Department of Social Development has no desire to break the cycle of poverty as it constantly fails to assist needy residents

Madam Speaker,

This past year, with the national hard lockdown, precipitated a shock to the economy and heightened the impact of the many social ills affecting our communities causing additional loss of income, deepening poverty, unemployment, and resulting in increasing reports of domestic violence, hunger, and social injustice.

Our formal unemployment rate is 34.9% with a broad unemployment rate of 46,6%. This means, almost half of our people are unemployed.

This could have been the time for this department to shine and fulfil its core mandate to break the cycle of poverty. Sadly, it will forever be known as the department that underperforms and underspends its budget by R438 million.

Our people had nowhere to go and needed shelters, yet the department only achieved 30% of its target for shelters and despite receiving R88 million from the Treasury that they cannot account for. The department also wants to reduce 42 shelters to 24 when our municipalities are crying out for additional funding to upgrade existing infrastructure for additional homeless shelters.

The department also underperformed in Early Childhood Development centres (ECD) by 27%, while we have many centres across the province that are not registered or receiving regular maintenance.

The NPOs that have selflessly been caring and looking after our most vulnerable members of society have also experienced financial challenges as the subsidy payments were often received late and with donations having been dried up. This resulted in caregivers not being paid their salaries on time, where some could not afford transport to and from work, leaving patients and paraplegics stranded and without hygienic care.

In the East Rand, Old age homes were closed leaving beneficiaries out in the cold to fend for themselves. Safe houses for children were also experiencing financial constraints as children suffered from starvation.

I intervened in facilitating a meeting between the department officials and an NGO that has been battling for more than five years to get additional funding. The meeting was a success, something that the department could have done a long time ago without any external interventions.

Instead of being able to hold its head high and assist its needy residents, the department should be ashamed for failure to assist during this difficult period because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The department has underperformed dismally in fulfilling its mandate. It has shown that it has no desire to break the cycle of poverty or change the future of our most deserving people.

Department of Social Development fails vulnerable people of Gauteng as it continues to underspend and underperforms

Thank you Speaker,

In five years, the vulnerable people of Gauteng have been increasingly let down by this department as more of our Gauteng people needed this department, the more the department failed them by increasing underspending from R19,7 million in 2016/17 financial year to R438 million in 2020/21. This five-year under expenditure is now at a staggering collective amount of R1.38 billion.

For the year under review:

Just programme 1: Administration, underspending by R38.3 million is more than the whole under-expenditure of the department in 2016/17. This year, the department still had a vacancy rate of 752 posts. Goods and services not procured are a great concern. It is a tragedy when vulnerable people are denied access to school uniforms, dignity packs, and food parcels especially when Covid-19 has taken away so many people’s livelihoods. Failure to spend the Presidential ECD Employment Stimulus Relief Fund and ECD budget are also serious concerns. Many building projects are going on for too long. 

Overall, the main challenge facing this department is the lack of passion and commitment to serve the most vulnerable people of Gauteng. The MEC seems to have the passion but some of her crucial senior staff don’t seem to.

Speaker, it feels like the department provides disjointed information almost like they do not believe that we will read the whole annual report. From Page 71 – 175 (Institutional Programme Performance Information)

  • Department gave half explanations on failures to achieve targets (e.g. Page 72: with regards to internships, the deviation is 82 but the explanation is only given for 8 interns, no explanation for the other 74)
  • In many areas the department states “it should be noted that the actual achievements for indicators/targets do not reflect performance for the entire financial year, yet this document is an annual report. (This is mischievous actually).
  • Covid-19 is used as an explanation for failing to meet targets in many areas, yet that should have been the reason to exceed the target for this department. 
  • The department provides the same descriptors with different targets and different actuals. Disjointed information in many areas that does not make sense e.g.: Families participating in reunification programmes by the government: 411 (page 111) vs 2124 (page 113). Many felt like duplications descriptors of APPs but with different targets and actuals. 
  • All the above pages were also found wanting by the Auditor-General.

Page 316: R138,000 staff debt is written off (no effort made to recover it)

Let me re-iterate some of the findings of the Auditor-General which concerned me too:

  • Lawsuits cost R79.5 million without an outcome being determined. 
  • Irregular expenditure has more than doubled from the previous year: R336 million to R682 million and no steps taken to curb it. Taking the AGs comments further one notices that no action has been taken on these matters – which shows a lack of accountability for public funds.
  • Previously the department was failing to comply with Circular 21, now the department is failing to comply with treasury regulation 16 A6.1 (goods and services over R500,000 were procured with inviting competitive bidding) 
  • Many transfers were not made for their intended purposes as required by treasury regulation 8.4.1
  • The information reported on children and families “did not find material findings on the usefulness and reliability of the reported performance information for this programme.”
  • There are significant internal control deficiencies that led to non-compliance
  • Senior management had poor controls with NPOs

Failure to pay NGOs on time remains a serious challenge for the department. After years of complaining, finally, there is a much-needed monitoring and evaluation team yet – there are NGOs that are said to be non-compliant leading to late payments or simplyworked out of the system. I shall continue to call for an independent arbitration committee for NGOs and the department because the appeals mechanism in the department is not working properly. 

