Etwatwa residents remain trapped in poverty while R60 million is blown on wasteful projects

The ANC-run Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality has blown a cumulative R60 million on two sites in Etwatwa, Daveyton to stimulate economic growth in the most economically depressed area in the municipality, but once again – like anything built by the municipality, both sites are inoperable white elephants.

I conducted an oversight inspection to these sights and was joined by Ward 26 DA Candidate, Ashley Nyaniso, Ward 109 DA Candidate, Clr Raymond Dlhamini, Ward 66 DA Candidate, Clr Kabelo Mahonko, DA Shadow MMC for Economic Development, Clr Senzi Sibeko and DA Constituency Head for Etwatwa/Daveyton, Mat Cuthbert MP.

The Barcelona Trading Centre, opened in 2016, at a cost of R6 million, was supposed to create a safe and dignified trading space for small businesses in the area.

However, the 21 units at the centre are vacant.

Speaking to traders who operate across the road – traders who should be situated in the centre, they bemoaned the lack of public participation as the site does not draw the foot traffic from the Barcelona Clinic opposite where they trade.

Intermittent and unreliable water and electricity supply has caused the site to be all but abandoned.

Taps are missing from inside the stalls, windows are broken and the site is adorned in litter.

See pictures here here  here and here

This was the same situation at the abandoned Etwatwa Business Hive that we visited.

At a cost of R44 million, the Hive was opened in February 2019, yet has never seen a single tenant.

The ceilings are falling in, the light fittings are coming off the walls and there is no water supply.

This site, which could easily support 100 businesses, stands vacant and unused.

Residents of the community have not been encouraged to make use of the centre – with many not knowing what the site was constructed for.

Like other costly white elephants in the municipality, these sites are wasted opportunities to stimulate local economies and rapidly reduce the spiralling unemployment rate in Ekurhuleni which now sits at 39%.

Local economies and local job creation are vital for the survival and upliftment of places such as Etwatwa.

Under the DA, every white elephant economic opportunity in Ekurhuleni will be revitalised to get our economy growing.

Economic stimulation is key to lifting our people out of squalor.

As Mayor, I will not sit by and let our people remain trapped in poverty and hopelessness.

ANC delays allocation of serviced stands to residents of Daveyton

Note to Editors: Find attached a soundbite from DA Gauteng Premier Candidate, Solly Msimanga

The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls on the Gauteng Human Settlements MEC , Uhuru Moiloa to speed up the process of allocating serviced stands in Daveyton to the rightful beneficiaries as a matter of urgency.

Today, l conducted an oversight inspection of the failed R36 million housing project in Daveyton, Ekurhuleni.

There are 986 serviced stands in Ward 110, Daveyton with water and sewer system connections as well as backyard toilets. (see attached pictures here, here, here and here)



These serviced stands have been abandoned and the toilets’ roofing tiles have been vandalized and some have been worn through.

This is because these stands have been left unattended due to unnecessary delays in allocations.

The residents were supposed to receive these stands last year August but this never materialized. Last week the residents were promised that allocations will occur during Chris Hani month which is the month of April.

This clearly indicates that the failing ANC wants to use this housing project as an electioneering ploy. However, our people cannot be fooled by the ANC which has failed to provide adequate houses for the past 25 years that they have been in government.

This is just one of the many failed housing projects across the province. This clearly indicates that the failing and corrupt ANC government is unable to build houses for our people.

The DA willl continue to put pressure on MEC Moiloa to ensure that the rightful beneficiaries receive these serviced stands.

Gauteng has a housing waiting list of over a million and the ANC government is failing to allocate houses to the rightful beneficiaries due to corruption within the waiting list process. Come May 8 , when the DA governs Gauteng we will ensure that we prioritize the allocation of houses in a transparent and effective manner.

Daveyton Golf Course is an abandoned site

The DA conducted an oversight visit to the Daveyton Golf Course in Ekurhuleni last week.

