#MakhuraMustGo: Premier Makhura to face DA’s MONC next month

The DA in Gauteng welcomes the decision by the Programming Committee for the DA’s Motion of No Confidence (MONC) to be debated in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) on 18 October 2022.

This is a step in the right direction, as the ANC’s attempts to dodge the motion have been unsuccessful, considering that the DA submitted it early last month.

The DA is not surprised by the sudden change of tune by the ANC, as they also want Makhura out. However, because of their internal fractions, they continue to speak in fork tongues, which has made them consider our MONC as the only solution to get rid of him.

Should the secret ballot be allowed, Makhura’s colleagues will also vote in favour of our MONC. We have already engaged different political parties; they have agreed to support our motion and we are certain of victory.

Premier Makhura continues to fail the residents of Gauteng, he is nowhere to be found while our people and businesses are struggling due to load shedding that is severely crippling the economy. There is no plan of action on how his government will deal with the current blackouts. Our people are suffering as our municipalities are struggling to ensure that their residents have access to uninterrupted water supply during load shedding.

The DA’s proposals to the current government to engage with the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and not to be reliant on Eskom for electricity continues to be ignored.

Our people are tired of empty promises from this current government that does not prioritize service delivery. The only solution is to vote for a capable DA government that has demonstrated good governance, and accountability and continues to provide adequate service delivery in municipalities where we govern.

Nearly two years in office, Makhura cabinet lifestyle audits remain incomplete


Nearly two years since Gauteng Premier, David Makhura and his provincial cabinet took office, lifestyle audits have still not been concluded for Members of the Executive Council.

The information was revealed in a reply to a Democratic Alliance (DA) written question to the Premier last year.

In the reply, Makhura indicated that the lifestyle audits are still sitting with the State Security Agency, and that they would only be made publicly available once completed.

The reality is, these lifestyle audits were only initiated In August 2020, against the backdrop of Personal Protective Equipment and other Covid-19 related corruption having exploded in the province, and over a year since Makhura and his cabinet took office.

If Makhura was so adamant about rooting out corruption since the beginning of his term, such lifestyle audits should have been initiated at the very latest, in June 2019. 

Now six months since the announcement of these audits, the residents of Gauteng remain in the dark, not knowing if the provincial government leadership is clear of any self-enrichment or wrongdoing.

This just goes to show that rooting out corruption and building a clean provincial government that effectively delivers services to the people was never a priority for this Premier and his cabinet.

The residents of Gauteng deserve better and need a Premier who is fit to govern and act with principle. 

The DA has already tabled a motion of no confidence in Premier Makhura in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, and despite the ANC currently refusing to schedule it, we look forward to eventually debating and voting on the motion for the residents of the province who agree that Makhura must go.


Premier’s 4th Industrial Revolution Plan just a pipe dream

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has no plan, timeline and no budget for his 4th Industrial Revolution Advisory Panel.

This was revealed to me by the MEC for Finance and e-Government, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko.

During his State of the Province Address (SOPA) earlier this year, the Premier boldly announced that he will set up a panel to advise the provincial government on the digital revolution.

This advisory panel was to be set up within the first 100 days of the Premier being in office.

According the MEC, only a submission was made to the Premier on the panel and as yet no members have been appointed and there is no clear deadline as to when this advisory panel will be appointed and start its work.

The Premier and his executive are always talking about how the province needs to embrace technology in order to make Gauteng a hub of fourth industrial revolution skills, yet they are unable to establish an advisory panel that should give guidance in terms of preparing the country for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Ensuring that those who are unemployed, particularly the youth are equipped with skills is important as both business and government is embracing digital technology in their day-to-day work.

The DA will continue to put pressure on the government to ensure that the 4th Industrial Revolutionary Advisory Panel is established, so that this province will not be left behind in embracing the evolvement of technology across the globe.

