Blockages at licencing centres should be easily removed

Following the problems experienced at licensing centres across Gauteng, Centurion in particular, the DA conducted a follow up visit to the facility.


Although a general improvement in efficiency and staff attitudes seems to have taken place, the biggest single disruption in the licencing procedure was experienced at the eye-test station.


The majority of testing machines were unmanned leading to long delays and frustration.


This is a simple organisational problem, not beyond the capacity of management to fix.


The breakdown of these facilities has negative impact on the economy as applicants often have to leave work leading to down time.


It is not uncommon for employers to have to give their staff up to three days off to visit the licencing centres.


Unpaid leave is often the norm.


What should be a quick routine operation turns into a frustrating and time-consuming exercise.


This applies equally to school learners and students who lose out on precious class and study time.


Inefficiency in the licencing system impacts negatively on both municipal and provincial revenues, as a large percentage of fees obtained in the licencing and testing process reverts to municipal coffers with the rest going to the Province.


Delays in the process inevitably slow down the revenue flow.


There should be an environment of trust and confidence between officials and the public, who ultimately pay their salaries.


The situation in a number of licencing centres unnecessarily erodes this relationship, making the corrective steps which should be taken all the more urgent.


Media enquiries:

Justus de Goede MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Transport

060 558 8305

State of Gauteng: Premier bites of more than he can chew

Gauteng Premier David Makhura today laid out an ambitious agenda for Gauteng’s economic and spatial development, but without any clear implementation timelines and deadlines.

While the premier rightly emphasised the need to grow the province’s economy, he did so while paying scant attention to the elephant in the room: E-tolls and their continued implementation.

In fact, the premier only further delayed the inevitable decision that tolls will continue in some form or another and will not be scrapped.

Economic growth can only take place in an environment of uncurtailed movement of people, goods and services, despite the premier’s misconception that Gauteng’s people are in favour of the user-pays system.

As long as highways are tolled or road users forced to pay for freeway improvement through one stealth tax or another, the economy will be stifled, and the premier’s ambitious plans will not materialise.

It is also concerning how little attention was paid to the development and improvement of the province’s roads infrastructure. The province’s roads are already congested and it will only become worse as long our roads infrastructure does not enjoy priority.

So too is the insufficient attention on the province’s public transportation network. Improved productivity requires people to get to work using safe, reliable and affordable public transport. The premier only made reference to plans for expanding existing bus, rail and Gautrain networks, once again without implementation timelines.

While the DA acknowledges the need to negate the effects of apartheid spatial planning, the premier needed to be more clear about the establishment of mega-cities and their implementation plans.

The premier does himself no favour by re-announcing flagship projects that had been in the pipeline for years, such as Tshwane Convention Centre, the Aerotropolis and the African Gateway, as well as the construction of 680 000 housing units, when his government can only build 30 000 housing units per year.

The same applies to the crisis in municipalities across the province. Little or no effort is being made to tackle the massive service delivery backlogs and financial irregularities, while communities take to the streets almost every day to give rise to their frustrations.

In the meantime, the premier’s service delivery war room is yet to become operational, almost a year after being announced in 2014. Local government is the first point of contact the people have with government, and the premier needs to bring his activist government principles to our communities if he wants his administration to enjoy any success.

The state of Gauteng will be no better in the medium term so long as Premier Makhura, and his administration pay little attention to every aspect of economic growth and job creation across the province.

Media enquiries:
John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
082 960 3743


Urgent need for Edenvale Hospital to be expanded

The Edenvale Hospital runs at an average 98% capacity, which often leads to over-crowding in casualty, and needs to be expanded from 230 beds to 450 beds.

This was a major concern expressed by Dr Norman Kearnes, the hospital CEO, during a visit by the Gauteng Legislature’s Health Committee on Thursday last week.

I have seen for myself how patients in casualty lie on the floor or in the corridors because there are not enough beds to be admitted.

Other issues include:

· Small repairs can take months because responsibility was transferred last year to the Infrastructure Development Department e.g. the casualty door has been broken for more than 3 months.

