DA to lodge a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission over water crisis in Gauteng

Tomorrow, Monday, 31 October 2022, the Official Leader of the Opposition in Gauteng, Solly Msimanga MPL, and the DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Infrastructure Development, Nico De Jager MPL, will be laying a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in Braamfontein regarding the current water crisis in the province.

For many weeks our residents have been left with limited access to water and electricity. Rand Water has been calling on our residents to use water sparingly, yet during our recent oversight inspection of the pumping station and water reservoir in Eikenhof, we discovered that there is a water leak right outside their premises.

This is concerning as our residents are forced to collect water from water tankers which has already resulted in a 13-year-old boy being admitted to the hospital in critical condition after he was knocked over by a car while collecting water in Coronationville.

Access to water is a basic human right and this right is currently being infringed on by Rand Water which is throttling supply to various reservoirs and pumping stations in the province. This right should not become dangerous, and our residents pay for a service that they expect to be delivered without interruption.

The media is invited and there will be an opportunity for interviews and photographs

Details of the event are as follows:

Date: 31 October 2022

Time: 11:00

Address: 27 Stiemens St, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, 2001

DA seeks Human Rights Commission’s intervention to ensure learners’ placement before the end of this week

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has written to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) seeking its intervention to ensure that all unplaced learners across the province are allocated school placements before the end of this week.

The unplaced learners are being denied their constitutional right to access basic education by the Gauteng Department of Education.

This is unacceptable, as learners will continue to miss out on the much-needed everyday schooling. Furthermore, these learners have already fallen behind in the curriculum due to the rotational learning that was adopted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This has severely affected the quality of the basic education being offered to our children.

The DA has been inundated with calls and emails from parents whose children have not been allocated school placements and we have escalated these emails and calls to both the Gauteng Department of Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi and Head of Department to ensure that all learners are placed, however, to date, nothing has happened as many learners are still sitting at home and are still to be allocated school placements. 

The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) has also contributed to this crisis as it consistently fails to build schools according to specifications as well as fails to pay service providers on time and to meet deadlines. This has had a hugely negative impact on learner admissions as many projects are on hold which is delaying the intake of more learners at the start of the academic year.

The SAHRC has a responsibility to protect and advance the interests of our children and its’ intervention will assist in speeding up the school placement. We also demand that MEC Lesufi must engage independent schools to assist in enrolling some learners and give independent schools a budget to build additional classrooms, so they can place all learners who are sitting at home and have not been allocated school placements.

DA complains to Human Rights Commission about the blocking of food distribution by NGOs

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has lodged a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) against the Department of Social Development (DSD) following a supposed instruction prohibiting NGOs from distributing cooked food to hungry people during this national lockdown period.

We are of the view that the ban on the distribution of cooked food is in violation of the Constitution – particularly on the right to dignity, the right to life and the right to sufficient food, water and appropriate social assistance.

Our complaint to the SAHRC is twofold:

  1. Preventing soup kitchens and prepared hot meal schemes from operating places poor people, who cannot afford water and electricity to cook their own food, at risk of hunger. It is also not guaranteed that those who depend on cooked food will receive non-perishable food parcels timeously once distribution is halted – given the recent ongoing delays and reports of corruption related to the distribution of food parcels; and
  2. While independent schemes may still operate, the rules they need to comply with make it almost impossible for them to continue their work. NGOs will essentially be expected to apply for permits every time they distribute food. The bureaucratic challenges within the DSD and SASSA will also make independent distribution impossible.

The ban on NGOs distributing cooked food will do more harm than good. Already in Gauteng, the DA has been reliably informed that the Cradle of Hope, an NGO based in Krugersdorp that has been supplying fresh sandwiches to around 600 needy residents for the past three years, has been forced to stop rendering this service after the Gauteng DSD issued a permit prohibiting them from distributing cooked food and only allows them to distribute non-perishable food parcels.

