Multi-Party coalition led City of Johannesburg works to solve Crosby’s electricity issues

Crosby’s electricity woes seem never-ending, but the multi-Party coalition led City of Joburg administration is proactively working to resolve the ongoing power issues.

The residents have been without power since the substation situated at Old Castle Road near corner Katanga Road in Crosby was burnt down last week Tuesday and power was restored over the weekend. However, electricity issues in the Crosby area will continue due to several illegal connections coming from Slovo Park Informal Settlement.

The City of Joburg has worked swiftly and had the burnt-down substation replaced, and power restored to all affected residents.

Load-shedding is also a contributing factor to many power failures across the City of Joburg which is because of Eskom’s incompetency and old infrastructure.

This has resulted in many areas suffering many hours without power. The multi-party coalition led City of Johannesburg is actively working to help its residents to find an alternative solution to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply. It recently held an Energy Indaba to attract investment and start the process of bringing in independent power producers (IPPs) to mitigate the effects of load-shedding. In the DA-governed City of Cape Town, residents are protected from two stages of load shedding through the city’s interventions.

The DA is pleading with the residents to remain calm and reassures them that the multi-party coalition led government in the City of Joburg will continue to push for a sustainable and lasting solution for power issues in Crosby.

Furthermore, we demand that the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile to prioritise the Slovo Park in-situ housing project which will solve the electricity issues in the area.

The multi-party coalition led City of Johannesburg is committed to ensuring that all its residents have access to basic services such as electricity and water supply as part of their golden start commitment. Working together with the residents, we can fix Joburg and make it great again.


Johannesburg Central and Honeydew residents are under seige

The residents of Honeydew and Johannesburg Central areas are living in fear for their lives and their belongings, according to the fourth quarter crime statistics of 2021/2022.

The two police stations recorded the highest number of serious crimes in the province which is a clear indication that the residents of the juristic of these police stations are in danger. This is a result of the law enforcement agencies’ failure to ensure their safety and prevent crime.

Johannesburg Central Police Station is leading in Gauteng with the highest number of cases in the below crimes:

Community reported serious crimes:2021
Contact crime: 988
Murder: 35
Trio crimes: 83
Robbery at non-residential premises:61
Robbery in cash in transit:1

In second position is the Honeydew Police station which has recorded the following cases in the below crimes:

Community reported serious crimes: 2149
Contact crime: 724
Rape: 45
Trio Crimes:122
Carjacking: 45
Robbery at residential premises: 38

These crime statistics are extremely worrying as these two police stations have been constantly in the top five in the province in terms of serious crimes being reported.

Honeydew SAPS is struggling to ensure residents’ safety because it lacks adequate resources, and it covers a huge area which includes Cosmo City and Zandspruit Informal Settlement. The resources at this police station are overstretched and there is an urgent need for two police stations to ensure that proper policing takes place.

For far too long, the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko and the SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela have promised to intervene and assist these worst performing police stations. Surely, these crime statistics are a clear indication that their interventions are not yielding any positive results.

The only solution to this problem is to speed up the adoption of the DA’s Community Safety Oversight Bill which will give the Gauteng Department of Community Safety powers to do oversight to improve police intelligence and fight and prevent crime.

The DA will also continue to fight to ensure that all our police stations are well equipped with all the necessary resources to fight crime. We will be conducting oversight inspections to the Honeydew and Johannesburg Central police stations to ascertain their challenges and report back to the department which has a responsibility of ensuring the safety of our residents.

Illegal Zamamphilo gold mining camp can result in Johannesburg’s own Chernobyl

The Zamamphilo gold mining camp in Ward 68 of Riverlea poses a serious risk to residents both of the camp and surrounding areas such as Horseshoe.

This camp, situated on top of both a Sasol gas pipeline as well as a Transnet fuel pipeline, is in fact an illegal mining camp and not an informal settlement. There is also a Rand Water pipeline underneath the camp.

Should the gas and fuel come into contact, this can result in a fatal explosion for much of the surrounding areas. The illegal miners are underground without the use of professional equipment or engineers. Should these miners get too close to these pipes and accidentally hit them, Johannesburg could see itself dealing with its own Chernobyl.

The existence of this camp also affects service delivery for residents of surrounding areas, where illegal electricity connections cause constant power outages for surrounding suburbs. With the illegal mining, water mains have been broken, while heavy metal has been introduced to the environment.

The increase in population of this mining camp has also resulted in an surge in crime, where miners often end up shooting each other during the day.

These were some of the issues I was presented with during my visit to the Zamamphilo camp today.

