DA appoints Solly Msimanga as acting DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

The Democratic Alliance (DA) Provincial Executive Committee in Gauteng has appointed the DA Gauteng Caucus Leader, Solly Msimanga MPL to the position of acting DA Gauteng Provincial Leader.

 This follows the resignation of the John Moodey earlier today.

Msimanga is a former Provincial Chairperson. He is the Leader of the Official Opposition in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. He has vast knowledge of the party and has held various leadership positions within the province.

The DA in Gauteng believes that Msimanga will provide stability and that the province is in good hands.

Msimanga’s leadership skills will bring a positive force to all our structures until the Provincial Congress where the new provincial leader will be elected.

 We remain committed to growing our support across the province and to ensure that we work towards our main goal of unseating the ANC under Msimanga’s leadership.


DA tables ground-breaking Gauteng Community Safety Oversight Bill

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has tabled its Community Safety Oversight Bill in the Gauteng Legislature to strengthen and improve the South African Police Service (SAPS) ability to stem the growing crime pandemic that is sweeping across the province.

The most recent crime statistics reveal that Gauteng is the second most dangerous place to live in South Africa.

The Bill will not only increase oversight of the SAPS, but it will empower communities to hold the Executive and police to account.

Communities that have been abandoned by the ANC-led Provincial Government will now have greater recourse to the law through increased powers devolved to Neighbourhood Watches and Community Police Forums.

The Bill will go a long way to empower communities that live in non-urban and rural areas who are often hardest hit by crime yet are the most neglected.

Through the Bill, the Civilian Secretariat will be further empowered, and the establishment of a Provincial SAPS Ombudsman will bring the often out of reach Executive closer to the people whom they are meant to serve.

The DA firmly believes that the adoption of this Bill will allow the people of this province to play a more meaningful role in fighting crime and ensuring that those who have been victims of crime greater access to often out of reach justice.

We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the rights and safety of every resident of Gauteng are upheld and honoured.

To access the bill, click here.

Gauteng is the second murder capital of South Africa

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is deeply concerned that Gauteng has now become the second murder capital of the country.

This information was revealed in the SAPS annual crime statistics for the 2019/2020.

The crime stats indicate that Gauteng is number one in the country in terms of causes of murder in the following: arguments/ misunderstanding (not related to domestic) 1099, robbery (house/ business/ street) 353, taxi related murder 105, rape related murder 19, illicit mining 61, bullying at school 4, public /service deliver protest 6 and antagonism forward foreigners 5.

This clearly indicates that that the safety of our residents is under threat and that the law enforcement agencies are not doing enough to ensure residents’ safety.

Gauteng is also leading in terms of the illegal mining victims that were killed – there were nine victims killed in Roodeport. There are also seven victims that were killed at different crime scenes in Benoni and are suspected of being involved in illegal mining.

For far too long the DA has been calling on both the SAPS and the Department of Community Safety to stop illegal mining in our province yet there is nothing that has been done. There is no police visibility in those areas where illegal mining activities are taking place.

The overall number of murders in Gauteng has increased by 1,3 % from 4495 in 2018/2019 to 4555 in 2019/2020.

This increase in murder cases is worrying and clearly indicates that SAPS is failing in its responsibility to prevent, combat and investigate crime.

The DA believes that it is the responsibility of the SAPS to prevent anything that may threaten the safety or security of any community and to ensure criminals are brought to justice.

We will hold both the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko and Gauteng SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela to account to ensure that police do their duty of preventing and combating crime in this province. We will also table questions in the Gauteng Legislature to ascertain what measures are being put in place to curb the increasing number of murders in the province.

Strong leadership required to ensure that government departments deliver on their mandate

Madam Speaker,

In order for any government to succeed there needs to be strong leader in place who is able to steer the ship successfully. But the performance of some of the government departments and entities seems to suggest that not enough is been done by Premier David Makhura to ensure that the spends money within their allocated budget, without incurring fruitless and wasteful expenditure. 

Over the last five financial years millions of rands have been spent on overtime by the various government departments. This trend of paying millions in rands in overtime is concerning, given that if this trend does continue, the wage bill will not be kept at 60% for the 2020/2021 financial year. 

Given the current state of the economy, it is concerning that overtime vast amounts of money have been spent on paying overtime to government employees. One way in which to ensure that this trend does not continue is to ensure that each department has an Annual Performance Plan (APP) in place so that exorbitant amounts of money is not spent on paying overtime when it is not needed. 

The only way this can be mitigated is by ensuring that each and every department submits an APP that details exactly how they will be cutting down on overtime in the new financial year. Failure to do so will lead to a wage bill that is far higher than 60%.

A DA government would ensure that all the necessary APPs are in place and adhered, so that we avoid fruitless and wasteful expenditure and that there is no underspending in key areas that drive economic growth.

