ANC MUST EXPLAIN WHY ONLY 59 OUT OF 150 INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS HAVE BEEN FORMALISED

In 2013, outgoing Mayor Ramokgopa promised in his State of the City Address that “The total eradication of informal settlements remains an important goal of our work during the current term of office. Our citizens deserve places of residence that are fully serviced with title deeds.

And just yesterday, Thoko Didiza, the ANC’s lame duck mayoral candidate, reiterated this promise saying that replacing informal settlements is a priority for the party.

But truth is that since 2013, the number of informal settlements has only grown under the ANC. The ANC must explain their broken promises to formalise informal settlements.

According to City of Tshwane’s 2014-2105 Annual Report, only 59 of the 150 informal settlements identified in 2013 by the City’s “flagship” housing programme, Re Aga Tshwane, have been formalised. This is a mere 39% of the set target.

Since 2013, the number of informal settlements in Tshwane has in fact increased to 178. Among these informal settlements is Plastic view which recently burnt, killing five people and displacing roughly 1 500 residents.

Many informal settlements in Tshwane are without access to basic services such as water, electricity and sanitation.

According to the General Household Survey, Tshwane has the lowest percentage of households with access to a basic sanitation facility at 82% in comparison to 91.4% in Cape Town.

In 2015, Sputla yet again said the City would “accelerate the formalisation process through the Re Aga Tshwane programme”. But just like the rest of his promises, this pledge too lies broken and shattered.

Sputla was correct in saying that the people of the Capital deserve houses with title deeds. But the ANC government in Tshwane has failed to deliver.

Handing over title deeds is about more than giving people ownership of their homes; it is about expanding access to opportunity.

Title deeds allow people to be owners of their property, to have access to equity, to be part of this society and to prosper. Title deeds give people access to opportunity and to ability to improve their lives and the lives of their families.

Earlier this week the DA revealed that corruption and financial mismanagement in the Capital has cost its residents the equivalent of 32,153 RDP houses, while the housing backlog in Tshwane stood at over 120,000 according to the 2014/15 Gauteng Department of Human Settlement’s Annual Performance Plan.

For too long the people of the Capital have been let down by broken ANC promises.

The DA have committed to working hard to ensure that the delivery of title deeds in municipalities we govern is sped up so that more South Africans can own the properties where they live.

Where the DA governs, we are committed to ensuring the fair allocation of housing opportunities, and vitally, coupled with the issuance of title deeds.

In the past three years, the DA-run City of Cape Town has given 15 000 title deeds to make the poor the real owners of their own homes. This is more than any other metro in the country.

This is the change that only the DA can deliver, handing over title deeds as well as greater transparency and accountability in the awarding of RDP. This has been proved in the municipalities we govern.

This is the DA difference; this is the change the DA wants to bring to Tshwane in order to see it move forward again.

Together, on 3 August, we can bring change to Tshwane.

 

Media enquiries:

Motheo Mtimkulu

Media Manager: Tshwane Mayoral Campaign

083 728 0554

Tshwane Budget: DA’s Pro-Poor, Pro-Jobs Alternative

Jobless Tshwane

Tshwane is in the midst of an unemployment crisis with 1 in 3 of the working age population jobless, or without the hope of finding a job. This is a total of 517 000 residents who do not have the means to support themselves or those who depend on them.

At the heart of this problem is Mayor Ramokgopa who has, despite his many promises, consistently failed to turn Tshwane into a City at work.

Tomorrow Mayor Ramokgopa will table a Band-Aid budget in the desperate hope that it will convince voters to give the ANC another chance.

But the truth is that all indications suggest that Sputla’s budget will be too little, too late and will not go far enough to prevent the City from haemorrhaging more jobs, having lost 31 000 in the first quarter of 2016 alone.

Fruitless and Wasteful Endeavours

Yet while the residents of Tshwane suffer from continued job losses, inadequate service delivery and rampant corruption, Mayor Ramokgopa continues to spend a fortune on vanity projects and other fruitless and wasteful endeavours.

The crisis in Hammanskraal this week is a symptom of the continued failure of Sputla’s government to serve the people of Tshwane, and giving them a life of dignity and opportunity.

Enough is enough. The residents of Tshwane deserve more than an uncaring and corrupt government that has seen progress in the Capital stall.

As tens of thousands lose their jobs in Tshwane, it should be Sputla who loses his job.

The residents of Tshwane deserve an honest and responsive DA government that will move this City forward again; a government that will stop corruption, deliver better services and create jobs.

DA Government in Tshwane

A DA government in Tshwane would table a pro-poor, pro-jobs budget and programme of action aimed at arresting the decline of the Capital. This would include:

  1.  Reforming service tariff structure to be pro-poor. While recognising the responsibility of residents to pay for municipal services, the current tariff structure does not make adequate provision for those who cannot afford them. A DA government would implement a revised tariff structure based on consumption that will allow the poorest of the poor to benefit from free basic services with tariffs increasing as usage increases.
  1.    Prioritising the transfer of title deeds and accelerating housing provision. The protests in Hammanskraal have underscored the failure of Mayor Ramokgopa’s office to address the housing crisis in Tshwane. A DA-government would prioritise the transfer of title deeds as we have done in the City of Cape, who transferred the most title deeds in the 2013/14 and 2014/15 financial year. We would also ensure that housing lists are open and transparent to prevent corruption by councillors, an accusation that has been lodged against the ANC in Hammanskraal. Any councillors found guilty of this will be fired immediately, as should be done with any ANC councillors found guilty of allocating land illegally in Hammanskraal.
  1.    Increasing spending on projects that directly address skills development and job creation. In the 2015/16 financial year, the City of Tshwane spent R35.9 million on programmes to assist unemployed matriculants or young people to gain employment, half the amount spent by the DA-run City of Cape Town, despite its higher unemployment rate. In addition to increasing funding to these programmes we would invest in projects aimed at skills development such as the Premos Training Centre in Pretoria West. The Centre was once responsible for providing jobseekers with apprenticeship training in technical skills such as plumbers and electricians, but has been defunded by the ANC and become dysfunctional.
  1.    Cutting unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful (UIFW) expenditure. In the 2014/15 financial year, the City of Tshwane lost R785.5 million due to unauthorised expenditure, R1.537 billion due to irregular expenditure and R18.6 million due to fruitless and wasteful expenditure – a total of R2.341 billion. As Mayor, I would endeavour to cut this by half in my first year in office and reduce it to below R1 million over the course of my term with a view to eliminating it entirely. In the 2013/14 financial year, the DA-run City of Cape Town managed to bring UIFW down to R339 000. This shows that where the DA governs this can be done.
  1.   Increasing the budget for Repairs and Maintenance (R&M) by R500 million. With the money saved from reducing UIFW, we would seek to increase the R&M budget by R500 million in order to make sure that Tshwane’s infrastructure is able to support economic growth, attract new businesses and provide better services to residents. The current budget of R1.5 billion is far below the National Treasury benchmark of R2.8 billion, a trend which is continued over the MTREF.
  1.    Increasing expenditure on strategic capital projects, such as the Rooiwaal waste water treatment works (WWTW). R1.5 billion in capital expenditure is required to overhaul the dysfunctional Rooiwaal WWTW alone, but only R1.55 billion has been allocated to the whole Water and Sanitation department over the next three years. The DA would prioritise essential capital projects that will boost service delivery in water, sanitation and electricity supply, to enhance infrastructure service delivery across the whole City.
  1.    Restructuring the City’s bloated bureaucracy. The City of Tshwane currently spends R258 million on operational expenses between the Chief Whip’s Office, the Speaker’s Office and the Mayor’s Office, with the Chief Whip’s Office alone employing 64 staff members. The DA would embark on a process of restructuring to streamline the operation and reduce expenditure while retaining skilled staff in positions currently vacant in other departments.
  1.   Prioritising the reduction of the City’s vacancy rates in key departments. The overall vacancy rate in the City is over 40%, while in some departments it is a high as 60%. Filling key positions in the short term will both reduce the cost of using external consultants, but make the City more efficient and responsive in addressing problems. These departments would include City Planning and Development, responsible for creating the environment for economic growth; Energy, Electricity, Water and Sanitation, which are central to service delivery; and Group Financial Services, responsible for financial management.
  1.    Streamline the supply chain management (SCM) system and open the attendance of the Bid Adjudication Committee to the public. The current SCM system is bureaucratic, unresponsive, lacks transparency and is plagued by largescale corruption. Correcting these problems will not only result in more efficient service but reduce corruption making more money available for job creation and service delivery.

Corruption and Joblessness

On August 3 the residents of Tshwane will be given a choice to take Tshwane back from the ANC and empower a DA government to start making progress in the Capital again.

The DA can win Tshwane, and when it does it will bring change that stops corruption, delivers better services and creates jobs.

Together we will turn this city around and enact a programme of action to make sure that the corruption and joblessness that is synonymous with Sputla’s government is put to an end.

 

Media enquiries:

Motheo Mtimkulu

Media Manager: Tshwane Mayoral Campaign

083 728 0554

Tshwane Budget: Msimanga To Set Out Expectations

Tomorrow, Wednesday 25 May 2016, DA Mayoral Candidate for Tshwane, Solly Msimanga MPL, will brief the media on what Mayor Ramokgopa should announce in the 2016 Budget Speech to get Tshwane working, if he is serious about solving the jobs crisis in Tshwane.

With 517,000 residents of Tshwane without jobs, after the number grew by 40,000 in the first 3 months of the year, Mayor Ramokgopa has no choice but to announce serious interventions to create jobs and grow the Tshwane economy. Based on the draft budget tabled by the Mayor in March, too little is being done by the ANC government of Tshwane to provide hope to hundreds of thousands of jobless in Tshwane.

The briefing will take place as follows:

Date: Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Time: 10:00

Venue: DA Gauteng North Regional Office

Address: Midcity Square, 501 Jorissen Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria

 

Media enquiries:

Motheo Mtimkulu

Media Manager: Tshwane Mayoral Campaign

083 728 0554

Sputla, Hands Off Historical Caledonian Stadium

Arcadia Shepherds – Caledonian Stadium

The DA condemns the decision by Mayor of Tshwane, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, to proceed with plans to evict the Arcadia Shepherds from Caledonian Stadium and demolish their home of 113 years. Not only will this leave the Shepherds without a home, but deprive hundreds of children from under-resourced schools from sporting facilities to develop their skills. This is a crime against the children of Tshwane.

Rebuttals by the Mayoral Spokesperson regarding the proposed vanity project of Mayor Ramokgopa on the Caledonian site are disingenuous and once again exhibit the Tshwane administration’s sheer disregard for the concerns of its residents.

The Caledonian site development, and the process surrounding it, has been marred by secrecy and a lack of disclosure, showing that the ANC government does not believe in honest and open government.

Provincial Heritage Resources Authority – Gauteng (PHRA-G)

The DA has confirmed with the Provincial Heritage Resources Authority – Gauteng (PHRA-G) that approval for the Mayor’s project has not been granted. The record of decision issued by the PHRA-G states that the application by the City for the new development has not been approved and that the City must restart its application. The Mayoral Spokesperson however defiantly proclaims that the project will continue.

While the City claims to have consulted with all stakeholders, the tenants of the stadium informed me at a meeting earlier this week that their concerns have not been taken seriously. Further to this, children from poor schools without sporting facilities who make use of the stadium for soccer practice and coaching, as well as the local Women’s Soccer Association, are on the record against the proposed development and the loss of the use of the stadium.

DA’s Manifesto for Change

The DA will not sit idly by and see the most vulnerable residents in our City being traded off so that a select few can enrich themselves in another potentially corrupt Tshwane deal, like so many before it.

The DA’s Manifesto for Change details our plan to replace the ANC with an honest government that will stop corruption, deliver better services, and most importantly, create jobs. A government that will not make empty promises but deliver results.

Change is desperately needed in Tshwane, and the DA is set on bringing change to Tshwane after this year’s elections to stop corruption, restore service delivery and create jobs.

 

Media enquiries:

Motheo Mtimkulu

Media Manager: Tshwane Mayoral Campaign

083 728 0554

[Image source]

40,000 More Jobless In Tshwane Under Sputla’s Watch

Increased Unemployment

The latest unemployment data released by StatsSA today shows that the number of unemployed residents of Tshwane has increased by 40,000 since the last quarter of 2015.

It is a crime against our people, by the ANC government, that 40,000 more people are without work this year compared to last.

There is now a large gap between the official unemployment (26%) rate and the expanded unemployment rate (29.6%) indicating that the residents of Tshwane have lost hope of finding a job and lost hope in the ability of the ANC government to create jobs.

In his 2015 State of the Capital Address delivered in May last year, Mayor Ramokgopa set a target of creating 30,000 work opportunities in the 2015/16 financial year. But the truth is that the unemployment rate remains exactly as high as it was last year.

Mayor’s Broken Promises

This shows that Sputla’s promises about jobs have all been broken promises. Progress in the Capital has stalled under the ANC’s watch.

The sad thing is that the greatest victims of Mayor Ramokgopa’s empty promises are the masses of young people who are trapped in a life of drug and alcohol abuse instead of being engaged in gainful employment. The drug scourge ravishing Tshwane can firmly be placed at the Mayor ‘s door.

Mayor Ramokgopa has failed the citizens of Tshwane with his string of empty promises that has left 517,000 of our people without jobs or the hope of finding jobs.

In this year’s elections, the DA is ready to bring change to Tshwane that will move this city forward again.

The DA’s Manifesto for Change details our plan to replace the ANC with an honest government that will cut corruption, deliver better services, and most importantly, create jobs. A government that will not make promises but deliver results, just as we have delivered the lowest unemployment in South Africa, where we govern already.

 

Media enquiries:

Motheo Mtimkulu

Media Manager: Tshwane Mayoral Campaign

083 728 0554

[Image source]