MEC Creecy Must Come Clean About GP Money Laundering Scheme

Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy must come clean about the provincial government’s money laundering scheme which involves tranches of taxpayers money being transferred to registered NGO’s – only for these funds to be siphoned off to non-accredited NGO’s.

This practice, brought to the attention of the DA by the A Re Ageng NGO, has seen the provincial government shift millions of rands through “conduit” NGO’s to organisations that are not accredited – and who may not be performing the work which they claim to be doing.

This exercise was used by the provincial government to transfer funds to NGO’s during the Esidimeni tragedy which claimed the lives of more than 100 mentally ill patients.

This practice is a violation of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), and needs to be investigated as a matter of priority so as to safeguard the public purse from abuse and theft.

Recently, one such “conduit payment” to the tune of R5 million was intercepted by fraudsters who used the money to make off with 40 000 litres of diesel. This R5 million was part of a R42 million tranche to be transferred via this “conduit” scheme.

The Gauteng ANC-led provincial government is often heard preaching about transparent and open governance, but time and time again, they prove themselves to be nothing more than hypocrites.

Vulnerable residents of Gauteng are placed at risk by non-accredited and non-compliant NGO’s who do not have the skills nor the capacity to provide them with the assistance they require. This is exacerbated when these NGO’s are aided and abetted by the provincial government’s underhanded tactics.

The DA will write to Finance MEC Creecy demanding that National Treasury be allowed to scrutinise the provincial governments’ practices and rule on what steps must be taken to safeguard Gauteng’s finances.

 

 

Media Enquiries

Adriana Randall MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance
060 556 4342
 
Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144

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Gauteng Premier’s Open Tender System Loaded With Empty Promises

Open Tender Seminar

Gauteng Premier David Makhura must put his money where his mouth is and take definitive action against a host of government officials and Members of his Executive if he wants to retain any credibility for the remainder of his term in office.

At today’s Gauteng Provincial Government’s Open Tender Seminar in Midrand, the Premier remarked that those who are involved in corrupt dealings would be exposed in public, blacklisted and prosecuted.

While this is a welcome announcement, the fact is that the Premier has been making the same promise since he took office in 2014.

To date little action has been taken against errant officials, a fact which was echoed by the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) report late last year that only 3% of all provincial government officials involved in 122 cases of financial misconduct amounting to R67 million faced criminal charges.

Dark and Murky Process and Provincial Governments

Furthermore, the Premier has yet to take action taken against ANC Chief Whip Brian Hlongwa and Economic Development MEC Lebogang Maile, who are both under clouds of allegations of fraud and corruption.

Since taking office in 2014, the provincial government has been moving at a snail’s pace to open government’s tender processes – and in instances where tenders have been “open” to public scrutiny, the documentation was either published after the fact, or hidden so deeply in government websites that it would only be found after hours of dogged research.

The fact is that Premier Makhura talks the talk of an open and transparent government, but in reality it remains as dark and murky as all other provincial governments led by the ANC.

If Premier Makhura is as serious as he sounds, he should implement the DA-led Western Cape open tender system without delay.

 

Media enquiries:

Adriana Randal MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance

060 556 4342

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MEC Creecy Disconnected From Gauteng Broadband Project

Gauteng Broadband Network

Gauteng MEC for e-Governance, Barbara Creecy, is disconnected from the reality that the Gauteng Broadband Network has not reached all its intended end users, with some institutions still waiting for connectivity despite the instillation of equipment.

In reply to questions that I posed to the MEC in the Legislature about the roll out of the network across the province, Creecy indicated that all top 20 priority sites had been connected.

This is however not the case.

Although the Refilwe Clinic has been identified as one of the Top 20 priority sites, it has not been able to connect to the network since the installation of equipment on site some 6 months ago. The Refilwe Clinic manager informed me that the situation has become so dire that she has to leave her office and move to the Refilwe Community Hall to connect to the Tshwane Wifi to get her work done.

Connectivity Issues

When I raised this with the MEC, she shifted blame to the Department of Health, stating that her office is simply in charge of rolling out the hardware and that connectivity issues lie with the relevant departments who want to make use of the network.

This sudden shift in responsibility is an indication that MEC Creecy does not have her finger on the pulse of one of the Gauteng’s most costly – and most game changing project.

The DA will continue to keep a close eye on the roll out of the Gauteng Broadband Network so that it positively impacts on service delivery, and that residents of Gauteng receive value for their money.

 

Media Enquiries:

Adriana Randall MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC on Finance

060 556 4342

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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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City of Tshwane Wastes R1.6m To Thwart Internet Connectivity Roll-Out

Fibre Optic Broadband

The City of Tshwane (CoT) has incurred legal costs of R1.6 million in an attempt to prevent the roll-out of much needed fibre optic broadband to the city’s residents and businesses.

In 2011 Link Africa, a digital solutions company, sought to install a fibre-optic network through the CoT by making use of the city’s existing sewer and storm water infrastructure.

City Manager, Jason Ngobeni, placed restrictions on Link Africa’s plans and last year sought and interdict from the Pretoria High Court requiring that the company gain permission to access the city’s infrastructure before carrying out work.

