Civil, social organisations welcome formation of new coalition government in Tshwane
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Pretoria - Organisations within civil and social sectors yesterday welcomed the formation of a new coalition government in Tshwane, led by the DA, assisted by minority parties.
Chairperson of Lotus Atteridgeville Saulsville Civic Association Tshepo Mahlangu said they could not wait for mayor Randall Williams to announce his executive so they could hit the ground running.
He said the association had a lot of joy dealing with the DA-led administration last term, particularly with regard to resolving billing disputes and reconnecting homes that had been without water and electricity for years.
The organisation previously protested at the Atteridgeville municipal offices, seeking intervention in these matters.
“The reason we are happy with the fact that not much will change in terms of the leadership is because we have reached a good understanding with the City and then MMC for finance Mare-Lise Fourie.
“Fourie dealt with me on a human level whereby we were engaging regularly to a point whereby they ended up bringing us an outreach programme to deal with our billing problems, as some bills were too high and did not make sense.
“Today they have resolved them and also reconnected numerous homes in our townships. The only homes that were not connected are those ones where the people were not telling the truth. You find that they were fighting for the house and nobody was taking accountability for the debt.”
Founder of the Ga-Rankuwa’s A Ga Sechaba Community Centre, Lehlohonolo Letsoalo, said: “I do not want to lie, our organisation saw tremendous growth since the DA took over in 2016. It was the first time we received serious financial support, and we have grown so much that we have computers and security.
“From the moment Solly Msimanga became mayor, a lot of organisations like ours experienced real support, enough to be able to effect desired change in our communities and the lives of the youth we serve.
“When Stevens Mokgalapa became mayor, things became even better, and we were among organisations that received millions to use to execute our mandates.
“For us, it is not about politics but service delivery, and that is why we are happy and confident things will improve further under Williams."
Piet Mahlangu, co-chairperson of the Tshwane Taxi Association, yesterday told Pretoria News that the return of Williams was a dream come true to the industry because it meant they would carry on from where they left. He said it was always hard for the taxi industry to achieve support from the government.
Gaert Tarbitt, spokesperson for the Pathway Operations Team, which represents organisations fighting homelessness in Tshwane, said: “I think it is more beneficial than having to start from scratch. Having to start from scratch with a new party or a new government all the time is very frustrating. What the one guy does the other guy undoes.“
After retaining his position as mayor, Williams vowed to pursue a coalition government in the capital city, saying such an arrangement is good for stability and service delivery.
He said he would do everything in his power to avoid conditions which led to the collapse of a DA-led coalition in Joburg a few years ago.
“If we are to lead Tshwane into a prosperous future, it is only possible if we overcome our political differences and place the interests of our residents as our top priority. This is why I would appeal that as representatives of various political parties we continuously strive to work together towards enhancing the quality of services that are provided to our communities,” Williams said.
He added that “we should embrace these occasions to interrogate and scrutinise political decisions” because political differences were normal and expected in competitive democracies.
“However, we should not let such occasions derail the work of the administration or lead to instability in our city.”