It is imperative that the Municipality immediately commences with the process of relocating those living in this camp, so that their lives, as well as the lives of residents in surrounding areas are not put in further danger and that this illegal mining activity also ceases.

Democratic Alliance Councillor, Mckinnley Mitchell has already called for an urgent debate on the matter in the Johannesburg City Council to take place later this month.

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Three cheers for citizen action to quell riots and rebuild

Ordinary citizens deserve three cheers for their efforts to quell the rampant vandalism and looting, as well as clean-up and rebuilding efforts.

Private security companies have been crucial in limiting the damage in the Jules street area of Malvern and Jeppe in east Johannesburg, including donations of rubber bullets to the Cleveland and Jeppe police stations.

This area has fared badly in the past with xenophobic riots, and small businesses again felt the brunt of the violence. They don’t have insurance and will struggle to get back on their feet.

It is disappointing that local police have yet again been poorly equipped to handle the violence, but private security companies have done what they can to assist. Surely a simple thing like rubber bullets should have been immediately available to the police?

There should be no more talk of inhibiting private firearm ownership as this is crucial self-defence for people let down by weak state security.

I am heartened by citizen initiatives like Malvern Cleanup and Rebuild which is using social media to coordinate efforts to rehabilitate the area.

Private/public partnerships can save our country, as we are seeing with the Covid-19 vaccine rollout-out which has been boosted by efficient private sites that are now open to people not on medical aids.

The weak link is public sector incapacity and corruption, which active citizens can fix by booting out the ruling party at the next elections.

DA calls on MEC Lesufi to speed up the process of building a new school in Winchester Hills in Johannesburg South

Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) conducted an oversight inspection at the President High School in Ridgeway, Johannesburg South and we discovered that the school has received 1838 Grade 8 applications for 2021 academic year, yet the school can only accommodate 400 learners.

The school currently has 570 Grade 8 learners and a total number of 1850 learners.

There is a need for 12 additional classrooms for this school to be able to accommodate all the Grade 8 learners that have applied at this school.

The school is also waiting for the Gauteng Department of Education to pay R7 million so that they can start the process of building additional classrooms.

The schools in Johannesburg South are experiencing a lot of pressure and there is a high demand for schools due to new developments in the area.

The Hills High School was temporarily housing unplaced learners from different schools around the area. The Sir John Adamson High School is also housing unplaced Grade 8 Learners from different schools.

It is high time that the department ensures that it plans for more learners next year.

The DA calls on MEC Lesufi to speed-up the process of building a new school in Winchester Hills to ensure that all learners who applied for grade 8 will be placed in 2021 academic year.

The department should prioritize building more new schools in this area to match the demand of new developments in Johannesburg South. This will also minimize the current pressure faced by schools in the area.

We also call on the MEC to ensure that they provide additional classrooms to those schools that have received a high number of Grade 8 applications to ensure that the 2021 academic year is not disrupted.

DA uncovers signs of corruption in City of Johannesburg

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has uncovered a scheme in the City of Johannesburg where the Patriotic Alliance (PA) is abusing its slim hold on power by guaranteeing itself and certain alliance partners control over key City entities, including the Joburg Market, and the Joburg Property Company (JPC).

In 2019 the African National Congress (ANC) seized control of the City through an awkward alliance of single-councillor parties, who were promised lucrative positions of power when the former DA Mayor handed control over to the ANC through his resignation.

The PA, headed by former convicted gangster Gayton McKenzie, secured the Economic Development portfolio through this alliance, which has a combined budget of R1,2 billion for the 2020/21 financial year and includes:

  • The Department of Economic Development;
  • The Joburg Market which is South Africa’s largest fresh produce market and the City’s most profitable entity; and
  • The Johannesburg Property Company which manages the City’s entire property portfolio of more than 30,000 properties.

The Joburg Market has already been captured through the appointment of Leanne Williams, McKenzie’s second in command in the party and its former councillor in the City of Johannesburg.

Williams then went straight from being an official in the political office of the MMC for Economic Development to the position of CEO of Joburg Market while the City was under lockdown.

It has now come to light that the PA is intent on offering control of the Johannesburg Property Company to another alliance partner, which also holds only 1 seat in Council, in order to maintain their position of political power.

This is an indication that there is more to the current CEO of the Joburg Property Company being placed on ‘special leave’ than just a routine investigation.

The DA will submit formal questions to the executive, to uncover further details of what appears to be blatant City of Joburg capture, and will report this matter to the Public Protector in order to obtain answers for the residents of Johannesburg.

The DA stands for clean, honest governance that puts our residents first and we will not allow such corruption to go unanswered.

