DA to report Mogale City to the Human Rights Commission due to disastrous water shortages

Note to Editors: Please find attached a soundbite by Cllr Tyrone Gray. Also see pictures here, here and here.

Today, 20 July 2023, the DA will lodge a formal complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) following the Mogale City Municipality’s inability to supply residents with water, leaving parts of the community without water for more than five days.

The situation in Mogale City is one of serious concern, despite a 21-day notice from Rand Water to the current executive, the municipality failed to plan accordingly, and reservoirs have now run dry. For the past week the DA has been working with private organisations to collect and distribute water to communities who would otherwise have had none.

The affected areas stretch from Kagiso to Krugersdorp, including formal and informal settlements, in the area. The most heart wrenching matter, however, has been the complacent manner in which the current executive mayor of Mogale City has bungled the handling of the situation.

Whilst members of the community had to fight for themselves, other private individuals had to set up watering points, where water was delivered by tanker. Old age homes were especially hard hit, leaving hundreds of elderly residents without the ability to cook, or even clean themselves. This not only infringes on the Constitutional right to access to water, but sends a clear message about how uncaring and cruel the current executive is.

Since last week the situation on the ground has deteriorated to the point where DA councillors are spending their evenings distributing water to affected communities.

The poorest among us, are always the hardest hit when shortages occur. But seeing families standing in the freezing evening cold simply to get enough water from a truck to be able to cook, never mind wash or flush toilets – is truly heartbreaking.

The question then arises, where are the Mogale City representatives who are supposed to be helping people now? The DA will not rest until this issue has been followed up by SAHRC, and those responsible for this disaster are held to account.

DA elated by Mogale City by-election clean sweep

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is elated by its win in the Mogale City, Ward 22, by-election.

The DA retained its support from the 2021 Local Government Elections by winning 74,5% of the votes today.

This result once again proves communities’ faith in DA ward councillors. The DA’s Devin Nieuwenhuyzen will take up the position of Ward 22 councillor.

Nieuwenhuyzen is dedicated and passionate about the community he will be serving. He will also continue to drive visible improvement in service delivery in Ward 22.

The DA remains the only viable alternative to take over government from the ANC in Gauteng in 2024. This by-election result confirms that the DA is building significant momentum towards the 2024 elections.

The DA will continue to work hard in our communities and provide service delivery to the people of Mogale City, as we have done in Ward 22, and spread the hope of a better future without the ANC, under a DA government.

The DA is the only party strong enough to lead the charge of unseating the ANC and the by-election result in Ward 22, Mogale City, underscores this. It is an important marker for the National and Provincial Elections in 2024.

We sincerely thank the voters of ward 22 in Mogale City for putting their trust in the DA. We shall work hard to honour the result of tonight’s by-election.

DA to outline plans to ensure Mogale City residents have continued access to water amid load-shedding

Tomorrow, Wednesday, 12 October 2022, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Provincial Leader, Solly Msimanga MPL and the Mayor for Mogale City, Cllr Tyrone Gray, will be conducting an oversight inspection of a water reservoir in Krugersdorp.

For the last few weeks, the residents of Mogale City have had a very limited supply of water due to the load-shedding being implemented by Eskom. Reservoirs have been unable to fill up because of this which has led to many residents being left without a reliable supply of water.

During our oversight inspection, we will be outlining what measures we are putting in place to ensure that our residents have access to a reliable supply of water and what we can do to conserve water.

Furthermore, we urge our residents to use water sparingly as this is a scarce resource.

Members of the media are invited and there will be an opportunity for interviews and pictures.

Details of the oversight inspection are as follows:

Time: 10:00
Address: Corner Fredrick Cooper Drive and Shannon Road, Krugersdorp

Delayed completion of Krugersdorp taxi rank negatively affecting commuters and local businesses

Note to Editors: Please see the attached video of Tyrone Gray, the DA Mogale City Mayoral candidate. 

Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) visited the Krugersdorp taxi rank to assess the progress of the construction project. See photos here, here, here and here

The project which started in 2018 has missed its completion deadline by two years and was meant to improve the old and small taxi rank located near a field on the corner of 3rd Street and Pretoria Street.

Mogale City Local Municipality had previously blamed the delays on unforeseen construction issues and payment delays.

The DA has learned that taxi owners are losing money due to the incomplete project, taxi operators are currently using the old taxi rank which is located outside the CBD ferrying passengers at their own cost.

The delayed completion of the project not only affects taxi owners but surrounding businesses, as many streets remain closed off and customers are unable to access them.

Further to this, the construction creates traffic congestion and difficulties for road users.

Today, DA Ward councillor Lynette Zwankhuizen attended a progress meeting and was informed that the new envisioned completion deadline will be the end of October 2021.

A DA government will ensure that all progress reports are transparent, as well as instituting developmental tracking on all capital expenditure projects so that the public can be well informed regarding project management of their community assets.

Non-performance will be met with penalties as per the Service Level Agreement.

