DA congratulates Midvaal Local Municipality on obtaining a high score on Municipal Financial Sustainability Index

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng would like to congratulate the Midvaal Local Municipality for obtaining a score of 75 on the Municipal Financial Sustainability Index (MFSI) for 2021.
The MFSI is a scoring model that measures six financial components of a municipality as follows over five years:
· Operating performance
· Liquidity management
· Debt governance
· Budget practices
· Affordability
· Infrastructure development
According to this report, the Midvaal Local Municipality is the only municipality in the province that has scored this high.
The report indicates that Midvaal is adhering to proper budgetary practices and strict financial control, as well as good revenue collection despite the tough economic conditions that the country is currently experiencing.
This is critical to ensuring that a municipality is well run and that our residents receive the service delivery that they pay for with their hard-earned money.

This clearly shows that this DA-led municipality is deeply committed to ensuring that our residents receive only the best basic services that are delivered on time and within budget.

We urge municipalities like the Emfuleni Local Municipality to learn from their counterpart about best practices when it comes to running a municipality. This will ensure that they can improve on the current situation in which they find themselves.

National Treasury adopts DA’s proposal that will put an end to the looting of disaster relief funds

Through the hard work of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Gauteng residents will now be afforded additional protection from potential looters should we experience another disaster like the Covid-19 pandemic. During the last two years, this province has been hardest hit by the looting of Covid-19 relief funds and the enrichment of only a few individuals through the awarding of tenders for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Many of the DA’s recommendations tabled during the negotiation mandate relating to the Division of Revenue Bill (DORA) during a recent Finance Portfolio Committee were accepted. This bill governs the transfer of funds to Provincial Governments and Municipalities.

One of the main recommendations made by the DA was that National Treasury (NT) should develop mechanisms to ensure that funds earmarked for Covid-19 and disaster relief are expended for their intended purpose. We are delighted that the NT has now introduced a manual reporting system to monitor how Covid-19 funds are spent and the requirement to submit a weekly report.

This will result in transparency and accountability on how the relief funds are being spent. By so doing, there will be no room for corruption, and this will allow proper service delivery to take place.

The DA will continue to monitor the progress in terms of the implementation of our recommendations as this will help to improve the quality of life of our residents and ensure that they see the benefits of investment by the state rather than the money being lost to corruption and waste.

Over R76 million lost to theft, vandalism of train stations in Gauteng, commuters forced to fork out more money for transport

It is extremely concerning that Metrorail in Gauteng has lost R76 810 980,00 due to vandalism and theft at its train stations during January 2020 and February 2021.

In addition, during this period, 271 Motor Coaches and 336 Plain Trailers were vandalised resulting in a total cost R810 800,00.

Currently, there are only six out of 17 lines operating due to this.

This information was revealed by the MEC for Transport, Jacob Mamabolo, to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

According to the MEC, 4000 additional security guards will be deployed nationally by the Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa (PRASA) during this month and there will also be the additional deployment of security guards to Mabopane Corridor as part of the Presidential projects.

The vandalism of trains in our province is putting additional pressure on our already constrained transport system in the province, while also placing an additional financial burden on our commuters who use trains on a daily basis to and from work.

Out of all the public transport available, travelling by train to and from work is the most cost-effective way to commute on a daily basis.

For a long time now, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has been calling on the Gauteng government to establish a dedicated railway police unit to help safeguard and keep our train infrastructure secure from criminals.

Where we govern in the Western Cape, PRASA has signed a memorandum of agreement with the government for the formation of a dedicated enforcement unit which focuses solely on the safety and security of train commuters and infrastructure.

The DA will continue to demand that a similar agreement be reached in Gauteng. Our commuters deserve to have a public transport system that is safe, reliable and gets them to work on time. A transport system that works efficiently will ensure that we have an economy that works.

Local Government Elections are coming up! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.

DA to announce its Mayoral candidate for Midvaal

On Thursday, 2 September 2021, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng will announce its Mayoral candidate who will run in the upcoming local government elections for Midvaal Local Municipality.

The DA Gauteng Provincial Leader, Solly Msimanga, MPL, will announce the candidate who will campaign to be elected to continue to build the DA’s brand of good governance and service delivery in the municipality.

Msimanga will be joined by the Midvaal Regional Chairperson, Dennis Ryder, MP, DA local councillors and activists.

Details of the announcement and media briefing are as follows:

Date: Thursday, 2 September 2021
Venue: Meyerton Sports Club
Address: Begomia Road, Meyerton
Time: 13:00

The announcement will be streamed live on our Facebook platform:
DA Gauteng Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DemocraticAllianceGauteng

The media briefing will also be streamed to members of the media via Zoom. Those wishing to attend can contact Idah Satikhe on 079 700 5382/ idahsa@da.org.za

Local Government Elections are coming up! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status. 

