Garankuwa SAPS’ failure to respond promptly to the 10111-emergency crime line puts residents’ safety at risk

The lives and livelihoods of Garankuwa residents in Tshwane are under threat as Garankuwa police station officers are unable to respond swiftly to the 10111-emergency crime line due to continuous power outages at the police station.

The Garankuwa police station has been without electricity for several months, dating as far back as October 2021, when an allegedly the cables feeding electricity from an Eskom sub-station was severely damaged and stolen. This resulted in the police station, court and mortuary being left in the dark.

It is alleged that Eskom is refusing to repair this sub-station or restore the electricity connection to the police station, although electricity to the court and the mortuary was restored. This matter has been escalated to the provincial department for assistance and for urgent intervention but with no success.

This situation is affecting the police station’s operational services and putting the safety of residents and police officers who specifically work night shifts at risk. The ongoing electricity outage has resulted in the station not being able to connect its computers and therefore it also has no access to the 10111 helplines. This means, that the station cannot effectively respond to the calls received on this emergency helpline.

The DA has been informed that the station managed to obtain a generator to assist police officers to continue with their work, however, they are unable to purchase fuel for the generator and in some instances, they have had to purchase the fuel with their own personal funding, due to the lack of support from the provincial government to solve the matter.

Police officers are further forced to use their own personal cell phones as the only means of contact to get their job done as the phone lines are also disconnected due to the continuous outage. This is not fair towards any officer and not sustainable as these numbers are not public, and once again unreachable to the public.

There is a need for an urgent intervention to restore electricity and this simply cannot be delayed any further.

I have written to the SAPS Gauteng Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko and the Head of Department for Community Safety requesting an urgent intervention to ensure that electricity is restored immediately and that the police station is restored to its full operations without any fear or prejudice to any of the local officers.  It is the responsibility of the SAPS to ensure that all its police stations are adequately equipped with all the basic necessary resources to ensure the safety of residents.

We will continue to engage the provincial government and monitor the situation to ensure that the electricity is restored as a matter of urgency.

Gauteng ambulances short of budget in face of huge demand increase

The demand for emergency services in Gauteng has surged in the last two years, but only 114 new ambulances will be bought this year even though we are 700 ambulances short of the desired number of ambulances for our population.

This is according to a presentation by Gauteng Emergency Medical Services (GEMS) at a meeting of the Gauteng Legislature Health Committee last week Friday.

The National Health target is 1474 ambulances for Gauteng, but there are currently only 773 ambulances.

The plan is to buy 114 ambulances this year, but 110 ambulances were disposed last year due to accidents, high mileage and high cost to repair, so the total number of ambulances barely increases.

Ideally, 33% of the ambulance fleet should be replaced every year to prevent high mileage and maintenance costs.

The number of dispatched emergency cases has nearly doubled from an average of 13 965 cases per month in 2015 to 26 063 cases per month this year.

GEMS says that “there is limited Capex budget to buy adequate ambulances to meet current demand optimally” and there is a “high amount of accruals – a multi-year effect that impacts negatively on implementation of plans.”

The GEMS budget this year is R1.175 billion, but R223 million of this budget will be used to pay debts from the previous year, which shows poor financial management.

It is unclear where the money will come from for the projected overspend this year of R218 million.

Other problems identified include the following:

– only one purpose-built EMS station and the rest are makeshift using old health facilities.

– inadequate wash bays, sluice rooms, storage facilities, rest areas.

– delays in installing telephones and LAN network at EMS stations.

– shortage of qualified paramedics and other staff.

– delays when ambulances hand over patients at hospitals which should not be more than 20 minutes.

– prioritising of cases is difficult as callers cannot give accurate vital data.

– attacks on paramedics, including shootings at Odi and Cullinan.

It is distressing that the emergency services are in such poor shape as slow response times increase the risk of death.

Better management of the available budget is needed, including contracts with private ambulances to provide a better service.

