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Johannesburg - Recent service delivery protests by Bekkersdal residents are a case study in ANC failures, the DA said on Monday.
“The roots of the current conflict go back a long time,” DA Gauteng leader Jack Bloom said in a speech prepared for a debate in the Gauteng legislature.
“Bekkersdal is a case study of why the African National Congress fails to deliver because of typical mismanagement and corruption.”
It also showed why Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane deserved the title of “queen of empty promises”, he said.
The debate came against the backdrop of service delivery protests in Bekkersdal, with residents demanding the removal of their mayor.
The protests have resulted in government property being vandalised and pupils being taken out of school. Streets in the township have been barricaded.
Bloom said the Bekkersdal Renewal Project was launched by former premier Mbhazima Shilowa in 2004 as a presidential lead project, with a budgeted of R1.2 billion.
People in Bekkersdal were right to ask what happened to all the huge amounts of money that had been spent with so little result, he said.
“Roads are still not tarred, the brick-making centre is incomplete, sewage runs in the streets, the multi-purpose centre is not operational, and other promised projects have not happened either,” said Bloom.
“The reality is that delivery is compromised because of crony tenders that don't deliver.”
He said there had been petitions and memorandums calling for attention to the problems in Bekkersdal, but that the government “will not listen”.
The way forward was to talk to Bekkersdal residents and to investigate allegations of corruption against the Westonaria council.
People implicated should be criminally prosecuted.
“Merging Westonaria with Randfontein will solve nothing if the management rot is not cut away drastically,” Bloom said.
On October 29, Mokonyane announced plans to develop the West Rand, particularly Westonaria and Randfontein.
She said the plan was for Mogale City to be the anchor of future development.
She appealed to the public to rally behind the programmes. She admitted that the process would be tough as the budget was thin.