Two Year Delay of Gauteng Drug Master Plan Hurts Communities

Gauteng Drugs Master Plan

Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane this week announced that the Gauteng Drug Master Plan will only be implemented in Gauteng September 2015, despite that the national plan had been approved and adopted in 2013.Michele Clarke DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

The fact is that the Community Safety Department is dragging its feet to implement a plan approved and formalised on a national level two years, only increases the risk to Gauteng families. The delayed process is disheartening and undermines the people of Gauteng.

Crime Related Drugs

According to CrimeStatsSA’s drug related crime figures, Gauteng precincts reported 59 317 cases of drug related crimes and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol in 2013 ; and 98 977 in 2014 – a 40 % increase. The ever increasing figures in the last two years are evident that a concerted effort in the war against drugs and drug abuse is urgently needed.

Specialized Drug Units

The announcement by MEC Nkosi-Malobane of having started negotiations around re- introducing specialized units within the province with the Police Minister Nathi Nhleko as well as National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega is much welcomed.

We will continue to put pressure on MEC Nkosi-Malobane to get these units re-introduced and hold her accountable to her promises.


Media Enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Spokesperson on Community Safety

060 558 8309

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Gauteng’s R500 million 3G and Tablet deal: DA Lodges PAIA Application for Tender Documents

Public Access to Information Act and Tender Documents

Ashor Sarupen DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance
Ashor Sarupen DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance

Today the DA lodged an application in terms of the Public Access to Information Act (PAIA) to obtain the tender documents relating to the procurement of tablets and 3G connectivity for schools, which the Auditor-General found to have been awarded irregularly to suppliers in violation of supply chain management regulations.

These tenders amounted to R500 million.

This was disclosed in the annual report for the Gauteng Department of Finance.

Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy, promised a full scale investigation in September 2014 during a debate on the annual report.

However, some six months later, nothing further has been announced and no action appears to have been taken.

The MEC has not mentioned the matter subsequent to this debate.

Gauteng Online, Gauteng Offline

It is unsettling that the MEC only spoke of the investigation in September 2014, when the DA has seen correspondence from the Auditor-General – as far back as May 2014, indicating that the tenders were irregular.

Of particular concern is that the contract for 3G connectivity was awarded to the same supplier who was awarded the Gauteng Online tender, which was meant to provide and manage computer labs to schools.

The project was marred by problems and derided as Gauteng Offline – which is now being replaced with tablets.

The application for the tender documents is done in the interests of transparency and accountability.

The DA will further demand through questions, and processes in the Gauteng Legislature, that the MEC provide answers as to why there has been no progress reported on the investigation.


Media enquiries:
Ashor Sarupen MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance
076 334 5147


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Gauteng Housing MEC’s Admissions to Parliament Contradicts Turnaround Strategy

Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Jacob Mamabolo yesterday admitted to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements that that the three major municipalities in Gauteng, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Tshwane had failed to spend R3.4 billion on housing projects during the 2013/14 financial year.Mervyn Cirota, MPL DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Human Settlements

The ongoing violent service delivery protests in places such as Thembelihle signify further problems within the Department.

These events contradict the statements made by the MEC in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature that a turnaround strategy has been formalized to correct issues in housing delivery.

The truth of the matter is that the turnaround strategy is in the planning stages and a long way away from being implemented.

The more MEC Mamabolo claims that his house is in order the more events on the ground indicate a department mired with incompetence and inefficiency.

No concrete proposals have been presented to the Human Settlements committee to indicate any path to dealing with the myriad of problems that exist.

The DA will continue to monitor the department and the eventual implementation of the turnaround strategy.


Media enquiries:

Mervyn Cirota MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Human Settlements

060 558 8312

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Police programme to root out criminal cops unlawful

Project 1448, an initiative by the Department of Community Safety in Gauteng to root out police members with criminal records, was shut down as it was deemed unlawful.

This was revealed by Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, during a sitting of the Gauteng Legislature.

Currently there are 271 South African Police Service members in Gauteng who continue to perform active duty despite having been convicted of committing criminal offences.

Of these, 248 have been convicted of committing serious crimes.

This situation cannot be dealt with effectively if initiatives that are instituted to tackle such matters are flawed from the outset.

The MEC indicated that there are currently cases in court, and that the situation is beyond her control.

