Moerane Commission: ANC abuse of power behind the political bloodbath in KZN

Democratic Alliance media statement by Zwakele Mncwango, MPL

DA KZN Premier Candidate

Moerane Commission: ANC abuse of power behind the political bloodbath in KZN

 

The Moerane Commission report, tabled earlier today in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature has vindicated the DA’s long-held belief that the political bloodbath in the province is the result of a dysfunctional and failing ANC which is rife with corruption, particularly at local government level.

The long-awaited report into the reasons behind politically motivated murders in KwaZulu-Natal has painted a dangerous behind-the-scenes picture of an ANC-led provincial government that has failed to deal with an abuse of power as well as the lack of separation between party and state by its own officials.

The DA believes that the findings of the Moerane Commission are extremely damaging to the failing ANC and that its leadership in this province should hang their heads in shame. These murders are happening on their watch. Their own Comrades are killing each other. Those who are fighting against corruption are also being killed.

Furthermore, the Commission’s concerns around what is a largely ineffective provincial police force and a judicial system that has failed the people of KZN to date are entirely warranted. To date there are no convictions for these crimes – even while the report shows that it is possible to identify the ringleaders.

The time has come to move from who pulls the trigger to who orders the hits. To do this there must have increased crime intelligence in KZN. The DA has long called for this and we note the Commission’s support of this view.

Other areas of concern to the DA include;

  • The failure by eThekwini Municipality Mayor Zandile Gumede to abide by the Commission’s request for information around Glebelands. This is the height of arrogance and speaks directly to where her priorities lie;
  • The Premier’s failure to extend the Commission’s terms of reference to 1994 or 1996. In stating that they start from 2011 he has limited the Commission’s findings in terms of politically-related deaths in our province;
  • The Commission’s statement that it was delayed by insufficient resources. This while more people were dying in our province.

Yet another damaging view expressed by the Commission is that the concept of a democratic society is under threat in our province, with political competition and its attendant violence leading to voters being unwilling to engage and increased voter apathy. This ‘capture’ is evidenced by the ANC’s determination to politicise community structures.

This is creating an unhealthy environment where civic organisations no longer have a voice and where there is no accountability from government.

The Commission has recommended that an investigative task team including outside objective consultants and multi-party representation be launched. The DA supports this move. We also expect KZN Premier Willies Mchunu to hold his CoGTA MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube and her Department accountable for what is happening at local government level. This is where the problems begin.

The DA therefore calls for the following measures to be implemented without delay:

  • Enforcement of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct;
  • Enforcement of the MFMA – which clearly outlines the role of Councillors when it comes to tenders etc;
  • Appointment of Councillors based on merit rather than political connections;
  • Proper training of Councillors so that they know the boundaries of their role and
  • Education of communities so that they understand the parameters under which Councillors operate

The Moerane Commission’s report would not have been tabled today in this House were it not for the pressure by the public of KZN and opposition political parties. The reason for this is simple – the failing ANC does not care about the safety of KZN’s people. It only cares about votes ahead of next year’s election.

Umhlathuze Mayoral House will escalate to R20 million of public funds

Democratic Alliance media statement by Zwakele Mncwango, MPL

DA KZN Premier Candidate

Umhlathuze Mayoral House will escalate to R20 million of public funds

 

The oversight inspection by the Democratic Alliance in uMhlathuze Mayoral Mansion construction site revealed that the building project could escalate to an estimated R20 million, against the City’s R5.5 million budget.

In March this year, the DA wrote to the Municipal Manager, Dr Sibeko, to sought answers on the tender not being specifically categorised as a mayoral house and later defined as tools of the trade. The DA in the uMhlathuze Caucus also raised concerns on the budgeting as building construction consultants estimated the project to escalate to anything above R20 million when the city set aside R5.5 million.
With a budget of R20 million, uMhlathuze Municipality could have built 111 low-cost homes at a cost of R180 000 each. A caring government would have built these homes for the poor and underprivileged.
The DA will therefore write to the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube kaNcube, to investigate the matter further as we feel that the ANC is detached from the challenges faced by residents of the city. Noting that the site was initially zoned for high-density housing and could have put up a number of family units that would benefit residents.
At this rate, the already cash-strapped Umhlathuze Municipality will dip into more financial constraints which will affect service delivery, especially for the poorest of the poor. Come the 2019 General Elections the residents of uMhlathuze have the chance to voice their concerns at the ballot box and vote for a government that has their interests at heart, not the interests of the connected few.
A vote for the DA is a vote for change. Change that will unite all South Africans and will create fair access to real and long-term jobs. Residents have the chance to play an active role in their lives by voting for a caring DA government.

KZN Health’s shocking audit is testimony to MEC Dhlomo’s leadership

Democratic Alliance media statement by Dr Imran Keeka, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on  Health

 

KZN Health’s shocking audit is testimony to MEC Dhlomo’s leadership

 

A recent presentation by the Office of the Auditor-General to the KwaZulu-Natal Health portfolio committee has reinforced the Democratic Alliance’s view that the province’s Health Department is in crisis. According to the A-G’s findings, the DoH has received yet another qualified audit with the recent findings confirming:

  • Irregular expenditure up by R1.47 billion to R8.96 billion;
  • Medico Legal Claims up from R10.2 billion to R17.56 billion;
  • Very poor management of irregular expenditure and no investigations into such irregularities;
  • A recurring problem in terms of asset management;
  • A failure to submit proper records of performance; and
  • Overall instability and lack of accountability within the department’s structures.

