The province’s biggest metro, the City of Johannesburg is in a mess, literally and figuratively.
It has been just under three months since Thapelo Amad, through a coalition led by the EFF and other parties, nominated Amad as mayoral candidate following the motion of no confidence against Dr Mpho Phalatse.
The representative from Al Jama-Ah was unveiled as mayor of Joburg, yet in spite of promises to prioritise service delivery, the mayor has stumbled from one controversy to another.
This comes following an interview with the SABC in which the mayor confirmed having met with a company that was willing to loan the city R9.5 billion as it faces a financial crisis.
Amad also added that part of the loan would be to fund a “smart city” which immediately caught the attention of opposition parties who are now looking to find a way to have him removed as the mayor of Johannesburg.
Speaking to Independent Media this week, ActionSA national chairperson, Michael Beaumont said parties would now begin formal engagements this coming week to form a pact that would remove the government of local unity led by Al Jama-ah mayor Amad.
Beaumont said ActionSA has already submitted three motions of no confidence against Amad, the Speaker of the Municipal Council, Colleen Makhubele and the Chief Whip of Council.
The party said it feared that service delivery in Johannesburg has seen a further deterioration since the election of Amad, who continues to dream up smart cities while the city continues on a downward spiral.
The mayor’s controversial loan also raised the ire of Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie who reacted strongly against the mayor’s proposed loan.
“This is really embarrassing, what is the mayor saying? What loan? Where and when was this discussed? Which company is giving this loan? We cannot continue defending such stupidity OnsBaizaNie, we must admit that we played a part in this mess, we must fix our mistake soonest.
“The Patriotic Alliance will vote in favour of ActionSA’s motion of no confidence against Joburg mayor Thapelo Amad. We do this, not for ourselves, but because the residents deserve better. We voted for this man, which may be forgiveable. To not remove him now would be unforgivable,” McKenzie added.
However, Amad has since clarified the issue of the loan, saying it was in the context to commit to service delivery challenges in the city.
The City of Johannesburg said this loan proposal was made in reference to a set of ongoing discussions and “numerous unsolicited proposals that have been directed to the city from a variety of stakeholders”.
“The mention of the R9.5 billion loan facility was made as a mere example of the proposals received and not stated as a final and concluded deal of the city. It was used within the context of the interview to demonstrate a collective will by the city leadership to steer Johannesburg and the inner city around towards growth and development,” the mayor said.
The party expects the motions of no confidence to be served at the next council meeting in two weeks’ time.