MEC Khumalo fails to disclose service delivery monies spent by Emfuleni on labour disputes

The Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Mzi Khumalo, has once again failed to disclose monies spent by Emfuleni Local Municipality on labour disputes. This money meant for service delivery could have been used to ensure Emfuleni residents have access to regular refuse removal and tarred roads.

Emfuleni is facing 20 labour disputes due to alleged unfair labour practices.

In a written response to questions tabled by the DA in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL), MEC Khumalo said the law firms are paid following the tariffs applicable as provided for in the Service Level Agreement.

Failure to disclose the amount of money paid to law firms raises suspicion and is concerning because this is public money, and there is a need for transparency and accountability.

Emfuleni is currently paying the following law firms for labour disputes:

• Raphela Attorneys
• Leepile Attorneys
• Madlopha and Thenga Attorneys
• Lindi Khumalo Attorneys
• Sithole Attorneys
• Rasegoete Attorneys

Service delivery has collapsed in Emfuleni, and its residents have the right to know how every cent being spent.

The DA demands that MEC Khumalo provide the exact amount of money paid to each law firm for employee labour disputes. He must also implement adequate measures to ensure lawful labour practices.

GDE must educate teachers and learners on sexual orientation

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng urges the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) to educate teachers and learners on sexual orientation to ensure that no one is discriminated against or bullied based on their sexual orientation.

This follows the shocking death of a grade 6 learner, Sibusiso Mbatha, from Khehlekile Primary School in Thokoza, Ekurhuleni. The learner committed suicide because a teacher allegedly bullied the boy about his sexual orientation, highlighting that the school has no place for gay tendencies.

The DA condemns any form of discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersexual and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) learners.

We believe that schools should maintain conducive learning environment for all learners.

We will monitor the progress of the investigation into this matter to ensure no stone is left unturned. Should it be found that the teacher is guilty, he or she must face the full might of the law.

The DA sends our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and school of Sibusiso Mbatha.

The DA proposes that GDE must implement better measures to train and educate learners and teachers about sexual orientation. Teachers and learners must adhere to the values and principles of respecting one another.

Infrastructure projects neglected: GDID incurred R48 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure

Gauteng residents are being deprived of much-needed infrastructure like schools, libraries, and clinics because the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID) has incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditure to the tune of R48 million.

GDID paid the landlord of the Game building in the Johannesburg Central Business District (JHB CBD) R8,3 million while this building was being renovated and not occupied.

Furthermore, R39,8 million was also incurred as fruitless and wasteful expenditure due to a court settlement paid to a service provider for supplying oxygen at hospitals.

This points to poor planning on the part of GDID, and instead of using the money to ensure that critical infrastructure projects are completed on time and within budget, they are spent on unplanned line items.

For a long time now, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has been highlighting the fact that this department lacks the proper leadership and skills needed to manage infrastructure projects that will benefit the residents of the province.

The DA will continue to put pressure on the MEC for Infrastructure Development, Lebogang Maile, to ensure that this department is whipped into shape and starts delivering on its core mandate within the specified time frames and budget.

DA Gauteng wishes the class of 2023 well for their examinations

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng wishes all grade 12 learners who will be sitting to write the 2023 matric examinations well.

The exams will be starting on Monday, October 30th, and ending on December 5th, 2023. The DA urges parents and communities to provide the necessary support to ensure that learners prepare themselves well.

We also encourage learners to study, remain disciplined, and avoid the temptation to cheat.

We are expecting a credible examination process and results.

The department must ensure that examination centres and question papers are well prepared and secured. Furthermore, they should ensure that necessary interventions are implemented to ensure that load shedding does not disrupt this year’s examinations.

The DA will be monitoring the examination process by conducting oversight inspections at different examination centres.

Class of 2023, make us proud. The future is in your hands.

Nothing to hide: MEC Maile must release the GPF report on Mashatile’s loans

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng demands that the Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Lebogang Maile, make public the report into Nonkwelo Investments, which is owned by Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s son in law.

The residents of Gauteng need to know what transpired when Nonkwelo Investments received a loan from the Gauteng Partnership Fund (GPF) when Deputy President Paul Mashatile was the MEC for Human Settlements in the province.

It is alleged that Nonkwelo Investments benefitted from loans from the GPF between 2013 and 2017, totalling at least R30 million.The fact that this report has still not been made public is worrying, given the recent revelation where the Deputy President claimed that the R37 million Waterfall mansion that supposedly belongs to his son-in-law is his. Furthermore, there were reports that the loans from GPF were allegedly used to purchase this mansion.

Any officials involved in awarding this loan must be investigated, and should it be found that there was a breach of any processes, disciplinary action and, where applicable, criminal charges must follow.

The DA will continue to put pressure on MEC Maile to ensure that the report is urgently released and that those implicated in dishonest practices are held to account.

Poorly maintained R101 road a danger to motorists and pedestrians

The poorly maintained R101 road in Tshwane is littered with potholes and no proper road markings, putting the lives of motorists and pedestrians in danger.

Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng conducted an oversight inspection on R101 road, and we discovered that at least seven serious accidents have been reported since the start of the year on this road.

