Silent protest against homophobic attack

Andrew Louw MPL

DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate

Note:  This extract is based on a speech delivered by Andrew Louw in Kimberley this morning.

Good morning and thank you to everyone for coming at such short notice to this very important gathering.

A special word of welcome to Tebogo Makwati, our representative from the Diamond Gay and Lesbian Organisation, as well as to Shaine Griqua, the representative from the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Organisation.

We are sad and disturbed to be standing here today.

Our Monday morning was soured by the shocking news that a gay man from Schmidtsdrift had been brutally gang raped and set alight in a homophobic attack in Lerato Park over the weekend.

It is ironic that this vicious attack follows on after the DA held an anti-violence march in the Kimberley CBD on Saturday.

At our march, we spoke out against violence.

We highlighted just how sick society had become. We spoke about the horrific rapes of the 6-week old baby, as well as the rape and murder of the 87-year old grandmother in Galeshewe last year.

We are despondent to see that violence is still escalating.

It is UNIMAGIBALE that people within our very own society have acted with such evil.

It is UNACCEPTABLE that people within our very own society are ignoring the Bill of Rights, and are violating others’ right to safety and human dignity.

It is INTOLERABLE that people are victimized because of their sexual orientation.

At this time, we need a strong government can stamp out violence and lawlessness.

We need a government than can take the lead and lead with morality. A government that can set an example. But when the President of the country has no moral credibility because of his own corruption, then a government cannot lead us out of lawlessness.

We will not keep quiet on this surge in violence though.

Our voices will heard as the DA stands in solidarity with the LGBTI community to condemn this and other vicious homophobic attacks. We stand with every community that wants to stop violence and lawlessness.

THERE IS NO PLACE FOR CRIMINALS IN THE NORTHERN CAPE!

We also want to take this time to condemn the brutal murder and rape of a woman behind the Lerato Place of Safety over the weekend.

We want to reiterate that the 16 days activism campaign against violence against women and children, which typically takes place in December every year, should be a 365 day campaign.

We call on the powers that be to broaden the scope of this campaign to include violence against the LGBTI community – for this too is a form of gender-based violence.

In closing, we call on the police to do everything in their power to ensure that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to book and that members of the LGBTI community, as well as women, can feel safe in their own communities again.

We will now tape our mouths closed and partake in a silent protest to show our condemnation of these unspeakable crimes.

Protection FOR ALL!

Justice FOR ALL!

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Gauteng’s killer hospitals

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

Tembisa Hospital is Gauteng’s most dangerous hospital, with 71 Serious Adverse Events (SAE) recorded from January 2012 to September 2013.

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Hope Papo in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

A SAE is defined as an event that results in an unintended harm to the patient by an act of commission or omission rather than by the underlying disease or condition of the patient.

It includes allegations of negligence, sexual assault, suicide and attempted suicide, skills gap, systems failure and errors.

According to Papo, progressive discipline, referral to the police and referral to statutory bodies are steps following an SAE.

Other hospitals with high negligence over this period include the following:

Jubilee Hospital                               – 64 SAEs

Chris Hani Baragwanath               – 64 SAEs

Bertha Gxowa                                   – 44 SAEs

Sterkfontein                                      – 40 SAEs

Pretoria West                                    – 39 SAEs

Tshwane District                              – 38 SAEs

Charlotte Maxeke                             – 38 SAEs

Kopanong                                         – 37 SAEs

Sebokeng                                          – 37 SAEs

The safest hospital is the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child hospital which recorded only 4 SAEs. Edenvale Hospital recorded 5 SAEs and Steve Biko Academic recorded 9 SAEs, which is impressive for a large hospital.

The Far East Rand Hospital recorded 12 SEAs, which is a big improvement after negligence in some horrific cases that led to multi-million rand court-ordered pay-outs,.

There were altogether 373 recorded SAEs in Gauteng hospitals and clinics in 2012, which jumped to 532 SAEs for the January to September 2013 period.

