Residents of Gauteng will be protected against the effects of climate change

The residents of Gauteng can breathe a sigh of relief as the National Treasury has recognised the important role that the Vaal River plays as a source of water and the huge potential it has to grow the Gauteng economy.

During our recent negotiations on the Division of Revenue Bill, the DA made a recommendation to mitigate the effect that future droughts or natural disasters may have on the province.

In Gauteng, climate change could also pose a threat and therefore we felt it was important to make recommendations that could mitigate the possible effects of climate change now.

In addition, we recommended the upgrading of the water infrastructure network in most Gauteng municipalities to be prioritized to ensure corrective action is taken before Gauteng faces its water disaster.

Where we govern in the Western Cape, we were proactive with our planning to mitigate water infrastructure losses.

This helped Cape Town avert a disastrous Day Zero due to the very low level of losses through their water infrastructure during the period of severe drought in the Western Cape four years ago.

Considering the massive water losses in Emfuleni and other municipalities close to the Vaal River, as well as raw sewerage running into the Vaal River, the DA requested that there is an acknowledgement of the critical role the Vaal River Water System plays in the Gauteng economy.

As the official opposition, it is crucial that we protect the people of Gauteng from the worst excesses of climate change by ensuring that money is properly spent on proactive projects to improve our water and sewerage infrastructure.

The DA will continue to monitor the progress in terms of the implementation of our recommendations as this will help improve the quality of life of our residents and ensure that they see the benefits of investment by the state rather than the money being lost to corruption and waste.

National Treasury adopts DA’s proposal that will put an end to the looting of disaster relief funds

Through the hard work of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Gauteng residents will now be afforded additional protection from potential looters should we experience another disaster like the Covid-19 pandemic. During the last two years, this province has been hardest hit by the looting of Covid-19 relief funds and the enrichment of only a few individuals through the awarding of tenders for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Many of the DA’s recommendations tabled during the negotiation mandate relating to the Division of Revenue Bill (DORA) during a recent Finance Portfolio Committee were accepted. This bill governs the transfer of funds to Provincial Governments and Municipalities.

One of the main recommendations made by the DA was that National Treasury (NT) should develop mechanisms to ensure that funds earmarked for Covid-19 and disaster relief are expended for their intended purpose. We are delighted that the NT has now introduced a manual reporting system to monitor how Covid-19 funds are spent and the requirement to submit a weekly report.

This will result in transparency and accountability on how the relief funds are being spent. By so doing, there will be no room for corruption, and this will allow proper service delivery to take place.

The DA will continue to monitor the progress in terms of the implementation of our recommendations as this will help to improve the quality of life of our residents and ensure that they see the benefits of investment by the state rather than the money being lost to corruption and waste.

Angelo residents forced to live in squalor while ANC-led Ekurhuleni returns R250 million housing grant back to National Treasury

Residents of Angelo Informal Settlement, Ward 33 Boksburg, Ekurhuleni have been left to live in squalor and decay by the ANC and its coalition partners in the municipality.

Today, DA Federal Leader, John Steenhuisen, Ward 33 Councillor Candidate, Ashley Hoods, and I visited Angelo to engage with residents and offer them the solutions that a DA-run Ekurhuleni will usher in to improve their living conditions and change their lives.

40 000 people live in Angelo which is built on top of an old mine. The land, which is dolomitic, is unsafe for human habitation.

Residents of Angelo have no access to water, sanitation or sewage. The densely populated settlement has no regular refuse removal, with waste littering the landscape of the settlement.

Instead of providing dignified housing and services to residents of Angelo, the ANC-led municipality spent R23 million to move these residents to a site comprising of 500 new shacks less than a kilometre away from where they currently reside.

Angelo residents were not prepared to move to this new site as they refused to exchange living in one shack for another.

Rightfully so, these residents demanded brick and mortar structures with piped water and access to electricity, sewage and waste removal.

A further R5.5 million was wasted when the municipality rendered the services of the Red Ants to guard these shacks.

After 62 days, the municipality’s contract with the Red Ants lapsed, and within 48 hours, the temporary structures were dismantled, and the materials used to construct them were stolen.

The municipality wasted R28.5 million of public money on a project that should never have been undertaken.

In the previous financial year, the municipality returned R250 million back to National Treasury, money which was earmarked for building dignified housing.

Instead of providing dignified housing to residents of informal settlements, the ANC in Ekurhuleni are happy to keep people living in squalor.

This problem is not unique to Angelo.

The demand for housing in Ekurhuleni far outstrips supply. With every passing year, the demand for housing in the municipality grows while housing developments roll out a snail pace.

Ekurhuleni has the highest number of informal settlements in Gauteng, and with each passing year, this number grows exponentially.

