Our work has just begun – Solly Msimanga

Tshwane Mayor says City currently sits with a R2 billion deficit which they are in the process of rehabilitating and it takes time

100 Days: The work to turn the Capital around has only just begun but progress has been made

12 November 2016

Madam Speaker of Council;

Leader of the Opposition, Mmusi Maimane;

Members of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature;

Executive Mayors present;

Ambassadors and High Commissioners;

The Chief Whip of Council;

The Leader of Executive Business;

Members of the Mayoral Committee;

Fellow Councillors;

Traditional leaders;

Acting City Manager and senior managers;

Members of the media;

Ladies and Gentlemen

Let me first take this opportunity to welcome you and thank you for accepting our invitation to bear witness as we mark our first 100 days in office as we continue with this mammoth task of bringing hope back to our Capital City, by delivering better services to all our people, and creating the jobs our City needs to fight poverty.

This 100 days commemoration was set up deliberately to coincide with the signing ceremony of performance agreement contracts of my Members of the Mayoral Committee (MMCs). Each MMC will reaffirm their resolve to work towards building a prosperous city by signing their performance agreement contracts for the 2016/17 financial year against which they will be monitored and evaluated henceforth.

During the pre-election campaigns, the Democratic Alliance made a promise to turn this City around; that we would stop corruption, deliver better services and create jobs. As the DA-led multiparty government we continue to do our utmost best to deliver on the promises we made towards the city’s residents.

Honourable guests,

It is indeed a great honour for me and my Mayoral Committee to give you an update on the work we have done in the past few months in the City of Tshwane, also mapping the way forward to run this city effectively. As I address you today, please keep in mind that the project of turning this ship around is one that will take time but we are making progress and I promise you, we will get there.

Appreciating that we inherited what can only be described as a “mess”. With unlawful contracts and costly projects that now have to be completed and some of them undone before completion is in our sights.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a resilient City and I am an optimistic man who has assembled the best possible team to turn the ship around.

Now, let me tell you what we have done and what we are busy doing.

It is also common cause that when an institution is experiencing change there will be a lot of anxiety which requires delicate management. It is not surprising that in the first couple of weeks in office, we witnessed a number of riots and strikes from the organized labour. 

Some of the issues that were raised were genuine grievance and others were politically motivated arising from the errors which were committed by the previous administration (namely absorption of contract workers, revenue agents, food bank, and big eye at SWA, Vat Alles, and EPWP workers) which in the first instance shouldn't have been committed.

Most of the work to date was never about resolving all the labour related issues but to create an environment wherein we can get everyone aligned with the greater project of delivering better services to the people of Tshwane. 

Yes there are a lot of issues which will have to address over the short to medium term, amongst others relate to implementing the approved macro structure which we are currently engaging on it at LLF (Local labour forum). As part of stabilising the city, recruitment of competent and qualified senior executives / top management is a priority especially considering the fact that most fixed term contracts for the senior executive are expiring, namely DCMs positions and some of the heads of departments. 

To date, we are in a process of finalising an appointment of the City Manager and the recruitment of the senior executive will commence in earnest.

Fiscal discipline is the cornerstone of any State administration and this is my preeminent preoccupation which will allow for the other priority items to be tended to in a manner that is sustainable moving forward. We have begun a value for money exercise which is currently being undertaken to turn the financial situation of the City around.

As I have said before the City currently sits with a R2 billion deficit which we are in the process of rehabilitating and this takes time. This starts by being smart, which is specifically collecting all revenue owed to the City by various national and provincial government departments. We would like to think some of these departments, particularly DIRCO who has begun to service some of the debt owed to the City which will make a difference to what we are able to achieve. 

Every cent counts.

We have launched programmes and mechanisms designed to save the City money. Chief among these are the strategic sourcing of goods, an open tender system, e-procurement systems which are all, in one way or another, aimed at curbing leakages in the supply chain process and maladministration and intelligence exercise and cost of delivering municipal services, fraud cases that have been instituted against corrupt officials.

This is to avoid occurrences such as the notorious “shoe polish” debacle which saw millions of rands lost to whole scale malfeasance by way of inflation of goods that otherwise could’ve been procured at whole sale rates.

