The DA condemns in the strongest terms the undemocratic occurrences in Mogale City last night. We may have lost the Mayoral seat but with our coalition partners, we remain completely committed to serving the residents of Mogale.
Since taking over the municipality in August 2016, the DA has exposed corruption, stopped fruitless and wasteful expenditure and set about putting service delivery systems in place.
Last night, during the mayoral election in Council, in a truly undemocratic fashion, the ANC Speaker, Patrick Lipudi, refused to recuse himself even though he was running for the Mayoral seat.
He further insisted on having councillors vote by using a stamp instead of a pen – the result of which was a number of spoilt votes which may otherwise not have been spoilt.
While the ANC has managed, by hook and by crook, to secure the Mayoral seat, this does not give the party, which ran Mogale City into the ground in the first place, control of the municipality.
The DA remains committed to working with other opposition’s parties and the events of last night give us no reason to doubt our partners.
The fact is that over the last ten months, since the 2016 elections, the ANC has actively and purposefully worked against plans to improve the lives of Mogale residents for no reason other than political point scoring.
It is clear that cheque book politics is at play and that the ANC has prioritised petty politicking over getting to work to ensure that the people of Mogale City are delivered the services they rightly deserve.
The DA-led coalition together with the residents has worked tirelessly to put together an integrated development plan (IDP) and budget that would serve the needs of the residents and not officials and cadres.
The IDP and budget the DA put together prioritised the following spending:
- R15 million electrification project for the 2017/18 financial year which includes an R3 million 20 MVA transformer and substation upgrade, R3 million for the conversion to Smart Meters in Munsieville and R3 million for new street lighting;
• R35 million budgeted for water projects including pipe repairs and a rural water strategy;
• Almost R80 million has been budgeted for sanitation projects, a crucial element in restoring the dignity of citizens without adequate sanitation services;
• R17 million for projects to deal with roads and storm water systems. This includes R4 million to be spent on the Western Rural Area roads and R12 million on the Kagiso Extension 3 area.
In the first of what will in no doubt be many fights, our focus now turns to ensuring that the ANC is not able to pass a budget that will negatively affect the municipality.
In contrast to the DA’s cost-cutting measures that included the decision not to have an extravagant state of the City address and cutting down on staff in political offices, the ANC budget includes an R100 million credit extension which would only add more strain to the municipality’s ability to service their debt. This action is evident that the ANC cares more for the funds they can utilise than for the communities that they are meant to serve.
Such a budget has not been through public consultation and would put Mogale City into further debt to the detriment of service delivery for residents.
The DA will now look forward to being the principled opposition to the ANC and will continue to fight in the best interest of the people of Mogale.