We will deal decisively with corruption in Joburg, says mayor Geoff Makhubo
Johannesburg - Newly-minted Joburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo came out swinging with a R100 billion infrastructure pledge in his first public address, claiming the city was "lacking" in basic structures.
Makhubo spoke on Thursday following his election in the city council the day before, which was necessitated by the resignation of former mayor Herman Mashaba in October after he fell-out with his then-political home, the DA.
Makhubo slammed the city's finances under Mashaba's tenure, saying that "Joburg's cash cow", City Power, was in the red by billions of rand, including an alleged R3.9 billion liabilities incurred by its power utility.
These issues were confirmed by the city manager Dr Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni, who was present at Thursday's briefing.
Makhubo lamented this state of affairs.
"These challenges may result in the collapse of this great city of Joburg. The city is one of the worst culprits in terms of finance management, according to the Auditor-General," Makhubo asserted.
"The city is lacking in basic infrastructure.The R100bn infrastructure investment will be reinstated as a matter of urgency," he added.
Makhubo has been embroiled in a slew of corruption allegations stemming from his time as Joburg's Finance chief from 2011 to 2016, when Mashaba took over.
On Thursday morning, Mashaba again came out swinging with more graft claims against Makhubo, claiming that, together with former mayor Parks Tau, "orchestrated a windfall of at least R30 million for Makhubo by allowing him to unduly act as broker for Gupta-linked Regiments Fund Managers, giving the fund's managers unfettered access to lucrative deals within the city".
However, Makhubo rubbished these assertions, saying that much has been made about R34bn in corruption which Mashaba claimed to have uncovered, without providing any proof.
"We will deal decisively with malfeasance and corruption," Makhubo said.
He was expected to announce his mayoral committee by the weekend, which Makhubo said would include some of the five parties, which gave the ANC the requisite 137 votes to form a government.