I thank you!

Department of Community Safety not doing enough to protect victims of GBV and femicide as it fails to achieve its set targets

Madam Speaker,

Today, we debate the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation’s (SACR) annual report for the 2020/21 financial year, however, it is sad that every year we raise the same issues, yet nothing is done to address the issues of under expenditure, underperformance and failing to deliver the department’s core mandate.

The fact that this department consistently ignores our recommendations demonstrates that it cares little about the plight of our people who are in desperate need of sporting facilities as well as support from the department to nurture their talents.

The department has underspent by R160,537,000 across all its programmes.

It is concerning that this department constantly underspends on infrastructure projects while there is a dire need for libraries to be completed as well as sporting facilities. This amount could have gone a long way in building sports and recreation facilities in communities that lack these resources, particularly townships. Some communities which are located outside of suburbs do not have access to recreational facilities which can have a major impact on the quality of life.

The department incurred R12,795,000 in irregular expenditure, the majority of which was a result of not inviting competitive bids. It is unaccepted that officials constantly fail to adhere to the supply chain management procedures. It is high time that MEC Hlophe must act against those officials involved in this irregular expenditure. Should no action be taken, it will open the doors for further corruption within the department.

Madam Speaker,

The department has a high vacancy rate of 27.3% which is three times the recommended rate by the Public Service Commission. A total of 43 employees left the department during the 2020/21 financial year, which contributed to the increase in the vacancy rate. This high vacancy rate is contributing to the department’s underperformance as there is no personnel to execute some daily tasks in terms of delivering services to our people. With the high unemployment rate in this province, the department must prioritise filling these posts to ensure that our people are employed during this difficult period due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This department has failed to create a conducive environment for opportunities in the fields of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation so that they can be supported and flourish. During the year under review no targets were reached in the following areas:
• Zero schools were provided with Arts and Culture equipment for Wednesday Leagues against a target of 379
• Zero ECD classes in primary schools were imaged into Arts classrooms (noncumulative) against a target of five
• Zero Arts and Culture programmes were implemented in correctional centres (noncumulative) against a target of nine
• Zero local emerging authors were supported against a target of 50
• Zero Non-Profit Organisations were financially supported to inculcate a culture of reading against a target of seven
• Zero archival contributions were made to the National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System against a target of 100
• Zero combi courts were installed against a target of five
• Zero Indigenous games clubs/structure(s) participating in indigenous game tournaments against a target of six.

MEC Hlophe must be ashamed that her department achieved zero targets, yet they have spent millions of taxpayers’ money. Since you took over the reins as the political leader, this department’s performance has shifted from bad to worse.

The MEC is prioritising spending on corporate gifts instead of providing much-needed grants to artists and athletes who lost their livelihoods and were forced into unemployment during the Covid-19 lockdown.

This department needs a dedicated political leader who will prioritise service delivery, however, for that to happen, there is a need for a change of government as the ANC has failed our people.

Department of Community Safety underspends, underperforms and fails to keep Gauteng residents safe

Madam Speaker,

The same thing seems to happen every year when we have the debate on the annual report of the Department of Community Safety; the target for green doors is never met and we remind the MEC that the Gauteng Traffic Police should be made a 24-hour service with the greatest urgency possible in a bid to alleviate crime across our province.

Only 30 green doors have been established against a target of 36. We will continue to pray for the day that 100% of the target of green doors is met under this government and then in 2024 when the DA governs Gauteng, we will meet the target ourselves. 

The Department had planned to collect R37.6 million in the 2020/21 financial period; a 5 percent projected increase from the prior year. The actual collection decreased by R9.4 million compared to the prior year. 

We once again call for the cost of what it would take to make the Gauteng Traffic Police an essential service so that we can assess this against the Department’s under expenditure and failure to collect revenue.

R17 946 000 of the Department’s budget remains unspent. 

The Department incurred material impairments of R460 406 000 as a result of the impairment of accrued departmental revenue. In addition, the department wrote off or reversed accrued departmental revenue amounting to R 5 248 000. The SCOPA Committee of the Legislature has expressed concern that the Department failed to put pro-active measures in place to prevent material impairments. 

The department is the defendant in various lawsuits and labour disputes amounting to R 53 807 000. No provision for any liability that may result has been made in the financial statements and this may pose a significant risk going forward. 

Writing off the prior year’s irregular expenditure amounting to R79 238 000 is underway as investigations have been conducted and completed an application for condonation has been submitted to the Treasury. It is a large figure that must be addressed by the department going forward. This year’s annual performance report discloses that the department failed to reduce irregular expenditure by 50% (which is the department’s target). The report fails to disclose two very important questions:

  • What are the reasons for this failure?
  • How much irregular expenditure was there?

The Auditor-General highlighted that in terms of IT systems, a risk was identified about the department’s management of user access. Listen to this quote from the report itself: “There is currently no coordination between HR and IT as officials who are no longer employed by the department have unauthorized access as they have not been removed from the database.” This is the same department that is meant to be keeping the people of Gauteng safe and it is therefore of the utmost concern that the department cannot protect its records from former employees. 

