DA welcomes SASSA card scam arrests

The DA welcomes the arrest of six money lenders who were illegally in possession of SASSA cards in Heidelberg, Lesedi. These people are parasites who prey on the poorest of the poor. We trust they will be dealt with severely as well as those in SASSA who may have conspired with them.

Officials from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) together with members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) collaborated to make the arrests when the money lenders were attempting to withdrawn cash using the SASSA cards.

The SASSA officials involved in this operation must be congratulated, as they have proven that even though the agency has been mismanaged by Minister Bathabile Dlamini, there are still good people in the organisation that believe in the principles of Batho Pele. I suspect that this successful operation happened in spite of the Minister and not because of her.

Corruption, which is rife in SASSA allegedly, denies the most vulnerable members of society the only source of income they have. More individuals within the organisation need to stand up for those whom they serve and stamp out corruption as and when it happens.
 
Media Enquiries
 

Mike Moriarty MPL
DA Constituency Head: Lesedi
082 492 4410
 
Warren Gwilt
Media Manager
073 601 6144

DA urges parents to use online school registration

The DA in Gauteng has noted that online school applications commence today and encourage all new grade 1 and 8 parents to begin the process of enrolling their children for the 2018 school year. In so doing they would also assist the Gauteng Department of Education in testing their systems.

The online application has many advantages. It saves parents time from queuing and informs the department about schools facing high demand for placement. This helps both parents and the
Department to prepare for a smooth start to the 2018 academic year.

However, there were problems experienced last year that led to many learners battling to be placed at schools of their choice on time this year.

Gauteng Premier, David Makhura indicated in his reply to the State of the Province Address in February that Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi would present a comprehensive plan on how the system would be improved this year.

The DA will ask the MEC to present the plan at the next committee meeting to ensure that the challenges faced last year are not repeated again and that all learners are placed on the first school day of 2018.
 
 
Media Enquiries

 
Khume Ramulifho MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education
082 398 7375
 
Warren Gwilt
Media Manager
073 601 6144

Gauteng Provincial Government must intervene in the war on Uber drivers

Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi and Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane must urgently intervene in the war that is being waged on Uber drivers by metered taxi operators before there are any fatalities.

It has been reported that metered taxi operators have been circulating a memorandum which encourages operators to go out of their way to prevent Uber drivers from conducting their business.

The provincial government must intervene as a matter of urgency, not only to protect Uber drivers from harm, but if it is serious about job creation – it must not allow metered taxi operators to take food out of the mouths of hard working Uber drivers.

This thuggish behaviour cannot be tolerated. Strong action must be taken against metered taxi operators who intimidate, threaten and attack Uber drivers.

The metered taxi industry has for a long time held a monopoly on the private taxi industry, and now that it faces innovative competition, it is resorting to violent measures to remain the sole operator in the market.

In any market, businesses have to innovate to remain relevant.

The metered taxi industry should look to Uber to find ways in which it too can innovate and change its business model to attract new customers while ensuring the safety of passengers.
Both MEC’s must meet with representatives from Uber and the metered taxi association to find a sustainable solution to this ongoing problem.
 
Media Enquiries
 

Fred Nel MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport
083 263 2427
 
Media Manager
Warren Gwilt
073 601 6144

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MEC Lesufi must eradicate risky asbestos schools in Gauteng

The DA has today visited Rust-Ter-Vaal Secondary school in Vereeniging to inspect progress made to upgrade the school from risky asbestos.

Last year Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi indicated that the project to upgrade the school to a brick and mortar structure was at the planning phase.

However, based on our visit, there is no indication that the school will be rebuilt any time soon. Some classrooms have no electricity, while others have broken windows and the building is riddled with cracks. Cracked and exposed asbestos poses a serious health risk.

Proper school infrastructure must be a priority. The Gauteng Department of Education has in the past failed to spend its allocated budget, and this year’s proposed budget has been significantly decreased. This will further hinder attempts to address the infrastructure backlog.

ICT classrooms at this school are also incomplete and have been since July last year. Teachers are finding it difficult to teach without smart boards as the old chalk boards were removed but not replaced.

