A new tax will burden Gauteng motorists in place of e-Tolls

Gauteng motorists can expect the introduction of a new or increased tax to pay for e-Tolls. Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi announced that he tasked finance MEC Jacob Mamabolo to come up with a “new revenue model” so that the debt incurred to build the e-Toll roads must “be taken away from the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral)”.

The only way a new revenue model to repay the loans can be devised is either through the introduction of a new tax or the increase of an existing tax, like vehicle license fees. The concept of a “new revenue model” must not be confused with the scrapping of e-Tolls without any further cost to Gauteng residents.

The current budget of the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) does not have sufficient room to move to cover these debts within its current revenue and expenditure framework. New sources of funding will have to be found to cover debts taken over from Sanral.

The DA has opposed e-Tolls for the past 13 years, and we will continue with our campaign to have this unwanted system scrapped. We have maintained that enough revenue was already generated through fuel levies in Gauteng that could already have paid off the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP). Gauteng generates the bulk in fuel levies and taxes in South Africa.

It is, therefore, possible to pay off the GFIP debt through existing revenue-generating mechanisms.

Gauteng’s Department of Infrastructure Development in financial difficulty

by Alan Fuchs MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Infrastructure Development

The fourth quarterly report of Gauteng’s Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID), once again shows that the department is not able to meet its performance targets and is in serious financial difficulty.

This is despite efforts by MEC Jacob Mamabolo to introduce interventions such as attempting to increase payment to creditors within 30 days, to prevent poor planning from scuppering projects, to ensure that rampant corruption in the Extended Public Works Program (EPWP) is minimised and that systems are introduced to drive efficiency.

In almost all cases, the interventions have had a short term, temporary benefit, only for the performance to drop to the level prior to the intervention.

This points to poor management.

As a result, while the budget of the department was fully spent by the end of the financial year, only 61% of the targets had been met.

The budget for next financial year, 2018/19 is under financed to the extent that less than 20% of the budget is available for the core functions of the department, namely building infrastructure and maintaining it.

The rest of the budget will pay for employee’s salaries, payments to local government for rates on government-owned properties and payments to creditors for services provided in the previous financial year.

The fact that the department is now forced to outsource its property management function to the private sector because of insufficient skills and resources internally, is an indication of poor planning and management.

In an election year, it is likely that government will try and hide this poor performance and is unlikely to admit that an additional R 1 billion is required to ensure that the department can meet its mandate in terms of achieving the most basic levels of performance.

Targeted infrastructure investment is critical for basic economic growth in Gauteng that will create jobs and accelerate service delivery. We cannot allow the situation at GDID to continue while millions of the province’s residents struggle to stay above the poverty line and feed their families.

The DA will continue to be frank about the department’s dire position so that the people of Gauteng can elect a competent DA government that can bring about much needed Change to all residents of the province.

Gauteng’s infrastructure at risk of further decay

Speaking in Davos at the World Economic Forum, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe indicated that infrastructure maintenance was one of government’s key priorities.

This echoed his sentiments in August 2016, when he announced that an action plan would be developed to ensure greater expenditure on municipal infrastructure maintenance. In addition, he indicated that the plan would enforce proper financial asset management to ensure an extended lifespan and increased quality of infrastructure.

He went on to say that R1.3 trillion of assets are in jeopardy because of insufficient maintenance. It has been fifteen months since he first made the undertaking yet little has been done to achieve this plan. In fact, the situation has regressed.

The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development, under the leadership of MEC Jacob Mamabolo, has slashed infrastructure maintenance budgets and deteriorating infrastructure contradicts the undertaking made by national government that greater control over assets would be implemented.

The fact is that assets that are currently not being used for service delivery are not being maintained and they are losing value because of their deterioration. The deterioration of these assets also impacts negatively on the residential amenity of people living near to them.

The Department of Infrastructure’s Property Management Division, which is responsible for the management of the infrastructure, is so dysfunctional, that MEC Mamabolo has proposed that it be outsourced.

The cost of outsourcing is concerning, and should the contract be given to a connected cadre who may not have the requisite skill set to take control of R30 billion worth of assets, the situation is likely to worsen.

The DA will closely monitor this proposed outsourcing process and ensure that the ANC-run Gauteng government does not continue to squander public funds.

Gauteng Premier Misleads the Public on Mega-Housing Projects

Gauteng Premier David Makhura is misleading the public on the progress of public/private agreements to develop mega-housing projects in the province.

On 7 April the Premier and Human Settlements MEC, Jacob Mamabolo announced that a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Provincial Government, Gauteng’s 12 municipalities and 43 construction companies to develop these projects.

However, in response to a written DA question regarding this event, MEC Mamabolo states that: “There are no 43 construction consortiums involved in the construction for the mega projects. The Department is in the process of finalizing a procurement model for the mega projects.”

Click here to view the response.

It is clear that Premier Makhura and the ANC are under severe pressure to ramp up government service delivery as we head for the 2016 local government elections.

However, by hosting lavish media events under the pretence of signing non-existent memoranda of understanding, the premier has exposed his hypocrisy about being serious about the needs of Gauteng’s people.

Premier Makhura needs to be honest to the people of Gauteng over the authenticity of this memorandum.


Media enquiries:

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

082 960 3743

[Image source]

Investigate Zonder-Water Housing Project: DA

Zonder-Water Housing DevelopmentKingsol Chabalala DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Evaton

Of 935 homes to be built as part of the Zonder-Water housing project in Evaton, Gauteng, only 256 have been constructed – despite 92% of the budget having been already spent.

In 2011, work began on the Zonder-Water housing development, but came to an inexplicable halt in March 2013.

For the past two years, the construction company that won the tender to carry out work on the project, Rirothe Construction, has not been on site.

The budget for this development was set at R5,5 million, but despite their having been no activity on site for the past two years, R5,1 million has already been spent.

Intervention by CoGTA

It is of great concern that the Department for Cooperative Governance, Housing and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) has not yet intervened on the matter.

In a written reply from MEC Jacob Mamabolo, it is indicated that this project will be complete in the 2016/17 financial year.

It is highly unlikely that 73% of the work that needs to be carried out can be achieved with little over 8% of what remains of the budget.

The DA will request the Auditor-General and the Public Protector to investigate the matter – as it is clear the Gauteng Provincial Government does not effectively deal with maladministration.

I will question MEC Mamabolo about this matter and demand he explain how this project has been ignored by his department, while residents of Evaton have been left stranded.


Media enquiries:

Kingsol Chabalala MPL

DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Evaton

060 558 8299

[Image source]