Cosmo City residents need access to provincial services

The ANC in Gauteng has admitted its failure to deliver basic services to Cosmo City residents in Johannesburg.

This follows the remarks made by Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, at the Gauteng Infrastructure Funding Summit, that there is not a provincial clinic or hospital in Cosmo City.

Residents are forced to travel to Helen Joseph to access adequate health care services.

Cosmo City has existed for over ten years, yet, it remains without key provincial service provisions.

Premier Makhura also admitted that the department has failed to address the issue of where people are going to work when building and allocating provincial houses. This is a matter that was supposed to be addressed during the planning phase.

The DA is of the view that every resident of Gauteng deserves to have access to adequate housing and health care services as part of their constitutional rights.
Media Enquiries

Mervyn Cirota MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Human Settlements
060 558 8312
Charity Moyo
Media and Issues Specialist
074 787 3166

Only ¹⁄₆th of Sharpeville Human Rights Day funds spent on local Emfuleni contractors

Despite numerous promises by the ANC-led Gauteng Provincial Government to increase its spend on local contractors for the procurement of goods and services, only R1.2million – or ¹⁄₆th of the R6.2 million spent on the Sharpeville Human Rights Day celebrations made its way to local Emfuleni contractors.

This was revealed in a written reply to the DA by Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

Since taking office in 2014, the Premier has stressed the fact that the Provincial Government will be spending more of its budget on local contractors in an effort to grow township economies.

However, in many instances – such as the Human Rights Day celebrations in Sharpeville, the ANC-led Provincial Government is not living up to the mandate that it has set for itself.

Gauteng Infrastructure MEC, Jacob Mamabolo has gone on the record stating that the reason that this spend is hard to achieve is that the skills and goods that the Provincial Government requires are not readily available in the townships. However, the MEC needs to be more specific as there are many skills available in the townships that could have been utilised in these events.

Despite this, little has been done to incubate small businesses and upskill residents in townships like Emfuleni, which is one of the provinces oldest and most neglected areas, to ensure that these goods and services can become available in the future. The government should hang its head in shame.

If the provincial government was serious about increasing its procurement spend from townships it would invest in creating an environment conducive for it to do business in.
Media Enquiries
Kingsol Chabalala MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture
060 558 8299
Warren Gwilt
Media Manager
073 601 6144

DA urges parents to use online school registration

The DA in Gauteng has noted that online school applications commence today and encourage all new grade 1 and 8 parents to begin the process of enrolling their children for the 2018 school year. In so doing they would also assist the Gauteng Department of Education in testing their systems.

The online application has many advantages. It saves parents time from queuing and informs the department about schools facing high demand for placement. This helps both parents and the
Department to prepare for a smooth start to the 2018 academic year.

However, there were problems experienced last year that led to many learners battling to be placed at schools of their choice on time this year.

Gauteng Premier, David Makhura indicated in his reply to the State of the Province Address in February that Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi would present a comprehensive plan on how the system would be improved this year.

The DA will ask the MEC to present the plan at the next committee meeting to ensure that the challenges faced last year are not repeated again and that all learners are placed on the first school day of 2018.
Media Enquiries

Khume Ramulifho MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education
082 398 7375
Warren Gwilt
Media Manager
073 601 6144

R15.2 million allocated for all public holidays in Gauteng

In a written response to a DA question, Gauteng Premier David Makhura revealed that R15.2 million of the provincial budget will be spent on public holidays in the province.

This is a colossal waste of public funds as money could be better spent in developing the township economy and assisting the 242 000 young people that are unemployed in the province with finding a job.

The Premier revealed the breakdown of costs per public holiday as follows:

Freedom Day – 27 April R2.4 million
Workers Day – 1 May R200 000
Youth Day – 16 June R3.2 million
Women’s Day – 9 August R2.5 million
Heritage Day – 24 September R8 million + R2.5million from Arts & Culture budget

The Premier and the ANC have only paid lip service to the “radical economic transformation” they wish to implement in the province.

The provincial government could have collaborated with civil society, trade unions and private organisations to drastically cut expenditure and save money on these days of national celebration.

However, the ANC-run province of Gauteng will now further extend a hand of patronage to service providers closely linked to their organisation.

The DA will submit further questions on these celebrations to ascertain the exact amount of money spent, supply chain management processes followed and the procurement of service providers in order to celebrate these days.

It is disingenuous that jobseekers in the province struggle to find work whilst millions of rands are spent on frivolous ribbon-cutting exercises.

