NOTE TO EDITORS: The statement below is an amended version of the statement that had gone out earlier. Please note the edit in bold in the last paragraph.
The DA will keep fighting for the people of Tshwane, and for effective, clean, and corruption-free government. We always knew that coalitions would be difficult, and that unaccountable parties can be manipulated to help bring the ANC back to power. But we will not give up on coalitions where the DA and our partners have a majority, and this includes Tshwane.
Yesterday seven councillors of the multi-party coalition in Tshwane betrayed their voters, and helped to install an ANC-EFF puppet mayor. This a temporary setback, but this coalition of corruption poses a significant threat to service delivery and the financial sustainability of the capital city, at a time when a bold financial recovery plan is essential.
The last time an ANC puppet ran Tshwane the city was left with a R4,3 billion operating deficit. This happened when the ANC provincial government in Gauteng unlawfully dissolved Tshwane’s municipal council. For a disastrous period of seven months the city was placed under administration, and left without councillors to assist residence or hold officials to account.
The DA forced the administrators out with a court order, but the damage done on their watch is yet to be fully repaired. In fact, the ANC in Gauteng has never accounted or compensated for the damage done on their watch, and now they have lined up for another round of disastrous governance. What is most important now is a credible financial recovery plan for the city that addressing the breakdown of systems and controls in Tshwane identified by the Auditor-General.
The DA and our coalition partners will take urgent steps to identify the seven traitors, and to remove them. This will restore multi-party coalition’s majority in Tshwane. But in the meantime, there is urgent work to the done to ensure that the capital city isn’t destroyed in the meantime. This rescue plan starts with the adjustment budget that Tshwane will have to pass in the next few weeks. The DA will work with or without our partners to introduce a set of measures that need to be taken to restore Tshwane’s finances.