West Rand Metro: Premier Makes An About-Turn On Merger

Gauteng Premier David Makhura today made an about-turn on his previous position of the viability of a West Rand metro – instead singing the praises of the formation of a city region.

During question time in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today, the premier chose to toe the ANC line by claiming that the formation of a West Rand metro would be to the benefit of the people, and that it would be another step closer to the Gauteng City Region.

However, reality dictates otherwise, as one cannot expect one healthy and three lame horses to pull a cart as effectively as four healthy horses.

The fact is that one cannot fix poor performing municipalities by merging them into larger metropolitan areas without building the professional capacity of officials.

Instead of pushing for the establishment of a metro, the provincial government and district municipality should use the mandate of the Constitution and municipal legislation to assist municipalities where necessary – and improve service delivery and people’s quality of life.

Furthermore, the premier completely ignored the R1,5 billion outstanding debt burden and massive infrastructure decline in the four local municipalities, nor could he provide any guarantees over who foot the bill of streamlining and coordinating systems once the merge has been completed.

The Premier should have told the people of the West Rand that his government would first address poor accountability, lack of administration and poor financial management in the four municipalities.

The DA will continue with our efforts to ensure that service delivery and quality of life take precedence over poorly conceived ideas.

 

Media enquiries:

Solly Msimanga MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson

060 558 8308

NCOP Week Day 2: DA Gauteng to Carry Out Alternative Oversight Visits

Tomorrow, 23 July 2015, DA Gauteng Members of Parliament, DA Members of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, DA West Rand councillors, activists and volunteers will carry out oversight visits to municipal service delivery crisis points in the Randfontein and Westonaria local municipalities.

These visits are in response to the refusal of the National Council of Provinces to visit sites where municipalities experience severe service delivery capacity shortcomings.

 

Randfontein

Date: 23 July 2015

Time: 08:00

Venue: Droogheuwel water tower, Randgate, Lazaar extension

Contact: Cllr Alwyn van Tonder – 082 593 0313

 

 

Westonaria

Date: 23 July 2015

Time: 08:50

Venue: Donaldson Dam near Mohlakeng followed by a visit to the cattle breeding project nearby.

Contact: Cllr Piet de Jager – 083 627 5105

 

There will be opportunities for interviews and photographs. Members of the media are welcome to attend.

 

Media enquiries:

Jacques Julius MP

DA Gauteng Member of the NCOP

083 420 1309

 

Evert du Plessis

DA Gauteng West Rand Regional Chairperson

082 870 2768

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West Rand Metro: Efficient Service Delivery is Key, Not Centralisation

Proposed West Rand Merger

Representatives of the ANC on the West Rand continue to push for the formation of a new Metropolitan Municipality, despite those in higher office within their own structures admitting the municipalities in question are dysfunctional and bankrupt.

During the 2015/16 budget debate for his office, Gauteng Premier David Makhura clearly stated that: ”The merger of municipalities cannot be a panacea to poor management and poor leadership…”.

Furthermore, Section 24 of the Municipal Demarcation Act stipulates that when board re-determines a municipal boundary it must take into account:

  • The provision of democratic and accountable government for local communities;
  • The provision of services to these communities in an equitable and sustainable manner; and
  • The promotion of social and economic development.

Research and factual evidence indicates that such mergers have a negative impact on service delivery and people’s quality of life.

The Tshwane Experience

Tshwane’s merger resulted in increased rates hikes, yet it still struggles with a debt burden of over R1 billion – and only received R20 million from national government towards the costs of the merger.

The West Rand will not be exempt from this process.

While some in the ANC claim that those opposed to the merger are missing an “opportunity to be futuristic”, the DA firmly believes that this merger will be severely detrimental for West Rand residents from all walks of life, that service delivery will further decline, and that the quality of life will suffer.

Effectively Administered Municipality

The DA’s objection to this merger proposes a future where the existing municipalities of Randfontein, Mogale City, Merafong and Westonaria are administered efficiently and cleanly by municipalities that are close them and readily available to serve their needs, and where residents are provided with equal opportunity to be the masters of their own future.

Sign our petition opposing the proposed West Rand metro here.

 

Media enquiries:

Solly Msimanga MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson

060 558 8308

Departmental Bungling Could Shut Down SMMEs

At least five SMMEs participating in the Mohlakeng Hub on the West Rand face closure if the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) fails to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Randfontein Local Municipality to inject R6 million in to this project over the next three years.Janet Semple DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Economic Development

GEP has until 31 March 2015 to sign this agreement.

Aim of the Hub

Coupled with this cash injection, the Gauteng Department of Economic Development and its entity, GEP, have agreed to foot the bill for participants’ municipal bills, but cannot do so until the MoU is signed.

The aim of the hub is to incubate SMMEs in the following sectors:

  • Carpentry;
  • Furniture manufacturing;
  • Welding and steel works;
  • Embroidery and clothing manufacturing.

Not Functional

At a presentation to the Gauteng Economic Development Portfolio, it was revealed that despite service provider WESTCOL facilitating training, the hub is currently not functional.

What is of even more concern is that there are no partnerships in place with experienced incubators or hubs to increase the knowledge capacity of participants.

The hub also requires an intensive incubation programme to assist participants in growing their businesses and understanding the market environment.

The Importance of SMMEs

Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, in his State of the Province Address emphasised the importance of SMME stimulation and growth to aid in the re industrialisation of the province.

However, Mohlakeng is one of many examples where the administration jeopardises the future of small and medium sized business by not creating an environment conducive to sustainable market access or competitiveness.

Rather, for many it is like starting on the back foot.

Gauteng Economic Development MEC, Lebogang Maile, must ensure that this MOU is signed before five more SMMEs in the province fail as a result of bureaucratic bungling.

The DA will monitor this situation closely to ensure the sustainability of this project.

 

Media enquiries
Janet Semple MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Economic Development
082 462 8239

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