Gauteng Hospitals Owe R2.9 million on Over-priced Diesel

Gauteng hospitals owe R2.9 million to companies that supply diesel for boilers, tractors and back-up generators.

This is revealed in a written reply by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.Jack Blom DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

Companies Owed

The Gauteng Health Department buys diesel from a number of companies in terms of a contract by National Treasury.

The following companies are owed money:

  • Kiarah Chemicals cc                     R936 835
  • One Line Project Solutions cc          R491 150
  • Kebaratile General Trading             R29 227
  • Afric Oil Pty Ltd                             R373 219
  • General Energy Systems Pty Ltd     R1 065 358

 

I am aware of cases where late supply of diesel has led to generators failing after power cuts, and boilers with no steam to provide heat and sterilise surgical instruments.

Discounted Rates

I am also concerned that the department pays R12.38 per litre of diesel, which is a bit more than you would pay at a local garage.

Surely a discount rate could have been achieved as part of the diesel tender?

This is yet another example where the department is getting poor value for money and there are supply disruptions because of non-payment.

The department should pay its bills and ensure a reliable diesel supply for hospitals.

 

Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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John Moodey to Present the True State of Ekurhuleni Metro

This morning DA Gauteng Provincial Leader, John Moodey, DA Ekurhuleni Caucus Leader, Cllr Fortune Mahano and DA Ekurhuleni caucus members will brief the media over the true state of the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality.

 

The briefing will take place outside the Wanneburg Clinic in the informal settlement of Makause near Primrose, Germiston, where the DA will present its policy alternatives in the run up to Executive Mayor Mondli Gungubele’s State of the City Address on Wednesday.

 

 

Date: Monday, 23 March 2015

 

Time: 09:30

 

Venue: Wanneburg Clinic, Pretoria Road, (between Bus and Mimosa Roads) Primrose

 

Click here to view map.

 

 

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

 

 

Media enquiries:

Cllr Fortune Mahano

DA Ekurhuleni Caucus Leader

072 451 2645

 

Angela Barnes

DA Media Liaison – Ekurhuleni Caucus

083 701 9972

 

Police programme to root out criminal cops unlawful

Project 1448, an initiative by the Department of Community Safety in Gauteng to root out police members with criminal records, was shut down as it was deemed unlawful.

This was revealed by Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, during a sitting of the Gauteng Legislature.

Currently there are 271 South African Police Service members in Gauteng who continue to perform active duty despite having been convicted of committing criminal offences.

Of these, 248 have been convicted of committing serious crimes.

This situation cannot be dealt with effectively if initiatives that are instituted to tackle such matters are flawed from the outset.

The MEC indicated that there are currently cases in court, and that the situation is beyond her control.

However, what is in her control is to call for closer scrutiny and background checks of SAPS recruits to ensure that the dedicated men and women in blue are not tarnished by nefarious characters.

The DA will continue to monitor these cases and ensure that those police officials who have convictions are removed from the system.
Media enquiries:
Michele Clarke MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety
060 558 8309

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Gauteng Premier Refuses to Participate in Parliament’s Human Rights Day Debate

The DA today wrote to Gauteng Legislature Speaker Lenteng Mekgwe questioning Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s refusal to send a provincial delegation to the joint sitting of Parliament for a debate on Human Rights tomorrow.Moriarty-Mike1-240x300

Apparently, the premier based his decision on cost concerns.

The DA is highly concerned over the Speaker’s support of the Premier’s decision, as Rule 37 of the Rules of Order designates the function of appointing special delegates to the Programming Committee and not the premier.

If the Premier was not available to lead the delegation, then somebody else could have led, especially as there are plenty of important human rights issues in Gauteng, including the matter of xenophobia.

It is foolish to suggest xenophobia was not a factor in the violent looting that occurred recently, as it is without question that the victims were predominantly people from abroad.

The victims too were entitled to human rights, and the riotous behaviour that occurred arose from a mind-set that foreign citizens are a legitimate target.

This can be described in one word: xenophobia. And this is a violation of human rights.

There is an obligation on national government and cabinet ministers to address this matter with all due seriousness, especially those of International Relations and Home Affairs.

And while national government dithers, Gauteng citizens bear the brunt.

Premier Makhura and the provincial government must do everything possible to prevent national government action or inaction from prejudicing the rights of Gauteng’s people.

Clearly premier Makhura is not prepared to challenge his national counterparts in an appropriate forum such as the National Council of Provinces.

By not debating on Thursday this province is missing an opportunity to hold national government to account for its failure to safeguard the rights of people in Gauteng.

This clearly shows that the ANC in Gauteng is not willing to fully defend our citizens in the face of their national colleagues: not on xenophobia and not on e-tolls.

To this end, the DA requested the Speaker to make the necessary arrangements to have this matter discussed in the Programming Committee and to obtain guidance from the Legislature’s legal advisors.

 

Media enquiries:

Mike Moriarty MPL

DA Chief Whip in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature

082 492 4410

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Illegal Weapons Linked to Increased Mining Violence

The DA condemns the deaths of seven people, including a one-year-old child during Saturday evening’s shooting in Crystal Park on the East Rand. The incident is alleged to be linked to warring illegal mining syndicates.

According to reports 15 suspects armed with what is believed to be stolen pistols and rifles are said to still be at large.

Illegal mining coupled with the illegal possession of firearms has seen a dramatic increase in violence during the past year.

While we welcome the investigation by police, the DA calls on Gauteng Police Commissioner Lesetja Mothiba to devise an “Illegal mining master plan” for a holistic approach to every aspect of this violent problem. Far too many innocent lives are lost due to illegal mining activities, and police are not suitably trained nor efficiently equipped to deal with this matter.