In 2011 there were only 229 recorded SAEs.

It is of great concern that negligence cases are rising rapidly.

Special attention must be given to the “killer hospitals” like Tembisa, Jubilee and Chris Hani Baragwanath, which have a disproportionately high number of medical mistakes that harm patients.

Patients should be cured rather than harmed by negligent staff in hospitals.

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DA to lay charges after violent intimidation of leadership by ANC supporters

Edmund van Vuuren MPL

Provincial Chairperson

The DA in the Eastern Cape will be laying charges of intimidation and malicious damage to property with the South African Police Service and with the Independent Electoral Commission, after my vehicle, that formed part of the motorcade of the party’s provincial leadership was damaged by a mob of ANC-members in Msengeni in Kirkwood yesterday.

DA provincial leader Athol Trollip has been on a campaign tour of Karoo town since Monday, without incident.  Yesterday however, we were ambushed by a small group of people who made up part of an enthusiastic crowd in Msengeni.  As we left, this group started shouting, cursing and sang ANC-songs while thumping their fists on the vehicles of Athol Trollip, myself and Dacre Haddon, constituency leader and MPL.

The DA would not be intimidated and we proceeded to our last meeting of the day, in Aqua Park in Kirkwood.

The ill-discipline and aggression of these ANC-members are indicative of paranoia and intolerance of a party that is on the back foot.  We continue to grow in every corner of the province.  The fact that well known public representatives such as former ANC Eastern Cape Premier Nosimo Balindlela and former Cope MP Nqaba Bhanga have joined the ranks of the DA has the ANC resorting to desperate measures.

The DA believes that where people differ, they debate and respect the opinions of others as well as the principles of a free and fair democratic electoral system.  The actions by the ANC in Kirkwood are a violation of the IEC’s Code of Conduct.

We will not be deterred and we will return to Msengeni, to bring our message of sustainable, REAL jobs and credible leadership that inspires confidence from investors, as opposed to the corrupt ANC of Jacob Zuma.

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Taxpayers pay for dumped construction materials at Ezenzeleni housing development

Patricia Kopane MP

DA Free State Premier Candidate

The Free State provincial government dumps millions of rands worth of construction materials at Ezenzeleni while hundreds of people continue to live in shacks just opposite the dumping ground.

The housing development at Ezenzeleni in Warden remains incomplete after years of construction and reconstruction.

During a recent oversight visit to Ezenzeleni as part of our DA Free State road show we were shocked to discover rows of incomplete houses and heaps of damaged and disused construction materials. Families who already moved into houses were summarily evicted and the houses demolished.

The huge mounds of bricks, door and window frames are being protected by mobs of ANC supporters under the supervision of a local ANC councillor. DA public representatives (two MPs, an MPL, and a councillor) who inspected these sights were mobbed by ANC supporters who did not want photos taken of the millions of rands worth of dumped building materials. This project is indicative of how the ANC government in the Free State continues to waste taxpayers money and then try to cover up the evidence.

This particular housing development is mired in controversy.

The contract to construct 336 RDP houses was awarded to Allitory and another contract for 96 land restitution houses was awarded to Koena Property Developers at a cost of R10 515 481.87 and R6 687 542.23 respectively.

The houses were built and was then found to be unfit for habitation due to the inferior quality of material used, such as cement. Inspectors decided to order demolishment of the houses and the contract for the reconstruction was again awarded to Koena Property Developers for completion at a cost of R15 175 263.90 despite being implicated with the shoddy construction of the original houses.

Approximately 8 700 houses across the Free State remain incomplete. The ANC-led Free State provincial government has previously said that it will complete all housing units before the end of the current financial year. It is highly unlikely that the government would meet this target.

This is just another example of how the ANC-led government of Ace Magashule continues to make false promises while hundreds of thousands of people in the Free State continue to live in abject poverty. Ace Magashule’s government continues to use state resources and tenders to reward his cronies at the expense of our people.

