|19. August 2016
DA claims the top three positions in the city of Tshwane's council
Democratic Alliance (DA) councillors claimed all three top spots in the Tshwane city council at its first sitting on Friday. Solly Msimanga was elected mayor, Rachel Mathebe speaker and Christo van den Heever chief whip. All three were elected unopposed.
The DA secured 93 seats in the metro, the African National Congress (ANC) 89 seats while the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has 25 seats. According to announcements made by the EEF recently, the party would vote for DA candidates but not enter into coalitions.
Newly elected mayor of Tshwane Solly Msimanga said he was not naive about the challenges that lay ahead. There was a housing backlog and many young people had lost their jobs in the last five years. “We will speed up the formalising of services in the townships. To those who have been waiting for title deeds, they are on the way. We are not going to wait for election year before giving them out.” He said his administration would end the legacy of apartheid and deliver services to the people. “No more will you suffer again. No more will we allow you to be skivvies of councillors and a certain political party. We are calling on you, the residents of our city, to join hands with us and help to build this city.” Politicians would no longer be treated as VIPs, that honour would go to the voters. "Blue lights will be a thing of the past in the city. The only person who will have blue lights will be the president of the country," Msimanga told reporters on Friday. "Gone are the days where publicly-elected officials will think they are VIPs. The only VIPs will be the people of the city." Msimanga said that was to ensure that leaders never get to think they are more important than the people who put them in office.
Msimanga also responded to the African National Congress' threat that it was in charge of the majority of wards where he would have to engage residents.
The ANC chairperson in Tshwane Kgosientso Ramokgopa pointed out that the party was in charge of 69 wards in the municipality and Msimanga would have to address them and be introduced by ANC councillors who can decide to "throw him under the bus" in their introductions.
Msimanga said that was nothing more than trying to disturb the rolling out of service to settle a score. "I want our residents to know that the ANC will halt service delivery in areas they think is their home. This is something that is very telling that they will want to risk our people receiving services just to prove a point. We will ensure that service delivery takes place even in those wards," said Msimanga.
Public servants would be expected to work and would no longer do as they pleased, he said. “The metro police in our city, get ready, we are going to work. Gone are the days where we just leave offices. Let us ensure service delivery happens,” he said
(News24, various sources)