Tshwane Mayor Msimanga has made real progress in cleaning up the failed ANC’s mess
by Refiloe Nt’sekhe – DA National Spokesperson
At an incoherent press conference this morning the failed ANC made a number of ridiculous and self-contradicting claims including that:
- the DA is using City money to fund elections driven by a supposed racial split in the DA
- it was the ANC which was the whistleblower on the PEU contract
- that the DA is both trying to get rid of black-owned businesses working with the City but is also, without explanation, the mastermind behind the appointment of Glad Africa.
It is not worth discussing the minutia of the ANC statement which is not worth the paper it was written on.
The truth that must be clarified is the state of this City when the DA inherited it two years ago. The City was broken and completely dysfunctional. The ANC had carried out a project of looting similar to the state capture model it used in national and provincial government.
The DA has worked tirelessly over the previous two years get the City of Tshwane back on track. To stabilize the finances of a City that had been treated like a personal piggy bank for the ANC. In our first year in office we managed to double the City’s cash position, bring it back from the jaws of bankruptcy, moving from an inherited R2 billion deficit to an R704 operating surplus. In that first year, we also reduced unauthorized expenditure by over a billion rand and irregular expenditure by R100 million.
We have turned the tide on poor service delivery – and in this new financial year we have been able to fund a capital budget which allocates the following to improved service delivery:
- R475 million on water and sanitation – leading to water connections to 12 600 households and Sewer connections to 3 943 households
- R982 million on electricity – leading to electricity connections to 6 800 households
- R994 million on roads and storm water leading to 50 km of new storm water networks and 56 km of new tarred roads, and
- R901 million for numerous housing projects.
Instead of building multi-million rand carwashes, which have done nothing to free the youth oppressed by poverty and unemployment, we have supported real, life changing economic development by opening the EPWP programme to all residents, not just those who are associated or linked to the ANC, by adopting an open and inclusive lottery system. So far, we have provided the residents of this City with 16125 job opportunities and by the end of June this year the City had registered over 120 000 people on the new fair lottery-based system.
The City has also given 1800 bursaries out to the value of R34 million. We began the Msimanga Informal Trader Bursary Fund which has made available R226 325 to settle outstanding fees for the 2017 academic year for ten existing beneficiaries. Our efforts to attract investment have far exceeded our initial goals. TEDA has an investment target of R1.5 billion – the current investment pipeline amounts to R3.84 billion with a potential 1 850 job opportunities.
Instead of pouring money into grandious mayoral mansions, like the one Sputla used, we have sold this asset to build new homes for 40 families and provide services in Attridgeville.
Instead of ignoring the City’s most vulnerable residents leaving them to live in areas with little or no services – only using these people when elections rolled around – we have tackled the mammoth backlog left by the ANC in Tshwane’s informal settlements.
We have started the process of incremental upgrades to increase and improve the lives of those who live in the terrible conditions that the previous ANC administrations left them in – a task that was made particularly difficult by the lack of resources left after the City was looted.
Nonetheless , the DA administration has begun work on infrastructure projects in informal settlements including constructing water, sewer treatment and reticulation systems in Mabopane, Kudube and Refilwe Manor, constructing 229 top structures in Olievenhoutbosch and connecting houses in Zithobeni and Zitohobeni Heights to sewage and water systems.
This is what makes today’s statements by the ANC so highly hypocritical and ironic. If only they had held themselves to their stated values of governance and accountability the DA-led government would not have inherited the service delivery backlog, massive debt and irregular tenders we did when we came to office.
Just to remind the failed ANC of the vast corruption under their watch (and to their benefit) we have successfully taken the following tenders on review:
- the PEU Smart Metre contract valued in excess of R2 billion (which they disingenuously claim to have uncovered themselves).
- the West Capital Project,
- the Moipone Fleet Contract,
- the City Hall scandal, and
- the Broadband Contract valued at several billions of rand
- In addition to these tenders we have slashed the 900 plus political appointees, all drawing salaries from the City, appointed under the ANC’s watch.
What is even more ironic is that the ANC chose Kgosi Maepa as the spokesperson to deliver their duplicitous attack on alleged DA corruption. Maepa has been accused of threatening to shoot and kill ANC regional treasurer Simphiwe Mbatha as recently as July of this year. Mbatha, who subsequently laid charges also alleged that Maepa had told her he would “then buy the SAPS” after killing her.
It is from this façade of a moral high-ground that the ANC has decided to deride the legislated process to start and independent investigation currently being initiated by the DA-led government.
The ANC is doing nothing more than slinging mud found in its own quagmire.
Unlike the failed ANC, the City of Tshwane under the leadership of Solly Msimanga took immediate action to ensure transparent and accountable governance as soon as prima facie evidence of possible irregularity in the Glad Africa contract came to light – having the tender assessed by legal counsel and then initiating a process to begin an independent investigation.
It is worth noting that the ANC has NEVER done this itself. Rather it looted the City with impunity and neglected the most poor and vulnerable residents to stuff its own pockets. That the ANC has the cheek to accuse the DA of stealing funds for party campaigning after its own staff members have been arrested for cash in transit heists beggar’s belief.
Further to this, the EFF made a string of unsubstantiated and offensive claims about the DA and the leadership of Mayor Msimanga. Their drivel is nothing more than a smokescreen to cover the fact that they walked out of a Council meeting that was convened to deal with allegations of corruption against the City Manager. Are they really serious about fighting against corruption?
If the EFF want to hand the City back to the looting and lying ANC, it is for them to explain to voters why they want to do so.
The fact is that the DA-led coalition government has been thorough and followed due process in terms of interrogating allegations surrounding the Glad Africa matter exhibiting our steadfast zero-tolerance approach to corruption.