Lie-sufi’s Crime Prevention Wardens: A dangerous PR stunt

The DA in Gauteng strongly denounces the augmentation of powers granted to Lie-sufi’s Crime Prevention Wardens, viewing them as nothing more than a misguided public relations ploy. It is evident that these wardens are attempting to replicate the successful Leap Officer Program in the Western Cape, yet they lack the essential training and regulatory framework, making their presence a liability. The entire initiative should be abandoned.

Recent incidents have underscored the inadequacy of these wardens for the responsibilities thrust upon them. From an assault on an off-duty police officer, causing extensive damage to their high-end vehicles, to brutal attacks on the public, these examples highlight the ill-prepared nature of the wardens. Rather than taking decisive action, the premier’s response has been one of inaction, leaving civil society and various organisations to call for investigations into their inept conduct.

The decision to bestow additional powers, including the authority to arrest and carry firearms, upon these untrained wardens is deeply concerning. Both their actions and the executive’s response reveal a blatant disregard for the rule of law under Lie-sufi’s leadership. The role of a police officer extends beyond possessing a weapon and the ability to make arrests.

Allowing untrained officers to roam our towns with the authority to use force, especially when they have demonstrated a propensity to act impulsively, is unacceptable. The premier’s insistence on pushing forward with this ill-conceived plan is not only misguided but also poses a significant threat to the safety of Gauteng’s citizens.

We strongly urge the premier to reconsider this entire spectacle before it leads to loss of life

Floyd Brink’s reappointment pulls Jhb back in front of the court

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Johannesburg has served court papers on the City of Joburg for their wilful contempt of court by reappointing Floyd Brink as its City Manager.

Not only has the City of Johannesburg defied an order of the High Court, they have reappointed Brink, whose initial appointment was determined to be unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid.

That is why we are asking the court to find any employment contract or performance contract with Brink to also be unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid.

When the report was tabled in council, we cautioned the Speaker in the sitting to please withdraw the report as the matter was before the courts. Those pleas were ignored.

It went further though, the councillors from the ANC/EFF/PA Doomsday Coalition proceeded to ridicule the integrity of the judiciary. As we have come to expect from a morally corrupt administration.

The executive in the City of Joburg has gotten away with a blatant abuse of power and public funds for long enough, this too cannot go unchallenged.

We stand for the rule of law and cannot stand idle by while the integrity and rules of Council are trampled on by unwarranted attacks on the judiciary, and unconstitutional appointments.

Gauteng’s vulnerable residents will starve as food banks run out of stock

The most vulnerable residents of Gauteng, who are solely dependent on the Department of Social Development (DSD) for food, will starve as the provincial food banks have run out of stock.

After having received numerous complaints from vulnerable Gauteng residents, the DA embarked on an oversight inspection to the Ekurhuleni and Tshwane food banks where we discovered that they have indeed run dry.

People living with chronic illnesses are the most affected, as they will need food to take medication as will those who receive food parcels from the department.

This is unacceptable and demonstrates the incompetence and lack of planning by the Gauteng MEC for Social Development, Mbali Hlophe.

This means that the most vulnerable residents will have a bleak festive season with no food.

The DA will write to MEC Mbali Hlophe to ascertain why the food banks have run out of stock, when will the stock be available, and whether there are contingencies planned to ensure that residents dependent on food banks have access to food.

Emfuleni spends over R32 million on labour disputes while service delivery suffers

Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) has spent R32 599 816.65 on labour disputes with its employees. This money spent on outsourcing legal services could have been used for service delivery, and legal services could have been done in-house.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Mzi Khumalo, in an oral reply to the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to MEC Khumalo, the following legal firms were paid for legal disputes between Emfuleni and its employees: Raphela Attorneys, Leepile Attorneys, Madhlopha and Thenga Attorneys, Lindi Khumalo Attorneys, Sithole Attorneys, and Rasegoete Attorneys.

The municipality is wasting millions of rands outsourcing legal representation, which is an indication that the internal legal unit is not adequately capacitated.

Furthermore, service delivery has collapsed in Emfuleni; residents continue to suffer from a lack of regular refuse removal, low water pressure to no water in some areas, and roads littered with potholes.