A once thriving golfing facility and the pride of the Daveyton is now nothing more than an abandoned site.

The Daveyton Golf Course was developed by the Ekurhuleni Metro Council in order to address the shortage of golfing facilitates and training for the community.

The caretaker had informed the DA that more than 60 children had trained for golf at the club on a daily basis in the past, but currently, youth from the community cannot make use of the facility as it is in such disarray.

The grass on the golf course has not been cut for several months. Half the boundary wall is missing which leads the course open to vandalism.

On numerous occasions, the caretaker has had requested the Gauteng Department of Sport and Recreation to cut the grass and attend to maintenance issues, but this has all fallen on deaf ears.

It is extremely disheartening when the government spends millions of rands to build sporting facilities, to uplift children within the community, but lacks the basic management and maintenance skills to sustain these facilities.

The DA has submitted questions to the MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Ms Faith Mazibuko, in the Legislature to ascertain whether there is a maintenance budget for the golf course, when will restoration take place and whether or not the department intends to keep the club doors open.

Media Enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL
DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Benoni
060 558 8299


I Am Ready To Bring Change To Ekurhuleni

I gratefully accept the DA nomination, to run as Mayoral Candidate for Ekurhuleni to bring change to Ekurhuleni.

I grew up in a family forged in the struggle against injustice and I spent many years in exile from the apartheid government. My grandfathers, Ebrahim Asvat and Ahmed Cachalia, campaigned with Mahatma Gandhi against injustice. My father, Yusuf Cachalia, was arrested and tried by the apartheid government for civil disobedience and was sentenced for his part in the Defiance Campaign in December 1952.

My mother, Amina Cachalia, marched alongside women of all races right here in Germiston in 1952 as part of the Defiance Campaign. She and her comrades were arrested and held in a prison in Boksburg.

The values that I learnt from my family have guided me throughout my life; non-racialism and reconciliation, the rule of law and human rights, human dignity and the imperative that the government must work for the people and not the other way around.

From the ashes of apartheid we forged a new country based on human dignity, equality and freedom for all.

Throughout my life, I believed the ANC embodied these values. It was where I put my faith for a better life for all South Africans. It was the party that enshrined my values when Nelson Mandela signed our constitution into law in 1996.

But sadly, after 22 years of ANC government, we have been betrayed. The ANC has changed, and the ANC of Jacob Zuma is not the ANC of Nelson Mandela.

I accept this DA nomination, not just because I’m leaving the ANC, but because the ANC has left me.

We have watched our values being reduced to rhetoric by the ANC. We have watched our painful history being exploited as a tool to divide South Africans to cover up for the failures of government. We have seen a corrupt elite group use the power of the state to benefit only themselves and their families. We have seen unemployment rise and we have seen too many of our fellow citizens become trapped in poverty.

As we stand here today, we are in the second most unequal city in the world. Ekurhuleni used to be called Africa’s Workshop, but after years of mismanagement, it is deindustrialising.

A city that should be a beacon of hope and opportunity remains divided. Nearly 24% of households in this city do not live in formal dwellings. Over 40% of the people in this city do not have a tap in their own home. 15% of the people in this city do not have a flush toilet. Almost 20% have no electricity for lighting, let alone cooking.

The time has come for us to once again find our hope and aspiration.

This is why I stand with the DA and will be campaigning as mayoral candidate to usher in an era of DA government in Ekurhuleni. The DA offers us a new path, where freedom, fairness and opportunity are the values on which we make government work for the people. The DA offers us a chance to make our city a city of jobs and opportunity.

The time has come for change and the DA is the vehicle to deliver that change.

I attended the 10,000-strong march to the Consitutional Court last Friday with our Leader, Mmusi Maimane.  It was a momentous moment for me as I stood and listened to Mmusi Maimane speak in defence of our constitution.

I was reminded then of the time I visited my father in prison at the Fort on that very site. I looked at the palm trees and recalled how he used to collect date pips and on release how he fashioned these into a necklace for my mother as a poignant reminder of their bonds and struggle.

