MEC Mazibuko fails to monitor how library grants are spent

by Paul Willemburg MPL – DA Spokesperson for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation

Despite the fact that libraries across the province are facing enormous challenges, the department is underspending on its library grants.

According to a written reply to questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, the MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Faith Mazibuko indicated that the grant amount returned had decreased to R1 287 240 during the 2017/2018 financial year from R4 452 000 in the 2015/2016 financial year.

It is disappointing that many of our libraries are failing to spend their allocated grants whilst they have outdated books that are in dire need of updating. In some libraries there are no computers and others do not have enough furniture and lack the basic necessities.

Our youth, particularly those living in the townships are at a disadvantage as they are being denied access to updated reference materials and a conducive environment for studying.

These facilities are crucial as they play an important role in helping our youth who are still at school in completing assignments and those who are seeking job opportunities.

This failure by the department to monitor and evaluate how the library grants are used, shows that they care little about the upliftment of our people.

The DA is calling on MEC Mazibuko to put more stringent monitoring and evaluation systems in place when it comes to library grants.

Gauteng needs Change, the kind of change that only a DA-led government can deliver, where the people’s money is spent on improving the lives of the people, not on politicians.

Break-ins at libraries result in theft of equipment to the value of R286 556

by Paul Willemburg MPL – DA Spokesperson for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation

The DA is deeply concerned about the 12 break-ins that have occurred at libraries across the province.

ICT equipment to the value of R286 556 was stolen while 6 computers and 5 flat screens were recovered amounting to R45 000. This disadvantages our youth, especially those living in townships, as many rely on library equipment to complete school assignments and to search for job opportunities.

The following libraries in Gauteng were broken into since 2014/2015 financial year to date:

Emfuleni Municipality
  • Roshnee
  • Boitumelo
  • Residensia
  • Sebokeng
  • Evaton
  • Tshepiso


6 computers

10 computers

12 computers

10 computers

5 computers

1 Camera

R21 000.00

R50 000.00

R42 000.00

R50 000.00

R17 500.00

R1 500.00

City of Ekurhuleni
  • Kempton Park Library
1 computer R2 000.00
Merafong Municipality
  • Wedela Library
8 computers R36 000.31
Mogale City Municipality
  • Desmont Tutu


  • Krugersdorp


  • Muldersdrift
All in one computer and 2 scanners


1 laptop


1 HP Desktop

R32 950.00



R8 556.00


R6 000.00

Lesedi Municipality
  • Heidelberg
8 Computers stolen

6 recovered


10 Flat screens stolen

5 recovered

R12 500.00
TOTAL R286 556.00


It is unacceptable that these facilities are not provided with sufficient security to protect the resources meant to uplift and educate our communities, especially the youth and those who are seeking job opportunities.

The DA believes that residents have a responsibility to look after the libraries within their communities. They must work with the police and report any thefts which may occur at their libraries. Communities must refrain from purchasing stolen library equipment, as in so doing, so they are creating a market for these goods.

The DA is calling on the department to provide adequate security at all libraries, so that these valuable resources can be protected.

National Museum Day: no funding allocated for the preservation of our museums

by Paul Willemburg MPL – DA Spokesperson for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation

It is disappointing that as we mark National Museum Day today, the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation does not have budget allocated for the preservation of our museums and heritage.

Museums play a critical role in educating our people, particularly the youth about past struggles and heritage.

Museums encourage our people to be more tolerant of our diverse cultures in Gauteng.

It is sad that memorial institutions like the Women’s Heritage Memorial in Tshwane is not fully operational while the Boipatong Youth Memorial is only expected to be handed over to the municipality in the 2018/2019 financial year.

The fact that there is no budget allocated for museums and the current public hearings being held on the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill raises concerns as to what plans have been put in place to implement and fund this bill.

This bill, once passed and signed into law will ensure that indigenous knowledge is protected and preserved for generations to come.

The DA believes that the visible representation of our history and heritage, including museums, monuments and memorial buildings is crucial. These institutions are key in preserving our rich history.

We propose that the Gauteng Provincial Government allocate funds for the running and maintenance of these important symbols of our history.

