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Proposal to split the City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation, Waste Management directorates passed

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis in his speech to the council on Thursday, proposed splitting the Water and Sanitation and Waste Management directorate. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis in his speech to the council on Thursday, proposed splitting the Water and Sanitation and Waste Management directorate. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.

Published Dec 17, 2021

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Cape Town - During the City’s last council meeting for the year, Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis’s proposals to change the organisational structure of the City, have been criticised as unnecessary and unworkable by the opposition and by activists.

Hill-Lewis unveiled his new-look mayoral committee (Mayco) last month which has continuity in the safety, human settlements, transport and economic growth portfolios but introduces new faces to run health, spatial planning, finance and energy and saw several DA old guards chopped.

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He said the mayco members were chosen for their combination of experience, skills, fresh energy and thinking.

He also announced then that the party would soon “take proposals for changes to this structure to the council soon, and these portfolios will then change accordingly”.

In his speech to the council on Thursday, Hill-Lewis proposed splitting the Water and Sanitation and Waste Management directorate into individual directorates and the creation of a new Future Planning and Resilience directorate.

He said whatever budget costs the new directorates might incur would be offset by the improvements in service delivery.

The proposals were passed, but ANC caucus leader Xolani Sotashe said the departments that Hill-Lewis intends to split are interlinked and intertwined.

“In fact what he is trying to do will frustrate service delivery. The issue will delay service delivery. What is needed is proper co-ordination and management.”

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Lobby group Stop CoCT founder Sandra Dickson said creating three more silos with millions of rand per year salary for executives and top management could be problematic.

“The mayor should first fix the glaring problems in the current directorates and optimise them to give ratepayers what they pay for.”

She said the deciding factor should be at what cost for ratepayers and what will the benefits delivered for the money invested be.

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