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This was the statement delivered by the DA’s Metro Mayoral Candidates at a press conference held in Johannesburg today.
The ANC today failed to name its metro Mayoral Candidates in a bid to shield its candidates from public scrutiny, following five years of financial mismanagement in the cities it governs.
The DA can reveal today, following information received from the national government, that the largest ANC metros have wasted almost R20 billion in unauthorised, irregular and wasteful expenditure since 2011.
The voters of South Africa deserve to know who the ANC’s mayoral candidates are, and who in the ANC will take responsibility for fixing the mess they have left our cities in.
The delay from the ANC to name its Mayoral Candidates has meant that the people of the battleground Metros in this election have not yet been given the opportunity by the ANC to fairly and openly interrogate their options in Election 2016.
It has been 46 days since the ANC launched its Manifesto, and yet in that time it has only been the DA whose Mayoral Candidates have been on the ground engaging voters on issues important to them and their lives.
We now challenge the ANC to name its candidates publicly without delay, and we challenge Gwede Mantashe to commit the ANC’s candidates to a series of public debates with us.
The DA stands for transparency and openness, and so our Mayoral Candidates are here for every voter to see, and for every voter to test us on our campaign promises.
While the ANC hasn’t announced a single candidate, DA Mayoral Candidates in the battleground Metros have spent a combined 988 days so far on the campaign trail, out in communities and at one with the people, because that is what accountable and open politics demands.
While voters deserve absolute openness and honesty, for too long the ANC has hidden the truth of who its Mayoral Candidates are.
After its National General Council in 2015, the ANC promised to announce Mayoral Candidates by December of 2015; yet that, like almost all ANC promises, was a broken promise. Now the ANC must follow through and must name its candidates.
Considering its disastrous track record in governance, in the Metros of Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni, it appears the ANC has not been confident enough to put candidates up who will have to defend their record. Could it be that the ANC is afraid to defend its track-record in government?
In the battleground Metros all indicators show that that election is a two-horse-race, and only the DA can beat the ANC on 03 August, which is why public debates are critically important.
After 22 years in local government, the ANC has much in this election to explain to voters, including massive service delivery failures, financial mismanagement, corruption and unemployment – and this is why we call on the ANC to defend its governance record in a series of public debates.
All indicators show that the DA’s governance record is better than the ANC’s. Recently, Good Governance Africa found that 9 of the 10 best-run Municipalities have DA governments, and 10 out of 10 of the worst-run have ANC governments.
The DA can today reveal the CoGTA Minister, Des van Rooyen, has confirmed in a Parliamentary Reply to a DA question that ANC Metros have dismal financial management records compared to the DA governance record in the Metro of Cape Town.
Van Rooyen’s reply shows that ANC Metro’s indulged in Unauthorised, Irregular, Wasteful and Fruitless expenditure to the tune of billions last year, while Cape Town shows the cleanest financials of any Metro at a fraction of these expenditure measures.
This shows that where the DA governs we spend public money on service delivery, and on job creation, rather than on the misspending so prominent in ANC governments.
Just like Jacob Zuma, ANC mayors seemingly have a blank cheque to misspend public money to the tune of millions.
Minister Van Rooyen’s reply assimilates various financial reports of Metro finances and reveals that in the last year alone:
• In Nelson Mandela Bay, R3,4 billion went to irregular, unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
• In Tshwane, R3,6 billion went to irregular, unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
• In Johannesburg, R4,2 billion went to irregular, unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
• In Ekurhuleni, R975 million went to irregular, unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
• In contrast, where the DA governs in the City of Cape Town, just R1,4 million went to irregular, unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and we are working to reduce this even further.
Since 2011 the picture of ANC Metro financial mismanagement is even more stark and shows that in this 5-year term of local government the DA government in Cape Town has delivered sound financial management, while ANC governance in the battleground Metros has incurred a collective R19,4 billion in irregular, unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
The figures since 2011 show that the City of Cape Town contributed just 0,1% to the total of irregular, unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the battleground Metros – according to the Auditor General and Parliamentary Replies.