No end to crisis at Thelle Mogoerane hospital as another psychiatric patient dies

by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

The crisis at the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital continues as the death of another psychiatric patient is covered up and the source of the antibiotic-resistant Klebsiella that has killed 6 babies has still not been found.
According to unions at the hospital, a psychiatric patient committed suicide at the psychiatric ward on Friday 14 September this year.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa held a press conference at the hospital on Sunday 16 September on the Klebsiella crisis, but did not disclose the death of this psychiatric patient.
This is the third death of a psychiatric patient in less than a year – a patient hanged himself in October 2017 and another patient died after jumping out a window in June this year.
There is one psychiatric ward at the hospital that can accommodate 10 males and 10 females, but this is grossly inadequate as 163 psychiatric patients had to be placed in ordinary wards from March 2017 to July this year, according to a written reply by Ramokgopa to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
There is no camera monitor in the psychiatric ward which could have prevented the latest suicide in which the patient hanged himself using hospital pajamas turned into a rope.
There are currently 43 psychiatric patients at the hospital with only four nurses on duty and no full-time psychiatrist.
Meanwhile, the neonatal ward where babies died is still open despite the announcement by Minister Motsoaledi that it would be closed and babies would be moved to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital until it was thoroughly cleaned up.
This is another blow to Motsoaledi’s shredded credibility as he always intervenes too late, as happened in the Esidimeni tragedy where 144 psychiatric patients died, and in the KZN cancer disaster where more than 500 cancer patients died.
I have always suspected that management at this hospital is thoroughly rotten as I have repeatedly been refused access to do oversight, and staff concerns about safety, understaffing and infection hazards have been brushed aside for a long time.
The Hospital CEO Dr Nomonde Mqhayi-Mbambo has been put on special leave with full pay, but she should have been fired long ago.
I have been told that she has boasted that she is untouchable because she is the niece of Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle.
If this is confirmed, it would explain why she has been protected for so long by MEC Ramokgopa who should share the blame for the deaths of the babies and psychiatric patients.
Premier David Makhura should fire Ramokgopa for her failure to prevent the Thelle Mogoerane hospital horror and for the fire at her head office where she ignored safety warnings and three firefighters died.
It is unconscionable that lives are lost because the ANC protects its comrades and cronies.

Gauteng Infrastructure Finance Agency failing to implement much-needed

The Gauteng Infrastructure Finance Agency (GIFA) is failing on its mandate to implement much-needed infrastructure projects to revitalise Gauteng’s economy. Judging from its track record, it appears that it has no idea of the progress of the projects that fall under its purview.

In the 2013/14 financial year, the establishment of a West Rand Airport was initiated by GIFA and in the 2014/15 financial year was listed as one of 6 projects where feasibility studies had been completed.

On 19 January 2018 a tender notice was issued for the appointment of a transaction advisor to undertake a feasibility study on this proposed airport, despite one having allegedly been completed three years earlier.

It is evident that this project never got off the ground, and brings into question the accuracy of reporting of other projects where feasibility studies have allegedly been completed.

Gauteng Premier, David Makhura since taking office in 2014, has gone to great pains to stress how his government is taking steps to encourage the development of new mass infrastructure projects in the province.

To date, of the numerous projects envisaged by this administration, only two projects – the Cedar Road upgrade as well as the Library and Archive Centre – have reached construction phase.

What is abundantly clear is that while the Premier talks a good game, his government’s inaction speaks louder than words.

What is required is a government that is serious about delivery, one will make use of expertise and people fit-for-purpose to ensure that the economy of Gauteng is resuscitated.

The DA will probe the readiness of GIFA projects and ensure that this administration is held to account for its short-comings before a competent DA government is elected into office in 2019.

Gauteng Premier cannot explain his ignorance of the move of Esidimeni patients to NGOs

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has expressed remorse and apologized for his role in the deaths of 144 mental health patients who were sent to illegal NGOs after the cancellation of the Life Esidimeni contract.

He has admitted at the arbitration hearings that he “was not aware”, and even acknowledged that this was “not an acceptable excuse … even where not directly involved.”

Justice Dikgang Moseneke has pointed out that the constitution imposes a duty on public officials to know.

