DA welcomes the arrest of corrupt officials in Richmond Municipality

by Goodman Madonda – DA Richmond Municipality Councillor

DA welcomes the arrest of corrupt officials in Richmond Municipality

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes that the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) swooped in on Richmond Municipality CFO Sanjay Mewelall and his wife’s home in Pietermaritzburg this week.

In July this year, the DA laid criminal charges against Mewelall for fraud. This is after we learnt that in April 2017, a company called Emkhomazi Electrification Project was awarded a project to the value of R 272 317. However, Mewelall gave an instruction for R1 Million to be paid to this company.

It is reported that the AFU seized the couple’s luxury house and their cars that were allegedly obtained through the proceeds of crime. The DA welcomes this move and we are hopeful that those who have been working hand in hand with Mewelall in looting the Richmond Municipality will also face the long arm of the law.

The failing ANC has allowed looting and instability to continue unabated in Richmond. The DA will continue to hold all corrupt officials accountable until the municipality is cleared of all corruption.

We are committed to a DA-led government that will stop corruption and ensure that public money meant for people is spent on the people and where people who are found guilty of corruption face a 15-year jail sentence.

by Goodman Madonda – DA Richmond Municipality Councillor

 

R2 million of the people’s money wasted on trip to Columbia that never happened

Democratic Alliance media statement by Chris Pappas, CLLR

DA Ethekwini  Councillor

 

 R2 million of the people’s money wasted on trip to Columbia that never happened

 

The DA has requested the Municipal Manager of eThekwini Municipality, Sipho Nzuza, to conduct an urgent investigation into R2 million of the people’s money being wasted on a Council-approved overseas trip that went horribly wrong.

The eThekwini Council approved a request from the eThekwini Traffic Authority (ETA) to send a delegation of 59 people to Colombia to assess the public transport system in that country.

The aim of the trip was to encourage local bus and taxi operators to buy into the Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN) currently being rolled out in the city. The Democratic Alliance opposed the proposal saying that it would be wasteful expenditure and that the same thing could be achieved for far less than R2 million.

Shockingly, the delegation never made it to Colombia despite R2 million being spent. The eThekwini Municipality failed to obtain the visas required to enter Colombia and were stranded in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Upon their departure for Sao Paulo to Colombia, Brazillian officials stopped the delegation who did not have the correct documents to proceed. The delegation to Colombia was led by Head of ETA Thami Manyathi.

Manyathi and the other officials scrambled to make a plan as the delegation had no food and no accommodation planned in Brazil. Sources in the municipality say that between R400 000 and R500 000 in additional funding was requested from the city in order to pay for the unplanned stay in Brazil. There is no indication of how this money was approved or who approved it.

Tempers flared in the airport as the operators spent 24 hours waiting for answers from city officials. The delegation was forced to spend a “holiday” in Brazil with many of the operators taking time to visit malls and bars until their return flight to South Africa.

To date, no report has been received nor has a debrief with operators and officials taken place.

In addition, the bus and taxi operators are demanding that the original trip to Colombia be replanned.

The Democratic Alliance believes there needs to be a thorough investigation into the matter and that someone must be held accountable.

This is not a small mistake like forgetting to pay your parking ticket. Millions of rands have been wasted. Taxpayers in the city cannot continuously bankroll the rapidly spiraling state of the highly politicized administration in the city, this trip was controversial to begin with. It is no surprise that once again ratepayers will have to foot the bill. The residents of eThekwini deserve full transparency.

The city has a serious problem when it comes to consequence management.

This news comes in the wake of more troubles with the R3 billion bus systems that has yet to be completed or come online.

The Democratic Alliance is committed to speeding up the delivery of basic services in KZN.

Building a better future for South Africans means some changes need to be made. EThekwini cannot continue to spend money frivolously and have nobody held to account. A vote for the ANC is a vote for more empty promises. It doesn’t matter who leads them, they’re the same old party and they’ve had too many second chances in eThekwini.

DA calls for urgent intervention after recent road carnage ahead of the festive season

Democratic Alliance media statement by Rafeek Shah, MPL

DA Spokesperson on Transport

 

DA calls for urgent intervention after recent road carnage ahead of the festive season

 

The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal today calls for an increase in visible policing of the province’s roads, along with stricter law enforcement following the horrific deaths of at least 24 people in three different road crashes at the weekend.

According to media reports, the four people were killed on the R66 near Ulundi on Sunday night when a bakkie collided with a minibus while on Saturday 13 people died on the N2 near Empangeni when their vehicle collided with a minibus. On the same day, seven people died on the R614 when their bakkie crashed into a car.