Furthermore, all contractors will be vetted, ensuring that service providers who don’t adequately perform are blacklisted accordingly on the National Central database, preventing future contracts from not being completed timeously.

Mogale City’s mismanagement of finances will impact services

Yesterday, Mogale City Local Municipality held the Section 80 Portfolio committee meeting on Finance which revealed the dire financial straits that the municipality finds itself in. Residents will suffer poor service delivery in Mogale due to budget deficits racked up by the ANC government.

The report presented revealed that the total revenue excluding capital expenditure stands at R621 million. Expenditure amounts to R442 million which gives the municipality a surplus of R179 million.

However, the surplus only exists on paper as it does not account for the R262 million which is owed to Eskom after the reduction from the R390 million which was owed by the end of July 2021.

Water and electricity finance are showing losses of over R149 million when comparing the actual income with the actual expenditure, the municipality has over-spent by R65 million.

The surplus declared is simply an exercise in accrual compliance rather than cash-based actual performance.

There is a troubling trend with the municipality’s supply chain management process, specifically the logistics section of procurement for goods and services below R30 000. Of the R2.8 million spent in August 2021, only 3% benefited Mogale based businesses.

The DA will seek to ensure that the supply chain expenditure is localized, transparent and used to build our local economy so that we can support local businesses to ensure they are capacitated to create jobs.

The DA is also concerned that Mogale City used R55 million on average of the overdraft facility, incurring interest penalties of almost R420 000 for August 2021. Disturbingly the current account is R835 000 in the red.

The DA has been monitoring the payment of creditors and putting political pressure on the municipality to comply with Section 65(e) of the Municipal Finance Management Act which stipulates that service providers must be paid within 30 days.

Due to DA pressure, the municipality paid Rand Water within the stipulated 30 days allowing residents to enjoy uninterrupted bulk water services.

While this is to be applauded, it is concerning that trade creditors are still not paid within 30 days, and some go over 150 days without receiving payment for services rendered to the municipality.

This delay in payment has a dire effect on the cash flow of these businesses who rely on the timeous payment of invoices by the municipality. The DA will continue to put pressure on the municipality to put cash-flow management mechanisms in place to ensure tight financial controls.

In DA-governed municipalities we ensure that sound financial practices are followed, creditors are paid within the stipulated 30-days period and that resources are used accordingly and efficiently to benefit residents.

Local Government Elections are coming up! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.

DA calls for investigation into appointment of Mogale City HR Manager who was fired at SABC

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile to investigate the appointment of the ANC-led Mogale City’s Human Resources Manager, Keobile Edwin Mosweu.

This follows MEC Maile’s revelations that the Mogale City’s Municipal Manager was not aware that Mosweu was fired from the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) as no verification checks were conducted on his work history. However, Mosweu did disclose to the interview panel that he had labour-related issues with his former employer which were sub judice.

This information was revealed by MEC Maile in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. 

Mogale City evidently does not have a verification mechanism in place to check the credentials of the candidates before appointments.

The fact that the panel proceeded with the interviews and recommended Mosweu for the position despite disclosing labour issues with his former employer, raises serious suspicions.

We are in possession of a document which indicate that Mosweu was fired from SABC on 19 February 2019 for four charges, of which two are for gross dishonesty, abuse of power and failure to act in the best interests of the company, and breach of clause 6.2.1 of the code of business ethics. 

This clearly indicates that Mosweu lied to the interview panel that his matter with his former employer was sub judice while knowing that he had been fired.

We have been reliably informed that the advert for Mogale City’s Human Resources Manager was advertised three days after Mosweu was officially fired from SABC. There are allegations that Mosweu is related to the Mogale City’s Executive Manager for Cooperate Services.

We will be writing to MEC Maile, giving him 30 days to investigate whether proper procedures were followed in hiring Mosweu, why there was no vetting process conducted, whether he is fit to hold the position despite being fired from the SABC, and what actions he will take should he find that the appointment was irregular. 

Should it be found that proper procedures were not followed in hiring Mosweu and that he is unfit to hold the position, he should be dismissed as a matter of urgency.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.

 

Mayor’s daughter allegedly benefitted from R9 million mysteriously taken out of Mogale City’s coffers

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has been reliably informed that the Mogale City Local Municipality created a R9 million invoice for Aqua, instead of paying them for services rendered to the Municipality.

Subsequently, while in the process of making the payment, an email was sent to the municipality instructing them to transfer the money to a different account as opposed to the original account provided by Aqua.

The R9 million was subsequently deposited without verifying the account details.

It is alleged that the second account belonged to Motlatsi Attorneys. Once the R9 million was paid, it was immediately transferred to different accounts, raising suspicion by the bank who alerted the municipality’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

It is further alleged that the Municipal Manager, and another manager who works under the CFO, authorized the transfer to the new account without the knowledge of the CFO.

In July last year, the CFO opened case number 239/07/2020 at the Krugersdorp police station, regards the missing funds with the case later transferred to Palm Ridge Commercial Court.

