Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis defends Grant Twigg against ‘political’ trash talk

Grant Twigg Picture: Bheki Radebe

Grant Twigg Picture: Bheki Radebe

Published Jan 25, 2024


Cape Town - Mayco member or urban waste, Grant Twigg, said there was no reason for the mayor to suspend him.

This after various political parties called for his removal following a report that implicated a senior official in the collapse of waste management in Cape Town’s townships.

Earlier this week, the City held a special council meeting where it recommended that Urban Waste Management executive director Luzuko Mdunyelwa be suspended.

According to the report leaked to the Cape Argus, the formation of a new “in-house” waste collection model was undertaken with no delegated authority by Mdunyelwa. The model, with an alleged budget of R514 million resulted in high court action against the City.

RISE Mzansi expressed its approval of Mdunyelwa’s suspension, but the party also wanted Twigg to be suspended as he is the political head of the waste department.

“RISE Mzansi reiterates its call for the immediate resignation of mayoral committee member Grant Twigg. Failing that, we demand decisive action from the mayor to remove him from his post,” said Axolile Notywala, RISE Mzansi’s Western Cape convener.

ANC councillor Lwazi Phakade said it can’t be correct to say that Mdunyelwa was the only one who must be suspended.

“For a decision to be sanctioned, it can’t be sanctioned by just one person and then blamed only on one person. The same applies in the City of Cape Town,” said Phakade.

Twigg said he was focused on ensuring the delivery of waste services across the city and in formal and informal settlements.

“It is my job to hold the administration accountable to the agenda of our mayor, conduct oversight over operations, and propose solutions to prevailing issues. I will not respond to baseless allegations or comment on legally confidential council reports,” said Twigg.

He said there had been a problem of cleansing delivery for several months in informal settlements and formal areas, and this had been the case before any forensic investigation because of poor contractor management.

“I will continue doing what is required to ensure delivery. I serve at the pleasure of our executive mayor. He has no reason to suspend me, and I will continue dedicating all my efforts to delivering on his electoral commitments,” said Twigg.

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said: “Action is not warranted against... Twigg, who correctly raised concerns about the need for waste management reforms in informal settlements, particularly where private contracting is not delivering the desired result.

“This is in line with Twigg’s oversight responsibility, which does not extend to the operational implementation of waste services, and there is absolutely no allegation of any impropriety whatsoever. Any suggestion that there is is just politics.”