Makhura said he agreed with this and said he was “embarrassed by having to say I don’t know.”

It is refreshing that he admits to error and accepts personal responsibility rather than “passing the buck”.

But it is an appalling failure for him to say that he never knew that patients were going to be sent to NGOs rather than state institutions.

It was clear at various times that patients were going to be sent to NGOs and that there was poor preparation for this that was likely to result in disaster.

On 18 November 2015, for instance, then Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu said in a written reply to my questions in the Legislature that 591 patients would be sent to NGOs and the rest to government facilities.

This was misleading in that more than 1000 patients were actually sent to NGOs, but it still showed that large numbers were not going to be accommodated in state institutions.

Makhura said that he was told that there were 4000 additional beds in state hospitals, but as Justice Moseneke pointed out, this was a “blatant untruth” and he could have been expected to question whether there was indeed such a large increase in beds.

I also warned several times in the Legislature that there would be a disaster as there were not enough suitable NGOs for the patients.

On 15 March 2016, Mahlangu said in an oral reply to my questions that 1835 patients from Esidimeni would be placed in alternative homes before the end of June, and that NGOs were hiring staff and being given licenses to look after them. Makhura was present in the House when she gave this reply and I expressed my doubts that everything was going as smoothly as she claimed.

See Hansard transcript here.

Makhura should also have taken note of the many media reports and the two court cases which highlighted the risks of transferring patients to the NGOs.

He has admitted to administrative failures in his office which prevented him seeing key correspondence that was sent to him, including a letter that Wits University occupational therapy students wrote to him on 18 January 2016 in which they warned about moving the patients from Esidimeni’s Waverley Care Centre in Germiston.

Furthermore, on 7 July 2016 the Gauteng Health Department announced that the process to move patients “to NGOs and psychiatric hospitals” was complete.

Makhura was grievously negligent in missing all the warning signs and not intervening decisively to prevent deaths occurring.

He should also have fired Qedani Mahlangu after she disclosed 36 deaths in reply to my questions on 13 September 2016. This would have saved many lives as Mahlangu and her officials continued to lie and cover-up what was happening to the patients.

Makhura is trying to make amends by apologizing and reaching out to the families of those who died, but the Esidimeni deaths will be an eternal blot on his reputation.

ANC Gauteng Government has no appetite for accountability

The ANC-run Gauteng Government has no appetite to stamp out corruption and stem financial mismanagement, nor does it have stomach to prosecute individuals found guilty of mismanaging public funds.

According to the Public Service Commission (PSC) of the 87 cases reported to it in the 2016/17 financial year, 78 individuals were found guilty of financial mismanagement yet no criminal action for violation of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) was take in 89% of cases.

Similarly, only 5% of guilty individuals were dismissed from their positions – the lowest rate in four years.

The PSC also noted that departments are negligent in recovering monies that have gone missing. The total amount of money involved in cases relating to financial misconduct in 2016/17 amounted to R198 312 821.71, yet the total amount recovered only came in at R282 428.80.

Gross negligence, 17 cases and theft, 52 cases account for the most types of cases reported.

High on the PSC’s radar are the Departments of Economic Development and Sports, Arts, Recreation and Culture who completely failed to submit any finalised cases to the body in contravention of Section 85 of the PFMA.

The lack of willpower by departments to prosecute and recover stolen money is a disservice to the people of Gauteng who will now go without much needed services as a result.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced that he has established an ethics and corruption committee to tackle the challenges faced by his administration, but until there is political will to act, this committee will be another toothless grouping of individuals with more bark than bite.

#GPSchoolsAbuse: Only a commission of inquiry will suffice


The DA will continue to put pressure on  Gauteng Premier David Makhura to urgently establish commission of inquiry into sexual abuse, and related matters in Gauteng’s schools as we believe that only such a commission will fully probe this crisis.

The charm offensive strategy launched by Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, is ill-thought as this “task team of three MECs” have very limited investigative authority.

