Gauteng vehicle testing stations only testing 24 vehicles a day

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng notes with deep concern that only 24 vehicles are allowed to be tested for roadworthiness at Vehicle Testing Centres in the province per day. This limitation was imposed by the Department of Roads and Transport to curb the spread of Covid-19.

In a reply to questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature for written reply, the MEC for Roads and Transport, Jacob Mamabolo indicated that the Gauteng Province has the capacity to test around 100 000 vehicles per month, while the current monthly average of roadworthy applications in the Province has only been around 64 000.

According to the MEC the restriction of only testing 24 vehicles per day which has been in place since Level 3 lockdown is to limit the number of applicants having to queue for roadworthy services at vehicle testing stations and who would then have to queue at licensing service centres to obtain the roadworthy certificate discs.

While the MEC indicates that this restriction was put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19, he also indicates that restriction has been imposed to prevent the uncontrollable issuing of fraudulent roadworthy certificates to vehicles that have not been presented or tested at a vehicle resting station. To impose restrictions as a measure to curb fraud is bizarre, this restriction would have the exact opposite effect.

Furthermore, the MEC states that this number is being revised so that it is in line with the South African National Standards (SANS) 10047, which has nothing to do with Covid-19. The testing stations and the premises from which the businesses operate have been evaluated by the GPA, before the businesses became licensed to trade. This means that once this has been done, the GPA has already determined how many tests a station can do. To use the SANS 10047 in an effort to legitimize the continued restrictions is nonsensical.

It is worrying that the department has not re-evaluated the vehicle testing limit as this policy, which is unlawful, has been in place since lockdown Level 3. All industries have adapted as the country moved through the various levels in order to accommodate customers with the required social distancing. It should also be noted that no restrictions are in place in any other province.

This will result in more unroadworthy vehicles on our roads leading to road carnage if the number of testing vehicles for roadworthiness is not reviewed. At level one of the national lockdown we expect to see more vehicles being tested as we are preparing for the opening of the economy.

The fact that there are only 24 vehicles tested per day at a vehicle testing centre clearly indicates that there is a backlog of vehicles waiting to be tested.

The MEC should indicate the real reason for the continuation of imposing these restrictions and how they intend to reduce this backlog that has had a negative impact on our motorists.

Raw sewage spilling into Pienaarsrivier, while Tshwane Administrators sit idle

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is deeply concerned that the Tshwane administrators are doing nothing about the raw sewage that is spilling into the Pienaarsrivier that flows into the Roodeplaat dam.  

There is a thick layer of raw sewage on the riverbank and there is no longer any fish or bird life.

See video here 

The DA has been inundated with complaints about the raw sewage which comes from the Bavianspoort Waste Water Treatment Facility.  

The smell is unbearable, and the raw sewage has a negative impact on the wildlife in Roodeplaat.  

The sewage pollution will inevitably lead to algae bloom which will in turn give rise to a massive increase in water hyacinth growth. This is already a huge problem and the government has spent millions in an effort to curb the growth of these invasive water plants.  

Preserving our wildlife is of utmost importance for the preservation of our ecosystem. If the wildlife disappears from its natural habitat, the balance of the ecosystem will be disturbed with dire consequences.

It is clear that the Tshwane administrators have no clue as to how to address the problems at the Waste Water Treatment Plant which is responsible for the massive raw sewage spill.  

The DA is calling on the MEC for Environmental Affairs, Morakane Mosupyoe to liaise with the Tshwane administrators as a matter of urgency to intervene in this situation.  

Raw sewage spilling into wetlands in Bonaero Park a health and environmental risk

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is concerned that the thousands of litres of raw sewage flowing into the wetlands in Marigane and Lanseria street in Bonaero Park, Kempton Park is a health hazard.

The DA has been inundated with complaints by residents about the severe sewer stench which is present 24/7.

The existing sewer line which was installed many years ago within the perimeter of this important wetland has become severely perforated due to old age, which has led to the raw sewage seeping out of this pipe into the wetland.

See pictures here here here and here

Residents are unable to go outside or open the windows of their homes for fear of breathing in this stench. This has been a problem in the area for more than 10 years.

