Victims Of Crime Should Not Be Treated As Second Class Citizens

The dreadful taxi-rape saga, which has emboldened more and more victims of this ghastly crime to come forward, has highlighted the horrendous treatment of victims of rape by members of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Most of the victims of these crimes have expressed how they were pushed from pillar to post by members of the SAPS when trying to report what had happened to them. Often they were told to go to different police stations as they had arrived at the “wrong” station.

This is absolutely unacceptable as a crime can, and should, be reported at any station. Once a case number is issued, the matter can be transferred to any station for investigation.

This lack of concern was reiterated by the MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, who admitted that the SAPS had not acted in the victim’s best interests.

MEC Nkosi-Malobane, as the head of community safety in Gauteng must ensure that SAPS members treat all victims of crime with the respect that they deserve.

Secondary victimisation by SAPS officers prevents many cases from being reported and inflicts further trauma on victims of crime.

The DA has called on the MEC to work with the Department of Social Development to send SAPS members on sensitivity training. The MEC must take this call to heart, as victims of crime are our families and loved ones – they are humans, not just statistics.



Media Enquiries
John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
082 960 3743
Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144

Laudium Clinic Needs Expansion And Upgrading

The Laudium Community Health Centre needs to be upgraded and expanded to cope with the huge increase in population growth in this part of Tshwane.

This is my conclusion after my visit there today with local councillors Zwele Khumalo and Mohammed Essop.

According to the clinic management, the clinic services a population of 356 000, including patients from Laudium, Valhalla, Claudius, Erasmia, Lyttelton, Olivienhoutbosch, Mooiplaas, Itireleng, Atteridgeville and even Diepsloot in Johannesburg.

Close to half the patients are foreign nationals without any papers, which means they cannot be put on the chronic medicine dispensing programme to collect their medicines at other locations, which is more convenient for patients and decreases the pressure on the clinic.

The facility was originally opened as a hospital in 1982, and then downgraded to a community health center in 1998.

The average waiting time for patients is three hours, which management admitted was not satisfactory and they are working to get it down.

Parts of the building are in severe disrepair, including a gaping ceiling hole in the maternity section.

The maternity and other sections are very overcrowded, with patients crowded into small rooms or corridors without proper ventilation, which increases the risk of cross-infection.

The chronic diseases section has been upgraded and will open in April this year which is good news.

We were told that the maternity and the medical-legal section would be upgraded by the same contractor, but no time-line was given.

The grass needs to be cut urgently as snakes and rats have been seen.

The clinic is run by the Gauteng Health Department, but maintenance and repairs are done by the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development which results in delays to fix even small things.

I noticed that lights in corridors were broken and I was told that the tractor to cut the grass had been broken for five years.

I will push the provincial departments to meet their commitments to upgrade the clinic to meet the needs of an increased population.

The clinic management should also be given control of maintenance and repairs as this will be more efficient than the present system whereby requests are put through to another department.

Media Enquiries
Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222
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MEC Creecy Must Come Clean About GP Money Laundering Scheme

Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy must come clean about the provincial government’s money laundering scheme which involves tranches of taxpayers money being transferred to registered NGO’s – only for these funds to be siphoned off to non-accredited NGO’s.

This practice, brought to the attention of the DA by the A Re Ageng NGO, has seen the provincial government shift millions of rands through “conduit” NGO’s to organisations that are not accredited – and who may not be performing the work which they claim to be doing.

This exercise was used by the provincial government to transfer funds to NGO’s during the Esidimeni tragedy which claimed the lives of more than 100 mentally ill patients.

This practice is a violation of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), and needs to be investigated as a matter of priority so as to safeguard the public purse from abuse and theft.

Recently, one such “conduit payment” to the tune of R5 million was intercepted by fraudsters who used the money to make off with 40 000 litres of diesel. This R5 million was part of a R42 million tranche to be transferred via this “conduit” scheme.

The Gauteng ANC-led provincial government is often heard preaching about transparent and open governance, but time and time again, they prove themselves to be nothing more than hypocrites.

Vulnerable residents of Gauteng are placed at risk by non-accredited and non-compliant NGO’s who do not have the skills nor the capacity to provide them with the assistance they require. This is exacerbated when these NGO’s are aided and abetted by the provincial government’s underhanded tactics.

The DA will write to Finance MEC Creecy demanding that National Treasury be allowed to scrutinise the provincial governments’ practices and rule on what steps must be taken to safeguard Gauteng’s finances.



Media Enquiries

Adriana Randall MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance
060 556 4342
Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144

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Soweto Taxi Rape Demands Inquiry In Gauteng Legislature

I am shocked and disturbed by news today that a female passenger in a Soweto taxi was raped over an extended period of time on Sunday, in full view of her young child.

It is more alarming though, that reports of similar incidents recently have not resulted in action from the SAPS. Some victims have complained of little interest from the Police, which is a shocking failure of the SAPS to protect our residents.