Madam speaker, 

Another concerning trend by government departments over the last financial year is not meeting job creation targets that are set. Job creation is important, our youth are in desperate need of job opportunities that will provide them with the necessary skill set to seek out a long-term sustainable job. But this can only be done through the help of government, who through their Expanded Public Works Programmes (EPWP) are able to provide our youth, women and people with disabilities much needed skills development that will open the pathway to other job opportunities. 

As the DA we are cognisant of the fact that government only cannot create jobs for everyone that is unemployed, but if the correct environment is created the private sector will be more than willing to assist in helping with the skills development of our unemployed residents in the province. 

Madam Speaker, 

Investing in infrastructure in Gauteng is important. But unfortunately, the Department of Infrastructure Development is unable to properly implement infrastructure projects in Gauteng. One example of this is the Nokuthula School for learners with special needs. This is one of the most expensive schools ever to be built in Gauteng at a cost of R300 million. It took three years for this school to be built, yet after being completed in October 2017 it is still not fully operational. This is all due to the Department of Infrastructure Development’s failure to submit the required documentation, which has led to the City of Joburg withholding the final occupancy certificate for the school. 

This means that boarding school buildings cannot be used allegedly because they were built within a flood-line. The result of this is that many learners who would have been accommodated in the boarding school are being transported to school on a daily basis.

In addition, the quality of construction is being questioned despite the huge cost. When it rains, parts of the school become flooded, there are numerous leaks, walls are disintegrating because of damp and part of the ceiling in the hall has collapsed. 

If this was a DA led administration, we would ensure that officials who are not performing as they should be taken through the necessary disciplinary procedures and if needed removed from their position. 

It is clear that much stronger leadership is required to ensure that all government departments reach their goals set for the next financial year. As the DA we cannot sit back and watch as our people are led down by the ANC-led administration when it comes to service delivery. 

7 farm attacks within 24 hours in Onderstepoort, North of Tshwane raise major concerns

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is deeply concerned about the rise of farm attacks in Onderstepoort, North of Tshwane.

This follows seven incidents of farm attacks in 24 hours within a 15-kilometre radius at the Onderstepoort smallholding farms.

Cases of house robbery, attempted house robbery and attempted murder have been opened at the Pretoria North Police Station.

In one of the incidents, two people sustained head injuries, and, in another incident, an 18-year-old boy was shot in the neck.

These incidents are some of many that indicate that farmers are under attack by criminals, yet the ANC-led government is doing nothing to ensure their safety.

For far too long, the DA has been calling on the Gauteng ANC-led government to address the safety of our rural communities as the previous rural crime interventions proposed by government have yielded very little to no success.

We have tabled a motion in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) on violent crimes in the province, particularly crime against rural communities. In addition to this motion, we have also launched a petition on crimes in rural communities.

It is high time that the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko urgently intervenes and implements measures to ensure that our rural communities are kept safe.

The DA calls on MEC Mazibuko to prioritise these farm attacks investigations and assist the police in these farm areas with additional resources so that they are better able to protect farm communities.

DA to brief media on City of Johannesburg strife

Tomorrow, Wednesday 26 February 2020, DA Johannesburg Caucus Leader, Councillor Funzi Ngobeni, DA Provincial Chairperson, Mike Moriarty, DA Gauteng Leader, John Moodey, ten DA Shadow Members of Mayoral Committee (MMC) and DA Councillors from the City of Johannesburg, will brief the media on recent developments since the DA lost the administration of the City of Johannesburg to the African National Congress (ANC).

The delegation will respond to the latest remarks made by the ANC Mayor, Geoff Makhubo on the state of the City’s finances, the upcoming Adjustment Budget and allegations of corruption against some senior officials.

They will also share the steps the DA is taking in regards to the continuous flouting of rules by the illegitimate Speaker and the ANC and give an update on former DA Councillors who defied the party.

Details of the briefing are:

Date: Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Time: 10:00

Place: Auditorium, Second Floor, Nkululeko House, 21 Ernest Oppenheimer Avenue, Bruma

SAPS not doing enough to curb cash-in-transit heists

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is deeply concerned about the recent spike in the number of cash-in-transit heists in the province.

According to the South Africa Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric), there are 35 cases of cash-in-transit heists that have been reported countrywide since February last year.

Gauteng has recorded the highest number of cash-in-transit heists nationally with 21 reported incidents.

This is worrying and clearly indicates that Gauteng is facing a serious challenge of crime and our people are not safe.

For far too long, the DA has been calling on the SAPS to put more stringent measures in place to tackle heist gangs.

The latest figures highlight that the SAPS approach to the cash-in-transit heists is not effective.

The Specialised Intelligence Unit must be adequately trained and equipped with the latest technology to deal with this scourge.

This unit should establish networks all over the country that gathers information ahead of any heist attempts as well as the latest modi operandi of the heist gangs.

