Makhura prioritised party over province, at the expense of service delivery

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng looks forward to the debate and vote on our motion of no confidence (MONC) against Premier, David Makhura in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature tomorrow, 2nd March 2021.

As the Official Opposition, it is critical for the DA to represent the residents of Gauteng who have been negatively affected by Makhura’s failed government. Further to this, the DA has a duty to hold those in government to account when they do not deliver on their promises.

Over half of the promises Makhura made in his first 100 days in office, remain unfulfilled. These include failing to lease land and unutilised buildings to businesses that would result in job creation; failing to build a partnership with the Taxi industry and municipalities to transform taxi rank facilities to become vibrant economic nodes in all townships and CBDs; and failing to fill all hospital CEO posts.

This clearly demonstrates that Makhura was a man of all talk, but no action. Instead of delivering on his promises to the people of Gauteng, Makhura and his government delivered scandal after scandal.

Years after the horrible tragedy at Life Esidimeni, 81 claimants had still not been paid their compensation by November 2020; over 18 months since the Bank of Lisbon Fire, the Premier has still failed to release the investigation report; and last year alone saw widescale Personal Protective Equipment tender corruption, wasteful school deep cleaning expenditure, and the continuous systemic collapse of municipalities like Emfuleni and Merafong.

The only tangible explanation that one can draw from this disaster of a term for Makhura is that governing for the people of Gauteng was never his primary objective.

The evident case in point was the illegal dissolution of the Tshwane Municipal Council last year. Never before have we seen a Provincial Executive move so quickly to illegally remove an opposition party from government. All the while, this government continued to work at a snail’s pace in addressing failing municipalities where the ANC governed. The worst of this is that Makhura did not act in accordance with spirit of the Constitution or for the residents of Tshwane by stopping the dissolution, but instead encouraged it. This resulted in more wasteful expenditure by section 139 administrators, who left the municipality in a worse state compared to when they seized control. It took a High Court ruling to prove how government compromised the Constitution by instituting an illegal intervention.

Makhura’s only objective since the start of his term, was to serve his party over the province. Every decision and action has been considered with the ANC first in mind. The residents cannot have a Premier who operates as such. This is why the DA’s MONC is critical. It is the first democratic step in holding this failing Premier to account.

DA calls on Speaker to allow secret ballot for motion of no confidence in Makhura

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the decision by the Gauteng Provincial Legislature Programming Committee to schedule the DA’s motion of no confidence (MONC) in Premier, David Makhura, for Tuesday, 2nd March 2021.

This follows an initial attempt by the ANC to refuse the scheduling, which clearly exposed them for protecting Makhura from accountability.

We are pleased that the ANC finally came to their senses and allowed constitutional democracy to be exercised by the Members of the Provincial Legislature (MPLs).

The DA however, calls on the Speaker of the Legislature, Ntombi Lentheng Mekgwe to allow for a secret ballot in this very critical motion.

It is concerning that ANC MPLs might not feel safe enough to vote with their conscience if they are not protected by anonymity.

The DA believes there are many ANC MPLs who are not pleased with Makhura’s performance as Premier, and would like to vote in the best interest of the residents of Gauteng, as opposed to voting in the best interest of their party. The ANC only has 37 out of 73 seats in the Legislature, while the combined opposition stands at 36.  The 37th seat of the ANC belongs to the Speaker who only has a tie-breaking vote. If just one ANC MPL sides with the opposition, the motion will succeed.

In the spirit of accountable democracy, the DA’s request for a secret ballot should be unconditionally granted.

The time is now for MPLs across party lines to come together and act in the best interest for the people of the province. David Makhura has shown no remorse for his administration’s failures and scandals, and has proven beyond doubt, that he is no longer fit to govern.


Makhura’s admission that public trust is lost is a concession of #NotFitToGovern

Premier, David Makhura’s State of the Province Address (SOPA) today was nothing short of a whitewash, loaded with ambiguity to cover up his own government’s failures. 

Makhura started his address with the Covid-19 pandemic that has been dominating the lives of South Africans the past year.  While the Premier stressed the need of building pandemic-proof institutions for the future, it is still quite obvious that his own government still needs tender corruption-proof institutions.