Media Enquiries

Kingsol Chabalala MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage
060 558 8299

Yaseen Carelse
Media and Issues Specialist
073 895 5789

DA gets oversight committee to probe Premier’s role in 94 deaths


A proposal by the Democratic Alliance has been accepted by the Gauteng Legislature’s Oversight Committee on the Premier’s Office and Legislature (OCPOL) to probe the role of Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s office in the deaths of 94 mental health patients after they were transferred to unlicensed NGOs.

At the OCPOL meeting last week on Friday I pointed out that on page 30 of the Health Ombud’s report on the matter the following claim is made by Dr Barney Selebano, the Head of the Gauteng Health Department:

” … the decision to start deinstitutionalization of mental health care users from Life Healthcare Esidimeni was undertaken in the Office of the Premier of Gauteng, the Honourable David Makhura, together with the HoD”.

This claim needs to be investigated as well as the failure of the Premier’s Office and the Premier himself to effectively monitor the disastrous transfer of patients that led to the deaths.

Premier Makhura prides himself on the Ntirhisano Rapid Response War Room but this failed to respond to the concerns of relatives of mental health patients who demonstrated on two occasions outside the headquarters of the Gauteng Health Department.

Furthermore, there was a plethora of media reports on the plight of the patients and complaints by the relatives, as well as two court applications where the Premier was cited as a respondent.

It is simply not credible that the Premier and his office were unaware of the problems and the need for swift intervention.

The Premier also needs to account why he did not fire Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu after she disclosed in response to my questions in the Legislature on 13 September 2016 that 36 patients had died.

I have requested in my letter to OCPOL Chairperson Godfrey Tsotetsi (see below) that a report is requested from the Premier’s office that includes a time-line of the whole decision-making process with regard to the decision to transfer patients from Esidimeni to the NGOs.

Click here to view letter.

I have also requested that the Premier and senior officials should appear before the committee for questions.

Makhura can expect tough questioning at the next OCPOL meeting which should be held within the next two weeks.

Media Enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL
DA Member of the Oversight Committee on the Premier’s Office and Legislature (OCPOL)
082 333 4222

International Concern Over Gauteng Patient Deaths

The Democratic Alliance notes the concern expressed by four United Nations Human Rights experts over the death of at least 37 psychiatric patients who were transferred by the Gauteng Health Department to unsuitable NGOs.

I agree with their call for a clear and sustainable deinstitutionalization policy and a plan of action to avoid another tragedy.

It is significant that the deaths have attracted international attention but Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu still refuses to be accountable and resign.

It is now 80 days since she revealed the deaths in reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

Last week on Friday in the debate on the Annual Report of the Premier’s Office, Premier David Makhura brushed aside calls to fire her.

Makhura is shamefully disregarding the many calls for her to go and be replaced by someone with the expertise and compassion to improve health care in Gauteng.



Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

[Image source]

Gauteng cabinet reshuffle: Premier protects ANC cronies

Misplaced Priorities

Gauteng premier David Makhura has once again put the ANC before taking a tough stance on corruption, when he reshuffled his cabinet to protect party cronies.

In yesterday’s post-Executive Council statement, the premier announced that the MEC for social development, Faith Mazibuko and MEC for sports, heritage, arts and culture, Molebatsi Bopape would swop portfolios with immediate effect.

Since taking office, MEC Bopape has been sparing no effort to clean up supply chain problems and holding officials to account – and eventually led to the suspension of the Head of Department, Ms Namhla Siqaza earlier this month.

Furthermore, MEC Mazibuko has a deplorable track record – the Department of Community Safety is still reeling under the effects of her poor leadership – and the only reason she holds such high office is because of her standing within the ANC.

In fact, The DA believes the swop is aimed at removing the treat of corruption allegations and investigations against former sports MEC Lebogang Maile and his cronies, and to spare the ANC further embarrassment as we head into an election year.

Media enquiries:

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

082 960 3743

SANRAL loses bid to toll Western Cape highways: Time to scrap Gauteng’s e-tolls


Toll Victory

The Western Cape High Court this morning ruled against SANRAL’s attempts to toll Western Cape highways, and the DA calls on Premier David Makhura and the ANC to finally scrap e-tolls in Gauteng.

What has happened in the Western Cape, must now happen here in Gauteng.

It is widely known, and accepted by the ANC, that e-tolls have been denying the poor access to jobs and have a detrimental effect on working class people, a fact which has now been recognised by the court.

The new e-toll dispensation is nothing but a red herring to force people to pay for an unjust and unfair system, and will continue to be met with public resistance in the years ahead.