The DA demands that MEC Khumalo urgently intervene and ensure that the Emfuleni legal unit is utilised to handle legal matters concerning the municipality. In addition, the disputes between Emfuleni and its employees must be dealt with internally to avoid legal costs.

Gauteng residents continue to bear the burden of unwanted e-Tolls for the foreseeable future

The e-Toll gantries will not be switched off at the end of the year, as promised by Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi earlier this year. This means that Gauteng residents will continue to be burdened by this unwanted system while battling to make ends meet due to the high cost of living.

The MEC for Finance, Jacob Mamabolo, announced during his Adjustment Budget speech that the proposal for Gauteng to pay its portion of the e-Toll debt, which now stands at R12,9 billion, will only be handed over to the national government on 15 December.

This is worrying, as the e-Toll debt will not remain at R12,9 billion. By the time a solution or proposal is accepted on how Gauteng will pay its portion of the e-Toll, the amount to be repaid will have increased.

It is unacceptable that Premier Lesufi is using e-Tolls to gain votes for his failing government ahead of next year’s election with empty promises.

This is not the first time that Premier Lesufi has promised that e-Tolls will be a thing of the past.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will continue to push for the gantries to be used as a tool to enforce speed and improve the flow of traffic on our roads.

The DA believes that trucks should only be on the roads during certain times, and the e-Toll infrastructure can help implement this.

The DA will continue to fight against any system that will put more strain on their pockets.

EFF hijacks Gillooly’s Park for Registration Bash 

Please find attached a soundbite by Cllr Tiaan Kotzé.

The Democratic Alliance in the City of Ekurhuleni strongly condemns the EFF’s disregard for due process and procedures during their “Voter Registration Bash” held at Gillooly’s Park in Bedfordview, today.

The style of dictatorial governance that the EFF publicly displays ignores due process and is the hallmark of what the wider country can expect from the EFF in government.

All events on City-owned properties have to follow specific guidelines in order to keep the attendees, the surrounding residents, as well as the city safe and compliant. This is where the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act 2 of 2010 (SASREA) plays a vital part. The organisers of the EFF’s Registration Bash allegedly did not receive a compliance permit. There was also allegedly no acoustic testing done.

These procedures and permits are also necessary to ensure the adequate deployment of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department (EMPD) and emergency standby teams.

DA Ward Councillor Jill Humphrey’s has been relentless in her oversight of the necessary departments to make sure this event, where an attendance of 6000 people is expected, is in compliance with all legislation.

The DA has also written to the SASREA committee and to Dr Imogen Mashazi, the City Manager of the City of Ekurhuleni.

There are widespread reports of large quantities of alcohol being made available, which will make crowd control problematic as the day progresses, as the necessary crowd control is not in place.

The DA thanks and supports the local law enforcement teams, EMPD, SAPS, Public Order Police (POPs), and Bedfordview CPF who are still on duty and working under these horrendous circumstances to ensure the safety of residents.

The DA encourages voter registrations, especially for the youth, but this must be done without a clear disregard for the law. Voter registration should be done in a safe and responsible manner.

The DA will make sure the full extent of the abuse of power by the EFF MMCs in the City is investigated as the Environmental Resource and Waste Management Department falls under the EFF’s MMC Leshaka Manamela, who is also the EFF’s regional Chairperson.

We will not allow residents to live in fear, where there is a general disregard for the law by the EFF.

DA Gauteng Premier Candidate to engage with residents across Gauteng

Tomorrow, Saturday 9 December 2023, the DA Gauteng Premier Candidate, Solly Msimanga MPL, will engage with the residents of Tedderfield at a public meeting to discuss various service delivery issues affecting the community.

The Gauteng Premier Candidate will also do a walkabout at the Christmas community market in De Deur.

He will also hand over the Christmas party packs to the residents of Boitumelo and Skansdam Informal Settlements and have lunch with residents at the Waterfall Centre.

The media is invited and there will be an opportunity for interviews and photographs.

