934 cancer patients waiting for treatment at Steve Biko Hospital

934 cancer patients are waiting for radiation treatment at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, with delays caused by broken machinery earlier this year and a shortage of radiographers.

This was disclosed on my visit to the hospital yesterday with my colleague Dr Neil Campbell MPL. We wanted to assess conditions at the cancer unit and were escorted by Acting Hospital CEO Dr Mathabo Mathebula.

In February and March this year two of the four radiation machines could not be used because broken air-conditioning led to dangerous over-heating.

We were assured that the air-conditioning has been fixed and all the radiation machines can now be used, but a backlog has developed because of the down-time.

Another problem is that there are only 20 radiographers but 31 are ideally required to make best use of the machines.

Ten radiographers have left in the last year, and only 8 radiographers have been recruited to replace them.

Patients currently wait about one month to see a doctor, and will receive radiation treatment two months after being scanned. This three month delay decreases the survival chances of cancer patients.

Staff told us that there has been a sharp increase in cancer cases, many coming from other provinces and a significant number from other countries.

The most common cancers are breast, cervical, head and neck, and prostate.

I am concerned that there is a large backlog of cancer cases which is being worsened by the shortage of radiographers.

More radiographers should be recruited urgently and private hospitals should be contracted to cut the backlog.

DA Gauteng debates Motion on Investment in Public Transport


The following speeches were delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today by DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Transport, Dr Neil Campbell MPL and DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Social Development, Justus de Goede MPL, during a debate on Gauteng’s public transport investment.

Dr Neil Campbell MPL

“ANC motion far removed from the reality of commuters”

• The current bus subsidy programme is a disaster, with commuters and bus companies both unhappy. Busses are old, unreliable, and unpunctual, and routes are often not serviced;
• The Gautrain is unaffordable to most commuters, it has cost far more than was originally calculated and continues to drain the provincial treasury via subsidies;
• The freight–hubs which were to serve Gauteng are currently only draining the economy; and
• Gauteng’s Driver Licence Testing Centres are inefficient and plagued with many corrupt officials. Many road users’ service delivery complaints have gone unheard.

The full speech can be obtained here.

Justus de Goede MPL

“Public transport in Gauteng requires thorough planning and coordination to be a success”

• A lack of coordination in public transport planning between the different spheres of government in the province is crippling growth and development in the sector;
• Public-private partnerships must be sought in order to ensure the sustainability of public transport in the province;
• The creation of the Gauteng Transport Authority, which aimed to streamline uncoordinated institutional structures, was announced two years ago, but there has been virtual silence since due to the lack of political will; and
• Two recent surveys paint a very bleak picture of public perceptions of the transport system and found that commuters are actually leaving the public transport network, and have lost confidence in it.

The full speech can be obtained here.

Gauteng commuters at risk of being left stranded

The DA calls on Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi to engage with Transport Minister Dipuo Peters and ensure that Gauteng commuters will not be left stranded from 1 April.Campbell-Dr-Neil1

Yesterday afternoon, Putco bus company distributed letters to commuters informing them that routes from Mamelodi to Pretoria’s CBD as well as southern, northern and eastern suburbs would be suspended as of 1 April.

Bus services in Kathorus (Ekurhuleni) and Meyerton (Midvaal) will also be affected.

Click here to view the letter.

Putco has been receiving government subsidies for decades to provide affordable transport to the people of Gauteng along predetermined routes.

Over the years, government’s subsidies did not keep pace with operating costs and route expansions, nor did they provide Putco with contractual security by only renewing contracts for one year in certain instances – or on a month-to-month basis in others.

The upshot of this was that Putco undercapitalised in new vehicles, with a detrimental effect on commuter and road safety.

The fact is that government slowly caused Putco’s demise, and will be forced to face the wrath of thousands of angry commuters less than 20 days from now.

MEC Vadi’s proposal to use municipal services as a stop-gap measure may provide short-term relief, but the poor state of repair of those vehicles will only escalate commuters’ dissatisfaction.

While it remains critical that commuters are not left stranded, MEC Vadi and minister Peters need to meet with Putco, discuss routes and costs associated with their operation, and hammer out new contractual agreements and their subsidies in as short a time as possible.

Gauteng’s economy cannot afford to lose thousands of man hours every day due to poor government planning.


