Executive mayor of Tshwane Solly Msimanga File picture: Thobile Mathonsi/Independent Media
Pretoria – Opposition parties in Tshwane have poked holes in the State of the Capital Address (Soca) delivered by mayor Solly Msimanga on April 6, demanding that he rethink some of the proposed projects.

Scathing criticism by parties arose during the Soca debate this week during a special sitting at the Sammy Marks council chamber.

Msimanga said at Soca: "Within the next financial year, the city is looking to create 23 000 Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) job opportunities for our people to alleviate the burden of poverty.”

But EFF leader Benjamin Disoloane said the creation of 23000 jobs would not ease the burden of poverty for as long as workers were still hired on six-month contracts. He appealed to Msimanga to give EPWP workers permanent jobs.

He also said the EFF wanted all the wards in the city to have early childhood development centres.

Another EFF councillor, Tshilidzi Tuwani, accused the DA-led administration of not spending the budget meant for service delivery.

Tuwani suggested that the unspent money be used to create more jobs and health-care centres as a matter of urgency. He said that would eliminate the risk of “taking back the money to the Treasury” at the end of a financial year.

ANC leader Mapiti Matsena described Msimanga’s speech as hollow and unrealistic: “You said nothing, except to include new projects to please your masters in the DA.” He said Msimanga’s speech was in some respects a rehash of projects conceptualised under the previous ANC-led government.

Matsena spent much of the time allocated to him accusing the DA-led council of disrespecting the legacy of Struggle icon Solomon Mahlangu by hosting Soca on the commemoration day of his death.

He said the DA ran risks by going to ANC-run wards without first notifying councillors there.

“If you go to our communities without informing our councillors you are there at your own risk,” Matsena said.

Human settlement MMC Mandla Nkomo said: “This administration is committed to providing sustainable and integrated human settlements that are accessible and liveable.

"Our draft 2017/18 Integrated Development Plan makes provision for the formalisation of seven informal settlements. This project will henceforth be known as Project Tirane.”

He said it included the provision of bulk water and sewerage connections, roads, stormwater systems and water reticulation networks, and electrification of households.

DA councillor Crezane Bosch said: “We are improving EPWP, ensuring it becomes what it was originally destined to be – a programme that develops people so that they access more opportunities.”

Councillor Shane Maas, also of the DA, criticised the previous ANC-led council for promising projects which were not funded.

“I suppose it was to create the illusion that the city was doing something,” he said.

Pretoria News