Let’s bring proper service delivery and stabilize City of Tshwane

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

For the last 10 months I have had the privilege of being the Executive Mayor in the City of Tshwane.

It has undoubtedly been one of the greatest honours of my life to have served my country as the leader of our capital city.

I became the Executive Mayor at the beginning of November 2020 after the city had been plunged into eight months of chaos by the ANC provincial government.

This came after they unlawfully dissolved our Municipal Council and imposed unelected administrators to run the capital.

In doing so they effectively collapsed service delivery and drove the city to the brink of financial ruin.

Since assuming office my commitment to our residents was very simple, that I would restore basic service delivery and stabilize the finances of the municipality.

This is exactly where I have placed by focus during the last 10 months as we have sought to restore proper governance to the City of Tshwane.

We have done this with a minority government which has brought with it, its own challenges that we have had to overcome.

What it is has shown us, is that we can do so much more with a proper majority so that we can govern the city outright and fully implement the policy positions of the Democratic Alliance to take the city forward.

I am immensely humbled by the DA’s decision to select me to contest the position of mayoral candidate for the City of Tshwane.

I intend to fully embrace this opportunity as it would be an honour to carry on serving the residents of Tshwane as their Executive Mayor.

I would like to thank all those that have supported me thus far in this journey, particularly my Mayoral Committee, my colleagues in the Tshwane caucus, the DA leadership, activists and supporters and all the residents of Tshwane for the faith you have shown in me.

Local Government Elections are coming up! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status. 

It is time to get basic services back on track in Johannesburg

I am so honoured to accept my party’s nomination to stand as Mayor of Johannesburg.

I stand ready to take up the tireless task of challenging for the leadership of the Metro, so that I can dedicate my every day in office to making Johannesburg work for our residents.

The City of Johannesburg deserves so much better. Under the current government, it is the capital of service delivery backlogs. Countless electrical outages, water shortages, and roads riddled with potholes – this is not how the economic hub of Africa is meant to function. And I cannot stand to see it go on.

I feel energized just thinking about hitting the ground in this campaign, day after day, to be at one with our residents, to hear them and to take forward their plight. In me, the people of Johannesburg have a champion, a friend and a committed servant. I’m wholeheartedly committed to building upon the DA’s record of good governance for the people of Johannesburg so that they can realize five full years of real change.

It is an opportunity to galvanize the whole of society, to reimagine and rebuild Johannesburg to a city of hope – alive with opportunity. We will clean up the administration, clean up the city, sweep out the rot, deliver services, grow the economy and make Johannesburg the City of Golden Opportunities.

I have stood to become Mayor of Johannesburg because I am built for endurance. I am not afraid of the challenge. I have overcome many hurdles before, both in my personal and professional life. Most importantly, I want to bring my 15 years of working experience in the public service sector, including more than three years of serving as the MMC for Health and Social Development in the City of Johannesburg, to the office of Mayor.

People of Johannesburg, and indeed South Africa, I begin this campaign with a deep appreciation for the reality of the City. Residents do not need meaningless dream-like rhetoric of making Johannesburg a ‘world-class African city’. You need reality, hard work, selfless commitment, vision – and we will start by getting basic service delivery back on track.

Wherever the DA governs, life gets better – it is a fact. DA governments get things done. This is possible in Johannesburg, after this Election. Together let us end the rot, end the decay, stop the decline, and get Jozi working.

I am ready, and so are all of you.

Local Government Elections are coming up! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status. 

Court judgment confirms Masuku’s political negligence

The North Gauteng High Court’s dismissal of former Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku‘s application to set aside the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report into PPE procurement irregularities in the Gauteng Health Department confirms his political negligence in this matter.

Masuku is correct that no crime was directly linked to him in the SIU report, but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and further investigations may reveal a different story.

At this stage, we know that Masuku failed to stop the PPE scandal, which is confirmed by Judge Sutherland’s scathing remarks in his judgment.

According to Sutherland, Masuku was “deaf and blind” to the risks of alleged irregularities in his department, and his failure to read his emails was prima facie “a confession of unprofessionalism and dereliction of his duties.”

Judge Sutherland adds that Masuku’s “conduct shows a lack of judgment and diligence.”

Masuku is trying to rescue his political career, but this judgement shows that Premier David Makhura was correct to fire him as Health MEC.

A similar standard should be applied to other ANC politicians who have shamefully neglected their duties, including Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi who failed to stop R430 million spent on unnecessary cleaning of schools.

#NotFitToGovern: Premier Makhura we cannot keep supporting you because you sing a good song

Madam Speaker, 

When I was young there was a song by Roberta Flack that contained the lines: 

“I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style”. 