Fuel Levy

Instead, the entire project could have been financed through a small ring-fenced increase in the fuel levy from 2008, and in the process building up reserves for future upgrades to Gauteng’s highways.

South Africa’s economic health depends on that of Gauteng, and e-tolls is a virus slowly eating away this province’s prospects for economic growth and job creation.

If Gauteng fails, South Africa fails, and e-tolls is one burden too many.

Media enquiries:

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

082 960 3743

Gauteng Has No National Blackout Contingency Plan

Risk of Widespread Panic & Lawlessness

Gauteng Premier David Makhura today admitted that his government had no contingency plan to provide emergency services in the event of a national electricity blackout.

It is estimated that the impact of a national blackout would be catastrophic and that it would take 2-3 weeks to restore supply to normality.

During this time there would be a virtual total breakdown of all services such as health, education, traffic management, and emergency services such as fire and ambulances.

Moreover, water supply will fail and fuel supplies would completely dry up – with a devastating effect on supply of all goods and services.

Indeed, there is a risk of widespread panic and lawlessness.

Contingency Capabilities

In his response to DA questions for oral reply, the premier said that while the threat of a national energy shutdown would be disastrous, the Gauteng Provincial Government only had some contingency capabilities, which would fall far short.

Indeed, it was clear that the Premier had not considered the prospect of a national blackout in any way.

Additionally, the Premier does not see his government as being responsible to coordinate all disaster recovery efforts, irrespective of whether the service providers were local, provincial or national.

It is imperative during disaster recovery that emergency services continue, that law and order is maintained, and that government is on hand and available to deal with any situation that may arise.

The Premier stated that emergency services had backup generator capacity, but could not say how much fuel reserves were on hand.

He said they are “waiting” for municipalities to submit plans, which he has requested. In other words, these do not yet exist.

He could also not provide an answer over the capabilities of the police, fobbing it off as a national government competency.

Rooiwal, Pretoria West & Kelvin Power Stations

While the provincial government is planning to supplement the grid through the installation of rooftop solar panels, retro-fitted gas boilers and re-commissioning the Rooiwal, Pretoria West and Kelvin power stations, these plans are for the medium to long term and serve only to mitigate the possibility of a blackout – but is not a plan to recover from such a disaster once it actually happens.

The fact is that the Premier has a responsibility to the people of Gauteng, and he has to coordinate with all municipalities and government departments to produce an effective contingency plan to ensure that Gauteng does not descend into chaos.

It is not difficult to plan and coordinate. It is not difficult to get cooperation to anticipate disaster and develop protocols to respond adequately. It is the very least that the people of Gauteng can expect.

Simply hoping that Eskom would keep the lights on will no longer suffice.


Media enquiries:

Mike Moriarty MPL

DA Chief Whip in the Gauteng Legislature

082 492 4410


Ashor Sarupen MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on IT

060 558 8303

[Image source]

West Rand Metro: Efficient Service Delivery is Key, Not Centralisation

Proposed West Rand Merger

Representatives of the ANC on the West Rand continue to push for the formation of a new Metropolitan Municipality, despite those in higher office within their own structures admitting the municipalities in question are dysfunctional and bankrupt.

During the 2015/16 budget debate for his office, Gauteng Premier David Makhura clearly stated that: ”The merger of municipalities cannot be a panacea to poor management and poor leadership…”.

Furthermore, Section 24 of the Municipal Demarcation Act stipulates that when board re-determines a municipal boundary it must take into account:

  • The provision of democratic and accountable government for local communities;
  • The provision of services to these communities in an equitable and sustainable manner; and
  • The promotion of social and economic development.

Research and factual evidence indicates that such mergers have a negative impact on service delivery and people’s quality of life.

The Tshwane Experience

Tshwane’s merger resulted in increased rates hikes, yet it still struggles with a debt burden of over R1 billion – and only received R20 million from national government towards the costs of the merger.

The West Rand will not be exempt from this process.

While some in the ANC claim that those opposed to the merger are missing an “opportunity to be futuristic”, the DA firmly believes that this merger will be severely detrimental for West Rand residents from all walks of life, that service delivery will further decline, and that the quality of life will suffer.

Effectively Administered Municipality

The DA’s objection to this merger proposes a future where the existing municipalities of Randfontein, Mogale City, Merafong and Westonaria are administered efficiently and cleanly by municipalities that are close them and readily available to serve their needs, and where residents are provided with equal opportunity to be the masters of their own future.

Sign our petition opposing the proposed West Rand metro here.


Media enquiries:

Solly Msimanga MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson

060 558 8308