Political plot against DA-run cities — Solly Msimanga
Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga says there is evidence of an orchestrated political programme to make DA cities and metros ungovernable.
Msimanga was addressing a breakfast briefing on Friday following his first budget address on Thursday. The budget vote, a crucial test for the coalition government, will take place on Thursday.
Msimanga leads a coalition government in the metro, which took control from the ANC after the 2016 local government elections. The ANC is now on the opposition benches and, on Thursday, allowed Msimanga to address the council for the first time without plunging the sitting into chaos, as has happened previously.
When asked if he believed in the existence of a disruptive political programme, Msimanga said there was evidence of one, as the poor did not simply put themselves on buses with brand new T-shirts to toyi-toyi for permanent employment in the city’s central business district.
"So somebody is co-ordinating that. Somebody is paying for that," he said, adding it was also not a coincidence when people started occupying land in different parts of the city at the same time. The city will send a team to respond to the protests, but there is not enough manpower if protests flare up in places such as Soshanguve, Mabopane and Atteridgeville, at the same time.
Msimanga also alleged that the provincial government is involved in the orchestration, saying that title deeds available for distribution are not being given to Tshwane — "So you can see there is a trend there, but luckily this is not the first time," referring to when the City of Cape Town first took over from the ANC.
He said it took Cape Town three years to get a grip on all the levers of power it needed to govern properly, but that he does not have three years and must "to do things now".
Msimanga announced in his budget speech that a lot of work would be done in informal settlements in the DA-run cities. Among the plans was the formalisation of seven informal settlements. He pleaded with councillors, including opposition councillors, to place residents at the centre of all of their plans.
"It should not be a certain political party, it should not be me or you," said Msimanga, emphasising that residents must be the ultimate winners in all initiatives undertaken.