South Africa has regressed significantly under President Cyril Ramaphosa, as is evident from the highest level of load shedding citizens are being subjected to, Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink said on Monday.
“Under Ramaphosa, the country experienced more load shedding than ever before, the extent of lockdown, unemployment, and more businesses closing.
“He throttled the economy, he made it very difficult for municipal consumers to pay for their services,” said Brink.
He was responding to Ramaphosa’s comments over the weekend during the voter registration drive, when he told journalists that Mamelodi residents found themselves in unfortunate circumstances due to the metro’s inability to provide services.
The president said most complaints he got from residents were about water and non-working transformers in the area.
He continued to say that it was the municipality’s responsibility to provide water, take out refuse and make sure that the township was functioning smoothly.
Ramaphosa further took a swipe at the municipality, saying he had not seen good governance in the metro, since he walked around the township.
On Sunday, he criticised the DA’s well-known slogan, “where the DA governs, it governs well”, highlighting its failure to deliver services to the people of Tshwane.
“This is where the DA claims to govern well. However, I have not witnessed effective governance here. The residents of Tshwane, especially in Mamelodi, are facing significant challenges,” Ramaphosa stated.
Ramaphosa attributed the challenges in Tshwane, particularly in Mamelodi, to the DA.
Addressing the media, Ramaphosa said one of the major problems in the DA-run Tshwane was water, adding that it was the municipality’s responsibility to service their people.
“They are the ones who are supposed to clean the township, provide water, and resources, and just make sure that the township functions well,” he said.
He said it was unacceptable for the people in the area to live under those conditions.
Hitting back at the president, Brink said the spread of violence, lawlessness and land grabs were because of lack of leadership and competent ministers.
“The president would rather blame other people rather than take responsibility because the space we are operating in local government to a certain degree depends on the performance of the national government.
“I went to Mamelodi not to point fingers or lay blame, but to address the unpopular, difficult question of illegal connections,” added the mayor.
He said all the illegal connections that were found in Mamelodi reservoir were responsible for the water outages in the area.
Furthermore, Brink said as the metro leader, they took responsibility for making sure they build a city that worked for its people.
Tshwane’s woes began when Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) took the municipality to the Labour Court for withholding more than 20% of the workers’ August salaries of 2023.
At the time, the court ordered the metro to pay about 60 employees who recently had their salaries docked, with a fraction of them still fighting for their cuts to be paid out.
The court proceedings stemmed from a swarm of workers who are members of Imatu complaining they were short paid on their salaries in August. | Additional reporting by Kamogelo Moichela