Gauteng Legislature Prevents DA From Participating in NCOP Debates

NCOP Provincial Week

The Office of the Speaker of the Gauteng Legislature is deliberately attempting to prevent DA delegates from participating in debates at the National Council of Provinces.

On 30 July, NCOP Chairperson Thandi Modise invited provincial delegates to attend NCOP plenaries on 4 and 6 August, and to participate in debates on International Mandela Day and the Reports of the NCOP Provincial Week.

Click here to view the letter.

However, the invitation was only sent to the DA on Sunday morning, and came to the attention of our personnel this morning.

Deliberate Sabotage

The DA has already written to the Deputy Speaker, Mr Uhuru Moiloa and expressed our protest over what we believe is a deliberate attempt at sabotaging the DA’s participation in debates of much consequence.

Two weeks ago NCOP delegates were taken on a sanitised tour of the West Rand to inspect service delivery projects that had little to do with its mandate of advancing the developmental agenda of municipalities.

Had it not been for the DA’s efforts to add more site visits to the programme, delegates would have seen very little evidence of municipalities on the brink of collapse.

Shutting Down Opposition Parties

The DA has long held the view that a great divide exists between the ANC of today and what it was during the presidency of Nelson Mandela.

The repeated attacks on the judiciary, the media and the Public Protector, as well as the state capture of institutions to protect the President at all costs are clear signs that the ANC will do anything and everything to strengthen its grip on power.

Shutting down opposition parties from carrying out their constitutional mandate of oversight and robust debate, is further testimony of this hegemonic behaviour.


Media enquiries:

Mike Moriarty MPL

DA Chief Whip in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature

082 492 4410

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Audit Outcomes: West Rand Municipalities on a Continued Decline

Audit Performances of Municipalities

The DA in Gauteng welcomes the improved audit performances of municipalities across the province as it is an indication of improved financial management.

Although improved audit outcomes do not automatically imply financial stability, they are a good gauge of improved financial sustainability.

Unfortunately the complete picture of audit outcomes in the province is not so rosy – particularly the negative audit outcomes among various West Rand municipalities and their entities.

The West Rand District Municipality, Randfontein Municipality and the West Rand Development Agency all deteriorated in their audit outcomes, while Westonaria failed to submit financial statements for auditing.

Gauteng Provincial Department for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA)

A major concern is that this occurred despite the Gauteng Provincial Department for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) taking extensive measures to assist these municipalities in improving their audit outcomes.

MEC for COGTA in Gauteng, Jacob Mamabolo, must explain how his department failed to improve the financial standing of these municipalities.

Proposed West Rand Merger

These municipalities have been identified to be merged into a West Rand metropolitan municipality – a move the DA vehemently opposes.

Municipalities should not even be considered for mergers unless all the constituents are financially and managerially sound.

Lumping failing municipalities together will only cause financial mismanagement on a grander scale. The proposed West Rand Metro is destined to fail before it gets off the ground putting the lives of residents at serious risk.

Even if the proposed metro merger does not take place, the two most dysfunctional municipalities, Westonaria and Randfontein, will be merged after the 2016 local government elections.

MEC Jacob Mamabolo

MEC Mamabolo should step up and take responsibility for his department’s failure in dealing with the managerial woes of West Rand municipalities.

He should also show leadership and halt the current attempted formation of a West Rand Metro until all its constituents have sorted out their financial affairs – failure to do so would be irresponsible.


Media enquiries:

Fred Nel MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

083 263 2427

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West Rand Metro: Minister Gordhan Succumbs to Internal ANC Pressure

Merger of Four West Rand MunicipalitiesSolly Msimanga DA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson

Cooperative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s sudden turnaround on the merger of four West Rand municipalities into a single metropolitan area is not based on the needs of the people, but to placate provincial ANC interests.

In its latest circular, the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) refers to a letter from the minister requesting that after consultations with Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC Jacob Mamabolo, the Mogale, Randfontein, Westonaria and Merafong municipalities be merged into a single metropolitan municipality.

Click here to view the circular.

Opposition to the Proposed Merger

While the Minister does not provide any further explanation, pre-emptive moves by the provincial ANC, such as past statements by MEC Mamabolo in the Legislature, the appointment of a “change manager” to manage the merger, and media statements by the West Rand and Gauteng ANC welcoming a proposed merger, are clear indications that vested ANC interests are at play.

The DA opposition to the proposed merger is a matter of record, based on the premise that the area in question does not comply with requirements as set down by legislation, such as high population densities, viable economic nodes and where there is a large movement of people, goods and services within the administrative area.

Spatial Segregation

Furthermore, the so-called assertion that metros are effective service delivery vehicles is untrue, as government’s own research shows that in all South African metros (except the City of Cape Town after 2006 when the DA took over), costs rose and the quality of service delivery declined.

