Dear Mzwandile, I write this letter to you anxiously awaiting your State of the City address in Ekurhuleni. After a warmly received State of the Nation, which gave South Africans the much needed renewed hope, you will need to pull a rabbit out of your hat to get Ekurhuleni on the right road. I’ve sat
I write this letter to you anxiously awaiting your State of the City address in Ekurhuleni. After a warmly received State of the Nation, which gave South Africans the much needed renewed hope, you will need to pull a rabbit out of your hat to get Ekurhuleni on the right road.
I’ve sat across from you in many council meetings, since you took office in August 2016. I’ve listened attentively to your speeches and replies, which praise the stalwarts of the past, but often, your speeches, don’t offer praises or insight for the future.
Mr Mayor, the people of Ekurhuleni need you now more than ever. Failing infrastructure, rampant unemployment, huge water losses. Leadership is never an easy challenge.
Before you take to the podium to address communities on your plans for Ekurhuleni, with hordes of journalists gathering around to scrutinize your every word. Let’s not forget the future and the legacy we need to leave for our children.
I will be sitting on the opposition bench, hoping for a serious commitment from yourself and your coalition partners to make meaningful change to our most vulnerable, and commit to rooting out corruption. Please use your influence and position to ensure this.
The reason I’m bringing this up, is you publically announced in Council that if anyone is aware of corruption in the Metro, they must inform you, and you’ll personally deal with it.
You are, supposedly, about consequence management?
Well, may I then ask, Mr Mayor, how could you employ the incumbent, Joe Majopelo? Not only does he have a history of fraud and corruption, but he has a history of fraud and corruption against this very municipality. Let’s rewind to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a year of hope and unity for most South Africans. Instead, Joe took this period to allegedly manipulate the tender process for the 2010 Heritage Program, which was meant to leave a lasting legacy for underprivileged communities.
Instead of a legacy, Joe quit during a forensic probe. Disappearing under a cloud of controversy, just like the Heritage Program. But the famous Joe has returned, appointed to the position of COO and welcomed with open arms by the municipality, which Jacob Zuma once called the most corrupt municipality in Gauteng. Quite a title to be bestowed by the ‘Constitutional Delinquent’.
You may be unwilling to get to the bottom of the Joe scandal, but we aren’t! We have been to the SIU and the Public Protector on this matter.
In a leaked document that landed on my desk, it details how your Chief of Staff had meetings with the SIU to discuss Joe’s matter?
But the deep corruption doesn’t stop there. Ma Shongwe, a single-mother, had her RDP house illegally sold by Cllr Chauke. The very man you chose to head up the Ethics and Integrity Committee in Ekurhuleni.
I’m sorry Mr Mayor, you can’t stand in front of council and community members and tell us you are serious about curbing corruption, while it is happening, literally right under your nose and you refuse to act.
Ma Shongwe’s matter was authenticated! The MEC, Paul Mashatile, said his department would investigate this matter. Mr Mayor, if you had all this information? Why not implement your consequence management?
Hopefully at this State of the City, when you address the residents, you will be motivated to solve this and many other challenges hampering this metro’s true potential. We need substantial change and the creation of conducive spaces to revive the hope for a better future.
Be the pioneer of change Mr Mayor. Take the wheel and drive unity, inclusiveness and job creation. Attract investors by upgrading infrastructure. Our people have heard enough lip-service, try delivering. Our country’s problems won’t be fixed overnight and it takes a humble leader to admit that. But, with the right map and framework, tomorrow could look a little brighter.
Mr Mayor, I will be listening with a keen ear on the promises made to our people. Small actions can make a big difference for those who feel they have been long forgotten.
Cllr Phillip de Lange
DA Leader in Ekurhuleni