However, what is in her control is to call for closer scrutiny and background checks of SAPS recruits to ensure that the dedicated men and women in blue are not tarnished by nefarious characters.

The DA will continue to monitor these cases and ensure that those police officials who have convictions are removed from the system.
Media enquiries:
Michele Clarke MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety
060 558 8309

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DA Welcomes Land Audit Pronouncement

The DA in Gauteng welcomes Premier David Makhura’s announcement last week that the provincial government would embark on a land audit to assist the growth of emerging farmers in the province.

Premier Makhura announced his intended move at the Agri-processing Industry Summit held in Kliptown.

The DA proposed a land audit for the province in November 2014, which laid out what the Premier announced at the summit.

It is significant that the governing party has acknowledged that it is on the wrong track and has taken the DA’s proposal to heart, by putting to good use fallow government-owned land.

While it is critical to redress the imbalances of the past, simply handing over land will not automatically put emerging farmers on the path to prosperity. Government needs to provide the necessary technical, financial and commercial advice and mentorship – if necessary in partnership with organized agriculture – to ensure that beneficiaries develop their enterprises into commercially viable operations their own right

The success of emerging farmers is not only vital in ensuring food security, but also for correcting the stark disparities in land ownership.

A strong emerging farming sector would be a step towards breaking down the enduring racial inequalities and social exclusions experienced by the majority of our people.


Media enquiries:
Janho Engelbrecht MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Agriculture
060 556 4343

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DA to Push Referendum on E-tolls to Premier Makura at First Question Day

Today, DA members of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature will pose oral questions to Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Members of the Executive Council (MECs).

DA Provincial Leader John Moodey will push the issue of a referendum on e-tolls to the Premier, while Shadow MEC for Economic Development Janet Semple’s questions will focus on the Premier’s commitment to combatting corruption in the Gauteng Provincial Government.

Questions to the MECs will include the state of police stations in Daveyton, housing developments in Naledi and Soweto, Kempton Park hospital, the Mohlakeng Hub on the West Rand, the proposed West Rand Metro, the 271 SAPS members operating in the province despite their criminal convictions, the failure of the province to implement a Drug Master Plan, excesses of the Gauteng Sports Awards, and the looming threat of Acid Mine Drainage.

Click here to view the DA questions


Date: 17 March 2015
Time: 10h00
Venue: Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Johannesburg.
Members of the media are welcome to attend
Media enquiries:
Willie Venter
DA Gauteng Director: Communications and Research
060 963 8260


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Suikerbosrand Still Reeling from Water Shortages

The Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve is still battling to secure adequate water flow, despite the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) spending millions of rands to address the problem.

Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, has indicated in a written reply, that the Department has budgeted over R26,3 million on water infrastructure in the nature reserve.

Despite this, the upgrades to both the Northern Water and Southern Water lines remain incomplete.

The MEC indicated that delays to the northern line have been due to poor performance by service providers and a breakdown in the relationship between the departmental professional team and the contractor.

This line is due for completion by the end of this financial year (31 March 2015).

However, of the R 17.1 million allocated for the Northern line – at least R3.2 million still needs to be spent on cleaning and disinfecting the new reservoir and pipeline, the installation of telemetry systems and increasing the booster pump house electricity supply.

Completion of the Southern Water line – also expected at the end of this financial year, is in a far worse state.

To date, the department has only managed to spend R2.2 million of the R9.1 million budget allocated to this project.

It is highly unlikely that in the remaining three weeks of this financial year that the Southern line will be operational.

MEC Mayathula-Khoza must take a more proactive approach to this project, and ensure that contractors and department staff are held to account for wasteful expenditure and project failures.


Media enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Infrastructure Development

060 556 4344

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Gauteng’s ineffective bus subsidy killing off public transport

Inefficiently utilised bus subsidies granted directly to Gauteng by the National Department of Transport (NDOT) have started to have a detrimental effect on bus operating companies – and ultimately bus commuters in the


The situation, created by the Department’s system of using short-term funding, for monthly contracts and annual contracts, has made long-term planning by bus operators virtually impossible.


For years the DA has emphasised the point that has now created a huge problem for many of the 80 000 commuters who use buses every day.


Companies like PUTCO have been incurring losses and rising operating costs have now simply made operations on many routes unsustainable.