When Hon. Makhura began his term as Premier in 2014, he sang a good song, and indeed he had a style. 

In each of the subsequent years of 2015, 2016, 2017 and so on, people applauded the Premier because he sang a good song and had a style. 

But over time, people have discovered the song keeps sounding the same: the same challenges have remained – from e-Tolls to corruption – the same promises kept being made. 

Mr. Premier, we can’t keep supporting you simply because you sing a good song and you have a style. We can’t get excited about hearing the same old, same old. 

Mr .Premier, surely you understand that you are measured on outcomes, not on effort? 

Mr Premier, you can’t say, “My Office is doing well”, even when the SIU says there is at least one crook in your office.  You are accountable for the success or failure in the department of Health; you are accountable for the success or failure of Infrastructure Development, and indeed every department under the oversight of every member of your cabinet. 

In 2014, the Honourable Premier pledged that “fraud and corruption are prevented and detected early in the value chain to prevent losses.”  We also heard that there would be an “urgent turnaround” in the Gauteng Health Department. 

These promises have been repeated in one form or another, year after year. 

And when the Covid-19 crisis hit, the corruption networks profited and the Premier reluctantly fired former MEC Bandile Masuku, after the fact. Where was prevention “early in the value chain”? 

Mr. Premier, you made promises. Not just once. These promises have proven to be empty. 

Firing is one thing. What about prosecution? 

While health workers risked their lives with inadequate and sub-quality Personal Protective Equipment, parasitic Gauteng employees enriched themselves. 

Corruption and irregularities included the R2 billion spent on urgently needed infrastructure to create new beds. Of the beds that the Premier boasted about these were, in various instances, in the wrong places. 

Moreover, when beds where provided, there often wasn’t enough staff. 

We saw scenes such as Steve Biko Hospital, which was overwhelmed with tents in the parking lot. 

The latest Auditor-General’s (AG) report shows that beside the usual financial mismanagement, there has been a rise in irregular expenditure last year and a regression in audit outcomes. 

Corruption Watch has found that corruption is four times more likely to occur in Gauteng than in similar-sized provinces such as Kwa-Zulu Natal. 

Madam Speaker, I could go on regarding the failures to achieve outcomes. These would include failure to properly oversee local government with examples such as Emfuleni and Merafong; Failure to ensure jobs are delivered through infrastructure development and the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller; Failure to apply consequence management for poor performance and corruption. But time does not permit me to do so. 

Honourable Premier, you said it in your own words: “We have lost the trust of the people”. In so doing, you have acknowledged and declared that you are not fit to govern. 

Madam Speaker, colleagues, please vote in support of this motion. 

I thank you. 

Incompetent MEC Maile fails to implement urgent measures to rescue collapsing Gauteng municipalities

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng notes with great concern that the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile has once again failed to implement the urgent measures needed to rescue the collapsing Gauteng municipalities.

This information was revealed in the Gauteng Department of COGTA’s annual report for the 2019/2020 financial year.

According to the annual report, three municipalities namely, Emfuleni Local Municipality, Merafong Local Municipality and Lesedi District Municipality were earmarked for functional statutory council committees. However, the target was not achieved because the research on the functionality of the statutory council was not finalised.

The department had a target to support Merafong Local Municipality to develop the Capital Expenditure Framework (CEF) together with the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) levers and this target was not achieved. The department states that this target was not achieved because of the challenges to appoint the service provider.

Furthermore, the department failed to meet its target to support Emfuleni with repairs and maintenance of the sewer pump stations. This target was not achieved because the department missed the deadline to transfer funds to the implementing agent namely the Ekurhuleni Water Care Company (ERWAT).

The reasons given for the department’s failure to meet its target relates to project and financial management, in which it seems the department is incapable and inefficient.

It is high time that MEC Maile prioritises fixing the challenges facing these municipalities that were caused by his own cadres.

The residents of these municipalities continue to suffer as service delivery has collapsed and these municipalities are facing serious cash-flow problems. This department is failing to support our local and district municipalities which are plagued by enormous challenges ranging from failing to settle their water and electricity debts, and some are bankrupt and unable to pay employees’ salaries.

This department lacks a political leader to drive the core mandate of the department; MEC Maile is incompetent and must be held accountable for his department’s failures.

We will continue to put pressure on MEC Maile to ensure that those targets that were not met in the previous financial year are prioritised during this financial year. We will also continue to monitor the work done by this department to ensure that they provide much needed support to our municipalities.

Let us work together for true freedom

Note to Editors: The following remarks were delivered today by the newly elected DA Gauteng Provincial Leader, Solly Msimanga MP, at the Gauteng Provincial Congress in Johannesburg today.

Fellow Democrats, people of South Africa and more specifically people of our beautiful Province of Gauteng, I greet you all.