The ANC’s track record of non-delivery over the past 27 years shows that it has no will to improve the living conditions of our people.

Residents of Ekurhuleni cannot endure another 5 years of ANC incompetence.

In the municipalities which the DA governs, the roll out of dignified housing is prioritised. Houses are not built by sub-standard contractors; houses do not fall apart before beneficiaries take occupancy. We do not keep people trapped in a cycle of indignity.

Where the DA governs, housing projects are rolled out on time and the correct beneficiaries of these projects are identified and allocated houses.

Residents of Ekurhuleni deserve the DA-difference.

Come 1 November, residents of Ekurhuleni will have the opportunity to vote in a government that puts them first, a government that gets things done.

Gauteng deserves an innovative, pro-citizen budget

by Adriana Randall MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance

Gauteng will be hard hit by the reduced allocation of funds from National Treasury. With Gauteng being home to 13 million people, of which 33% are unemployed or not economically active, smart spending of public money is critical to ensure that South Africa’s most populace province can improve the lives of its residents and revive its economy.

Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy in tabling her budget tomorrow must ensure that every Rand of public money is utilised to improve the living conditions and quality of life of the people of Gauteng.

She will have to put forward a fiscal plan to not only stimulate growth, but to ensure that provincial departments are equipped to carry out their mandates.

Of critical importance is that MEC Creecy announce steps to counter under-spending, fruitless and wasteful expenditure and the ever-growing number of accruals in departments.

Consequence management must not be another slogan that the MEC touts, but must become a reality across the Provincial Government. Underperforming Heads of Departments as well as Accounting Officers must be held liable and punished for the failings of departments.

It cannot be business as usual where poor performers are not penalised for the misuse of public money.

To make the province a success, it is imperative that this budget reflects the needs of citizens.

Some of the steps that Creecy must act upon are:

  • Reduction of expenditure on non-core functions such as advertising, catering and the use of consultants;
    • Improve provincial revenue collection;
    • Rationalise provincial entities;
    • Reduce the size of the provincial wage bill which currently sits at over 2% of inflation; and
    • Ensure that the budget fund to spend on township enterprises meets its target and is not a continual item of under-expenditure.

The departments of Health and Education are set to receive the lion’s share of the budget.

It is essential that these departments are monitored closely, as the Department of Health is a major offender when it comes to late payments, accruals as well as mismanagement of funds.

The Department of Education must ensure that it uses its budget to increase the quality of teaching and learning by upgrading dilapidated schools and increase the number of schools so as to reduce over-crowding.

An announcement of an intervention strategy for the Department of Human Settlements and Cooperative Governance must be made.

Under the watch of MEC Paul Mashatile, the department has returned unspent budget allocations back to Treasury twice. This year the department has returned R150 million.

With a housing backlog of 600 000 units, it is imperative that this department be made to get its act together to ensure that residents of this province are afforded decent housing which will elevate their standard of living.

This department is also responsible for the melt-down of many of the province’s local municipalities. Emfuleni and Merafong face power and water cuts due the financial mismanagement of ANC mayors. The department must intervene with a plan to revive these municipalities before they implode.

There are numerous challenges facing Gauteng.

But these challenges are not insurmountable.

MEC Creecy cannot continue on the path that has been tread for the past four years under the Makhura administration. Innovation, professionalism and accountability must be at the fore of a people-centred budget.

Where the DA governs, efficient and effective service delivery are the hallmarks of how a budget is to be utilised. Come 2019, residents of Gauteng will be able to feel the real change brought about by a DA-led Gauteng Government.

Gigaba’s budget a death blow to the people of Gauteng

Yesterday’s budget presented by Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, will have a crippling blow on the people of Gauteng who are already under strain due to the disastrous economic climate that has been inflicted on them by the ANC.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura, indicated that he was a man of the people and would do what is best for citizens. Yet he has failed to live up to this task.

In cahoots with President Cyril Ramaphosa, they perpetuated the e-Toll system to tax people for using the province’s freeways, now with Minister Gigaba’s announcement of a 52-cent hike in the fuel levy, moving around the province will become a tax burdened exercise affecting every single resident.

The knock-on effect of this is that the cost of living, especially food, will sky-rocket to levels unassailable for many. Coupled with the increase in VAT, life is going to be hard for every citizen of this province.

It is now a certainty that Gauteng’s poor and unemployed, which currently sits at an expanded rate of 33%, will grow. The working class is now threatened with job losses and a lower standard of living. The poorest of the poor will find themselves in an even worse position.

The loss of equitable share to provinces by a massive R4.7 billion will hamper the roll out of much needed infrastructure programmes – programmes that would have gone some way to alleviating unemployment.

