West Rand District: Municipality at risk of being put under administration

It is has now become very clear that there is absolutely nothing honourable about how MEC Lebogang Maile fails to ensure that all municipalities in the province, particularly the District Municipalities, are run in an open and transparent manner.

On the 10th December 2021 I tried to raise the manner in which delegates from the Rand West City Local Municipality were elected to serve on the West Rand District Municipality in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature through a member statement. However, my attempt to do so failed due to the ineptitude of the Legislature Chairperson.

During the election process earlier this month, the Speaker of the Rand West City Local Municipality produced his own ballot box and ballot papers when the council met, as he was not happy with the delegates elected through a voting process overseen by the IEC.

It has now emerged through social media posts, that because the West Rand District Municipality failed to be properly constituted by the 17 December 2021, the MEC for Cooperative Governance can now appoint an administrator to run the District Municipality.

When the DA was still in the process of electing its Members of the Mayoral Committee (MMC), the MEC was very vocal on this issue, but now that it is own party that has failed to follow due process, he is mum on the matter.

It is evident that this is not democracy at work as residents are now not being properly represented by their chosen political party in the West Rand District Municipality.

The DA will not rest until this matter is resolved in order for our residents to receive proper service delivery from local government. Our residents don’t deserve these continued petty political games that hampers proper service delivery in the West Rand.

R500 Million Hospital in Far West Rand won’t be used to treat Covid-19 patients

R500 million was spent on rebuilding the AngloGold Ashanti hospital in the Far West Rand in order to treat Covid-19 patients, but it will only be used as a quarantine and isolation facility.

This was announced at the presentation of the Gauteng Command Council on Friday last week.

The renovations were costly because intensive care wards were built in this hospital, but these will not be used because there are no specialist staff for them and the hospital is far from population centres.

This highlights the massive waste of money as there are lots of empty hotels or other government buildings that could be used for quarantine and isolation of suspected and confirmed mild Covid-19 cases.

Meanwhile, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is probing irregularities in the award of contracts for the work at this hospital which has taken six months longer than planned.

Premier David Makhura is accountable for this scandalous misuse of money that should have assisted other hospitals to better cope with the Covid-19 and prevent further loss of life.

R500 million wasted on incomplete Covid-19 Hospital on West Rand

About R500 million of funds meant for urgent Covid-19 beds has been wasted on the AngloGold Ashanti hospital on the far West Rand that will probably treat not a single Covid-19 patient.

Last week local DA Councillors Blackie Zwart and Alme Rowles-Zwart visited this former mine hospital which AngloGold Ashanti donated to the Gauteng Health Department to fight the Covid-19 epidemic.

They found it closed with a number of completed wards but mostly unfinished construction. The completed areas had no equipment and there was no indication that the hospital will be ready for use anytime soon.

Photos can be seen here, here, here and here.

This hospital was in reasonable condition when it was handed over, and the plan was to remodel it with 176 high care/ICU beds for acute Covid-19 cases.

But only 56 beds have been completed because of on-site strike action by contractors, and payment to the 8 contractors has been stopped pending the outcome of an investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into possible corruption.

It is very unlikely that any Covid-19 patients will be treated at this hospital in the near future.

We need to know why so much money was allocated for a hospital that is doomed to be a white elephant as it is so far from major urban centres. It is also difficult to access since it is in the Western Deep Level mine midway between Carletonville and Fochville.

An official admitted at a meeting of the Gauteng Legislature’s Health Committee that it would have been cheaper to build the hospital from scratch.

This is a colossal misuse of money that could have been spent at other hospitals to assist them in treating the rapidly escalating Covid-19 cases, some of whom will need high care or ICU beds.

The DA will insist on accountability for this fiasco, and we await the outcome of the SIU investigation in this regard. We need to know who authorised it, who benefited from it, whether there was corruption, and how unauthorised money can be recouped.

West Rand clinics robbed because of unpaid security

Provincial government clinics on the West Rand have been robbed and patients and staff are insecure because unpaid security guards have gone on strike.

