DA submits petition on state of Rand West City Sewerage

by Ina Cilliers MPL – DA Constituency Head of Merafong

The DA has submitted a petition to the cregarding the current state of the Rand West City Sewerage networks.

The sewerage plant in Greenhills is non-functioning, while sewage and pollutants are being pumped straight into the Twee-lopies spruit.

In addition, numerous sewage spills occur on a daily basis and the air in Greenhills often smells like raw sewage.

Cllr Alwyn van Tonder on behalf of Residents of Rand West City submitted a petition to the Rand West City Local Municipality, the West Rand District Municipality and the GPG, calling on both spheres of government to conduct an assessment of the current state of the sewerage networks. Furthermore, they want an assessment of the impact on the environment that the non-functioning sewerage networks in all areas of the Randwest City is causing.

Given the current finances of the Rand West City Local Municipality it is clear that this situation will not be resolved soon.

The DA is therefore calling on GPG to make enough funds available so that the existing sewerage networks can be refurbished, upgraded and repaired. We will ensure that the legislature conducts diligent oversight including invoking the provisions of the Committees Enquiry Act to compel the provincial government to do their job

This needs to be done as a matter of urgency so that the sewerage problems can be rectified before the health of residents are negatively impacted.

Department Of Health Must Respect The Rights Of Patients

At the Gauteng Legislature’s petitions committee public hearings held in Sebokeng yesterday, officials from the Department of Health admitted that patient’s receiving treatment at local clinics in Lesedi have been treated badly by nursing staff.

This was revealed from questions emanating from the group petition submitted by my colleague, DA Gauteng Legislature Chief Whip, Mike Moriarty, which dealt with concerns about unsympathetic medical staff’s attitude towards patients – particularly the elderly and disabled.

The department has explained how it will be working towards upskilling and improving the quality of treatment patients will receive from nursing staff.

When patients arrive at clinics, they are often at their most vulnerable which is aggravated by the negative attitude of staff.

The turnabout strategy as suggested by the department must be implemented as soon as possible to ensure that patients enjoy not only quality, but dignified healthcare.

The DA will continue to monitor this situation and respond to the needs of residents.



Media enquiries:

Lebo More MPL

DA Spokesperson on Petitions

072 273 4487

[Image source]

Tshwane’s Ill-Conceived BRT Plans Set To Increase Traffic Congestion

The decision by the City of Tshwane (CoT) to reduce lanes along Lynnwood and Atterbury Roads to single lanes to accommodate its bus rapid transit system is short sighted and will have a major impact on commuters to and from the Tshwane CBD.

The CoT has indicted that escalating costs are the driving factor behind the decision, however, the DA is of the opinion that poor planning and a lack of adequate consultation is to blame.

Studies produced by independent traffic engineers have warned of catastrophic consequences which are likely to cripple two key routes to and from schools, the University of Pretoria as well as Gautrain services.

Thousands of residents have voiced their disapproval by signing a DA petition which has been submitted to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s Petitions Committee.

In response to the public outcry, Tshwane Mayor, Kgosientso Ramokgopa threatened motorists by stating they would be “forced on to the busses”.

The DA will not condone the misuse of public funds on an unfeasible, and ultimately untenable project.

Threats by the Tshwane Mayor will also not go unchallenged. Residents have the right to choose how they commute, regardless of the Mayor’s ideological bent.

If the city does not come up with a more workable solution, years of traffic jams and billions in lost productivity for the nation’s capital lie ahead.

Surely the lessons learnt from the recent prepaid meter debacle should give the city’s management pause to question the error of its ways.


Media Enquiries:

Justus de Goede MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Transportation

060 558 8305

[Image source]

680 Petition backlog stifles Gauteng communities’ input

Ignored Voices

In a written response to questions posed by the DA, MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Jacob Mamabolo, revealed that of the 1020 petitions received from Gauteng communities, only 353 have been concluded whilst 680 remain unresolved.

The response further notes the main culprits to be the City of Joburg which had 350 petitions heard, of which only were 6 concluded, followed by Ekurhuleni, of which 251 petitions were heard and 133 were concluded. These were followed by the City of Tshwane that heard 238 and concluded 171.

This disappointing response from government undermines a vital channel in which Gauteng residents are able to communicate pressing service delivery needs.

