Joburg is back in the hands of Geoff Makhubo and ANC professional looters

Today is a sad day for the people of Johannesburg who believed in and supported the DA-led multiparty coaltion government, even during the toughest of times. We had made great progress in building a City all residents could be proud of. Today, that project will be undone.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) put forward the very capable and experienced Councillor Funzela ‘Funzi’ Ngobeni as its candidate for Johannesburg Mayor. We Believe Cllr Ngobeni was the right person to fully put into action the commitments made to residents in 2016. A commitment to stop corruption, accelerate the delivery of services and create job opportunities.

Notably, the ANC again put forward its own candidate, Councillor Geoff Makhubo, who is deeply compromised due to his alleged corrupt involvement in a City of Johannesburg tender, which has allegedly enriched him to the tune of R30-million. While Cllr Makhubo was meant to be delivering services and putting the people first, he looted the City’s coffers. Cllr Makhubo is not the man to build a working city; the ANC is not a party which holds sacred the needs of residents.

Today the City of Johannesburg is in the hands the money-hungry ANC, which will rapidly reverse the progress made over the last three years, as is the dire situation in Nelson Mandela Bay.

In just three years of DA governance, service delivery across the City has been accelerated, cost-saving measures have been put in place to ensure that money goes back into communities, billions of Rands in investment has been attracted, and more JMPD officers than ever before have been recruited.

If we had been granted the opportunity to take the City to 2021, Johannesburg would be a City for all its residents to be proud of.

Although this is a loss and a setback, we will not give up the fight against ANC corruption. 2021 will present the people of Johannesburg and the country an opportunity to vote for DA-led governments that always put the people first.

We will not give up the fight to ensure the people’s money is spent on service delivery.

DA agrees with Westbury residents: enough is enough

Police Minister Bheki Cele has once again failed to speak to the plight of yet another community hamstrung by violent crime.

Today, the Minister visited the crime-ridden community of Westbury in Johannesburg where residents have been protesting against violent crime.

The Minister promised that a task team will be deployed to patrol the streets and that an investigation into allegations of police involvement in criminal activities would be launched.

These promises are all well and good but mean nothing to the community of Westbury if they are not actioned with immediate effect. The Democratic Alliance will hold Minister Cele accountable for these promises. This cannot be another one of the failing ANC’s broken promises. By not acting the Minister will join the long queue of failing ANC politicians politicking with the lives of the people.

The failing ANC government has time and again proven that they are a government of empty promises and are incapable of fighting crime. They simply do not have a plan.

Unlike the failing ANC government, the DA is not a party of empty promises. Where we govern we go above and beyond to keep our communities safe despite our limited mandate. Due to under-resourced police services, the City of Johannesburg has recruited an extra 1500 JMPD officers to boost law enforcement. The City has also introduced a K9 narcotics unit tasked with tracking down on drug trafficking in the City.

A DA national government would:

  • Send the army into volatile, crime-ridden communities to establish order.
  • Introduce specialised units.
  • Work to make the police focused on serving and protecting with passion.

Since the outbreak of the protests in Westbury, the DA has been in ongoing consultations with residents regarding their concerns and will meet with community leaders in due course.

Myself, together with members of the DA’s Team One South Africa and DA Premier Candidates will be starting a tour around the country to hear first-hand what we can do better to make our communities safer.

Communities like Westbury do not only need more police patrolling in their communities, they need an honest and professional police service who they can trust to fight crime and keep them safe.

As the ANC chooses to turn a blind eye to spiralling violent crime – vulnerable communities across the country have become paralysed by fear as gangsters and thugs continue to run amok.

South Africans are sick and tired of fearing for their lives and that of their children.

The DA is the only party that is truly committed to combatting crime, fighting corruption and establishing an honest and professional police service.

ANC’s call for fresh elections in Tshwane and CoJ a cheap political gimmick defying voters’ choice

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes the press conference by the ANC Deputy Provincial Chairperson, Panyaza Lesufi, where he made remarks regarding the state of DA-led coalition governments and his party’s decision to call for fresh elections in the City of Tshwane.

Lesufi stated that the call for a fresh election is for “the of people of Tshwane [to] elect a government of their choice”.

This latest political gimmick by the ANC is ironic considering that the people of Tshwane in the 2016 Local Government Elections elected a government of their choice and voted the ANC out of power. The residents of Tshwane gave a mandate for the DA and other opposition parties to form a coalition government to administrate the business of the City and deliver services to its residents.

Over the past two years in the City of Johannesburg and the City of Tshwane, Mayors Herman Mashaba and Solly Msimanga uncovered 22 years of billions in rands of looting, corruption and abuse of the people’s money to fund the ANC’s elections.

