DA picket combats unfair EPWP process

Today, the Democratic Alliance led a picket to protest against the unfair job opportunity process in the ANC-controlled Westonaria Local Municipality.

The Expanded Public Works Program (EPWP) is supposed to create short-term job opportunities for the immediate local community with the focus on skills development. The EPWP project in Simunye, Westonaria is not functioning as it is supposed, in part because the EPWP workers gets bussed in from Mpumalanga due to their political connections.

The official unemployment rate (From Census 2011) stands at 29.5%, while the youth (15 – 34) unemployment rate is a disastrous 39.3%!  An EPWP work opportunity is not the end goal but it provides valuable short to medium term poverty relief for poor and unemployed residents.

Where the DA governs, that is where “corruption free” job opportunities are found. In the City of Cape Town, unemployed persons interested in job opportunities can register at their local sub council, and will then be added onto the City’s Jobseekers Database. Workers are recruited from the database on a random basis and are notified via telephone of a possible opportunity to be employed.

The DA is committed to bringing change to Westonaria. Change that stops corruption and ensures public money is spent on service delivery.

We therefore encourage residents to register for the upcoming local elections and to vote the ANC out of Westonaria in 2016.

Media enquiries:

Cllr. Joseph Letlhake

DA Westonaria Caucus Chairperson



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

Residents Say #NoToWRMetro

Proposed Formation of a West Rand Metro

During the past four days residents of the Mogale City, Merafong, Randfontein and Westonaria municipalities united with the DA in our opposition to the proposed formation of a West Rand Metro.

During this time, the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) hosted public participation meetings in the four municipalities, and heard about the virtual collapse of service delivery, financial and administrative mismanagement, and massive levels of municipal debt in three of the four municipalities.

Capacity Building in Local Municipalities

The DA and residents made it clear that the merge would be detrimental to people’s quality of life, as the lack of administrative capacity would continue while levels of service delivery would rapidly decline.

The overwhelming sentiment at the meetings was that national and provincial government should first exhaust all other legislative means to build capacity in each of the four municipalities, before investigating the possibility of a metro.

In support of the public’s overwhelming rejection of the proposed metro and research that illustrates the negative impact it will have, the DA will intensify our efforts to prevent its formation.

Expanded Public Works Programme Workers

Despite the ANC’s blatant abuse of municipal resources to bus in Expanded Public Works Programme workers to fill seats at these public hearings – it is clear that this plan is neither feasible nor amenable – and goes against the wishes of the people.

Sign our petition opposing the proposed West Rand metro here.



Media enquiries:

Solly Msimanga MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson

060 558 8308

NCOP Week Day 2: DA Gauteng to Carry Out Alternative Oversight Visits

Tomorrow, 23 July 2015, DA Gauteng Members of Parliament, DA Members of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, DA West Rand councillors, activists and volunteers will carry out oversight visits to municipal service delivery crisis points in the Randfontein and Westonaria local municipalities.

These visits are in response to the refusal of the National Council of Provinces to visit sites where municipalities experience severe service delivery capacity shortcomings.



Date: 23 July 2015

Time: 08:00

Venue: Droogheuwel water tower, Randgate, Lazaar extension

Contact: Cllr Alwyn van Tonder – 082 593 0313




Date: 23 July 2015

Time: 08:50

Venue: Donaldson Dam near Mohlakeng followed by a visit to the cattle breeding project nearby.

Contact: Cllr Piet de Jager – 083 627 5105


There will be opportunities for interviews and photographs. Members of the media are welcome to attend.


Media enquiries:

Jacques Julius MP

DA Gauteng Member of the NCOP

083 420 1309


Evert du Plessis

DA Gauteng West Rand Regional Chairperson

082 870 2768

[Image source]

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

DA to Make Submissions to MDB in Westonaria

This morning, 22 July 2015, DA Westonaria Chief Whip, Cllr Piet de Jager, fellow DA Westonaria councillors and DA activists will attend and make submissions to the Municipal Demarcation Board at its public participation meeting regarding the proposed formation of a metropolitan municipality.


Date: 22 July 2015

Time: 10:00

Venue: Banquet Hall, Westonaria


There will be opportunities for interviews and photographs. Members of the media are welcome to attend.