I will therefore write to the Chairperson of the Gauteng Community Safety committee to summon Provincial Police Commissioner Major General Deliwe Suzan De Lange to come and account before the Legislature under oath.

We just cannot accept that people continue to be raped, in captive situations like locked taxis, and that the police are not acting. The SAPS must protect and serve us.

It is not up to taxi associations alone to root out these criminals, and the MEC has today misdirected her demand to the taxi association to solve this crime. It is up to the SAPS to fight crime, and the DA will ensure that the SAPS acts.



Media Enquiries

Kate Lorimer MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC of Safety and Security
083 642 2727

Calls For SANDF In Wake Of Baby Singalakha’s Death An Indictment Of MEC Mayathula-Khoza

The death of six month old baby Singalakha Sonamazi, an avoidable tragedy, highlights the inability of Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza to do her job.

The strike emphasised that MEC Mayathula-Khoza had not adequately prepared to ensure that the elderly, disabled and young placed in her care would be looked after while social workers were not on hand.

Calls by the MEC to resort to deploying the South African Defence Force to mitigate the damage caused by the strike shows that the MEC is completely out of touch with the needs of those who are in the care of her department. The department has the budget and the resources to deal with a crisis of this nature – calls for the SANDF to be deployed are beyond ludicrous.

Reports that children had been hurriedly moved to NGO’s from Child and Youth Care Centre’s is reminiscent of the Esidimeni tragedy which cost more than 100 patients their lives.

The death of baby Singalakha is the result of such a rushed decision by the MEC who must be held accountable for this needless loss of life.

The DA will visit Bethany Trust Home in Krugersdorp to ascertain what happened to baby Singalakha and her siblings, and to gauge what assistance the home received from the Department of Social Development.




Media Enquiries

Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development
060 558 8297
Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144

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Cancer Patients At Risk At Steve Biko Hospital Because Of Broken Aircon

More than a hundred cancer patients are at risk at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital because a brand new radiation machine has been out of action for most of this year because of a broken air-conditioning system.

The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID) has struggled to fix the air-conditioning which is needed as radiation machines get very hot.

There are two smaller radiation machines which are being used for cancer patients, but the backlog for radiation treatment has grown alarmingly. This is very serious as delays decrease the survival chances of cancer patients.

This week Siemens was called in to fix the air-conditioning in the radiotherapy bunker as GDID has proved incapable of doing the job.

GDID has also bungled the repair of water pipes at this hospital. Last week they released water in repaired pipes too quickly, which damaged the pipes again and led to flooding of three floors and ceiling leaks elsewhere.

Other hospitals have also suffered from GDID incompetence, including Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital where a roof collapsed, leaks abound and the air-conditioning is broken as well.

The solution is to take hospital maintenance and repair away from GDID and put it in the hands of hospital management.

The DA will push for this change otherwise there will be more maintenance problems and possible disasters in our hospitals.



Media Enquiries

Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC
082 333 4222

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Nandi Mayathula-Khoza Must Be Held Accountable For Baby’s Death

Gauteng Social Development MEC, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza must take decisive action to ensure that there are no more fatalities during the strike by social development workers.

The death of a baby who was transferred to an NGO from a state facility in the wake of the strike speaks volumes to the lack of concern that this ANC-led administration has for those that are at the mercy of its care.

The DA would like to pass on its condolences to the family who lost their child, in a similar manner to those who lost loved ones during the Esidimeni tragedy.

MEC Mayathula-Khoza must shoulder the blame for this death, as it is her responsibility to ensure that contingency measures are put in place during a period of dispute by workers.

The DA will question the MEC to understand how this tragedy was allowed to take place and what measures have been put in place to ensure that an incident such as this never takes place again.



Media Enquiries

Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development
060 558 8297
Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144

DA Challenges MEC Mashatile To Address Wattville Hostel Residents

Wattville Hostels

The appalling living conditions of over 3500 residents occupying the Wattville Hostels in Wattville Ekurhuleni can no longer be ignored by the Metro Municipality and the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements.

Residents are subjected to inhumane conditions. Raw sewerage, leaking roofs, crumbling building infrastructure, numerous water leaks, dumped animal waste and carcasses, dilapidated toilets and illegal and unsafe electricity connections are but a few of the issues that residents face daily.

The DA has on numerous occasions called on the Gauteng Human Settlements MEC, Paul Mashatile to intervene by working together with the Metro in ensuring services are delivered and conditions improved at the hostels.

Many of the residents feel unsafe as gates have collapsed, all windows are broken and no doors to the hostel units are fixed.

The uncaring and unresponsive ANC government in Ekurhuleni and the province simply chose to ignore these conditions and left the community stranded after their 2016 local election campaign.

The DA challenges the Human Settlements MEC to get out of his office and to stop sitting on his hands and start addressing the myriad of concerns by residents. The MEC must accompany the DA to see for himself the type of on-the-ground conditions residents are being subjected to.

The time for promises is over. Action is what is needed in delivering the essential services which residents of the Wattville Hostels desperately deserve.

The DA will continue to pursue various action steps to ensure that the residents of Wattville are no longer forgotten.