According to DA councillor Donovan Cloete, the PJ Maree clinic in Toekomsrus has suffered a number of break-ins because the security has not been paid for five months.

Medicine has recently been stolen as well as an oxygen trolley.

I alerted Professor Mac Lukhele, Head of the Gauteng Health Department, to this problem some time ago but security companies in the area have still not been paid.

It is very troubling that clinics in the West Rand do not have security guards.

State assets are being stolen and staff and patients are at risk.

I hope that this is resolved as soon as possible.

Has Gauteng’s Economic Department Something To Hide About Mega-Dump?

Environmental Impact Assessment

The Democratic Alliance will request the Gauteng Legislature’s Economic Development Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Errol Mangerman, summon Economic Development MEC, Lebogang Maile, to appear before the committee and provide feedback on the departments Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) comments made to the Department of Minerals Resources regarding the proposed mega-dump at Kalbasfontein on the West Rand. 

The Farmers Management Group, consisting of farmers from communities in and around Fochville on the West Rand approached the DA with regards to concerns they had about the impact this mega dump would have on the environment, and the negative impact it would potentially have on the agricultural sector in the region.

The farmers feel that the process has been less than transparent and that they have been largely excluded as stakeholders from this project. 

Department of Economic Development

When I approached the Department of Economic Development to assist by obtaining a copy of the department’s EIA, I was informed that the department’s EIA comments on the mega dump project were not available as the competent authority for the project is the Department of Minerals and Resources.

However, as the project is taking place within the borders of Gauteng, the department has commented on the project as an interested party. It makes no sense why it will not make its findings available to public scrutiny, as an EIA is a public document.

To this end, the DA will be submitting a PAIA (Promotion of Access to Information Act) request to the department to obtain copies of the EIA. 

The secrecy around this project raises concern and the DA will continue to monitor this project to ensure that it is not simply rubber stamped.


Media enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Economic Development

060 556 4344

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DA Debates 2016/17 Gauteng Department Of Roads And Transport Budget

Speech by: Neil Campbell MPL

“Roads and Transport budget will not get Gauteng moving”

  • Despite some departmental successes in the past year this budget fails to address urgent problems.
  • Corruption lurks in the Transport Department yet a budget plan to eliminate it is lacking.
  • The West Rand’s inferior transportation infrastructure requires long overdue improvement. But is Gautrain expansion the answer? Gautrain tickets cost more than PRASA’s and are unaffordable to most commuters as the recent Household Transport Survey revealed.
  • Premiere Makhura talks opposition to corruption yet it finds refuge in the Transport Department, right under his nose.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Speech by: Justus de Goede MPL

“Public transport not meeting demands”

  • What happened to the “radical” transformation we heard so much about over the last year? The Department’s spending framework for the year certainly doesn’t reflect that.
  • Subsidies are falling behind operating costs and new solutions will have to be found to keep routes from being abandoned.
  • Research estimates that for each Rand of investment spent on public transport, between R 4 and R 9 in benefit resulted.
  • This should be a wake-up call – our public transport systems are not keeping pace with strong and rising demand and need urgent attention.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Media Enquiries:

Neil Campbell MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport

082 387 2540


Justus de Goede MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Transportation

060 558 8305

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Gauteng Library Construction Scandal

In a report delivered before the Gauteng Portfolio Committee on Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SRAC) following oversight visits to four libraries the West Rand and Tshwane – it revealed that two libraries were under construction, one new library built and one underwent upgrading.

Furthermore, the Olievenhoutbosch Library where construction was completed in August this year, remains closed as there are no desks, reception area nor any bookshelves, electricity and sewer connections.

This despite the contractor being paid R400 000 to complete the library. The project started late, sub-contractors did not receive their funds and the contractor claimed the money received from the Department was not enough.

At Kagiso Extension 6 Library, construction was set to be completed in March of this year, however at the time of the oversight visit the library was nothing more than a skeleton structure. The roof leaks, there is no electrical wiring and windows have no glass fitted.

