DA to call for Urgent Public Debate as Premier Mchunu fails to act against his CoGTA MEC

Democratic Alliance media statement by Zwakele Mncwango, MPL

DA KZN Premier Candidate

 

DA to call for Urgent Public Debate as Premier Mchunu fails to act against his CoGTA MEC

 

The Democratic Alliance will write to KZN Legislature Speaker, Lydia Johnson, to call for a Matter of Urgent Public Debate to be placed on the Order Paper at the next Sitting of the provincial parliament on 20 November.

The request, in terms of Rule 103 comes after KZN Premier, Willies Mchunu’s ongoing failure to appropriately respond to serious claims of corruption within the Nkandla and Mthonjaneni municipalities, allegedly involving KZN’s CoGTA MEC, Nomusa Ncube, and her businessman husband, Sibusiso Ncube.

On 4 June the DA provided the Premier with a dossier (view hereherehereherehereand here) relating to these claims with the request that he launch an investigation. In his response to the matter, the Premier undertook to provide the DA with information on actions which he, or officials from his Office, had undertaken in order to address these concerns.

It is now more than 150 days since then. Earlier this week the DA sent a written reminder to the Premier (view here), requesting that he act on his earlier commitment. To date, we have had no feedback.

This entire situation is yet another perfect example of how this failed ANC government protects a chosen few, placing them before principle.

It would seem that MEC Dube-Ncube has much to hide. The DA is aware that her husband has done business in at least 16 of the province’s municipalities. This situation is untenable and raises serious questions around the MEC’s impartiality. This matter also points to what is possibly an extremely serious abuse of municipal resources – one which could have a major knock-on effect on jobs and service delivery in the province.

It is the responsibility of the Premier to hold his MEC’s to account. The DA is of the firm belief that, in this case, he has not.  It is for this very reason that the DA will proceed with its request to the Speaker. We do so on behalf of the people of KZN who do not have a voice and who have a right to a government which cares about their wellbeing.

DA welcomes ruling against racist eThekwini municipality official

Democratic Alliance media statement by Nicole Graham, CLLR

DA EThewkini Caucus Leader

 

DA welcomes ruling against racist eThekwini municipality official

 

The Democratic Alliance in eThekwini has welcomed the outcome of a disciplinary hearing which ruled that eThekwini Legal Head Gideon Phungula, was guilty of racism, gross dishonesty and hate speech.
After receiving a transcript and recordings of Phungula calling Krish Kumar a “c**lie” repeatedly, DA eThekwini Leader Nicole Graham demanded that City Manager Sipho Nzuza suspend Phungula.
The matter was also reported by Graham to the Human Rights Commission as a violation of the rights of Kumar and other Indian city officials.
The recording also revealed Phungula admitting to being a political appointee, and that he was trying to appoint a ‘compliant’ lawyer to preside over the disciplinary of a Supply Chain Management official. The aforementioned official was implicated in the DSW orange bag scandal, but Phungula felt she needed to be protected for the ANC’s sake.
The way the orange bag matter has been handled has been completely disgraceful, and the Phungula recordings show why. Tender processes were clearly being subverted to enrich friends and those amenable to ANC donations.
It is unfathomable that the Head of Legal and Compliance could be so deeply compromised. This is the unfortunate reality of the state of the eThekwini Municipality, where competence is sacrificed for political ends.
Now that Phungula has been found guilty, the DA demands that he be fired from his position. The DA also wants an investigation into who exactly appointed Phungula and how the process was handled.
Phungula’s constant reference to “Mama” in the leaked recording points to no one other that Mayor Zandile Gumede.
The DA is the only party working to Build One South Africa for All, where we are better together.

MEC fails residents of Zisize Disability Centre – again

Democratic Alliance media statement by Sharon Hoosen, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Social Development

MEC fails residents of Zisize Disability Centre – again

 

The Democratic Alliance has been reliably informed that a case of rape (CAS 41/10/2108) has been opened at the Babanango SAPS after a 20-year-old mentally-challenged resident, living at the Ulundi-based Zisize Care Centre, was allegedly sexually assaulted.

In August the DA wrote to KZN Social Development MEC, Weziwe Thusi (see attached) to request her urgent intervention following claims of sexual abuse and other violations at the Centre. This after an unannounced oversight inspection of the facility which revealed allegations that;

  • Patients were having unprotected sex with other HIV patients;
  • Patients were being bitten by staff without any disciplinary interventions forthcoming;
  • The facility had no full-time nurses to provide the necessary health care to disabled residents;
  • Mentally and physically-challenged residents were not separated;
  • Residents with TB were not being given adequate medical attention;
  • Staff shortages meant that residents could not be properly monitored; and
  • Toilet and bathroom facilities did not cater for physically challenged residents.

The DA was shocked by these findings which were immediately noted in writing and sent To MEC Thusi for her attention. Despite the obvious gravity of the situation, the MEC and her Department have failed to take the matter seriously.

Not only has this latest incident created massive distress to residents at the Centre, it has also rocked the community of Melmoth. It is also entirely possible that it could have been avoided altogether had the MEC and her Department acted.