Advancing Democracy

The petitions process provides the building blocks for open dialogue between elected politicians and the communities they serve.

An efficient and effective petitions system is key to providing opportunities beyond the ballot paper to influence governance.

Failure to ensure that community grievances are addressed is a failure the Batho Pele principle – putting people first.

The DA calls on MEC Mamabolo to urgently address this backlog and ensure the voices and grievances of the people of Gauteng are not ignored.

Media enquiries:

Fred Nel MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

083 263 2427

[Image source]

Gauteng Premier Contradicts MEC on West Rand Merger

Feasibility of Merging West Rand Municipalities

Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Cooperative Governance MEC Jacob Mamabolo are on a collision course over the feasibility of merging West Rand municipalities into a metropolitan area, as the Premier supports the DA’s assertion that lumping dysfunctional municipalities together will not improve service delivery to neglected residents.

Earlier this year, the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Pravin Gordhan requested the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) consider his request to merge the local municipalities of Randfontein, Mogale City, Merafong and Westonaria into a single metro.

This decision was aggressively taken up by MEC Mamabolo, who appointed a transformation manager to oversee this process before the MDB had publically advertised the Minister’s intentions, or completed any other legislative processes.

The DA has been critical of this move and has opposed the merger from the outset.

West Rand Municipalities Carry a Massive Debt Burden

These local municipalities are plagued by service delivery protests, are often without water and electricity, are mismanaged or cannot account for public funds, and are constantly identified by the Auditor General as areas in dire need of intervention.

Should this merger go ahead, the collective debt for the region will sit at R1,5 billion – which will severely compromise quality service delivery.

According to the latest Government Gazette on Gauteng’s municipal statements, West Rand municipalities carry a massive debt burden outstanding more than 90 days.

  • Merafong – R588,95 million;
  • Mogale City – R629,89 million;
  • Randfontein – R199,01 million; and
  • West Rand District – R1,146 million.

Financial Impact the Merger

However, MEC Mamabolo was unable to provide this information when questioned over the financial impact the merger will have on the region, simply indicating that it would be assessed after the merger was completed.

Surely the MEC would at least take the effort to investigate the financial implications of a merger before rushing headlong into the process.

However, last week, during the budget debate for the Office of the Premier, Premier Makhura clearly stated that ”The merger of municipalities cannot be a panacea to poor management and poor leadership, I agree with you (DA)”.

While the DA welcomes the Premier’s sound judgement, it is of major concern that the quality of life of almost a million people in the West Rand are plagued by the uncertainty caused as a result of the contradicting messages from the premier and the MEC.

The merge will severely affect the quality of life of people living on the West Rand, and government must heed the lessons learnt from the Tshwane experience.

The DA will continue to use all legislative resources within our means to prevent this merger to ensure the residents of the West Rand are afforded the services and quality of life they rightfully deserve.



Media enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL

DA Constituency Head: Merafong

060 556 4344

Member Statement by Kingsol Chabalala MPL to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature on 31 March 2015

Honourable Speaker, I rise to make a member’s statement in terms of Rule 85.

The Petitions Standing Committee of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, led by the Hon Chairperson Refilwe Mogale, was scheduled to conduct Petitions hearings last Friday and Saturday in Slovoville, Soweto.

Honourable members will know that the hearings formed part of the commemoration of Human Rights Month, with the aim of assisting the public to address their service delivery concerns.

Honourable Speaker, my fellow members and I attended Friday’s proceedings, which were scheduled to get under way by 16h00 – but by 18h00, no local government or education department officials were present as scheduled.

Of even more concern, was the fact that only handful of local residents arrived at the hearing, despite the fact that catering had been arranged and paid for over 400 participants.

Honourable Speaker, public participation is a critical aspect of governance, and the DA is fully committed to engage with residents and deliver on a promise of a better life.

However, by not properly organising participants, and not attending public engagements, the ANC and its government officials are showing its disrespect of the people and their wishes – and reduces public participation to a mere box-ticking exercise.

Honourable Speaker, if this august house wants to stay relevant to the people, it needs to be serious about their needs, and remain committed to resolving them.

Unfortunately Friday’s instance, along with the hundreds of petitions that have remained unattended and unresolved over the years, is steadily eroding the credibility of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in the eyes of the people.

I thank you.