At a meeting of the Johannesburg City Council on Thursday, 28 November 2019, outgoing Executive Mayor, Cllr Herman Mashaba, will resign, making the election of a new Mayor the first order of business of the Council.
As the Democratic Alliance (DA) we will be fielding a capable and experienced candidate, Cllr Funzela ‘Funzi’ Ngobeni. Ngobeni currently serves as the MMC for Finance and the Leader of Executive Business. The EFF have stated that they will put forward a candidate, and we assume that the ANC will present a candidate.
This scenario where there are three candidates, and the political dynamics of the Joburg Council, will most likely result in a run-off election. In terms of Schedule 3 of the Municipal Structures Act, which regulates the election of Mayors, if there are more than two candidates for the position, the Council will have successive rounds of voting. After each round, the candidate with the least number of votes will drop out, and voting will then take place for the remaining candidates.
Having consulted with our Coalition Parties, namely the IFP, ACDP, COPE, and FF+, we are confident that when the various caucuses toe their party lines, the EFF candidate will fall out, leaving the DA and ANC candidates.
This, therefore, leaves the EFF with an important decision, whether they support the DA multiparty coalition’s candidate or support the ANC, whose only intention is to reverse the progress made since 2016 and loot the people of Johannesburg’s money. Further, even if the EFF abstains the ANC will regain control of the City. No doubt there will be a return to the wholesale looting of the past.
The coming week’s vote is critical for the future of Johannesburg. In Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB), communities are experiencing first-hand the damage that can be done when the EFF make the choice to sit on their hands and give the keys to the city back to the ANC.
The excellent recovery work done by Mayor Athol Trollip was swiftly undone by the coalition of corruption, consisting of the ANC, UDM, and UF (sometimes assisted by the PF). The contrast between the DA-led government and that of the coalition of corruption has been stark. In frank terms, Nelson Mandela Bay is being plundered, it has run out of water in some areas, and some of the key office-bearers in the municipality are being investigated by the Hawks. All the while, it is the people of the City who suffer, and particularly the poor.
Like the previous DA-led NMB administration, the DA’s Mayor Mashaba has brought significant change to Johannesburg, reversing two-decades of ANC non-responsiveness and theft of the people’s money.
Some of the change brought by the DA-led multiparty coalition include:
- The cutting of frivolous expenditure through concerted austerity measures increased the percentage of the capital budget spent on engineering infrastructure and housing from 58% in 2016 to 71% in 2019;
- Over 900km of roads have been resurfaced, out of the 4000km of roads that lay in poor and very poor conditions;
- A major turnaround has been made in resolving the long-standing billing crisis. The number of queries every month has come down, the backlogs have been reduced and the average time to resolve queries has been halved;
- Investment in the City has grown by 400% from R4,5 billion in 2015/16 to R17,3 billion in 2018/19;
- Healthcare and access to it has improved with 26 clinics across the City having their operating hours extended;
- The forensic and anti-corruption unit established by the current administration has reawakened the fight against corruption, with over 6000 cases under investigation, totaling more than R35 billion in expenditure. This unit has managed hundreds of arrests and dismissals of corrupt City officials;
- In a commitment to build a safe city, 1,500 new JMPD are set to be deployed following their training. This represents a 50% in the size of the JMPD force;
- Over 7,400 households in informal settlements were electrified during 2016/17 and 2017/18 with a target of 6,500 for the 2018/19 financial year.
- The Inner City revitalization project stands poised to transform the skyline of Johannesburg, with 139 properties awarded for development and construction has already begun.
This is but snapshot of the change we have brought to Johannesburg, and it would be sad day for the people of the City if the ANC were to be elected back to the Mayor’s Office.
We will continue engaging our coalition partners and the EFF to ensure that the people of Johannesburg come first.
Our work is not done, and there is still more to be done to build a safe, corruption-free, and investment-rich City for the people.