DA marks National Archive Week

by Paul Willemburg MPL – DA Spokesperson for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation

As South Africa celebrates National Archive Week from 7 May to 11 May, we are reminded once again about the important role that archives play in our society.

Gauteng was one of the last provinces to pass the Provincial Archives and Records Service Act No 5 of 2013.

The theme for this year’s National Archive Week is “Archives: Our lives, our legacy: workers’ rights”.

Archives play a crucial role in preserving our rich and diverse history; enhancing national identity; assists with nation building and empowerment.

However, the DA notes that the Provincial Archive in Kagiso is still not fully functional.

It is unacceptable that we have an institution that is meant to preserve our history and culture not operating at its full capacity.

I will be tabling questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to the MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Faith Mazibuko to give a progress report on the provincial archive centre relating to the following:

  • Number of staff members employed;
  • internet connectivity;
  • broadband;
  • relevant air-conditioning for the protection of archival material; and
  • Current overall costs for the facility to date

We call on the MEC to ensure that this facility is fully staffed and functional, so that our people are able to access information on the country’s history and diverse culture.

The DA believes that archives are part of the fabric of our society and contribute positively towards social cohesion, as it enables our people to know their heritage and the history of the country.

Without an archive to document our history, the people of Gauteng especially our youth will be disadvantaged as they will not be able to learn about the hardships and atrocities of the past and honour those who fought for our freedom.

DA marks World Book Day

by Paul Willemburg MPL – DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR)

Today, 23 April 2018, South Africa joins more than 100 countries cross the world in observing World Book Day.

This is the time to celebrate the work of our own diverse Mzansi authors, as well as acknowledging the need to cultivate a love of books and reading.

The commemoration of this day is important considering that as a country we are still facing a high rate of illiteracy and some of our secondary school learners can neither read nor write.

Books have the ability to educate, empower, equip, inspire and uplift the lives of our people.

Reading books helps our children to discover who they are and the career paths that they may want to pursue.

However, our children are being deprived of the opportunity to access books by the Gauteng ANC-led Administration which is failing to deliver libraries to our communities.

During the DA Gauteng Library Campaign last year, when we visited 28 libraries across the province, we discovered that the library books are outdated, there are internet challenges and some libraries are still not complete.

The Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Creation(SACR) is clearly failing in its mandate to deliver libraries to our people. It is the department’s responsibility to make it easy for all to access to books by delivering properly equipped libraries.

The DA firmly believes that libraries are a vital community resource to access information, internet services and to promote a culture of reading, writing and publishing books in all our local languages.

There is a need for Total Change in this Department and Gauteng residents, particularly for our children who can only thrive at school if they have access to books.

Venterpost Library: Residents have lost all faith in MEC Mazibuko

The Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) MEC, Faith Mazibuko has yet again failed the residents of Venterpost in Randfontein as their library is still closed and awaiting renovations.

This despite MEC Mazibuko declaring that the Venterpost Library will be reopened in October 2017, according to the written replies to the DA’s questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

The residents are frustrated and tired of the MEC’s empty promises. MEC Mazibuko failed the 2017 matriculants of this area as they were desperate to utilise this facility for research and revision in preparation for their final year matric examinations.

This is the only library in Venterpost, with the next closest library being Westonaria Public Library which is 10 km away and not on a taxi route. We will not accept her department’s incompetency and the impact this will have this year’s matric class.

This library was officially opened on 28 October 2014 and then closed on 13 March 2017 for renovations; since then the MEC has been making empty promises on when it will be re-opened.

This much-needed facility was closed due to shoddy workmanship; the roof, floors and the books shelves were not built properly.

This department lacks good leadership and a political will to monitor and manage its projects. MEC Mazibuko is for all intents and purposes absent from her duties as the political head of department only to pop up when she’s given a national platform in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

It is high time that she be reminded that the clock is ticking and her term of office is coming to an end. Come 2019 the DA will be leading Gauteng and we will ensure that all libraries are equipped with necessary resources and are delivered to the communities timeously.

The DA will hold MEC Mazibuko accountable to ensure that the Venterspost Library is properly fixed and re-opened as a matter of urgency.