This department needs to do more to keep the people of Gauteng safe. The 15% vacancy rate in the department does not point to a serious approach to keeping people safe. There are still deficiencies when it comes to paying suppliers within 30 days; which stands at 94% of invoices paid. 

No one can have freedom while they live in fear.

Victims of sexual assault suffer double trauma due to a shortage of rape kits

Madam Speaker,

I previously raised concerns about the SAPS Green Door project, and I am raising it again because we are in the period of 16 Days of Activism of no violence against women and children and in fact against all vulnerable groups.

Over the past weekend, a rape victim went to the Roodepoort police station where she was sent away because the police station did not have any rape kits. The victim then went to three different police stations where none of them had rape kits available and eventually got assistance at a Netcare facility.

Speaker, I want to suggest that Public Safety in collaboration with SAPS and the Department of Social Development should assist the Rapid Response Teams to deal with cases of sexual assault.

There is also a need for sensitivity training of all officials when dealing with sexual cases, particularly the police officers, and all police stations must have rape kits available. All police stations must also have social workers readily available to assist victims of sexual assault and violent crime.

I also want to suggest collaboration between Public Safety and the Department of Health in terms of collecting data on gender-based violence (GBV) and sexual assault, this will help to guide the Public Safety and other departments in directing funding to assist the victims in the future.

Our constitutional democracy must always be protected

The following speech was delivered by DA Mayoral Candidate for Johannesburg, Cllr Mpho Phalatse at today’s signing of the IEC’s Code of Conduct for candidates contesting in this year’s local government elections.

Today I have the honour of signing a very important document as part of my candidacy to be the next Mayor of Johannesburg. Just like any public representative currently in government, candidates for office are also expected to hold themselves accountable by abiding by a code of conduct for an election within our multiparty democracy to be fair. Without such binding rules and guidelines, elections within our democracy run the risk of getting out of hand, compromising the values held by our Constitution.

As we know, election times in our fragile but resilient country can be challenging for all. While political parties and their candidates are spending hours on end campaigning across the country, speaking to voters on what their parties have to offer, voters also endure an exhausting period, with many still undecided or unconvinced for whom to vote. It is understandably a hard choice for many. Voters have been let down, and often when that trust is broken, it can be profoundly challenging to build again.

But what I want to say to all of those who still may be unsure of what they will be doing on November 1st, remember this; we still have a constitutional democracy worth protecting. While many institutions designed to protect that democracy have been severely tested in the past 27 years, we are still standing here today, a democracy challenged, but still a democracy, nonetheless. The mere fact that these elections are going ahead, despite attempts to postpone them, demonstrate that something is still working in our country. That our Constitution is still holding the line.

My message today is for those who might feel lost. Abandoned. Fearful.

Do not be.

We have come so far, and these elections can still be the moment when the people; the voters; the citizens who have the real power can once again protect our democracy by using their vote to hold their fellow citizens in government to account. Remove those public representatives from office who have not performed and vote in those candidates who are genuine in their commitment to improve service delivery for all.

Do not allow yourself to skip this November election, and regret it come January, when services are not delivered. Every vote makes a difference.

Spend the next few weeks, reflecting on how far we have come, and what South Africa you want in the future. Allow yourself the time to decide, read what parties and candidates are offering, and do not let yourself miss the opportunity to be a part of making history one more time.

Never give up on our City. She is holding on for you, and we can all hold on for her.

Randall Williams commits to getting things done in Tshwane

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered by DA Tshwane Mayoral Candidate Randall Williams at Fort Klapperkop today during the launch of his Mayoral Campaign.

Good afternoon everyone,

Thank you for coming out this afternoon to attend our Mayoral launch.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There is an age-old saying, a week is a long time in politics.

Well, a year is even longer, and the last year in the City of Tshwane has brought with it a whirlwind of change.

So please indulge me as I take you on a journey.

•City placed under ANC administration

Democrats,

Can you believe that one year ago, myself and my fellow councillors found ourselves unemployed?

Indeed, the City of Tshwane had been placed under administration after the ANC provincial government unlawfully dissolved the Tshwane Council in March 2020.

For 8 months the city was under the control of unelected and deployed ANC administrators. While the Democratic Alliance fought in the courts to get this decision overturned and return sound governance to the capital.

We succeeded in the end, as in October of 2020 the administrators were removed from office and as councillors, we were reinstated.

The 8 months under the ANC administrators was a disturbing period for the city, it also came just as the Covid-19 first wave hit.

In those 8 months, the legacy of the ANC administrators was one of financial mismanagement and failure.

The DA’s surplus of R297 million which we left in March 2020 was decimated such that by the time the administrators were removed we inherited a budget deficit of over R4 billion.

Revenue collections plummeted dropping to as low as 75% such that the administrators accessed a short-term loan of R800 million to keep the city running.

Credit control processes were suspended so the city had no way to stabilize its finances as the debtors’ book then hit R18 billion.

