DA welcomes closure of clinic in sick building

I welcome the temporary closing of the Jeppe Street clinic in inner city Johannesburg following my exposure of the unhealthy working conditions there.

Staff and patients at this clinic were suffering from moldy walls that smelled and caused health problems.

I visited the clinic last month after receiving complaints that staff were getting chest infections because of the poor state of the old building in which the clinic is based.

The emergency room was worst affected, with ugly mold infesting the walls giving off a pungent smell, and there were leaking ceilings elsewhere.

I hope that the rehabilitation of this clinic is done speedily as it is inconvenient for patients to go instead to the Hillbrow Community Health Centre which is usually quite crowded.

It is disturbing that the Gauteng Health Department only acted on this clinic after bad publicity in the media.

The Department needs to give a higher priority to maintenance so that health facilities never deteriorate to the stage that they need to be closed.

Media Enquiries

Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC
082 333 4222

No maintenance or upgrades for sport facilities in Gauteng in 2017

No sporting, arts, heritage and library facilities in Gauteng will receive any maintenance or upgrades during the 2017/18 financial year. This is according to the Budget Estimates for Capital Expenditure by provincial Treasury.

Not only were there no sporting facilities for rugby, cricket and swimming built over the past three years in previously disadvantaged communities, but existing infrastructure was also not maintained.

It is alarming that despite the deterioration of the province’s recreational facilities, no budget was made available to maintain or upgrade crumbling infrastructure.

The MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage, Faith Mazibuko, must explain this bizarre removal of the budget for maintenance.

These facilities play a vital role in society in ensuring that young people in poor communities are not left alone to be influenced by drugs and crime. The promise of soccer fields, astro turfs and many others have fallen flat.

It seems as if MEC Mazibuko is now sitting on her hands in trying not to lobby provincial Treasury for more funds to be allocated to the maintenance, upgrade or repairs needed at many facilities across the province.

If millions can be spent by the department on lavish sporting awards, why can we not get the basics right first?

It is disingenuous that the department would not focus on the maintenance, repairs and the building of more facilities for the poor.

The DA will hold MEC Mazibuko accountable as she is set to debate the departmental budget during the budget vote speeches later next month in the legislature.

Media Enquiries

Kingsol Chabalala MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage
060 558 8299

Yaseen Carelse
Media Specialist
076 721 8613

MEC reveals Gauteng hospitals are unsafe


All Gauteng health facilities inspected by the Department of Labour for bio-hazard and other safety issues in the last three years have failed to meet the required standard.


This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.


According to Ramokgopa, the Department of Labour has conducted various audits, inspections and investigations covering hazardous biological agents, construction compliance, noise measurements and occupational hazards.


She says: “All the audited facilities received either a non-compliance finding, such as a contravention and/or improvement compliance notice”.


The following health facilities were inspected and found to be non-compliant on various measures:


Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital
Helen Joseph Hospital
George Mukhari Hospital
Pretoria West Hospital
Sebokeng Hospital
Hillbrow Community Health Centre
Odi, Temba and Cullinan Emergency Management Services (EMS)


Ramokgopa attributes the failures to “old poor buildings, infrastructure and equipment” and also “ever-increasing patients load, re-emerging of infectious diseases, burden of HIV and TB and general overload in our facilities.”


I am appalled that not a single hospital in Gauteng was compliant in the critical area of worker and patient safety.
The hospitals that have not been inspected are also probably non-compliant in large measure.


It is very worrying because hazardous biological agents are infectious and toxic. They cause allergic reactions such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis‚ allergic rhinitis‚ some types of asthma and organic dust toxic syndrome.


Non-compliance with safety standards increases the risk of health workers and patients becoming infected.


The huge maintenance backlog leads to contraventions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that increases risks such as the recent roof collapse at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital.


I hope that the inspections are a wake-up call to the department to drastically improve safety conditions in our hospitals and clinics.


The goal must be strict compliance with all safety standards.

Media Enquiries

Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC
082 333 4222


[Image Source: http://bit.ly/2o8K7MN]

DA condemns ANC’s violent attack at Joburg IDP meeting


Members of the ANC violently attacked a meeting about the Joburg Integrated Development Plan (IDP) which was held at Midrand High School last night. The DA condemns the incident in the strongest terms and calls on the ANC leadership to call its members to order. The DA also encourages the City of Johannesburg to lay criminal charges against the culprits.


Paul Mashatile must immediately act against the ANC members who arrived with bricks and weapons to attack those who attended the meeting. This is nothing short of an attack on democracy in action.


The ANC has no right to prevent the people of Joburg from attending public meetings, where they are consulted about the City’s development planning. The ANC has been voted out of office and must allow the business of government to continue.