Many of the residents who depended on these sandwiches are likely to face starvation because they either cannot afford water and electricity, or they do not have access to these amenities, in order to cook their own food. The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that many families in Gauteng who have applied for food parcels in April are yet to receive any assistance from the Department

This instruction to prohibit NGOs from distributing cooked food is problematic given the fact that Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu’s leaked regulations are still in the draft phase and, therefore, not enforceable. Further to this, the ban seems more like an attempt to exercise power and punish the poor, than an attempt to protect the vulnerable from starvation.

If the ANC-led Gauteng administration is serious about feeding the hungry and cares about the welfare of its people, then it must oppose the proposal by its national counterpart to ban the distribution of cooked meals.

DA welcomes health intervention by Human Rights Commission

The Democratic Alliance appreciates and welcomes the intervention by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) which visited the Mamelodi Hospital yesterday following the shocking abuse of 76-year-old Martha Marais who was tied to a bench there for more than eight hours.

I am concerned by their finding of severe staff shortages and overcrowding which leads to poor service and low morale.

The lack of a full-time CEO aggravates the problems at the hospital.

I have also received many complaints of corruption at this hospital, including shoddy building work.

The Gauteng Health Department has failed to spend its full capital budget for many years despite the huge backlogs for maintenance and expansion of facilities.

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku must be ruthless in rooting out corruption and he should ensure that competent personnel are put in key positions.

There is no time for half-measures and retention of incompetent comrades, otherwise more tragic health incidents will continue to occur.

The SAHRC’s recommendations should be implemented as soon as possible.

DA welcomes Human Rights Commission visit to Rahima Moosa Hospital

by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

I commend the visit last week by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate the deaths of 9 babies from Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC) at the Rahima Moosa Hospital in west Johannesburg.

According to the SAHRC regional manager Buang Jones, the hospital management conceded that it has violated patients’ rights to quality healthcare.

I am concerned that the origin of the NEC outbreak has not yet been established, and it is likely that shortages of staff, equipment and beds contributed to the deaths.

This hospital needs to be upgraded to cope with 13 000 births every year despite not having an intensive care unit, a laboratory service or 24-hour blood bank on site.

The appointment of a permanent Hospital CEO should be speeded up as the previous CEO retired in June this year, and staff and equipment shortages should also be rectified.

It is unacceptable that mothers give birth in an environment of risk rather than top quality care.

I hope that real solutions emerge when the SAHRC subpoenas Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa and Head of Department Professor Mkhululi Lukhele to account for the conditions at this hospital.

Joburg Budget: Unemployment Is A Scar On Tau’s Record

ANC Election Campaign Speech

The Budget tabled by Johannesburg MayCo Member for Finance Geoffrey Makhubu today failed to address the jobs crisis in Johannesburg.

Instead of an honest assessment of the jobs crisis, we heard a self-congratulatory speech focused on painting the ANC in a positive light.

This was an ANC election campaign speech, not a frank assessment of the challenges our people face.

There was no acknowledgement of the 869 000 unemployed residents in Johannesburg — 66 000 of whom joined the ranks of the unemployed in the first quarter of 2016.

Unemployment is a scar on Mayor Tau’s record. In failing to create jobs, he has failed the people of Johannesburg. History will judge him and the ANC government harshly.

I will create thousands of jobs

On my campaign throughout this great city, I have seen despair winning out over hope.

I have seen unemployed people using the filthiest pit toilets, I have seen raw sewage flowing in the streets and rubbish piled high on the pavements.

I have seen young people addicted to nyaope everywhere I go. With every job lost, we lose another young person to this terrible drug that is destroying families all over the city.

In the last four months, I have uncovered human rights violations in the communities of Zandspruit, Noordgesig, Alexandra, Kwamai-Mai and Kliptown. The Human Rights Commission has agreed to investigate all of these cases.

I am running for Mayor of Johannesburg because I want to create opportunities for young people to get jobs and make a better life for themselves.