We call on the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura to engage with both the Gauteng SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela and their national counterpart, Minister of Police to find a holistic approach in clamping down on the plague of cash-in-transit heists in the province.

Strong leadership needed to ensure economic growth in Gauteng

Madam Speaker,

The most powerful tool a person who is in a leadership position has is their own personal example. It is important for us as a society, at all levels to appreciate this. As parents, we cannot set standards of good behaviour for our children and fail to match up to them. 

Leadership is not about uttering tired clichés or instructions to those who are led, and then to turn around and say, ‘do as I say, not as I do’. As parents we are our children’s first and most important role model; as leaders of society we must adhere to these same principles. Those who we lead must be assured that the standards we set for them; are standards we expect of ourselves. 

Madam speaker,

This country is at a crisis point in terms of leadership, particularly in the realm of government whether at the executive level or at the legislature levels; whether national or provincial. This is largely because we have leaders who fail to be role models and set examples in their positions of quality governance.

We are here in our positions, a privilege bestowed upon us by the people of South Africa, the residents of Gauteng, who have told us “here is the wheel, take it and lead”. However, Madam speaker, as we have poured over the contents of the annual reports of various departments of this government, we have seen example after example of failure. We have witnessed a provincial government that has wasted financial resources on fruitless, unauthorised expenditure. If this government is not spending in an unauthorised or fruitless manner, it is underspending in many of its key programmes. Madam speaker, the money that is received by this government is not an inheritance from the parents of the leaders of this government, it comes from South African taxpayers and so it needs to be used efficiently, effectively and must be spent responsibly. 

The Office of the Premier is where the buck stops. Its where the standards need to be set, it is where the example needs to be established, and it is from where the authority to mete out consequences flows. However, Madam Speaker, the Premier will be hard pressed to look at his colleagues, and his subordinates and lambast them about their failures when considering the problems in his own office.

Madam speaker,

We have already heard about the major underperformance by the Premier’s Office on expanding economic opportunities to targeted groups. This continued failure has once again been exposed by the regression in this province’s employment rate, a drop of 0.1% and 0.3% year-on-year as announced by StatsSA last month. There were 17,000 jobs lost in the last quarter while the Premier failed to bring about economic stability and sustainability in this province. The Premier’s flagship programmes for job creation are failing. The programmes meant to include women, youth, the elderly, military veterans, and people with disabilities have severely underperformed. 

Premier Makhura,

You are the captain of this ship that is the Gauteng government. All failures therefore fall on you, and it is you who should take the ultimate responsibility. If there are no consequences for those below you for their underperformance, do not be surprised when the people of this province apply their own consequence management on you. 

Under-resourced Gauteng SAPS Public Order Policing Unit only has one water cannon

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is shocked to learn that the Gauteng SAPS Public Order Policing (POP) Unit only has one water canon to service the entire province

This was revealed to me by the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to MEC Mazibuko, POP has only one water cannon which is in the Johannesburg District.

It is worrying that Gauteng which is the most densely populated province has only one water cannon.

According to a report released last week by an Independent Municipal Research body, Gauteng is ranked number one in terms of service delivery protests in the country with 24% of the country’s public demonstrations in this year alone.

The water cannon is the safest method used to disperse crowds during protests and for crowd control.

This is one of the provincial POP Unit’s most needed resources in order to effectively deal with and manage protest action.

Our residents deserve a police service that is adequately resourced to keep them safe in their homes and on the street.

I will be tabling follow-up questions to the MEC in the Legislature to ascertain what plans are being put in place to ensure that our POP Unit that is severely under-resourced is given the resources it needs to combat crime.

Under-staffed Gauteng Liquor Board has only 27 inspectors

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is shocked to learn that the Gauteng Liquor Board (GLB) has only 27 inspectors responsible for 36 000 licensed liquor outlets.

This was revealed to me by the Gauteng Liquor Board during the Community Safety Committee meeting at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

The current ratio is one inspector per 1333 licensed liquor outlets.

This is completely unacceptable as these inspectors are unable to adequately monitor these outlets.

This is evident in the 2018/19 Gauteng Department of Economic Development’s annual report on the Gauteng Liquor Board which indicates that this entity failed to meet its target of 11065 compliance inspections and only managed 9968.

This entity is not sufficiently capacitated to deal with this massive number of liquor outlets. Alcohol abuse is one of the primary contributors of crime, particularly domestic violence.

I will table questions to the Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, to ascertain the reasons why this entity is understaffed and when will they employ more inspectors to ensure that compliance inspections are conducted regularly.

We recommend that when these liquor licenses are due for renewal, the Ward Councillors and the local Police Station Commanders are given an opportunity to comment with regards to the following issues; location of the outlet and the number of complaints recorded regarding the operations of the outlet.

It should also be made a provision that the applicant must place a public notice in at least two local community newspapers informing the public about his or her outlet license renewal. This will assist in closing problematic liquor outlets that are contributing to criminal elements within our communities.