Photographs taken at the scene reveal bloodied floors and displaced furniture. The DA has been informed that the disruption was premeditated. It is unacceptable that people who want to improve the state of Johannesburg are subject to violent attack. It seems as though the ANC is doing all it can to derail the work of the City of Joburg.


The ANC must come to terms with the reality that it failed to govern adequately in the City of Johannesburg and that the people have spoken. The DA will not be deterred by violence and thuggery. We will continue to make every effort to make progress in Joburg. We will also continue to do so in a manner that is inclusive and open.

Media Enquiries

John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Leader
082 960 3743

Anneke Scheepers
DA Gauteng Communications Manager
079 511 7501

The people are speaking: Jacob Zuma must go

Today’s National Day of Action is a statement of unity and intent, across political lines. South Africa is resolute and united that Jacob Zuma cannot continue on as our President.

South Africans from all walks of life, all religions, all creeds, all races are here today united in a common cause. This a movement of the people and this is an expression of the People’s Power.


This march comes just 5 days after tens of thousands of South Africans came out last Friday to march through the major cities of our country. Our movement against Jacob Zuma grows ever-stronger daily.


We are here because we love South Africa, to save South Africa from the kleptocracy that is the hallmark of President Jacob Zuma’s leadership.


No more shall we tolerate the abuse of power, the disregard for the rule of law and the repeated violations of the constitution.


No more shall we tolerate the capture of our state by the Zuma and the Gupta families.


No more shall we tolerate the stealing of our money, like at Nkandla, to enrich one man.


We have witnessed outright corruption and theft.


We have seen the connected few get rich, while everyone else gets poorer.


And now our country has been downgraded to “Junk Status” because of Zuma’s recklessness.


Tragically the poorest in our society will bear the real brunt of “junk status”


But it is Zuma who is the “Junk Status” of our nation.


Our country and our people are strong, our President is weak and “Junk”.


He has broken down our institutions, undermined Parliament, captured the prosecution service, weakened Police leadership – all to avoid accountability.


He has bankrupted our state companies, caused millions to lose their jobs, and is set to bankrupt our nation with a nuclear deal we can’t afford.


And now, in the face of all he has done wrong, Zuma wants to point the finger at those who bravely protest against him.


But we will not be divided, and we will not allow Zuma to dictate our motives.


We are a diverse movement of people who care about the future of our country. Do not paint us as anything but patriots, Mr President!


The ANC has tried to intimidate and threaten these marches, but they have not succeeded.


The ANC has threatened our peaceful marches and gatherings with violence, and the ANC has attacked and assaulted marchers. But we are undeterred by the ANC thuggery to protect Jacob Zuma.


Today’s march shows that threats of arrest or attack cannot stop a movement of people committed to bringing down a broken President.

Today’s march is not a once-off, but it continues as our rolling mass action gains momentum around the country. We invite more and more South Africans to continue to join us in this cause.


This march will symbolically continue on to Parliament when the National Assembly will vote in a Motion of No Confidence in Jacob Zuma.


Parliament hired Jacob Zuma, and now Parliament must fire Jacob Zuma. And only the ANC is standing in the way of Parliament firing Jacob Zuma.


After the 2016 Elections where the ANC suffered stunning defeats, and it began speaking about “humbling itself and listening”, it has the chance now to humble itself and listen. The people are speaking: Jacob Zuma must go.


When the day comes for the vote of no confidence in the National Assembly, every ANC Member of Parliament can and must vote with their conscience to remove Jacob Zuma.


It is time that our country and its beautiful people stop Jacob Zuma and his cronies from looting any more. NO more, we say, no more!


The people are speaking: Jacob Zuma must go.

Media Enquiries

John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
082 960 3743

Yaseen Carelse
Media and Issues Specialist
076 721 8613

MECs Creecy and Maile must move quickly to protect Gauteng economy from Zuma


As the two MECs charged with managing the economy of Gauteng, attracting investment and ensuring prudent financial management, Finance MEC Barbara Creecy and Economic Development MEC Lebogang Maile have to move quickly to protect the Gauteng economy from Zuma’s grand economic mismanagement.


Gauteng is the fourth largest economy on the African economy and the economic hub of the country, and therefore is the driving force of growth and investment into the country. So far, the ANC Gauteng government has been silent on the developments that have rocked the South African economy at large.


Specifically, the DA expects that the MECs would have urgently met with major institutional investors whose future job-creating investment activities may be on hold as a result of the downgrade, and devised a strategy to attract new investment into Gauteng despite our economic woes. None of this seems to have occurred.


