John Moodey to Present the True State of Ekurhuleni Metro

True State of Ekurhuleni

Tomorrow, Monday 23 March 2015, DA Gauteng Provincial Leader, John Moodey, DA Ekurhuleni caucus leader, Cllr Fortune Mahano and DA Ekurhuleni caucus members will brief the media over the true state of the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality.

The briefing will take place outside the Wanneburg Clinic in the informal settlement of Makause near Primrose, Germiston, where the DA will present its policy alternatives in the run up to Executive Mayor Mondli Gungubele’s State of the City Address on Wednesday.

Event Details

Date: Monday, 23 March 2015

 

Time: 09:30

 

Venue: Wanneburg Clinic, Pretoria Road, (between Bus and Mimosa Roads) Primrose

 

Click here to view map.

There will be ample opportunity for interviews and photographs. Members of the media are welcome to attend.

 

 

Media enquiries:

Cllr Fortune Mahano

DA Ekurhuleni Caucus Leader

072 451 2645

 

Angela Barnes

DA Media Liaison – Ekurhuleni Caucus

083 701 9972

 

Gauteng Transport MEC Victimises Whistle-blower

Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport (GDRT) MEC, Ismail Vadi and Head of Department (HOD), Ronald Swartz are condoning attempts by senior management to silence a whistle-blower who has attempted to expose corrupt and collusive John Moodey DA Gauteng Provincial Leaderactivities.

Irregularities

According to DA information the whistle-blower has attempted to report sever financial irregularities to both the MEC and HOD, only to find himself having being suspended.

The whistle-blower alleges how he had uncovered what appears to be the irregular appointment of one senior official, but also how this official and the person who allegedly colluded to ensure her appointment, irregularly awarded tenders to the value of  R19.5 million.

The whistle blower alleges that the tenders were awarded in contravention of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), Treasury Regulations and department financial controls.

Investigation and the Lack of Political Will

After no action was taken by the HOD, this matter was raised with the MEC, again to no avail.

This matter has been the subject of a Public Service Commission investigation, a report which the whistle-blower claims has been ignored by the MEC and HOD.

Once again, we are exposed to the nefarious workings of officials employed in departments throughout Gauteng and the lack of political will to tackle these issues head on.

What is of utmost concern is that when officials attempt to do the right thing, they are maligned by those in the upper echelons of power.

Gauteng Premier, David Makhura’s much lauded approach to corruption needs to be put to task in instances such as these.

The DA will follow this case up with both the Premier Makhura and MEC Vadi as a matter of urgency.

 

Media enquiries:

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

082 960 3743

[Image source]

E-tolls Referendum: Mr Premier, we are at a stalemate

Gauteng Premier David Makhura refuses to hold a referendum on e-tolls and wants people to continue to pay for this unfair and unjust system.Moodey-John1-240x300

Today I asked the premier to explain the reasons behind his refusal to call for a referendum, despite the fact that it is the best democratic mechanism to gauge public sentiment on a particular issue.

The premier’s response was that a referendum is only used to resolve a stalemate, and not every public concern.

He added by saying that the matter is still receiving government’s full attention through the intergovernmental working group under the leadership of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, and that a solution will be found.

The fact is Gauteng has long ago reached a stalemate on e-tolls and their implementation, which is clearly illustrated by motorists’ continued refusal to pay.

And now the ANC and Premier Makhura are insisting on implementing the panel’s recommendations in a desperate attempt to find a way to force people to pay through one stealth tax or another.

Mr Premier, e-tolls must be scrapped, and both you and the ANC know that if you call for a referendum, the people of Gauteng will tell you exactly that.

Give the power to the people, call a referendum on e-tolls, and let the people decide.

 

Media enquiries:

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

082 960 3743

[Image source]

 

John Moodey to Stage Picket Calling for Provincial Referendum on e-tolls

Tomorrow, Wednesday, 4 March, DA Gauteng Provincial Leader John Moodey MPL, accompanied by Neil Campbell MPL, Solly Msimanga MPL and Khume Ramulifho MPL will stage a picket outside the Office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura in response to the premier’s failure to call for a provincial referendum on e-tolls during his State of the Province Address.

Moodey-John 200

Date: 04 March 2015

Time: 10:00

Address: Office of the Premier, 30 Simmonds Street, Johannesburg.

