TSHWANE mayor Solly Msimanga has vowed to continue visiting areas in the metro to address challenges faced by residents despite heckling and disruptions.
Msimanga said there was no such thing as no-go areas in the city and accused the ANC of being behind incidents in which he was heckled and disrupted by angry residents.
Members of Msimanga’s Mayoral Committee have had their hands full when trying to address communities. The speaker of council Rachel Mathebe and MMC for Agriculture and Environmental Affairs Mike Mkhari were
stopped from conducting their duties in Soshanguve this week.
“The City of Tshwane strongly condemns the violent protest action witnessed at the Klip-Kruisfontein Cemetery in Soshanguve wherein the MMC for Agriculture and Environmental Management, Cllr Mike Mkhari, and the Speaker of Council, Cllr Rachel Mathebe, were barred by ANC members from officially opening the cemetery. The duo was essentially stopped from performing their official duties of handing over the burial site as mandated by the electorate,” said Msimanga.
He also had to be escorted out of a meeting in Soshanguve when the crowd booed him.
Msimanga was accompanying Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Paul Mashatile when he was given a torrid time.
Mashatile was, however, given a hero’s welcome accompanied by loud singing. Msimanga said the people behind both incidents are African National Congress members including former MMC’s.
“This behaviour is disingenuous and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. A case of assault, malicious damage to property and public violence has been opened at the Akasia police station. We wish to reiterate that this administration is committed to serving the people of Tshwane and that protest gimmicks will not deter us from continuing with our developmental agenda,” he added.
“Despite the unjustified protest, we are happy to inform Soshanguve residents that the cemetery is open for burial operations. This administration will never be scared to engage the community.”
The ANC in Tshwane has however refuted the allegations.
Spokesperson Teboho Joala said the party has given out thousands of T-shirts and they can’t be held responsible for people who decide to wear them and protest.
Joala accused Msimanga of using the ANC as an excuse for his administration’s failure to deliver services to the residents of Tshwane.
“From time to time we issue t-shirts. We can’t account for every t-shirt. The t-shirts are not only being worn by ANC members. He is diverting attention from the real issues. We find this narrative now of a continued onslaught on the ANC being very shallow and he lacks the political will to deliver services for the people. All we ever
hear from him is ANC this and that. There is nothing being implemented that was promised during campaigns,” Joala said.
He called on Msimanga to stop complaining to the media through press conferences and start to deliver services. He said all the administration has done since taking over has been to call press conferences and make excuses about why they can’t deliver services.
“They are in government, they can’t be stopped from delivering services by people who are not in government. If they are in charge, they can’t be calling conferences and complain. They must do what they were elected to do. We are getting agitated by this and our people on the ground are getting impatient. His incompetence and that of his
MMC’s is showing that they are not up to the challenge, hence they can’t respond to the work they have to do. This is shallow politics. The people of Tshwane are not waiting to hear another press conference
but to see services being delivered.”
Despite the challenges he faces, Msimanga said they will now be fast-tracking the process of handing over title deeds. He said 4000 title deeds would be given to residents in the next coming weeks and months.
“We will be handing over 4000 title deeds to people of Soshanguve and Mabopane. The title deeds were gathering dust in offices but we will be going to Mamelodi, Atteridgeville and Olivenhoutbosch to hand them
over to ensure we give our people dignity,” Msimanga insisted.