Clean linen shortages in Gauteng hospitals

Clean linen shortages have been experienced by 23 out of 34 Gauteng public hospitals since January last year, disrupting surgery and increasing the risk of infection for patients in wards.

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

Helen Joseph Hospital was particularly hard hit, with shortages of scrubs, gowns, drapes, sheets, pyjamas and nightdresses, towels, blankets and pillow cases. These shortages occurred multiple times for a total period of 42 days, and caused 81 operations to be cancelled.

Chris Hani Hospital had various shortages of clean linen, including draw sheets, blankets and pyjamas. Theatre operations were hampered and 9 operations were cancelled.

At Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital there were intermittent shortages of theatre gloves and towels, sheets, blankets and gowns for a total period of 12 weeks.

Sporadic linen shortages at the George Mukhari Hospital caused about 32 operations to be cancelled, and they sometimes had to borrow linen from other hospitals.

Many hospitals have linen shortages because of production problems at the Dunswart and Masakhane provincial laundries which they are obliged to use. These include the Tembisa, Pholosong, George Mukhari, Kalafong, Sebokeng, Tambo Memorial and Far East Rand hospitals.

The Mamelodi hospital has given up on the Masakhane laundry and only uses private laundries.

Other hospitals also use private laundries but some claim this is forbidden by the Gauteng Health Department.

Concern was expressed by hospitals about the impact on infection control. Kopanong hospital, for instance, notes that relatives bring in blankets for patients.

It is unclear why hospitals are largely forced to use the poorly managed and expensive provincial laundries where machinery constantly breaks down.

The continued operation of these laundries should be reviewed as laundry shortages are a constant hassle in public hospitals.

Hospital managers should be free to make the most cost-efficient arrangements with reliable suppliers so that optimal patient care is provided.

Abandoned Sebokeng DLTC to cost taxpayer’s additional R91 million to fix

Note to Editors: Please find attached English soundbite by Kingsol Chabalala MPL.

The abandoned incomplete Sebokeng Driving Licensing Testing Centre (DLTC) requires an additional R91 427 522.67 to fix after it has been neglected and vandalised.

This project commenced in September 2015, the initial budget was R63 5565 425.69, and the total expenditure increased to R78 654 308,38.

Unfortunately, the poor project management by the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport and the Department of Infrastructure Development over the past eight years has resulted in this project running over budget.

It is a waste of taxpayers’ money as the incomplete project was abandoned and left to be vandalised, while residents must commute or walk long distances to access DLTC services.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Human Settlement and Infrastructure Development, Lebogang Maile, in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to MEC Maile, this project was handed over to the department in June 2021. The MEC has failed to provide the completion date of the project.

The Sebokeng DLTC is one of many failed Gauteng Provincial Government projects. This indicates that this government has no political will to improve the lives of its residents by delivering quality services.

The DA demands that MEC Maile fast-track the completion of the Sebokeng DLTC to ensure that Emfuleni residents have access to this facility. We will also continue to exert pressure on the MEC to provide us with the timelines to ensure this project is completed within the stipulated additional budget.

Resident’s safety at risk: at least 17 people murdered per day in Gauteng

There has been an alarming 10.9% increase in murder cases in Gauteng.

Murder cases have increased by 153 from 1403 in the last year’s fourth quarter to 1556 in the fourth quarter of the 2022/23 financial year.

These crime stats are from January to March 2023, which is 93 days and means that approximately 17 people are murdered per day in Gauteng. This shows that our government is failing losing the war against crime.

Johannesburg Central Police Station is ranked the highest in terms of contact crimes nationally, from 988 in the fourth quarter of the 2021/2022 financial year to 1054 in the fourth quarter of the 2022/23 financial year. Therefore, there is an urgent need for support and resources to equip the SAPS to fight crime.

According to the fourth quarter crime statistics of the 2022/23 financial year, the following police stations have reported increases in rape, murder, and community reported serious cases:

Police stations  

Fourth quarter of the 2021/22 financial year


Fourth quarter of the 2022/23 financial year

Tembisa Police Station 27 rape cases 62 rape cases
Orange Farm Police Station 36 murder cases 48 murder cases
Johannesburg Central Police Station 2021 community reported serious cases 2231 community reported serious cases


Even though there is a decrease in hijackings, Gauteng police stations are leading the top 30 worst performing stations nationally.

Furthermore, robberies, carjackings, kidnapping, and cash in transit crimes affect Gauteng residents because there are no specialised units to deal with certain specific crimes in the province.

The only solution to curb crime and ensure Gauteng residents’ safety is to adopt the DA’s Community Safety Oversight Bill, which will make a provision for an appropriate advisory committee which will provide a tangible plan on how to tackle crime in the province.

Furthermore, the newly trained safety wardens should be proactive and assist the police in fighting crime in high crime hotspots areas.

DAWN calls out government callousness: SASSA failing GP’s most vulnerable

The Gauteng North DA Women’s Network (DAWN) continues to be inundated, now since at least late 2022, by calls from social grant beneficiaries whose grants have not been paid.