 

There will be ample opportunities for interviews and photographs. Members of the media are welcome to attend.

 

Media enquiries:

Tanya Heydenrych

Provincial Media Officer

0737016729

 

SPEECH ON THE DEBATE ON PREMIER’S STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS BY MR. JOHN MOODEY DELIVERED IN THE GAUTENG PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE ON 26 FEBRUARY 2015.

Madame Speaker, leading up to Monday the 23rd of February, the people of Gauteng waited in anticipation for the Premier’s SOPA address, with the hope that his would be a message of hope. Though he spoke of the quest to establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights, by and large his address failed to inspire. His address was an ambitious agenda for economic and spatial development, without any clear implementation timelines and or deadlines.

 

Honourable Premier, the phrase “Tell no lies and claim no easy victories” is often used in this house. Your speech writers had indeed, given you a script full of spin and riddled with false claims of innovation by your administration. You spoke of spacial reconfiguration and massive infrastructure investments as part of making macro interventions, as though these are new initiatives, when in reality they are projects dating back 10 to 15 years

 

You mention the Five Economic hubs, which you call corridors, as if they are a new development, when in fact they are historic building blocks of the Gauteng economy. I had learned about these economic Hubs and the advantages of comparative advantage derived from such clustering of industries, at primary school. And that was a good few decades ago. Likewise, most of the “new cities such as the Waterfall Estate, is not a new idea. Similarly, the Aerotropolis is a 12 year old initiative. Many Councillor’s and officials from the Ekurhuleni Metro have been on numerous overseas trips, over the years, spending millions of rand; tax payers money that could have been put to better use, on so called study tours and consultations with experts, to get ideas on how to develop this Aerotropolis. It is not as your address would like to portray it; a new development. Similarly the Tshwane Convention Centre has long been in the planning stages. There had been no less than 4 soil turning ceremonies held to launch this development. Claiming that these developments are new initiatives is nothing but spin doctoring. Spin, to give the impression of radical transformation.  Remember the phrase “tell no lies and claim no easy victories.”

 

Madam Speaker, the Honourable Premier indicated that his administration had consulted extensively with local governments and that land owned by government will be used to prioritize development. The DID does not as yet have a complete land asset register. The Tshwane Metropolitan Council had recently sold land to the value of R 500 000 in order to balance its books. This Metro, like many others in the Province is on the brink of bankruptcy. Local government remains the coalface of government’s service delivery agenda.

 

It is where the political will to do, or not to do, have the most direct impact on the day-to-day lives of our people.

 

This administration needs to pay heed to the cries of our people living in municipalities around the province; our people who are in a daily struggle for water, electricity and decent housing.

 

Corruption runs rampant, the law is openly flouted, wrongdoers are protected and communities’ service delivery needs are disregarded.

 

It is the poorest of the poor who bear the brunt of maladministration and malaise – waiting, and in some instances dying, before their basic human rights are met.

 

The proposed introduction of new metropolitan municipalities is neither feasible nor will it be conducive to the residents living there as centralisation is not the master stroke to cure all ills.

 

These ills are apparent in the metros such as Ekurhuleni, where communities are only serviced when the premier comes to visit; or Johannesburg, where financial management and billing is a shambles; and Tshwane, where government contracts are reserved for the mayor’s extended family and comrades.

 

Local government is slowly reaching boiling point, as communities are increasingly resorting to violent protests as a means to an end. Corrupt officials in the employ of government must be dealt with sternly. Corruption robs our people of much needed services and prospects of a decent life.

 

E-tolls

The contentious tolling system of Gauteng’s freeways has been a thorn in the side of Premier Makhura since he took office.

 

In the review panel’s final report it became abundantly clear that e-tolls were forced onto the citizens of Gauteng with limited consultation, and that their unilateral implementation harms the poor, the working class, and the provincial economy.

 

The people of this province have on numerous occasions and on numerous platforms said that e-tolls must go, yet the premier and the ANC refused to recommend they be scrapped. This is evident in the Finance Minister’s speech yesterday.

 

Only one solution remains, and that is for the premier to announce a provincial referendum on the future of e-tolls. No hybrid system of toll collection is acceptable to the people of Gauteng.

