New Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa hits ground running
Mokgalapa’s first stop will be the Hinterland Clinic in Mamelodi for an oversight visit. The mayor will then conduct a walkabout and interact with informal traders in the CBD before wrapping up his duties at Marabastad.
Mayoral spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi said the activities were part of Mokgalapa’s plan to build on the successes of his predecessor Solly Msimanga and to accelerate the delivery of change the residents of the capital voted for.
Mokgalapa, who was earlier in the day elected unopposed as head of the DA-led administration at a special council sitting, declared he was ready to crack the whip on unbecoming behaviour by officials and lazy MMCs.
He laid down hard and fast rules against lacklustre attitudes immediately after he was elected. In the same breath, he challenged both the ANC and EFF to use the same measure to check his work as he rolled out basic services.
The two parties and others in council must play their oversight role on the work of his administration, he said.
“The council must make sure it follows its constitutional mandate. That is why I was calling on the EFF and ANC to conduct their oversight (function). When I bring out the report of ill-discipline there will be no protection of comrades,” he told journalists outside the council chamber.
Regarding the elephant in the room - the irregular R12billion GladAfrica tender - Mokgalapa said: “I can assure you that this matter will be dealt with in a week. My primary focus is on service delivery. If GladAfrica is an impediment to service delivery I want to get rid of it as soon as possible so we can ensure we deliver better services for our people.”
Mokgalapa earlier told councillors that he would investigate irregular expenditure incurred in the tender and hold implicated individuals accountable. “I will explore all legal avenues to minimise associated risks for the City, including extracting the City from the contract,” he said. The auditor-general last month declared the tender irregular.
Mokgalapa promised to hold the administration under city manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola to high standards.
“I will ensure senior managers are held to the very highest standard through an intense performance management system that I will review upon taking office. The city manager will account to me, and I will not relent.”
He promised his soon-to-be elected mayoral committee would be hard-working and dedicated. “I will also hold them accountable with a rigorous performance management system to ensure they serve residents with distinction.”
Under his leadership, service delivery should be the major preoccupation of officials and MMCs, he said.
“I vow to be the service delivery mayor of Tshwane. Most of my time and focus will be spent on speeding up the delivery of services in the city. Many of our communities still suffer from years of neglect prior to 2016. We need to do everything in our power to address this.”
Meanwhile, former mayor Msimanga was yesterday morning sworn in as Member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
He said afterwards: “This is step forward in achieving our dream of bringing real change that Gauteng residents are in desperate need of. In 2016 the DA embarked on a mission to bring change to Gauteng by ending corruption and providing opportunities to our people.
“That mission will not be completed until we take full control of the provincial government - May 8 will be that day. Taking my seat in the legislature, I will hold Premier David Makhura accountable for all the failed promises he made over the last five years.”