Gauteng Transport Department Powerless Against Corrupt Officials

The CEO for the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport (GDRAT), Mr Roland Swartz, has admitted to the Gauteng Legislature’s committee of inquiry in to taxi licensing that the department has had no capability to investigate or prosecute corrupt officials.

Swartz stated to me that his department had been unable to prosecute or convict any official in the Department’s Transport Operating License Administration Bodies (TOLABs) – the organ for controlling taxi routes and operating licenses – despite acknowledging that the TOLABs are rife with fraud and corruption.

He stated that recently a fraud and corruption unit had been established, but that it had yet to secure any convictions.

The department has relied purely on whistle-blowers to identify corrupt officials, but when individuals did report instances of corruption – at much risk to themselves, reported cases had not resulted in any prosecutions.

Swartz admitted that the systems his department has to rely on, which are run by the National Department of Transport, are woefully slow, inadequate and unable to effectively deal with the flow of applications in Gauteng.

The Auditor-General has often commented on the inadequacy of these systems.

Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi must engage with National Transport Minister, Dipuo Peters, to ensure that the systems are fully operational and responsive.

If left unchecked, corruption in this department will continue unabated.


Media enquiries:

Dr Neil Campbell MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport

082 387 2540

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Madam Speaker


I listened attentively to Premier Makhura’s address on Monday and must agree that many of the ideals outlined by him are what we would all dream of for our beloved country.


However, having heard the same promises made by his predecessor, Premier Mokonyana, every year for 5 years without much output at the end of her term, I realised that this Premier whom I hoped would really deliver, must either be extremely badly informed by his aides or be the new king of empty promises.


We must never forget, educationally speaking, that although Gauteng may be the best performer in South Africa, the output of state schools in our country has been so dumbed-down that we are at the bottom of the ranking for all the countries in the world in maths and only a couple from the bottom in general education.


The grand plans announcing the intention to spend billions of rand on infrastructure improvement must be seen against the background of a declining economy, lowered international credit rating and an extremely limited or non-existent ability to borrow on world markets. South Africa is, in fact depressing the economic performance of the rest of Africa.


We exist in a country where corruption is now so rife that companies build bribes into their budgets in order to continue functioning.


The Premier spoke often of his reliance on the private sector to realise his dreams but it is his party’s business unfriendly policy that ties businesses up in unnecessary red tape and commits especially SMMEs to unaffordable salary increases without increased productivity. It is his party’s policy that forces well run businesses to rather install robots on assembly lines than give desperately needed jobs to our people because robots never demand huge increases and never embark on wildcat  strikes.


On transport matters he spoke of the O R Tambo aerotropolis as a saviour for the Ekurhuleni economy but the land around the airport is already too expensive for this scheme to ever succeed.

He lauded the bus rapid transit undertakings in the three metros but one has not got off the ground, one is presently moribund because of a strike and the third is mired in controversy and allegations of corruption and graft.


Our driver licensing testing stations, road worthy centres and TOLABS are all hot-beds of corruption which the GDRT is unable or unwilling to eradicate and our traffic police seem only able to man speed traps (but only,  when the weather is good) and also to solicit bribes and gridlock the cities by amateurish point duty such as happened on Monday.


The grass on our road verges and medians go uncut and the added lack of lighting on many provincial roads has caused several crashes.

Taxis regularly swing across several lanes of traffic, drive on the wrong side of the road, clog up emergency lanes, ignore traffic signs and block intersections but are rarely fined because our police are too scared to act against them. Our trucks crawl up steep gradients in the fast lanes and often travel at speeds exceeding 115kph on the down-hills but as speed traps are set at 125 kph they are seldom stopped for speeding. A truck at 115 kmh is infinitely more dangerous than a car exceeding the speed-limit by a similar 35 kph as proven by the N12 crash last year.


The Premier promised the consultative forum following the advisory panel feedback, that he would respond to the outright rejection by the public of both e-tolls and the proposed hybrid model by month end.


If the ambiguous report in his address is supposed  to clarify matters it has failed.  One must again ask the question why Sanral, the National Department of Roads and Transport and the ANC outside of Gauteng are hell-bent on using the expensive gantries.?


There remain many unexplained clauses in the contract between Sanral and ETC and KAPSH which defy logic. Who exactly is being enriched by the e-toll system?


Is the government determined to clog our courts with e-toll infringers while the many real criminals in detention wait to come to trial? The Premier should conduct a referendum on the public attitude to e-tolls and then stnd by the wishes of Gauteng citizens by rejecting the e-tolls unconditionally.


Our existing infrastructure has, on the admission of the ANC, been woefully neglected for decades. While our existing assets crumble and fail, the Premier is putting forward expensive and unrealistic new major projects.


It is time for the ANC to fully identify what assets it has and their state of repair or disrepair. It should carefully work out a cost sustainable maintenance routine and then carefully identify those new projects that have a reasonable chance of coming to fruition on time and on budget and concentrate on those.


It cannot do everything at once and prioritisation and pragmatism are required. To this end we need to be circumspect about extensions to the Gautrain. The train already costs R1.5 billion annually in subsidies and these are budgeted to increase to R1.8 billion in the next two yers. Furthermore the fares on Gautrain are deliberately set above Prasa’s fares and do not transport the real workers in Gauteng.


South Africa does not have the ability to offer free housing, free healthcare, free education and social grants to almost a third of our population on a sustainable basis.


Let us not be “jacks of all things” but rather,  masters of those things that make the most impact.



I thank you madam Speaker




















Contact: Cell 082 387 2540

Clayville Ext 45 residents none the wiser about improved infrastructure

Gersbach-Graham1Gauteng MEC for Housing and Traditional Affairs, Jacob Mamabolo, has pronounced noble intentions to improve the living conditions of residents of Clayville Ext 45, Ekurhuleni, but has failed to provide detailed plans as to how this is to be done.


In a written reply, the MEC stated that 3 384 stands in Clayville Ext 45 were to be developed providing for 200 single residential RDP units, 1 704 High Density Walk-up units, 380 rental units and 1 100 GAP / FLISP units (for persons not qualifying for RDP or bonded units).


Beneficiaries of these plans include residents of the nearby Madelakufa 1 & 2 Informal Settlements, Freedom Square and applicants on the Tembisa housing waiting list.


Whilst the reply stated that schools, parks, medical facilities, roads and transport facilities were being planned – no detail of these facilities was provided.


The nearby Mpumelelo Primary School, designed for 1 800 learners, has an enrolment in excess of 2 300 yet is still housed in temporary facilities.


Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, mentioned in his State of the Province Address that Clayville Ext 45 is one of the areas included in the delivery of more than 100,000 housing units in the next 5 years.


However, there are still no details as to what is planned.


My colleague, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho MPL, and I will address a public meeting on Wednesday, 4 March, 2015 at the Olifantsfontein Community Centre at 19h00 to provide feedback to the community on the DA’s education campaign.


Educational needs are critical to sustainable human settlements.


The DA will continue to ensure that the needs of the residents are addressed effectively and are not lost in the mists of cheap talk.


Media enquiries:
Graham Gersbach MPL
DA Spokesperson on Roads
060 556 4346


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

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