 

 

Infrastructure Development

The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) is a department that shows neither fear nor favour when it comes to thwarting service delivery. It continuously overspends, underachieves and shifts blame – and the premier needs to tackle this department head-on.

 

Government departments’ service delivery programmes are undermined by DID’s incompetence, and the province will not unlock growth and development unless this department fires on all cylinders.

 

There will be no growth without infrastructure.

 

  • While the moves for own power generation and green initiatives (solar) are noble, the use of old coal power stations are not moves made by a government serious about green alternatives.
  • Independent power producers should supplement the power grid – taking the strain off an already burdened coal and diesel sector.
  • The Provincial Infrastructure Coordination Commission (PICC) will remain a talk shop as long as nothing is done to address the incompetence meted out by the Provincial Department of Infrastructure.
  • Departments should be responsible for own maintenance and infrastructure.
  • The Sedebeng Sewerage works project is far from being completed. We are aware of a good number of business investment projects, with the potential to create thousands of sustainable jobs, being denied, as the much needed bulk sewerage infrastructure is not available to service the additional load of human excrement that workers at these businesses will produce. (Afrikaans saying DAAR IS A DROL IN DIE DRINK WATER)…

 

 

Health

From his address it is clear that health and the well-being of residents of this province remains a major priority for Premier Makhura. He however needs to re-establish public confidence in government health facilities.

 

Too often do stories of malpractice, medical shortages, long queues and ailing health infrastructure hit the headlines, with very little or no reassurance that this administration is serious about caring for the needs of the people.

 

As a starting point, the premier should announce the decentralisation of procurement to hospital CEOs. By doing so, bureaucratic red tape that often hinders critical care will be minimised – improving the quality of healthcare to residents of the province.

 

Coupled with this, the responsibility of maintenance and repair should be removed from the ambit of DID and be done in-house. This will alleviate the backlog in infrastructure projects and increase maintenance turnaround time. The mentioned E-Health system was a promise made in this very House almost 10 years ago. The question is “When will it finally come online”?

 

 

Economic Development

While Gauteng may be the economic heartbeat of South Africa, its pulse is rapidly fading. The Premier brags about the fact that the province’s economy grew above the national average, by 2.2% in 2013, while the NDP sets an annual growth target of 5%, which is 2.7% less than the target. And this bad performance is somehow acknowledged as an achievement. Indeed it is true that in the land of the blind one eye is king.

 

Innovative and incentive based approaches are needed to increase employment and economic growth.

 

It cannot be business as usual while the people of this province are crying out for the right conditions to steer the ship of Gauteng into less stormy waters, and the premier failed to announce a definitive policy direction to loosen the economic shackles of cumbersome, bureaucratic red tape and plagued by corruption,. The Finance Minister yesterday announced that no less than R30 billion is stolen from the Countries covers and crime Watch had recently pointed out that Gauteng is leading on the corruption bandwagon.

 

By simplifying processes such as registration and regulation – business will flourish: Particularly SMME’s and those individuals trying to eke out a living in the province’s townships.

 

Special Economic Zones and Innovation Hubs in our township economies will go a long way in bringing informal businesses into the formal economy, while at the same time improve skills and increasing the provincial revenue base.

 

  • Central corridor (JHB) not an industrial centre – the high crime rate has forced the private sector out or forced it to take own initiatives to remain safe.
  • The new mega-cities mentioned are all private sector initiatives – the Premier cannot claim success for the free market initiative.
  • We need red tape reduction, freer markets, and viable centres of trade
  • Madam Speaker the Premier has promised to build no less than a total of 680 000 housing units within the next 4 years of the remainder of this term of office. Though I would like to believe that his intentions are genuine, this is an over ambitious target as historical evidence indicates that the province and local government together has on average built 30 000 RDP units per annum. This is a government owned project that if properly managed, can potentially offer not only employment opportunities, but the development of skills employed in the construction industry. Skills such as bricklaying, plastering, carpentry, plumbing and electrical wiring can be taught to unskilled workers, while delivering on the housing needs of our people. The building of sustainable communities does not only involve the building of houses. What is glaringly missing in this announcement is the building of schools, clinics, libraries and other recreational facilities needed in Proper Township planning. If these facilities are not provided, then Hon. Premier, your government will be perpetuating the former apartheid housing development schemes.
  • The premier mentioned the sorry state of Alexander and Kliptown. Both had been Presidential Projects, yet more than 15 years later, little has changed for the majority of our people. Instead of providing sustainable decent housing projects, these areas are fast becoming slums. Our people deserve much better.