As is in the public domain, I, the Acting City Manager and the administration as a whole are dealing swiftly with it. Disciplinary processes in this regard are already underway.

The City is also in the process of getting itself out of the PEU smart metre contract which we believe was unlawfully entered into by the previous administration to the tune of billions. In so doing the City has been haemorrhaging public funds that could otherwise be used to provide the services to the millions of people in Tshwane who need a stable and sustainable electricity supply.

This is not possible with the current contract in place and we are hopeful that the courts will rule in our favour and declare the contract invalid so we may begin to provide affordable prepaid electricity to some of the poorer people of the Captial.

With respect to this item, our attorney will file concession affidavits this week the extricate the city from the contract

Instructed city officials to come up with an improved contract management system to prevent the city from entering into such contracts in the future

I would also like to take this opportunity to announce that I will be launching three forensic investigations into the Dinokeng Tribe One debacle. I will also be requesting an investigation into the ghost employees in the City to assess how much money is being lost to these ghost employees that are unduly drawing money from the City. This is something that has adversely affected departments like the national Department of Basic Education and we will be looking into how this affects the City because we have to be prudent with what money we do have and ensure that it is used in manner that benefits the City and its residents.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are working and I am grateful that there are those of you who are working well with us.

Improving financial efficiency

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Tender Bid Adjudication Meeting is the crucial stage at which a tender is assessed and adjudicated on its merits, and it is the stage where corruption can take place behind closed doors as cronies can be handed contracts contrary to the best interests of the public. To counter such acts of corruption, we have resolved to open bid adjudication to the public. Every tender bidder will now have a fair and transparent chance at government contracts in Tshwane, cutting out corruption. 

We have also announced immediate cost-cutting measures in the City, which include an immediate stop to inaugural parties and celebratory dinners that only benefit politicians. International travel will now only be allowed on application to the mayoral committee, subject to a cost benefit analysis.

Local economic growth

As part of the Operation Tswelopele, which is aimed at revitalising the historic Marabastad, we went to listen to the plight of the informal traders. A plan to formalize informal trading was drawn. Trading areas were identified; Survey exercise conducted and confirmed by City Planning; 11th and Boom Street Draft architectural designs complete and accepted by Economic Development. Allocation to traders will be done in the nearest future.

I have always believed that it will be the small to medium enterprises that will be the backbone of economic growth in the City and indeed the country.

It is our duty to ensure that we support these small to medium enterprises that often start out in the informal economic space. This will be contributory to empowering our people who will be enabled to participate in the economy. 

In order to achieve these ends in places like Marabastad we need to address the reality and perception that Marabastad is an unsafe and unsavoury neighbourhood through increased visible policing and the integrated rendering of municipal services. Marabastad is known for muggings, prostitution and armed robberies.  The area is also a haven for illicit trade and drug use, despite numerous Metro Police and SAPS vehicles visible in the area. 

Over the medium term the plan is to replicate operation Tswelopele to other regions. In partnership with the private sector and property owners we will adopt a block by block and precinct by precinct approach to ensure that the city is safe and liveable.

Infrastructure services and community services

Access to decent housing is one of our aspirational human rights and it is a very important one if we are to ensure that our citizens live safely and in dignity.

Since 2013, the number of informal settlements has grown to 178 and this remains one of the major challenges facing the City.  Among these informal settlements is Plastic View which recently burnt, killing five people and displacing roughly 1 500 residents. We have commenced with the administration of all the informal settlements in the City.

This task includes, amongst others, shack marking, confirmation of beneficiaries and costing the infrastructure requirements. Our approach is premised on the appreciation that as a city, ours is to administer and manage the entire urban environment including informal settlements.  

Henceforth our approach will be about site and services; we will provide all the infrastructure and formalise informal settlements while the construction of top structure pipeline is being attended to through a partnership with the Gauteng provincial government and other stakeholders.

The City of Tshwane will also accelerate the handing over of title deeds with a view of expanding access to housing opportunities, such as access to equity and to be part of this society we are creating. 

In this respect we are happy to announce that title deeds are being handed over and the numbers are as follows:

In Aug:

H/Skraal = 108 in Aug.