The ANC administrators had no proper knowledge of local government nor real understanding of the work that was required in the city.

Their failures soon began to manifest very visibly as basic service delivery effectively ground to a halt.

There was a rapid deterioration in the quality of response times to water leaks and electricity outages. Streetlights, traffic signals and potholes went months without being fixed.

In fact, in some cases, we found that there were issues that were not addressed for the entire duration that they were in office.

That was the legacy of the ANC administrators in just 8 months, they brought the city to its knees.

•The DA Difference

Colleagues,

I was humbled to be elected Mayor and assume office from the beginning of November 2020.

From the first day that I returned to the office, I encountered service delivery backlogs that went back months in almost every sphere of the work that is required from the city.

As you can imagine, the pressure from the residents to turn the city around was immediate.

No sooner had we returned to the office we were inundated with complaints from residents on issues that they had been reported which had been unattended.

Once we had evaluated the scale of the issues we faced, it became a question of systematically implementing the required governance structures to refocus the work of the administration.

Simply put we had to restore financial sustainability and drive basic service delivery. So what did we do?

Immediately I implemented a weekly Service Delivery War Room that began tracking the very basics in the city.

We created comprehensive dashboards to monitor how many water leaks were reported, how long did they take to get fixed, the same with electricity outages.

How many potholes and streetlight repairs have we conducted? How are we maintaining our open spaces, and combatting illegal dumping?

All of these basic processes and more we began to track.

In 11 months we have fixed over 150 000 streetlights

Repaired over 20 000 water leaks

Filled over 30 000 potholes.

We pushed to ensure that we restore the majority of power outages that are reported within 7.5 hours.

I have always believed that how we do our work should be data-driven and evidence-based.

This is why on core service delivery we implemented such a tracking system.

It ensures that we are able to continuously evaluate the responsiveness of the institution because we track the very basics.

This is not the type of work that an Executive Mayor should be doing. It is unusual to have to immerse oneself into the very basic operations, but it was critically necessary.

I am nowhere near satisfied and I won’t be until we have a sustainable level of service delivery and more importantly a responsive administration.

Responsiveness is a principle I am particularly passionate about and it speaks to the culture we are looking to cultivate in the city.

If people contact us, we must engage them and provide a response, it’s that simple.

•Financial turnaround

As I indicated earlier when we assumed office we had a deficit of R4.3 billion that we had to manage.

Colleagues, in the space of one year we reduced this deficit by R3.4 billion, as we ended our financial year in July with a deficit of R900 million which we will eradicate in our current financial year.

The R800 million short term loan the ANC administrators took out, we paid that off as well.

That is the DA difference.

It is responsible for financial management and discipline.

Stabilising the city’s finances is not a popular exercise. We have to implement credit control, cut power and disconnect those who are not paying their accounts.

We have made ourselves particularly unpopular with some government departments.

For example, it took us shutting off power to the Department of Defence for them to pay us R90 million. We even disconnected some Ministerial houses.

Democrats, our financial turnaround is well underway.

Revenue collection is up and meter readings to ensure accurate billing is at 80%.

This is how we restore sound governance to the City of Tshwane.

•Tshwane successes to highlight

Colleagues, but in the last 11 months we have also had numerous other successes which are worth highlighting

• We now have over 50 vaccination sites in Tshwane and have administered half a million vaccines to our residents.

• I announced a micro-grants plan to small emerging farmers, where we distributed individual grants of R20 000 to over 100 emerging farmers within 6 months.

• We started construction at a new clinic in Lusaka for Mamelodi.

• Our teams initiated construction on new roads and stormwater projects in Soshanguve Block FF.

• Over 10 000 illegal dumping sites have been cleared in areas across the city.

• In Hammanskraal Extension 10 we begin the process of formalisation in an area that had been plagued by land invasions, 2767 will be provided with basic services.

• New busses were introduced for the A Re Yeng line to Mamelodi.

• We cleared the backlog of over 4000 rates clearance certificates.

• Currently we are the only metropolitan in Gauteng that is still running a medical ambulance service departments capacitated with a specialized infectious disease ambulance.

• Our new A Re Yeng line to Menlyn was finalized and launched allowing residents to access this important economic node.

• We launched construction at Caledonian Stadium to restore it to its former glory.

• We are driving the development of the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone in Silverton which will draw R15 billion in investment for the area, create 8700 direct jobs and a further 50 000 jobs in the future.

• We launched a TMPD satellite station in Garsfontein.

• Within 6 months our Development Management Application Systems was developed to process city planning applications online.

• We relaunched our Tswelopele clean-up campaigns which promote a cleaner and healthier city. In doing so we supported residents in Mamelodi, Hammanskraal, Salvokop, Menlyn, the Inner City, Cullinan and various other locations to clean their neighbourhoods.

These are just some of the key highlights colleagues but there are many, many more.

But our work is not done yet, I call on you to have a look at the city as we stand here today on top of this mountain.

Look at the Union Buildings, the city skyline, and let me tell you, our work is not done yet!

