Johannesburg - DA leader Mmusi Maimane says DA-led administrations have made huge progress in fighting corruption and delivering services to citizens since being elected into government in 2016.
Maimane said despite taking over cities where corruption was rife, the cities of Joburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay have presented over R100 billion in pro-poor budgets.
He was addressing the media during the party's report back on governance in some of the country's biggest metros.
The DA took over power from the ANC following the 2016 local government elections where it was able to clinch coalition partnerships with smaller parties which enabled it to govern.
The DA leader was accompanied by Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba and Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga. Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip was not present.
Maimane said the party has been able to bring change in the areas it governs.
In Joburg, he said Mashaba has been able to fight the hijacking of buildings and has already begun a process of refurbishing these buildings into housing units and business units.
"Over 20 000 arrests have been made by the JMPD, and the GFIS has a specialised unit that counter-acts building hijacking syndicates and returns properties that have been hijacked to their rightful owners. With the assistance of the JMPD, this unit has already returned 73 buildings to their rightful owners," said Maimane.
Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said when his administration took over from the ANC it uncovered corruption with 3500 cases being reported.
"Crime and corruption have become public enemy number one in the City of Johannesburg, and we are winning the war. More than 3 500 cases of corruption and maladministration involving almost R18 billion has been uncovered by the newly established Group Forensics and Investigation Services (GFIS) and the recruitment of an additional 1 500 Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officers has ensured the streets of Johannesburg are much safer," said Maimane.
The City of Joburg recently launched the "buya mutheto" campaign aimed at fighting crime. Maimane said over 8000 arrests have been made by the city's metro police since the launch of the campaign.
In Tshwane, Maimane said the city has been able to tackle a R2 billion deficit, left by the former ANC administration, into a surplus.
"The reported operating deficit for 2015/16 was R2.1 billion which was restated to R1.3 billion during the next financial year’s audit process. This is evidence of a DA-run City handling public money with care, ensuring it is spent on the people, not politicians. The Capital City closed the financial year with an operating surplus of R704 million," said Maimane.
In Nelson Mandela Bay, where the party said it had faced stiff opposition, Maimane said services had been improved. He said the City has been able to launch a metro police unit, which it never had before, and a bus system.
"Almost half a billion rand has been apportioned to upgrading housing and informal settlements, human settlement projects, a bucket eradication programme, informal housing and electrification programmes. To date 9 000 of the 16 000 bucket toilets inherited from the previous ANC government have been eradicated," said Maimane.IOL