This is nothing short of a filthy audit and the KZN Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo and his department should hang their heads in shame. The last time the department had a clean audit was in 2006.

Equally damning is the A-G’s comment to the portfolio committee that he and his team are worried that the Treasury task team – deployed to fix the department’s numerous problems – is not producing the desired outcome. This revelation is nothing short of stunning and has effectively poured cold water on KZN Premier Willies Mchunu and his Finance MEC’s ‘big talk’ and suggestions of an effective intervention.

The A-G also found that the department’s leadership “did not exercise effective oversight and monitoring over the consistent application of policies and procedures, implementation and monitoring of action plans and related internal controls to achieve reliable and credible financial and performance reporting as well as compliance with applicable legislation”.

Also disturbing are the comments by the A-G that the DoH could not verify time-keeping records for overtime payments, with the result that his office was unable to verify the “facts” and figures supplied.

This raises very serious concerns around the legitimacy of any information supplied to the portfolio committee and to the public. The DA has long been mistrustful about information supplied by the MEC and his department, particularly when it comes to the figures around the province’s oncology crisis.

This finding has only brought MEC Dhlomo and his department into further disrepute.

Further concerns expressed by the A-G include the very slow response by the department’s political leadership and officials in terms of its earlier recommendations.

Added to this is the finding that while the department continues to make promises to improve audit outcomes, there is no evidence to support this, with the supply chain process in total chaos and – even more alarmingly – a recent hostage situation involving the HOD as a result of this pandemonium.

The A-G’s report has confirmed that KZN’s Department of Health is in ruins. This is testament to the fact that MEC Dhlomo has utterly failed in terms of his leadership role. It is also indicative of the massive corruption that continues unchallenged while the MEC collaborates with the very thugs who are holding his department hostage.

The DA again calls on the Premier to do the right thing and fire MEC Dhlomo. Nothing less will do.

Stanger crime crisis: DA requests meeting with Police Minister

Democratic Alliance media statement by Dean Macpherson, MP

DA Ilembe Constituency Chaiperson

 

Stanger crime crisis: DA requests meeting with Police Minister

 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has requested an urgent meeting with the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele as well as the Minister of Justice, Michael Masutha, to devise an intervention that will restore order and bring peace to the streets of Stanger.

Answers to the DA’s parliamentary questions revealed that between the Stanger Police and the Courts, there has been a mere 1.4% conviction rate for murder, rape, robbery, hijacking and housebreaking.

When one looks at each category specifically the figures are more alarming, including a conviction rate for murder of 2.7%, rape of 6% and hijacking of 0%.

On 19 June 2018, the DA undertook an oversight insepction to the Stanger police station during which senior management literally ran away to avoid accounting to MPs.

It is now clear that there is a crisis in Stanger that requires urgent national intervention to restore law and order in this community.

The people of Stanger live in constant fear that they will be victims of violent crimes without a police service to assist them and a justice system that will prevent criminals from roaming the streets.

A DA government will ensure that law and order is maintained in our communities and that there are effective arrests, prosecutions and convictions of criminals.

Fire Safety: Addington Hospital is a death trap

Democratic Alliance media statement by Dr Imran Keeka, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on  Health

Fire Safety: Addington Hospital is a death trap

 

The Democratic Alliance has today written to KZN Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, (view here) to call for a comprehensive audit into fire safety compliance levels at the province’s hospitals, in particular Addington Hospital and the ageing King Edward VIII facility.

In the case of Addington, it is common knowledge amongst KZN’s health portfolio committee members, as well as the members of the National Council of Provinces, that this hospital is not fire compliant. In fact it is a death trap. The issue has been raised during numerous earlier meetings yet there remains no concrete plans in place to address the critical matter.

The biggest problem at Addington is that of corroded plumbing as a result of the hospital’s seaside location. This has, in turn, led to a malfunctioning of the fire sprinkler system. Despite the MEC and his Department being fully aware of this, they have not taken any measures such as extra fire hydrants or hoses to be used in the event of disaster. Nor has any reassurance been provided to the province’s Health portfolio committee or anyone else.

The DA has been advised that the poor fire compliance conditions at Addington will only be addressed after the completion of Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Sema Hospital. This is projected for late 2019/early 2020. The question the MEC must answer is – what would happen if there was a fire at Addington Hospital before then?

The DA expects MEC Dhlomo to:
• Ensure that a full audit is done of all facilities with regards to fire compliance; and to
• Put urgent measures in place at Addington Hospital, King Edward VIII and others that will ensure safety and security in the unfortunate event that there is a fire.

The recent fire in a Gauteng government-owned building and the tragic deaths of several firefighters should be a wake-up call to MEC Dhlomo.

He can no longer afford to place the lives of staff and patients at KZN hospitals at risk. Only a merciless and uncaring ANC-led government would do so.