By assisting entrepreneurs to start businesses, helping job seekers to find work, cutting wasteful expenditure, and improving service delivery, I will create thousands of jobs to restore the hope of those who have been left behind.


Media enquiries:

Nkele Molapo

Media officer

072 041 4842

DA Pressures Joburg Into Providing Electricity To Informal Settlements

Matshidiso Mfikoe

The DA welcomes the announcement by Johannesburg MMC for Infrastructure and development, Matshidiso Mfikoe to electrify the majority of informal settlements across the city.

MC Mfikoe’s announcement comes in the wake of a DA request to the Human Rights Commission to investigate rights violations in a number of informal settlements, which the commission agreed to investigate.

However, the DA is concerned that this is just another empty promise. The people of Johannesburg have been lied to for too long. They deserve an honest government.

That is why a DA government would not just roll out electrification, but also improve water supply, sanitation and implement plans to formalise and/or upgrade these settlements.

And we would keep our promises.

DA’s Vision for Johannesburg

The DA’s vision for Johannesburg is firmly entrenched in the principles of holistic governance. We have a clear understanding that services cannot be delivered in isolation of one another – something Mayor Tau and MMC Mfikoe clearly misunderstand.

Where we govern, the DA has made major strides in improving the plight of the poor, providing the most comprehensive basket of free services to those who are most needy.

In less than three months Johannesburg’s voters will have the opportunity to vote for change that stops corruption, improves services delivery, and builds communities where people have access to basic services.

Because where the DA governs, life is better.


Media enquiries:

Willie Venter

060 963 8260

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DA Will Not Be Deterred From Campaigning Anywhere In Joburg

Blocked by IFP

The DA will lay charges with the SAPS and the Independent Electoral Commission against an official of the Inkhatha Freedom Party (IFP) who refused us access to a hostel in Alexandra today.

This morning I was scheduled to meet with the leadership and residents of the Madala Hostel in Alexandra, but was blocked by the IFP.

Clearly the IFP is scared of the growth and swelling support for the DA in Alexandra, and in Johannesburg as a whole. As the DA grows, it is no wonder that smaller opposition parties will take fright.

I have personally reported the appalling and inhuman conditions at Madala hostel to the Human Rights Commission, and was there to report back to residents when blocked by the IFP.

Madala Hostel sees people living with poor sanitation, unsafe buildings and sporadic water supply, which are violations of human rights.

Now the Human Rights Commission is investigating the City of Johannesburg for these human rights violations, due to their severity.

Deaperate IFP

Upon our arrival today, Mr Zakhele Mbonani, the IFP chairperson of the hostel, said that no person wearing DA branded clothing was allowed access to a so-called IFP stronghold, and forced us to leave.

Mr Mbonani’s desperate and illegal actions are a clear sign of how more and more people are turning their support to the DA – and that our message of change for a united South Africa are finding resonance across racial and ethnic lines.

Over the past years the DA has been the only party that shows consistent growth, while support for the likes of the IFP and the ANC is rapidly declining.

Change is coming to Johannesburg, and the DA will not be stopped from bringing our message of a better life to all the city’s residents.


Media enquiries:

Willie Venter

060 963 8260

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Joburg Mayor Ditches Zandspruit Residents

Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau

The DA is deeply concerned about Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau’s deafening silence on the plight of Zandspruit residents.

Yesterday residents marched peacefully to hand over a memorandum of concerns to the mayor, only to be told that he is too busy to attend.

Why would mayor Tau not take Zandspruit’s people and their concerns seriously?

A few weeks ago, I went to Zandspruit to meet with residents and engage them on their concerns, and was heartbroken to see the living conditions of these residents, 22 years into democracy.

Human Rights Commission

Electricity remains a major concern, with countless deaths caused due to illegal connections. Instead of providing electricity, the city allowed Eskom to switch off all power to the entire community.

I laid a complaint with the Human Rights Commission over this matter, who have agreed to investigate in the meantime.