Media enquiries:

Cllr Piet de Jager

083 627 5105


Evert du Plessis

DA Gauteng West Rand Regional Chairperson

082 870 2768

West Rand Metro: DA urges residents to participate in MDB consultations


Public Participation

The DA urges all residents of the West Rand to actively participate in public consultation processes with the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) in meetings scheduled for this week.

The meetings form part of the process the MDB uses to consider cooperative governance minister Pravin Gordhan’s request to merge the Merafong, Westonaria, Randfontein and Mogale City municipalities into a single metropolitan area.

The meetings are scheduled as follows:
• 21 July: Randfontein IEC hall at 10h00
• 22 July: Westonaria Banquet Hall at 10h00
• 23 July: Mogale City Krugersdorp Centenary Hall at 10h00
• 24 July: Merafong Civic Centre Carletonville at 10h00

The DA will attend these meeting in our numbers to voice our objections to the proposed metro, as we firmly believe that residents’ interests will not be served if local municipalities are dissolved.

Quality of Service to Decline

We have on a number of instances placed on record that merging dysfunctional municipalities with functional ones will not improve service delivery, nor will it improve people’s quality of life.

It is our contention that provincial and national government have a host of existing legislation at their disposal providing the means to intervene and build capacity in municipalities, but have not done so to date.

Given the poor financial and administrative capacity in the four local municipalities, that the proposed metro would inherit a combined debt in excess of R1,5 billion, and the combined costs of streamlining service delivery systems across the board, it is certain that the quality of life of almost a million people will steadily decline.

The DA calls on the public to join us at these meetings and on social media as we say no to a West Rand Metro and lodge our objections to a proposal that will deny people the freedom and opportunity to transparent governance and quality service delivery.

Media enquiries:
Solly Msimanga MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson
060 558 8308

[Image source]

NCOP side-steps West Rand service delivery ills


Side Stepping

This week, from 21 to 24 July 2015, Gauteng members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) are set to conduct oversight visits to various government service delivery programmes and projects across the West Rand.

The purpose of this week’s NCOP week is to advance the developmental agenda of municipalities and rectify the shortcomings identified when oversight is conducted.

However, while this work is critical to ensure municipalities provide quality services to residents, this week’s visits will be of little benefit, as not all projects to be inspected were implemented by West Rand local municipalities.

Few Prospects

Residents of the West Rand have been faced with less and less job prospects as a result of the steady decline in mining and agricultural activities, and government should actively pursue sustainable programmes to promote investment, create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

It appears the NCOP is using this week to tell “feel-good stories”, while residents across the West Rand would rather have the delegation address critically important matters as regards their quality of life.

To this end the DA will this week draw attention to sites that are in desperate need of intervention, such as:

  • The sinkhole right next to the R500 near Carletonville, which formed as a result of water leaks from a poorly maintained water pipe;
  • The leaking water reservoir in Khutsong causing residents to suffer regular water outages;
  • The incomplete Droogheuwel water tower in Randgate, Randfontein, causing indefinite delays to the planned housing project nearby; and
  • The tunnel project at the Donaldson Dam in Krugersdorp and cattle farming project in Westonaria, which have both failed as a result of the West Rand Development Agency’s inability to manage these projects.

Each of these have the potential to create much needed job opportunities for local residents and provide the means to learn new skills – while serving their own communities.

This will instil a sense of pride and dignity among people who will every day see the fruits of their labours build a strong and cohesive environment, where their friends, neighbours and children will enjoy the freedom to be all they can be.
Media Enquiries:
Jacques Julius MP
DA Gauteng Member of the NCOP
083 420 1309

[Image source]

West Rand Merger: Let The Facts Do The Talking

Continuous Financial Mismanagement

West Rand District Municipality Mayoral spokesperson, Dennis Mangope, must stick to the facts of the consequences of merging four West rand municipalities into a single metro.

While the DA is certainly opposed to the merger, our position is informed by researched and factual evidence – and the effects of such mergers on service delivery and people’s quality of life.

The proposed West Rand Metropolitan municipality will start off on the back foot, as it will be saddled with a combined debt of over R1,5 billion – a severe blow to quality service delivery.

This figure excludes Westonaria, who as a result of continuous financial mismanagement, could not report on its debtors. One can only imagine how much more debt the new metro would be saddled with after this has been added.

