Licensing department still a nightmare despite Transport MEC’s interventions

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Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, must be applauded for his follow up visit to the Centurion licensing department.

Accompanied by Tshwane Mayor, Kgosienso Ramokgopa, Vadi conducted the visit this week to ascertain if there had been an improvement in the tardy service experienced by motorists.

However, little seems to have changed.

It is clear that Batho pele has been thrown out of the window at these publicly-funded institutions.

Licence renewal and testing applicants are treated with equal disdain.

To put it plainly to the MEC – and the Mayor would do well to take note: unless justifiably tough action is taken to bring these centres to a semblance of order and decent management, thousands of residents will continue to suffer from long delays, aggravated by poor staff attitudes.

A “slight improvement” in licencing centres is really meaningless if the levels of service remain more or less unchanged – as is clearly the case in Centurion.

If tardiness and staff absenteeism is the norm, it is clear that nothing has changed.

While it is a positive move by senior politicians to personally investigate the lack of service delivery and slackness, these visits become ineffectual gestures if, fundamentally, things stay the same.

The DA calls on the MEC and his Department to take sterner action against incompetence and malaise at licencing centre across the province.

Media enquiries:
Justus de Goede MPL
DA Gauteng spokesperson on transport
060 558 8305

 

Mammogram machine at Joburg Hospital out of action

Many women face an increased risk of dying from breast cancer because the Mammogram machine at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital has broken down.

This x-ray machine plays a critical role in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer.

It broke down last week and it could take six months before a new machine is in operation.

This means that there will be delays in detecting breast cancer that will increase the risk of dying from this disease.

It is really tragic that yet another machinery breakdown is negatively affecting treatment in Gauteng hospitals.

Poor maintenance is largely to blame as well as perennial underspending of machinery budgets.

At a meeting of the Gauteng Legislature’s Health Committee yesterday, the Gauteng Health Department officially projected an underspend of R47 million on machinery in the current financial year that ends on 31 March.

This is scandalous when there is a great need for new machinery.

The excuses for poor management need to stop, and real action taken to ensure decent health care in this province.

 

Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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Another child dies because of security at Lenasia South Clinic

I have been informed of another child that died after his parent was barred by security at the Lenasia South Clinic.

 

Steven Motsumi of Lawley has told me that he rushed his 5-year-old son Vincent Mabitwa to the clinic on 7 January this year after an object fell on his head and he was bleeding.

 

The security turned him away, saying that the doctors had left and the nurses told them to only admit pregnant women.

 

Motsumi took his child to the Daxina private clinic where a doctor certified that the child was dead.

 

This is the second incident this year where a child died after security prevented access to the clinic.

 

On 24 January, three-week-old baby Queen Elizabeth Mashego died in her mother’s arms after she was barred from the clinic by security guards.

 

I have written to Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu to inform her of this second incident and the urgent need to ensure open access to this clinic.

 

Speedy intervention is needed before more people die because of misguided security guards at this clinic.

 

Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

Evaton Renewal project Gauteng’s shame

During a recent oversight visit to the community of Evaton in Sedibeng south of Johannesburg I was appalled to see that, ten years since the commencement of the Evaton Renewal project, no progress has been made.

 

Despite R 58 million being awarded towards this project in 2004, the community continues to be plagued by pit toilets, crumbling infrastructure and a growing backlog in houses.

The Evaton renewal project which was aimed at improving the lives of Everton community members has failed in its mission.

 

This despite promises by government to attend to the hazardous living conditions.

In 2007, three years after the commencement of the project 14 000 new households were added to the growing community.

 

The Evaton community has grown at an unprecedented rate to more than 132 000 people –  putting a strain on available land resources.

 

Failure by the Human Settlements Department to fulfil its mandate after two terms of office – entering into its third term-  is deplorable.

 

The DA calls on the MEC for Human Settlements Jacob Mamabolo and Infrastructure MEC, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza to strengthen the coordination between the two departments and to speed up the Evaton renewal project.

 

The improved lives of the Evaton community is dependent on their coordination, to ensure that their (Evaton community) basic human right to shelter is progressively realised.

 

Media enquiries:

Kingsol Chabalala MPL

DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Evaton

060 558 8299

Answers needed on why ambulance brought dead body home

I am horrified by the report that an ambulance brought a dead body back to the family home after the patient died on admittance to the Far East Rand Hospital.