A/Ville = 1in Aug.

Olieven = 15 in Aug.

Mamelodi = 15 in Aug.

In September:

Sosh = 502

H/Skraal = 50

A/Ville = 6

Olieven = 10

Mamelodi = 11

Rethabiseng = 1


Sosh = 183

H/Skraal = 28

A/Ville = 3

Olieven = 17

Mamelodi = 12

Rethabiseng = 1


Sosh = 88

H/Skraal = 67

Olieven = 10

Mamelodi = 10

Rethabiseng = 1

December (up to the 09th)

Sosh = 53

H/Skraal = 12

Olieven = 4

Mamelodi = 5

Rethabiseng = 2

This is progresss. This is great progress. We are so happy for our people and we will continue to do more.

The City was also able to handover houses in Mamelodi Erf 29355, Olivenhoutbosch Extension 60. Top structures and construction of bulk sewer were launched in Kudube Unit 9 in Region 2.

The City has completed phase 1 of 818 further RDP houses. This effectively means that the City of Tshwane has completed 818 homes in places like Olievenhouboch and Kudube Unit 9 which means that in due course 818 families will have access to decent housing and live in dignity every South African deserves.

Additionally the new administration has identified a further 2 470 title deeds which we will be able to hand over as soon as the new budget cycle has begun.

And these are title deeds will be handed over because our people need to own the land on which they live in order to leverage it as collateral to meaningfully enter and participate in the economy.

Ladies and gentlemen we are working,

This is evidenced by the Fort West project that was neglected by the former administration and has been re-launched and put to work by the Msimanga administration when we assumed office.

When we assumed office the City’s corporate fleet was in shambles. No consolidated asset register of vehicles belonging to the city, no effective controls over vehicle movements and locations, no checks, balances and controls over procurement nor ensuring that service providers had capacity to do the work. The vehicles were also in a less than desirable state.

To address this problem which hampered the delivery of services to our people we:

We established a cross departmental task team including TMPD to track down and verify assets.

To date we have managed to track down and verify over 3000 of what we believe to be is a total of 4784 vehicles belonging to the city, using eNatis, SAP, fleet registers of vehicles and lease registers. 

It is anticipated that the final verified figure will be released in early January.

We are going to refer the CB54 PPP for review by a transactional advisor to review the contract and to extricate the city from the agreement.

To date we have already terminated the managed maintenance aspect for vehicles categories A and C of the contract on Monday 5 December 2016.

TMPD has also conducted a search and seizure operation on a service provider who has been found to be in collusion with city employees to defraud the city by performing unnecessary and uncalled for repairs and maintenance on certain city vehicles.

To date we have also managed to get 45 of our trucks that were sitting in a lot back on the roads after they had been sitting, not delivering services despite their being little to nothing wrong with them.

This is progress.

Bulk infrastructure

The people of Hammanskraal and Rooiwal were affected by the contaminated water from the Rooiwal Treatment plant.

We then worked hard to bring restoration of the plant by reducing Organic overload in the Rooiwal Water Treatment Plant to enable discharge of waste into the Apies River. As a commitment to giving all the people of Tshwane clean drinking water, we have now advertised for a R2 billion tender to revitalise the Rooiwal water plant. This will bring a permanent solution to this age-old problem.

In Refilwe Manor, we have launched a reservoir, 2 sewer pump stations and upgraded waste water treatment plants in Zeekoegat and Rooiwaal.

The roll out of bulk infrastructure at Hammanskraal Extension 10 is currently underway. In ward 55, Region 3, we have undertaken to electrify 270 informal households to the tune of R2.2 million by the end of the year 2016. This project is nearing completion and we are very excited about it. This will mean more of our citizens will have access to sustainable electricity.

We are also underway with replacement of 5 103 conventional electricity meters which will cost the City R9 million.

And 270 more homes will be electrified in Melusi 1 informal settlement.

On the matter of water restrictions we developed a Tshwane based water plan in order to mitigate the provinces water restrictions and to date the City has exceeded the target set and currently sitting at 24.5% reduction in the use of water. 