The creation of a Metro will also not address spatial segregation, as all municipalities are mandated by sections 152 and 153 of the Constitution to deliver services, to promote social and economic development, and to budget in such a manner so as to prioritise those needs.

There is no evidence that suggests that basic service delivery and the quality of life of communities in poor performing municipalities improved after being incorporated into metros.

In fact it only happened in the DA-governed City of Cape Town and in municipalities across the country where the DA was elected to govern, such as Midvaal in Gauteng.

Competent Local Government

To this end, the DA will register its opposition to the establishment of a metropolitan municipality in the West Rand with the MDB within the 21-day period, and we call on all affected residents to do so as well.

We will also launch an intensive campaign across all four affected municipalities, explaining to people the reasons behind our opposition, and ask them to join us and lodge their own submissions opposing the merger.

The answer to improved service delivery does not lie in merging poor performing municipalities into metropolitan municipalities, it lies in competent local government, staffed with skilled professionals who put the needs of the people first.


Media enquiries:

Solly Msimanga MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson

060 558 8308

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Minister Gordhan Must Clear the Air on Proposed West Rand Merger

National Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Pravin Gordhan’s indecisiveness the proposed intention to merge four West Rand municipalities into a metro, is causing much confusion and uncertainty for residents and business alike.Alan Fuchs DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Mogale City

On 13 January 2015 the minister proposed the amalgamation of the Randfontein, Merafong, Westonaria and Mogale City municipalities to the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB).

The DA has subsequently come out strongly against the proposal because the West Rand fails to meet the criteria for a metro, as stipulated in the Demarcation Act, namely high densities, large economic nodes, a developed economy and a high volume of movement of goods and people.

In the latest MDB bulletin released in April, it is indicated that the Minister’s initial January proposal had been withdrawn.

As it stands, there is no proposal on the table for the creation of a Metro in the West Rand.

However, the same MDB bulletin indicates that public participation meetings will be held in early May 2015 to discuss ward boundaries in Mogale City, Merafong and a new council arising from the merger of the Randfontein and Westonaria councils.

No mention is made of the consideration of the external boundaries of a Metro, thus shrouding the proposal of a West Rand Metropolitan Municipality in uncertainty.

Is it the intention of the Minister to scrap the Metro or not?

To this end, our colleagues in the National Assembly will submit written questions to Minister Gordhan asking the minister to clarify, giving West Rand residents a clearer picture of what to expect in the run-up to the 2016 local government elections.


Media enquiries:

Alan Fuchs MPL

DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Mogale City

060 558 8313

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West Rand Merger Politically Motivated, Not People Centred

The proposed merger of the Randfontein, Westonaria, Mogale City and Merafong local municipalities into a single metropolitan municipality will have a detrimental impact on the lives of its residents.

Municipal Demarcation Board

In January 2015, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Pravin Gordhan, called on the Municipal Demarcation board to initiate the process of forming the merger.

Should the MDB continue with and complete the merger, wards – which are already under-serviced in the West Rand, will become much larger.

Spatial distance already poses a problem to service delivery, and should the merger go through, residents will have little or no access to their elected representatives.

Costs vs Quality of Service Delivery

Research indicates clearly that in almost all cases where a Metro has been established, the costs of services to residents have risen, and the quality of service delivery has markedly declined.

This drastic proposal is an attempt to cover up for the poor state of local government.

All four municipalities, specifically the two most dysfunctional – Westonaria and Merafong, have received qualified reports from the Auditor-General and have recently been investigated for corruption.

Coupled with this, the largest municipality in the West Rand, Mogale City, has repeatedly failed to spend its municipal infrastructure grant which it receives from national government for infrastructure development.

Due to mismanagement and underperformance, this grant has been revoked.

Efforts to Address Municipal Incompetence

It is clear that the ANC’s efforts to address municipal incompetence by establishing a Metro in the West Rand is a blatant effort to manipulate borders of voting districts in a desperate attempt to cling to power– and has nothing to do with the wellbeing of residents.

Results from the 2014 national and provincial elections showed the ANC in Gauteng on the decline.

By merging these municipalities, the ANC is attempting to dilute opposition support by circumventing the ballot box – as it is highly possible that Mogale City will become another DA-run municipality in Gauteng.

The process to re-evaluate the external boundaries of municipalities normally takes 2 to 3 years.

This proposal from the ANC, only 17 months prior to the next local government election, places our democracy in a very precarious situation.

The creation of a Metro will not create more jobs in the private sector, increase service delivery, nor encourage economic development in the West Rand.

It will not change the lives of residents of the West Rand.

In fact, the situation is likely to worsen if the Municipal Demarcation Board is bullied by the ANC into accepting this proposal.


Media enquires:

Johan Jooste

DA Deputy Chairperson: West Rand Region

082 376 6520

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