The Tshwane Experience

While mayors and municipal officials claim that the merger would assist individual municipalities struggling with service delivery issues, the fact is that streamlining service delivery mechanisms and practices will have massive cost implications on the new metro.

Furthermore, claims that sharing and redistribution of financial resources would improve service delivery standards and efficiency are completely misguided as the metro inherits more debt than income.

The formation of a West Rand Metro will severely affect the quality of life of almost a million of Gauteng’s residents and government must heed the lessons learnt from the Tshwane experience – where after four years, despite increases in rates hikes, it still struggles with a debt burden of over R1 billion – and only received R20 million from national government towards the costs of its merge.

Municipal Demarcation Act

According to the Municipal Demarcation Act, certain criteria must exist when considering the formation of a metropolitan municipality. These include but are not limited to:

  • Population size;
  • Geographical size;
  • Infrastructure; and
  • Economy

A West Rand Metro would be the second largest metropolitan municipality in Gauteng, but would only have a population size one fourth that of Johannesburg, the province’s most densely populated. It would have the highest levels of unemployment and numbers of people living in informal settlements.

Given the West Rand District’s current state of affairs, the establishment of a metropolitan municipality would struggle to meet these very pressing needs.


In fact, a merger is now being regarded as the panacea for all service delivery ills, while other more effective intervention methods in existing legislation have been ignored and cast by the wayside.

Stronger financial and administrative controls in the local municipalities and the district itself are required – and the political will to implement these measures.

There are many successful instances of strong, competent local municipalities in South Africa – Midvaal is a perfect example in Gauteng

The people of the West Rand deserve local government that is close to them and in tune with their service delivery needs – and a merge into a metropolitan municipality will have the opposite effect.


Sign our petition opposing the West Rand metro.


Media enquiries:

Solly Msimanga MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson

060 558 8308

Gauteng Premier Contradicts MEC on West Rand Merger

Feasibility of Merging West Rand Municipalities

Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Cooperative Governance MEC Jacob Mamabolo are on a collision course over the feasibility of merging West Rand municipalities into a metropolitan area, as the Premier supports the DA’s assertion that lumping dysfunctional municipalities together will not improve service delivery to neglected residents.

Earlier this year, the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Pravin Gordhan requested the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) consider his request to merge the local municipalities of Randfontein, Mogale City, Merafong and Westonaria into a single metro.

This decision was aggressively taken up by MEC Mamabolo, who appointed a transformation manager to oversee this process before the MDB had publically advertised the Minister’s intentions, or completed any other legislative processes.

The DA has been critical of this move and has opposed the merger from the outset.

West Rand Municipalities Carry a Massive Debt Burden

These local municipalities are plagued by service delivery protests, are often without water and electricity, are mismanaged or cannot account for public funds, and are constantly identified by the Auditor General as areas in dire need of intervention.

Should this merger go ahead, the collective debt for the region will sit at R1,5 billion – which will severely compromise quality service delivery.

According to the latest Government Gazette on Gauteng’s municipal statements, West Rand municipalities carry a massive debt burden outstanding more than 90 days.

  • Merafong – R588,95 million;
  • Mogale City – R629,89 million;
  • Randfontein – R199,01 million; and
  • West Rand District – R1,146 million.

Financial Impact the Merger

However, MEC Mamabolo was unable to provide this information when questioned over the financial impact the merger will have on the region, simply indicating that it would be assessed after the merger was completed.

Surely the MEC would at least take the effort to investigate the financial implications of a merger before rushing headlong into the process.

However, last week, during the budget debate for the Office of the Premier, Premier Makhura clearly stated that ”The merger of municipalities cannot be a panacea to poor management and poor leadership, I agree with you (DA)”.

While the DA welcomes the Premier’s sound judgement, it is of major concern that the quality of life of almost a million people in the West Rand are plagued by the uncertainty caused as a result of the contradicting messages from the premier and the MEC.

The merge will severely affect the quality of life of people living on the West Rand, and government must heed the lessons learnt from the Tshwane experience.

The DA will continue to use all legislative resources within our means to prevent this merger to ensure the residents of the West Rand are afforded the services and quality of life they rightfully deserve.



Media enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL

DA Constituency Head: Merafong

060 556 4344