The urgent need for speedy police reaction to illegal mining cannot be ignored. The fact that 15 suspects – who are armed with illegal weapons – are still at large poses a great threat to society.

 

Media Enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Benoni

060 558 8309

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1789 Patients Wait for Cataract Ops at Bara Hospital

1789 patients wait for up to 18 months for a cataract operation at the St John’s Eye Clinic at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

This was disclosed yesterday by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in a reply to my questions at a sitting of the Gauteng Legislature.

The long waiting list has been worsened by 526 cataract operations that were cancelled or deferred last year.

According to Mahlangu, the cancellations were mostly due to patient factors such as ill-health or lack of consent, but I have heard many stories of cancellations due to equipment failure and staff shortage.

For instance, on 20 January this year, patients with scheduled operations were told to go home because machinery was not working.

It was also reported last year that there were 19 vacancies out of 40 positions.

The St John’s Eye Clinic has the longest waiting time for cataracts in Gauteng.

This is inhumane and an abuse of the elderly which should not be allowed to continue.

We need special measures to improve the situation there as soon as possible, such as the extension of operating hours over weekends, and a partnership with the private health sector.

 

Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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Still No Answer Why Gauteng Health Head Left

I am disappointed that six months after the departure of Gauteng Health Department Head, Dr Hugh Gosnell in September last year, we still do not have a clear answer why he left.

In reply to my questions in the House this morning, Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu said that there was a “frank discussion” and that they “separated amicably with no bad blood”.

Dr Gosnell left after only one year in office, which is very unusual, especially after the praise heaped on him when he was appointed.

I am also concerned that it took so long to advertise for a new head of department, which only took place in the press this past weekend.

This department desperately needs a permanent head with the expertise to decisively fix up the many problems which lead to poor service in Gauteng hospitals and clinics.

According to Mahlangu, Gosnell was paid R69 000 for outstanding leave, and the rest according to contractual obligation, which I estimate at more than R2 million for the remainder of his 3-year contract.

I hope that the new head is appointed as soon as possible and is able to restore confidence in the running of this department.

 

Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

 

Gauteng Community Safety MEC Mum on Secrecy

Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, refused to answer a question asking if she has instituted a policy of secrecy to hide issues relating to police officers and police facilities managed by her Department.

This followed an oral question I tabled in a sitting of the Gauteng Legislature to enquire why electricity bills were unpaid at an Ekurhuleni Metro Police station in Eislen Street, Daveyton, which lead to electricity being disconnected.

Police officers were instructed not to tell any members of the public, including opposition politicians, that electricity was disconnected at the station.

A whistle-blower brought this to the attention of the DA.

However, when asked about the instruction to hide this, and further asked if it is policy to hide problems, the MEC stated that she “can’t answer rumours”.

The MEC has already instituted a policy that Members of the Legislature may not undertake unannounced oversight visits to police stations – undermining the constitutional rights and obligations of elected public representatives.

The public have a right to know when their police service is dysfunctional as well as what is being done to address deficiencies in police.

The MECs attitude and refusal to answer, as well as her veil of secrecy approach is alarming.

Media enquiries:
Ashor Sarupen
DA Constituency Head: Springs-Daveyton
076 334 5147

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E-tolls Referendum: Mr Premier, we are at a stalemate

Gauteng Premier David Makhura refuses to hold a referendum on e-tolls and wants people to continue to pay for this unfair and unjust system.Moodey-John1-240x300

Today I asked the premier to explain the reasons behind his refusal to call for a referendum, despite the fact that it is the best democratic mechanism to gauge public sentiment on a particular issue.

The premier’s response was that a referendum is only used to resolve a stalemate, and not every public concern.

He added by saying that the matter is still receiving government’s full attention through the intergovernmental working group under the leadership of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, and that a solution will be found.

The fact is Gauteng has long ago reached a stalemate on e-tolls and their implementation, which is clearly illustrated by motorists’ continued refusal to pay.

And now the ANC and Premier Makhura are insisting on implementing the panel’s recommendations in a desperate attempt to find a way to force people to pay through one stealth tax or another.

Mr Premier, e-tolls must be scrapped, and both you and the ANC know that if you call for a referendum, the people of Gauteng will tell you exactly that.

Give the power to the people, call a referendum on e-tolls, and let the people decide.

 

Media enquiries:

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

082 960 3743

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DA Welcomes Land Audit Pronouncement

The DA in Gauteng welcomes Premier David Makhura’s announcement last week that the provincial government would embark on a land audit to assist the growth of emerging farmers in the province.

Premier Makhura announced his intended move at the Agri-processing Industry Summit held in Kliptown.

The DA proposed a land audit for the province in November 2014, which laid out what the Premier announced at the summit.

It is significant that the governing party has acknowledged that it is on the wrong track and has taken the DA’s proposal to heart, by putting to good use fallow government-owned land.

While it is critical to redress the imbalances of the past, simply handing over land will not automatically put emerging farmers on the path to prosperity. Government needs to provide the necessary technical, financial and commercial advice and mentorship – if necessary in partnership with organized agriculture – to ensure that beneficiaries develop their enterprises into commercially viable operations their own right

The success of emerging farmers is not only vital in ensuring food security, but also for correcting the stark disparities in land ownership.

A strong emerging farming sector would be a step towards breaking down the enduring racial inequalities and social exclusions experienced by the majority of our people.

 

Media enquiries:
Janho Engelbrecht MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Agriculture
060 556 4343

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