Mayor Tau’s callous response stands in stark contrast to the DA’s caring approach where we govern.

In Cape Town this past week, when protestors took to the street in Dunoon, Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille immediately stepped in, held an urgent engagement with Dunoon community leaders, and took their concerns to be handled by the Mayor’s Office.

Change is Coming

Yet in Johannesburg, Mayor Tau’s blatant disrespect for the people of Zandspruit shows just how the ANC government only cares for the select few.

The DA has a track record of clean governance and better service delivery where it governs.

Where the DA governs, we offer the most comprehensive basket of free basic services to the poorest communities, to uplift communities and to improve lives.

Change is coming to Johannesburg, just as it’s sweeping across the rest of South Africa.

Because where the DA governs, life is better.


Media enquiries:

Willie Venter for Herman Mashaba

Director: Communications and Research

060 963 8260

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DA Reports City Of Johannesburg To HRC For Rights Violations

The DA has today compiled a complaint to the Human Rights Commission over the City of Johannesburg’s repeated violation of residents’ human rights. This complaint will be filed without delay.

We are doing this to hold the government of Johannesburg to account for neglect of our citizens.

The most powerful way for people to change their circumstances is through voting for change, and voting in a new government. The people of Johannesburg can vote for change in this year’s election.

But until this change-election of 2016, the ANC government of Johannesburg cannot be allowed to continue violating human rights without scrutiny.

To date I have personally experienced violations as follows, which form the basis of our complaint to the SAHRC:

  • In Zandspruit people have no access to emergency services, and have to live without sewage infrastructure and without legal electrical connections while relying on standpipes or grey water. Children play close to dead rodents that are not cleaned away by City health and sanitation.
  • In Noordgesig people live close to a mine dump which is cause for major environmental and health problems. Many residents suffer from chest complaints and there is a high rate of tuberculosis in the area.
  • Alexandra has informal housing units scattered between formal housing without access to any services, resulting in sewage flows between units.
  • The Madala Men’s Hostel in Alexandra is an unsound structure that has not been maintained and unfit for human occupation. Part of the roof has been destroyed leaving residents exposed to the elements. Access to water is sporadic and the sewage system is blocked, leading to severe health concerns.
  • At the Melrose Street informal settlement in City & Suburban about 150 people share a few portable toilets that are filthy and are not emptied regularly. There is a single tap to service the settlement, while storm water drains are blocked and the municipality does not clear them.
  • In Diepsloot people are profoundly affected by crime and violence. There is raw effluent in the streets, since no sanitation service is offered. Children cross flowing sewage to play, and to get around their neighbourhood. Recently a young child drowned because there is no bridge for residents to cross the river when it rains.
  • In Kwa Mai-Mai thousands of families live in squalid conditions in a run-down building next to the Kwa Mai-Mai market. Only one toilet, erected by inhabitants, services the entire community. There is no sanitation and no refuse removal, garbage lies knee-deep and sewage runs in the alleys like a grey river.
  • Helen Joseph Hostel for Women in Alexandra is home to thousands of women, but has a serious sanitation problem: pipes are blocked and the communal bathrooms are flooded and the ablution facilities are blocked. There is no piped water for residents, and water has to be collected at a central point.
  • Kliptown’s residents live in old houses that are crumbling and are forced to share central portable toilets. Rats are fearless of humans because of the unsanitary conditions and are everywhere.

It cannot be that these living conditions can go unpunished at the hands of Mayor Parks Tau and the ANC.

A DA government in Johannesburg will deliver functioning sewerage infrastructure, running water and electricity, and spend more and more public money on upgrading our poorest communities.

From Cape Town to Midvaal where the DA governs, living conditions improve.

The DA will deliver change to Johannesburg that sees the highest levels of water, sanitation and electricity access, just as we have done where the DA governs already.

Change is coming to Johannesburg; change that delivers services for all residents.


Media enquiries:

Willie Venter

Director: Communications and research

060 963 8260