We started implementing our manifesto, and from what I just shared with you, it is clear that the DA does get things done.

We stand here today united as we overlook our city with the aim of protecting it.

We need to unite. We need more time. We need a majority in Council.

•Key manifesto points

When the DA gets its majority in council after this election, we will fully implement the manifesto that we have developed.

We have created a robust plan which is based on 10 key interventions.

1. Prioritisation of the electrical grid and water infrastructure.

The City of Tshwane’s utilities infrastructure such as its substations, transformers, electrical networks, reservoirs, waste-water treatment plants, sewer and water reticulation networks are its most critical assets.

We have invested heavily in this infrastructure, and we will continue to do so. This infrastructure is the lifeblood of our city and protecting it, is critical to attracting investment.

We are doing it and will continue to do it.

2. Provide stringent financial management and oversight.

We inherited a R4.3 billion budget from ANC administrators, in one year we reduced that deficit by R3.4 billion.

Discipline and strict financial management, that is the DA difference.

3. Promote employment and economic growth in the city.

We will spend more on enabling infrastructure that enhances economic development and creates jobs, continue our recruitment through EPWP and leverage our economic assets.

The Special Economic Zone in Silverton is one such example, this is how we create opportunities for residents because the DA gets things done.

4. Enhancing city safety and emergency services.

We have fought and succeeded to protect our emergency services from being taken over by the provincial government, while both Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni failed.

We intend to keep our residents safe by expanding visible policing and building a safe capital city and fighting for the rights of our residents.

5. Maintaining a clean and protected natural environment.

With over 10 000 areas cleared of illegal dumping and continuous monthly clean-up campaigns, we will continue to keep our municipality clean so that our city is a place where residents are proud to live.

We must look after it and encourage our community to do the same

6. Develop road infrastructure and advance mobility

Economic growth is enabled by ensuring citizens have good public transport in the form of a reliable bus service and well-maintained roads.

We have already expanded bus routes across the city and continuously maintain and upgrade our roads based on the commitments we made to residents
We get are getting it done.

7. Supporting the vulnerable and providing social relief.

We must ensure that we have a safety net for our most vulnerable residents. Those that live in poverty must know that we are there to support them.

This is why we will continue to formalize informal settlements, construct quality low-cost housing and support charities that are helping the vulnerable.

A DA run Tshwane cares for its residents.

8. Modernisation and digitisation of city processes

With new technologies our city can work more efficiently and faster, we will continue to leverage online platforms to enhance our services and expand our free Wi-fi footprint.

The DA will always seek to advance a higher quality of life in Tshwane.

9. Promoting good governance, accountability and transparency

Tshwane must operate in an open and transparent manner where decisions can be easily scrutinized or engaged upon by the public. Decisions cannot be taken behind closed doors and imposed upon residents.

We will maintain a high standard of openness and responsiveness so that residents can clearly see and track where their money is being spent.

10. Implement a robust Covid-19 management strategy.

Covid-19 has fundamentally changed the way in which we work that is no doubt.

However, we must ensure that we work through this pandemic, provide quality services and keep our residents safe.

Already we have administered over 500 000 vaccines with more to come. We will continue to protect our residents and staff and prevent Covid-19 from disrupting our operations.

This is our commitment and promise to our residents, 10 focus interventions backed up by years of experience and planning to take them forward.

We are here to get things done!

•Elections

Friends, we are entering into the shortest election cycle in the country’s history.

The election is on 2 November that is in approximately 6 weeks’ time.

As you know there were attempts by the IEC to delay the elections which were stopped by our court actions.

It is a legislative imperative that we have elections in line with what is required with the constitution.

While parties such as the ANC and EFF were desperate to try and have the elections delayed, they ultimately failed.

They needed the elections delayed because quite frankly, they are not ready.

Now, they are scrambling.

But here is the DA difference, we have already prepared.

We are ready.

In fact, we have already been campaigning for weeks.

We are in campaign mode, we have our candidates secured, our posters are going up and our manifestos are ready.

In the weeks to come, we will be needing all the support that we can get as we seek to convince residents in this city that the DA is the best organization to lead the capital and carry on the journey and work that we have embarked on.

More so that we need residents to vote us in with a majority of 51% so that we fully implement our manifesto and policies.

We have till now governed Tshwane with a minority government which is incredibly difficult.

We are not in a coalition with the EFF or the ANC which means we lead the Tshwane council with our other coalition partners with approximately 46% of the vote.

We need your vote, the vote of your families and friends.

We have done some exceptional work in the city in the last year and we want to carry on into the future.

We simply cannot allow the ANC to return to the city.

You would have seen that the ANC is desperate to have the candidate submission process opened.

Democrats, the ANC are in trouble.

It is estimated that there are 35 municipalities where the ANC have not submitted candidates.

In Tshwane, there are approximately 12 of their ward candidates in wards who are not properly registered.

If this is true, it will mean that before the election even commences the ANC will be down 12 seats in the Tshwane Council.

The ANC cannot even manage the submission of local government candidates properly, how on earth do they intend to manage a municipality if they are elected?