We also witnessed several near-misses where pedestrians came close to being knocked down by cars on this busy road.

This is an indication that this road needs proper and adequate maintenance.

See photos here, here, here, and here.

This is concerning as the department fails to spend the maintenance budget while roads are in terrible condition.

The DA will be submitting further questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to determine the exact budget for the maintenance of this road, what plans are in place to ensure traffic calming measures are implemented, and whether the pedestrian crossing lines will be erected.

Abandoned Ahanang Primary School infrastructure project affects learning and teaching

Ahanang Primary School learners in Lanesia are exposed to a terrible learning environment, which is affecting the delivery of quality education. This is because of the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) and Department of Infrastructure and Development’s (DID) failure to complete the project of rehabilitating the school infrastructure.

The project to rehabilitate the school infrastructure started in 2015 and the project is abandoned. Kwaga Holdings was contracted to rehabilitate block of classrooms, administration block and sports field.

According to recent replies to the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to the Gauteng MEC for Education, Matome Chiloane, the department has spent more than R9 million on this project. It will now require the department to spend R14,795 million to complete the project.

Today, the DA conducted an oversight inspection at Ahanang Primary School and found that there is nothing to show for more than R9 million spent so far on revamping the school.

The sporting field has been abandoned, tennis court is incomplete; fischer boards are falling off, and the toilets and windows have not yet been fixed.

Please see the photos here, here, and here.

The DA has established that the principal and SGB members have been fighting causing instability at the school. The DA has learned that the principal is reporting to another school.

The DA demands that the department urgently fill the principal post on permanent basis. We need stability and proper management at the school.

The DA will be tabling follow-up questions in the Provincial Legislature to ascertain how the R9 million was spent. What are the consequences and when the rehabilitation project will resume.

The DA will continue to fight for the rights of Gauteng residents by holding the provincial government to account so that learning and teaching take place in a conducive environment.

DA demands assistance for farmers hit by avian flu

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is urging Premier Panyaza Lesufi and the MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mbali Hlophe, to assist poultry farmers affected by the avian flu.

Thousands of jobs in the poultry sector are in jeopardy because of the deadly avian flu that has struck the industry. During a recent engagement with various stakeholders in the industry, we discovered that all the broiler breeder chickens have been culled, and the hen houses are currently standing empty.

One poultry farm has lost over 500 000 broiler breeders. This means that farmers now need to import eggs from Brazil. One consignment contains 224 640 eggs, which equates to 16 tons of eggs. Farmers need to import several consignments to fill up the incubators on their farms. Each consignment needs one permit.

Procuring the consignment of eggs is time-consuming and costs R590 per consignment. It is high time that the government should allow a master permit, which allows for 12 consignments using one permit.

In addition, there is a shortage of staff to process the permits for importation, placing a huge constraint on food security in the province. Currently, no permits have been approved for November, with the offices closing in December. This will affect the availability of chickens or eggs during the festive season and the beginning of 2024, as it takes several weeks for the eggs to be imported.

The DA proposes that the government should allow the use of the master permit, employ more staff to deal with the current backlog of approving permits, and reduce the price of the permit. We reiterate our call for the government to urgently approve the Section 21 applications to allow the use of the H7 vaccine to save the poultry industry and safeguard food security in Gauteng.

Gauteng Department of Sports denies youth access to information by failing to build libraries

The Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) continues to deny youth and children access to information and a safe place to search for job opportunities by failing to build libraries across the province.

According to the department’s 2022/23 annual report, zero libraries were constructed against the target of six. This is due to late approval of reports and challenges in creating purchase orders.

The department also failed to meet its target of people accessing the Gauteng virtual library due to a failure to renew the subscriptions.

This is unacceptable and indicates a lack of planning and consequence management by the department.

Furthermore, the department failed to meet its target of developing 15 outdoor gyms and 20 sports and recreation facilities (combi courts).

This shows that this government cares little about the wellbeing and future of the youth and children, particularly in the township. The youth and children are forced to commute or travel long distances to access libraries, sporting facilities, and outdoor gyms at the nearby suburbs.

The DA demands the Gauteng MEC for SACR, Morakane Mosupyoe, to prioritise the department’s core mandate and deliver the libraries and sporting facilities. This department should stop wasting money on social events instead of ensuring access to resources to youth and children to advance their future.

DA to assess the neglected R101 road in Tshwane

Today, Thursday, 26 October 2023, the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Spokesperson for Roads and Transport, Evert Du Plessis MPL, along with the DA Ward 96 Tshwane Councillor, Cllr Ge Breytenbach, will be conducting an oversight inspection at the R101 road in Tshwane.

R101 Road is one of the most dangerous roads in the province. There are no proper road markings, and the road is littered with potholes. There is an informal settlement located next to the road.

Furthermore, there are numerous accidents on this road as there are no stop signs.

Last year, the DA conducted an oversight inspection on this road as part of Transport Month, and we will be going back to assess the progress.

A budget has been set aside for the maintenance of the R101 road, and work is scheduled to commence earlier this year.

The media is invited and there will be an opportunity for interviews and photographs.
Details of the oversight are as follows:
Date: 26 October 2023
Time: 9:00
Venue: R101, Bon Accord Spar