“New” Joburg Mayor Delivers Old Corruption and Poor Services

Today, the unholy alliance of the ANC and Democratic Alliance in the Johannesburg Council has predictably and without opposition elected Cllr Jolidee Matongo, the ANC’s chief spindoctor in JHB, and right-hand man to the late Mayor Makhubo, as Executive Mayor of the City of Joburg.

Cllr Matongo propped, patted, and applauded the corruption carried out by the ANC and its former Mayor within the City of Johannesburg, all at the expense of residents who continue to watch service delivery deteriorate in the City.

The election of Matongo – through the ANC and DA coalition – has once again failed to provide the City with credible leadership. They have failed to provide Joburg with a leader who can effectively end corruption and provide service delivery. Matongo can offer Joburg residents nothing new except continued corruption and broken service delivery. For Johannesburg to undergo a true renewal, residents must be given their Constitutionally enshrined opportunity to go to the polls and finally vote the ANC out.

Just three months ago, it was the then Finance MMC Matongo who tabled a budget full of election promises and little prospects of delivery. As expected, there is yet to be any visible evidence of any change in service delivery. 

It was Matongo’s budget that made it clear that the ANC has every intention of using the City’s coffers as an electioneering vehicle, providing budgetary allocation for an “Accelerated Service Delivery” program which would end three days from today, about 1 week after what was meant to be the end of this Council’s electoral term. This was obviously a program insidiously designed to enrich those in the ANC’s patronage network and act as a smokescreen for “service delivery.”

It was in the same budget that Matongo made provision for R45 million to re-establish the Joburg Tourism Company, the dastardly evidence of an out-of-touch City leadership intent on selling the lie of a “World Class African City”, while the City’s residents live without quality services and growing squalor.  

Joburg residents still cannot help but suspiciously eye the 500 000 food parcels which Matongo promised them, but were always likely to be used as voting fodder in ANC strong-holds instead of ensuring COVID – relief and social support reaches all poor communities and child-headed households throughout the City of Johannesburg.

Since my election as Mayor of the City of Johannesburg in 2016, it has been my steadfast belief that when Johannesburg Works, South Africa Works! The ANC and DA coalition has undone the good progress by the multi-party coalition government I led in turning the City around.

It is a curious twist that Matongo has, whilst Finance MMC, continued some of the programs my administration started – one of which was the Debt Rehabilitation Program under Finance MMC Funzi Ngobeni. If anything, I would encourage him to continue in that spirit even though it is unlike ANC leaders to take wise counsel.

That notwithstanding, with the support of the voters, I will return to finish what I started in order to get Johannesburg back on track. I will prioritise:

  • Reviving the stalled Inner-City Revitalisation mega project by working with the private sector and civil society to create shared value that incentivises investment, creates job opportunities, and provides inclusive affordable housing for residents;
  • Once again declaring corruption public enemy number 1 and immediately implementing lifestyle audits to ensure that all the looters – inside and outside of government are exposed, arrested, prosecuted and jailed;
  • Restoring #OperationBuyaMthetho and making Joburg unsafe for criminals;
  • Streamlining the City’s bloated structure to ensure that we can improve service delivery by ensuring the City’s organisational structure is responsive to the needs of residents;
  • Rebuilding a competent, professional, and accountable public service committed to Service With Pride; and
  • Insourcing contract workers exploited by tenderpreneurs.

Finally, by ensuring Matongo’s unopposed election, the DA has put to bed any suspicion of their desire to form part of an ANC-led coalition, as its right-wing faction. They want in! As leading incumbent parties, the ANC and DA have once again banded together to put their own narrow interests first and consign those of the residents to the far back, just as they did by not doing what was required to ensure this local government election could continue, as constitutionally mandated.

This is the very politics of self-interest that South Africans are gatvol of – the unethical, smoke-filled room dealmaking which slices up the pie of control of state resources and political power for the benefit of political bosses.

ActionSA stands ready to provide an alternative to the broken political system that has failed South Africans. We are assembling 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.

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