Long delays for Covid-19 test results at Joburg hotspot

The worst hit COVID-19 area in Gauteng is Ward 58 in Johannesburg, but test results for many of its residents are outstanding for more than 10 days.

This ward is near the inner city and includes Mayfair, Fordsburg, Homestead Park and Vrededorp. Testing sites for this hotspot were put up on 4 and 5 June, but many people have not yet received their results, including DA Ward Councillor Alex Christians. According to Christians, health inspectors wishing to trace contacts are frustrated as they are told that testing specimens were not marked and they cannot pick up the people they are enquiring about.

Another example of slow results was experienced by DA Ekurhuleni Councillor Khetha Shandu who was tested at a mobile testing station in Tembisa on 22 May and only got his result three weeks later on 13 June.  He was fortunately negative but an undiagnosed infectious person can potentially infect many others.

The Gauteng strategy of mass COVID-19 community testing needs to change urgently in view of the continuing slow turn-around times and the current backlog of 23 000 tests in the province.

Medical experts have been calling for a better use of limited testing capacity in order to give priority to vulnerable health workers and hospital patients.

It is unfortunate that the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) has made false promises that it could test 36000 people a day, but the national backlog is now 63 000.

Mass community testing makes no sense when results can take as long as three weeks.

Gauteng province claims to have screened 7 458 034 people, which is about half the total population, and to have traced 100% of 17 713 COVID-19 contacts. These figures are frankly not credible.

The provincial government should not make false claims. We now see an enormous jump in cases that dictates a change in strategy to focus testing efforts on priority cases and areas with results within 24 hours.

Pretoria and Johannesburg ranked amongst top ten most dangerous cities in the world

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng notes with great concern that the province’s two big cities, Pretoria and Johannesburg have been ranked amongst the top ten most dangerous cities in the world by the Numbeo’s 2020 Crime Index.

According to the Numbeo’s 2020 Crime Index, four South African cities are among the ten most dangerous cities globally. These cities are ranked as follows:

3. Pietermaritzburg
4. Pretoria
5. Durban
6. Johannesburg

These rankings are worrying and clearly indicates that our cities lack adequate policing and that our people’s lives and safety is under serious threat.

South Africans do not feel safe in their homes and communities as crime continues to rise while the SAPS is riddling with corruption and unable to fight crime.

For the longest time the DA has been calling for the professionalisation of SAPS so as to make the police force honest, professional and one that serves and protects all South Africans.

Furthermore, our police are ill-equipped, untrained and under-resourced to adequately ensure that law and order is maintained in our communities, and that there are effective arrests, prosecutions and convictions of criminals.

The DA will continue to call for the establishment of specialised units within SAPS to help combat crime.

We will also be tabling questions to the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to determine what measures are being put in place to more effectively fight crime in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

ANC on mission to loot Joburg coffers by reversing insourcing of workers

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is not surprised by the ANC-led City of Joburg administration’s intention to reverse the insourcing of the security guards and cleaners.

This action by the ANC-led Joburg administration is clearly an effort to reverse the gains that were achieved by the DA-led coalition government.

The DA-led multiparty administration insourced over 2000 security guards and cleaners, so as to ensure their job security as well as their access to medical aid and pensions.

This was also a step in the right direction to eradicate the use of labour brokers and end the exploitation of workers.

In addition, the security guards and cleaners that were insourced are earning a market related salary.

The ANC’s claim that the process was not done legally and that more people were employed than was initially on the books is not true.

Furthermore, this action by the ANC administration once again highlights that they care little about the needs of those providing services to the municipality and are only interested in lining the pockets of cadres.

It has also become a norm where the ANC governs that security and cleaning tenders are awarded to card carrying members of the ANC who in return flout labour laws and do not even pay the minimum wage.

The DA will continue to put pressure on the ANC to not reverse this insourcing. Failure to do this will indicate that the ANC is only focused on their own interests.

DA calls on Joburg residents to support party in by-elections

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is confident that we will do well in the by-elections which are to be held in the City of Johannesburg tomorrow, Wednesday, 24 July 2019.

The DA calls on all voting-age residents to come out and support the DA.

If they are elected, DA candidates in Ward 54, Stuart Marais, Ward 83, Dr. Florence Roberts, Ward 109, Sabatin Shongwe and Ward 112, Lerato Mphefo are committed to continuing to work tirelessly with communities to ensure their needs are met.

Since taking over the DA-led City of Johannesburg three years ago, the DA has provided quality services to residents in these wards.

Now more than ever, we need the support of all DA voters so that we can continue our work of building one South Africa for all.