DA steps in to clear Kwazakhele roads

By Ngqura Constituency Office:

A picture of the Ward 19 clean up can be found here.

Caption: DA Ngqura Constituency Leader, Nqaba Bhanga MP, and various DA activists remove rubble from a street outside Ward 19 Councillor, Koko Jacob’s home.

Yesterday, the DA’s Ngqura Constituency office, led by Consituency Leader, Nqaba Bhanga MP, took to the streets of Ward 19 in Kwazakhele to clear hazardous debris.

This debris has been obstructing and causing danger to passing cars for close on two years.

ANC Ward 19 Councillor, Koko Jacobs, has for too long failed to do the necessary work to ensure that service delivery is rolled out effectively in this forgotten community.

Change is coming to Nelson Mandela Bay this year and with it a new era of world-class service delivery and job creation.

Emfuleni Fire Brigade on a go-slow due to wage dispute

By Kingsol Chabalala MPL, DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Emfuleni North:

The Emfuleni Local Municipality Fire Brigade has gone on a go-slow and have parked their fire trucks in front of the local council gates, blocking the entry for members of the public and municipal officials.

This comes as the Fire Brigade has not been paid their overtime and are now demanding payment before services can continue.

This “strike” adversely affects service delivery in the municipality which is already struggling to deliver good quality services to the residents of Emfuleni.

Just last year, the municipality was found to have paid-out inflated costs for services delivered to companies ripping-off the municipality, but it now seems it can barely pay for its own services.

The action by the fire brigade cannot be condoned nor can the non-payment of overtime by the municipality be allowed to continue. Both parties are fault.

The DA calls on Gauteng MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Jacob Mamabolo to intervene and resolve the spat between the municipality and the fire brigade.

The residents of Emfuleni are fed up with the mediocre services delivered by the municipality and will in the upcoming local government elections take to the polls to vote for a DA government that is capable of delivering quality services to the people.

(Click here to view images of the strike).

Waterval Boven burning: ANC infighting blamed for flare up

By James Masango MPL, Leader of the Opposition:

The Democratic Alliance calls for an immediate intervention by Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza to stop the violent service delivery protest in Waterval Boven. The protest is allegedly instigated by ANC members who want to discredit their own councillors.

The service delivery protest started on Wednesday last week where the residents blockaded the N4 with burning tyres, stones, and tree trunks. They are accusing the local municipality of providing them with dirty water and shortages in housing.

According to independent observers, the protests are instigated by two ANC members who want to discredit their own councillors in the eMakhazeni municipality ahead of the local government elections.

The protest action continued this week where on Wednesday (last night) a young man was fatally shot and another one injured after they allegedly attacked a police officer. According to the police, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is investigating the death of the young man.

Today, in retaliation to the death of the young man, residents burnt down the local fire station, community hall, three municipal vehicles and the municipal building. Important municipal documents and computers were also burnt in the building.

It is blatantly obvious that the ANC does not care for the community and public infrastructure in Waterval Boven. Their infighting for positions must not interfere with the functioning of the municipality.

Letaba service delivery shutdown for overtime pay must be addressed by MEC

By Jacques Smalle MPL, DA Provincial Spokesperson COGHSTA:

The DA has written to the Limpopo Cooperative Governance MEC, Makoma Makhurupetje seeking an urgent meeting with her to discuss the non payment of over time incentives to Greater Letaba Municipal workers.

This “go slow” strike is being lead by officials providing essential services such as water and electricity and has left more than 500 households in Duiwelskloof without water and electricity since December 2015.

During the strike I witnessed workers sabotaging 680 metres of electrical cable, fuses supplying the CBD area and water supply infrastructure including valves and taps hoping to get attention from the municipality to address their grievances that fell on deaf ears.

Schools, clinics and business have been badly affected by the sabotage of the infrastructure.

The 500 school learners of Kings Court School could not start their first day of school due to no electricity and water.

Lack of engagement by the ANC municipal management and officials could have been avoided if early warning signs were addressed.

The DA urges MEC Makhurupetje to intervene by establishing a task team that will probe into the non payment of these workers and to assess the damage caused by the workers.

During the meeting, the DA will urge MEC to consider laying criminal charges against these officials that destroyed the electricity and water supply infrastructure.

Nearly 80 000 in Tswaing without water

By Carin Visser, DA North West Chairperson:

The DA in North West is deeply concerned that the Human Rights of residents in Tswaing are blatantly being violated with almost 80 000 people in dire need of water in all 15 Wards in Tswaing.

The tankers that should transport water to the four towns, three townships and 27 villages came to an abrupt standstill after the municipality failed to honour the payments of the fuel account.

These communities last received water on 31 December. Despite this extreme heat residents are being left entirely without water, which amounts to a constitutional violation.

