Gauteng Premier Refuses to Participate in Parliament’s Human Rights Day Debate

The DA today wrote to Gauteng Legislature Speaker Lenteng Mekgwe questioning Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s refusal to send a provincial delegation to the joint sitting of Parliament for a debate on Human Rights tomorrow.Moriarty-Mike1-240x300

Apparently, the premier based his decision on cost concerns.

The DA is highly concerned over the Speaker’s support of the Premier’s decision, as Rule 37 of the Rules of Order designates the function of appointing special delegates to the Programming Committee and not the premier.

If the Premier was not available to lead the delegation, then somebody else could have led, especially as there are plenty of important human rights issues in Gauteng, including the matter of xenophobia.

It is foolish to suggest xenophobia was not a factor in the violent looting that occurred recently, as it is without question that the victims were predominantly people from abroad.

The victims too were entitled to human rights, and the riotous behaviour that occurred arose from a mind-set that foreign citizens are a legitimate target.

This can be described in one word: xenophobia. And this is a violation of human rights.

There is an obligation on national government and cabinet ministers to address this matter with all due seriousness, especially those of International Relations and Home Affairs.

And while national government dithers, Gauteng citizens bear the brunt.

Premier Makhura and the provincial government must do everything possible to prevent national government action or inaction from prejudicing the rights of Gauteng’s people.

Clearly premier Makhura is not prepared to challenge his national counterparts in an appropriate forum such as the National Council of Provinces.

By not debating on Thursday this province is missing an opportunity to hold national government to account for its failure to safeguard the rights of people in Gauteng.

This clearly shows that the ANC in Gauteng is not willing to fully defend our citizens in the face of their national colleagues: not on xenophobia and not on e-tolls.

To this end, the DA requested the Speaker to make the necessary arrangements to have this matter discussed in the Programming Committee and to obtain guidance from the Legislature’s legal advisors.


Media enquiries:

Mike Moriarty MPL

DA Chief Whip in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature

082 492 4410

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E-tolls: Whose interests do they serve, Minister Nene?

Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene needs to face the public and spell out exactly who stands to benefit by continuing to impose e-tolls on motorists.


During his budget announcement yesterday the minister said that but that e-tolls would remain the principal funding mechanism of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP).


After the newly announced cap, e-tolls are now projected to earn R2 billion per year, based on the assumption that every motorist would pay. This of course is not happening.


Of that amount, half would service the GFIP debt while the other half would go to the collection agent.


It makes no sense to R5 to an agent to collect R10 when by using the fuel levy you can collect for free and save.


This of course begs the question: Why not scrap e-tolls in their entirety, ring-fence 10 cents a litre of the fuel levy, and service the debt?


All taxpayers eventually pay the e-toll via the passing on of costs through every loaf of bread and every litre of milk.


Government’s ongoing insistence to levy e-tolls, only to lose half to a collection agent, increases perceptions that certain individuals have interests in the e-tolls contract, and are benefitting at the expense of Gauteng’s citizens.


It is now the only logical conclusion. But is a perception and Minister Nene must address it.


It is time for minister Nene to come clean and state Treasury’s reasons behind the refusal to ring-fence a portion of the fuel levy to fund GFIP, when clearly this would be the cheapest way of paying for the roads.


Media enquiries:

Mike Moriarty MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance

082 492 4410