NEWS & ANALYSIS

Tshwane: No, MEC Maile, we understand perfectly

Solly Msimanga stands by allegations, says city is delivering, and is governed well

No, MEC Maile, we understand perfectly

21 January 2020 

What you label as a series of ‘wild and unsubstantiated’ allegations in your article of the 20th January, are merely observations of your timely, and opportunistic move to grab power in the City of Tshwane.

The crux of your argument MEC, that your section 139 (1) intervention in the City of Tshwane, aimed at ‘restoring the delivery of basic services and bringing back good governance and stability to the municipality’ invalidates everything that comes after, because a substantiated fact is that the City of Tshwane is delivering, is governed well, and is financially stable. Stating that a City which had a stable outlook assigned to it by Moody’s for improving its operating performance, and which corrected an inherited R2 billion deficit is not financially sustainable, is simply irrational.

By your own admission MEC, the provisions of section 154(1) state clearly that your mandate, and role, is to support and strengthen the capacity of municipalities to manage their own affairs, to exercise their powers and to perform their functions. That, unfortunately is not open to interpretation, despite your insistence on presenting ‘alternative facts’ as truth.

Tell us MEC, where is the feedback from your Committee of Inquiry that you established in August last year, to look at the health, stability and sustainability of all our municipalities in Gauteng? You gave yourself three months to carry out this work, and stated that ‘of the 11 municipalities including the three metros, only two municipalities- Midvaal and Ekurhuleni are in a healthy state’. You jump to action in Tshwane MEC, yet where are the action plans for these 8 other municipalities? I would hate to think that this Committee was merely a smokescreen to hide your true intentions, namely to hijack the City of Tshwane.

You claim that you have been very ‘vocal and proactive’ about addressing service delivery challenges and corruption allegations in other municipalities in Gauteng, as shown by your ‘posture’ on various issues. But that is just it MEC, it seems to be all about political posturing, but very little about action. You may indeed want the ‘harshest sanction possible’ for those found guilty of corruption and maladministration, yet words are empty if you don’t follow through.

What about the residents of Mogale and Merafong who will now be facing many hours of darkness because their municipalities have failed to pay their debts to Eskom? Surely these residents deserve your ‘intervening in order to protect the rights of citizens to basic services and to also ensure that the municipality can deliver on its Section 152 obligations’?

What your myopia is actually doing MEC, is hurting millions of residents, in Merafong, Lesedi, Emfuleni, Mogale and Rand West who feel that they have been forgotten. Stop the political games MEC, and give these municipalities the help and support they so desperately need, which, after all, is your mandate.

By Solly Msimanga