Last week the Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Randall Williams, declined an invitation to appear before the Hammanskraal Water Inquiry.
This follows ActionSA’s establishment of an independent panel led by Human Rights experts, water specialists and community leaders.
Williams’ refusal to appear before the inquiry is disappointing in the extreme to both the panel, and most particularly, the residents of Hammanskraal and Rooiwal farming communities.
The Hammanskraal Water Inquiry has informed ActionSA it will issue a further letter to Williams, imploring him to fulfil his Constitutional responsibilities.
The residents of Hammanskraal and surrounding communities have suffered from a water crisis dating back to 2005. In the last 5 years these residents have had 3 Executive Mayors and a Provincial Administrator.
Recently the City awarded a R295 million contract to a joint venture including a company owned by state capture implicated, Edwin Sodi. Despite this, the residents of Hammanskraal have experienced no improvements.
Williams has tried to characterise the Inquiry as a political witch hunt, this is despite its panel consisting of non-political experts on human rights, water and sanitation, local government, and community leadership.
Why is Williams scared to account on behalf of the Tshwane Municipality to the residents of Hammanskraal?
Does Williams have any plans to address this water crisis which now appears to be spreading to other areas in Tshwane like Bronkhorstspruit?
Is there going to be a forensic investigation into the R295 million spent on, apparently, nothing at the Rooiwal Water Treatment Plant?
Rather than being a true leader, and accounting for the municipality Williams allegedly leads, it appears he is going to duck his responsibility to the people of Hammanskraal.
In discussing this matter with the people of Hammanskraal over the weekend it was revealed that, according to the residents, Randal Williams has not visited Hammanskraal since he became the Mayor of the City of Tshwane.
If this is true it just serves to demonstrate that Williams is indeed the Invisible Mayor, going about his work doing nothing and viewing his work as an office-bound paper pusher.
For the Mayor’s information, I grew up in Hammanskraal and still have my closest family members still living there. If a month passes without me visiting Hammanskraal, I am either out of Gauteng or oversees. And so, slight remarks that I am out of touch with that community are totally unfounded.
The people of Tshwane have every reason to be outraged that the Bophuthatswana government delivered better services to communities like Hammanskraal than what we see today.