety of Slovoville Primary School learners

The safety of learners and teachers at Slovoville Primary School in Soweto is severely impacted due to the nearby dam water and wetlands overflowing into classrooms.

Schooling only commenced a week ago because parents feared for the safety of their children with concerns that they were at risk of drowning in the swamp.

We applaud the school for taking necessary measures to protect the learners as they have installed palisade fencing to prevent learners from playing near the dam and wetlands. However, this is a temporary measure that will not prevent the water from flooding into the school during the rainy season.

See images here, here and here.

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) should look for a permanent solution so that the school can have full access to its premises without contravening the environmental legislation. This includes the school sporting field, which cannot be used due to the wetlands.

Furthermore, the school has been without electricity and internet for the past seven months. The principal is forced to drive to a neighbouring school to print and send emails.

The DA demands that the Gauteng MEC for Education, Matome Chiloane, must urgently intervene and ensure that something is done so that the wetland does not flow into the school, and the dam is secured so that it does not overflow into the classrooms to ensure the safety and wellbeing of learners.

We will further write to the office of the MEC to ascertain when will electricity and internet connectivity be restored so that the school can function properly.

Eskom and SAPS do nothing as Ivory Park women and children are attacked and raped because of ANC ineptitude

Between 1 January 2020 and 30 September 2022 reported incidents of gender-based violence (GBV) and/or rape of women and/or children at the Ivory Park Police Station stood at 2849.

Similarly at the Tembisa Police Station the figure stood at 3085 and the total number of common assault cases against the elderly (people aged over 60) at Ivory Park stood at 46 for the same period.

In Rabie Ridge, the figure for GBV and/or rape of women and/or children over the same period stood at 1443. This while Eskom refuses to replace 37 transformers in Midrand, Ward 78 extensions 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13.

This was revealed in answers to questions I posed to the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, asking for crime statistics in Ward 78 where Eskom has stubbornly refused to replace 37 transformers since 2019, leaving both paying customers and those who have connected themselves to the grid illegally, completely in the dark.

Minister Cele claims the statistics are not reflective of Ward statistics but Ivory Park, Rabie Ridge and Tembisa Police Stations cover this Ward.

According to highly placed source in the Midrand Region A offices, repeated requests to City Power since 2019 have not been successful in resolving the transformer issue.

“Since 2019, City Power has been escalating queries for the replacement and reconnection of Eskom transformers in Ivory Park to enable City Power to reconnect streetlights and electrical connections, making it safer for women and children to get home when once the sun sets. But Eskom – because of its complete inability to effectively protect and regulate its revenue collection – refuses to maintain and reconnect the transformers. The result is thousands of paying customers remain without streetlights and electricity, making them vulnerable to the scourge of GBV and rape,” the source said. This is clearly evidenced in fact.

Ivory Park and Tembisa are in the top 30 hotspots in the country for contact crimes, including GBV and rape. Their hopelessly understaffed and corrupt SAPS station cannot cope with the rising number of crimes.

The continuing scourge of rolling blackouts, and Minister Gwede Matashe’s stubborn refusal to allow the complete opening up of the grid to allow independent power producers across the country to prevent the electricity grid from total collapse, borders on treason. Communities are easy prey to criminals, the depraved, and those who feed on innocent women and children the minute the sun goes down.

Ministers Mantashe and Cele. You are derelict in your duty. You have failed to provide electricity to the citizens of South Africa willing to pay for this service. You have failed to care for the vulnerable people in this country – especially women and children. You have failed all South Africans by your lack of caring, your complete lack of sensitivity and couldn’t care attitude.

It is time to implement some of the DA’s bold and credible energy policies and crime fighting initiatives that are working effectively in the DA-run Western Cape. Cape Town’s residents have already been shielded from hours of rolling blackouts by measures introduced as a result of innovative measures and good governance.

That is why actions speak louder than words. We will March on 25 January to Give Power To The People, and again at the ballot box in 2024.

DA warns Fochville CBD businesses to be vigilant as another protest looms this week

The CBD in our neighbouring town of Parys was brought to a standstill last week by a group of people protesting over electricity load reduction and poor service delivery. Parys businesses were forced to shut down, and residents were advised to remain in their homes.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is warning the community and businesses situated at the Fochville CBD to be vigilant following an announcement by the Kokosi Task Team that they will be marching to Fochville Civic Center to handover a memorandum to the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Mzi Khumalo.

We have seen the copy of the letter to the MEC for COGTA by the Kokosi Task Team demanding him to come and receive their memorandum regarding the issue of electricity load reduction. According to the letter, the handover will be on 26 January at the Fochville Civic Center at 12:00 pm.

The DA has also been reliably informed that the Kokosi Task Team applied for permission to march however, their application was not approved. This means it will be illegal if they go ahead with the march.

Electricity load reduction is a huge challenge facing all communities in Merafong. However, proper channels and procedures to apply for a march are put in place to ensure the protection of all civil rights. By so doing, police will be deployed to ensure the safety of the protestors and the surrounding area where they will be marching. This will ensure that no opportunist elements intend to destabilise businesses in the area.

The businesses and residents must not suffer any losses because of the incompetency of the Merafong Local Municipality, which is failing to deliver basic services.

The DA will engage with the SAPS, local CPFs and local community safety to ensure police visibility in and around the Fochville CBD on 26 January to ensure the safety of our people and businesses.

We also urge the community to follow the proper channels to apply for marches, as it is within their right to protest. Community members are encouraged to report any instances of looting or associated criminal activity. Here is a link to report any criminal elements:

Scan this QR code below to join the group: