New Tshwane mayor gets praise from ANC

New Democratic Alliance mayor Stevens Mokgalapa has met the ANC halfway since taking office, the Tshwane ANC says.

Mokgalapa, who took office in February, said he was confident he had fulfilled his promises when he highlighted the achievements of his first 100 days in the capital yesterday.

He pledged to improve service delivery to the people of Tshwane as this had declined in recent years.

His first successful promise as mayor was the cancellation, within two weeks, of the irregular multimillion-rand GladAfrica consultant contract. The costly deal had affected basic services and created instability in the city.

“The impact of this was felt even by the most junior official in the city, not to mention the impact on service delivery.

“The consultancy agreement was terminated within two weeks of my assuming office and the irregular expenditure incurred on the GladAfrica contract has been referred to the audit and performance committee (APC) for investigation and the terms of reference have been approved.”

Tshwane ANC leader Kgosi Maepa said he was pleased that Mokgalapa adhered to its demand for the costly deal to be scrapped.

“What we are happy about is that GladAfrica is cancelled, as it was our proposal and recommendation to end it,” he said.

While Mokgalapa’s predecessor and the auditor-general’s report fingered city manager Moeketsi Mosola for the irregular appointment, Mokgalapa said the financial disciplinary board held its first meeting last week and would act accordingly, depending on the APC’s recommendations.

“We now wait for the APC to conclude its investigation. It will be improper for me to pre-empt the findings. However, I can assure you we are ready for any recommendations.”

Mokgalapa’s recent budget for the upcoming financial year got the thumbs-up last month when the ANC voted with the DA. This was because the mayor would be prioritising ANC projects such as free Wi-Fi, Maepa said.

Since taking office, Mokgalapa has increased the number of WiFi connection points and promised another 1,000 connection points in the next three years.

“So far, he has agreed to work with us in multiparty agreements, unlike [his predecessor Solly] Msimanga.

“Mokgalapa’s attitude is more mature and he meets us halfway.

“We have voted with the DA on the municipal budget and the bulk of the money is for investment in townships and informal settlements, while rolling out previous ANC projects.

“We will see if he remains true to his word. We will hold him accountable,” added Maepa.

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