Leaks At Joburg Hospital To Be Fixed By Next Year

 

Persistent leaks from the ceiling at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital will be fixed by the end of February next year.

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in a written response to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

She says that “most of the leaks identified were due to central heating pipes and temporary measures have been implemented by putting clamps around the pipes, while the Department continues replacing dilapidated central heating pipes.”

Furthermore, “repairs are done on a continuous basis as soon as they are detected or reported, whilst renovations on the central heating system need to be done in blocks 1, 4 and 5. This will be done during summer.”

I hope that the promised repairs are done as patients and staff are disturbed by water or sewage leaks that occur particularly when it rains.

It’s a poor image for a leading hospital to have buckets on the floor in various sections including the oncology and paediatric wards.

 

Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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Police Minister Wastes Public Funds By Dodging Budget Meeting

National Council of Provinces – NCOP

After a week of blatant disrespect for the Constitution and citizens of South Africa, Police Minister, Nkosinathi Nhleko, continued to perpetuate the ANC’s contemptuous behaviour by not attending the Police budget vote discussion with the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in Parliament.

The Budget presentation is the most important discussion that affects every departments planning for the new financial year. A well planned and approved budget is critical for the Police to effectively fight the war on crime.

Despite its importance, Minister Nhleko did not even bother to send an apology or instruct the Deputy Minister or the Chief Commissioner of Police to represent him.

Critical departments like detective services and specialised units such as child protection, family violence and sexual offence units, which address different needs in communities will now not be able to function optimally due to the Ministers failure to oversee the budget.

Public funds were wasted on hosting 12 Generals from across the country who flew to Parliament to attend the briefing which was cancelled due to the Ministers no-show. It also wasted the Generals’ time, which could have been put to better use.

Once again, this is evidence of the total disrespect ANC Ministers have towards carrying out their executive functions and their disregard for the institution of Parliament.

Minister Nhleko should personally reimburse the public purse for the money that was lost due to his neglect.

Citizens of South Africa have a chance to show their dissatisfaction by voting for a party with a proven track record like the DA, as where it governs in 27 Municipalities it does so with transparency and accountability.

 

Media enquiries:

Bronwyn Engelbrecht MP

DA Member in the NCOP 

082 376 1022

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Pikitup strike exposed Mayor Parks Tau’s weak leadership

 

The DA welcomes the announcement that the prolonged Pikitup strike has finally come to an end.

Questions however remain about why Mayor Parks Tau took so long to resolve it, and what concessions the City of Johannesburg has had to make to get workers back to work.

Will no-work, no pay for the past five weeks apply, will workers who were positively identified damaging property and intimidating clean-up crews be fired and criminally charged?

This strike revealed how weak Mayor Tau is in the face of adversity and how incapable he is of standing up against unions.

In short, Mayor Parks Tau’s weak leadership posed a huge risk to the health and well-being of Johannesburg’s 4,4 million residents.

A DA-led Johannesburg would never have allowed this strike to spiral out of control as it did.

Contingency plans would have been implemented without fail, relief workers would have been protected from the outset, and individuals who damaged property and intimidated non-striking workers would have been criminally charge.

Change is coming to Johannesburg, and this weekend voters came out in their numbers to update their registration details to vote for change on 3 August.

Johannesburg’s voters are looking forward to voting day and to vote for the DA difference – because where the DA governs, life is better.

Media enquiries:

Willie Venter

Director: Communications and research

060 963 8260

Final Registration Weekend: DA Leader Maimane To Visit Johannesburg And Tshwane

This weekend, 09 and 10 April 2016, Democratic Alliance Leader, Mmusi Maimane MP, will be in Johannesburg and Tshwane to encourage South Africans to play a role in building a better South Africa by registering to vote for change in arguably the most competitive Local Government Elections yet, which will take place on 03 August 2016.

Further to this, the DA will launch its Local Government Elections Campaign on Saturday, 23 April 2016 at the Rand Stadium in Johannesburg.

In Johannesburg, the DA Leader will be joined by the DA Mayoral Candidate for Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba:

 

Date: Saturday, 09 April 2016

Time: 10:30

Venue: Temporary Voting Station

Address: Cnr 16th Avenue and Rooth Street, Alexandra

Contact: Nkele Molapo, Media Officer to Herman Mashaba, 072 041 4842

 

In Tshwane the DA Leader will be joined by the DA Mayoral Candidate for Tshwane, Solly Msimanga MPL:

 

Date: Sunday, 10 April 2016

Time: 10:30

Venue: FF Ribiero Primary School, Mamelodi West

Address: 7060 Shabangu Avenue, Mamelodi West

Contact: Motheo Mtimkulu, Media Officer to Solly Msimanga, 083 728 0554

There will be interview and photo opportunities at each event.

