Johannesburg executive mayor Herman Mashaba has penned an open letter to Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom on News24, challenging him to get his hands dirty and help clean up the city.
This is a reaction to a tweet from Hanekom taking the DA to task over litter in the city. The minister posted a picture of garbage strewn over the Jozi streets, which he said was on Albertina Sisulu Road. He then noted that the municipality is under DA control and asked if the DA, and their “partner” in the city – the EFF – could do better.
While the letter is addressed mainly to Hanekom, it is labelled as an “open letter to ministers Derek Hanekom and Tito Mboweni,” suggesting that Mashaba also wants the finance minister to get involved in the clean up.
Mashaba claims he has sent Hanekom letters and that the minister has not yet responded.
“Given the fanfare with which your observations about the state of cleanliness of the Johannesburg Inner City was received on social media recently, I waited with baited breath for your response to my letters on the subject,” Mashaba said.
“In all honestly, I thought you would be the first to respond given your new-found celebrity status arising from your incorrect observations of the city that I run. But nothing!” he continued.
The mayor says he has launched an initiative, A Re Sebetseng (Let us Work), which according to the mayor has collected “4,000 tonnes of waste” since it was established in November 2018.
Mashaba challenges Hanekom to come to the next campaign by the initiative on January 19 – this Saturday – and help him clean up the city. The inclusion of Mboweni in the letter’s title suggests that Mashaba may want the Finance Minister to attend too.
“I look forward to seeing you there,” the mayor’s letter concludes.
The full letter can be read here.
Mashaba rose to the position of mayor due to the decision of the EFF, who emerged as kingmakers in the 2016 municipal elections, to form a coalition with the DA in the city, to oust the ANC from power in the municipality.
The EFF also formed coalitions with the DA in Nelson Mandela Bay, where they have since turned on the party and removed its mayor, Athol Trollip, through forming a coalition with the ANC and UDM, and in Tshwane, where they have also attempted to remove the mayor they helped elect – Solly Msimanga – without success so far.
This is on Albertina Sisulu Rd, the main route from the airport into town. There is a litter strewn on every corner. @Our_DA you control this municipality. With your partner @EFFSouthAfrica. Surely you can do better than this? pic.twitter.com/7sqjawE5kW
— Derek Hanekom (@Derek_Hanekom) January 2, 2019