Joburg SOCA: Makhubo Delivers Only Crime, Grime, Lawlessness and Hopelessness

Today, in his State of the City Address (SOCA), the corrupt Mayor Geoff “Gupta” Makhubo confirmed what all Johannesburg residents already know – that under his tenure, the City of Johannesburg has become characterised by crime, grime, lawlessness and hopelessness.

As any resident of the City can see on a daily basis, under Makhubo’s tenure the City has gone backwards with much of the progress made by the multi-party government, which I led, having been reversed. Instead, residents have borne the brunt of a decline in key services needed to lead dignified and fulfilled lives. Hopelessness has become the order of the day.

Residents have suffered a reduction in extended hours at city clinics; battled with deteriorating road infrastructure; seen a decline in cleaning shifts (particularly in poor communities); suffered under persistent and prolonged power outages; fallen victim to worsening safety and hygiene conditions (especially in the inner city); and witnessed a growing number of hijacked buildings in the heart of Joburg.

While outlining these challenges, presided over by the ANC, Makhubo didn’t bother with providing concretised plans for addressing these challenges. 

Equally unsurprising, Makhubo has re-introduced the ANC’s jobs for pals scheme, Jozi@Work, a short-term work programme that failed to benefit the poorest in communities because work opportunities were dished out on the basis of party membership through middlemen, known as Capacity Support Agents (CSA). The ANC and its cronies became rich overnight while many in our communities remained without the dignity of work opportunities. 

But nothing could be more ironic, and insulting to residents, than Makhubo’s supposed commitment to “rooting out corruption at malfeasance…[raising] ethical and moral calibre…” when he himself was fingered in the State Capture Commission for alleged corruption. 

During my Mayoralty, the multi-party coalition initiated a forensic investigation into the contract with EOH as the City’s IT provider. It was clear to us that this relationship contained irregularities, including alleged over-billing of the City. When the matter was investigated, nearly all IT contracts appear to have been signed by the COO of the City when the City Manager was away. 

The investigation identified correspondence between Geoff Makhubo and EOH, which included payments made to Molelwane Consulting, a company wholly owned by Makhubo and his mother. Molelwane Consulting is already notorious for its alleged profiting to the tune of R30 million for services rendered to Regiments Capital. These services were to allegedly manage the relationship for Regiments Capital with the City of Johannesburg, while Makhubo served as the MMC of Finance prior to 2016. It is clear that Makhubo acted as one of South Africa’s greatest political mafia figures. 

One struggles to understand how corruption is to be ended within the City of Joburg when at the very top, the Mayor, is one of the most corrupt individuals. 

There is no doubt Joburg’s residents deserve more. As ActionSA, we are committed reversing the decline in the City and bring real hope to residents. 

During my Mayoralty, the multi-party government made significant progress in reversing the decay of Johannesburg after two decades of ANC rule:

  • We increased the share of the capital investment budget for roads, water, electricity and housing from 58% in 2016 to 71% in 2019;
  • We resurfaced almost 1000 km of roads and tarred 88km of gravel roads;
  • Replaced almost 200km of water pipes and over 125 km of sewer pipes reducing bursts and blockages; 
  • Electrified over 10,000 households for the first time and provided over 11,000 ablution facilities to those without basic sanitation; 
  • Improved access to primary healthcare by opening 6 new clinics and rolling out 10 mobile clinics; and 
  • Expanded the Johannesburg Metro Police with an additional 1,500 officers.

That progress is now being reversed. Instead, Makhubo seems more concerned with returning to the ‘good old days’ of self-promotion, branding Johannesburg as “A world-class African City,” while residents continue to have their dignity stripped away by poor living conditions and worsening access to employment opportunities. There is now no doubt that Makhubo and his ANC cronies will milk the City’s coffers to serve the ANC’s election campaign. 

It is clear that this situation will not change as long as the looting and corrupt ANC is in charge. The only resolution to this problem is to unseat the ANC and elect a competent and caring government that will prioritise building an inclusive and prosperous South Africa.

ActionSA stands ready to provide an alternative to the broken political system that has failed South Africans. We will assemble a team of South Africans, committed to public service and not service of political parties, who have the skills, experience and knowledge to achieve our vision for a country that works for all its residents

We look forward to contesting the Local Government Elections later this year, where the residents of Johannesburg will have the power to reclaim their City from the selfish, the criminal and the corrupt.