eThekwini blacklists 42 companies

Democratic Alliance media statement by Nicole Graham, CLLR

DA eThekwini Caucus Leader

 

eThekwini blacklists 42 companies

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the announcement that 42 companies have been blacklisted by the eThekwini Municipality. Although this is a sorry indication of the state of the City, it is a step in the right direction.

The companies blacklisted include Persian Star Investment 11 CC, who received the controversial DSW orange bag contract, and the four companies implicated in the urine diversion toilet contract.

The DA made recommendations in a report to the Hawks, calling for action against those officials implicated in the investigative report into the orange bag tender and that criminal charges be laid against Persian Star.

Further recommendations against eThekwini officials were made in the report on the urine diversion toilets contracts, but apparently no action has been taken as these officials are still at work.

The DA also demands answers as to what will happen to the contracts that these contractors already have with the Municipality. One of the companies implicated in the toilet contract report, Uhlanga Trading Services, received another tender to build a switching station in Stockville in March, the month after the investigative report was made public. The value of this tender was R36 million.

It is of no use to merely blacklist the companies implicated but to not discipline the officials, and potentially their political masters, for what has taken place.

The DA will stop at nothing to stop the rot in eThekwini. At the end of this month, the ANC will undoubtedly improve more tariff and rates increases while officials implicated in huge financial mismanagement are let off the hook.

DA welcomes the arrest of alleged murder plotters

Democratic Alliance media statement by Zwakele Mncwango, MPL

DA KZN Leader

 

DA welcomes the arrest of alleged murder plotters

 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu Natal welcomes the arrest of the Endumeni Mayor Siboniso Mbatha and two other suspects for allegedly plotting to assasinate Endumeni Municipal Speaker,

The DA hopes that this is the start of bringing all those that are involved in the KZN political killings to book.

The province’s political task team, appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, must prove that they will not allow this province to be run by a gang of criminals, hell-bent on eliminating their political enemies.

We will continue to support any initiative that seeks to bring stability to the province.

The DA is committed to a peaceful province where political tolerance and factional fighting does not result in bloodshed. We will continue to oppose political violence in all its forms.

KZN’s dismal Municipal Audit: Accountability starts with MEC Dube-Ncube

Democratic Alliance media statement by Hlanganani Gumbi, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on CoGTA

 

KZN’s dismal Municipal Audit: Accountability starts with MEC Dube-Ncube

 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is deeply alarmed by the findings of Auditor-General, Kimi Makwethu, which reveal that KwaZulu-Natal has further regressed in terms of municipal management with only six of the province’s 54 municipalities achieving clean audits for the 2016/17 financial year and Msunduzimunicipality ranked sixth amongst the country’s top contributors to municipal unauthorised expenditure.

The reality is that half of our municipalities are of concern or require intervention according to the Auditor-General. Every single key indicator reported by the A-G has regressed taking our provincial municipalities to R2.5 billion in irregular expenditure.

The A-G also confirmed that KZN has been on a downward path since the 2015/2016 financial year, when it regressed from 22 to 11 clean audits. He also stated that KZN’s leadership had not embraced accountability for key internal controls and monitoring of action plans.

This lack of political accountability is evidenced by the weak threats from KZN CoGTA MEC, Nomusa Dube-Ncube to hold municipal officials to account. We are yet to see this, from either her or the Premier, despite the same shocking findings year in and year out.

Reports that the Department now intends on implementing a turnaround plan – “Operation Bounce Back” – are also just more of the same. Our province has seen numerous so-called turnaround plans, yet nothing ever changes. In fact, matters only get worse. This is a direct consequence of the lack of political will that exists.

The downward spiral of KZN’s municipalities spells more bad news for the people of our province. This is the service delivery arm of any government. It is the sector of government that is closest to the people. These regressions speak directly to the lack of service delivery that is currently facing the people of KZN. Less money means less services.