I also recalled being at the ANC’s celebration of victory in 1994 at the Carlton Hotel with my parents, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and others. How the ANC has changed since then!

Currently, under ANC governance in Ekurhuleni we have people living in Lindelani and Barcelona near Daveyton who have no certain and stable supply of running water at all. And we have seen a City Manager illegally appointed and the ANC administration ignore the court order to correct this.

When we give people real opportunity, we meaningfully undo the legacy of apartheid.

This means voting for a DA government in Ekurhuleni, because it is your local government that lays the foundation for opportunity and redress.

My vision for the city of Ekurhuleni is an inclusive city, where the people who are struggling find opportunity and a hand up in life, the striving are able to grow and excel and the successful are able to invest and innovate.

Our city must be free from crime and grime. Our metro police must be trusted by and partnered with all communities. Our children must not be harassed and entrapped by drug dealers. Nyaope must not steal our future.

Our city must be transparent. Housing waiting lists must be opened up for public scrutiny. Tenders must be awarded in an open adjudication system. Corrupt and callous officials must be dealt with and the city must work for all its residents. Our officials must be competent, qualified and ready to deliver.

Our city must care for the poor. The indigent policy must ensure that services reach those who can’t afford it. We must compete with Cape Town to offer the most comprehensive basket of free services to our poorest communities.

Our housing policy must include in-situ upgrading so that people don’t continue to suffer the indignity of poverty. Every child in this city must have a light under which to study, clean running water and sanitation. No child or grandmother should suffer the indignity of a pit latrine, or be forced to dig her own pit toilet.

Our city must be open for business. We must roll out the red carpet for investors who want to create jobs and grow our economy. We must make sure that start-ups and small businesses in particular have the right incentives and support.

Our city must have good infrastructure. When all the roads are tarred, when the water leaks are fixed and when the street lights work, we not only make life easier for our citizens, we lay the foundation for investment and growth. The money is available for this, it just requires a committed government to deliver it.

Throughout my life, I have opposed injustice. It is what drives me. Today, the biggest injustice is that we do not provide economic opportunity to all. The dignity of a job must not be denied to anyone. We will grow the economy, and we will create hundreds of thousands of jobs. The DA will do this, because we have done it where we govern already.

The time for change is now! The moment to create a better future is upon us, in Ekurhuleni and in South Africa.

Let us bring change that cuts corruption, delivers services and creates jobs.

I am standing as DA Mayoral Candidate for Ekurhuleni because I am committed to change that improves the lives of our people.


Media enquiries:

Tanya Heydenrych

Senior Media Officer: DA Gauteng Province

073 701 6729

Albert Luthuli Primary’s Sister School Left Forgotten

Today I attended the official opening of the new Chief Albert Luthuli Primary School 2 in Daveyton with my colleague, DA Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho, and DA Benoni Ward Councillor Stefanie Kruger.

At the event I congratulated MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi on opening the much-needed school in the ever-expanding Chief Albert Luthuli Park and welcomed the introduction of paperless classrooms.

However, while the new school was supposed to reduce the number of learners currently enrolled at Albert Luthuli Primary School 1, this is not the case.

Despite 800 learners being enrolled at the new school, Albert Luthuli Primary 1 still has 200 more learners than its stated capacity of 900, with up to 60 learners in some classrooms.

Of further concern is that since opening its doors in 2013, Albert Luthuli Primary 1 is still without Internet access, computers or telephone lines. The room initially earmarked for computer class is being used as a storeroom.

Introducing paperless classrooms to Daveyton is commendable, but there is little point in spending R92 million on one school when others in the area are without the infrastructure they most need.

This despite numerous engagements with the MEC regarding the shortages at this school, and nothing has been done about it.

Parents have also questioned the languages of instruction at the new school. Learners will be taught in primarily isiZulu, isiXhosa and isiTshonga, despite the fact that most people in the area speak predominantly seSotho and Sepedi.

