Tell us about your favourites and win
The ANC knows it will never win at the ballot box as the DA is simply doing what it is supposed to do too well, says DA MP Manny de Freitas.
Johannesburg - Once again the Municipal Demarcation Board unambiguously shows that it is nothing but a close arm of the ANC. It ignored more than 9 800 objections from people in Midvaal to the amalgamation this local authority into the new Emfuleni Metro, which speaks volumes about its impartiality.
The board has a lot to account for. How is it that Midvaal will be amalgamated into a new Emfuleni Metro when the Metsimaholo proposal was withdrawn after violent protests? The Metsimaholo proposal adhered to more demarcation criteria than the Midvaal proposal, yet it was withdrawn after violent protests.
The board appears to be ignorant of the implications of its decisions; the merger of Kungwini and Nokeng Tsa Taemane into Tshwane cost R1 billion of taxpayers’ money.
We will be asking the board for its reasoning and justification for the decision to eliminate the best municipality in Gauteng.
For months, the citizens of the Midvaal municipality have been hard at work expressing their opposition to this amalgamation.
After all, who can blame them? Midvaal is the best municipality in Gauteng; this isn’t me saying this but the ANC provincial government itself when it released the results of a report which ranked Midvaal as the best in Gauteng in terms of quality of life. Due to its rapid economic growth, Midvaal is the fastest-growing municipality in the province.
Midvaal moved up 10 places in the annual Municipal Productivity Index, placing it within the top 5 percent of all local governments.
Large companies such as Sedibeng Breweries, distributors of Heineken, which set up its head office there, were attracted into the area. Naturally, this translated into new job opportunities and job creation, which made Midvaal the municipality with the lowest unemployment rate in Gauteng.
Success attracts success; testament to this is the huge investment in the Eye of Africa Golfing Estate development and the Oprah Winfrey School, to mention only two examples.
In addition to all the “proof is in the pudding” successes, Midvaal conducts its integrated development plan meetings with members of the mayoral committee present; even mayor Bongani Baloyi is present at the majority of such meetings. All this is unheard of in any ANC government in Gauteng.
In order to stop Midvaal from achieving those “thorn-in-their-side” successes, and to stop that pesky mayor and his committee from continuing this good work, the ANC did what it has traditionally done; it used its loyal and subservient institution, the demarcation board.
The plan was simple: pretend to care what the people of Midvaal think by receiving their opinions on this matter, then simply ignore them and instead heed the commands from Luthuli House to effectively obliterate Midvaal from existence.
Simply put: make Midvaal disappear, ensure that it is “swallowed up” in the Emfuleni Metro, so that the new entity can feed off the Midvaal successes. Then start providing the sub-standard service that the rest of Emfuleni and surrounding areas have been getting so that the DA’s excellent legacy can start to disappear.
I’m guessing the ANC will think that all this will happen quite effortlessly with minimal opposition, except for two factors. First, the DA won’t give up; and second, it is only a few months before a general election.
Gauteng is almost guaranteed to be DA run by next year thanks to the ANC, which is attempting to cripple every citizen of Gauteng with the terrible tolls. This shocking decision of the ANC, via the demarcation board, to rob Gauteng of Midvaal will simply add fuel to the already mounting fire against the ANC.
I have no doubt the demarcation board will defend itself as an independent and democratic institution that works for, and respects, the will of the people. If this is the case, I find it rather strange that Baloyi was prevented from sitting in at the board’s announcement of its Midvaal decision.
This is unthinkable and ludicrous; surely the mayor of the affected local authority should’ve been allowed to listen to a board decision made about the municipality he leads. The board’s actions tell us where it stands. I have no doubt that an ANC mayor would have been welcomed in with open arms.
The fight is not over. Every legal tool will be used to fight what is the ANC’s main objective; to be in power and control no matter what.
The ANC can no longer take the fact that more and more people of Midvaal from all communities continue to vote for the DA, election after election. The more the local council does for its people, the more its people personally enjoy its fruits and want to return the government that so effectively and efficiently serves them. This is the basis of democracy.
The ANC, however, knows it will never be able to win at the ballot box as the DA is simply doing what it is supposed to do too well.
So instead, the ANC is trying steal Midvaal.
Manny de Freitas DA MP
* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.