Furthermore, the legitimacy of Community Safety MEC Nkosi-Malobane’s call for security vetting beyond just criminal records for patrollers, is questionable. The MEC failed to thoroughly vet security patrollers stationed at schools in the province in the first place and therefore it would make no sense for her department to conduct the vetting in retrospect.

Stricter measures should’ve been considered a long time ago and, if it were, this crisis might have been averted.

Security vetting and all other issues surrounding the process must be probed.

Only a commission of inquiry would have wide-ranging investigative powers and the ability to subpoena individuals and officials to answer questions under oath and to expose existing loop holes in the process.

Other matters such as safety at Gauteng’s schools, reporting on sexual abuse by minors, the interventions available and the awareness and handling of issues at schools and districts relating to sexual abuse amongst others, can only be fully probed through a commission.

Only the Premier has the jurisdiction to appoint such a commission and if he does not do so very soon, it will send out a clear message that, despite his grandstanding, he does not take this shocking situation seriously.

Who’s in charge: Lesufi or SADTU?

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is deeply concerned by disruptions in schooling districts where the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) is the dominant union. Instead of engaging constructively and putting learners first, SADTU has elected to collapse schooling by withdrawing its members from a number of schools in Johannesburg.

On an inspection of schools this morning, many schools in Soweto were non-operational, with learners lying in the sun and walking the streets. Their futures are being sacrificed at the altar of SADTU’s narrow politics.

In contrast, schools in affluent areas are pushing ahead with the teaching programme. While SADTU claims to care about the youth, in particular the poor black child, they continue to undermine their right to quality education. Despite this collapse in education, the ANC is nowhere to be found, meaning that they tacitly endorse the actions of SADTU.

SADTU has shown itself to have outsmarted MEC Panyaza Lesufi who also appears to lack the support of the ANC, in particular Premier David Makhura and MEC Paul Mashatile, both of whom rely on SADTU to get elected and fight their factional battles.

SADTU’s participation in today’s COSATU march only reinforces the idea that their only interests are ANC factional battles and politics, not teaching and learning.

SADTU stands as a barrier between the current poor state of education and quality education, which is delivered in areas were the DA has jurisdiction over education and SADTU’s influence is limited.

Anybody who undermines the right to education is an enemy of the youth and the project of building a better South Africa. The DA will always work towards ensuring that the right to education is upheld and protected.

Makhura to reach only 1/10th of funds needed to meet infrastructure targets

09 May 2017

Since the start of Gauteng Premier, David Makhura’s political term in 2014, the ANC-run provincial government has been extolling the virtue of increased infrastructure spending as a means of supporting the economy, creating jobs and encouraging new businesses to flourish.

The recent Infrastructure Funding Summit held in Johannesburg brought into stark view the fact that unless the private sector is encouraged to invest in infrastructure, the objectives of the Gauteng Integrated Infrastructure Plan will not be met.

The plan requires an investment of R105 billion per annum up to 2030.

During the last 3 years, the Gauteng government invested on average R10 billion per year, which is less than 10% of the requirement. Local government invests even less than the Province, thus the shortfall needs to be made up by national government and by the private sector.

In a time of fiscal consolidation, government is hard pressed to increase its infrastructure spend from the current 7% of GDP to a target of 10%. Thus both Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile have made it clear that only the private sector can rescue Gauteng’s infrastructure plans.

The Premier, in his address to the Summit, suggested that as opposed to some individuals who seem to have discovered ‘Radical Economic Transformation’ only recently, Gauteng has been preaching this since 2014. According to Makhura, unlike President Jacob Zuma, Gauteng’s form of ‘radical transformation’ will not chase investors away. Premier Makhura owes the province an explanation on his form of “radical transformation.”

The DA will challenge the Premier to clarify what steps he will take in order to encourage private investors to risk their capital in a down-graded economy, in a political environment in which private property rights are at risk as some organisations call for land expropriation without compensation and in a project environment where corruption and inefficiency are the order of the day.

Media Enquiries

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

Yaseen Carelse
Media and Issues Specialist
073 426 0978