DOCUMENTS

Hands off Mayor Mashaba! – Mmusi Maimane

DA leader says Joburg Mayor is successfully turning the city around

Hands off Mayor Mashaba! He is turning Joburg around

30 November 2017

My fellow South Africans,

Today the ANC want to vote to remove Herman Mashaba as Mayor of this great city.

But their reasons for wanting to remove him have nothing to do with any failure on his part to do his job.

In truth, it is the way in which he has started scrubbing this city administration clean that has got them so upset.

The ANC knew he would be a good Mayor, but they had no idea just how good he would be.

His all-out war on the ANC’s legacy of corruption and looting that brought Johannesburg to the brink of bankruptcy has really shaken them badly. They are upset and embarrassed, and for that they want him gone.

Herman Mashaba’s campaign to weed out dirty officials in this city is a disaster for the thousands of cadres who relied on the massive web of patronage and corruption.

He has shone the light on the entire crime syndicate that had been masquerading as a metro government here, and they are desperate to make him go away.

We will not let them win.

Herman Mashaba is our Mayor. He loves this city and he has sworn to make it a better place for everyone who lives here, works here or visits here.

The crooked cadres can never, and will never, beat the unity of the people of Joburg.

This city of Johannesburg means everything to us, as a nation. If we want to see progress in South Africa, then we have to ensure that Johannesburg doesn’t merely survive, but that it thrives as a city.

Joburg is the heart of our economy – it’s what drives our country forward. It is also home to millions of South Africans. Most of these people are poor and many struggle to find work.

How Johannesburg is run has a profound effect on the lives of millions of vulnerable people. We simply cannot afford for the government of this metro to be anything less than the very best.

And for the past two decades, Johannesburg has been neglected, mismanaged and bled dry by the very people elected to serve the city.

This metro has been brought to its knees by a toxic combination of theft, fraud, and crony politics.

Nothing has been maintained, very little new projects have been built and billions of Rands have ended up in the pockets of crooked politicians, crooked staff and the crooked businesses that collude with them.

And I’m not talking about only the top brass either.

This rot has infected everything under the ANC’s control in this city – from those overseeing deployment and procurement at the top right down to officials issuing licences and managing housing lists. For years now the Joburg metro government has just been a place for connected cadres to eat.

But that all changed in last year’s elections.

When the people voted the ANC out and we were able to put together a coalition government led by Herman Mashaba, this city finally got a government committed to the people.

And, importantly, it got a Mayor who was not afraid to roll up his sleeves and do the hard work himself. Literally.

I remember many people saying at the time: What does a businessman possibly know about running a metro government? But these were people who didn’t know Herman Mashaba.

Those who know him said: Wait and see – he’ll prove all his doubters wrong. And he did, right from day one. No previous Mayor here has accomplished in a full term what Herman Mashaba has done in his first year in office.

His achievements are way too many to list in full here, but I want to mention a few highlights. Because it has to be stated in clear, uncertain terms just how dishonest and self-serving the ANC’s motion is.

From day one, Herman Mashaba made it clear that he would not rest until every last crooked crony was gone. And he has been throwing them out in big numbers.

To date, he has uncovered fraud and corruption worth over R16 billion. More than 2,500 cases have been investigated, more than 600 people have been arrested and more than 100 city employees have been suspended or dismissed. Thirteen more have resigned.

Just think about that for a minute. In Zuma’s government, not a single person has been arrested or investigated for state capture. But on Herman’s watch, 600 people have already been arrested in one year.

Herman also opened up the city’s tender system to make it fair and transparent, and he appointed the former Gauteng Hawks Head, General Shadrack Sibaya, as head of Johannesburg’s new Group Forensic and Investigation Services Department.

All of this wreaked havoc in the ANC’s long-standing network of corrupt procurement and tender processes. Naturally they want it to go back to the way it was as soon as possible.

It is never going back!

They want their pipeline of easy money to start flowing again. Well, they can forget about it. The days of stealing from the people of Johannesburg are over.

Herman Mashaba didn’t only focus his attention on corruption. Just look at what he’s done for basic delivery!

Mayor Mashaba’s government inherited a city with a 10-year, R170 billion infrastructure backlog. The task of working through this backlog through infrastructure investment, maintenance and repair is huge. But instead of giving up, Mayor Mashaba started tackling it head-on. And one year later his list of successes is truly impressive.

A massive R12.8 billion has been budgeted over the next financial year to upgrade infrastructure, build new infrastructure and repair existing infrastructure.

R105 million has been set aside to install and repair traffic signals across the city, and a R79 million has been allocated to repair potholes.

He has also budgeted R1.2 billion over the next three years to upgrade gravel roads in some of Johannesburg’s most neglected communities.

The city’s fleet of 400 Metro buses is being expanded to 600 buses, and the city’s small business hubs are going to double from seven to fourteen.

Under Herman Mashaba’s watch this Joburg government has now more than doubled the budget to improve sanitation in informal settlements, as well as massively increasing the money allocated to providing electricity and water connections in these communities.

Mayor Mashaba has also set targets to upgrade 51 informal settlements over the medium term – ten in this financial year, twenty more in the next financial year and another 21 in the year after that.

To put this in perspective, the previous ANC government set themselves a target of upgrading only two informal settlements in their last year in office.

Mayor Mashaba is working harder for the poor.

Mayor Mashaba is cleaning up corruption.

Mayor Mashaba is fixing the bankrupt budget.

Mayor Mashaba is delivering more basic services for all.

He is cleaning up the inner city, building a volunteer spirit across the city, and bringing Jo’burgers together.

I could go on all day long about the difference Herman Mashaba has already made here in Johannesburg – about the clinic hours he extended, about the library hours he extended, about the K9 Narcotics Unit he launched, about the extra 1500 men and women he recruited into the Johannesburg Metro Police – but you get the idea.

He and his government are already turning this city around. And in doing so, they have kicked over the ANC’s feeding trough.

So when we say “Hands off Mashaba”, we mean it.

This city will never go back to the looting and the neglect of the previous government. The people of Johannesburg have spoken, and they have sent the ANC packing.

This Motion of No Confidence will fail, and Mayor Mashaba will continue to do what he promised the people he’d do.

And if that means more crooked cadres get shaken from the tree and swept out the gate, then so be it. Johannesburg does not want them here.

Viva, Herman Mashaba, viva!

Issued by Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 30 November 2017