 

According to Virginia Mdingi, the mother of Sithembile (31), he was still alive after arriving at the hospital on Tuesday this week. She was shocked when the ambulance took his dead body home instead of to a government mortuary.

 

The family is unemployed, and getting the body to a private undertaker involved additional trauma.

 

The Gauteng Health Department must investigate this matter and hold people accountable for this inhuman action.

 

Health authorities should always act with sensitivity in matters involving the tragedy of death.

 

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Gauteng Infrastructure MEC thwarts transparency

Fuchs-Alan1Gauteng Infrastructure Development Department (DID) MEC, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, in an attempt to hide her department’s poor performance, has instructed officials not to interact directly with politicians.

The ANC recently took a decision to prevent client departments, on behalf of whom DID manages infrastructure projects, from interacting directly with the Infrastructure Portfolio Committee. Instead, these departments now have to take their issues to the MEC in the first instance, before coming to the committee. This is tantamount to asking the wolf to guard the sheep.

Whether this ruling of preventing officials from talking to politicians is equally applicable to public representatives of both the ruling party and opposition is not clear, but what is known is that opposition public representatives are being stone walled.

For a number of years, the Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) has been one of the worst performing departments in the Gauteng Provincial Government.

Last year, DID underspent its budget by R643 million and performed poorly in terms of completing projects on behalf of client departments.

Many projects undertaken by the department are not completed within time and budget.

Testament to the department’s inability to deliver were the overruns experienced in the construction of the new Natalspruit Hospital, as well as the Zola Jabulani Hospital in Soweto.

Mayathula-Khoza is known to hide poor performance for political reasons, but this latest move smacks of insecurity and a lack of transparency.

The DA will ensure that the department and the MEC will be held to account using the democratic mechanisms at our disposal.

Media enquiries:
Alan Fuchs MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC Infrastructure
060 558 8313

DA congratulates Jo’burg born Wouter Kellerman

Chabalala-KingsolThe DA Gauteng congratulates Johannesburg born flautist Wouter Kellerman for winning a Grammy award at the 57th Grammy awards held on Sunday night. Wouter – in collaboration with Indian born Ricky Kej- is the first ever South African to win in the New Age category.

Scooping the only award by a South African this year, he makes the nation proud.
The refreshing album which has elements of both the two nations’ founding fathers – late President Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi – speak volumes of the rich South African heritage.

The DA in Gauteng along with the rest of the nation salute Wouter and wish him all the success in spreading the joys of South African music.

Media enquiries:
Kingsol Chabalala MPL
DA Spokesperson Sports, Arts and Recreation
060 558 8299

DA Gauteng to visit Transoranje School for the deaf

Khume-240x300DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education Khume Ramulifho MPL, DA Tshwane Constituency Head, Solly Msimanga MPL, will visit the Transoranje School for the deaf in Tshwane, tomorrow 11 February 2015.

The DA has received complaints by parents of learners at the school, indicating that three teachers were relieved of their duties last year and as of yet, no replacement teachers have taken their place.

Members of the media are welcome to contact and/or join the delegation for interviews and photographs.

Date: 11 February 2015
Time: 09:00
Venue: 855 Church Street West, Pretoria West
Media enquiries:
Khume Ramulifho MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education
082 398 7375

Solly Msimanga MPL
DA Tshwane Constituency Head
060 558 8308

Joint surgery cancelled at Joburg Hospital as theatre overheats

Bloom-Jack1An overheating operating theatre has caused the cancellation of arthroplasty surgery at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

Arthroplasty is an orthopedic surgical procedure that is done to relieve pain and restore function to joints after damage by arthritis or some other type of trauma.

Special arrangements had been made with extra staff in order to bring down the long waiting lists for surgery on knee and hip joints, but patients are now sitting dejectedly in waiting rooms.

More than 400 patients at the hospital wait for up to six months for knee and hip surgery.

Last year it was revealed that 310 operations had been cancelled at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital from January to August for a variety of reasons.

It is very stressful for patients to refrain from food and prepare themselves for surgery that is cancelled at the last moment.

Poor maintenance is to blame in many instances for the failure of machinery that is needed for surgery, such as air-conditioning.

Theatres should optimally be kept at a temperature of 18 degree Celsius.

The latest machine failure highlights the need to improve maintenance at our hospitals which continue to be plagued by machinery breakdowns.

Media enquiries:
Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222