Media Enquiries

Michele Clarke MPL
DA Constituency Head: Benoni
060 558 8309
Mervyn Cirota MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Human Settlements
060 558 8312
Yaseen Carelse
Social Cluster Manager
076 721 8613

We will never stop defending Human Rights

Today we think back to dark days when the people of this country were oppressed and impoverished by the dehumanizing system of colonialism, and then Apartheid.

Colonialism and Apartheid stripped South Africans of their dignity. Slavery, forced labour, displacement, violent subjugation, racial classification with its humiliating tests, making people think they were inferior because of the colour of their skin, industrialised exploitation — these things are all, and much else besides, the legacy of those systems of repression and exploitation. 

Now there are some people who believe that this was the price of development and infrastructure.

Well, if this was the price of development, then I say that this price was too high.

Development that is forced upon a country under threat of violence is not human progress. Development achieved by free exchange with the global community, harnessing the best of human ingenuity and fostering a unity of purpose – that is the development we desire.

Because, as a party that stands for individual freedom, we can never condone any aspect of oppression.

The DA will never stop defending human rights, at home or abroad. Oppression has no place in the world we live in.

We will continue to build bridges to unite South Africans, bringing them together when everyone else is seeking to divide them. Madiba dreamed of a country united around a common South African identity, where South Africa would truly belong to all who live in it, both black and white.

We are now the only party that still believes in and works for this vision. The ANC has long abandoned it, they too seek to divide us against each other. They may have abandoned it, but we never will. It is the only sure way to shared prosperity for our country.

We will continue to hold the ANC to account for shielding dictators like Al Bashir.

We will continue to condemn human rights abuses wherever they are committed, whether it is in Zimbabwe, Western Sahara, Sudan, Russia, Syria or anywhere else.

We will continue to fight for the human rights of South Africans here at home, when they are harassed and met with violence from their own government, as they were in Marikana; or when the vulnerable are neglected and left to die, as the “Esidimeni” patients were.

We will stand against the new wave of populists on the right and the left. From Marine Le Pen to Nicolas Maduro. From Donald Trump to Robert Mugabe. From Geert Wilders to Viktor Orban.

Here, at home, we will stand up against those who justify majority tyranny or express sympathy for those systems. Just as we stand up against those who are nostalgic for minority rule.

The painful legacy of colonialism and apartheid is still with us today, and still impacts the way that most South Africans live: cut off from economic opportunity, geographically dislocated and badly educated. These South Africans have been let down by a corrupt ANC government that is more concerned with helping itself and its cronies, than with fixing the inequities of apartheid.

We will continue building a social compact based on non-racialism and reconciliation.

We will continue to stand up for a strong Constitution that protects everybody’s rights.

We will continue to develop new policies that empower South Africans to rise above their circumstances of their birth and build a better future for their families.

We are focusing on expanding opportunities for every child to get the education they need to compete in the global knowledge economy of the 21st century.

We are focusing on skills development for young people, including internships, apprenticeships and vocational training.

And we are looking at ways to grow the economy so that more young people can begin meaningful careers in their chosen fields.

Above all, we are focused on the project of defeating the ANC so that every South African may one day be truly free.

The ANC has become the corrupt and ignoble parasite we were warned against. The ANC cannot be salvaged, it cannot self-correct, it must be defeated at the ballot box.

We will not be derailed by those who put their own interests before the project.

We will not be distracted by sideshows.

We will not be divided.

Together, we will build a non-racial society based on freedom, fairness and opportunity for all.

Ke a leboga. Thank you.

Gauteng’s Infrastructure Maintenance Budget Slashed By R1.5 Billion

The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) has reduced its budget for the maintenance and repair of public infrastructure in 2016/2017 by more than 60% of what it spent in the 2015/2016 financial year – equating to a reduction of more than R1.5 billion.

The justification for this decision needs to be explained by the department in light of the fact that the creation and maintenance of infrastructure has been highlighted by the Premier as a key driver to contribute towards the stimulation of Gauteng’s economy.

Gauteng MEC for Finance, Barbara Creecy, has indicated that “efficient infrastructure allocations aim to support the recovery of the regional economy and employment creation”.

Maintenance is different from the building of new infrastructure in that the DID is aware of all its building assets that currently exist, as well as any new assets that will be built during the course of the next financial year.

It therefore seems reasonable to suggest that armed with this information, the department should be able to accurately determine the amount of money required to maintain these assets.

If there are no additional sources of finance for maintenance, one must assume that assets, which are already in a poor state, will further deteriorate.

What exacerbates the issue of insufficient budget is the fact that the maintenance department has too few skilled officials to manage the work and to gain the maximum benefit from the computer systems installed for this purpose.

These dynamics together with DID’s poor record of appointing skilled contractors will inevitably result in a deterioration of assets and increase the likelihood of events such as the collapse of the roof at Charlotte Maxeke hospital.

Media Enquiries

Alan Fuchs MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Infrastructure Development
060 558 8313