A look at the full sitting of council. Picture: Marvin Charles/Cape Argus
The following speech was delivered by the Executive Mayor this morning during a full sitting of Council.

Mr Speaker, may we have a moment of silence for Councillor Luyanda Mbele and his cousin who were tragically killed this past weekend; for Minister Edna Molelwa; for famous open water swimmer Mr Theodore Yach; for the residents who lost their lives in fires; and for all those we have experienced loss in recent weeks.

Thank you.

Good morning, goeiedag, molweni, as-salaam aikum, shalom, Namaste.

Mr Speaker, I would like to extend a warm welcome to representatives from the Auditor General’s office, and to soccer club Cape Town City as the recently crowned MTN 8 champions. We also welcome Ajax Cape Town as well as all special guests from various communities in the public gallery today, the Lavender Hill Concerned residents, the Gugulethu Development Forum, Imizamo Yethu residents, Gugulethu Women for Change, the Kwakhanya NGO, Women for Justice as well as community members from across Cape Town watching from the second floor.

Before I report on all the delivery that has taken place in the past month, I want to thank all the firefighters and disaster risk management staff who are working tirelessly to assist fire victims in Khayelitsha and Kosovo.  

A total of 342 households were affected by the fire in Khayelitsha while 120 households were affected by the fire in Kosovo.

The City of Cape Town’s informal settlement management and cleansing staff, contractors and emergency response teams have been working around the clock to assist fire-affected residents in Khayelitsha and Philippi. Operations have been under way and enhanced emergency fire kits have been delivered to all fire victims to allow them to start rebuilding.

With the hot weather starting, there will be increased risk of fire and I want to make a special appeal to all communities to please take greater care and help us avoid any more devastation than what we have seen this past weekend.

I also want to thank all the NG’s and residents for their kind donations to help those who were affected by the fires. Thank you, dankie, shukran.

These fires cause great loss to residents and it is especially taxing on students writing their final exams.

The City has made the Mayoral Relief Fund available and the details for donations are: Nedbank, account number 1158667043, branch code 198765, ref A009.

Mr Speaker, at this time I have to turn to a matter of great importance, given the serious breach of Council rules where confidential Council reports were leaked to the media ahead of Council debating the matter today. It is grossly unacceptable that councillors would leak information with malicious intent to injure my name. But this is nothing new.

I have suffered vicious attacks to my good name for more than a year and still people are intent on destroying me.

I have given nothing but my unwavering commitment to the people of Cape Town and the evidence is in the massive support from the people across the city who are the beneficiaries of my commitment.

It is a minority, but some who are in this Council that are hell bent on smearing my name. But as I have said many times before, I will not be deterred.

In so far as the Bowmans investigation and reports are concerned, I said from day one in this chamber that I welcome any investigation.  

I committed to give my full cooperation and I have done so whenever it was my turn to submit responses. I have also raised my concerns about factual errors in a previous Bowmans report tabled in this Council in January this year. Even so, I kept on cooperating with Bowmans all the time.  

Let me say it one more time, I have been fighting corruption for many years and I will not allow my good name to be smeared. My name has become synonymous in the country with fighting corruption and, with any attempt to suggest the contrary, I will fight for my rights and I will continue doing so to clear my name.

I will not break and I will not give into these vehement and racist bullying tactics.  

I reserve my rights regarding any findings, recommendations or conclusions contained in the Bowmans reports.  

Public representatives have gone so far as to spread fake reports about me purportedly from the Auditor General showing their complete disregard for the office of the AG.

I will very soon lay criminal charges against those party members who shared this fake news post on social media.

Mr Speaker, I note that you have written to councillors about the leaking of information in the Bowmans reports and that you have instituted a forensic investigation into the leaks. I hope that those responsible for this malicious behaviour will be brought to book once and for all since this is not the first time this is happening. No one is above the law and we are all here to serve residents, not our own political power interests.