Only a DA government in the Free State will be able to deliver quality housing in fully integrated developments. It is time for change and the people of the Free State will make their voices heard on the 07th of May.

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The DA welcomes former Chief Mathobela Bokleni

Athol Trollip MPL

DA Leader in the Eastern Cape

On Thursday, 27 March 2014 I will be visiting former Chief Mathobela Bokleni who joined the Democratic Alliance in March this year and I’ll be addressing community members in this area about the importance of exercising their right to vote on May 7th.

The former Chief has inspired his community to feel free to choose a party that will better serve them and many have joined the DA.

King Dalindyebo became a trendsetter when he made the decision to join the Democratic Alliance last year; former Chief Mathobela Bokleni of Nyandeni and Port St Johns communities has followed suit. He served as the acting paramount chief of the aforementioned areas for 46 years and was an ANC member for 20 years. He retired in 1994 and after countless enquiries has not yet received his pension. He has been highly disappointed by his government and has decided to cross over to a party that is a dynamic force for change. This transition is very significant in a community where a strong bond existed between traditional leaders and the ANC.

Traditional leaders in the Eastern Cape are cutting ties with the ruling party where trust and confidence has been lost. Some members of the Nyandeni community have been afraid to leave the ANC in the past but have finally come to the conclusion that the Jacob Zuma led ANC is no longer the ANC that was led by Tata Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

A public meeting will take place in Njiveni, Nyandeni at  11 am tomorrow morning.

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Ops cut as theatre roof leaks at Helen Joseph Hospital

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

Operations have been reduced at the Helen Joseph Hospital in west Johannesburg due to a leaking roof since the start of the heavy rain period this year.

Anaesthetic machines cannot be used for fear of permanent damage to them, so theatre lists have been cut.

About four operations a day have been cancelled every day for more than two weeks for this reason.

Meanwhile, staff have been given no indication when the roof will be repaired.

It is very stressful for both staff and patients to have to cancel so many operations when waiting lists are long.

The Gauteng Infrastructure Development Department is a hopeless failure in hospital maintenance.

Another unrepaired leaking roof is at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic, where patients have had to be moved from certain wards.

Operations have been reportedly cancelled at the George Mukhari Hospital because a theatre door has not been repaired.

And surgery at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital was disrupted recently because machines to sterilise linen were broken.

We cannot go on like this.

Maintenance should become the direct responsibility of hospital managers, with sufficient resources to ensure that buildings and equipment are in good repair at all times.

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ANC invited to sign petition against gang violence in the Cape

Ivan Meyer

DA Leader in the Western Cape

The DA calls on Marius Fransman to sign the petition against gang violence that we launched in Delft yesterday.

Media reports today confirm that the Western Cape has the biggest shortage of police officers in the country. The bottom line is that we need more police on the streets to stop gang violence.

Our people are living in fear every day, because there aren’t enough police to stop the violence.

Police in the Western Cape are struggling to contain the situation and because national government is responsible for policing in the province, the DA is calling on them to:

1)            Send in the army to combat gang violence as a short term measure.

2)            Re-institute specialised drug and gang police units and

3)            Re-employ police reservists to increase the number of police on the streets.

We will distribute this petition on all platforms and we call on the people of the Western Cape, regardless of political affiliation, to sign this petition.

Once we have enough signatures, we will deliver the petition to the minister of police, Nathi Mthethwa, as well as to President Jacob Zuma.

To sign the petition, please visit http://goo.gl/qsn9q4

Let’s all get together and put an end to the violence.