 

 Education

As migration into Gauteng continues in search of a better life, the demand for education in our ever-expanding communities remains a priority.

 

Failing infrastructure, overcrowding, and a lack of sanitation, electricity and water; coupled by the limited number of state schools – are all factors that harm quality education.

 

It is imperative that these issues are dealt with in a timeous manner to ensure that Gauteng provides quality basic education to all learners.

 

If not, the province will suffer an educational disconnect.

Madame Speaker very little was said about how the Provincial Government will be tackling the unacceptable high levels of crime in the Province. When it comes to the issue of drugs, prevention is better than cure. Proper and effective policing by the re-establishment of the specialised drug combatting unit which would lead to a higher arrest and conviction rate of drug dealers will assist in this regard.

 

In conclusion Madame Speaker, my advice to the Honourable Premier, is that he should deal with basics first. Sort out and deal with corruption in your provincial and local governments as a matter of urgency. The former Premier with the nickname of Mama Action also made promises that she would eradicate corruption in her administration and yet little if any progress was made in this regard. By the end of her term of office she was renamed as the Queen of empty Promises. Honourable Premier your announcement of the establishment of the Integrity Management and Anti-Corruption Unit must not be an empty promise. We want to see a concerted effort aimed at arresting and imprisonment of corrupt officials and public representatives alike. Otherwise you could consider yourself a servant of the people and at the end of your term be known as THE DOCTOR OF SPIN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact: Cell 082 960 3743

State of Gauteng: Premier bites of more than he can chew

Gauteng Premier David Makhura today laid out an ambitious agenda for Gauteng’s economic and spatial development, but without any clear implementation timelines and deadlines.

While the premier rightly emphasised the need to grow the province’s economy, he did so while paying scant attention to the elephant in the room: E-tolls and their continued implementation.

In fact, the premier only further delayed the inevitable decision that tolls will continue in some form or another and will not be scrapped.

Economic growth can only take place in an environment of uncurtailed movement of people, goods and services, despite the premier’s misconception that Gauteng’s people are in favour of the user-pays system.

As long as highways are tolled or road users forced to pay for freeway improvement through one stealth tax or another, the economy will be stifled, and the premier’s ambitious plans will not materialise.

It is also concerning how little attention was paid to the development and improvement of the province’s roads infrastructure. The province’s roads are already congested and it will only become worse as long our roads infrastructure does not enjoy priority.

So too is the insufficient attention on the province’s public transportation network. Improved productivity requires people to get to work using safe, reliable and affordable public transport. The premier only made reference to plans for expanding existing bus, rail and Gautrain networks, once again without implementation timelines.

While the DA acknowledges the need to negate the effects of apartheid spatial planning, the premier needed to be more clear about the establishment of mega-cities and their implementation plans.

The premier does himself no favour by re-announcing flagship projects that had been in the pipeline for years, such as Tshwane Convention Centre, the Aerotropolis and the African Gateway, as well as the construction of 680 000 housing units, when his government can only build 30 000 housing units per year.

The same applies to the crisis in municipalities across the province. Little or no effort is being made to tackle the massive service delivery backlogs and financial irregularities, while communities take to the streets almost every day to give rise to their frustrations.

In the meantime, the premier’s service delivery war room is yet to become operational, almost a year after being announced in 2014. Local government is the first point of contact the people have with government, and the premier needs to bring his activist government principles to our communities if he wants his administration to enjoy any success.

The state of Gauteng will be no better in the medium term so long as Premier Makhura, and his administration pay little attention to every aspect of economic growth and job creation across the province.

Media enquiries:
John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
082 960 3743

 

DA pointers for Gauteng Premier Makhura: Give power to the people

image

 

On Monday, 23 January 2015, Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, will outline the provincial government’s service delivery plan of action in his annual State of the Province Address (SOPA).
In only his second address, the “people’s premier” and his “activist government” have to pay heed to last year’s SOPA promises, by giving back the power to the people of the province, and not leave them behind – and that will require a few bold steps.