But, the leaking of reports aside, I am happy to report to all councillors, the media and public in the gallery that there is another report before Council by the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) which clears me of any wrongdoing regarding the security upgrades at my private residence.

The report is on the public agenda of this Council meeting which deals with the investigation by MPAC.

It was of course not convenient for the nameless and faceless leakers of reports to leak this report.  

As we all know, the City used a 2014 threat and risk analysis by the SA Police Service to do the security upgrades at my house. These upgrades of course took place at a time when I was also doing other renovations at my own cost which included closing my swimming pool. This issue was the genesis of the political onslaught which started against me where all kinds of dirt, lies and wild allegations were thrown at me since September last year.

I would like to give those who accused me of using City money to renovate my home a chance to publicly apologise, and failing that I will take legal action against those who accused me. Their accusations led to my family being subjected to media and politicians descending on our home, invading their privacy.  

So of course, those who leaked the Bowmans report are mum on the MPAC report which clears me of any wrongdoing. In the same way, they did not leak to the media the report to Council earlier this year which also cleared me of interfering in the appointment of the Area-based Directors.

But let me share the good news and the truth that I knew all along.

The MPAC report before us today says that the installation of the trellidors at my home amounted to just over R140 000 and that this was 28% of the costs of what the initial 2014 risk assessment advised should be done to secure my home.

The amount of money MPAC spent to investigate was ten times more than the R140 000 it costs to install the trellidors. What a waste of resources.

A deviation was required to install the trellidors and the deviation was obtained via the delegated authority. The report also says that no party had been enriched in this process and that the security upgrade was necessary to ensure my safety while only a portion of the 2014 SAPS risk assessment cost was incurred. So, I hope that puts that matter to rest which has unfortunately tainted my name and infringed on my family’s rights to privacy. It also saw the widespread baseless rumours which was used as ammunition as the first salvo of this relentless attack on my character.

I hope that those who were bold enough to make these allegations without the proof have the common decency to apologise for the reputational harm they have caused me.I already have affidavits from all the people in the so-called SIU unit that they did not speak to the media except for one. I therefore challenge SIU staff member, Mthethuvumile Mantambo, to also give me an affidavit that he did not speak to the media.

Of course the motivations of those who accused me are clear as they went wild in the media hiding their identities instead of allowing the proper City processes to conclude whether anyone was at fault or corrupt.

Mr Speaker, I would now like to provide feedback on the good work that has been happening in the city.

A few weeks ago I conducted Accountability Roadshows to report back to residents and give an account of the work we have delivered over the past seven years. I was joined by councillors as we went to the four areas - east, north, south and central - to account to residents and remind them about upcoming delivery to their communities in this financial year.

Accountability is one of the core values of the City administration and it is important for public representatives to constantly reach out to residents to inform them of projects coming to their communities. We addressed residents from areas such as Mamre, Atlantis, Durbanville, Melkbos, Milnerton, Brooklyn, Maitland, Langa, Mitchells Plain, Philippi, Lotus River and Grassy Park to name a few.

I thanked residents for working with us especially during the drought. I also said to residents that there is still a lot to be done to ensure that all residents of the City enjoy the fruits of our democracy. I encouraged residents to remain active citizens and continue to hold the City administration accountable.

Housing is one of our biggest challenges and I reiterated the City’s commitment to communities to ensure that qualifying residents are provided with housing opportunities. Between 2012 and 2018, over 42 000 housing opportunities were provided to the residents of Cape Town. In the past financial year, for the first time in its 18-year history as a metro government, we exceeded our housing delivery target by 62%. We must continue on this trend and we have set aside R2,1 billion on new housing opportunities over the next three financial years, with R590 million being budgeted for 2018/19 alone.

Mr Speaker, in terms of our commitment to redressing the imbalances of the past, under my leadership this caring City has ensured that residents who were previously denied property ownership can reclaim that right. The City has ramped up the handover of title deeds and we have issued over 16 000 deeds to beneficiaries since 2011.

