No crisis in Tshwane, says mayor

2012-01-31 21:30
Pretoria - The Tshwane metro has denied that municipal departments have been placed under administration because of poor performance and corruption.

Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said on Tuesday the city's departments were functioning well and the allegations had been invented by detractors and the opposition.

"I do not know where the administration talk comes from," he told reporters in Pretoria.

Apologising for continuous disruptions of the Tshwane bus service, Ramokgopa said: "We are going to implement various interventions. I can confirm that there are major problems there".

He said there were problems in the maintenance of professional discipline among the drivers.

Alternative transport

"That has been an Achilles [Heel] on the bus service. Another issue is around the capitalisation of the fleet. The age of the fleets is around 25 years and you are bound to have breakdowns."

Ramokgopa urged residents who relied on the service to find alternative means of transport in the meantime.

"I won't sit here and say to you there won't be those disruptions. It is an indictment on the whole institution [municipality] that we can't provide a reliable bus service."

Ramokgopa said that a probe was underway into the conduct of Mapiti Matsena, an executive in the speaker's office. Matsena had been placed on three months' special leave.

"The investigations relate to potential transgressions in the supply chain and the procurement of services of a service provider.

"This is an internal process being led by city manager Jason Ngobeni. We have promised the people of Tshwane that we are going to be stubborn in ensuring that we run a clean administration.

"There is no fault [against Matsena] that has been found at this stage. An internal forensic team which did the preliminary investigations found there is a case to be answered and we placed him on leave to ensure the process goes on."

Accounts not posted

Last year, Ramokgopa put deputy metro police chief Ndumiso Jaca on special leave amid allegations he used the same number plate for his motorbike and car. His three-month-long special leave was extended in January.

"The Independent Complaints Directorate has now forwarded its report to the Hawks. They will communicate with us if they have taken a decision whether to prosecute or not," the mayor said.

On the shortage of envelopes in January, which led to municipal accounts not being posted to residents, he said the service provider had since been replaced.

"In a big city like ours, we have been talking of implementing major projects like the BRT [bus rapid transit system]. We can't be failing to send out... municipal accounts."

The mayor announced plans to demolish its Munitoria headquarters and build a new one on the site.

"This is a R5bn investment from a private sector consortium. They will let us build a landmark city headquarters."

The project was being funded through a private-public sector partnership, and would take two years to complete.

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