Tshwane administrators vow to make the 'neglected' City viable again

Critical matters that should be attended to urgently include building a fit-for-purpose team in the City

Tshwane administrators vow to make the 'neglected' City viable again

26 March 2020

The team of administrators appointed to run the City of Tshwane after the council was dissolved, vowed to make the capital city viable again, saying it was "neglected long enough".

Gauteng Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile appointed the administrators earlier this week to run the City ahead of by-elections.

The City was placed under administration and the council dissolved after the it failed to elect a new mayor, extend the period of service of the acting City manager and approve the adjustment budget last month.

The Tshwane council fell into disarray after several meetings collapsed or did not come to fruition because there was no quorum.

The DA challenged the decision in court and judgment was reserved, but the dissolution of the council continued in the interim.

City has been neglected long enough

Administrator Mpho Nawa said: "The team has hit the ground running, firstly by meeting internal stakeholders such as senior management of the City and employee representatives i.e. the unions," Nawa said.

"The team has received various reports that will enable them to execute their 90-day mandate as outlined in their terms of reference."

"After months of poor decision-making that rendered the City incapable and ineffective, what is clear to the team in moving forward is to ensure that the City is working again for the benefit of residents."

Critical matters

According to Nawa, critical matters that should be attended to urgently include building a fit-for-purpose team in the City, instilling a culture of professionalism and tackling governance issues.

"In addition to the above, we have to unlock critical projects, such as upgrading the Rooiwal Waste Water Treatment Plant that will ensure that the people of Hammanskraal are finally provided with clean drinking water as a basic human right."

"The residents have been neglected long enough. This cannot be business as usual. It is time that they are put first."

"That is why the provision of basic services to the resident is non-negotiable as a metric to measure that the City of Tshwane demonstrates that it's indeed a caring and responsive government."

Expenditure skyrocketed

The administrators are also considering strategic reports, which include the 2018/19 financial year report from the Auditor-General, Nawa said.

"The report is consistent with the other reports we have received in the past 48 hours."

"For instance, while the City has received an unqualified audit, irregular expenditure has skyrocketed to approximately R1 billion. While fruitless and wasteful expenditure increased by approximately 30% (from R64m to R89m)."

"These are monies which should have been allocated towards resource mobilisation for the City's residents. It is unfortunate that flagrant disregard of financial resources has continued unabated, seemingly without consequence. This is not a good story to tell by any standard."

Nawa said the administrators would do everything required to put controls in place for the City's management of public resources.

"There will be no stone left unturned to ensure that the City returns to a financially viable and sustainable operational capacity."

"I will personally take a zero-tolerance approach in instances where anyone within the administration conducts themselves in a manner that impedes our mission."

"In conclusion, I want to reiterate to you all here that decisions taken during this 90-day transition will always be in the interest of residents. This is the commitment I have made with the team."