Columns 26.8.2016 06:30 am

Mashaba must give Jozi CBD a Black Like Me SuperKurl

FILE PICTURE: Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Mary-Ann Palmer)

FILE PICTURE: Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Mary-Ann Palmer)

Although he lacks political experience, he is an energetic and workaholic timer. Let’s see if the EFF will give him a chance to prove himself.

The election of businessman Herman Mashaba as the new mayor for the City of Johannesburg, Africa’s economic hub, took me by surprise.

I had hoped the EFF would stick to its guns that the DA change Mashaba before it enters into an “arrangement” with the party.

Alas, that is politics. Politics change quickly.

When Mashaba was announced as the new mayor for Johannesburg on Monday night, EFF councillors did not applaud.

Judging by their serious faces, they appeared to be regretting the decision to go into a coalition with the DA – a party that has been labelled a racist party by their leader.

It will be interesting to see how the EFF and DA, who have different ideologies, will work together.

One thing is sure: the EFF has its finger on the trigger, and if the DA fails to deliver on its promises there may be a vote of no confidence in Mashaba, whose political credentials are questionable.

Mashaba became a household name during the heyday of permed hair with his famous Black Like Me hair products, such as the SuperKurl.

Although he lacks political experience, he is an energetic and workaholic timer. Let’s hope the ever-smiling Mashaba will put his energy into turning things around in the Jozi CBD. It is more filthy than ever and many buildings have been hijacked by syndicates.

Many people – including “clever blacks” – hardly go to the CBD these days.

I am a proud ruralist, and only go to the CBD when there are media briefings or when I want to go on a drinking binge.

There are, however, two clubs, which I will not name because I will be giving them free airtime, which are frequented by politicians, doctors, lawyers, journalists, etc. Most of us go there to drown our sorrows, forget about the outside and yes, spend time surrounded by the bevy of gorgeous women.

That’s how most of us–  journalists, politicians and others roll. And that’s where some of us get good stories.

I just hope Mashaba will let us continue to have an exuberant time at these two clubs. He must let us get on with our jitterbug and drink our favourite beers and whiskeys.

But back to the serious stuff, Mashaba and his team must return Jozi – a place people from all walks of life call home – to its former glory.

I can’t even fathom why the ANC former mayor, Parks Tau, up until recently failed to turn things around in the CBD.

Tau has done a wonderful job as the mayor, but he failed to give the CBD the much-needed attention it needs.

Under his leadership we saw the city introducing the Corridors of Freedom concept, a vision of a city that works for its people. There was also the introduction of the Bus Rapid Transit system in Rea Vaya.

For this, I doff my white hat to him.

 

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