The following remarks were delivered by DA Leader Mmusi Maimane, at a joint press briefing with representatives from the DA’s coalition partners. Maimane was joined by the ACDP’s Rev. Kenneth Meshoe, COPE’s Mosiuoa Lekota, the UDM’s Bantu Holomisa, the IFP’s Narend Singh and the FF+’s Dr Pieter Groenewald.
As coalition partners, we recognise the enormous responsibility bestowed upon us, and the uphill task of turning these cities and towns around following decades of ANC abuse and neglect.
From the Tshwane Mayor’s 900 people strong office, costing almost R250 million a year, to the 10 new BMWs purchased for politicians and officials at the cost of millions of rands.
From contracts in Nelson Mandela Bay for the supply of light bulbs at R600 each, to a splash-out by the former Mayor of R250,000 to get his face onto the front cover of a magazine.
The possibility of coalition governments should excite those who still believe that our country can realise the promise of 1994 – a reconciled, united, prosperous and non-racial society.
While coalition governments are often hard work and tricky terrain, they are certainly not new to South Africa. It was through coalition-building that a multiparty coalition managed to unseat the ANC in the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Provincial Government over the past decade.
And after this year’s Local Government Elections, coalition politics unseated the ANC in 15 more municipalities. Multiparty coalitions now govern 15 new municipalities – including 3 metros – across 6 provinces.
In Nelson Mandela Bay, our coalition government has been hard at work to deliver the following successes within the first 100 days:
- The appointment of Ms Yolande Faro as the City’s new Head of the Metro Police, in order to create a safer and crime free city;
- The launch of an anti-corruption hotline which has already received almost 50 tip-offs, resulting in 38 investigations;
- The opening up of all mayoral committee and council meetings to the public and the media, to ensure transparency and accountability for all executive decisions;
- The announcement of 1800 bursaries through the city, worth R34 million, aimed at young people interested in careers in the transport, aerospace, maritime and freight handling industries;
- Resurfaced and tarred approximately 25 roads, many of which are in township communities;
- 174 of 179 critical vacancies have now been advertised and 56 have already been filled. Most are in service delivery roles and in infrastructure;
- An Economic Advisory council has been set up, and outside stakeholders are being appointed. First meeting will be early-2017;
- 300 EPWP workers appointed to clear long-time blocked stormwater drains, to avoid flooding come winter rains.
- Qualifications Audit on all senior managers underway, to be completed by end-2016, to expose unqualified cadres.
- A Water Leak campaign in Uitenhage and Despatch has led to 2500 leaks being repaired, after long outstanding complaints.
- Repair turnaround time for all water leaks across the Metro has been reduced by 9 days.
- 35 Missionvale homes, left without sanitation by the ANC for years, have been fully connected to sanitation in just 100 days.
- The City’s Rapid Response Task Team (RRTT) is at full capacity, dealing specifically with major service delivery faults that directly impact the lives of residents, such as sewage spills through homes etc. The RRTT deals with about 90 issues a week; and
- The Mayor has banned business and first class travel, and prevented the purchase of luxury vehicles over R500 000.
Indeed, we are making progress. The age of arrogant dominant party governance is over, and the era of vibrant, multiparty politics is upon us.
Our work in these cities has just begun, and we are confident that working in cooperation we can turn around the cities we inherited from the ANC. This will take time, precision and maximum effort. As coalition partners, we are committed to doing just that.
We will ensure that we translate the hopes and dreams of the people into reality and that we work with the people to build a better South Africa.