The DA will table a motion in the Gauteng Legislature proposing that the MEC must do everything possible to eradicate all risky asbestos schools across Gauteng without delay, but that while asbestos schools remain in operation, there must be regular asbestos-risk testing for all teachers and learners forced to use these schools in Gauteng, to ensure that they are receiving the same quality of education as learners at better-facilitated schools.

Media Enquiries

Khume Ramulifho MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education
082 398 7375

Warren Gwilt
Media Manager
073 601 6144

Gauteng’s roads falling into a state of disrepair

 

Media reports on the poor condition of 48% of Johannesburg roads are cause for grave concern and this highlights how the previous ANC administration’s lack of routine maintenance gave rise to the serious deterioration of our roads.

 

However, Johannesburg is not alone. Roads in ANC municipalities, such as Ekurhuleni, are in even worse condition as routine maintenance is extremely poor.

 

Provincial roads are also not immune from a lack of maintenance. Decreasing budgets to the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport – especially on road construction and maintenance require either the movement of funds within various programmes of the Department or the cancelling of upgrades and new roads.

 

What is even more concerning is the lack of routine maintenance planning with decisions to upgrade based on areas of the greatest exigency rather than a logical, systematic plan.

 

To stop the total degradation of our road network it is essential that planned maintenance is reintroduced, as has been done in the DA cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane.

 

Mayor Herman Mashaba has recently announced an additional R88 million for pothole repairs for this year, and has placed road repair staff on overtime to get the repairs done as soon as possible. Mayor Mashaba has also proposed an extra R25 million for tarring roads in Orange Farm, R21 million to Diepsloot and another R25 million to Ivory Park in the new 2017/2018 budget. These will go a long way to redressing the terrible roads left by the former ANC government in Johannesburg.

 

This shows the DA is leading the way and this commitment must be replicated on a provincial level and in all ANC-run municipalities as a matter of urgency.

Media Enquiries

Dr Neil Campbell MPL
DA Spokesperson on Roads and Transport
082 387 2540

Warren Gwilt
Media Manager
073 601 6144

Thuggery cannot be tolerated in a democratic South Africa

 

The attack on DA member, Kade Guerreriro, by members of the ANC in the Johannesburg CBD after the DA’s March for Change, was an act of cowardice.  Mob violence has no place in a democratic South Africa.

 

The ANC must take action against the members responsible for meting out violence against Guerreriro who sustained serious head injuries while making his way to his car after the march.

 

Contrary to media reports, Guerreriro was not provoking ANC members, he was simply heading home.

 

South Africa is a free and democratic country, where the right to political affiliation is enshrined in the Constitution.

 

The Johannesburg CBD was brought to a standstill on Friday as ANC members ascended on the city in an attempt to intimidate peaceful protesters.

 

The ANC has once again proven that they have little regard for the Constitution or the rule of law.

 

Today, myself and DA Ekurhuleni Ward 36 Councillor, Wendy Morgan have accompanied Kade Guerreriro to the Johannesburg Central Police Station to lay a charge of assault.

 

The DA will not be deterred by thuggery whilst holding President Jacob Zuma and this ANC-led government to account.

Media Enquiries

Paul Willemburg MPL
DA Constituency Head: Germiston
082 450 0815

Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144

MECs Creecy and Maile must move quickly to protect Gauteng economy from Zuma

 

As the two MECs charged with managing the economy of Gauteng, attracting investment and ensuring prudent financial management, Finance MEC Barbara Creecy and Economic Development MEC Lebogang Maile have to move quickly to protect the Gauteng economy from Zuma’s grand economic mismanagement.

 

Gauteng is the fourth largest economy on the African economy and the economic hub of the country, and therefore is the driving force of growth and investment into the country. So far, the ANC Gauteng government has been silent on the developments that have rocked the South African economy at large.

 

Specifically, the DA expects that the MECs would have urgently met with major institutional investors whose future job-creating investment activities may be on hold as a result of the downgrade, and devised a strategy to attract new investment into Gauteng despite our economic woes. None of this seems to have occurred.