 

E-tolls
The contentious tolling system of Gauteng’s freeways has been a thorn in the side of Premier Makhura since taking office. In response to the beating the ANC took at the 2014 polls, the premier established a review panel to assess the socio-economic impact of e-tolls on the people of the province.

During its consultation process and in the panel’s final report it became abundantly clear that e-tolls were forced onto the citizens of Gauteng with limited consultation, and that their unilateral implementation harmed the poor, the working class, and the provincial economy.

The people of this province have on numerous occasions and on numerous platforms said that e-tolls must go, yet the premier and the ANC refused to recommend they be scrapped.

Only one solution remains, and that is for the premier to announce a provincial referendum on the future of e-tolls in his address.

Infrastructure Development
The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) is a department that shows neither fear nor favour when it comes to thwarting service delivery. It continuously overspends, underachieves and shifts blame – and the premier needs to tackle this department head-on.

Government departments’ service delivery programmes are undermined by DID’s incompetence, and the province will not unlock growth and development unless this department fires on all cylinders.

There will be no growth without infrastructure.

Health
The health and well-being of residents of this provincMoodey-John1-240x300e remains a major priority for Premier Makhura, and he needs to re-establish public confidence in government health facilities.

Too often do stories of malpractice, medical shortages, long queues and ailing health infrastructure hit the headlines, with very little or no reassurance that this administration is serious about caring for the needs of the people.

As a starting point, the premier should announce the decentralisation of procurement to hospital CEOs. By doing so, bureaucratic red tape that often hinders critical care will be minimised – improving the quality of healthcare to residents of the province.

Coupled with this, the responsibility of maintenance and repair should be removed from the ambit of DID and be done in-house. This will alleviate the backlog in infrastructure projects and increase maintenance turnaround time.

Economic Development
While Gauteng may be the economic heartbeat of South Africa, its pulse is rapidly fading.

Innovative and incentive based approaches are needed to increase employment and economic growth.

It cannot be business as usual while the people of this province are crying out for the right conditions to steer the ship of Gauteng into less stormy waters, and the premier needs to announce a definitive policy direction to loosen the economic shackles of cumbersome, bureaucratic red tape.

By simplifying processes such as registration and regulation – business will flourish: Particularly SMME’s and those individuals trying to eke out a living in the province’s townships.

Special Economic Zones and Innovation Hubs in our township economies will go a long way in bringing people into the formal economy, while at the same time improve skills and increasing the provincial revenue base.

Education
As migration into Gauteng continues in search of a better life, the demand for education in our ever-expanding communities remains a priority.

So too should it be a priority for Premier Makhura.

Failing infrastructure, overcrowding, and a lack of sanitation, electricity and water; coupled by the limited number of state schools – are all factors that harm quality education.

It is imperative that these issues are dealt with in a timeous manner to ensure that Gauteng provides quality basic education to all learners.

If not, the province will suffer an educational disconnect.

Local Government

Local government remains the coalface of government’s service delivery agenda.

It is where the political will to do, or not to do, has the most direct impact on the day-to-day lives of the people.

This administration needs to pay heed to the cries of people living in municipalities around the province, who are in a daily struggle for water, electricity and decent housing.

Corruption runs rampant, the law is openly flouted, wrongdoers are protected and communities’ service delivery needs are disregarded.

It is the poorest of the poor who bear the brunt of maladministration and malaise – waiting, and in some instances dying, before their basic human rights are met.

The introduction of new metropolitan municipalities is neither feasible nor will it be conducive to the residents living there as centralisation is not the master stroke to cure all ills.

This is apparent in other metros such as Ekurhuleni, where communities are only serviced when the premier comes to visit; or Johannesburg, where financial management and billing is a shambles; and Tshwane, where government contracts are reserved for the mayor’s extended family and comrades.

Local government is slowly reaching boiling point, as communities are increasingly resorting to violent protests as a means to an end.

Gauteng is on a precipice, and Premier Makhura will do well to heed the DA’s recommendations to intervene in municipalities failing to carry out their constitutional mandate.

Instead of telling good story to his comrades and his friends on Monday, Premier Makhura must be the “activist premier” he purports to be, and lead his government and the people of Gauteng into an era of prosperity and economic growth, free from e-tolls, corruption, nepotism and maladministration.

Media enquiries
John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
082 960 3743