In just two years, the DA-led coalitions governments of Johannesburg and Tshwane have turn things around and the two metros are thriving. In Johannesburg:

  • The City closed out the 2017/18 financial year with an improved performance in the unaudited financial reports. Cash reserves now stand at R1.9 billion with R6 billion in loans now repaid;
  • Over 2 000 title deeds have been delivered to residents who have waited for the dignity of home ownership for many years, and the City has started delivering services to 51 informal settlements neglected by the previous administration; and
  • With 1 500 more Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) Officers on the streets, the City has become much safer than before.

In Tshwane:

  • The DA inherited a R2 billion deficit from the ANC, however, in the 2016/17 the City closed out at a R704 operating surplus;
  • Mayor Msimanga sold the so-called “Mayoral Mansion” for R5.1 million in order to build houses for the disadvantaged. Proceeds from this sale are already being used to build more than 40 houses for those without; and
  • Following much-needed reforms to root out corruption, the Capital City has allocated R137.2 million towards the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) initiatives this financial year. This will lead to more jobs and skills for the unemployed.

These are only a few examples of the DA difference. Unlike the ANC, we have put the people of Johannesburg and Tshwane above petty politics and have exposed and rooted out corruption, created jobs, tackled crime, delivered service and given our people the dignity of a roof over their heads.

Whilst the ANC continuous to destabilise legitimate and democratically established governments in our metros, we will continue to do the work of bringing tangible change and building One South Africa for All.

City to boost its Metro Policing by another 180 traffic wardens

On Thursday, 19 July, the Mayoral Committee of the City of Johannesburg passed a resolution to boost the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) with a further 180 traffic wardens.

The City is growing at a substantial rate of about 3 000 new residents per month, as more and more people from around the world choose to make Johannesburg their home, and this rapid growth in population has necessitated that the City increase and improve capacity in all areas in order to deliver services efficiently and effectively.

This is part of “Diphetogo”, the City’s multi-party government’s initiative to improve the lives of our people by allocating a bigger share of funds only to priority projects that touch the lives of residents in a meaningful way.

Public safety is essential in maintaining stable economic growth and attracting investment to the City, which is why JMPD has been spearheading the restoration of law and order across the City.

Since the launch of Operation Buya Mthetho, a multi-disciplinary operation aimed at restoring law and order, more than 500 un-roadworthy and illegal mini bus taxis have been impounded by JMPD.

The metro police’s K9 Narcotics and Tactical Unit has effected 1 193 arrests, recovering 123 illegal firearms, 136 kilograms of drugs and over 1000 hijacked vehicles.

Noting that safety challenges in the City remain a mammoth task, it is important to ensure that there are adequate policing resources to serve its residents.

To this end, the City will be recruiting about 180 traffic wardens from the former Extended Public Works Program employees who were previously trained to perform traffic pointsman duties.

The Department of Public Safety identified the need to capacitate traffic wardens with additional powers in order to allow them to perform at optimum level.

JMPD Chief of Police David Tembe has engaged with the Gauteng Provincial Government and Transport MEC Dr. Ismail Vadi has agreed to this initiative to further endow JMPD traffic wardens with the following powers:

In terms of the National Road Traffic Act of 1996, a traffic warden may, in addition to their usual traffic management functions;

  1. When in uniform, require a driver of any vehicle to stop such vehicle;
  2. Regulate and control traffic upon any public road and give such directions as may be necessary;
  3. Require any person to give his/ her name, address, and other particulars or any process which are required for identification purposes if the traffic warden suspects the person having committed an offence;
  4. In respect of any motor vehicle, demand the owner, operator or driver to produce any documents as may be prescribed in terms of the Act.

The recruitment process will commence shortly and qualifying beneficiaries in terms of this first Traffic Warden Recruitment Program will be contacted to present themselves for the relevant processes. Once the recruitment program is completed, the City will see 180 traffic wardens servicing the residents of Johannesburg.

In closing, I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to MEC Vadi for accepting our application and extending the above powers to the City of Johannesburg as this allows us to bring back the Rule of Law to the City.

MEC Vadi’s assistance is a perfect example of the kind of intergovernmental relations that we wish to have.


Residents get electricity in their homes for the first time in DA-led Jozi

In 2015, the residents of Slovo Park took the City of Johannesburg to court for its failure to provide services to them after, what was then, 21 years of democracy.

On 19 February 2018, installation of electricity infrastructure commenced in the area and today, after waiting for over 20 years to receive basic services, each of the 3734 informal households in Slovo Park and the 3000 RDP homes in Elias Motsoaledi have been successfully connected to electricity.