Democrats, Activists, Residents, the DA is serious about governing this city and taking it forward into the future.

Our teams are in place, our manifesto is ready, we are governing right now and we are ready to govern into the future.

The winds of change are on our side and now is the time to use them to sail our city into a future we can all be proud of.

Let us secure our capital city firmly under the DA and demonstrate to our residents that the DA gets things done.

United we can win, Verenig kan ons wen, Ga re spanisana ra popa!

Together we can lead our city to greatness!

It’s time for the City of Gold to shine again

The following speech was delivered by DA Mayoral Candidate, Cllr Mpho Phalatse during the DA’s campaign launch for the City of Johannesburg.  Please find attached Cllr Phalatse’s vision for the City of Johannesburg here.

Fellow Democrats and fellow residents of Johannesburg,

It is such a privilege and honour to be your mayoral candidate in our beautiful City of Gold.

We all stand here today united in our goal and dream of turning our City around and getting back its golden shine.

But if we are to strive for that shine, we need to face the burning reality of where our City is right now.

The City of Johannesburg is broken! But it can absolutely be fixed again.

The solid foundation that the DA endeavoured to construct five years ago, amassed great progress. Even though it was only three years, that foundation for a beautiful home was solidified.
• With the issuing of 8587 title deeds,
• the handing over of 7857 housing units,
• 1500 new Johannesburg Metro Police Officers,
• the investment of repairing and upgrading 12 electricity sub-stations,
• the resurfacing of 938km of roads,
• the provision of over 11 000 ablution facilities to various informal settlements,
• and so many more good governance successes that improved the lives of all Johannesburg residents.

It was during this time that I served as your MMC for Health and Social Development, where I personally oversaw;
• The roll-out of 10 mobile clinics,
• Extended the working hours at 27 clinics, and
• Opened six new clinics and five substance abuse centres.

But of course, we had our challenges while in government. Not everything can be smooth sailing. Legislation and processes can delay what you want to get done. And often, leadership fails you when are striving to fight for the resident.

Instead of leadership dedicated to service delivery for the resident, sometimes that leadership seeks to please those who have no interest in fixing the City and make demands through the back door, that compromises our values and principles.

That will not happen under my watch. There will be no pandering to red berets who do not ascribe to our values and principles of good governance, the rule of law, and constitutionalism.

We will fight to get that majority, so that all residents of Joburg can enjoy uninterrupted service delivery and never have to worry about corrupt, criminal parties seeking to steal the services you deserve.

This is what we are seeing right now. After three years of DA good governance, we saw corrupt parties steal this City from its residents. Our solid foundation started to show cracks after these corrupt politicians beat it with their sledgehammers.

The most basic services are not reaching residents. While some might experience a shortage of one service, others can experience a shortage, or non-existence of many others.

Many residents regularly experience power outages; so frequently that they no longer worry “if” the lights go out. It is now a question of “when”.

Shockingly, we have seen a complete failure of water supply prevalent in various areas, in many cases for days on end.

In a City of Gold, that has lost it shine, residents do not need slogans and the propaganda of a ‘world-class African city’. You need reality, hard work, selfless commitment, and vision – and we will start by getting basic service delivery back on track.

Wherever the DA governs, life gets better – it is a fact. DA governments get things done. This is possible in Johannesburg, after this election. Together let us end the rot, end the decay, stop the decline, and get Jozi working again.

I am energized daily when hitting the ground in this campaign, being one with our residents, hearing them, and taking forward their plight. In me, the people of Johannesburg have a champion, a friend, and a committed servant.

I’m wholeheartedly committed to building upon the DA’s record of good governance for the people of Johannesburg so that we can take our City back and you can have five full years of real change.

It is an opportunity to galvanize the whole of society, to reimagine and rebuild Johannesburg as a city of hope, alive with opportunity. We will clean up the administration, clean up the City, sweep out the rot, deliver services, grow the economy, and make Johannesburg the City of Golden Opportunities.

There is nothing so wrong with the City that cannot be fixed by what is right with the City. We can indeed fix our broken City.

We can invest R20 billion on fixing, replacing, and upgrading our roads, bridges, water pipes, wastewater plants, and power grid.

Such an investment will solidify the framework of critical infrastructure so that other services can be easily delivered.

Just imagine, a smoothly tarred road that ensures that the ambulance or fire engine can get to their emergency call on time.

Maintained and upgraded substations can survive the impact of Eskom-sponsored loadshedding, cable theft, and sheer vandalism, and not result in further outages for residents.

As things stand, our City has disappointed us. But I intend to turn this around. My administration will work with the city’s officials and its entities to provide the following:
• Access to clean drinking water for all residents,
• Water leaks fixed within 24 hours,
• Potholes filled within 72 hours,
• A vast reduction in electricity outages,
• More recycling at source in collaboration with reclaimers, and
• Clean streets

These are the most basic services that we will get right. When we get the basics fixed first, we can continue to build a beautiful shining City.