· While there is only a 3% vacancy rate in funded staff posts, the hospital is in desperate need of more doctors and nurses, which means that the official staff establishment should be increased.

· Waiting times are worse in the early morning but are more acceptable later in the day.

· Medicine shortages are dealt with by substitutions or getting from other institutions.

· The hospital scores only 50% on cleanliness according to national health standards.

The hospital budget is R266.6 million, but is expected to spend R340 million by the end of the financial year in March.

The expansion of Edenvale Hospital makes a lot of sense because the local population has grown rapidly.

The 800-bed Tembisa Hospital is horribly over-crowded and it appears that the Kempton Park Hospital will not be re-opened in the near future.

Plans for additional beds at Edenvale Hospital date back to 2006, and should be implemented as soon as possible.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222


Answers still needed on child deaths at Lenasia Clinic

I welcome Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu’s visit yesterday to the Lenasia South Clinic, but I am not satisfied that a full explanation has been given for why security guards barred two young children who died without being admitted.

It seems to me that clinic management is primarily to blame for not giving proper instructions to security to admit all emergency patients.

Mahlangu has said that the security company will be terminated and will be blacklisted from doing work for any other health facility.

She has also given clinic management one month to fix up problem areas.

However, we still need a full investigation of the two deaths and where the accountability really lies.

A survey should also be taken of all health facilities to ensure that guards operate under proper instructions.

Unfortunately, any action taken will not ease the pain of the parents of the children who died without being admitted.

Media enquiries:
Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222

Tembisa hospital woes need urgent intervention

During a recent oversight visit to Esselen Park, Ekurhuleni, I was saddened to learn of the unfortunate suffering of a resident whose illness had worsened after being misdiagnosed nine times at the Tembisa Hospital.

In an effort to assist, I took her to the Edenvale Hospital where she was immediately admitted and correctly diagnosed with anaemia.

Ntsekhe-RefiloeWith the correct diagnosis and treatment, there were immediate signs of improvement.

The incompetence of Tembisa Hospital staff is unacceptable and needs to be urgently addressed.

One has to wonder how many other patients Tembisa hospital has misdiagnosed?
It is extremely disappointing that Tembisa Hospital and Edenvale hospital, while relatively close to one another, are on opposite ends of the service spectrum.

Twenty years into our democracy, all citizens, regardless of where they live should have access to high quality and affordable health care.
The shortcomings of Tembisa hospital are not new to Health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu, who alongside Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, conducted a surprise visit in June last year.

During the Premier and MEC’s visit they identified staff shortage as a major challenge to the hospital that caters to more than 2.5 million patients a year.

Given these shortcomings, I will request that MEC Mahlangu provide a full breakdown regarding what steps have been taken by her department to rectify the challenges plaguing this facility.
Media enquiries:
Refiloe Nt’sekhe
DA Constituency Head of Tembisa
060 558 8297


DA pointers for Gauteng Premier Makhura: Give power to the people



On Monday, 23 January 2015, Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, will outline the provincial government’s service delivery plan of action in his annual State of the Province Address (SOPA).
In only his second address, the “people’s premier” and his “activist government” have to pay heed to last year’s SOPA promises, by giving back the power to the people of the province, and not leave them behind – and that will require a few bold steps.


The contentious tolling system of Gauteng’s freeways has been a thorn in the side of Premier Makhura since taking office. In response to the beating the ANC took at the 2014 polls, the premier established a review panel to assess the socio-economic impact of e-tolls on the people of the province.

During its consultation process and in the panel’s final report it became abundantly clear that e-tolls were forced onto the citizens of Gauteng with limited consultation, and that their unilateral implementation harmed the poor, the working class, and the provincial economy.

The people of this province have on numerous occasions and on numerous platforms said that e-tolls must go, yet the premier and the ANC refused to recommend they be scrapped.

Only one solution remains, and that is for the premier to announce a provincial referendum on the future of e-tolls in his address.

Infrastructure Development
The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) is a department that shows neither fear nor favour when it comes to thwarting service delivery. It continuously overspends, underachieves and shifts blame – and the premier needs to tackle this department head-on.