To this end the DA will write to the MEC to determine why Albert Luthuli Primary 1 still remains without computers, internet access or telephone lines, and what will be done to ensure that the school swiftly receives these much needed resources.

The DA believes that everyone has the right to receive quality education, and every school must be equally resourced to ensure that no learners are unfairly disadvantaged.


Media enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

Benoni Constituency Head

060 558 8309


Tanya Heydenrych

Gauteng Provincial Media Officer: Ekurhuleni

073 701 6729

[Image source]

Gauteng Needs More Housing And Less Promises

Gauteng Housing Backlog

Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Jacob Mamabolo, has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he is failing to deliver on his mandate to handle the Gauteng housing backlog which now surpasses over 1 million.

In his political report for 2015 Gauteng Premier David Makhura, admitted to the shortcomings of the human settlements department in delivering housing opportunities for the residents in the province.

Under Mamobolo’s leadership, the human settlements department has cracked and failed to reach many of its priority targets and policies which include:

  • The non-delivery of RDP houses;
  • Inability to roll out in-situ upgrading programmes; and
  • The failure to consolidate social housing programmes as well as planning of the mega city.

Access to Basic Housing

The number of people living in shacks and informal dwellings has not reduced since 1994 and one in five residents in the City of Johannesburg still live in an informal settlement.

After 21 years of a democratic dispensation, residents in Alexandra, Dube, Diepkloof, Daveyton and Brandvlei to name a few, still struggle to access basic housing.

This is indicative of a disintegrating leadership that is completely out of touch.

Gauteng residents also still await the MEC’s promise to initiate an investigation into the R 2.6 billion in irregular expenditure incurred by his department.

Decent, Sustainable Housing

MEC Mamabolo lacks transparency and fails to be held accountable by the residents of Gauteng, thus corroding the public’s trust and hope for decent and sustainable housing.

The MEC must clean up his act and start exercising decisive leadership that will see the living conditions of the people improve.  It is high time that he deliver on his promised mandate before taking oath of office.


Media enquiries:

Mervyn Cirota MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Human Settlements

060 558 8312

[Image source]

Three Deaths at Daveyton Police Station since 2012

Gauteng Department of Community Safety

In response to DA questions to the Gauteng Department of Community Safety, it was revealed that at least three people have died in police custody at the Daveyton Police Station since 2012.

In the first instance, Mozambique National, Edmido Macau, is believed to have been murdered by officers who are currently facing a criminal trial; set to begin on 27 July 2015. The Department apparently dismissed the eight concerned officers for misconduct following an internal investigation.

The Independent Police Investigating Directorate

The Independent Police Investigating Directorate (IPID) is also currently investigating the unnatural death in custody of South African citizen Thulani Mokoena, who died at the station on 18 May 2015, and the most recent unnatural death in custody of Mozambique national, Justice Malatji.

Both cases have been returned to the Daveyton detectives for investigation which the DA considers inappropriate as these officials should not be involved in enquiries into their own cases.

These three deaths make for a concerning trend and the DA will be following up with Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, to establish the status of the IPID investigations and whether autopsy reports have been concluded for the most recent two cases.

Protracted Investigations

Protracted investigations only delay the closure which the families and loved ones of the deceased are so desperately seeking.

In the interim, police officers who may be found guilty of foul play continue to manage the safety of the community without consequence.

Should foul play be established in these two most recent cases I will be contacting the MEC and Provincial Police Commissioner for urgent intervention into the Daveyton Police station.

The efficiency of these investigations is key to ensuring that there is never another unnatural death at the Daveyton Police station and that the community can begin to trust their local law enforcement again.


Media Enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson: Community Safety
060 558 8309

[Image source]

Daveyton Hospital Delayed to 2019

Planned Daveyton HospitalJack Bloom DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

The planned 300 bed Daveyton Hospital on the East Rand which was first approved in 2006 will only be completed in 2019.