The pleas of the residents to government to do something about the raw sewage running into the wetlands have fallen on deaf ears.

This wetland used to be a major attraction with hundreds of flamingos frequenting the wetland and home to many fauna species. However, due to the current state of the wetlands the flamingos have disappeared as have the fauna species.

The DA will be writing to the Gauteng MEC for Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs, Morakane Mosupyoe as well as the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional, Lebogang Maile and the Green Scorpions to intervene in this situation as a matter of urgency.

Yet another Gauteng road upgrade left unfinished due to contractor woes

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is deeply concerned that the upgrade of the Solomon Mahlangu Drive will be delayed because of the contractor, UMSO has applied for business rescue.

See letter here.

This is yet another road in Gauteng that will be left unfinished because the contractor is unable to complete the job due to money woes.

The K69 project which is the Solomon Mahlangu drive upgrade from K54 at Mahuba Valley in Mamelodi to the R104, Pretoria is costing the Gauteng Provincial Government R285 million and is supposed to be completed in August 2021.

As part of the upgrade the existing gravel should will be reconstructed, asphalt surfacing and drainage improvements will be made, road markings will be redone, damaged signs repaired and the guardrails will be repaired.

In addition, a dual carriage-way will be built, which will help to increase capacity as well as improve road safety.

The same thing happened with William Nicol Drive. The upgrades to this road are still not complete because of the contractor’s inability to complete the project. This resulted in the Department of Roads and Transport once again advertising this tender.

It appears as though it is a trend that contractors appointed by the Gauteng Department of Transport do not complete the upgrades of roads in the province. This is concerning as the maintenance of roads is extremely important to ensure that road fatalities do not occur.

The DA will be closely monitoring the business rescue process of UMSO construction and the work currently been done on Solomon Mahlangu drive.

Acting Social Development MEC Lesufi clueless about what is happening in his department

During the budget vote for the Department of Social Development in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) Acting Gauteng Social Development MEC, Panyaza Lesufi denied that the distribution of food parcels has been politicised in the province.

This despite the fact that the DA in Mogale City wrote to the Speaker of Council about the food parcels that have been distributed with political intentions in the area. Only certain people have been given food parcels, while there are a number of residents in the area who are in desperate need of food parcels.

Furthermore, the DA has been informed that when the Department of Social Development went into Mogale City to distribute food parcels they were accompanied by alleged members of the ANC.

During the distribution of food parcels, no list of those who need food parcels were used and only certain people in the communities were notified and received food parcels.

This means that some people received more than one food parcel, while many others have not received any assistance from government.

This is a clear indication that either MEC Lesufi does not know what is happening in his department or is turning a blind eye to officials who are deliberately flouting the regulations put in place to ensure that everyone who is in need of assistance in the form of food parcels receives it.

The DA will continue to put pressure on the Acting MEC for Social Development to ensure that no political party distributes food parcels and that those who need assistance the most are given the help they need.

DA seeks clarity over status of Moloto Road

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on the Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Jacob Mamabolo to provide clarity on whether or not the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) has published their intention to handover its section of Moloto Road to the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral).

The intention of GPG to hand over its section of Moloto Road to Sanral has to be gazetted so that Sanral has the legal authority to proceed with the upgrades of the road.

The DA will be writing to MEC Mamabolo, to give us more clarity on whether or not a notice has been published in the Government Gazette, stating GPG’s intention to hand over its portion of the Moloto Road to Sanral.

This dangerous road is known as the ‘road of death’ due to the high accident rate.

This delay means that the loss of life on this road will continue. Much needed upgrades cannot be done by Sanral until the road is completely handed over to them. Currently the GPG does not have the expertise or the budget to do the much-needed upgrades on this road.

Last year, after pressure from the DA, MEC Mamabolo announced that Gauteng will be handing over the Gauteng section of Moloto Road to Sanral.

The DA will continue to put pressure on the MEC to ensure that GPG hands over Moloto Road to Sanral, so that the upgrades to the road can begin as a matter of urgency.

DA calls on MEC Maile to intervene to keep Mogale City’s lights on

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes that Eskom has issued a notice to interrupt the bulk supply of electricity to Mogale City Local Municipality.