But on top of basic services, residents deserve to feel safe. Even as a municipality at the most basic level of government, my administration can roll out tangible solutions on its own to make you feel safe and secure. We can achieve this by:

• Integrated policing where SAPS, the private sector, and community organisations, collaborate to monitor areas, provide alerts, and share capacity,

• A dedicated Anti-Land Invasion Unit to stop land invasions,

• 150 park rangers to make our parks safe,

• Fire stations that have a full allocation of fire engines and equipment,

• A dedicated prosecution unit and functioning Municipal Courts to ensure that by-laws are taken seriously, and transgressors are prosecuted,

• Regular inspections to crack down on illegal building and land use.

For too long, the JMPD has been associated purely with traffic, coupled with a negative reputation for bribery. At the same time, aggressive metro officers have broken down the trust needed between law enforcement and law-abiding citizens.

I will work to fix JMPD and ensure that crime prevention is indeed a focus and becomes more effective so that the resident can start to really feel safe. I will also work to improve training for Metro Police officers when dealing with the public.

No one should unreasonably be made to feel like a criminal just for being pulled over during a traffic stop. Every resident has the right to be treated with respect, while every Metro Police officer has the right to have their legal instruction obeyed.

I certainly won’t stop there. Just because SAPS is not under the municipality’s control, does not mean I can’t go knocking on the doors of provincial and national government to get things moving. And believe me – when I go knocking on those doors, they will be answered.

But while I will be fighting every day to get national and provincial government to come to the table, I want to make sure that every resident feels cared for by this municipality.

I will inspire every civil servant of the municipality’s 33 000 staff complement to believe they have the purpose of positively changing the lives of residents. I will shift the thinking of every employee from “my job is in this position, in this department” to “I am part of a municipality that helps to make your life better.”

• We are going to ensure support for vulnerable residents, including fair rebates on services,

• We will ensure the best functionality of the eHealth system to safeguard and manage patient data, and reduce queues and waiting times at clinics,

• More nurses to provide quality care to residents,

• More local clinics nearer to where you live,

• Help for the homeless, including shelters, skills development, rehabilitation facilities, and work opportunities in collaboration with NGOs,

• Upgraded old age homes with qualified staff to take care of our elderly.

And so much more.

We can once again become the City of Golden Opportunities. It is time to restore Johannesburg as the economic hub of the country and the continent.

Business, whether big or small, needs to feel welcomed in the City of Gold. They need to feel that they can operate without any unnecessary hurdles imposed by local government.

• To this effect, we will ensure that all city processes and applications can be done online, with full tracking and quick turnaround times.

• We can also ensure:

o A transportation service that ensures you experience a safe commute and get to work on time,

o Revitalised industrial parks in townships that are safe and can attract investment,

o Fair access to EPWP opportunities and fair allocation of local contracts through an audited electronic system,

o More Opportunity Centres throughout the City to support businesses and encourage entrepreneurs.

While a national government drags its feet on economic recovery, not bothered by those who have suffered great economic losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns, a DA-led Johannesburg Municipality will pick up the baton and delivery for you, the residents.

We are going to build a new Johannesburg where every resident can feel that they belong. A city that they can be proud of again.

• We will upgrade informal settlements, with basic services, emergency access and security of tenure,

• Community libraries with Free Wi-Fi, and maintenance and upgrading of sports and arts facilities,

• We are going to wipe out corruption in every corner of this municipality – whether in supply chain management, or the notoriously broken billing system, and

• We will rid the system of the rot that blocks good governance and services from taking place.

Nothing will get in our way of making sure this City starts working for you.

• We are going to ensure that your billing query is resolved within seven days,

• We will ensure online services for licence renewals,

• And make sure you have qualified, capable, and customer-friendly City officials ready to serve you.

In a DA-led Johannesburg, there will be someone to answer your phone call.

In a DA-led Johannesburg, you will get a reply to your email.

We still stop the scourge of corruption, patronage and wasteful expenditure that arises because of weak contracts between the City and municipal-owned entities such as City Power, Johannesburg Water, Johannesburg Roads Agency, and many others.

These entities are municipal-owned, and they get their funding from you, the ratepayer.

They will cease to serve corrupt, criminal politicians, and they will start to serve YOU.

There will be no contracts or service level agreements that allow rogue entities to do as they please. There will be severe consequences when services are not delivered.

My fellow Joburgers, when we get into government, and once we have fixed our foundation and got basic service delivery back on track, we will continue moving Johannesburg forward and make our city, a Smart City.

• There will be digital record keeping of all customer engagement with the municipality, to understand each customer’s needs, preferences, and service history.

• Integration of agencies both within and outside the municipality such as the use of the City’s CCTV network to assist law enforcement in apprehension and prosecution.

• Through smart procurement we can improve the accessibility to government contracts to a wider number of deserving and competent companies and in the process, reduce the human interference where corruption takes place.

• Smart recruitment can also ensure we are fully staffed with people that are fit for purpose and we can thus eliminate that other form of corrupt human interference – nepotism.

We will rebuild Johannesburg and make it shine again.

We will get basic services back on track so that you can finally get what you paid for and what you deserve.