The Premier emphasised on the pain and suffering brought upon by the pandemic, but did not completely acknowledge that such pain and suffering was exacerbated by his own Health Department’s irregular and corrupt procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and the profound delays in building field hospitals before the first wave.

The enthusiastic accolade for the healthcare workers of the province was warmly welcomed, but was a serious reminder about the need for the provincial government to procure even more vaccines, especially for healthcare workers and other vulnerable residents.  The Premier’s goal to have 67% of the provincial population vaccinated, especially within the year, is total pie in the sky. If PPE procurement was ravaged by corruption, the Premier cannot expect the people of Gauteng to still trust his government in rolling out such a bold and ambitious target. 

It’s critical for the Premier to understand that his government cannot reasonably rely on only two centres for vaccination, as it will only hamper the process. The electronic vaccination system requires urgent improvement, with far more vaccination centres.

While Makhura finally acknowledged that poor road infrastructure implementation is due to incompetence, he fell short of recognising that such incompetence is evident in all departments involved in infrastructure development, as the public sector simply lacks the resources and expertise to delivery on these projects.  This has been a direct result of prioritising cadre deployment over effective service delivery. 

Makhura spent considerable time discussing the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone and the promising job creation that will materialise.  Unsurprisingly, he did not acknowledge that this project is a result of confidence in effective Democratic Alliance (DA) governance, as it did not appear overnight but has been in the pipeline since 2017, when the DA was governing the nation’s capital city.

While DA good governance was brought up, Makhura’s own government has not been the shining example.  The fact that he spoke about improving governance with ethics, integrity and accountability across the province, is simply an insult to Gauteng residents. The question is, where was that approach when he encouraged an illegal dissolution of the Tshwane Municipal Council last year that compromised the spirit of co-operative governance and cost taxpayers so much money?

Further to this, Makhura tried to paint a positive image of the Vaal Tourism industry that is built on the Vaal River, and includes water sports and waterfront properties.  Yet the river becomes more and more polluted each day, making any dream of a fully functional tourism industry in the area more and more of a pipe dream. 

In addition to this, the Vaal River Special Economic Zone is laughable. No one will want to invest in a municipality with no service delivery and has had a mayoral vacancy for six weeks, while MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lebogang Maile is still waiting for the municipality to respond to his department’s report, despite having already granted three extensions. A South African Human Rights Commission report concluded that the sewer spillage in the Vaal River is an abuse of human rights.  All the while Emfuleni having been under intervention by the provincial government – an indictment of the Makhura administration’s failures.   

And lastly, once again Makhura brought up the issue of lifestyle audits of the Provincial Executive.  Naturally, he laid the blame for delay with the State Security Agency but could not admit his own shortcoming of having failed to initiate these lifestyle audits at the beginning of  the term in May 2019.  It was only after the explosion of PPE and Covid-19 related corruption in the province, that these lifestyle audits were given the go ahead. 

Makhura’s admission towards the end of his speech that the people of Gauteng have lost trust in his government is a total concession that he is no longer fit to govern, and that credibility in this administration can never reasonably be gained again. 

#NotFitToGovern: Premier Makhura’s office failed to implement investigation recommendations

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is dismayed that the Office of the Premier, David Makhura has failed to implement 86% of the forensic investigation recommendations from the 2019/20 financial year.

This was revealed during a presentation to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) on Friday, 5th February.

Included in the presentation was a breakdown of each department’s recommendations that had been implemented, were in progress, or not implemented.

The other offending departments include Transport with 54% of their recommendations not implemented, the Department of Health with 34%, and the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs with 59% unimplemented.

39% of the total forensic investigation recommendations across all provincial departments for the 2019/20 financial year remained unimplemented.

These figures are indicative of Premier Makhura’s inability to govern, and lead by true example for other MECs to follow. The worst is that these investigations were made in the financial year before the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. Since then, Covid-19 related corruption has exploded in the province, with the Premier’s office now accused of interfering in the appointment of service providers for Personal Protective Equipment.

This just simply demonstrates Makhura’s poor track record since the beginning of the term and why he is no longer fit to govern. If the Office of the Premier cannot implement at the very least, the bulk of recommendations from a previous financial year, how can the residents of Gauteng trust him to govern effectively in the current and future years?