Dysfunctional West Rand District Municipality Impacts Negatively On Service Delivery

Emergency Fire Services & Integrated Development Planning

The West Rand District Municipality is meant to provide specific services such as emergency fire services, integrated development planning and after hours’ service outage reporting to all councils in the West Rand.

The reality is that the ANC controlled District Municipality has been roundly criticised for poor service delivery by residents across the West Rand. Recent media reports exposed the increased risk of fire given that there is insufficient equipment, including fire trucks, to deal with emergency situations.

The responsible official in the District Municipality is quoted as saying, “I always tell my firemen, if there is a fire, and you don’t have a vehicle, you get on a bicycle and you pedal till you get there to help the people concerned.” It is deeply concerning that the shortage of emergency vehicles in the District has not been prioritised.

West Rand Development Agency

Numerous residents of Mogale City have complained that the after-hours emergency number (107) mostly goes unanswered. Some residents say that the phone is occasionally picked up and immediately put down. This calls into question whether the responsible officials are in fact part of the ANC’s campaign of destabilisation against the Mogale City municipality.

Over and above poor service delivery, it has been reported that the West Rand District Municipality is technically insolvent.

In addition, the proposal by the ANC, that additional services be moved from local councils and centralised in the District Municipality is not only unlawful but is also a looming disaster in terms of service delivery.

The West Rand Development Agency, an entity of the West Rand District, has been tasked with the economic development of the West Rand but has failed spectacularly and produced little of value.

The DA will continue to hold the District Municipality to account in order to ensure that it stops wasting public funds and delivers the standard of services our residents deserve.



Media enquiries:

Alan Fuchs MPL

DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Mogale 

060 558 8313

[Image source]

Tshwane Emergency Services Facing Collapse

The City of Tshwane’s (CoT) emergency services have fallen in to disarray as a result of poor planning, as well as staff and equipment shortages.

A high vacancy rate within the Emergency Services Department (EMS) has created a situation where an unacceptably high number of emergency calls go unanswered.

Coupled with this, the CoT does not split medical emergencies and other emergency situations placing a massive constraint on resources.

This is particularly true of the fire stations in the city, where it is normal for different regions to borrow fire trucks as there are too few to service the city in its entirety.

At some stations, fire fighters even lack protective uniforms to carry out their duties.

All this has been brought about by the short-sighted planning of the current administration.

It is unacceptable that qualified and professional emergency service members, who risk their lives on a daily basis, are treated in such so poorly by the CoT.

Equally, it is alarming that the CoT is willing to mete out such low standards of service to residents.

The City must invest more of it expenditure on adequate emergency service to ensure a higher quality standard of living.


Media enquiries:
Janho Engelbrecht MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Environmental Affairs

060 556 4343

[Image sources]

Merafong Water Crisis Now Affecting Emergency Services

Dysfunctional Municipal Services

Dysfunctional municipal services in Merafong have led to the complete destruction of a family home in Carletonville as emergency service workers could not carry out their relief work when the home caught alight.

Upon arrival emergency services could not locate the nearest hydrant as there were no markings on the street lights – which were out of order.

When one was located, the water pressure was too low for fire fighters to douse the flames.

As a result, the home was completely gutted and the family lost all their possessions.

Deteriorating Infrastructure

This incident has highlighted the precarious situation in which Merafong finds itself. Should there be a large scale fire, the municipality will simply not have the means to protect the lives of residents.

More than 52% of water in Merafong is lost every month due to ageing and deteriorating infrastructure, despite the local municipality insisting that it has a water loss management plan.

The DA has, on numerous occasions called on Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, for a provincial intervention in terms of Section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution.

Time and time again our requests have been ignored while residents of Merafong are left in desperate need of assistance.

The DA has assisted the family by providing blankets, food and water, however, if the situation in Merafong is not addressed urgently, this could become the norm.

(Pictures available on request)


Media Enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL
DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Merafong
060 556 4344