Details of the events are as follows:

Event 1

Date: 9 December 2023
Time: 9:00-9:45
Venue: Nettleton Road, Johannesburg South

Event 2

Date: 9 December 2023

Time: 10:00-10:45

Venue: 96 2nd Street, De Deur

Event 3

Date: 9 December 2023
Time: 11:00-12:00
Venue: Firehouse Gym, Witkopdorp, Meyerton

Event 4

Date: 9 December 2023
Time: 13:00-14:00
Venue: 2 Bekker Street, Midrand

Long wait for dignified housing forces residents to illegally occupy unfinished housing projects

The delays by the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements to complete the River Park housing project in Alexandra have led to frustrated residents illegally occupying the incomplete houses.

For the last six years, no proper bulk infrastructure has been provided to the residents, and there are illegal electricity connections.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) made this discovery during a recent oversight inspection of the housing project. While the actions by the residents are illegal, this once-gain highlights the urgent need by the department to prioritise completing all incomplete housing projects.

See photos here and here

During the visit, we also discovered that no services like water and electricity have been provided, as there is a tussle between the City of Johannesburg and the Department of Human Settlements on who needs to provide bulk infrastructure at this site.

The DA will be submitting questions to the MEC for Human Settlements, Lebogang Maile, in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to determine the causes for the delays in completing this project, why the contractor took so long to complete this housing project, and who is responsible for ensuring that bulk service infrastructure is provided to the housing project.

Our residents deserve dignified housing delivered on time.

A DA government will ensure that contractors who receive tenders from the provincial government are held to strict timelines, and where they are unable to deliver, they will be blacklisted from doing business with the government again.

EFF Speaker postpones Council while Ekurhuleni burns

Note to editors: Please find a soundclip by Cllr Michael Waters explaining the EFF’s motives here

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the City of Ekurhuleni is deeply disappointed in the EFF Speaker, Cllr Tshivhenga for holding the council hostage by postponing a vitally important council meeting to next year.

Last week Thursday, the EFF Speaker adjourned the Ordinary Council sitting after EFF thugs violently assaulted DA caucus members, shoving them to the ground and mercilessly kicking them. Sadly, while this brutality was occurring, the EFF Speaker sat idle.

The EFF Speaker did nothing to retain order, decorum nor protect DA Councillors, she instead adjourned the meeting – stating a new meeting will sit in seven days. With the seventh day lapsing today, the EFF Speaker sent out a notice stating the next meeting will sit in due course.

The DA has always maintained that there is far more sinister matter at play, as the EFF are not happy with an item on the council agenda known as the ‘Institutional Review’. This item seeks to establish the staff compliment of the entire municipality. The EFF are unhappy with the positions created within the proposed structure. Instead, they want to use it as an employment agency for their EFF members, much like the ANC have done across the country – filling posts with cadres, which have crippled service delivery across the country.

We cannot allow the EFF to use Ekurhuleni as a feeding trough, looting the metro through cadre deployment, while the residents cry for mandated service delivery.

The DA has challenged this matter since its inception, and following the brutal attack on DA Councillors we have laid criminal charges against those EFF members. We have also reported the EFF Speaker to Ethics, for her failure to fulfil her roles and responsibilities as the Speaker of Council and protect Councillors and the decorum of the house.

As the DA, we will not allow the doomsday coalition, of the EFF/ANC, to bring the City of Ekurhuleni to its knees.

DA Gauteng Premier Candidate to Conduct Oversight Inspection of Non-operational GBVCC in Tshwane

Today, Thursday, 7 December 2023, the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Premier Candidate for Gauteng, Solly Msimanga MPL, DA Shadow Minister for Social Development, Bridget Masango MP, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Community Safety, Crezane Bosch MPL, and DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Community Safety, Ruhan Robinson MPL, will conduct an oversight inspection at the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC) in Tshwane.

This centre is facing controversy and operational challenges due to a contractual dispute between the Department of Social Development and Brilliant Telecommunication (Brilliantel). The service provider has not been paid, leading to unanswered calls and a staff shortage.

During our oversight inspection, we will engage with the management of this center to determine the measures being put in place to ensure proper functioning.

It is concerning that during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, this call centre is not fully operational. This means that victims of gender-based violence cannot access critical information and services offered by this call centre.

The media is invited, and there will be an opportunity for interviews and photographs.

Details of the Oversight are as Follows:

Date: 7 December 2023
Address: Gender-Based Violence Command Centre, 1 Skietpoort Ave, Salvokop, Pretoria