This disappointing news was revealed yesterday by Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza at a sitting of the Gauteng Legislature.

Budget for Planning and Design

According to Mayathula-Khoza, there is budget for planning and design in 2015/16. Construction will start in 2016/17 and should be completed in three years.

I doubt that the Daveyton Hospital will be built by 2019 as the Infrastructure Development Department has a terrible track record in large building projects.

For instance, the new Natalspruit and Jabulani hospitals were both five years overdue and cost more than double the original budget.

There is a great need for a new hospital to serve the growing population in the Daveyton, Etwatwa and Benoni area, but chronic incompetence means that this will not happen soon.

Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

 [Image source]

Why Name Far East Rand Hospital after Ruth First?

Far East Rand Hospital

Premier David Makhura is officially renaming the Zola-Jabulani Hospital tomorrow, the first of three proposed new names for hospitals in Gauteng, but the most puzzling one is the plan to name the Far East Rand Hospital after Ruth First.Jack Bloom DA Constituency Head - Johannesburg East

According to a written reply by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature, the Far East Rand Hospital Board wrote a letter to the MEC in 2008 proposing the name change and “several meetings were held with the members of the hospital board, community of Springs, Kwa-Thema, Tsakane and Daveyton.

Furthermore, staff members (including labour unions), members of the religious forum were consulted.”

Names Submitted for Consideration

The following five names were submitted to the Office of the MEC for consideration:

  • Flamma Mzamane – a professional nurse;
  • Violet Phoswayo – a social worker;
  • Margaret Gazo – a political activist;
  • Ruth First – a political activist; and
  • Dr Lancelat Gama – medical doctor.

Mahlangu says that the hospital board “felt that the name Far East Rand explains the geographic location of the hospital and does not reflect the history of the area.”

Ruth First

Ruth First was an anti-apartheid scholar and member of the SA Communist Party together with her husband Joe Slovo. She was born in Johannesburg and has no readily apparent link to the Far East Rand area.

My concern is that in virtually every instance (Steve Biko Hospital is an honourable exception) the Gauteng Provincial Government renames a hospital after an ANC-linked activist, often with little real consultation.

The FAR Hospital is in the ward of DA Councillor Dean Stone who was not consulted at all with regard to the renaming, unlike ANC councillors who were involved in the Zola-Jabulani and New Natalspruit Hospital name changes.

Public Participation

Nobel Prize winning author Nadine Gordimer is the most famous Springs-born personality, and should have been considered, especially as her name could be used to raise donor funds internationally for the hospital.

The public participation process in renaming the Far East Rand hospital was very selective and inadequate. My view is that a further process should be embarked on that includes names like Nadine Gordimer with a strong local connection.

There is a strong case for hospitals to have a geographical name, but there must be genuine public consultation if they are to be renamed.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Constituency Head – Johannesburg East

082 333 4222

[Image source]

DA Marches Against Drug Abuse in Daveyton

On Saturday, 28th of March 2015, the Democratic Alliance staged a protest march against the rising incidents of drug abuse and associated criminality in Daveyton.

DA activists marching against drug abuse

Over 300 DA members and supporters marched several kilometers from to the Daveyton Police Station to hand over a memorandum to the South African Police Service, demanding ‎that the Narcotics Bureau be reinstated to deal with drugs and crime intelligence around drugs, as well as more frequent raids of drug dens and visible policing around schools to keep drug dealers away.

The march was a peaceful occurred without incident, and was pre-approved with SAPS along an agreed route, as the DA is a party of the rule of law and supports the rule of law.

The DA will continue to demand that specialised policing units be reinstated to deal with specific crimes and will be pursing the issue through the various councils, legislatures and parliament.

The DA in Daveyton will be running a month long campaign on drug abuse with the community.


Media Enquiries

Ashor Sarupen MPL

DA Constituency Head – Springs / Daveyton

076 334 5147