KZN’s political leadership must step up and own the business of local government. They need to be held accountable for their actions and those delegated to their subordinates.  The time for such feeble warnings has come and gone. The DA expects the MEC to immediately intervene so that the root causes of these ongoing unfavourable audit outcomes can be addressed.

DA saddened by murder of KZN Abahlali baseMjondolo branch leader

Democratic Alliance media statement by Hlanganani Gumbi, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on CoGTA

 

DA saddened by murder of KZN Abahlali baseMjondolo branch leader

 

The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal is deeply saddened and concerned by the news that Abahlali baseMjondolo’s eKukhanyeni chairperson in Durban, Sfiso Ngcobo was shot and killed by unknown gunmen last night.

We extend our sincere condolences to his family and to the members of Abahlali baseMjondolo.

We call on KZN SAPS to investigate this murder as a matter of urgency so that those responsible for this heinous crime can be brought to book.

As an activist-based movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo fulfills a crucial role in our province as it fights on behalf of the many people who still have not been afforded the democratic right to a roof over their heads.

The DA has previously worked closely with Abahlali, particularly within the eThekwini municipality. We have always respected the role they play despite disagreeing with them on several key issues including land invasion.

This issue could have been avoided altogether had the eThekwini housing department not collapsed, and the pace of housing delivery practically come to a halt.

The DA is however concerned by the increasingly poor relationship between Abahlali and the ANC-led eThekwini municipality. This must be addressed and the DA today appeals to eThekwini Municipality to extend a hand of engagement so that this liaison does not become one filled with further adversity. The breakdown of this relationship will only fuel tensions and create further mistrust.

Abahlali baseMjondolo must be allowed to play its role in our province as an important voice for the people when it comes to their right to housing.

KZN needs a permanent SAPS Commissioner, not someone who could be gone tomorrow

Democratic Alliance media statement by Dr. Rishigen Viranna, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison

 

 

KZN needs a permanent SAPS Commissioner, not someone who could be gone tomorrow

 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is cautiously optimistic with the surprise appointment of former National Police Commissioner, General Nhlanhla ‘Lucky’ Mkhwanazi as KZN’s new Acting Police Commissioner.

We are satisfied with the fact that General Mkhwanazi is a career policeman and that he comes with a reputation of being highly qualified in police operations, of acting without fear or favour and standing up to political interference. We sincerely hope that this is the same attitude he will bring to the KZN South African Police Service (SAPS) which is bedevilled with allegations of poor service delivery and officer corruption.

His appointment does, however, raise serious concerns around future stability within the province’s police structures. KZN has not had a permanent SAPS Commissioner since 2016 after another acting police commissioner‚ General Bheki Langa took over from former provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mammonye Ngobeni following her suspension in 2016 on allegations of gross corruption.

Certainly, the DA in KZN does not envy the acting Commissioner his new role today.  As with any acting role, it comes with the acquisition of power in theory but not in practice. This is particularly relevant when it comes to holding officers to account. We would have expected that Minister Cele would have finally appointed a permanent Provincial Commissioner.

The DA expects to see General Mkhwanazi prioritise the following in his new role:

  • Tackle all allegations of corruption that have rocked KZN SAPS. This must include the finalising of the disciplinary procedures against former Commissioner Ngobeni, and holding errant officers to account;
  • The formation of a capable, functional and capacitated Crime Intelligence Unit to tackle corruption, rural safety, organised crime and land invasions;
  • Tackle the rising scourge of violent crime in communities that are living in fear;
  • Improve morale amongst ordinary policemen and women through improved working conditions, HR issue, equipment and vehicles and other resource; and
  • Actively rebuild the trust between the SAPS and communities.

KZN needs a strong and committed permanent SAPS Commissioner – someone who is fully invested – not someone who could be removed tomorrow. The DA will no longer tolerate the ad hoc manner in which our police force is being managed.

The DA remains committed to monitoring the new Commissioner’s actions in the interests of the people of our province who can no longer be expected to live in fear.