I remember the time when I joined the Democratic Alliance many years ago, a time when I decided that I wanted to contribute towards a positive trajectory for our beautiful country.

A time when I wanted to knock on every door, go to every taxi rank, shopping mall, township or suburb to say, ours is a land pregnant with possibilities, but those possibilities were not yet explored because we had leadership in this country that focused on self-enrichment and dividing the citizens on race for narrow political interests.

Today, listening to Mama Letta Mbulu’s song “Not yet Uhuru”, I’m reminded of the time I joined the party. The song aptly reminds us that freedom is not yet attained in our country. Yes, we have the right to vote, freedom of speech, freedom of association. But what does this mean when we:

Still have millions of our people living in conditions of squalor;

When half of our youth cannot find meaningful employment;

When state funds are used more to enrich the politically connected instead of uplifting the conditions of millions of its people;

Where farm and rural murders are the order of the day;

Gender-based violence that subjects women and children to unnecessary and humiliating abuse is rife, and

where there are still those that registered for state subsidized houses right at the dawn of democracy, are still waiting.

Where the state take funds from the police, from education and health to fund a never filling blackhole of an airline. When millions are paid for the removal of asbestos roofing, but there is little to show for it.

When billions are siphoned through Covid corruption intended to save the lives of our ill.

Indeed, it’s not yet Uhuru

True freedom is what all the people of this country and indeed this province yearn for.

They yearn for freedom to make their own choices about the life they want to live, they yearn for freedom that empowers them to improve their own lives.

They yearn for opportunities that are created and given in a fair manner, instead of through cronyism and political membership. The people yearn for fairness.

Democrats, we have to fight for this freedom, we have to be the champions of this freedom. The task ahead of us is huge.

Our country and our province needs us now, more than ever, to restore hope where there’s desperation and despair.

Our people are calling for us to stand up and fight for them. The beautiful, warm- hearted, hardworking, honest people of this province are calling for a united, focused and determined Democratic Alliance.

That is why I did not seek any endorsements during my campaign, as I feared it may promote divisions in our ranks. I want to be a leader for all our members, not for some or for a faction.

It is important that we unite as a party because that is what our members and voters want to see. Nobody wants to support a divided house. I hope this sets a trend for future internal elections.

Democrats,

Real change for our people will only happen when we as the Democratic Alliance stand firm and focused on our values, principles and policies. Real change will happen when we are part of people’s daily lives and experiences.

We have to connect with every resident of this province who shares our values, but are not yet voting for us.

To convince them that the DA is a home for them, we mustn’t just tell them, but we must show them. We must create opportunities for new leaders to emerge. We must be the true representation of the nation we want to lead.

We have to champion the building of a nonracial, non-sexist Gauteng, where there will be no barriers created by religion, culture, geography or economic status. We must champion the message of hope for our people.

While others push for illegal land invasions, we must champion land reform programmes.

While others want to push us into racial blocks, we must champion a nonracial South Africa.

While others enrich themselves at the expense of the people, we must expose wrongdoing in all its manifestations.

We must be champions of service delivery in all municipalities in Gauteng.

We will continue to do excellent work in Midvaal, reverse all the damage created by Maile and his administration in Tshwane, keep a close eye on Johannesburg, its ailing coalition and its lack of delivery, and ensure that people of Ekurhuleni, Emfuleni, Lesedi, Mogale, Merafong, Rand-West, West-Rand and Sedibeng have champions who will hold these executives to account.

Democrats, the 2021 Local Government Elections are just around the corner. Our campaign for these elections will require all of us to be on the ground, all of the time.

We will need to retrain and empower our activists to fight these elections. We will have to select the best to represent the DA as public representatives and ensure that they are equipped to be true champions of the people of Gauteng.

Let me take this opportunity to thank and pass my gratitude to James Lorimer for the spirit is which we contested for leader. Once again, we have proven that leaders are elected through democratic processes, and that we do not have anointed leaders.

We allow for debates, contestation of ideas and only choose leaders based on their ideas, content of their character and ability to lead us into a new and exciting future. I hope that this trend continues and becomes a principle we hold dear.

I would also like to thank all members of the Democratic Alliance, those who voted for me and those who didn’t. I thank you for exercising your democratic right in a manner that isn’t leaving the party fractured and factional.

Now that the internal elections are over, let us work as one and focus on the bouncing ball that is the upcoming Local Government Elections.

I commit myself to working with all structures of the party as we venture into this new and exciting chapter for the DA in Gauteng.

I commit to allowing true democracy, open communication, a culture of mutual respect, support and teamwork.

Like Mama Mbulu says, it’s not yet Uhuru, the work ahead of us is a lot and will take all of us to put our shoulders to the wheel. Together, we can and must do it, not for ourselves, but for those who come after us.

I thank you