The City will also be deploying its teams, supported by Rand Water, to speedily track down and fix water leakages and burst pipes. We are also dealing with up to 50 000 leakages that we are now starting to address in earnest. A response mechanism to enable communities to call and report leakages has been put in place.

We thank the residents of the city for heeding a call to reduce water use by 15 percent. We have since bought 3 000 water flow restrictors, which have been installed in areas and on the water meters of the biggest water users. Those that continuously don’t adhere to the restrictions we are now going to be ensuring that those restrictors are put on them so that we can throttle them further.

Continuing with the theme of water; the dosing of Ferric Chloride commenced on 03 November 2016.  This is a step in the right direction to get the water woes we inherited under control.  This was by:

Building electrical panel for dosing pump control for Ferric Chloride was completed on 3 Nov 2016.

HDPE dosing pipe (Ferric Chloride) from pump station to dosing point was done in-house and completed by 30 Oct 2016.

Sludge dewatering belts were installed on 14 Nov 2016 and are operational.

Tender for Upgrading of Rooiwal WWTW was advertised on 17 Oct 2016 and was initially closing on 5 Dec 2016 which has now been extended to 31 Jan 2017.

Access to decent water is vital to the everyday lives of all people and most businesses and we are happy to say that we are on the right track to ensuring that the City has the necessary water reserves to weather the drought that has gripped the nation.

It should also be noted that the City of Tshwane won the award for having the most access to wi-fi for our residents. More than any other metro in the country. We are proud of this and we hope that more and more of our residents will in the near future be plugged in to the City’s free wi-fi. We are also looking at different funding models for this wi-fi to ensure that the City does not foot the bill for this service entirely but also that private partnerships can be entered into so that City funds can be freed up to use on other priority items.

The ICT infrastructure we inherited was dilapidated and overrun with outdated software, servers out of warranty and the City’s entire network left vulnerable and exposed. To address this:

We are diverting capital expenditure from other ICT projects to shore up the city’s ICT infrastructure;

We will refer the broadband contract to a transactional advisor check legality and value for money of the contract.

Buyback centre

In November 2016, The City of Tshwane in partnership with New GX has launched the Multipurpose Waste Recovery Facility on the buffer zone of the closed Kwaggasrand Landfill site.  As part of the partnership, New GX has sourced funding to build and operate the facility for the next 15 years and thereafter hand it over to the City at no cost.

Furthermore, this partnership is one of The City of Tshwane’s commitments in partnering with the private sector on green economic interventions. It will contribute towards achieving government’s target of a 34% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 and a 42% reduction by 2025.

Consumer relationship management

To date 442 officials were trained on Batho Pele Principles. At least 247 officials attended the Customer centricity course. This in turn, resulted in an improvement in response times for service delivery enquiries. We have made improvements at the Centurion Walk-In centre, improved signage at all walk in centres and the Silver Lakes Walk In centre has been capacitated to function well. By the end of the year procedures at all Walk in centres will be standardised.

When we came into the city we found the call centres in complete disarray, systems were disjointed, software licences had expired and staff poorly motivated and ill disciplined.

To address the situation we:

Brought in new top management;

We started acting against lax operators and poor performing supervisory staff;

Cleared up jumbled reporting lines;

Implemented a new telephony system;

Integrated processes and software on which systems run;

These actions have already borne fruit and two of the three centres already performing better; and

By end of January we will have a fully integrated logging system which will update customers on job tracking via SMS.

Additionally we have some positive stats to share with you that show that the City is improving its everyday service to the people. This is with specific respect to the number of calls engaged.

In September we answered 36% of all our calls made to the call centre. This number went up to 54% in October and has made a steady increase to 58 % in the month of November. This is indicative of a City that is making steady progress in the efficient and meaningful engagement with a residents and their concerns.

For this I am proud.

Indigent programme

We remain committed to providing a range of services to the more vulnerable sections of society through the provision of programmes aimed at prioritising poverty alleviation. In terms of the Indigent Policy, beneficiaries need to be re-evaluated every twenty-four months to verify their economic and social position. In September, the City’s Health and Social Development department kicked off a road show to audit the Indigent Register and to develop a viable plan to ensure registration of new indigents.