We will work tirelessly until election day to show you what a DA majority can mean for you.

We will bring you uninterrupted service delivery.

We will keep the criminals and corrupt away from your money.

And we will continue to grow Johannesburg to become that shining gold of South Africa and of Africa.

We will make it happen.

We will change this City once and for all.

I am ready, and so are all of you.

Thank you.

Where the DA governs, we get things done. Let’s do it for Mogale City!

Note to Editors: Please find the attached soundbite in English by Tyrone Michael Gray – DA Mogale City Mayoral Candidate.

Dumelang, good afternoon en goeiemiddag, Mogale City.

Thank you for giving up your most precious resource, your time, to join us on this significant day as we forge ahead towards turning things around for the people of Mogale City.

I am truly honoured to stand before all of you today, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the Democratic Alliance for nominating me as the Mayoral candidate for this great city.

As the city of human origin, host of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Cradle of Humankind, Mogale City is indeed unique. Scientifically correlated as the Garden of Eden.

Mogale City is not only geographically significant but is historically unique. From the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand to the Jameson raid, indeed the namesake of the first president of SA hails from here.

Mogale City has immense potential, but sadly under the ANC the municipality is nearing collapse and is unable to deliver even the most basic services for its residents.

Cashflow constraints are resulting in millions of Rands being lost in fruitless and wasteful expenditure. The interest penalties on bulk services accounts have become a financial burden. The municipality owes Eskom R390 million and Rand Water over R45 million.

Mogale City has failed to upgrade its old and ageing water reticulation system. There are development backlogs in the capacitation of wastewater treatment works.

There is a huge backlog formalization of informal settlements and no plan in place to address the housing backlog.

The billing and reporting system requires vast improvements to comply with Section 95 of the Municipal Systems Act. Residents don’t get timeous replies to their queries and there isn’t an adequate tracking system for updates regarding customer care.

This is just the tip of the problems that plague our beautiful city, and although it seems like an impossible task, let me assure you, through a DA-led government we can get the municipality back on track.

As I accept my party’s nomination, I promise to diligently serve the people of this city to the best of my ability, seeking to improve the lives of all who call Mogale City their home.

I promise that I will be available, acceptable, active and attentive, and display all the makings of a transparent government. I will establish clear, consistent and concise communication with communities.

I shall go a step further and create an open conversation, regularly consulting with communities as the municipality is under the collective ownership of all who reside here.

No person is an island and it is for this reason, we will work as a team together with the people of Mogale City to ensure that service delivery takes precedence. With some concerted effect, and support, united we will win.

Bagaetsho, we can fix this municipality. The DA gets things done, and with 51% of your support we can comfortably govern the city and introduce a government that is cash-backed and surplus generating.

A government that can enhance service delivery, support small businesses and create an environment where Mogale City-based entrepreneurs can flourish.

What’s excellent about the DA is the entrenched qualities of their DA public representatives. Public representatives who display compassion, accountability, integrity, resilience, evidence-based decision making and excellence.

The dream of a diverse and united South Africa can only be achieved by the DA.

The DA gets things done. Where we govern we have a proven track record of delivering quality services, ensuring that money and resources are used efficiently and accordingly.

DA governments continue to be the best performing municipalities in the country, continually praised by the Auditor-General.

Good governance will become the status quo. All that’s required to awaken us from this cancerous yellow nightmare is to vote for a true blue DA dream.

By voting DA, not only are you improving Mogale City, but you will also improve people’s lives.

The DA will create a fair, open society filled with freedom and opportunities.

So let’s turn Mogale City blue and vote DA.

I thank you.

Local Government Elections are coming up! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.

Let’s bring proper service delivery and stabilize City of Tshwane

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

For the last 10 months I have had the privilege of being the Executive Mayor in the City of Tshwane.

It has undoubtedly been one of the greatest honours of my life to have served my country as the leader of our capital city.

I became the Executive Mayor at the beginning of November 2020 after the city had been plunged into eight months of chaos by the ANC provincial government.

This came after they unlawfully dissolved our Municipal Council and imposed unelected administrators to run the capital.

In doing so they effectively collapsed service delivery and drove the city to the brink of financial ruin.

Since assuming office my commitment to our residents was very simple, that I would restore basic service delivery and stabilize the finances of the municipality.

This is exactly where I have placed by focus during the last 10 months as we have sought to restore proper governance to the City of Tshwane.

We have done this with a minority government which has brought with it, its own challenges that we have had to overcome.

What it is has shown us, is that we can do so much more with a proper majority so that we can govern the city outright and fully implement the policy positions of the Democratic Alliance to take the city forward.

I am immensely humbled by the DA’s decision to select me to contest the position of mayoral candidate for the City of Tshwane.

I intend to fully embrace this opportunity as it would be an honour to carry on serving the residents of Tshwane as their Executive Mayor.

I would like to thank all those that have supported me thus far in this journey, particularly my Mayoral Committee, my colleagues in the Tshwane caucus, the DA leadership, activists and supporters and all the residents of Tshwane for the faith you have shown in me.

Local Government Elections are coming up! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.