Even more alarming is that ever since the bulk water supply stopped, the Administrator Moses Pholo has failed to answer his phone or be available in any way to deal with this crisis.

During the past festive period, electricity problems escalated and chain stores, pharmacies, fast food outlets, supermarkets, butcheries and residents in Tswaing suffered losses due to the unreliable supply of electricity. Currently there are no qualified electricians to work with high voltage electricity in the municipality.

The Minister of Water Affairs Nomvula Mokonyane issued a directive in April last year which is being ignored. Directive 38100 issued by DWA entails that Sedibeng Water was appointed as a joint Water Service Provider with Tswaing Local Municipality.

Implementation of the Directive failed due to political infighting and lack of cooperation.  

Administrator Pholo is recklessly violating the rights of Tswaing residents and he must be swiftly brought to account.

Pikitup strike shows up Parks Tau’s aloof leadership

By Cllr Vasco da Gama, DA Johannesburg Caucus Leader:

The DA notes the end to the illegal strike by Pikitup employees, and that it’s not thanks to the efforts of Joburg mayor Parks Tau, but Cooperative Governance MEC Jacob Mamabolo and his team.

According to media reports MEC Mamabolo has been locked in talks with SAMWU since Monday, while mayor Tau made absolutely no effort to do so himself.

Tau remains aloof and inaccessible, uncommitted to the hard work needed to solve crises in the City.

Clearly mayor Tau is nothing but a lame duck Mayor if an MEC needs to clean up the mess in Johannesburg.

While the DA appreciates workers’ concerns and MEC Mamabolo’s willingness to address them, we remain concerned that no action will be taken against Pikitup MD, Amanda Nair, despite being faced with numerous allegations of poor management, maladministration, nepotism and misconduct.

Why does Parks Tau keep Nair so protected when Pikitup is in disarray and facing major allegations?

What Johannesburg residents have learnt from this experience is that Parks Tau’s only function is publicity while the provincial ANC and their union allies pull the strings.

The DA has been steadfast in our convictions that mayors and their executives should be accountable to the people who voted for them, should directly engage issues, and should be accessible to the public.

The people of Johannesburg are increasingly rallying behind the DA, because they know, where the DA governs, life is indeed better.

Momentum is building behind the DA toward Election 2016, where we are set on winning the City of Johannesburg.

DA marches over poor service delivery the Emfuleni Local Municipality

By Hendrik Schmidt MP, Constituency Leader: Emfuleni South:

Today, the Democratic Alliance lead a march to protest against poor service delivery in the Emfuleni Local Municipality. In particular, the DA and Emfuleni residents protested against the high percentage of water being lost in the municipality on a daily basis, especially at a time when the country is experience its worst drought in 23 years.

According to a report released by the Auditor-General, the Emfuleni Local Municipality lost just over 31 million kilolitres of water during the 2013/14 financial year, which resulted in a loss of R175 million. This also represents a 34.1% loss of the total water purchased by the municipality during that year.

This loss is also equal to 12.6 million water tanks, with a capacity of 2500 litres each, being wasted.

To make matters worse, it is estimated that the municipality lost the same amount of water in 2014/15 and this trend will continue during the current financial year.

This water could have been used by people, many living in poorer communities in the area, for drinking and other day-to day uses. It is unacceptable that the Emfuleni municipality has let it go to waste.

Once of the main reasons for these high water losses is because the municipality has failed to maintain and upgrade critical water infrastructure over the past few years.

Council reports reveal that there is a:

  • 6 billion storm water infrastructure backlog;
  • R723 million backlog when it comes to the maintenance of waste water treatment plants; and
  • 1 billion sanitation backlog.

This is over and above R4.2 billion that is required to address the road maintenance backlog in the municipality.

It is clear that the Emfuleni municipality is in a financial crisis, which is affecting its ability to deliver the most basic of services to residents. It’s liabilities exceed its assets and if it was a private company it would have been forced to close to its doors a while ago.

It is critical that the current mess in Emfuleni is addressed and more importantly, that the criminal wastage of water is stopped.

The DA has therefore submitted a memorandum to Municipal Manager Sam Shabalala demanding that the Emfuleni municipality immediately implements an action plan to upgrade and maintain aging water infrastructure and ensure any water and sewage leaks are fixed as soon as they are detected.

The DA is committed to ensuring that where we govern, all residents have access to water, which is their basic right.

When the DA won the City of Cape Town from the ANC in 2006, one of the most important tasks was fixing the badly maintained water infrastructure. Today after 9 years of DA government the Western Cape has the lowest amount of water leaks in the country, at 16.4%.

The DA is committed to bringing change to Emfuleni. 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 Emfuleni in 2016.

Parks Tau must break deadlock between Pikitup and SAMWU

By Cllr Vasco da Gama, DA Johannesburg Caucus Leader:

Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau must show leadership and take control of the crisis between Pikitup and illegally striking workers affiliated with the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU).

