PRETORIA - Outgoing Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga on Friday said he was proud of his service delivery record and what his administration had delivered while he was at the helm of South Africa's capital city.
"I am proud of our record in Tshwane under the DA-led multiparty coalition government. We have started to systematically remove the rot that had been festering in the city and placed the delivery of basic services at the forefront of our agenda," Msimanga told a media briefing in Johannesburg.
Among other achievements, Msimanga said his administration had inherited a R2 billion deficit from the previous ANC government in Tshwane.
"We were able to correct this and show a surplus at the end of the first financial year in office in 2017," he said.
He said Tshwane uncovered "over R1.5 billion that was squandered by the previous ANC government. We were able to reduce unauthorized expenditure by over a billion rand and irregular expenditure by R100 million".
Msimanga said his administration managed to remove over 900 political appointees in the mayor’s office "who were glorified ANC cadres drawing millions of rands" from the city.
"We managed to sell the mayoral mansion inherited from the former ANC-led administration and used the R5 million from the sale to build RDP houses for 40 families in Attridgeville," said Msimanga.
He said his administration supported "real economic development by opening the [Expanded Public Works Programme] EPWP programme to all residents, not just those who are associated or linked to the ANC, by adopting an open and inclusive lottery system".
So far, Msimanga said the programme has provided the residents of this Tshwane with 16125 job opportunities and by the end of 2018, the city had registered over 120,000 people on "the new fair lottery-based system".
Msimanga said the City of Tshwane, during his tenure, had given out considerable bursaries.
"We began the Msimanga Informal Trader Bursary Fund which has made available R226,325 to settle outstanding fees for the 2017 academic year for ten existing beneficiaries," he said.
"Our efforts to attract investment have far exceeded our initial goals. TEDA [Tshwane Economic Development Agency Ltd] has an investment target of R1.5 billion -- the current investment pipeline amounts to R3.84 billion with a potential 1,850 job opportunities".
Msimanga added that his administration ensured Tshwane received a credit upgrade from Moody’s and was assigned a stable outlook.
"Moody’s ascribed this upgrade to the improvement in the city's operating performance and the strong liquidity position built up over the past two years. The upgrade means that those who want to do business with Tshwane, particularly local and international investors, will begin to offer discounted interest rates and better terms despite the recent rate hike by the Reserve Bank," said Msimanga.
"We launched an inner-city rejuvenation project to improve, among other things, the cleanliness and viability of the city for entrepreneurship and further investment," he said.
"The result of our efforts has been a R3.8 billion in investment with potential 1850 new jobs being created soon. There are 15 new projects in the investment pipeline worth approximately R2 billion, which include automotive suppliers, logistics projects, aviation and hi-tech manufacturing."
Msimanga said "these achievements and material differences that we have begun to make in the lives of those who explicitly voted the ANC out of government", replacing it with a coalition government, require a strong successor who will carry on this critical work.