 

The DA challenges both MEC Creecy and MEC Maile to use the MinMEC forum to voice their concerns about the actions of the Zuma-led government and to move swiftly and strategically to protect Gauteng from job losses and divestment.

 

The DA will be tabling questions to hold the provincial government accountable for its lack of response to this crisis, and ensure that steps are taken to shield the people of Gauteng, particularly the poor and marginalized, from Zuma’s economic terrorism.

Media Enquiries:

Ashor Sarupen MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance
060 558 8303

Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144

DA retains Johannesburg Ward 73 with increased support

 

The DA in Johannesburg has retained Ward 73 in yesterday’s by-election with an increased percentage of the votes.

 

The DA would like to congratulate Eleanor Huggett, the new ward councillor on a successfully run campaign.

 

This victory is a clear indication of the progress made by DA-led government in Johannesburg. Mayor Herman Mashaba’s commitment to provide quality services to all residents in the City is clear example of type of good governance voters have long been asking for.

 

While the ANC continues to lose support, this by-election is a sign of the power shift leading up to the 2019 general elections.

 

The results of the by-election are as follows:

DA: 84.39 % (3 644 votes)
ANC: 11.05 % (477 votes)
EFF: 4.52% (197 votes)
 
Media Enquiries

Khume Ramulifho MPL
DA Johannesburg Regional Chairperson
082 398 7375

Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144

 

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Premier David Makhura: You must ensure the safety of Gauteng’s citizens

 

The deployment of 600 ANC MK Veterans from Kwa-Zulu Natal to Gauteng in anticipation of various democratic and peaceful marches scheduled around the province on Friday 7 April is an open incitement to violence – and a clear sign that the ANC has now condoned violence as a means to shield President Jacob Zuma from national scrutiny.

 

As the Premier of Gauteng, David Makhura must put his position in the ANC aside and hold true to his oath of office by ensuring that every single participant in any one of the marches scheduled for Friday in Gauteng is protected.

 

Premier Makhura has the power to avert a crisis by deploying more SAPS members to these marches.

 

As South Africans from all walks of life, and from across the political divide, gather to exercise their democratic right to protest President Jacob Zuma, it is the now imperative for good men to stand up and be counted.

 

Premier Makhura cannot sit idle while thousands of lives are placed in danger by the ANC who would see democracy eroded in defence of the indefensible.

 

Our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers – young and old will be peacefully standing in solidarity on Friday.

 

Premier Makhura, the people will not be deterred. We will continue our march, and encourage all concerned South Africans to join us.

Media Enquiries:

John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
082 960 3743

Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144

MEC Creecy must break her silence on Gordhan sacking

 

During her 2017 budget speech, Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy made frequent reference to the objectives former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was attempting to achieve during his tenure.

 
Specifically, she committed the Gauteng Provincial Government to the fiscal path pursed by Gordhan by saying “The Gauteng Provincial Government understands the imperatives facing National Treasury and continues to endorse Minister Gordhan’s call to manage our finances in a prudent and sustainable way.”

 

Subsequent to Minister Gordhan’s recall from an investment roadshow, the fake intelligence report, the midnight ministerial change and the ratings downgrade, it appears as though MEC Creecy has gone to ground, failing to speak up for fiscal discipline and against state capture.

 

If the Gauteng Government and the Gauteng ANC are truly committed to good governance and sound economic policy, then MEC Creecy should publicly affirm this commitment in light of recent events.

 

The ratings downgrade, plummeting currency and inflationary risks threaten the living standards of the people of Gauteng, especially the poor.

 

This dark hour in our country is not the time to stay silent, and MEC Creecy owes the people of Gauteng a strong response to the pain President Jacob Zuma has inflicted on the country over the last week. This is not the time for political survival in the ANC for the sake of a salary or position.

 

The DA calls on MEC Creecy to speak out against the dismissal of Gordhan and Zuma’s economic mismanagement as a matter of urgency, and join civil society in calling for the removal of Zuma as president of our country. History will judge her for the path she chooses.

Media Enquiries:

Ashor Sarupen MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance
060 558 8303

DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144