The local government elections this year were dramatic, resulting in the ANC losing three metros to the DA, in coalition with other opposition parties. looks at what has changed in the first 100 days of four of the country’s top metros: City of Johannesbu
Mashaba filled key vacant posts within a reasonable time, including the appointment of the City’s new manager, Dr Ndivho Lukhwareni.
Between August and November, the City increased its revenue collection rates from 90% to 98% – a good indicator of efficiency. Mashaba says he doubled the cleaning shifts of Pikitup in the inner city, including a night shift.
Mashaba says there is now a massive presence of Metro Police in the inner city to manage traffic flows, enforce bylaws and provide visible policing.
Mashaba says he provided support to 2 895 small and medium-sized enterprises. This is 1 000 more than what the ANC achieved in the preceding three months. The City also has seven new small business hubs under his watch.
Mashaba must watch his words. On the day he was elected mayor, he made sexist remarks, suggesting that women slept their way to senior management positions in the City. This week, he also made xenophobic statements, calling the foreigners “in my city” criminals.
Despite his vows to clean up the city, it remains filthy, especially in the CBD and at busy transport nodes.
There was always a price the DA was going to pay after accepting to govern via a coalition with the Economic Freedom Fighters. He has had to pull back on plans to privatise some units.
The closure of the Food Bank at the Joburg Market should have been followed up with a plan of action by the City to continue providing food to poor households. The same goes for the cancellation of the local bakeries project, which created employment and provided access to bread at 50% less than the normal retail price.
Trollip had set his government a goal to save R100 million in the first 100 days of office. A council spokesperson says they have saved R200 million in the set time frame.
The appointment of Yolande Faro as the City’s new head of the Metro Police. The post had been vacant for years under the ANC’s leadership.
The launch of an anti-corruption hotline, which has already received almost 50 tip-offs, resulting in 38 investigations.
174 out of 179 critical vacancies have now been advertised, and 56 have already been filled. Most are in service delivery roles and in infrastructure.
The mayor has banned business- and firstclass travel, and prevented the purchase of luxury vehicles costing more than R500 000.
The swearing in of 50 Metro Police officers. Only 13 were sworn in within the 100 days.
Water losses have continued and have led to water restrictions. Water levels are currently below 30% in the Bay.
Trollip has been criticised for implementing water and electricity cuts – the result of an intensified credit control policy. The cleaning of the City is still a challenge.
Launching a WhatsApp app for reporting water leaks or shortages and electricity problems.
The relaunch of an anti-corruption programme to stop the illegal sale of posts and tenders, including an 0800 tip-off line.
The election of ward committees throughout the City, despite a disputed outcome in Ward 5 and a failure to elect in Glebelands Hostel.
The development of a policy on military veterans across the spectrum, including housing, social welfare and job creation. Probing corruption in procurement and tenders across city departments.
Sorting out the Durban Transport bus debacle, which has crippled the city’s bus service. Violence at Glebelands Hostel continues unabated.
Resolving the housing backlog, which sparks regular service delivery protests in the city’s townships and massive shacklands. The failure to make key appointments at deputy city manager and director level. Addressing the lack of development around the Wema and KwaMashu hostels.
Msimanga has moved to extricate Tshwane from the “fatally flawed” contract, signed in 2013 with PEU Capital Partners, involving electricity smart meters. Msimanga filed legal papers, asserting that the deal entered into by the former ANC administration was irregular and irrational, and must be declared unlawful and set aside on that basis.
In October, Msimanga launched the construction project of high-rise dwellings in Mamelodi East, worth over R35 million. The construction follows on from the building of 74 houses, which were handed over in September.
In September, Msimanga launched the open tender system. Tender bid adjudication meetings are now open, so that the awarding of tenders can be transparent.
Msimanga has laid the first charges of corruption and fraud against senior officials of the previous Tshwane administration, based on two forensic reports commissioned by the City.
To cut costs, he introduced an immediate stop to all purchases or leasing of luxury cars for politicians and senior officials.
Indecisiveness. Even this week, Msimanga was still trying to warn residents of Tshwane that illegal land invasions would not be tolerated. He said the same thing just a week after he was inaugurated in August.
Similar to his comments on the land invasions, Msimanga has repeatedly spoken out strongly against destructive service delivery protests, but has not acted much. Msimanga is yet to fill the crucial position of City manager. Reports by Setumo Stone, Nosipiwo Manona and Paddy Harper. This is the first of two special reports