Former Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau said there was a danger that all important decisions, crucial partnership programmes entered into between the former ANC-led Joburg city council and various foreign and national stakeholders will be derailed through political grandstanding by the new Democratic Alliance-led council.
But the DA lambasted Tau for trying to discredit the new administration while “defending the ANC’s poor administration that voters rejected”.
“Programmes that were agreed and were in the process of implementation are not being implemented and there is no explanation given. We knew a change of government would put programmes of the previous administration at risk,” Tau said.
Tau said the One Million Microsoft Skills programme, a partnership between the city and Microsoft to train youths in various ICT skills over five years, facilitated by the city, was already in danger of being abandoned.
This despite the fact private partners had committed their resources to the programme and the first cohort of students was supposed to have started in October.
Tau was also worried about the future of several other programmes, including the Vulindlela Matric Rewrite and Completion Programme, a partnership between the provincial education department and the University of Johannesburg that the city initiated under the ANC.
“These programmes require reinforcement instead of being stopped,” Tau said.
But Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba responded to Tau, saying he had taken an approach of initiating thorough assessments of all projects to determine their value to the residents of Joburg.
“At all times during this process, the best interests of our residents will be of paramount importance,” Mashaba’s office said in statement yesterday.
Mashaba lashed out at Tau, reminding him that an election where voters had unseated his administration inherently meant that voters expected change.