The notice states that Eskom intends to interrupt the bulk supply of electricity to Mogale City with effect from 12 March 2020 due to the municipality’s contravention of the payment conditions.

According to Eskom Mogale City owes R119 623 731, 81 for electricity.

The municipality has breached its payment obligations to Eskom by failing to pay its debt.

It is totally unacceptable for Mogale City not to pay for electricity while it charges and collects revenue from its residents for the supply of electricity.

Mogale City is the latest local municipality that will be joining other ANC-led municipalities such as Merafong Local Municipality, Emfuleni Local Municipality and Rand West District Municipality which are battling to pay debt owed to Eskom.

The DA calls on the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile to intervene as a matter of urgency and ensure that bulk supply of electricity to Mogale is not interrupted.

We will also be tabling questions in the Legislature to ascertain the reasons why Mogale City has not yet paid money owed to Eskom.

It’s high time that MEC Maile prioritize executing his department’s mandate of providing support to municipalities instead of playing political games with municipalities that are being effectively administered by the official opposition.

Gautrain passengers left high and dry by power failure

Hundreds of Gautrain passengers have been left stranded at Midrand station following a power failure.

Gautrain management announced at 7am this morning that there will be no trains between Midrand and Park Stations and no trains from Sandton to OR Tambo.

It is unacceptable that commuters using the Gautrain were only informed 20 minutes after the power failure that there would be a limited Gautrain service.

Only one shuttle service was offered from Midrand to Sandton.

Commuters have also been asked to make alternate arrangements to get work and as yet no timeline has been given as to when the Gautrain will be fully operational again.

Not only have commuters been inconvenienced but they are also arriving late to work which has a negative impact on the economy.

Many commuters use the Gautrain as it is more reliable than Metrorail.

I will be tabling follow up questions to the MEC for Roads and Transport, Jacob Mamabolo to ascertain exactly what the reason is for today’s power outage, why the Gautrain does not have a backup power supply and why commuters were not informed immediately that the Gautrain would be operating on a limited service.

We urge the Gautrain management to communicate timeously with passengers when such incidents occur, so that they are able to then make a decision on how they will be travelling to their different destinations.

ANC in Gauteng plans to raise Income Tax to pay for e-tolls

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has reliably learnt (among other proposals) that the ANC in the province wants to raise Income Tax in order to pay for e-tolls.

This is unacceptable and will place further strain on our already overburdened residents, who are already struggling with the high cost of living.

In addition to this, residents will also be taxed further in order to pay for the proposed National Health Insurance Fund that government wants to implement.

The DA has been against the implementation of e-tolls since its inception, as it is an unfair tax burden on our residents who are struggling to make ends meet.

Furthermore, motorists are at risk of infringing the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offices Amendment Act for not paying their e-tolls. While truck drivers are at risk of losing their licence as they will be fined R500 and one demerit point, for every gantry they pass without paying e-tolls.

The Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula was expected to make an announcement on e-tolls yesterday, but we are still waiting to hear what the resolution on the matter is.

It is clear that the ANC has no intention of getting rid of e-tolls and that residents in Gauteng will continue to pay for something they do not want.

The DA will continue to call on Premier David Makhura to launch an inter-governmental dispute on e-tolls and instead the fuel levy should be used to replace e-tolls and not bail out SOEs.

Election promises leads to land grabs in Krugersdorp

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is concerned about today’s protest action just outside Krugersdorp.

Protestors have allegedly blocked the R114 Diepsloot Road and residents are unable to leave their homes.

According to the residents, the Mayor of Mogale City, Patrick Lipudi promised some residents land, while others are against the illegal land grabs.

Because a promise of giving residents land was made before the elections, the residents involved in the land grabs do not think they are doing anything wrong.

It is clear that this was just an electioneering tactic to get the people in the area to vote for the ruling party.

The promises made to the residents in Krugersdorp by the Mayor are irresponsible and have now led to residents grabbing land illegally.

I will be tabling questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to ascertain if any land has been earmarked for the residents in Krugersdorp and to determine if the MEC for Human Settlements is aware that residents were promised land.