Mayor Dan Plato faces tough 2020 as Cape's problems pile up
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Cape Town - A host of unresolved issues will follow mayor Dan Plato and his mayoral committee into the new year and could cost the DA dearly in the local government elections in 2021.
The issue of housing featured significantly throughout this year and will undoubtedly come up again next year.
Activists of housing lobby group Reclaim the City lashed out at the City several times and accused it of not prioritising housing in the inner city.
One of the most poignant moments this year was when the City decided to auction off prime pieces of property, and the auction was halted by Reclaim the City supporters.
The City left residents in limbo earlier this year after it suspended its MyCiTi N2 Express service on May 31. The appointment of an interim provider would mean they would operate the four N2 Express routes until a permanent vehicle-operating company was able to provide the N2 Express service for at least five years.
The halting of the service has impacted thousands of commuters from Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain.
Good party general secretary Brett Herron said: “It took about two years of engagement and negotiations to get the taxi operators on board and as partners in the MyCiTi N2 Express service from Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain. The service operated seamlessly for five years providing nearly 700 000 passenger trips in the last quarter of last year. Thousands of commuters have been abandoned by the City’s failure to resolve the dispute with the operating company.”
Traffic congestion costs the City R2.8billion a year as the failure of people, goods and services to reach destinations in time leads to lower job growth, loss of productivity and decreased attractiveness for investment. But the City said it required the city council to invest R250 million a year over the next 20 years to provide road infrastructure to ease the problem.
Professor of Logistics and Transport Economics at Stellenbosch University, Stephan Krygsman, said: “We do have a congestion problem facing Cape Town, but so do other metros.
“Cape Town, however, may experience a bit more congestion as it also has a spatial dilemma: it’s wedged between a mountain and the sea with limited space in the CBD.”
The City’s water and waste services directorate fared the worst. In a report, the water and waste department revealed it failed to spend the R417 million meant to provide an additional supply to the City’s drinking-water resources.
In March last year, seven of the City’s eight alternative water-source projects were running behind schedule. STOP COCT’s Sandra Dickson said: “The City failed in its management of the water shortage.”