The African National Congress’s call for fresh elections in the City of Tshwane and the City of Johannesburg is a cheap political gimmick defying voters’ choice, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.
The DA noted the press conference by Gauteng ANC deputy chairman Panyaza Lesufi where he made remarks regarding the state of DA-led coalition governments and his party’s decision to call for fresh elections in the City of Tshwane, DA national spokesman Solly Malatsi said.
“Lesufi stated that the call for a fresh election is for ‘the of people of Tshwane [to] elect a government of their choice’,” he said.
“This latest political gimmick by the ANC is ironic considering that the people of Tshwane in the 2016 local government elections elected a government of their choice and voted the ANC out of power. The residents of Tshwane gave a mandate for the DA and other opposition parties to form a coalition government to administrate the business of the city and deliver services to its residents.
“Over the past two years in the City of Johannesburg and the City of Tshwane, mayors Herman Mashaba and Solly Msimanga uncovered 22 years of billions in rands of looting, corruption, and abuse of the people’s money to fund the ANC’s elections,” Malatsi said.
In just two years, the DA-led coalitions governments of Johannesburg and Tshwane had turned things around and the two metros were thriving.
In Johannesburg the city closed out the 2017/18 financial year with an improved performance in the unaudited financial reports. Cash reserves now stood at R1.9 billion with R6 billion in loans now repaid; over 2000 title deeds had been delivered to residents who had waited for the dignity of home ownership for many years, and the city had started delivering services to 51 informal settlements neglected by the previous administration; and with 1500 more Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officers on the streets, the city had become much safer than before.
In Tshwane the DA inherited a R2 billion deficit from the ANC, but in the 2016/17 the city closed out at a R704 million operating surplus; mayor Msimanga sold the so-called “mayoral mansion” for R5.1 million in order to build houses for the disadvantaged. Proceeds from this sale were already being used to build more than 40 houses for those without; and following much-needed reforms to root out corruption the capital city had allocated R137.2 million to the extended public works programme (EPWP) initiatives this financial year. This would lead to more jobs and skills for the unemployed.
“These are only a few examples of the DA difference. Unlike the ANC, we have put the people of Johannesburg and Tshwane above petty politics and have exposed and rooted out corruption, created jobs, tackled crime, delivered services, and given our people the dignity of a roof over their heads.
“While the ANC continuous to destabilise legitimate and democratically established governments in our metros we will continue to do the work of bringing tangible change and building one South Africa for all,” Malatsi said.
In a separate statement, Johannesburg mayoral committee member for finance Funzela Ngobeni said the ANC had made it clear it had a strategy to deal with municipalities it lost in 2016.
“The strategy, is to use provincial government to achieve a hostile takeover of Johannesburg against the expressed will of the voters in 2016. During the press conference it was specifically stated that the strategy is to have the MEC of Cogta [co-operative governance and traditional affairs] in terms of section 106(1)(b) of the Municipal Systems Act, issue investigations into Johannesburg. When this is done, section 139 will be utilised to place Johannesburg under administration in order to hold fresh elections.”
“What emerges from this is that the inter-governmental relations framework, enshrined in the Constitution of the republic, is now being run straight out of Luthuli House [ANC headquarters]. All of this is wrapped in a veneer of stating that the ANC in Gauteng wants fresh elections to seek a mandate from the electorate. In Johannesburg the ANC went from 58 percent in 2011 to 44 percent in 2016. [Thus], 56 percent of the residents of Johannesburg wanted the ANC out of government and they achieved their objective,” Ngobeni said.
– African News Agency (ANA)