“Today I had the pleasure of seeing first-hand the smiles on resident’s faces as we officially declared the electrification of Slovo Park and Elias Motsoaledi complete.”

 – Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba

City Power has also completed an awareness campaign aimed at educating the community of Slovo Park on the importance of taking ownership of the electricity network, dangers of illegal connections, saving electricity and the importance of paying for services rendered by the City of Joburg.

“This is part of our pro-poor agenda to uplift those communities that cannot help themselves. As part of the electricity roll-out, we aim to bring dignity to our people and steer them away from connecting to electricity illegally.”

–  Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba

You can read the full story here


City issues 500 title deeds to residents of Lufhereng

The DA-led City of Johannesburg continues to show commitment, this week, the city issued 500 more title deeds to the people of Lufhereng, Johannesburg.

Nomfesane Mthula, 87-year-old, was one of the happy recipients of a title deed that was handed the by MMC for Housing in the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Meshack Van Wyk.

The 500 title deeds handed to the community of Lufhereng is part of the city’s strategic initiative to ensure South Africans are legitimate owners of their property and not tenants to the state.

“This administration has dedicated itself to speeding up the delivery of title deeds and it has been a top priority as my part of deliverables to the citizens of Joburg.”

Cllr Meshack Van Wyk

The DA-led City of Johannesburg is setting the bar on the issue of land and has reaffirmed its commitment to giving residents ownership of the land they live on.

The City of Johannesburg will, over the next year, issue 3 500 more title deeds.

City launches extended rehabilitation centre as war on drugs continue

The City of Johannesburg is accelerating its war on drug abuse. Early this week, it launched an extension of the Golden Harvest Rehabilitation Centre in Northworld, Johannesburg.

The centre started operating in 2011 as an in-patient centre for 12 teenage boys between the ages of 13 and 17, who were addicted to alcohol and various other drugs.

Today, the centre has extended its premises to cater for 58 patients, both male and female. The aim  is to provide services to poor individuals, who cannot afford the cost of accessing exorbitant private owned rehabilitation centres.

The City of Johannesburg will work closely with the African National Council on Alcoholism (ANCA), and the facility will offer a six-week in-patient treatment programme.

“Of the total admissions, 24 children were admitted for Marijuana as a substance of choice, 15 children for Nyaope, while 12 were admitted for either Methamphetamine, Cat or Mandrax.”

–     Executive Mayor, Herman Mashaba

In the 2018/19 budget, R30 million in operational expenditure, and R12.5 million in capital expenditure has been allocated to the Departments of Health and Social Development to fully capacitate the City’s free Community Substance Abuse Treatment Centres.

This will see the establishment of another in-patient rehabilitation centre in Poortjie, Region G.

DA-led Jozi accelerates service delivery to residents

As part of the City of Johannesburg acceleration of service delivery to the people of Johannesburg, today Mayor Herman Mashaba and Acting EMS Chief, Mhlengi Makhubalo , handed four new fire engines to the Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Management Services.

The delivery of the fire engines forms part of the Department’s efforts to replace ageing fleet at various stations, to provide efficient and fast response in dire situations.

Two fire engines were newly purchased and the other two have undergone full refurbishment, bringing them up to a standard that is as good as new.

The initiative will end the complaints and concerns from residents of Johannesburg regarding the City’s abilities to secure their safety in the event of an increased number of fire outbreaks.

“I can happily assure residents that through the procurement and possession of these fire engines, the Department of Public Safety will ensure that the City is able to alleviate much of the pressure that has been placed on our Emergency Management Services.”

–    Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba

Council Passes Budget Championing the Needs of Johannesburg Residents

Today, Council passed the multi-party coalition government’s Operational and Capital Budgets and Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the 2018/19 financial year in full compliance with the Municipal Finance Management Act.

This is the second budget passed under the combined leadership of the DA, IFP, ACDP, UDM, COPE and VF+, with the support of the EFF, as well as the AIC who have broken ranks with the ANC and supported this budget.

After engagement between political parties in Council over the past few weeks, an approach was taken to reduce the tariffs for water and electricity. By doing, Council has achieved a caring and sensitive approach to household income which is under strain from various decisions of National and Provincial Government.

Equally the tariffs approved will enable the City to generate its revenue that will drive the fundamental change – Diphetogo – to our communities.

The Diphetogo project, at its core means real transformational change, and prioritises investment in the service delivery backlogs that plague our communities.

We have taken the decision to deprioritise the non-essential elements, cut unnecessary expenditure and re-directed these savings to battle our service delivery infrastructure backlog.