The money was paid in two transactions, with R5 million on 10 July 2020 and R4 million on 14 July 2020 to ABSA account number 4098733867.

It is alleged that the Mayor’s daughter was also a beneficiary of the missing R9 million.

These actions by the municipality are a gross deviation of proper public finance practices. Should a service provider ever wish to change the banking details for payment, they are required to write a formal letter to the Municipal Manager informing them about changes in their banking details. A verification process is also required to ensure the account belongs to the service provider and whether the service provider is compliant in terms of tax and other regulations before receiving any payments.

The fact that the Municipal Manager and another manager are alleged to have authorized this transaction clearly indicate that they are complicit and must account for this R9 million.

Nine months have passed since this case was open, yet no one has been arrested nor has the money been recovered.

Money laundering, financial mismanagement and corruption are serious crimes that have led to the collapse of many ANC-led municipalities across the country.

Mogale City is debt-ridden, and service delivery remains in dire straits while millions are stolen from the coffers to enrich few individuals in high ranks within the local government.

The DA will write to both the Premier, David Makhura and the Gauteng MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lebogang Maile to ascertain the progress of this case as well as to ascertain whether a forensic investigation has been instituted into this matter and why no one has been held accountable.

DA concerned about asbestos pollution in Mogale City

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has learnt that there is asbestos pollution that is severely affecting the residents of Mogale City.

Cases of pulmonary fibrosis have been diagnosed as a result of being in close proximity to the area concerned.

The DA is also in possession of lab tests which were conducted between 16 and 19 November 2018, which indicates that there is asbestos pollution in the area.

This has now been made worse by a proposed new development in the area, which will exacerbate the situation even further.

According to the plans submitted to Mogale City, the new development is currently being undertaken by the Base Church and will be known as Greengate Extension 96.

It is unacceptable that our people’s health and lives are being put in danger because of the asbestos pollution in the area.

The DA is calling on the Gauteng Department of Health as well as the Department of Environmental Affairs to urgently conduct a thorough investigation and intervene to ensure that the area be rehabilitated.

People residing in the immediate area of the old mine should be evacuated immediately until the rehabilitation has been completed.

Residents owe Gauteng Municipalities R2.7 billion

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is deeply concerned that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on municipalities as residents are struggling to pay for services provided by municipalities.

This information was revealed to me by the MEC for Finance, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to the MEC, between April and May 2020 debtors increased by R2.7 billion. However, Mogale City did not submit any information on its debtors, and it is expected that this total will go up once they have submitted.

The table below indicates the monthly trends of debtors for April and May 2020:

Municipality April 2020 May 2020 Difference
EMM R15, 858,942 R16, 212,240 R353,298
COJ R29,664,931 R31, 155, 951 R1,491,019
TSH R15,285,694 R15, 864,516 R578,821
Emfuleni R9,121,795 R9,249,420 R127,625
Midvaal R420,183 R427,694 R7,510
Lesedi R938,200 R938,261 R61
Sedibeng District R68, 095 R70,799 R2,703
Mogale City R1,829,729 R1,829,729
Merafong R2,539,382 R2601,774 R62 393
Rand West City R700,222 R772,010 R71,787
West Rand District R27,797 R27,965 R168
TOTAL R76,454,961,600 R79,150,356,327 R2,695,384,727

If this trend in revenue loss continues, then municipalities will struggle to render services to its residents.

Some municipalities have already been struggling to provide services because residents have not been paying, however, the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the situation.

The DA calls on the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lebogang Maile to closely monitor how the municipalities used the Covid-19 relief fund to ensure that adequate services are rendered to Gauteng residents in these difficult times.

Mogale City’s Department of Utilities Management on strike over salary dispute and lack of PPEs

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has been reliably informed that the Mogale City’s Department of Utilities Management employees are currently on strike. They have barricaded the roads and are burning tyres along Tudor road next to their offices over salary disputes and the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The department’s employees have been on a go-slow since last week Friday.

They claim that they have not yet been paid for the hours that they have worked during the national lockdown.

The employees also claim that they do not have proper PPE to ensure their safety during this critical period. They have vowed not to return to work until their demands are met.

Electrical faults reported by residents were not attended to and residents were told by the employees that they are on a go slow and that they will be attended to eventually.

Many wards across the City had service delivery interruptions over the weekend particularly in wards 22, 18, 37 and 38. The refuse has not been collected in some of the wards.

It is the responsibility of this municipality to ensure the safety of its workers by providing them with PPE as gazetted in the Disaster Management Act.

We will not allow this municipality to put the lives of the workers at risk by not safeguarding employees against the spread of this deadly coronavirus.

For far too long, the DA has been against the ANC-led Mogale City’s adoption of a top layer organogram which has a big wage gap between the employees in the lower and upper levels. This top layer organogram gives the executive management inflated packages while the bulk of the workforce which does the majority of the work earns very little.

The DA calls on the Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) MEC, Lebogang Maile to intervene as a matter of urgency to ensure that this wage dispute is resolved, employees are provided with proper PPE and that service delivery resumes as a matter of urgency.