The significant number of enquiries received speaks to a grant payment system that is running without proper leadership, political will or compassion for the most vulnerable people in our society who rely most heavily on support from care from South Africa’s taxpayers.

It is shocking that a department, that should by rights be characterised by its commitment to care, is consistently noted for its incompetence and callousness. Not only do SASSA beneficiaries have the constant worry of whether they’ll be paid on time – payments are rarely on time – they often have to endure inhumane and inhospitable circumstances when visiting SASSA offices for assistance.

These recurring problems cripple the social support structures that our nation’s children and elderly rely on amidst the economic collapse caused by the ANC-EFF doomsday pact. Instead of social support undergirding an empowerment society, these SASSA failures trap South Africans in poverty. Compounding this catastrophe is the inability of SASSA to communicate clearly and respect the people of our country through honesty.

The Gauteng North DAWN has embarked on a comprehensive campaign to assist legitimate beneficiaries and calls on residents to submit requests in this regard to or WhatsApp 082 769 4238, using the following format:


Name and Surname:

ID no.:


Type of Grant: (R350 SRD, Child Support, Old Age, Disability, Foster Care)


Gauteng North DAWN will continue to escalate all issues related to this vital matter through our Shadow Minister to hold government accountable. It is time for the Minister of Social Development to show South Africa that this government has a heart. It’s time go back to the drawing board and heed the provisions of the SASSA Act to effectively manage the support taxpayers make available to those in most need of help.

Gauteng municipalities financially strained due to load-shedding, putting service delivery at risk

Gauteng residents will have to contend with unfilled potholes and no removal of illegally dumped refuse due to the financial impact of load-shedding on our municipalities. This is a matter of grave concern, and provincial and national financial support is urgently needed to ensure that our municipalities can continue delivering basic services.

Municipalities are forced to move budgets from other service delivery budgets to assist with the increased expenditure relating to the repair of the electricity network, maintenance, vandalism, security and overtime.

Municipalities no longer sell electricity at a profit. This was used to ensure that there was an adequate budget to fund other service delivery projects. In addition, municipalities have to procure generators, diesel and oil. These are additional expenses that are not budgeted for in the original annual budgets.

Should there be no intervention from the provincial and national governments, the operations at municipalities will come to a grinding halt.

In a recent reply, it was confirmed that neither provincial nor national governments had a strategic plan to assist local municipalities financially. The only respite offered was that local municipalities had to reprioritise their budgets to ensure adequate funding.

In the City of Johannesburg, City Power conducted a desktop study on the cost of load-shedding and a figure of R3,6 million per day was determined, whilst the Midvaal municipality reported a 50% shortfall currently in their available budget. Rand West Local Municipality spent R53 million in January 2023 alone on repairs to damage caused by explosions at two substations due to vandalism and an electric current surge after load-shedding.

National and Provincial Treasuries urgently need to consider new models of financial support to municipalities to ensure they cope with the rapid increase in expenditure due to the impact of load-shedding, as funding over the Medium-Term Expenditure framework is not sufficient to keep the wheels turning in our municipalities.

Community suffers as newly built Finetown Clinic remains closed

Residents of Finetown are angry and frustrated as a newly built clinic has remained closed since it was completed in 2020.

I visited the clinic yesterday (see photos here and here) after complaints that residents are anxious for it to open as they have to travel far to get medical care.

There were delays in building the clinic as the original contractor had to be replaced and the cost shot up from R35 million to R53 million.

The Gauteng Health Department has made many failed promises to open the clinic. The latest missed timeline is an opening at the end of April this year.

According to the Department of Infrastructure Development, there are delays in the rezoning applications.

This is a poor excuse by a department that is notorious for incompetence and corruption.

Residents told me they have to get up early and pay for transport to go to the clinic in Ennerdale.

I will ask questions about why this clinic is still not open and pressure the Health MEC to ensure it provides a comprehensive health service as soon as possible.

Learners’ safety under siege: DA demands review of Gauteng schools’ safety strategy

The DA demands that the Gauteng Department of Education review the school’s safety strategy to ensure the safety of both learners and teachers in and outside the school premises.

This follows the increasing number of incidents of violence and murder of teachers and learners across the province.

In a recent incident, a 17-year-old Palesa Malatjie, a learner from Ntsako Secondary School in Soshanguve, was brutally raped and murdered last week near the school.

Gauteng schools are no longer safe places for learners, which clearly indicates that the current safety strategy is not working and must be reviewed.

For far too long, the DA has been calling on the department to review the school’s safety strategy and implement an integrated safety plan, which has not happened.

In addition, the DA has been requesting the Department of Community Safety to intensify police visibility in our communities.

The DA demands that the Department of Education and Community Safety urgently implement an integrated safety strategy to curb crime in and around schools across the province.

This strategy must involve all the stakeholders dealing with crime issues and target schools in areas where there are high incidents of bullying and gangsterism.

The DA extends its deepest condolences to the family, relatives and friends of Malatjie.