Some of the key highlights in the budget include: 

  • 2018/19 sees the largest share of the capital budget for roads, transport, housing, electricity and water, going up from 54% in 2016/17 to 69% in 2018/19.
  • R120 million to site and service schemes, double the previous year’s allocation, to provide serviced sites onto which beneficiaries can be settled with full ownership;
  • To accelerate the formalization of informal settlements, R14 million is allocated for the purpose of embarking on a consolidated planning program for informal settlements across the City;
  • R50 million has been set aside for the upgrading of Inner City emergency housing and rental stock.
  • R60 million for the renewal and refurbishment of the following hostels: Diepkloof, Meadowlands, Helen Joseph and Madala hostels.
  • R46 million has been set aside for the acquisition of buildings in the inner city for the purpose of creating affordable housing for residents.
  • R117 million for the electrification of informal settlements
  • R45 million for the installation of new public lighting city-wide, including our informal settlements, as well as an additional R20 million for the repairs and maintenance of existing public lighting within the City.
  • Johannesburg Water is allocated a capital amount of 1 billion over the medium term and R10.6 billion in operating expenditure which will reduce the number of pipe bursts by 6,000 leaks.
  • Pikitup is allocated a medium term budget of R771 million as well as 3 billion in operational expenditure. This will support additional cleaning shifts within the inner city as well as address the dilapidated conditions of Pikitup facilities. Pikitup’s operating budget will also pave the way for the filling of 1400 funded vacancies in their frontline service delivery capacity.
  • R30 million in operational expenditure has been allocated to the Departments of Health and Social Development to fully capacitate the City’s free Community Substance Abuse Treatment Centres.
  • R20 million is allocated to continue running extended operating hours within 11 of our clinics.
  • Public Safety has been allocated a medium term capital budget of R260 million for both Emergency Management Services (EMS) and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD). This budget will also be utilised for the continued training of 1500 JMPD recruits who will soon join our law enforcement efforts.
  • The Department of Economic Development receives an operating budget of R223 million and R30 million in capital budget over the medium term. This includes funds to complete the development of the Job Seekers’ Database which will effectively replace Jozi@Work, and do away with middle-men determining access to these opportunities.
  • R25 million to construct informal trading facilities in Rosebank Linear Park, Dobsonville and the inner city to support informal traders and provide them a space to grow their businesses.
  • R627 million of the national Public Transport Network Grant to finish the Rea Vaya Phase 1C services which will run between Sandton, Alexandra, Greenstone and the CBD.
  • R250 million for road rehabilitation and reconstruction and R181 million for the rehabilitation of bridges.

Through the implementation of the proposed tariff increases, we will work harder to improve access to quality water, electricity, sanitation and refuse services in our city.

I am pleased that through our coalition government working together, we are able to bring a diversity of views to the table and convert it into pro-active solutions to the challenges our residents face.

Together, and following extensive public consultation, we were able to construct a budget that will ensure Diphetogo when implemented.

For the first time, this public consultation was split into a listening tour of the City in October 2017, followed by engagements with the draft budget in April and May 2018.

Over 9500 residents formed part of the IDP outreach process, with the City receiving close to 3500 written and electronic submissions.

I would like to thank our coalition partners, the IFP, ACDP, UDM, COPE and the VF+ for their development and support for this budget.

I would also like to thank my own caucus for their unwavering support and dedicated hard work; and the EFF for their vigorous engagement with our administration.

I would also like to acknowledge the AIC, who has broken ranks with the ANC and supported this budget as a testament to their commitment to change in Johannesburg.

While the approval of this budget & IDP is an important milestone for the residents of this administration as well as the residents of this City, what really matters is how well we implement our budget.

This is the budget that will begin the large-scale turnaround of Johannesburg and place government at the service of our people.

City of Jozi to seize R300 000 worth of property from Luthuli House

After the ANC brought an urgent application to the South Gauteng High Court, in September last year, in a desperate effort to table a motion of no confidence against Mayor, Herman Mashaba the Court struck the ANC’s application from the roll and awarded costs in favour of the City as a result of their application being “devoid of urgency”.

The ANC has failed to pay over R300 000 in legal fees owed to the City and its residents, and On 5 June 2018, the City of Johannesburg obtained a writ of execution against the party.

It was unfortunate that Court’s time and taxpayer’s money had to be used to prove that the ANC’s baseless accusations were nothing more than a smokescreen to regain control of the City by any means possible, but more concerning is the ANC’s failure to respect the Court order which instructed the them to pay for the City’s legal costs.

Should the ANC fail to honour this payment by Friday, 15 June 2018, the City has instructed its lawyers to proceed with the execution of the court order, which will result in R300 000 worth of property being seized from the ANC headquarters, Luthuli House, by the Sheriff of the High Court.

– Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba