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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Manager: Tshwane Mayoral Campaign
083 728 0554