Johannesburg - Security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home were paid for with money meant for housing and basic services in Soweto, DA Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane said on Wednesday.
“I have been to Nkandla, that project alone shows that President Zuma's cattle indeed have a better life than those of the people of Protea South,” he said in a speech prepared for delivery.
“I do believe Gauteng can do more to bring basic services to informal settlements.”
Maimane, the Democratic Alliance's Johannesburg caucus leader, was speaking in the city council during debate on the state-of-the-city address.
He said people came to Gauteng from all over the country looking for opportunity, and the city should help its people build a better life.
“Are we tracking how expensive it is to run a business in Joburg, are we examining tariffs on water and lights and road maintenance?” Maimane asked.
“The answer is no. Instead, the city supported the ANC's e-tolling which makes it nearly impossible to grow a small business to a medium one.”
He said land should be handed over to the 220,000 families in Gauteng still waiting for title deeds.
Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau had mentioned that the city owned land worth R23 billion.
Maimane said those 220,000 families were waiting for economic freedom to invest, borrow, and gain equity that came with title deeds.
However, there were people without homes or even basic services.
“Today there are 200 informal settlements in this city that mayor Tau hasn't offered a plan for,” he said.
“We must not forget that some of the informal settlements in this city have been with us for 20 years of democracy.
“One would think formalising these 200 communities would be central to Johannesburg's plans.”
Maimane said the city would not reach its full potential unless more jobs were created.
“This is the place of lights, but for too many of us it is a place of hopelessness and despair.”
He took the opportunity to bid farewell to the city council on Wednesday.
“I would like to thank mayor Tau as well for his collegiality.
“I wish him well as he completes his final term of office in preparation for a DA government in 2016,” said Maimane. - Sapa