While talks between Pikitup and striking workers have reached what appears to be a dead end, it is becoming increasingly clear that the city’s contingency rubbish removal plans are ineffective.

Reports are reaching the DA that independent contractors brought in to deliver services while workers strike, are being shot at and wounded, pulled from vehicles and assaulted and having their vehicles damaged.

While it is unclear who the perpetrators are, the fact remains that residents are being placed at risk by lawless strikers that the City refuses to bring under control.

Rubbish is piling up at collection points across the metro while virtually every rubbish bin across the Joburg CBD has been upended.

As long as an entire city’s rubbish remains uncollected, the associated health risks increase and will become a burden on the city and its economy as people become ill and invasive pests flourish.

Mayor Tau must now stop seeking publicity by donning an overall for ten minutes to pick up some rubbish, and use every means to his disposal to break the deadlock between Pikitup and SAMWU.

This crisis demands Mayor Tau to step up, bring parties to the negotiating table, and resolve the sticking points.

An ineffective Mayor is the worst burden on our city in this time of crisis.

DA to march against No Service Delivery in Emfuleni

Media Advisory:

Tomorrow, Thursday 03rd of December 2015, the Democratic Alliance  will lead a protest march over poor service delivery in the Emfuleni Local Municipality, in particular the high percentage of water being lost as a result of leaking pipes. The DA will also hand over a memorandum to Emfuleni top management.

Frustrated residents have increasingly complained about a lack of service delivery in Emfuleni.  One of the main reasons for the lack of services is because of the poor financial performance of the municipality. This has resulted in major backlogs when it comes to spending on infrastructure in the municipality including upgrading and maintaining roads and critical water infrastructure.

The DA has repeatedly called for the Emfuleni municipality to be placed under administration so that the current financial mess can be addressed and residents can start receiving services again.

The DA’s protest march will start at the Vanderbijlpark Public Library and end at the Emfuleni Local Municipality offices where the constituency Head for Emfuleni South MP Hendrik Schmidt will hand over the memorandum.

The DA is committed to bringing change to Emfuleni. Change that stops corruption and financial mismanagement and starts service delivery.

There will be an opportunity for interviews and photographs

Date:  Thursday 03 December 2015

Time: 12h00

Meeting place: Vanderbijlpark Public Library, C/O DF Malan & Klasie Havenga street, Vanderbijlpark

First case of water-shedding implemented in Moqhaka Municipality

By James Letuka, DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature:

The Moqhaka Local Municipality, which includes the communities of Kroonstad, Maokeng, Steynsrus, Matlwangtlwang, Viljoenskroon and Rammulotsi, has become the first municipality to implement water-shedding.

The schedule for water-shedding as announced by the municipality is as follows:

  • Steynsrus and Matlwangtlwang from 20:00 to 18:00 (8pm to 6pm) Monday to Monday;
  • Viljoenskroon and Rammulotsi from 18:00 to 04:00 (6pm to 4am) from Sunday to Friday;
  • Kroonstad and Maokeng from 20:00 to 04:00 (8pm to 4am) from Sunday to Friday

This comes just days after the National Minister for Water Affairs and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, declared that South Africa will never implement water-shedding. This was the same narrative used before ESKOM began implementing load-shedding earlier this year.

It is quite clear that the ANC government can no longer be trusted.

The Moqhaka Municipality blames the lack of rain, the drought and an increased demand for water for the implementation of water-shedding. This is nothing but an attempt by the ANC cover up the real reasons behind implementing water-shedding measures.

The ANC-led government’s wilful neglect of maintenance and expansion of water and sanitation infrastructure, coupled with the failure to implement a comprehensive water management strategy to conserve and plan for increased water demand, has brought us to this point in time where people now have to contend with water-shedding.

Government has repeatedly been warned, by the DA as well as a range of other organisations, of the impending water crisis over the last ten years. Had government paid heed and implemented a programme of maintenance and expansion of the water and sanitation infrastructure, as well as implementing a comprehensive strategy to manage water resources more effectively, there would today have been no need for the implementation of drastic measures like water-shedding.

Access to clean and dependable water supply is a basic Human Right. Water-shedding plays dangerously close to violating this Right.

Water is also a crucial resource for agriculture and industry. The implementation of water-shedding will negatively impact on the Moqhaka local economy which may result in job losses and it further threatens food security.

The DA will monitor the situation in the Free State closely to ensure that government mobilises all resources at its disposal to limit the impact of the water crisis in the province.

The DA calls on all the people of the Free State to use water wisely.

The people of the Free State will have an opportunity to vote for the DA in next year’s municipal elections. The DA is the only party that can stem the tide of crises brought about by the ANC’s poor track record in governance. The time for change has come.