by Alan Fuchs MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Infrastructure Development
A toxic cocktail of a lack of accountability and lack of resources in government is directly responsible for tragedies such as the Bank of Lisbon fire in downtown Johannesburg as well as the Esidimeni saga.
The MEC for Infrastructure Development, Jacob Mamabolo, has indicated that the Department of Infrastructure Development recently received a report in response to a request for an ad-hoc conditional assessment of its buildings in the CBD. Despite this, it is incorrect to say that the administration was not aware of the fact that the buildings were not compliant with health and safety regulations
MEC Mamabolo said the following, “It’s very clear to us that there is a problem with government buildings in the provincial government, so we are not in denial about that point. If we created the impression that we didn’t know, that would be incorrect.”
The fact is that the Infrastructure department has no property management function to speak of and is in the process of outsourcing this function.
In addition, the Gauteng government has failed to implement the Government Immovable Asset Management Act (GIAMA), which requires an annual assessment of all assets in terms of serviceability and maintenance as well as a conditional assessment every 5 years.
These facts suggest that the tragedy that occurred at the Bank of Lisbon building could have been avoided if government had taken its responsibilities more seriously and had the foresight to evaluate risk and attempt to mitigate it.
We will now be in a position to determine if the Premier is able to hold his MECs to account. He did not do so after the death of the Esidimeni patients and I am not holding my breath that he will do so now.
Now is the time to get rid of this administration at the ballot box and vote for a party that will take its responsibilities more seriously.
The people of Gauteng as well as its public servants deserve to work in a safe environment. A DA-led government will ensure that this is the case.