With just a few days to go before Wednesday’s local government elections, the mud-slinging between the ANC and the DA over the highly contested Midvaal municipality has reached even greater depths.
The DA has accused Gauteng ANC leader Paul Mashatile of “shameless political grandstanding”, after he vowed to expropriate land from the DA-led municipality to build houses for the poor.
Addressing residents of the Sicelo Shiceka township yesterday, Mashatile said: “If the delay to get necessary approvals from the Midvaal council continues and private developers continue to frustrate our officials, we will be left with no other choice but to expropriate the land.”
Mashatile blamed private developers for the delay in government acquiring land for the long-awaited RDP housing project in the area.
“When our officials are planning to buy land from these private developers, they are sent from pillar to post and the municipality also delays the approval of the purchase of the land.”
DA Gauteng leader John Moodey has pinned the delay on the provincial government.
“We know that the mayor (Bongani Baloyi) and his team has been negotiating with the province for funds, so this is nothing but shameless political grandstanding and that is part of the ANC campaign strategy. It is desperate and disgusting,” said an outraged Moodey.
Mashatile said yesterday that he was going to return to the Midvaal municipality and ask mayor Baloyi why the municipality was not approving the development. He vowed to sit at Baloyi’s offices until he got answers.
“My other position is the MEC of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, so when the mayor is not doing something right, I will visit him and ask what is happening.”
Mashatile also hit out at the Midvaal municipality for not providing toilets to informal dwellers in the area.
He promised the residents that government would provide electricity to the informal settlements. Mashatile also warned that “land invaders” would not get title deeds for land they had invaded. The ANC hopes to win back the DA’s only municipality in Gauteng after they lost it to them in 2011.