JOHANNESBURG, September 7 – Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba, who is a member of the Democratic Alliance (DA), on Thursday said the filing of a no confidence motion against him was a move by the African National Congress (ANC) to “reverse progress towards change”.
“The ANC filed a Motion of No Confidence against me as Mayor of Johannesburg for the Council meeting taking place on 26 and 27 September. After only 13 months in office, this move should be dismissed as the antics of a desperate party trying to come to terms with its new role in opposition,” said Mashaba.
The ANC, which filed the motion on Wednesday, cites financial distress in the City as primary grounds for the motion.
However, Mashaba hit back saying: “The reality is that despite the institutionalised corruption inherited, we have a financial state that is stable. The ANC was dishonest in government, and their relationship with the truth has continued its demise.
“The fact is that this baseless allegation is a smoke screen, aimed at assuming control that would allow the looting to continue once again because change threatens the very survival of the ANC.
“The truth is after only 13 months we have been able to ensure that change promised begins to take root in our City. These were achievements that were unimaginable after more than two decades of self-serving ANC rule:”
Mashaba said the new administration has established a corruption busting unit that has a case load of 1,400 cases, involving more than R14.4 billion. He said more than 300 people have been arrested, and disciplinary action taken against erring staff.
He said the cases under investigation were enormous.
“Cases like the R1.3 Billion purchase of broadband infrastructure involving senior people in the very same party proposing this motion. In time, the beneficiaries of these projects will be exposed and this is the true reason for the Motion of No Confidence,” said Mashaba.
On housing, the mayor said his administration planned and budgeted to upgrade 51 informal settlements over three years, at a cost of R1.9 Billion. He said the ANC planned to upgrade only two informal settlements in the previous financial year.
“We have extended operating hours at numerous City clinics and libraries, so that these community services are extended beyond working hours for those most in need.”
Dismissing claims of incompetence, Mashaba said his administration brought down traffic light downtime by 20%, and repaired more than 120,000 potholes in recent months.
“We have initiated the recruitment of 1,500 more JMPD officers, increasing the force by 50%, to change the fact that our residents are in fear while criminal operate with impunity. The K9 narcotics unit has successfully affected hundreds of arrests, seizing hundreds of kilograms of drugs,” the embattled mayor said.
“There is no doubt that there remain enormous challenges in our City for which change can only be realised over the long-term. Recent customer satisfaction surveys and the IPSOS municipal survey have confirmed that residents are seeing the change that we promised.
“We will fight this motion, as we have all the other efforts that the ANC has undermine the change that residents want and the ANC fears.”
The ANC insists the new administration has purged staff linked to the party and failed to manage finances or improve services for residents of Johannesburg.