148 GPG employees still doing business with government

by Kingsol Chabalala MPL – DA Team One Gauteng Spokesperson on Corruption

It has come to the attention of the Democratic Alliance (DA) that a total of 148 employees are still doing business government.

This was revealed to me in a reply to written questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

According to the MEC for Finance, Barbara Creecy, the following departments have employees who are doing business with government:

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development 4
Department of Community Safety 1
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs 1
Department of Economic Development 1
Department of Education 48
E-Government 3
Department of Health 70
Department of Human Settlements 3
Department of Infrastructure Development 7
Provincial Treasury 2
Roads and Transport 2
Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation 6


The department with the most employees doing business with government is the Department of Health.

According to MEC Creecy, the information obtained about the number of employees doing business with government is currently being analysed further.

This raises serious concerns about the measures that are in place to ensure that government tenders are awarded in a fair and transparent process and that corruption is eradicated.

I will be tabling further questions in the house to ascertain the following:

  • When will the investigation into the officials doing business with government be finalised?
  • What action has been taken against government officials found to be doing business with government?
  • What measures will government be implementing to ensure that this does not happen again?

It is high time that the government implements a transparent tender system that promotes fair access to tenders for all Gauteng businesses.

If the failing ANC government is serious about promoting township revitalisation to ensure sustainability of small business then they should ensure that the tender system is accessible.

Come 2019, when we govern in Gauteng we will establish an independent unit dedicated to identifying, fighting and prosecuting corruption.

Despite Premier Makhura’s promise, Emfuleni residents are without water again

by Kingsol Chabalala MPL – DA Constituency Head: Emfuleni

Many areas across Emfuleni are today without water due to cuts by Rand Water.

Despite being placed under administration by the Gauteng Provincial Government, it seems that Premier David Makhura’s intervention has been too little too late to stop the cuts in water due to non-payment to Rand Water by the Municipality.

ANC-run Emfuleni owes the water utility in excess of R400 million due to negligent financial management and poor administration.

This is not the first time this year that residents of Emfuleni have suffered without water.

Premier Makhura and Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy must fast track the process of resolving the municipality’s financial woes to ensure that residents are not denied access to basic services.

I will question MEC Creecy as to what steps have been taken so far to mitigate the consequences of the ANC’s failure to implement good governance and financial stability in Emfuleni.

The people of Emfuleni deserve basic services and they deserve a government that can provide these services. Come 2019, Emfuleni will receive the DA Change they so desperately need, as Midvaal did in 2009.

VBS Bank: MEC Creecy unfazed by collapse of Merafong and West Rand District

by Adriana Randall MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance

Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy, cannot tell the residents of Merafong and the West Rand District (WRD) municipality if the illegal investments made with VBS bank will be recovered.

MEC Creecy was tight-lipped about how these municipalities will fund their budgets without this much-needed capital, simply stating that provincial Treasury will assist.

The details of this assistance was not forthcoming.

The MEC’s lacklustre response further underscores the DA’s contention that internal ANC politics is interfering with her position in government and has rendered her a Constitutional delinquent.

It is her responsibility to implement Section 139 of the Constitution and place municipalities such as Merafong and the WRD under administration so that residents are not denied services.

Today, we again implored the MEC to take the steps stipulated in Section 139 to no avail.

The MEC indicated that there will be a forensic investigation has been initiated on the request of the two respective Mayors.

However, given this ANC-led provincial government’s lack of appetite to convict people found guilty in forensic investigations, it is likely that this process will bear no tangible outcome for the affected residents.

We will continue to ensure that this gross mismanagement of the people’s money is not swept under the carpet like many other “investigations” initiated by the ANC

GPG fails to meet GBN connectivity targets

by Mike Moriarty MPL – DA Gauteng Provincial Legislature Chief Whip

To date, only 1181 out of 3000 Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) sites have been connected to the Gauteng Broadband Network (GBN).

This was confirmed to me by Gauteng MEC for Finance, Barbara Creecy, in response to written questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to the MEC, the department has a shortfall of 489 sites that were to be connected in the 2017/2018 financial year. For the 2018/2019 financial year, the department plans to connect 850 additional sites.

Ensuring that government sites in Gauteng are connected to the GBN is important as many of our people cannot afford internet access at home.