Media enquiries:

Dr Neil Campbell MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport

082 387 2540


Gauteng Transport Department Powerless Against Corrupt Officials

The CEO for the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport (GDRAT), Mr Roland Swartz, has admitted to the Gauteng Legislature’s committee of inquiry in to taxi licensing that the department has had no capability to investigate or prosecute corrupt officials.

Swartz stated to me that his department had been unable to prosecute or convict any official in the Department’s Transport Operating License Administration Bodies (TOLABs) – the organ for controlling taxi routes and operating licenses – despite acknowledging that the TOLABs are rife with fraud and corruption.

He stated that recently a fraud and corruption unit had been established, but that it had yet to secure any convictions.

The department has relied purely on whistle-blowers to identify corrupt officials, but when individuals did report instances of corruption – at much risk to themselves, reported cases had not resulted in any prosecutions.

Swartz admitted that the systems his department has to rely on, which are run by the National Department of Transport, are woefully slow, inadequate and unable to effectively deal with the flow of applications in Gauteng.

The Auditor-General has often commented on the inadequacy of these systems.

Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi must engage with National Transport Minister, Dipuo Peters, to ensure that the systems are fully operational and responsive.

If left unchecked, corruption in this department will continue unabated.


Media enquiries:

Dr Neil Campbell MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport

082 387 2540

[Image source]

John Moodey to Stage Picket Calling for Provincial Referendum on e-tolls

Tomorrow, Wednesday, 4 March, DA Gauteng Provincial Leader John Moodey MPL, accompanied by Neil Campbell MPL, Solly Msimanga MPL and Khume Ramulifho MPL will stage a picket outside the Office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura in response to the premier’s failure to call for a provincial referendum on e-tolls during his State of the Province Address.

Moodey-John 200

Date: 04 March 2015

Time: 10:00

Address: Office of the Premier, 30 Simmonds Street, Johannesburg.


There will be ample opportunities for interviews and photographs. Members of the media are welcome to attend.


Media enquiries:

Tanya Heydenrych

Provincial Media Officer




Madam Speaker


I listened attentively to Premier Makhura’s address on Monday and must agree that many of the ideals outlined by him are what we would all dream of for our beloved country.


However, having heard the same promises made by his predecessor, Premier Mokonyana, every year for 5 years without much output at the end of her term, I realised that this Premier whom I hoped would really deliver, must either be extremely badly informed by his aides or be the new king of empty promises.


We must never forget, educationally speaking, that although Gauteng may be the best performer in South Africa, the output of state schools in our country has been so dumbed-down that we are at the bottom of the ranking for all the countries in the world in maths and only a couple from the bottom in general education.


The grand plans announcing the intention to spend billions of rand on infrastructure improvement must be seen against the background of a declining economy, lowered international credit rating and an extremely limited or non-existent ability to borrow on world markets. South Africa is, in fact depressing the economic performance of the rest of Africa.


We exist in a country where corruption is now so rife that companies build bribes into their budgets in order to continue functioning.


The Premier spoke often of his reliance on the private sector to realise his dreams but it is his party’s business unfriendly policy that ties businesses up in unnecessary red tape and commits especially SMMEs to unaffordable salary increases without increased productivity. It is his party’s policy that forces well run businesses to rather install robots on assembly lines than give desperately needed jobs to our people because robots never demand huge increases and never embark on wildcat  strikes.


On transport matters he spoke of the O R Tambo aerotropolis as a saviour for the Ekurhuleni economy but the land around the airport is already too expensive for this scheme to ever succeed.

He lauded the bus rapid transit undertakings in the three metros but one has not got off the ground, one is presently moribund because of a strike and the third is mired in controversy and allegations of corruption and graft.


Our driver licensing testing stations, road worthy centres and TOLABS are all hot-beds of corruption which the GDRT is unable or unwilling to eradicate and our traffic police seem only able to man speed traps (but only,  when the weather is good) and also to solicit bribes and gridlock the cities by amateurish point duty such as happened on Monday.


The grass on our road verges and medians go uncut and the added lack of lighting on many provincial roads has caused several crashes.

Taxis regularly swing across several lanes of traffic, drive on the wrong side of the road, clog up emergency lanes, ignore traffic signs and block intersections but are rarely fined because our police are too scared to act against them. Our trucks crawl up steep gradients in the fast lanes and often travel at speeds exceeding 115kph on the down-hills but as speed traps are set at 125 kph they are seldom stopped for speeding. A truck at 115 kmh is infinitely more dangerous than a car exceeding the speed-limit by a similar 35 kph as proven by the N12 crash last year.