The DA is deeply disturbed by this devastating carnage. We express our sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and pray for a speedy recovery for those who were injured.

It is extremely concerning that so many lives have been claimed despite KZN Transport MEC, Mxolisi Kaunda’s ongoing assurances that his officers will be out in force on the province’s roads to ensure compliance.

These deaths come before we even head into the thick of the festive season and a massive increase in the number of vehicles on the province’s roads.

If this trend continues then KZN’s road crash fatality rate post-Christmas and New Year is too terrible to even contemplate.

It is clear that the KZN Department of Transport needs to take drastic and urgent steps immediately. This means that every single road traffic officer needs to be out on our roads, visible to motorists. It also means that offenders, in particular speedsters, unlicensed drivers, those with unlicensed vehicles and drunk drivers who threaten the safety of road users must face the full might of the law.

The DA notes the MEC’s commitment to a full investigation into the three crashes at the weekend. We remain committed to monitoring the progress and outcome of these probes.

Uncaring ANC has forgotten senior citizens of eThekwini

by Thabani Mthethwa- DA EThekwini Chief Whip

Uncaring ANC has forgotten senior citizens of eThekwini

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in eThekwini is deeply disturbed by the uncaring attitude of the ANC-led eThekwini municipality towards senior citizens.

The annual senior citizens’ functions for 2018 are in disarray. Councillors have not been properly informed as to when and how these events will take place in their wards. Attempts by the DA to write to the Municipal manager to obtain answers has proven to be fruitless.

During these events, each ward in eThekwini is allocated 600 tickets. These tickets allow each senior citizens to attend a ward function that includes entertainment and refreshments. This is done to show appreciation for our senior  citizens

Since Mayor Zandile Gumede’s office took over these events, they have become disorganised and bias towards the ANC wards. The incompetence shown by the Mayor’s office to organise this annual event is a reflection of many failures of the governing party in the Metro.

This uncaring culture is what best describes the ANC. The DA is committed to a country where the most vulnerable and elderly are prioritised and protected.

MEC Dhlomo should be arrested, not KZN’s forensic pathology workers

Democratic Alliance media statement by Dr Imran Keeka, MPL

DA Spokesperson on Health

MEC Dhlomo should be arrested, not KZN’s forensic pathology workers

 

The Democratic Alliance calls on KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Willies Mchunu, to urgently respond as the crisis within the province’s mortuary sector gathers momentum.

As of last night, the DA was aware of 40 bodies waiting for post-mortems at the Gale Street mortuary and a further 27 at the Phoenix facility. This horrific situation is a direct result of Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo’s ongoing disregard for workers’ grievances.

While some post- mortems are being conducted at Gale Street, staff say they will completely stop work on Monday despite threats of arrest from the MEC if they do this. Other facilities have meanwhile confirmed that they will continue with their go-slows.

The DA has also been reliably informed that the MEC allegedly granted permission to a prominent family in the Pietermaritzburg area to enter that city’s mortuary -armed with a range of weapons – to collect the body of their loved one and take it to Durban for a post-mortem. This is not the first time the MEC has entertained thuggery.

Earlier this week, MEC Dhlomo presented a report to the KZN provincial Executive Council (EC) regarding the forensic pathology crisis in the province. To date, the Premier has been unresponsive apart from a statement in which he expressed the Council’s consternation. This is ironic given that this exact problem was in fact engineered by a member of that Council – MEC Dhlomo.

While the DA has not had sight of the report, we suspect that MEC Dhlomo would have laid blame at the door of the forensic pathology workers. If this is the case then his actions are truly appalling. In fact, it is the MEC’s ongoing attempts to shift the blame that should really shock the EC.

The DA has also been reliably informed that a meeting with the National Health Department and union representatives, attended by provincial representatives due to MEC Dhlomo’s absence, did not see any solutions reached. It is also an insult that while the MEC seeks intervention from the National Health Department for the deadlock he has created, his own Acting Health HOD claims that the province can in fact resolve its mortuary issues.

The MEC’s threats to have staff arrested if they do not go back to work is not a solution. Instead, he must address the workers’ pay grade translation that was agreed upon some 8 years ago and commit to improving their working conditions. Failure to do so will see ongoing protest action from this sector.

In the interim, the question Premier Mchunu must answer is this: why is he not holding his Health MEC to account for his ongoing severe lapses in leadership?

It is not forensic pathology workers who should be arrested, it is MEC Dhlomo. It is the MEC who must be dealt with. If the Premier will not fire him then the MEC must do the right thing and resign.