The ANC-run City of Johannesburg has been plagued by various acts of corruption, fraud and maladministration for far too long under Mayor Parks Tau.
Since 2011, when Tau took office, it has become increasingly clear that the ANC’s commitment to fighting corruption has been void of any genuine transparency or proactivity.
Corruption is an enemy to democracy and a stumbling block to effective service delivery and job creation.
ANC corruption and cronyism is killing jobs in Joburg.
Johannesburg is currently faced with a jobs bloodbath and the ANC government has no effective solutions to this crisis. 869 000 people are currently unemployed in this city.
In fact, while Tau highlights his tenure as a success, 180 000 additional people have joined the ranks of the unemployed since he came into office in 2011. The unemployment rate has increased from 27% to 31% in a space of five years.
25% of the City’s residents live in informal settlements. These are people who are forced to live in conditions so shocking that I have lodged eight complaints with the South African Human Rights Commission, which they have agreed to investigate.
We cannot underestimate the impact that deep-rooted corruption within the ANC is having on this tragic state of affairs.
Tau’s administration has overseen R5.3 billion in unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure over his term in office. While Tau claims that things are improving, the facts tell a very different story.
Last year alone, the City saw R4.2 billion of unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
Furthermore, the Auditor-General slated the City for its failure to investigate this misspending as required by law to see whether any of it could be reclaimed.
What is Tau and his ANC cronies trying to hide?
The level of the mismanagement of public money is not just a good indication of the level of corruption endemic to the City of Joburg but a practical explanation of how DA–led municipalities continue to be models of meaningful job-creation and excellent service delivery.
While Joburg lost 24 000 jobs between January and March this year, the DA-run City of Cape Town created an additional 4 000 jobs.
For years entities and officials under the City of Joburg and some businesses have been involved in corruption and this tradition of stealing from the people will stop under a DA government in Johannesburg.
The DA is committed to a clean and honest government, a concept that has become alien to Parks Tau and the ruling party.
The City has been plagued by a billing and revenue collection crisis for several years, which has led to billions of rands worth of lost or written off revenue.
This year alone the finance portfolio wrote off over R8.4 billion in debt. This money could have built over 80 000 houses for the people of Joburg.
In 2014, during his budget vote speech, the former Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Pravin Gordhan, decried the fact that Joburg City officials were colluding with various stakeholders to avoid paying water and electricity bills.
The City was defrauded of R200 million as a result of the fraud committed by individuals and businesses, in the 2013/14 financial year.
It has become increasingly clear that the Mayor’s approach to corruption is reactive and he is stuck in ‘damage control mode’.
The 2014/15 Integrated Annual Report of the City was damning in its finding that the City lacked willingness to ensure transparency in procurement and contract management. Particularly when dealing with city officials and their relatives who do business with the city.
In fact, it is widely alleged that Tau’s wife has links to companies that have won contracts with the City.
The arrest of city officials involved in defrauding the municipality are few and far between while the ANC tradition of distributing resources and contracts to the connected few at the expense of the poor and marginalised continues unabated.
Recently, a Randburg Traffic Department official was exposed for taking a bribe. Despite this being reported to Mayor Parks Tau’s office and a promise for further investigations, the official involved has been moved from one unit to another.
In January 2015 two metro officers who were caught on CCTV camera taking a bribe in Westdene were“stripped of their uniform and sent to do administrative duties”.
The City of Joburg claims to have a zero-tolerance approach to corruption within JMPD, yet, corrupt officials continue to be protected and are deployed to another department.
The Office of the Ombudsman of Johannesburg was launched amidst much fanfare in July last year. The Office is there to ensure that all complaints relating to the City of Joburg is resolved through investigation.
According to the Mayor’s Spokesperson, the City set up the Office of the Ombudsman to deal with such cases of corruption. However, since the establishment of this office in July 2015, very little has been achieved.
As of 30 June 2016, the Ombudsman has only resolved 42% of all complaints filed which is simply unacceptable.
The elections are now one week away and the DA stands a real chance of winning Johannesburg.
If elected Mayor, I will have a zero-tolerance approach to corruption and deal effectively and swiftly with any allegations made against officials or entities under my administration.
The DA will end the scourge of corruption by doing the following:
We will conduct a skills audit of all civil servants under the employment of the City of Joburg. This will ensure that only qualified and ethical people will deal with our people’s resources.
We will open up the tender process to public scrutiny to ensure that tenders are awarded fairly to companies which offer the most value for money.
The DA will also bring an immediate stop to relatives of City officials being able to do business with the City.
Councillors and officials will have to disclose their financial interests every year to ensure there are no conflicts of interest, and we will make this information available to the public.
We will end the deep-rooted corruption in the housing lists, and make the process of selecting beneficiaries transparent, open and fair. The housing list will be available for anyone to see.
The Expanded Public Works Programme will be reviewed. There needs to be a transparent, fair and open database of people seeking EPWP jobs. I can assure you that under my government, nobody will need an ANC membership card to get an EPWP job.
Within my first six months in office we will conduct an integrity assessment of all JMPD officers to ensure that each of them are suitable for the job of protecting and serving the people of Joburg.
We will also fast track investigations into any allegation of corruption against JMPD officials.
Finally, a DA administration will review the Johannesburg Ombudsman By-law to change the office from what it currently is now, a toothless, blind watchdog, to a functional, independent office capable of resolving issues of maladministration and corruption, especially in billing complaints.
On the 03 August, vote for change that will move Johannesburg forward.
Vote for change that will stop corruption, create jobs and ensure better service delivery.
DA Mayoral Candidate for Johannesburg