The Premier promised the consultative forum following the advisory panel feedback, that he would respond to the outright rejection by the public of both e-tolls and the proposed hybrid model by month end.


If the ambiguous report in his address is supposed  to clarify matters it has failed.  One must again ask the question why Sanral, the National Department of Roads and Transport and the ANC outside of Gauteng are hell-bent on using the expensive gantries.?


There remain many unexplained clauses in the contract between Sanral and ETC and KAPSH which defy logic. Who exactly is being enriched by the e-toll system?


Is the government determined to clog our courts with e-toll infringers while the many real criminals in detention wait to come to trial? The Premier should conduct a referendum on the public attitude to e-tolls and then stnd by the wishes of Gauteng citizens by rejecting the e-tolls unconditionally.


Our existing infrastructure has, on the admission of the ANC, been woefully neglected for decades. While our existing assets crumble and fail, the Premier is putting forward expensive and unrealistic new major projects.


It is time for the ANC to fully identify what assets it has and their state of repair or disrepair. It should carefully work out a cost sustainable maintenance routine and then carefully identify those new projects that have a reasonable chance of coming to fruition on time and on budget and concentrate on those.


It cannot do everything at once and prioritisation and pragmatism are required. To this end we need to be circumspect about extensions to the Gautrain. The train already costs R1.5 billion annually in subsidies and these are budgeted to increase to R1.8 billion in the next two yers. Furthermore the fares on Gautrain are deliberately set above Prasa’s fares and do not transport the real workers in Gauteng.


South Africa does not have the ability to offer free housing, free healthcare, free education and social grants to almost a third of our population on a sustainable basis.


Let us not be “jacks of all things” but rather,  masters of those things that make the most impact.



I thank you madam Speaker




















Contact: Cell 082 387 2540

Expired driving permits highlight law enforcement failure







Reports by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) indicating that 366 761 heavy duty and public transport operators are on Gauteng’s roads with expired professional driving permits is an indictment on law enforcement in the province.

Drivers of heavy duty and public transport vehicles require these permits to prove their ability to operate these vehicles.

Gauteng is second only to KwaZulu-Natal when it comes to road fatalities and experiences an ever increasing number of road violations.

Despite laws being in place, it is clear that current law enforcement structures are failing.

As a result, and what is clear from the startling number of expired professional driving permits, is that compliance and regard for the law is at an all-time low.

The Gauteng Provincial Government needs to take decisive action.

What it must do is move the Gauteng Traffic Police force from the Department of Community Safety, and place it back under control of the Department of Roads and Transport.

The DA has for a long time raised this issue with Roads and Transport MEC, Ismail Vadi, and Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane.

We will continue to pressurise the MEC, as well as Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, to heed our calls in ensuring not only compliance – but also effective road law enforcement which ensures the safety of all road users.

Media enquiries:
Dr Neil Campbell MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport
082 387 2540

Gautrain precincts remain hotspots for criminals

Yesterday a Gauteng Legislature staff member was robbed at gun-point of his computer, smart-phone and wallet by five thugs.

Whilst there is unfortunately nothing unusual about such incidents in South Africa, the fact is that numerous people are being mugged on an ongoing basis right outside the Gautrain Park station.

Several GPL members and staff have already been subjected to similar acts of violent robbery.

Errol Braithwaite, the Bombela spokesperson, has stated that the contract with Bombela’s security company precludes security officers from operating outside the Gautrain stations- albeit only a few feet from Gautrain property.
The police, as usual, seem to be incapable of deploying undercover officers to identify and arrest the perpetrators.

The total inability or unwillingness of the SAPS and Bombela to address this crime issue is totally unacceptable.

Public transport is rightly identified as the only solution to traffic congestion – but an absolute requirement for efficient public transport is the safety of the commuters it carries.

The problem is compounded when existing public transport remains unreliable – as has been the case with the recent Rea Vaya bus strikes.

As a result of the strike, Rea Vaya commuters are forced to use the Gautrain bus service, creating delays and overcrowding, leaving many no other options but to walk.

The DA calls on the Gauteng Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS, Lieutenant General Lesetja Mothiba, and Bombela to take immediate steps to stop the daylight muggings outside Gautrain stations.

Media enquiries:
Neil Campbell MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport
082 387 2540