As much as we have achieved over the past seven years, there is still a lot to do to bring greater parity of services.

Local government is not just about delivering utility services such as water and electricity, it is responsible for much more.  This is why we established the area-based service delivery model to make sure the services of all 10 City departments are landed in all areas in the city.

In 2011, at my first inauguration as Executive Mayor, I told residents that I was determined to ‘work tirelessly, day and night, to live up to this vote of confidence to ensure that we do justice to the hopes, dreams and aspirations of all the citizens of our great city.’

I became the Mayor to serve people and not be served.

As elected representatives, we must constantly give feedback and report to residents on what we have delivered and what we are still going to deliver because we are accountable in terms of the election promises we made.

Mr Speaker, I am also pleased to report to Council on the unprecedented delivery by City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority. TDA is making great progress to address apartheid spatial planning to end the practice of putting people of colour far away from opportunities and on the outskirts of the city.

TDA’s Environmental Management Department also exceeded their job creation targets for the past financial year with the creation of Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) opportunities.The target was to create was 825 EPWP jobs, but they achieved an exceptional 3 244 job opportunities in the 2017/18 financial year.

Mr Speaker, at this time I also want to commend the staff in the City’s Water and Sanitation department who were recognised for upholding highest health and safety standards, even amid severe drought.

The City’s Water and Sanitation Department recently celebrated the success that its Bulk Water branch achieved in maintaining its health, safety and quality standards while facing a drought. We are truly proud of the individuals who won awards for their performance which always exceeds expectations to deliver the best water services to our customers.

Mr Speaker, in recognizing staff, last week I also called together the top 500 managers across the city to thank them for all their work over the past seven years. We work in challenging circumstances but the managers have led their teams to see Cape Town achieve many successes.

We have done great work but we know that our commitment through the ODTP, which was adopted by Council in August 2016, is to make this great city even greater.

In the last seven years, the City has received more than 90 international and national awards.

In September, the Financial and Fiscal Commission presented a report to Mayco which showed that Cape Town provides the highest level of access to services in the country. The report stated that the City of Cape Town is providing flush toilets and weekly refuse removal at a higher percentage rate than any other metro.

Around 93,8% of households in Cape Town have access to a flush toilet – higher than the other metros.

And 87,8% of households have refuse removed in Cape Town – the highest of any city in South Africa.

The City of Cape Town provides safe drinking water to 93,7% of households. This is second only to Johannesburg that provides safe drinking water to 94,1% of households.

This past year has also been a tough one for the Water and Sanitation Department and I want to extend a special thanks to each person in the department for their hard work.

In May this year, we received a Certificate of Achievement from the International Water Association for reducing water demand by 55% in two years without resorting to intermittent supply.

This year, Cape Town was also voted the number one city in Africa for business tourism events by the International Congress and Convention Association.

And just last week, we were once again confirmed as the Events Capital of Africa at an awards ceremony in Durban.

We have now been nominated to be recognised as the ‘World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination’ at the 2018 World Travel Awards, set to take place in Portugal on 1 December 2018.

We are also make great progress with attracting investment and job creation. In August, Statistics South Africa stated that employment in Cape Town increased by 74 000 in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the same time last year. The City’s expanded unemployment rate is the lowest of all metros in South Africa at 22,6% and far below the national expanded unemployment rate of 37,2%.

I can spend a long time talking about our achievements because we have kept Cape Town on top and it is thanks to the councillors and all City staff’s commitment to the people of Cape Town.

Tomorrow, we will be honouring individuals and teams for their outstanding work at the annual Mayoral Awards where I will again thank staff for their work. By recognising staff, we are enhancing the workplace culture and motivate staff to continue delivering their best which only benefits the people of our beautiful city.

And finally, I want to extend my thanks to all councillors for all the work you do in your communities. Keep pressing on and always put your communities first.  

Thank you, baie dankie, enkosi, shukran and God Bless. 

@TheCapeArgus


Cape Argus