Tshwane is not getting what's best

The writer hopes that Stevens Mokgalapa's replacement will ensure that service delivery will be high on his or her agenda.
The writer hopes that Stevens Mokgalapa's replacement will ensure that service delivery will be high on his or her agenda.
Image: Deaan Vivier

Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa tendered his resignation at the weekend at a time when service delivery is a major problem in the capital.

From the poor quality of water coming out of taps in Hammanskraal, to intermittent power cuts in Soshanguve due to infrastructure problems, Tshwane residents have valid reasons to be unhappy with services from the metro.

The city has, over the past few months, found itself facing an impasse in council which has drawn cooperative governance MEC Lebogang Maile into the fray.

The impasse has seen the only two council meetings held this week collapsing as both the ANC and the EFF are baying for the DA's blood, as they try to wrestle power from it.

The DA is in turn digging in its heels and using every other possible trick to remain in power.

As a result of the council meetings collapsing, this means council cannot do its job. For example, a by-law which deals with issues of street traders, will have to wait for another meeting.

Even this week, the Tshwane impasse is expected to be ventilated in court as both the EFF and the ANC are headed to the North Gauteng High Court to oust the DA.

As this impasse plays itself out in court and council chambers, service delivery, which is what local government should be all about, unfortunately takes a back seat.

For example, the township of Atteridgeville has for years been one of the cleanest suburbs in the country and even won several Bontle Ke Botho awards in the past 15 years.

The Bontle Ke Botho competition, which forms part of the Gauteng provincial government's cleaning and greening campaign, recognises municipalities' efforts to keep their cities clean.

Nowadays, the township, situated west of the city, is a shadow of its former self, and there is dirt everywhere.

Sowetan hopes that as Mokgalapa packs his bags and hands over the mayoral chain, the new mayor to be voted in by council will ensure that service delivery will be high on the agenda.

It's about time that the circus that's happening in council becomes a thing of the past, so that the city can work once again.

Tshwane is the administrative seat of national government and is home to a number of embassies. It's a very important municipality that deserves much better.

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