Part One: How did the City of Cape Town's mayoral team perform this year?
Mayor Dan Plato
After the ousting of former mayor Patricia De Lille, Plato emerged back in the mayoral position. He faced a backlash from the opposition parties, who labelled him as weak. Plato was previously the MEC for community safety; he has a passion for people and children. However, he didn’t use his passion to make a difference in the poor’s lives. He spent most of his time doing clean-ups and taking zero accountability for critical issues facing the City.
Deputy mayor and mayco member for Finance Ian Neilson
He had already proved incapable of handling the water crisis when De Lille’s powers were stripped, but was chosen to be part of the City’s finance directorate. Neilson came under fire when it emerged residents living close to the CBD had had their property valuations hiked up by millions of rand leading to a dramatic increase in their rates and taxes.
It then emerged that the City had not spent R178 million, as at end of June, from a R1.48billion Urban Settlement Development Grant and has asked for R117m to be rolled over and the rest to be returned to the National Treasury. Neilson said the unspent portion was 4% of the total budget.
Mayco member for Transport Felicity Purchase
Purchase was thrown into the deep-end handling the heartbeat of the City’s transport system. It started off on a sour note for her when the City suspended its MyCiTi N2 Express service and then soon after came the burning of trains.
Purchase was also responsible for bringing a motion of no-confidence against DA leader Grant Twigg. It failed, like everything else in her department.
Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith
Smith has had one of the biggest cash injections for his directorate and he is determined to use every cent. Of course, he hasn’t shied away from controversy. He faced a motion of no-confidence from two councillors but it was called off. He was also accused of acting irregularly when he appointed Robbie Robberts, the director of policing and enforcement services.
Mayco member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi
The issue of housing featured prominently throughout the year and there is no doubt the issue will drag into the new year. Booi has shown commitment to integrating communities and addressing the spatial inequality, which is admirable. However, there has been no action. He has frequently bragged about the City’s flagship development, the Salt River Market Site, and also the “feasibility” study of the old Woodstock Hospital which they are currently looking into.
He doesn’t seem to be winning on the housing front and seems to be out of touch with the reality of people.
Mayco member for Water and Waste services Xanthea Limberg
After the City received rain, it seemed Limberg’s department ran out of steam. The City’s water and waste services directorate’s financial documents painted a bleak picture. Limberg has been quiet, as rain continues to fill the dams, but who knows, that could change next year.