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Business unusual as Western Cape Government forges partnerships to develop four prime city properties

Minister Robin Carlisle and Minister Alan Winde

Western Cape Government

Today, the Department of Transport and Public Works hosted an Investors’ Conference with potential private sector investors, who may be interested in partnering with the province to develop four prime properties located in the City of Cape Town. The conference attracted over 120 representatives from local, national and international companies, some of whom have already responded to the Department’s request for an Expression of Interest (EOI) issued last week. Prospective investors attending the conference heard presentations on the four prime properties and their developmental potential. These properties are (information booklet on each of the properties attached):

  1. Alfred Street Complex: Situated in Alfred Street in the Prestwich Precinct. Linking the Cape Town CBD and the V&A Waterfront with an estimated total of 65 000 sq.m potential bulk available.
  2. Helen Bowden Nurses Home Site: Situated in the Somerset Precinct. Neighbouring the V&A Waterfront and the Cape Town Stadium with an estimated total of 46 000 sq.m potential bulk available.
  3. Top Yard: Is a part of the Government Motor Transport Precinct. Located in the CBD, less than 500 meters from National Parliament and the Company Gardens, with an estimated total of 46 484 sq.m potential bulk available.
  4. Main Road Sea Point: Is the site formerly known as the old Tafelberg Remedial High School. Located at 335 Main Road, Sea Point, approximately 3.5 kms from the CBD, consisting of two separate erven namely 1424 and 1675. With a total site area of 1.7054 hectares.

“The Western Cape Government, through its Cape Town Central City Regeneration Programme, aims to: Unlock Cape Town’s potential to becoming a city that serves the needs of all its citizens; leverage private sector investment, capacity and expertise; refurbish and achieve savings in the operation and maintenance of its portfolio; and to generate an annuity type income stream to finance provincial property development and maintenance. We are deadly earnest about investment as the imperative for economic growth and job creation. We have no more important and urgent priority. Economic growth is our foremost strategic objective. Over the last 5 years we have invested massively in the education and wellness of our people. We have eliminated local wastage, maladministration and corruption, and significantly reduced barriers to investment entry that lie within our remit. To give some idea of how the scale of investment has increased;

  • In the 4 years prior to our administration, spend on new and replacement schools was R630 million. In the first four years of our watch, that has increased fourfold to R2.405 billion.
  • Transport and Public Works, has invested some R16 billion in schools, health facilities, accommodation, and roads over the last 5 years.

Some major projects under way at this moment are:

  • Adjudicating a tender to construct a 25000 sq.m office block within our Provincial Government precinct;
  • Commencing, in partnership with the City of Cape Town, on the R850 million expansion of the Convention Centre (CTICC);
  • Accessing the important Philippi industrial area by re-aligning the N2/Borchards Quarry intersection with Eisleben Road.

“We have created the conditions and the opportunities for significant private sector investment, and look to a growth partnership that accelerates the city and provincial economy, and become a beacon of hope to all South Africans,” said Minister Carlisle.

“Partnerships like these play a key role in economic growth and job creation. There is no sense in government hanging on to properties that cost exorbitant amounts to maintain when we could be leasing them out for development. Doing this contributes to economic development and puts additional money in our budget for service delivery. As a provincial government, we have very little capacity to generate our own funds, with the bulk of our funds coming from the National Treasury.  The initiative we are talking about today is an ‘own-revenue’ source which will add to our overall budget. It is innovative, forward thinking and is a ‘win-win’ for all involved,” said Minister Winde

“Thus our regeneration efforts will work towards stimulating local economic development, create new jobs and opportunities for employment, as well as provide access to the City’s resources and facilitate social cohesion and well-being. The process of availing these prime pieces of property will be completely transparent from beginning to end. We hope that through transparency and openness, we will be able to instil and sustain investor confidence that will underpin how the Western Cape Government continues to do business with its valued private sector partners.

“We are confident of success stemming from this initial release of property, and we hope that in the future, as the need arises and the market allows, we can make similar offers in relation to other sites owned by the Western Cape Government. Further decisions to release property in the future, as with this one, will be a carefully considered in line with our objectives and vision for the region,” added Minister Carlisle.

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DA launches campaign bus for Northern Cape Premier Campaign

Andrew Louw MPL

DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate

The DA has today launched the official Premier Campaign bus in Roodepan, Kimberley, before departing for Mier and Upington where we will be canvassing support for the next two days.