The figures since 2011 are:
|| R 17 625 000.00
|| R 1 664 000.00
|| R 339 000.00
|| R 1 209 000.00
|| R 20 837 000.00
|| R 618 307 000.00
|| R 632 541 000.00
|| R 1 344 698 000.00
|| R 2 390 487 000.00
|| R 4 986 033 000.00
|| R 516 856 000.00
|| R 215 092 000.00
|| R 362 549 000.00
|| R 4 219 216 000.00
|| R 5 313 713 000.00
|Nelson Mandela Bay
|| R 650 247 000.00
|| R 2 117 509 000.00
|| R 1 806 946 000.00
|| R 2 795 774 000.00
|| R 7 370 476 000.00
|| R 374 446 000.00
|| R 174 190 000.00
|| R 261 490 000.00
|| R 941 800 000.00
|| R 1 751 926 000.00
|| R 19 442 985 000.00
Since 2011 Nelson Mandela Bay has incurred 354 times more irregular, unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure than the DA government of Cape Town. Johannesburg has incurred 255 times more, Tshwane 239 times more, and Ekurhuleni 84 times more than the DA government in Cape Town.
The DA has a plan to turn these ANC Metro financial failings around once in government after the August 3rd Elections, and the ANC must reveal its candidates to debate these plans.
In government, in Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni the DA will:
1. Immediately ban all office bearers, councillors and their families from doing business or getting contracts from the Metro.
2. Forensically audit all current contracts and tenders, and prosecute the connected insiders who have benefited illegally, and sue them to recover ill-gotten gains.
3. Open up the tender process at the bid adjudication stage to the public, so that residents can see where and how their public money is going to be spent.
4. Develop a supply chain management policy to check quality and value for money, allowing problematic contractors which do not deliver quality services and goods can be blacklisted from doing business with the municipality.
5. Introduce municipal customer satisfaction surveys for our residents to directly, but anonymously, tell us how we are doing in government.
6. Implement accurate and fair billing for all residents, correcting the billing chaos the ANC has left with a full forensic audit immediately once in government, to send out correct bills and recover them. We will target 99% debt collection, raising billions more in revenue, through making all finance staff strictly accountable and performance monitored.
7. Fill critical vacancies immediately, where some departments under the ANC today have reached crisis levels of vacant positions when the right cadre can’t be found, the DA will fill these with fit for purpose staff immediately.
8. Restructure bloated ANC politically-appointed administrations, and cut costs by limiting roles to purpose. For instance, in Tshwane the Chief Whip’s Office alone employs 64 staff members, to do the work that three people do in the Cape Town Chief Whip’s Office.
9. Prioritise the transfer of title deeds currently backlogged by ANC government delays, and compete with Cape Town which has transferred the most title deeds of any Metro for the past two financial years. This will allow our poorest communities to leverage the value of their properties for economic independence. We will also service and formalise more informal settlements, so that those who occupy them can be issued with title deeds.
10. Allocate increased budget to capital projects that deliver infrastructure and services, and less to operational costs like staffing and luxury perks for politicians. We will build more water-works, more waste-water treatment plants and sanitation services, more electricity sub-stations with more connections, more roads, more clinics, more libraries, more transportation hubs and better emergency services.
11. Reform the service tariff structures so that the poorest of the poor will benefit from more free basic services with tariffs only increasing as usage increases.
12. Increase repair, maintenance and refurbishment budgets for all municipal infrastructure by billions of rands, to keep municipal services running, rather than allowing infrastructure to dilapidate and then replacing it at greatly inflated cost.
13. Actively seek to obtain additional grants and funding from various sources including the national and provincial governments to drive new infrastructure projects.
14. Ensure we don’t start projects until funding exists – new unfunded mandates which compromise quality service delivery will be resisted.
15. Set delivery performance targets, and develop a strategic asset management plan and registering all municipal infrastructure to allow the sound management of investment, depreciation, capital maintenance and strategic capital planning decisions.
With these measures the DA can promise a new financial dawn for Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni.
To the ANC we lay down the challenge today: reveal your candidates and let us debate and contest for our records in government and our plans for the future of the battleground Metros.
The DA is ready to bring change to Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni; the change we need to move forward again.