 

 

Media Enquiries:

Mabine Seabe

Spokesperson to the DA Leader

084 677 7851

Urgent Council Meeting Let-Down: Mayor Fails To Suspend Compromised Pikitup MD

Pikitup Strike

Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau should have broken the logjam in the Pikitup strike by suspending MD Amanda Nair after a strong case against her was presented by the DA at today’s urgent extraordinary City Council meeting.

Tau let down the residents of the City when he rejected a call by DA, and the minority parties in Council, for a truly independent inquiry into serious allegations against Nair.

Instead Mayor Tau gave weak reasons for not acting against her, and offered no new insights to help councillors and residents deal with the five-week old strike.

The City is unable to act decisively because several leaders linked to Pikitup are compromised.

Corruption, Nepotism and Racism

Workers’ allegations against Nair are among the main reasons for the impasse, which has raised health concerns amid mounting piles of rotting garbage

DA Councillor, Andrew Cadman told Council that accusations against Nair included corruption, nepotism and racism.

Nair is accused of appointing friends to Pikitup positions. For example, Kelvin Ngwenya, the son of Nair’s domestic worker, was given an internship. While interns are typically paid about R2000 a month, Ngwenya was paid R9500. He was allegedly the only intern given a permanent appointment without being interviewed.

Nair is also accused of favouring the appointment of Indians to senior positions. The DA has names of individuals affected.

There is also evidence that Nair failed to comply with other recruitment and promotion procedures. Senior positions have been filled without any interview process being followed. Again, individuals are named. In addition, consultants have been loaded on the Pikitup system, so that they receive employee benefits, and are provided with tools of trade at Pikitup’s expense.

Tender irregularities are also alleged. Nair is accused of increasing the scope of the tender awarded to Aqua Plant by R40 million, despite a decision by the previous Pikitup Board not to do so because of allegations of fraud.

City’s Corporate Investigations Unit

Equally concerning is the decision by the City and the Pikitup Board not take appropriate action against Nair in relation to cellphones and tablet improperly issued to Nair.  The City’s Corporate Investigations Unit recommended that disciplinary action be instituted against Mr Donovan Denyssen, General Manager: Infrastructure Enterprise,  for “unofficially issuing cellphones and a tablet to Ms Nair without permission. .”, and that a case of theft be opened against him.

Mr Denyssen was dismissed. Nair, who allegedly used the items for her family and gave one of the cellphones to one of MMC Matshidiso Mfikoe’s children as a birthday present, was merely required to refund the City the value of the items.

The Corporate Investigations Unit curiously elected not to interview Nair and MMC Mfikoe regarding allegations that Denyssen made against them “due to the sensitivity of the investigation”.

Nair subsequently re-employed Denyssen, allegedly at an annual salary of R1.4 million, which was allegedly increased to R2.4 million within a few months.

Inquiry

Where was the Pikitup Board at this time? Bizarrely, the chair, Dr Trish Hanekom, allegedly deposed  an affidavit stating that the cellphones had no value, while the City attributed a value of approximately R33 000 to them. If that is true, Dr Hanekom has committed perjury.

This leaves the City with a compromised Pikitup MD, a compromised board chair, and a compromised political head (MMC Mfikoe).

The allegations are precise and detailed. In law, they are sufficient to warrant the immediate suspension of Nair. There must be an inquiry, not by those who are compromised, but by independent persons.

 

Media enquiries:

Cllr Vasco da Gama

DA Johannesburg Caucus Leader

082 957 8581

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Did Gauteng Premier Push FNB To Cut Ties With Gupta Family?

Oakbay Investments

The strong stance held by Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, that the province – unlike sectors of the State, will not be captured by the Gupta family may have been the reason FNB decided to withdraw from rendering financial services to the controversial family’s Oakbay Investments.

In August 2015, FNB were appointed as Gauteng’s banker of choice, overseeing a budget of R103 billon in the 2016/17 financial year.

Gupta Family & GPG

The earnest condemnation of outside interference with the workings of the state, and the fact that Premier Makhura himself has pledged to not allow the Gupta family to encroach in the workings of the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG), must have emboldened  the bank to cut ties with the family.

The Premier and his MECs must continue to protect the GPG from shady entities that seek to benefit themselves at the expense of citizens of Gauteng.

 

Media Enquiries:

Adriana Randall MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC on Finance

060 556 4342

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Discipline Of Four Medical Depot Employees Takes More Than Three Years

Gauteng Health Department’s Medical Supply Depot

Four senior staff at the Gauteng Health Department’s Medical Supply Depot in Auckland Park received final written warnings more than three years after a forensic report identified procurement irregularities.

