Tshwane will be the Capital of Job Creation and Service Delivery
Less than a year ago, outside this very hall, the DA started on a journey to change to the City of Tshwane.
It was a journey to end the corruption and mismanagement that has held this City back for too long, and allowed progress to stall.
It was a journey to bring hope back to our capital city, by delivering better services to all our people, and creating the jobs our city needs to fight poverty.
Today I am honoured and humbled to stand hear at the culmination of that journey as the voice of a united, DA-led multiparty government with a clear mandate from the people of this City.
I would like to thank our political partners and my fellow councillors who have placed their trust in me by uniting behind the DA’s vision for a renewed Tshwane in the interest of good governance that will put the people of this City first.
This is not just any City, but our Capital. We have a responsibility to ensure that we set the highest possible standard for the rest of the country. We must be a shining example for all our people across South Africa.
The DA led government will ensure that this happens. It starts today with us, together.
We have listened to the people. They have made their voices heard loudly: corruption, cronyism, nepotism and patronage comes to an end. This will be a city for all the people of Tshwane, not just a small-connected group of people.
Today we usher in a new era in this great metro that will see its residents served by an honest and responsive government that will put their needs above any other.
Our commitment throughout this campaign was that a DA-led government in Tshwane would turn this City around; that we would stop corruption, deliver better services and create jobs.
These are not empty promises, but commitments made in honour of former President Nelson Mandela, who overlooks this City from the steps of the Union Buildings.
In 1994, on the occasion of his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of a new South Africa, uTata Madiba had a dream for the people of South Africa: “let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.”
Our first democratically elected government, the Government of National Unity, sought to bring parties from across the political spectrum together in pursuit of the common goal of building a better South Africa
The multiparty government that we have formed in this City today will be the torch bearer of that dream.
For all that divides us, we are united behind a single cause: to be a government that will unlock the potential of this City and ensure that the fruits of our democracy are shared by all.
uTata Madiba’s dream was a for a non-racial and inclusive South Africa, a dream I share for this City.
Tshwane must be City for all regardless of whether you are a resident of Hammanskraal or Centurion.
That is why the focus of my government will be to ensure that we adopt job-creating policies that will redress the inequalities of the past and allow all the residents of Tshwane to pursue a life they value.
In order to give life to this dream, I am ready to work with anyone who shares my commitment, and the DA’s commitment, to good governance and turning the City of Tshwane into the Capital of service delivery and job creation.
This also requires a hard-working, and professional civil service that works for the people. The task before us will require a corruption-free government that is fit for purpose and performs its duties without fear or favour.
That is why today I am drawing a line in the sand. We will have a professional, skilled public service that works for the people. Those who use their positions to rob our people are not welcome here.
Corruption is more than stolen money and favours-for-friends. Corruption is a disease that has infected many aspects of this City. This disease stands in the way of making progress and this disease must be cut out once and for all.
Let me be clear: this city will not tolerate corruption from any person, no matter who they are. If you steal from our people, you will face the full force the law.
Over the course of the election campaign I met tens of thousands of the residents in this City, many of whom had been side-lined by an uncaring and corrupt government.
I heard countless stories of how joblessness, inadequate service delivery and crime affect them on a daily basis.
Without an income to support themselves and their loved ones, and without a City capable of ensuring that they can live in a safe and clean environment, these residents feel that the City has forgotten about them.
This is a reality we have to address and rectify urgently, and the only way to do this is to make this a government that works for and with the people.
That is why this government will be committed to realising pro-poor, job-creating government of the people, for the people.
Together we will work to address the issues of housing for the residents of Mamelodi, Hammanskraal and Pienaarspoort, too many of whom have had dreams of owning houses shattered and continue to live in shacks without access to decent services.
In 2014/15, the housing backlog in Tshwane stood at over 120,000 while the number of informal settlements has increased to over 170.
I am committed to establishing a housing program that allocated housing opportunities in a clear and transparent manner that seeks to address the housing crisis through a fair, corruption free process.
Together we will fight the problem of crime that transcends all barriers in our City.
I am committed to ensuring that TMPD is empowered with the skills and equipment necessary to turn the tide against crime in our City.
Together we will fight the scourge of gangsterism and drug use that fuels a vicious cycle of crime and violence in communities such as Atteridgeville, Kungwini and Eersterust. I am going to make sure that by working with partners at all level of governments, we launch the most intensive battle against Nyaope this ciy has ever seen.
And I am committed to addressing the problem of the over half a million residents of Tshwane who are without jobs, or who have given up looking for jobs.
We will reinvigorate the economy of this City to create jobs for those in communities such as Nokeng, Ga-Rankuwa and Soshanguve who struggle from chronic unemployment while EPWP jobs are not fairly allocated.
We will stimulate business growth through incentives, such as rate rebates and preferential tariff structures and investigate the implementation of Job Zones in Babelegi, Ekandustria and Garankuwa.
We will make sure that these Job Zones have a coordinated service delivery plan to ensure an adequate electricity and a stable clean water supply.
And we will empower the private sector to be the driver of growth and job creation in Tshwane by making the City more business friendly. As Mayor I pledge do everything in my power to remove the obstacles that small businesses, and the informal economy – key engines of job creation – face in this City.
We will work to eliminate red tape and simplify regulations, especially those relating to zoning, planning approvals, health and safety, traffic and licensing. The municipality must never an obstacle and the cause of delays when it comes to attracting investment and creating jobs.
Tshwane will be the Capital of job creation in South Africa.
On August 3 the people of Tshwane made a bold call for Change; a call for hope; a call to put our city back on the right track again.
We can, together, now make this a reality.
Change has indeed come to Tshwane.
I have a vision to turn this City into a hub of opportunity that gives life to the rights and freedoms enshrined in our Constitution.
A growing Tshwane that leads the fight against unemployment.
A fair Tshwane that does not allow corruption.
A Tshwane that is committed to redress and reconciliation.
And a caring Tshwane that is honest and delivers to the poor.
That is my commitment to the people of this City; to be a government that they can be proud of.
Finally, I would also like to thank my family and friends for their support, love and patience over the past year, as well as all the DA leadership, staffers, activists and supporters who were part of the team that made today possible.
This election campaign taught me that we are better together.
I believe that together we can effect historic change in this City and I am honoured by your willingness to be a part of that change.
Let’s now, together, roll up our sleeves and get to work.
Let’s, together, bring the change that our people deserve.
It is now time to move our beloved Tshwane forward again. Ke Nako!
I thank you.
Speech by Solly Msimanga