Maile certain of City council dissolution
Thumbs up at public meeting for his stance
MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Lebogang Maile last night got a thumbs up during a public meeting in Mamelodi for disbanding the Tshwane government.
Those who were at the meeting, held at Ikageng Community Hall, also vented their deep-seated frustration about poor service delivery.
They accused ANC councillors for showing favouritism to certain residents and threatening them whenever they voiced their grievances.
Maile said he would not argue with residents about their complaints because they were the ones who knew about their problems.
He expressed relief that residents supported the decision to place the metro under administration. “At least 90% said they agreed with our decision,” he said.
However, there were others who were not in favour of the decision.
He was in Tshwane to explain to communities the reasons behind the decision to place the metro under administration.
He said he was still waiting for the go-ahead from Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
He expressed confidence that both parties would be supportive of the decision to put Tshwane under administration.
Asked whether his visit to Mamelodi was part of the election campaign, he said: “We have a responsibility as government and if we ever allow ourselves to be blackmailed we will never do our work.”
Maile said the executive council was preoccupied with preparing the municipality to work in tandem with administrators. “We must prepare ourselves and not get caught off guard as if we are not sure. We are sure and confident it is going to happen. As I speak to you today and tomorrow there is a workshop of senior managers by the provincial government and the municipality to prioritise plans to look at the resources and look at the challenges that are there and advise on what it is that we must do as the province and reinforce because things can’t remain the same after the municipality has been dissolved,” he said.
When the administrators take over they must hit the ground running and improve service delivery drastically before the by-elections. “We don’t want the administrators to come and start by trying to understand the problem. The administrators must come and solve the problem,” he said.
“We would not have secured it and it would mean that by law we would have to go back to square one to look at what is it that we do as the provincial government. At this point we are not even thinking about not securing concurrence. We are so confident that we know we are going to get it. There is nobody who is going to disagree. The situation has gone out of control.”
He lashed out at the decision by acting Tshwane speaker Zweli Khumalo to convene a council sitting on Tuesday, saying his motive was to delegitimise the decision of the provincial executive council.
Maile said it cost the City about R400 000 to convene a council sitting.
“You saw yesterday that they failed to quorate. The meeting of yesterday was an attempt to delegitimise the decision of the provincial executive council and unfortunately they were left with egg on their face. We were vindicated and it was clear that there is no council anymore,” he said.
THE new R124 million clinic in Hammanskraal could not be opened to the public because the City of Tshwane failed to install electricity and water supply to the facility, Premier David Makhura said yesterday.
He was visiting the clinic, named Mandisa Shiceka, accompanied by MECs Dr Bandile Masuku and Taseem Motara, to inspect the progress since his last visit in August.
Motara, who heads the Infrastructure Development Department, said several requests were made in vain to the City to connect sewer systems, electricity, water and stormwater drainage to the facility.
A report to process the request was expected to be served in Tshwane council in September last year.
Motara said the report could not be tabled before council because the sitting in question collapsed.
The delays in connecting power and water meant her department was forced to pay millions to the contractor for protecting the centre.
From August to December her department paid more than R2m to the contractor.
Lack of bulk infrastructure, Motara said, also meant her department couldn’t test if the facility was working properly before it was handed over to the Health Department, headed by Masuku.
Efforts to reach out to former mayor Stevens Mokgalapa and former acting mayor Abel Tau didn’t bear positive results, she said.
Makhura expressed disappointment about the situation, saying the community was also unhappy about it.
“We were waiting for bulk infrastructure services. Now it is March and we are still waiting.
“The community is unhappy. We have built the clinic and the municipality must connect bulk infrastructure. The municipality is not doing its job,” he said.
Makhura said things were about to change for the better when the administrator takes over the City soon.
The provincial government is finalising processes to place the City under administration.
Installing bulk infrastructure, he said, must be one of the priorities of the administrator who was expected to take charge of the metro after Makhura last week announced a decision to dissolve council and put the metro under administration.
“When we say the city is dysfunctional we mean real things. The community is suffering on the ground,” he said.
One of the problems confronting residents was a lack of clean drinking water.
“We came here with the former mayor, Solly Msimanga, who was disputing the fact that water is dirty,” Makhura said.
He lamented the fact that the construction of the R525m Business Processing Outsourcing Park, also in Hammanskraal, was taking too long to complete.
He said some businesses that wanted to occupy the park had decided to do business in other provinces.
“When we say the community is suffering it is not something in our heads. It is not something we have concocted,” he said.
He said the City had a big budget, but it was unable to spend it, and thus risked having this taken away by the National Treasury.
With the City going to by-elections in 90 days, Makhura denied that his visit was part of the ANC’s election campaign.
“You can ask the ANC about the campaign.
“We are here for service delivery,” he said.
PREMIER David Makhura, accompanied by MECs Bandile Masuku and Taseem Motara, during a visit to the new Mandisa Shiceka clinic in Hammanskraal.