This is all the more reason for Makhura to go. The stakes are higher than ever before for Gauteng with the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. The residents of this province deserve a Premier who is serious about cleaning up government.

Gauteng Department of Education underspends by R1.3 billion in the 2019/20 financial year

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng notes with concern that the Gauteng Department of Education had underspent their budget by R1.3 billion in the 2019/20 financial year.

This information was revealed in the department’s 2019/20 annual report, indicating that the department had underspent across all its programmes.

Failure to spend R1 389 320 of the allocated budget has a huge impact on department’s performance, with the following targets not achieved:

Vacant posts at schools were not filled which will result in overcrowding of learners in classrooms;
· School furniture was not bought;

· Bursaries for teachers were not settled;

· Incomplete kitchens and gas installations, making it difficult to provide nutrition for learners;

· Property lease contracts were not concluded, resulting in unnecessary extensions;

· Information Communication Technology (ICT) projects were delayed and

· Development projects such as staff training were not rolled out.

The department had failed to spend its allocated budget which was approved before the inception of the national lockdown as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The DA is further worried that this current financial year will result in higher under expenditure due to schooling disruptions because of Covid-19.

The DA will therefore engage with the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi to reprioritise the department’s expenditure plans to ensure proper budget allocation, focusing on school infrastructure in terms of building more schools and classrooms, launching more ICT projects, and ensure adequate teacher development. This will capacitate the department to meet the new learning and teaching demands under the difficult conditions of the pandemic.

The DA believes that the department has no room to underspend on its allocated budget considering the high demand to improve the quality of education and school infrastructure in Gauteng.

Premier Makhura not fit to govern Gauteng: DA asks Hawks to urgently investigate Makhura’s corruption scandals

Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has submitted a letter to the Hawks calling for an urgent investigation into the full extent of the corruption scandals that have occurred under Premier Makhura’s watch.

Since the inception of the national lockdown as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic Gauteng has been plagued with corruption scandals.

Following the recent revelations by the former Gauteng Health Department chief financial officer, Kabelo Lehloenya that Premier Makhura gave her the names of the companies to appoint to supply and deliver PPEs in the province there is an urgent need for action to be taken against Premier Makhura.

The following are some of the corruption scandals that have happened while the people of Gauteng suffer under the Covid pandemic:

  • R2,2 billion was spent by the Gauteng Department of Health on fishy PPE suppliers in three months last year. The department paid inflated prices above the National Treasury’s regulated PPE price list and the husband of the President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khuselo Diko reportedly scored part of this contract to supply PPE’s for the Covid-19 pandemic,
  • Premier Makhura has been implicated in the Gauteng Department of Health PPE scandals by the former Gauteng Health Department chief financial officer, Kabelo Lehloenya who stated in her affidavit to the special tribunal that Premier Makhura gave her the names of the companies to appoint to supply and deliver PPEs in the province,
  • AngloGold Ashanti hospital on the far West Rand received R500 million worth of funding in order to equip it with extra beds and facilities to treat Covid-19 patients. The wards are still incomplete and are under construction. The completed areas have no equipment and there is no indication that the hospital will be ready for use anytime soon,

The Gauteng Department of Education has spent more than R431 million on sanitising schools in three months between June and August last year.

It is critical now more than ever that the standard that was set with the dismissal of MEC Masuku is also applied to Premier Makhura and that Premier Makhura is investigated to determine the extent of his involvement in these corruption scandals.

As the Premier of Gauteng, Makhura has failed in his oversight duty to safeguard our coffers and he must be held accountable for failing to prevent corruption in this province.

It is sad and disgraceful that the heads of the province are tainted by corruption scandals with the money meant to save lives during this critical period of Covid-19 pandemic.

The DA will be calling for an urgent sitting in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) and we will be tabling a motion of no confidence in Makhura as he has shown that he is not fit to govern Gauteng.

We will also be exploring other mechanisms to ensure that Makhura is held to account.

While awaiting a full investigation by the Hawks, I will also be writing to President Ramaphosa to act against Makhura as a matter of urgency.