The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport (GDRT)or even the municipalities should administer the subsidy grant ,  which, as international best practice has indicated , is a better targeted and much more efficient way of applying the subsidy.


PUTCO will be followed by other operators who cannot continue to operate at a loss.


NDOT and GDRT must now pay attention to representations by bus operators before a total breakdown of bus services occurs.


At a recent meeting of the Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Roads and Transport, bus operators, including PUTCO, voiced their frustration about the subsidy system and called on MEC  Ismail Vadi, to add his voice to the reasonable suggestions from these important players in the transport industry.


Gauteng is the first province to feel the backlash from an outdated and bureaucratic system and should be at the forefront of suggesting solutions to NDOT Minister Dipuo Peters.


While Minister Peters spends all her time and energy attempting to force e-tolls on residents of Gauteng, pressing public transport issues fall through the cracks to the detriment of the province’s residents.


Media enquiries:
Justus de Goede MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Transport
060 558 8305


Gauteng Budget Does Not Finance Premier’s Promises

Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy’s budget speech today was an attempt to steer the provincial budget ship in a new direction to reprioritise expenditure to new programmes as government tries to placate unhappy ANC voters.


However, many years of poor ANC policy and direction means that there is no more fiscal space to meet Premier David Makhura’s new promises.


MEC Creecy has made no attempt to announce efficiencies on salaries, and the DA believes that the wage bill may erode the ability of the government to fulfil its programmes should there be a public sector wage strike.


Furthermore, the MEC has tried to create value for money by mentioning certain reductions, no announcement was made on the use of consultants. This in effect means that government pays people to do the job that those it is already paying are supposed to do – putting more pressure on the fiscus.


While the DA welcomes certain reductions in administration fees and expenditure on venues and facilities, we note with increasing concern that travel and subsistence allowances have been reduced by only 1,5%, despite Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s call for a 7% reduction.


Of further concern is government’s advertising budget only being reduced by a paltry 0,5%. Will Gauteng residents see yet another flurry of billboards in the ANC’s black green and yellow proclaiming government successes as we head for the 2016 local government elections? Only time will tell.


So too is the announcement of an additional R45 million allocated to the Legislature’s public participation budget. What more convenient manner to bring senior provincial ANC politicians to the people without dipping into the ANC’s election budget.


The more one digs into the budget, the more evident it becomes that the ANC is in full campaign mode.


Development corridors should focus on economic development, industrialisation and the creation of jobs, not only on the delivery of houses. Housing development must be accompanied by economic opportunity, which this budget does not do.


Development corridors were announced as a way to bring economic transformation, today all we heard was houses without jobs. This while the total infrastructure spend is R13 billion including conditional grants‎, but a lot is refurbishment and social expenditure rather than economic infrastructure.


Scant attention is paid to township development, with very little plans or details on bringing business to townships. MEC Creecy only made available R140 million for this purpose, down 20 million from the R160 million promised in October last year, and nowhere near the R300 million promised by Premier Makhura last Monday.


While the 2015/16 Gauteng budget may have the hallmarks of an execution plan for the agenda of achieving transformation, modernisation and reindustrialisation, it in fact remains business as usual while the ANC tries to placate disgruntled voters.


Media enquiries:

Adriana Randall MPL

060 556 4342

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance


Ashor Sarupen MPL

060 558 8303

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance




Gauteng Department of Community Safety dithers on drug master plan

The Gauteng Department of Community Safety has spent nearly an entire year promising the completion of a drug master plan to effectively deal with the scourge of drugs across the province.

In an about turn, the department now claims that the drug master plan falls out of its purview, and is the responsibility of the Gauteng Department of Social Development.

This was revealed in a written response to a question I posed to Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane.

However, at the recent Provincial Youth Summit, MEC Nkosi-Malobane stated that her department will be reinstating specialised drug units to deal with drug abuse.

The MEC’s department is responsible for the Drug Law Enforcement Framework, which will only be due in September 2015.

If Community Safety is charged with completing the framework by which the law is to be enforced – surely it would follow that they too would be responsible for the production of the provincial drug master plan?

The mixed messages emanating from the MEC leave little confidence in this ANC-led provincial administration to treat substance abuse with the gravitas it deserves.

The DA will continue to drive this issue, failure to do so will only allow this scourge to perpetuate while the ANC sticks its head in the sand.


Media enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng spokesperson on Community Safety

060 558 8309