Given that Gauteng experiences high levels of inward-migration from other provinces, this funding is critical in ensuring that services such as healthcare, education and housing can be improved and increased to deal with demand.

The massive reduction of funding will see an already burdened system pushed to the brink of collapse.

These hardships could have been avoided.

The actions of the ANC over the past nine years have brought us to this point.

Corruption, state capture and Constitutional abandonment have eaten away at the fabric of our society – and because of it, we are now starting to pay the price for the ANC’s failure.

A nation cannot tax itself into prosperity. Behind the numbers are human beings that have done nothing to deserve this fate.

The people of Gauteng are paying for a decade of gross financial and resource mismanagement by the ANC, and will pay even more under Ramaphosa and Makhura’s ANC-led administrations.

The DA has a vision to get Gauteng back on the road to prosperity, but this requires a Total Change, not just minor alterations to faces in positions of power.

Come 2019, the DA will bring about the Total Change that is needed to revive the fortunes of Gauteng – not through talk-shops, or absorbent taxes and rip-off schemes, but through inclusive and progressive policies that will benefit every single resident.

MEC Creecy Must Come Clean About GP Money Laundering Scheme

Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy must come clean about the provincial government’s money laundering scheme which involves tranches of taxpayers money being transferred to registered NGO’s – only for these funds to be siphoned off to non-accredited NGO’s.

This practice, brought to the attention of the DA by the A Re Ageng NGO, has seen the provincial government shift millions of rands through “conduit” NGO’s to organisations that are not accredited – and who may not be performing the work which they claim to be doing.

This exercise was used by the provincial government to transfer funds to NGO’s during the Esidimeni tragedy which claimed the lives of more than 100 mentally ill patients.

This practice is a violation of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), and needs to be investigated as a matter of priority so as to safeguard the public purse from abuse and theft.

Recently, one such “conduit payment” to the tune of R5 million was intercepted by fraudsters who used the money to make off with 40 000 litres of diesel. This R5 million was part of a R42 million tranche to be transferred via this “conduit” scheme.

The Gauteng ANC-led provincial government is often heard preaching about transparent and open governance, but time and time again, they prove themselves to be nothing more than hypocrites.

Vulnerable residents of Gauteng are placed at risk by non-accredited and non-compliant NGO’s who do not have the skills nor the capacity to provide them with the assistance they require. This is exacerbated when these NGO’s are aided and abetted by the provincial government’s underhanded tactics.

The DA will write to Finance MEC Creecy demanding that National Treasury be allowed to scrutinise the provincial governments’ practices and rule on what steps must be taken to safeguard Gauteng’s finances.



Media Enquiries

Adriana Randall MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance
060 556 4342
Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144

[Image source]

Gauteng Human Settlements Unable To Pay Debt

The Gauteng Department of Human Settlements (GDHS) is in major financial distress.

The startling admission by the Head of the GDHS, Daniel Molokomme, that the department is unable to pay a debt of R220 million to the Red Ants is alarming.

According to the GDHS Head, assistance is required from National Treasury, which raises the concern that the department is unable to perform its financial duties.

In the past 2015/16 financial year, the Auditor General attached a damning report to the department’s financial statements in the annual report.

The AG noted:

  • The stopping of the conditional grant allocation for the Human Settlements Development Grant by the National Department of Human Settlements, which was adjusted down by R908.3 million in terms of section 19 of the Division of Revenue Act (DORA);
  • That effective steps were not taken to prevent irregular expenditure amounting to R438.5 million;
  • Controls over daily and monthly processing and reconciling of transactions to support financial reporting commitments and irregular expenditure were insufficiently implemented by senior management;
  • That the departments service delivery operating model was inadequate and senior management was not coordinated to achieve valid and accurate financial and performance reporting; and
  • That compliance with DORA was not reviewed and monitored on a continuous basis by senior management.

If the department is unable to manage its funds, this may have an adverse effect on all municipalities in the province, especially with conditional grant funding.

Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile, must publicly state the current financial status of this department, as thousands of resident’s lives may be affected.

It would be disastrous to halt service delivery due to the department’s senior management’s ineptitude.

Before MEC Mashatile makes utterances about placing DA Municipalities under administration, because the ANC has not yet accepted the outcome of the Local Government Elections, he should rather spend his time ensuring that his department can fulfil its Constitutional mandate of service delivery.



Media enquiries:

Mervyn Cirota MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Human Settlements

060 558 8312

[Image source]

Gauteng Service Delivery Dealt A Blow By Slow Release Of Funds

Gauteng Provincial Government – National Treasury

Five major Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) departments have yet to receive their allotted budget for the second quarter of this financial year due to the slow transfer of funds from National Treasury.

