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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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

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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West Rand to Remain a Forgotten “Corridor”

Gauteng Premier David MakhuraIna Cilliers DA Constituency Head: Merafong

Despite Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s grand plan to revitalise forgotten municipalities throughout the province, as outlined in his concept of provincial corridors, little has been done to advance the economy of the West Rand.

In fact, the premier’s so-called “corridors” are nothing new – they are geographical areas that arose as a result of Apartheid spatial planning.

Mining Activities on the West Rand

With the decline of mining activities on the West Rand in recent years, the primary employer for many residents, its economy has been dealt a serious blow.

In an attempt to reverse it, Premier Makhura insisted that his administration would roll out a plan to diversify the West Rand economy, focusing on the following:

  • Positioning the West Rand as a hub for agri-businesses, agri-processing and horticulture – as well as the establishment of a freshwater prawn farm;
  • The investment of R20 million, budgeted over the next two financial years, to establish a milling facility in Randfontein;
  • The establishment of solar farms and;
  • Investing in the manufacturing of coaches to supply mass transit bus fleets.

I was extremely alarmed by the replies to questions I posed regarding the above to Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Lebogang Maile.

All initiatives for the establishment of agri-businesses, agri-processing, horticulture and the freshwater prawn farm are to be driven by the private sector – with no financial support or involvement from the provincial government.

Similarly, the solar farms and mass transit manufacturing of buses are both private sector initiatives.

The People’s Premier

Despite proposing to invest R20 million in the milling facility over the next two years, no effort has been made to link this project to its related market – its success is to be measured on its physical construction and not its economic viability.

While Premier Makhura has been touted as the “people’s Premier”, it would appear that the façade of unsubstantial rhetoric is starting to slip.

The West Rand will not experience the economic stimulation required to regenerate and prosper under this ANC-led administration.

Its people will be forgotten, unemployment and inequality will spiral out of control, while the Government of the day continues to provide plans devoid of substance.
Media enquiries:
Ina Cilliers MPL
DA Constituency Head: Merafong
060 556 4344

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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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