Water Crisis Exposes Deficiency of Leadership Within the City of Johannesburg

ActionSA Joburg Caucus has observed with concern the aimless efforts displayed by the Mayor of Johannesburg, Kabelo Gwamanda, and the MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services Department (EISD), Cllr. Jack Sekwaila, in addressing the recent water crisis. 

The incoherent information that the mayor has been imparting to the public since the advent of the crisis reflects adversely on the office he holds and the administration that he leads.  

We can ignore the mayor’s foibles in his leadership, but we cannot allow him to toy with people’s lives. 

Some of the residents have been without water for more than 15 days, despite guarantees from both the mayor and Johannesburg Water that the water has or will be restored.  

Residents of the City of Johannesburg in the Randburg area and parts of Soweto continue to live in inhumane conditions while the mayor and his administration act as if it were business as usual. 

As ActionSA Joburg Caucus, we are of the view that the Mayor and the MMC for EISD must vacate their offices to allow for competent individuals to take the City forward.  

An institution that lacks consequence management is as good as dead.  

It must be noted that the City has been spending R50 million per month on water tankers; we believe that this amount has tripled following the emergency repairs at Eikenhof Substation.  

As ActionSA Joburg Caucus, we are adamant that the City cannot continue to spend taxpayers’ money purposelessly in an event that could have been avoided.  

We are in this conundrum because the City did not plan beyond emergencies.  

ActionSA The Joburg Caucus has brought several urgent debates to the Council with the aim of finding amicable solutions, but all these efforts were flatly rejected. 

The ActionSA government in the City of Johannesburg will ensure: 

–  The establishment of a customer-centric government that delivers service with pride. Our residents are our customers and have the right to quality and reliable service delivery by a government that cares for all its residents and takes pride in service excellence. 

–  Ethical and professional public service: we will reform our municipalities by appointing only ethical and competent officials that have proven their commitment to public service. Corruption and incompetence will have no place in our governments. 

ActionSA will continue to advocate for the basic rights of our residents, but most importantly, ensure that officials are held accountable.