What is happening at Zisize Care Centre is a gross violation of human rights. On 6 September the DA wrote to the SAHRC (view here) to request a full-scale probe into the conditions at the facility. This was followed by another letter to the Commission on 22ndOctober (view here) to alert them of the rape allegations.

MEC Thusi and her Department have failed the residents of Zisize. If those with disabilities cannot rely on the Department of Social Development for relief, what hope do Women and Children’s Homes have? Furthermore, the lack of urgency displayed in response to both this – and other issues raised by the DA regarding conditions at KZN DSD-funded institutions – are proof that she does not care and that she is not cut out for the job.

It cannot be right that the very Department whose key focus is to build a better life for women, children, seniors and the disabled continues to fail them.

The DA expects the MEC to act immediately on behalf of the residents of Zisize. While she continues to ignore the DA and the plight of these residents, her reputation and that of KZN’s failed ANC government is hanging by a thread.

A DA government will prioritise the provision of quality social services that will guarantee the security and dignity of our most vulnerable members of society.

Prasa is failing KZN commuters

Democratic Alliance media statement by Zwakele Mncwango, MPL

DA KZN Premier Candidate

 

Prasa is failing KZN commuters

 

Note to Editors: You can download a voiceclip in isiZulu from DA KZN Premier Candidate, Zwakele Mncwango

 

The DA will be seeking an urgent meeting the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) CEO, Sibusiso Sithole, following an early morning oversight inspection at Isipingo train station at Berea train station.

During the inspection, the DA interacted with commuters who expressed concern about the inconsistent and unreliable service given by PRASA. In the request for a meeting sent to Sithole, the DA hopes to discuss feasible solutions that could help alleviate the challenges faced by commuters in and around the City.

Of major concern for consumers, were the repeated delays in train arrival, absence of security guards in coaches and inconsistencies in service delivery.

Late trains have hit people oppressed by poverty the hardest as some have lost their jobs, while some have been served with warnings for arriving late at work.

The failing ANC has not only failed to ensure fair access to real and long-term jobs in Kwa Zulu Natal (KZN), but it is also jeopardizing jobs of the few who are still employed due to erratic public transport services.

It also came to our attention that PRASA has discontinued monthly travel coupons and only retained the daily and weekly options. This means that consumers have to spend more on transport, further constraining their ability to make ends meet in a struggling economy.

The DA strongly believes that a reliable, safe and efficient public transportation system benefits commuters and drives economic growth as people arrive at work on time.

In 2019 people of KZN have an opportunity to elect a government that will put them first through the provision of an integrated and efficient public transport system.

You can download the pictures here, here, here and here

Failing ANC has no interest in developing the informal Economy

Democratic Alliance media statement by Chris Pappas, CLLR

DA Central Durban Chairperson

 

Failing ANC has no interest in developing the Informal Economy

 

A recent oversight visit of EThekwini Municipality’s Informal Economy Forum (EMIEF)  has revealed the desperate plight of the informal economy in the city.

A number of markets and trading facilities were visited including; the mielie cookers market, the bovine head market, Isipingo, Beachfront, Verulam market, Pinetown, and the KwaMashu Station market.

The visits have also revealed a number of challenges facing the thousands of people who rely on informal trading to put bread on the table. All the while the ANC-led eThekwini focuses on flashy events, the current state of the informal economy shows just how uncaring the governing party is.

Traders cited a number of issues including:

- The majority of trading facilities are without proper toilet facilities or running water. This forces the traders to work in unhygienic conditions without anywhere to relieve themselves.

- Facilities are closing at inconvenient times forcing traders to leave their goods on the streets.

- Inadequate storage facilities which force elderly traders to pushy heavy trolleys around the city looking for safe storage.

- Dilapidated and unmaintained facilities

- Failure to issue permits.

In addition to this, the Democratic Alliance is concerned about the number of construction projects that have been started and have subsequently stopped due to the failure of contractors to meet their obligations or by a failure of the city administration to manage projects effectively. Traders are being forced to work under terrible conditions while the continued abuse of the supply chain management process in eThekwini bleeds millions of Rands in unfinished or failed projects. Projects and improvements that have been promised for years have yet to take off or have been left unfinished but contractors have been paid.

Earlier this year the council voted to increase the tariffs imposed on traders. The Democratic Alliance voted against these tariffs insisting that the informal economy was already under pressure by increasing fuel and VAT and the increasing costs of living. EThekwini currently has more than 197 000 people employed in the informal sector with each person supporting another 3 people on average. Considering the continued decline in the state of the economy with more people slipping into poverty, there is no doubt that more needs to be done to support, regulate and develop the informal economy.

The Democratic Alliance believes in city-led development that focuses on creating an enabling environment for small business. By cutting red tape, corruption and wasteful expenditure and focusing on getting the basics right, the DA believes that the informal sector can be a vital source of employment in the city. This week the Premier Candidate will embark on an oversight visit to see for himself the conditions these traders are facing on a daily basis.