The report indicates that in November 1275 evaluations have been achieved and 861 have been exited. In Region 4 over 100 indigent households have been evaluated. In Region 5 and 7 we are still in progress of implementation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Herewith are the audit outcomes:

-213 Indigent registrations captured on SAP system

- 42 households referred for child support grant

- 31 households referred for old age grant

- 08 households referred for disability grant

Part of the strategy is to link beneficiaries with South African Social Services Agency (SASSA) register.

Let me emphasise that the re-evaluation programme progress was not intended to de-register any qualifying indigent households hence it was done in a consultative way with affected households being asked to come forward for re-evaluation in line with the existing Indigent Policy for the City of Tshwane.

This is a regular process that is undertaken to ensure that only eligible people benefit from being on the database and not city employees or ineligible people who ought to be removed from the list. This is to mitigate the corruption that has infiltrated the indigent programme for the benefit of more people in need, not less.

To this end 106 City employees were taken off the indigent register and a further 5 827 State employees were also removed which will allow for deserving residents to get access to the City’s services in this regard.

Safety and security

Pursuant to the National Road Traffic Act vehicles operated by a member of the Service or a member of municipal police service, or a member of the South African Defence Force to perform police functions, in the execution of his or her duties “may” utilise blue lights. In light of the above act, when we assumed office I have issued an instruction that none of my Members of Mayoral Committee may use the blue lights which were found already fitted in the council vehicles.

Furthermore, the new vehicles that were procured by the previous government have been redirected to our newly established Anti-Hijack Unit.

The appointment of personnel at the Anti-Hijack has been completed and they are currently undergoing training.

We have every confidence that the existing metro police force and those women and men who we have been recruited will work tirelessly to serve and protect our residents and motorists. Sometimes even putting their lives on the line. For this I am grateful. Truly.

Additionally, I would like to provide an update on the Bicycle Unit.

We have 130 bicycles for this unit for which we did not pay a cent and that was as a result of good faith private-public partnerships. These bicycles are nearly with us and are just being branded. We will invite you all to this launch soon.

Drug enforcement unit

The challenge of drug and substance abuse, in particular amongst our youth, is a social and economic catastrophe that must be curbed. We have re-established the drug enforcement unit in the Tshwane Metro Police Department. The unit has so far conduct 59 planned operations and 118 arrests were made and drugs with a street value of an estimated R280 000 were confiscated. 

41 Educational awareness campaigns were conducted at day-care centres, churches and hospices. At schools, 12 outreach programmes have been conducted. This was for the purposes of educating our residents about the scourge of crime and how it is to be dealt with by the City and how ordinary residents of Tshwane can also contribute to fighting the problem of drugs we face in our City and indeed the country.

Score Cards for MMCs

The current administration will utilise monitoring and evaluation tools which will focus strongly on results. In pursuit of realising the goals of enhanced municipal capabilities and governance through systems of monitoring and evaluation, the innovation of performance agreements and service delivery agreements with Members of Mayoral Committee is a non-negotiable mandate and imperative of our government.

Today, Members of Mayoral Committee (MMCs) will affirm their resolve to work towards building a liveable and prosperous city by signing their annual performance agreement contracts for the 2016/17 financial year, wherein key deliverables and specified objectives targets of each MMC will be outlined.

These performance agreements will outline our clear service delivery expectations for each MMC as per the IDP. The agreements, which will be reviewed on a quarterly basis, will provide the performance indicators and targets on the key focus areas of each MMC in performing the oversight role.


As the Capital City, we have a responsibility to ensure that we set the highest possible standard for the rest of the country. We must be a shining example for all our people across South Africa.

I am very proud of the accomplishments that my administration has made, but there is still more work to be done.

Credit also goes to all officials who have rolled up their sleeves to help make this city become liveable, resilient and inclusive.

This administration will continue to honour the commitments it made to all the people of Tshwane; to be a government that they can be proud of.

Let us work together to official and resident alike and let us make the Capital prosperous again.

Members of the media and the resilient people of Tshwane, please remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It wasn’t built in 100 days either and neither will Tshwane. But like Rome, we will get there with the hard work of the best possible team.

Thank you!

Issued by Samkelo Mgobozi, Spokesperson to Executive Mayor of Tshwane, 12 December 2016