Government departments’ service delivery programmes are undermined by DID’s incompetence, and the province will not unlock growth and development unless this department fires on all cylinders.

There will be no growth without infrastructure.

The health and well-being of residents of this provincMoodey-John1-240x300e remains a major priority for Premier Makhura, and he needs to re-establish public confidence in government health facilities.

Too often do stories of malpractice, medical shortages, long queues and ailing health infrastructure hit the headlines, with very little or no reassurance that this administration is serious about caring for the needs of the people.

As a starting point, the premier should announce the decentralisation of procurement to hospital CEOs. By doing so, bureaucratic red tape that often hinders critical care will be minimised – improving the quality of healthcare to residents of the province.

Coupled with this, the responsibility of maintenance and repair should be removed from the ambit of DID and be done in-house. This will alleviate the backlog in infrastructure projects and increase maintenance turnaround time.

Economic Development
While Gauteng may be the economic heartbeat of South Africa, its pulse is rapidly fading.

Innovative and incentive based approaches are needed to increase employment and economic growth.

It cannot be business as usual while the people of this province are crying out for the right conditions to steer the ship of Gauteng into less stormy waters, and the premier needs to announce a definitive policy direction to loosen the economic shackles of cumbersome, bureaucratic red tape.

By simplifying processes such as registration and regulation – business will flourish: Particularly SMME’s and those individuals trying to eke out a living in the province’s townships.

Special Economic Zones and Innovation Hubs in our township economies will go a long way in bringing people into the formal economy, while at the same time improve skills and increasing the provincial revenue base.

As migration into Gauteng continues in search of a better life, the demand for education in our ever-expanding communities remains a priority.

So too should it be a priority for Premier Makhura.

Failing infrastructure, overcrowding, and a lack of sanitation, electricity and water; coupled by the limited number of state schools – are all factors that harm quality education.

It is imperative that these issues are dealt with in a timeous manner to ensure that Gauteng provides quality basic education to all learners.

If not, the province will suffer an educational disconnect.

Local Government

Local government remains the coalface of government’s service delivery agenda.

It is where the political will to do, or not to do, has the most direct impact on the day-to-day lives of the people.

This administration needs to pay heed to the cries of people living in municipalities around the province, who are in a daily struggle for water, electricity and decent housing.

Corruption runs rampant, the law is openly flouted, wrongdoers are protected and communities’ service delivery needs are disregarded.

It is the poorest of the poor who bear the brunt of maladministration and malaise – waiting, and in some instances dying, before their basic human rights are met.

The introduction of new metropolitan municipalities is neither feasible nor will it be conducive to the residents living there as centralisation is not the master stroke to cure all ills.

This is apparent in other metros such as Ekurhuleni, where communities are only serviced when the premier comes to visit; or Johannesburg, where financial management and billing is a shambles; and Tshwane, where government contracts are reserved for the mayor’s extended family and comrades.

Local government is slowly reaching boiling point, as communities are increasingly resorting to violent protests as a means to an end.

Gauteng is on a precipice, and Premier Makhura will do well to heed the DA’s recommendations to intervene in municipalities failing to carry out their constitutional mandate.

Instead of telling good story to his comrades and his friends on Monday, Premier Makhura must be the “activist premier” he purports to be, and lead his government and the people of Gauteng into an era of prosperity and economic growth, free from e-tolls, corruption, nepotism and maladministration.

Media enquiries
John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
082 960 3743


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


Answers needed on why ambulance brought dead body home

I am horrified by the report that an ambulance brought a dead body back to the family home after the patient died on admittance to the Far East Rand Hospital.


According to Virginia Mdingi, the mother of Sithembile (31), he was still alive after arriving at the hospital on Tuesday this week. She was shocked when the ambulance took his dead body home instead of to a government mortuary.


The family is unemployed, and getting the body to a private undertaker involved additional trauma.


The Gauteng Health Department must investigate this matter and hold people accountable for this inhuman action.


Health authorities should always act with sensitivity in matters involving the tragedy of death.