WesBank contract model causing undue delays in Gauteng SAPS vehicle repairs

The delivery of police services has been severely affected due to a lack of adequate police vehicles to provide necessary visible policing due to the contract entered by the National Treasury and WesBank, which has resulted in a complicated vehicle repairs model.

The National Treasury entered a contract with Wesbank on behalf of the South African Police Service (SAPS) for the maintenance and repairs of most SAPS vehicles. Wesbank took the responsibility of vehicle maintenance and repairs away from the SAPS garages.

This has created backlogs for simple repairs of up to 500 days in some cases. This not only puts the safety of the residents at risk but adds to the frustration and staff morale of the police officers to conduct visible policing and detective services.

According to some police stations, the WesBank contract allows for 30 days to access a breakdown and three months to appoint a service provider to fix the vehicle that must then still be assessed afterwards. This means that the police vehicles will be out of commission for months on end, and in some cases, tyres and wheels are stolen from parked vehicles even before work can be done on police vehicles.

In addition, 24 mechanic artisan posts have been vacant at the SAPS garages since 2016 that could have been used to repair the broken police vehicles.

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

According to MEC Mazibuko, there are 16 SAPS garages in Gauteng, 205 mechanics in all the garages and 24 mechanic artisan posts that have been vacant since 2016.

It is unacceptable that the vacant mechanic posts have not been filled for almost six years. This has also resulted in police vehicles that are sent for repairs being kept at these garages for a long time due to a lack of an adequate number of mechanics to fix them. There is also too much workload for these mechanics due to unfilled vacancies.

This is greatly impacting the ability of police officers to provide visible policing to protect residents and prevent crime as vehicles sent for repairs are not returned to their respective police stations timeously.

This is quite harrowing considering that many mechanic graduates are sitting at home unemployed, yet the SAPS is sitting with 24 vacancies that can help change and better the lives of our people.

We believe the Department of Community Safety must review its contract with WesBank as it may be the main reason for the backlog in vehicle maintenance and repairs.

The safety of Gauteng residents is of utmost importance for the DA hence we demand that MEC Mazibuko and the Gauteng SAPS Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, must liaise with their national counterpart Minister of Police, Bheki Cele to ensure that these mechanic posts are filled as a matter of urgency. Shortage of police vehicles is a major challenge affecting many of our police stations.

This is one of many reasons why Minister Bheki Cele must go, he continues to fail our people due to his incompetency. The DA will continue to use all the mechanisms at our disposal in all spheres of government to force the President to fire Minister Cele as he is compromising the safety of our people and a danger to society.


DA calls on MEC Mazibuko to ensure the safety of rightful landowners in Elandsfontein

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko to ensure the safety of the rightful property owners in Elandsfontein, Midvaal.

This follows tension between the illegal land invaders and the rightful property owners after the illegal occupants were legally removed and their structures destroyed following a court order in favour of the rightful property owners.

It is alleged that the illegal land invaders have been protesting despite being forcefully removed from the properties that they illegally invaded.

It is also alleged that the rightful property owners are now being intimidated and threatened with petrol bombs by the protesters.

We condemn in the strongest terms any form of violence and lawlessness by the protesters.

Land invasion is illegal and can no longer be tolerated.

It is high time that the law enforcement agencies act against the criminal elements that are being demonstrated by these lawless protesters.

We also urge the rightful property owners to report any incidents of intimidation to the police and not to take the law into their own hands.

The DA calls on MEC Mazibuko to protect the rightful landowners and their properties as their lives are at risk and their safety is under threat. The only solution to these illegal land invasions is for government to ensure that they deliver the houses that they promised our people.

MEC Mazibuko fails to deliver to GP residents

Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation(SACR) MEC, Faith Mazibuko has failed to deliver libraries and cares little about the important role they play in our communities.

We visited 28 libraries across all regions in the province and we discovered that the books are outdated, there are internet challenges and some are still not complete.

Even though the Gauteng Broadband Network has been installed in libraries, it has not been connected.

Almost all the libraries are connected to the municipality WI-FI which is slow, unreliable and not strong enough to meet the need of the users. The internet connectivity is very weak and sometimes down for days.

Yet the department’s Annual Report for 2016/17 financial year indicates that seventy-seven libraries were connected in 2016/17; once again, no names or areas – just numbers.

We are to believe that this department is not serious about its mandate and continues to lie to the public.

The libraries are desperately in need of new books as the current books are old and outdated, especially the reference books.

There is a serious challenge posed by the lack of project management, financial management and leadership from the department.

There is now a pattern of continuous failure in completing libraries construction within the stipulated time frame.

Shoddy workmanship is also a setback as some libraries have been officially opened and then closed namely Venterspost, Naturena and Kagiso Extension 6 library.

Despite the enormous challenges faced by our libraries the department under-spent R33 million of the Library Grant. This money could have been used to buy new books for the benefit of our communities.

Furthermore, the Annual Report indicates that 79% of users are satisfied with library services. This information is not true and is misleading as there are many issues raised by library users which indicates that they are unhappy with the status quo.

The DA firmly believes that libraries are a vital community resource for residents to access information, internet services and provides a safe studying environment for our young people.

We will hold MEC Mazibuko accountable to ensure that all our libraries are equipped with resources, have access to internet connection, the infrastructure is properly fixed and are re-opened as a matter of urgency.