CoT VS Link Africa

The interdict was not granted which led the CoT to challenge the matter in the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court ruled in favour of Link Africa forcing the city to concede.

The attempt to thwart a project that will have massive benefits for residents of Tshwane is beyond belief.

Over a R1 million in state funds have been wasted in the process – money which could have been more wisely spent on improving the lives of the city’s residents.

It is evident that the CoT does not place economic growth and opportunities high on its list of priorities.

 

Media Enquiries:

Adriana Randall MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance

060 556 4342

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Communities To Benefit From The New Dewagendrift Clinic

Dewagendrift Clinic and Emergency Medical Services

The communities of Jakkalsdans, Foxtrot, Wagendrif (Informal settlements Plot 79), Krokodilspruit and Perdefontein north of Pretoria are set to benefit from the new Dewagendrift Clinic and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) centre which is expected to be completed in August 2016.

The new clinic became necessary as demand has increased rapidly over the past few years with the community’s steady growth rate.

The EMS station is also being built on the same premises.

The DA welcomes the construction of this new clinic and EMS centre and we will monitor progress to make sure the project is delivered, as per the timeline promised to the community.

Working Conditions

In a reply to a DA question, the Gauteng MEC for Health, Qedani Mahlangu, confirmed that construction is making good progress.

The reply indicates that the cost of the clinic is R41 million, not R20 million as was projected. The project is at the tender stage, and a programme of work is included. This clinic will only offer primary healthcare services, and will not have a mortuary.

The clinic will be located on Portion 79 of Farm Dewagensdrift 417-JR situated at 244 Moloto Road and is owned by the City of Tshwane.

The DA hopes that the working conditions on site will improve as we have witnessed on two occasions when conducting oversight, that water and electricity shortages have made conditions extremely difficult. I will engage with the MEC on this very matter to resolve the prolonged shortages experienced by workers.

 

Media Enquiries:

Adriana Randall MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance

060 556 4342

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Budget Vote Speeches: Gauteng Provincial Treasury

Note to editors: The following speeches were delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today by the DA’s Spokesperson for Treasury, Adrianna Randall MPL and DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance, Mike Moriarty  MPL, during the 2015/16 Annual Budget Debate on the Gauteng Provincial Treasury.

 

Gauteng Treasury has much to do to implement government programmes

Speech by: Adrianna Randall MPL – DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Finance

Speech highlights:

  • The budget for the Provincial Treasury should reflect government programmes and project resource allocation priorities to serve the needs of the people.
  • Treasury should proactively plan and implement these programmes, to circumvent the surrender of funds to the Provincial Revenue Fund.
  • However, the province’s economic growth is slowing down and unemployment is at the highest level in 12 years.
  • Treasury must ensure that municipalities follow sound financial management practices, and support and build capacity.

The full speech can be obtained here

 

 

Build more opportunities through partnerships

Speech by: Mike Moriarty MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance

Speech highlights:

  • In the past 6 years I have been a committed critic of the predecessors of GIFA and the ineffective work of the Treasury itself in respect of Public Private Partnerships to fund infrastructure development projects
  • However, if managed properly, PPPs will improve public infrastructure, service delivery and projects will be delivered with greater efficiency and save taxpayers money.
  • Currently there exist greater impediments in the form of National Treasury regulations, which became necessary to avoid corruption
  • We really need alternative ways to stop corruption in public projects.
  • This will require political will, and as a consequence the people of Gauteng will reap the rewards of delivery, jobs and dignity.
  • The signs so far have been positive but there is still some way to go.

The full speech can be obtained here

 

 

Media enquiries:

Adriana Randall MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Treasury

060 556 4342

 

Mike Moriarty MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance

082 492 4410

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Budget Vote Speeches: Finance

Note to editors: The following speeches were delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today by the DA’s Spokesperson for Finance in Gauteng, Ashor Sarupen MPL, and Shadow MEC for Finance, Mike Moriarty MPL during the 2015/16 Annual Budget Debate on the Department of Finance.

 

 

Broadband: Unlocking opportunities through connectivity

Speech by: Ashor Sarupen MPL – DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Finance
  • United Nations research has shown that for every 10% that you increase broadband penetration in a low and middle income country; you see a corresponding GDP growth rise of 1.4%.
  • We live in a country characterised by high unemployment, high inequality and high levels of poverty.
  • Over a million ADSL lines in this country go unused because the Telkom monopoly prices consumers out of the market. We are losing out on economic growth and the creation of jobs every day because of this.

The full speech can be obtained here.

 

 

Corruption Will Continue to Rob Gauteng Residents of Opportunities

Speech by: Mike Moriarty MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance
  • Corruption robs ordinary citizens of money and services. Public officials or politicians involved in corruption prey on the public purse. The people who are hurt most are the poor and most vulnerable members of our society.
  • To stamp out corruption you must be swift, decisive and correct.
  • If the DA were in charge there would be fair processes for both the staff and the public on whose behalf we operate.
  • People should be served by an honest and hard-working provincial government.

The full speech can be obtained here.

 

Media Enquiries:

Ashor Sarupen MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Finance

060 558 8303

 

Mike Moriarty MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC: Finance
082 492 4410

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