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Mahlangu, a chief director, director and two deputy directors were precautionary suspended for procurement irregularities on 1 June 2013, and were served with charges six months later.

She says “there were no delays, due process was followed” even though they were only served with final written warnings on 15 October 2015.

Former Health MEC Hope Papo instituted a forensic audit into the Medical Depot because it was billing the department R250 million a month, which was deemed to be excessive. This audit was completed in September 2012, so it took more than three years before the four officials were slapped with final warnings.

This is yet another example of extremely slow action on suspected corruption in the department.

I also think the four officials got off lightly although Mahlangu claims that no amounts were determined to be lost or stolen because of corruption.

Hospital patients in Gauteng suffered from medicine shortages for years because of poor administration at the medical depot.

The Pharmaceutical procurement committee now includes officials from the department’s head office, which hopefully improves efficiency and prevents corruption in the supply of medicines.

 

Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

[Image source]

David Makhura, do you back ANC MPs who voted to protect Zuma?

Today I lay down a public challenge to ANC Gauteng Premier David Makhura, to declare his stance: Does he stand with ANC Gauteng MPs who voted to protect Jacob Zuma in Parliament on Tuesday, or does he believe the President has done wrong?

It is an untenable situation, if ANC Gauteng MPs in Parliament vote to protect Jacob Zuma, when their provincial leader does not support the Constitution-breaking President.

On Monday, when David Makhura harshly criticized the ANC protection of Zuma, during the funeral of Shirish Nanabhai, it appeared clear that the ANC in Gauteng could not vote to protect Zuma in Parliament, by rejecting the impeachment motion brought by the DA, yet ANC MPs did protect Zuma, and therefore undermined their provincial leader.

Yesterday when the Sefako Makgatho and Lilliesleaf branches of the ANC in Johannesburg called for the resignation of President Zuma the ANC exposed itself as a torn and fractured party.

The ANC in Gauteng is fast descending to where one faction votes to protect Zuma, and another calls for him to resign. This fracture will negatively affect the ANC ability to govern this province. David Makhura can today show where the true position of the ANC in Gauteng is: Defend Zuma at all costs, or defend the people against law-breaking.

On Tuesday, 25 of the 26 ANC MPs from Gauteng voted against President Zuma’s impeachment.

I therefore call on Premier Makhura to rebuke these MP’s for their failure to uphold their oath of office, or to be seen as a firm supporter of Zuma “the Constitution Breaker”, himself.

Media enquiries:

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

082 960 3743

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Herman Mashaba To Engage With Sunninghill Taxi Operators And Commuters

Tomorrow, Thursday 7 April 2016, DA Johannesburg Mayoral candidate, Herman Mashaba will engage with taxi operators and commuters in Sunninghil.

During this interaction, Mashaba will unpack the DA’s vision for Johannesburg and reveal how we will tackle the public transport system, in order to make it a profitable business for the operators and a safe and reliable transport for the commuters.

Mashaba will be joined by the Ward 93 Councillor, Annette Deppe and DA Activists

Date: Thursday, 7 April 2016

Time: 06:00 to 09h00

Place: Taxi Rank; Corner Witkoppen and Leeukop Rd; Sunninghill

There will be opportunity for interviews and photographs. Members of the media are invited to attend.

 

Media enquiries

Nkele Molapo

Media Officer

072 041 4842

076 127 0719

Pikitup: Joburg Concedes To Urgent DA Debate

Pikitup Crisis

I am pleased that Joburg Speaker Cllr Constance Bontle Bapela has conceded to debate the Pikitup crisis through an urgent debate called by the DA, in Council tomorrow.

Speaker Bapela has now acknowledged the urgency of this Pikitup crisis, after weeks of inaction from the City of Johannesburg and Mayor Parks Tau.

The real test though will be on whether the ANC in the Council will support a DA motion in the debate mandating Mayor Parks Tau to end the strike immediately.

It is high time we break the Pikitup deadlock. Our city cannot be held ransom by union pressure any longer.

Striking Workers

Our poorest communities are suffering horrendous health risks as rubbish mounts on streets and corners, with no access to alternative collection.

Across all areas of Joburg, our communities cannot continue to suffer the effects of Pikitup, including thuggery and violence of striking workers, until Mayor Tau decides to act.

The time to act is now, and we are hopeful that tomorrow’s debate will resolve to end the strike urgently.

 

Media enquiries:

Cllr Vasco da Gama

DA Johannesburg Caucus Leader

082 957 8581