The department reported in March 2014 that the Kagiso Extension 12 Library was open and functioning, but the oversight visit to this facility proved otherwise. The library is not fully operational and had zero books and no equipment. The infrastructure is disintegrating and nothing has been maintained.

The report concluded that the construction companies appeared to be stalling by not paying their sub-contractors.

(Click here to access the Portfolio Committee report).

I will submit further questions to the sports arts and culture MEC Faith Mazibuko over the exact amounts paid to the construction companies and to obtain information on tenders issued.

It is scandalous that the residents in these communities have been robbed of the opportunity to access invaluable resources via their local libraries.

The Department and the new MEC should do urgent monitoring on these projects and provide answers to the communities of Kagiso and Olievenhoutbosch.


Media enquiries:

Paul Willemburg MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Heritage

082 450 0815

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Gauteng Government And Tshwane Duplicating Broadband Projects

The City of Tshwane is aggressively marketing its roll-out of broadband to schools as a success of the metro, while the Gauteng Provincial Government has budgeted R1.2 billion for the same purpose across the province – and has been in the pipeline for the last three years.

In response to an oral question in the Gauteng Legislature, the MEC for Finance, Barbara Creecy, said that there was no need to co-ordinate broadband projects as the Province and Metro’s had different objectives.

However, it is obvious that at least one objective – schools – is being duplicated.

More alarmingly, the ANC governed metros in Gauteng and the ANC run provincial government have only just begun making sure their broadband networks are interoperable and have only recently shared maps of their networks.

The lack of co-ordination also means that there could be duplication of laying of expensive cable in the ground to provide government with connectivity in the same areas.

MEC Creecy attempted to spin this duplication by saying that savings can now be made in Tshwane to spend in more rural municipalities like Seidbeng and the West Rand.

However, the Gauteng Broadband Network was going to cover these areas anyway.

This political spin does not address the fact that there was no coordination between Gauteng and the City of Tshwane that has led to both spending money on the same thing.

Broadband projects are running into billions of rand being spent by every sphere of government, and the lack of coordination is deeply troubling.

By contrast, the Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town do coordinate and are realising actual cost savings on their respective broadband projects.

It is high time MEC Creecy and metro mayors in Gauteng sat down and sorted out duplication rather than spend billions in public funds on the exact same things to market ‘successes’ ahead of an election.

The DA will follow up this issue to ensure that the Gauteng Department of Finance now commits itself to saving money by using the Tshwane broadband network to meet its objectives as the MEC indicated in the Legislature today.


Media enquiries:

Ashor Sarupen MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on ICT

060 558 8303

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West Rand Metro: MDB Shelves Merger

MDB Demonstrate Independence

The DA is delighted by the announcement of the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) to postpone its decision on the possible merger of the Mogale City, Randfontein, Merafong and Westonaria municipalities into a single metropolitan municipality until after the 2016 local government elections.

The decision is a marvellous victory for democracy, and the DA is pleased to see the MDB demonstrate its independence by not conceding to the whims of national government.

The DA is of the view that the MDB should not have been forced to apply their minds on the creation of a West Rand Metropolitan municipality at this stage, and with it being this close to the local government election, Cooperative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan jeopardised the poll with his late proposals.

West Rand Has Great Potential

In fact, the DA strongly believes no demarcation change proposals should be made or entertained within two years of an election taking place.

The DA has long held the view that there are other means to achieve financial stability, economic growth and investment in the West Rand and elsewhere, and that other legislative means should first have been followed to build capacity in under-performing municipalities.

The West Rand area has great potential, which does not require government by a dominant ruling party to achieve this.

Local choice should always be respected and residents and the ANC may well see a change in government in one or more West Rand municipal councils after next year’s elections.

Better Quality Of Life

The DA is committed to provide alternative good governance, better service delivery and economic upliftment in the West Rand, and we will go to every effort to bring the DA difference to the lives of residents.

It is a well-known and accepted fact that where the DA governs, life is better – and a better quality of life awaits everybody should they cast their vote for the DA in the 2016 local government elections.


Media enquiries:
Alan Fuchs MPL
DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Mogale City
060 558 8313

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