The departments of Roads and Transport, Community Safety, Agriculture and Rural Development, E-Government and Infrastructure Development, which should by now have received 50% or more of their equitable share from National Treasury are all low in the 40% region.

Of notable concern is the department of E-Governance, which to date has only received 40.8% of its allocated funding. This department is the nerve centre of government business in Gauteng. If it fails to fulfil its mandate due to financial constraints, it will have dire consequences for the other GPG departments.

Premier David Makhura’s Transformation, Modernisation and Re-Industrialisation Plan

In an effort to restructure the economy of Gauteng, Premier David Makhura’s Transformation, Modernisation and Re-Industrialisation (TMR) plan hinges on departments like Infrastructure and Agriculture for its success. However, without funding, it will be impossible for these departments to make in-roads to address economic growth and job creation.

As the country’s most populace province, it is imperative that these funds are made available to departments as soon as possible so that residents of Gauteng receive the service they deserve.

It is at this stage unclear as to why these funds have yet to be made available.

Premier David Makhura must engage his counterparts in national government to speed up the payment process as he has done with the issues surrounding monies owed to the Gauteng Department of Health.

Province’s Financial Obligations

If the process is delayed due to departments failing to comply with legislation, swift action must be taken against accounting officers in departments.

The DA will continue to ensure that the province’s financial obligations are met and that service delivery is not hampered.



Media Enquiries:

Adriana Randall MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC on Finance

060 556 4342

Gauteng Provincial Departments Owe DA Municipalities R443 Million

DA Governed Municipalities Owed

Gauteng Provincial Government departments owe DA governed municipalities in the province R443 million, money desperately needed to address the service delivery backlog left behind by the ANC.

Of the R613 million owed to all municipalities across the province, 72% of this will be split between the cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Mogale City.

The departments of Infrastructure Development, Health, Education, Roads and Transport, Social Development and Human Settlements have failed to live up to their obligations to transfer funds which they received as grants from National Treasury to municipalities in the province.

This table outlines the amounts owed to various municipalities by the departments responsible:

Functioning Local Government

Most notably are the amounts of money owed by the Department of Infrastructure Development. In a province where in-migration is unparalleled more than anywhere else in the country, the need for new infrastructure development is paramount.

It is impossible for municipalities to roll out quality services if the funding required to do so is not available. Without it, business comes to a halt and residents are denied access to the heartbeat of democracy – functioning local government.

The DA will pose questions to Gauteng Premier David Makhura and request that he provide a timeline of when these funds will be paid to the relevant municipalities and what steps will be taken to avoid this from happening in the future.



Media Enquiries:

Bronwynn Engelbrecht MP

DA Member in the NCOP

082 376 1022

ANC In Gauteng Rewards Failed Limpopo Finance MEC With R2-Million Job

Dr David Masondo

Gauteng Premier David Makhura today defended the appointment of Dr David Masondo, former Limpopo Finance MEC, as ‘what a cadre should be’ in response to questions about his appointment as the CEO of a major provincial government entity.

Mr Masondo is reportedly earning R2 million a year salary.

Dr Masondo was finance MEC in Limpopo when national treasury had to intervene to save the province from complete financial ruin, placing several departments under administration for financial mismanagement.

After the 2014 election, Dr Masondo was not returned to the post, and was quietly given a position as a staff member in the Gauteng Provincial Government before being appointed to the position of head of the Automotive Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) – a key provincial government entity that promotes investment in the automotive sector.

Maladministration at the AIDC

Subsequent to his appointment, there have been allegations of recruitment rigging and a toxic working environment in the entity. The DA has learned that the board of the AIDC has sent a written warning to Dr Masondo for maladministration in respect of staff appointments. In correspondence, the board has indicated to Dr Masondo that they would consider moving him to another position in the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency as a result of his actions and conduct.

In his response to irregularities at the AIDC under Dr Masondo’s tenure, Premier Makhura defended the appointment, referring to Dr Masondo as what a cadre should be.

The premier also conceded that there are severe irregularities at the AIDC under Dr Masondo which has resulted in the commissioning of a report into the matter – which has not been made public.

Premier Makhura’s claim of running a clean government and making staff appointments on merit is shattered by this appointment and the allegations of impropriety at this entity. The ANC in Gauteng are have a long history of using government entities as employment agencies for ANC members, and this appointment is no different.

The DA will be demanding the release of the report commissioned to investigate allegations of maladministration at the AIDC, as well as continue to hold the ANC accountable for its failed system of cadre deployment that paralyses government and its entities.


Media enquiries:

Ashor Sarupen

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance

060 558 8303

[Image source]