The blue bus will lead the way, as our campaign team travels thousands of kilometres across the Northern Cape. We will speak to every community, from Kimberley to the furthest corners of the province. Every day, we are going door-to-door to spread our message of bringing change that stops corruption and creates jobs.

We are stepping up the intensity of our campaign. From today, and for the next 41 days of the campaign, we will begin with the mass mobilisation phase of our plan. This will include daily rallies in different parts of the province, increased door-to-door efforts by our activists in every town, more posters and billboards and increased intensity of our radio and television advertising campaign. We are going all out to deliver the DA’s message to every single voter in the province.

DA leaders from across the country will periodically also be deployed to the province to increase the impact of our campaigning.

So far, I have already visited over 70 towns and communities, and spoken to thousands of residents. The message from these voters is that they are tired of corruption and want to see change happen. They want us to stop corruption, create jobs and start delivering services. They are tired of the lack of opportunity on offer by Zuma’s ANC. They are tired of the hypocrisy of Zuma’s ANC. They are tired of the corruption in Zuma’s ANC.

I have presented these very people with the DA’s alternative  – Together for Change, Together for Jobs.

The response from the people on the ground has been overwhelmingly positive. Never before have we experienced such support. They are coming over to the DA in unprecedented numbers.

The DA is going to give everything we’ve got to win this province. We want to win, because we can make the Northern Cape better for everyone. We can bring people together. We can stop corruption. We can create jobs.

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ANC must assure peaceful march following reinstatement of Lili and Nkohla

Premier Helen Zille

Western Cape Government

I have noted the media reports today stating that Andile Lili and Loyiso Nkohla have been reinstated as members of the ANC and their previous suspension and expulsion respectively by a disciplinary committee of the party have been overturned. The ANC is set to march to the Provincial Legislature tomorrow and Mr Lili and Mr Nkohla, now full members of the ANC again, have been making repeated threats of ungovernability against the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government.

They have been carrying out these threats by organising disruptive blockages of the N2 highway on numerous occasions and leading violent marches in the City Centre where they incite participants to loot street vendor stalls and vandalise the premises of businesses operating in the CBD. They were also instrumental in several faeces-throwing incidents in the City.

This move shows that the ANC has been disingenuous all along in trying to avoid blame for the rhetoric inciting violence and destructive riots that Lili and Nkohla have been behind for months. Indeed, Lili is on record as saying that in their ungovernability campaign, they simply “followed the strategies of the ANC…” and that he believes their actions “never broke any ANC rules”. Their successful appeal and reinstatement show that they were right when they said they were merely implementing the ANC’s “ungovernability strategy”. The ANC Youth League in the Western Cape has celebrated Lili and Nkohla as ‘fearless leaders’ and now enthusiastically welcomed them back as fully-fledged members of the ANC.

A previous march permit application of the Ses’khona group, led by Lili and Nkohla, was declined in February by the City, on the basis of an objection from the SAPS who raised public safety risk concerns, because their previous march in October 2013 turned violent and resulted in looting and damage to property. With Lili and Nkohla having rejoined the ANC, it is now likely that Lili, Nkohla and their Ses’khona group will join the ANC march tomorrow and pose the same public safety risk.

I am calling on Western Cape ANC leader, Marius Fransman, and Western Cape ANC secretary, Songezo Mjongile, to give assurances that their march will proceed peacefully as required by the constitution. I have also spoken to Provincial Police Commissioner, General Lamoer, to confirm that any attempts to implement the “ungovernability campaign” will face the full might of the law. Community Safety Minister Dan Plato is also communicating with General Lamoer.

This move by the ANC to include Andile Lili and Loyiso Nkohla in their fold appears to be motivated by alleged difficulties with campaigning and a desire to boost their fortunes by co-opting these individuals. It is the hope of the Western Cape Government that in pursuing this narrow self-interest, the ANC is not putting the public at risk during their march tomorrow by giving a platform to people who have declared and shown themselves to be determined to undermine the rule of law and compromise the safety of citizens.

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