Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Simphiwe Mbokazi African News Agency (ANA)
THE City of Tshwane last night hit back at Gauteng Premier David Makhura for his remarks that the metro had regressed dramatically in terms of service delivery in the past two years.

Makhura, delivering the final State of the Province Address (Sopa) of the current government term at the Alberton Civic Centre, criticised what he described as the lacklustre services under the DA-led administration in Tshwane, as well as in Emfuleni.

He said both municipalities were “moving in reverse” when it came to delivery of services.

Makhura lamented poor co-operation between his administration and both Tshwane and Joburg, another DA-led metro. He said this was having a negative impact on service delivery.

He urged the DA-led municipalities to work together with his administration. “Some of the (service delivery) plans were stopped after the 2016 municipal elections,” Makhura claimed.

However, Tshwane mayoral spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi said: “We note the remarks made by Premier Makhura during his annual Sopa.

“It’s a wonder what the honourable premier based this assertions on.

“There has been much progress in the City - foremost, the improvement of its financial health after inheriting an almost bankrupt City from the ANC government.

“Also, the expansion of housing opportunities by providing title deeds that were backlogged under the ANC tenure.

“We also increased inclusion of the poorest or the poor into our indigent programme that the ANC, which Makhura represents, locked out.”

In his speech, Makhura said housing delivery backlogs in different parts of the province remained stubborn despite 1.2million houses that had already been delivered. To deal with the problem, the province had initiated at least 31 mega human settlement projects and one of them was in the metro, called Rama City near Ga-Rankuwa, he said.

His administration had embarked on a new approach to housing delivery, such as the release of land to people, so they can built their own houses.

He said many people from areas in Joburg and Tshwane were among those who wanted land on which they could build houses themselves. Students from higher institutions of learning, who have protested over lack of accommodation, would benefit from the mega human settlements.

Makhura said that later this year, some companies would announce investments amounting to R40million in areas such as Silverton, where Ford planned to expand its footprint. Rainbow Junction would also announce a mega investment in the city.

The A Re Yeng bus rapid transit system would be part of a single integrated transport system, incorporating different modes of transport such as the BRT, Gautrain and Metrorail. In Tshwane, he said, the province’s innovation hub was working with the city Innovation Hub, CSIR and University of Pretoria.

Pretoria News