Job seekers, especially the youth rely on this important service, so that they are able to find employment opportunities. Learners and students require internet access for projects and assignments.

In order to mitigate the risk of not meeting its targets, the department has requested the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) to commit to a rapid deployment strategy to be implemented so that the GBN Phase 2 service providers can be appointed.

We will closely monitor the rollout of this project to ensure that the GPG meets its targets of connecting multiple sites to the network. Come 2019, the DA will ensure that the people of Gauteng are not disadvantaged due to the poor implementation and mismanagement of key service delivery projects.

ANC failing to charter government towards the fourth industrial revolution

Barbara Creecy, in her tenure as Gauteng MEC for Finance, has stressed the importance of government digitizing its systems to advance service delivery, but the track-record of the Department of e-Government has shown that the MEC’s words have failed to translate into tangible results.

By the third quarter of the 2017/18 financial year the department has underspent on its budget by a whopping 16%. Only R861.1 million out of R1.461 billion, or 59% of the envisaged 75%, has been spent thus far.

This has had a major impact on performance.

Three Gauteng government departments and two provincial entities, which were to be connected to cloud packages for the quarter under review, have not been linked.

The common platform on which departments are meant to operate has not yet been tested.

There are still challenges connecting sites to the Gauteng Broadband Network and the ability to make use of end-to-end networking between departments remain.

Technological advancements make the work of government simpler, more cost effective and improves the lives of residents through improved service delivery outcomes.

The lacklustre performance of this department under the guidance of MEC Creecy shows that this ANC administration is void of tangible outcome and cannot commit to the promises it makes.

Under a DA government, digital migration and digitalisation of the province will be a game changer that will empower citizens and improve their quality of life through a more efficient and effective system of governance.

MECs Creecy and Mashatile must be held accountable for Emfuleni water crisis

Gauteng MEC for Finance, Barbara Creecy and MEC for Local Government, Paul Mashatile must accept responsibility for the perilous situation faced by thousands of Emfuleni residents who have had no access to water due to the financial mismanagement of the Emfuleni Local Municipality.

Last year the DA advised both MECs that Emfuleni should been placed under administration as it owed millions of Rands to both Eskom and Rand Water, placing residents and businesses in a precarious situation.

Had the ANC in Gauteng acted swiftly on the DA’s recommendations, these measures could have been avoided.

Both Creecy and Mashatile were too concerned with scoring places in the ANC’s elective congress in December 2017 to pay attention to the powder keg in the Vaal region which was waiting to explode.

Despite the fact that the Premier, David Makhura visited this municipality last week to assess the situation, it did little to change the water crisis in Emfuleni.

Water supply is a basic human right guaranteed by the constitution.

It is unacceptable for residents to be without water for days, particularly during this heat wave.

The Emfuleni Municipality must be dissolved and placed under administration as soon as possible to uphold government’s constitutional mandate of service delivery to all residents.

Failure to do so will not only perpetuate the financial mismanagement that has taken root, but residents will be exposed to health hazards such as diarrhoea, infection and dehydration.

The DA has requested a meeting with the Emfuleni Local Municipality Municipal Manager and the Mayor to get clarity on when the payment for the outstanding balance to Rand Water will be made to avoid the recurrence of such a situation.

Township supplier growth: Can you trust MEC Creecy’s numbers?

It has emerged that the ANC-run Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) is potentially cooking its books to appear to be stimulating township spend in the Southern and Western corridors of the province.

According to the Gauteng Treasury’s Annual Report for the 2016/17 financial year, the number of suppliers on the GPG’s books based on the Southern and Western Corridors amounted to 1350.

The Annual Report figure can be accessed here.

However, in a written reply from Gauteng MEC for Finance, Barbara Creecy, dated 28 September 2017, the total number of suppliers for these regions only amounts to 385.

The reply can be accessed here.

MEC Creecy has either fiddled the Annual Report to stay in Gauteng Premier, David Makhura’s good books, or the September reply is accurate and little to no progress is being made to transform the lives of business people living in these corridors.

Historically the Southern and Western regions of Gauteng have been the most neglected regions of the province. Residents who suffered the indecency of Apartheid spatial planning continue to remain excluded from nodes of economic inclusion.

By manipulating figures to suit her party’s agenda, and pronounce itself as the “good” ANC, Creecy has simply followed up on her party’s true nature, one which leaves the forgotten behind.