Boipatong Youth Memorial Centre far from completion

Residents of Emfuleni can expect to wait another two years for the completion of the Boipatong Youth Memorial Centre due to poor planning and management as the project remains far from completion.

The Boipatong Youth Memorial, established to honour and remember those who lost their lives in the senseless Boipatong massacre of 1992, stands vacant and neglected and is an insult to those whose memory it was meant to honour.

According to a reply by the Gauteng Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation MEC, Faith Mazibuko, to a DA question, the Boipatong Youth Memorial Centre will only be handed over to the Sedibeng District Municipality in the 2018/19 financial year.

The Memorial Centre has not been connected to the Gauteng Broadband Network and is expected to be connected by 31 March this year. Computers at the facility will be connected by April 2018 as defects need to be addressed by the Gauteng E-government department.

Further to this, the MEC indicated that all water damage and electrical problems at the Memorial Centre will be fixed by June 2018.

Click here to view the reply.

Officially opened by Gauteng Premier, David Makhura in October 2015, the R37 million facility is mostly empty and does not service the community, nor does it stimulate tourism as was initially conceptualized.

The DA believes that the only way to honour those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom is to ensure that today’s generation has a better life. We will closely monitor the implementation of ICT infrastructure and hold the department accountable to their deadlines for opening the centre.

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.

DA debates 2016/17 Gauteng SACR Annual & SCOPA Report

The following speeches were delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today by DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR), Paul Willemburg MPL and DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) Dr Heinrich Volmink MPL, during a debate on the 2016/17 Annual Report of the Gauteng Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) Department and SCOPA’s Report.


Speech by
Paul Willemburg MPL

“Department lacks leadership and political-will to manage finances better ”

  • Material misstatements were only corrected by the Department after the errors had been pointed out to them by the AG. Had this not occurred, they would have received a different audit opinion, possibly a qualification;
    • Action plans developed were not effectively implemented and monitored. This is often the case with SACR – great on paper, but poor on implementation;
    • It is quite obvious that the measures and systems the Department supposedly put in place in reply to SCOPA resolutions on Expenditure has not worked or what was promised, was not fully implemented by management; and
    • Weakness in leadership, financial and performance management and governance remains a finding even though measures had been allegedly put in place after the last financial year.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Speech by
Dr Heinrich Volmink MPL

“Serious action must be taken for supply chain mismanagement”

  • This department has an important role to play both in terms of developing the economy and fostering social cohesion in Gauteng, as described in its vision;
    • Firstly, it is disconcerting that irregular expenditure in the Department ballooned and that a major reason for this was a failure in Supply Chain Management processes;
    • Year after year issues of supply chain management are identified, and year after year we are presented with interventions that simply don’t seem to work; and
    • We will be scrutinizing the quarterly reports that SCOPA has requested on the implementation of measures to prevent irregular expenditure and will be carefully monitoring the Department’s steps, or missteps, in ensuring consequence management.

The full speech can be obtained here.

DA debates SCOPA report on Gauteng Roads and Transport

The following speeches were delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today by DA Gauteng Spokespeople on SCOPA, Graham Gersbach MPL and Paul Willemburg MPL, during a debate on the SCOPA report for the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport.

Speech by
Graham Gersbach MPL

“A balance should be maintained between construction and maintenance of roads”

  • In The longer we delay new roads and refurbishments the more we will spend on maintenance;
    • The Department should not be wasting money defending claims when they know that they are likely to lose a case. Do not throw good money after bad defences; and
    • The DA will follow up as to the timelines for the introduction of electronic monitoring and reporting systems within this department.

The full speech can be obtained here.

Speech by
Paul Willemburg MPL

“MEC Vadi must start cracking the whip in his department”

  • The Auditor General highlights unreliable reporting, especially around figures of achievements in Programmes 2, 3 and 4;
    • This Department contributed R2.37 billion, the bulk amount of the R5.3 billion in Irregular Expenditure incurred in the Gauteng Provincial Government; and
    • The PFMA is very clear about the misuse/misconduct of finance and needs to be complied with. Any form of non-compliance is non-negotiable.

The full speech can be obtained here.