We will continue to follow up on this case to ensure justice for Malatjie and fight for the safety of all Gauteng learners and teachers.

DA-led Tshwane administration accelerates delivery of houses and bulk water system for Olievenhoutbosch residents

The DA-led City of Tshwane administration is accelerating the delivery of houses and bulk water systems for Olievenhoutbosch Extension 60 residents. The construction of the houses and the installation of the bulk water system has resumed.

After long delays, the City of Tshwane has been approved to release funds to install the bulk water system and complete unfinished housing projects.

The DA conducted an oversight inspection at the Olievenhoutbosch Extension 60 RDP houses today, and we were pleased with the progress.

We have been informed that the delays in this project were because of the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements increasing the contract value.

Furthermore, the City of Tshwane halted the project to avoid overspending its initial budget.

Even though the community has been receiving water through water tanks daily, it is unacceptable that residents have been living without running water and tarred roads for so long.

We have engaged with our counterparts in the City of Tshwane to fast-track the process of these installations to ensure adequate and dignified housing for all Tshwane residents.

We will continue to monitor the progress of this project to ensure that Olievenhoutbosch Ext 60 residents have access to basic services.

DA demands action to save Fochville Civic Centre after oversight visit

Note to editors: Please find attached oversight pictures here, here and here

The Democratic Alliance (DA) recently conducted an oversight visit to the Fochville Civic Centre, uncovering a multitude of alarming deficiencies that threaten the safety, functionality, and overall maintenance of this vital community facility. The DA calls upon the Merafong Local Municipality to address these pressing concerns urgently.

During the oversight visit, it became evident that the Fochville Civic Centre lacks proper security mechanisms at the gates, leaving the facility vulnerable to unauthorized access and potential risks. This alarming oversight raises serious concerns about the safety of visitors, staff, and the valuable resources housed within the centre. (see here, here,)

Furthermore, since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, employees working at the Fochville Civic Centre have been deprived of essential communication tools, as there are no telephones available. This impediment hampers their ability to carry out their duties efficiently and compromises their effectiveness in serving the community.

In addition to the absence of basic communication infrastructure, the absence of a receptionist at the front desk undermines the functionality of the centre as well. Visitors are left without proper guidance and support, hindering their access to the services and information they require.

The state of disrepair at the Fochville Civic Centre is further exemplified by the presence of moles, which have been actively digging holes on the premises. This poses a potential hazard to both visitors and staff, as well as jeopardising the structural integrity of the facility.

Moreover, the lack of maintenance is apparent throughout the centre. Broken windows remain unfixed, bathrooms are devoid of adequate lighting and proper maintenance, and the sound room is entirely dysfunctional. Additionally, the main hall’s leaking roof and doors closed with makeshift logs of wood present serious infrastructural concerns that require immediate attention. These deficiencies create an unsuitable environment for community activities and events, limiting the full potential of the Fochville Civic Centre as a hub for community engagement.

Sanitation and cleanliness were also found to be lacking, with only one outside dustbin available for waste disposal. Employees are burdened with the responsibility of picking up litter themselves, while the maintenance of the grass around the premises is, at times, left to their own devices.

The DA is taking all steps possible within the Merafong Local Municipality to address these issues urgently. We will be writing to the Municipal Manager asking for immediate action from the municipality to upgrade security measures, provide the necessary telecommunications infrastructure, appoint a receptionist, exterminate the moles, and invest in comprehensive maintenance to restore the Fochville Civic Centre to its rightful status as a well-maintained and secure community facility.

We will also be running a community petition to this effect to demonstrate that this is one of the needs of Fochville residents. (see petition link here)

By addressing these concerns promptly, the Merafong Local Municipality will demonstrate their commitment to serving the Fochville community and providing them with a safe, functional, and vibrant civic centre.

High unemployment and load-shedding lead to more food insecurity in Gauteng

The rising rate of unemployment in Gauteng is increasing the risk of food insecurity. During the first quarter of 2023, just over 2 million residents were unemployed, while there were more than 500 000 discouraged job seekers. In addition, the repurchase rate has also increase to 8.25% per year.

This has huge implications because unemployment results in poverty and hunger.

Food inflation has reached a record high of 13.4% which makes the affordability of food more difficult. According to a study from the University of Witwatersrand’s School of Physiology, one in five South African households does not have enough food to eat, which amounts to 20% of our population that go to bed hungry.

This situation is being made worse by load-shedding, contributing to food insecurity in the province.
Public initiatives to reduce the hunger experienced by many children and older persons should be encouraged especially during World Hunger Month.

The DA believes that food insecurity can be overcome by providing conditional direct income support for the most vulnerable in our society. Government has a responsibility to create the correct economic environment to promote public-private partnerships.

There is also a need for all government departments to provide services to our residents and meet their job creation targets. Furthermore, a solution must urgently be found to load-shedding as this will increase investor confidence.

The DA will continue to push for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to assist small-scale farmers and for Premier Panyaza Lesufi to urgently put plans in place to engage Independent Power Producers to provide electricity.