Bridging the inequalities of the past by ensuring that new participants are able to access the economy is the keystone of DA policy.

Under the DA, real inclusive growth will be allowed to flourish – not made up numbers to appease political masters.

I will request that MEC Creecy accounts for the discrepancy in these figures and that action be taken should it emerge that the figures in the Annual Report cannot be verified.

Gauteng Treasury not acting on those who misuse the people’s money

The Gauteng Provincial Treasury, under MEC Barbara Creecy, is failing to ensure that the people of Gauteng’s money is spent responsibly and in line with Supply Chain Management (SCM) protocols. Furthermore, the MEC is abdicating her responsibilities by stating that individual Departments must take action against official found to have flouted SCM protocols, not her.

In a response to a Democratic Alliance (DA) question about disciplinary and/or criminal action taken against officials who undermine SCM protocols, the MEC responded by saying that “It is the responsibility of Accounting Officers to institute  disciplinary measure against officials found to have flouted SCM protocols.”  The MEC went on further to say that “As such, information pertaining to disciplinary action taken against officials should be directed to respective departments.”

 This is unacceptable given that the Provincial Treasury is the custodian of the people of Gauteng’s money and is ultimately responsible for SCM protocols, across Departments. In terms of its mandate and role, it is directed to “promote good governance by providing stewardship on all financial matters in the province.”

 MEC Creecy and the ANC in Gauteng evidently do not care about the resources of the Province and the need to safeguard them at all times.

Only a DA-led government will ensure that those who mismanage the people’s money will face the full might of the law. The people’s money must work for the people by creating jobs and delivering services, and when it does not do so, those in power must be held accountable.

Lab strike could be averted if Gauteng paid R696 million arrears

It is bad news that about 5000 workers at the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) have now voted to go on strike next week, but this can be averted if the provincial health departments pays their debts to the NHLS.

Unions are demanding increases between 7.3% and 13%, but the NHLS can only offer 3%, which is clearly too low as it is well below the inflation rate.

Reasonable wage demands could be met if the Gauteng Health Department pays the R696 million that it owes the NHLS.

Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy has promised that the Department’s huge arrears to many suppliers will be paid. If she prioritizes payment to the NHLS much anguish will be saved in avoiding a devastating strike.

Thousands of patients would suffer if diagnostic tests are delayed because of a strike by NHLS staff.

The irony is that the Gauteng Health Department is itself owed large amounts by other provinces and government departments.

It would really assist if all government entities cleared up all debts owing to other government entities.

Public-Private Partnerships can downgrade-proof Gauteng

Given the current economic climate, and the recent downgrades of South Africa’s sovereign status by ratings agencies, Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy should invest more effort in advancing Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in the province to “downgrade-proof” our ability to build new infrastructure.

Cited by Gauteng Premier, David Makhura as the catalyst for stimulating economic growth, infrastructure projects will be key to reviving the economy of the province.

However, given the limited resources available to government, it would be advantageous to think outside the box and find creative ways to launch new infrastructure projects that will be of a high standard.

We should learn from the experience of Greece who are emerging from a devastating financial situation.

There for example they launched the 24 Schools PPP project in the wider Athens area aimed to address the existing quantity and quality need for schools, covering 6 500 students across 10 municipalities. The benefits of this project, once completed, included the timely and enhanced delivery of schools to improve educational outcomes, better maintenance through the lifetime of the project, high service standards, the response to user needs, and significant savings in costs. This is because the private sector brings the following advantages:

Access to better interest rates;Delivery of projects more efficiently; andBetter absorption of the risks involved in carrying out projects.

Subsequent to the 24 Schools PPP project having been rolled out, there have been 10 more successful PPPs in Greece spanning sectors including waste management, transport, ICT and broadband.

Given that many of the historical challenges with infrastructure projects in Gauteng stem from the fact that the Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) does not have the in-house expertise to see projects to completion or on time, the dynamics of PPP projects will bring on board cost savings, greater accountability and professionalism.

These projects will also stimulate real, meaningful jobs with skills transfer – something beyond what the current Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) has to offer participants.

If this ANC-run Provincial Government is serious about getting Gauteng working, then it would champion PPP projects with full enthusiasm. Failure to do so will see the economy continue on its haphazard road to nowhere.