The DA challenges both MEC Creecy and MEC Maile to use the MinMEC forum to voice their concerns about the actions of the Zuma-led government and to move swiftly and strategically to protect Gauteng from job losses and divestment.


The DA will be tabling questions to hold the provincial government accountable for its lack of response to this crisis, and ensure that steps are taken to shield the people of Gauteng, particularly the poor and marginalized, from Zuma’s economic terrorism.

Media Enquiries:

Ashor Sarupen MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance
060 558 8303

Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144

ANC thugs attack peaceful DA protestor


The DA today led a peaceful and lawful march of over 20,000 people through the Johannesburg CBD, uniting people from all sectors in opposition to the reckless Jacob Zuma.


The clear message from the thousands at our March for Change was that it is time for the ANC to act against Jacob Zuma.


After our peaceful march, a DA supporter was violently attacked by ANC thugs. The DA strongly condemns the violence by ANC thugs who attacked this DA supporter.


We have long held that the ANC uses intimidation and bullying tactics towards those who disagree with them, and their tactics of intimidation and war talk, in the run up to today’s March for Change have now had consequences.


There is no place for violence in our democratic society. The constitution provides all South Africans with the right to peacefully march and protest.


The ANC has once again shown that it disregards the constitution and the rights enshrined therein.


It is our hope that those who perpetrated violence this morning will be brought to book. We expect a thorough investigation from the SAPS.


The DA will not be deterred by thuggery and the moral bankruptcy of Zuma’s ANC.


The #MarchForChange has only just begun.

Media Enquiries:

John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Leader
082 960 3743

Yaseen Carelse
DA Gauteng Leader
076 721 8613

DA retains Johannesburg Ward 73 with increased support


The DA in Johannesburg has retained Ward 73 in yesterday’s by-election with an increased percentage of the votes.


The DA would like to congratulate Eleanor Huggett, the new ward councillor on a successfully run campaign.


This victory is a clear indication of the progress made by DA-led government in Johannesburg. Mayor Herman Mashaba’s commitment to provide quality services to all residents in the City is clear example of type of good governance voters have long been asking for.


While the ANC continues to lose support, this by-election is a sign of the power shift leading up to the 2019 general elections.


The results of the by-election are as follows:

DA: 84.39 % (3 644 votes)
ANC: 11.05 % (477 votes)
EFF: 4.52% (197 votes)
Media Enquiries

Khume Ramulifho MPL
DA Johannesburg Regional Chairperson
082 398 7375

Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144


[Image Source: http://bit.ly/2oEm9bR]

Why are there still private wards at Joburg Hospital?


The private Folateng wards at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital (CMJH) are still open despite pledges that they would be closed three years ago.

I discovered this yesterday when I visited the Folateng section at the hospital.


These wards were opened at the hospital in May 2002 and there are currently 137 beds for most specialist services.


Folateng beds were also opened at the Pretoria West, Sebokeng and Helen Joseph Hospitals, but they were closed in 2014 after National Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi insisted that all beds in public hospitals be used for public patients only.


The Folateng wards were supposed to make money from private patients that would subsidize public patients, but they lost large amounts of money because of poor administration.


Two years ago, former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu disclosed in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature that R138 million in patient fees was owed to Folateng, mostly from private medical aids.


In reply to why it had taken so long to close all the wards she said that “notice had to be given for the termination of private contracts” and that “the units were integrated into the main hospital.”


The Folateng fiasco was an expensive mistake – my estimate is that they lost more than R500 million in total since inception, including the cost of expensive building alterations.


I will be asking questions in the Legislature about the justification for the continued operation of this unit.


I am disturbed that the Folateng wards still operate at CMJH as I don’t believe they make a real profit and the upgraded facilities should rather be used for public patients.


All public resources should be used effectively to provide quality care for public patients, not running a loss-making unit for private patients who can afford private hospitals.

Media Enquiries

Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow Health Spokesperson
082 333 4223

The Gauteng ANC is a “house divided”


The proud endorsement of President Zuma in last night’s address by ANC Ekurhuleni Mayor, Mzwandile Masina, to the ANCYL in Germiston can only be a clear indication that the cracks are beginning to show in the Gauteng ANC.

Over the weekend, ANC Legislature Chief-Whip, Brian Hlongwa publicly rallied against Zuma at the memorial service held for the late Ahmed Kathrada.

With the outright endorsement of President Jacob Zuma by Mayor Masina, will the Gauteng ANC capitulate to the man who has wreaked havoc on the nation and plunged millions of South African lives into despair?

Or will they have the moral conscience to stand up to the President in a vote of no confidence in the National Assembly? A failure to do so will show that the Gauteng ANC is a house divided against itself, which ultimately will fall.

Media Enquiries

John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
082 960 3743

Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144