“Tshwane metro is a business”

2011-05-21 16:31

Tshwane mayor elect Kgosientso Ramokgopa says the metro will be run like a business to ensure quality service delivery to its residents.

He admitted that in the past five years the metro had battled to spend its capital budget and improve the lives of the people.

“On average, we have been spending no more than 87% of our capital budget. We want to spend 100%, but the minimum target is 95% of the capital budget,” he said.

Tshwane’s budget for the coming fiscal year is R19.06?billion, but the city is facing a staggering debt of R2.8?billion.

Ramokgopa said the metro would create 38 000 jobs in the coming financial year and ultimately create 375 000 jobs in the next five years. Currently, the unemployment rate for the city is 40%.

Tshwane has set aside R1.5?billion over the next three years to “eradicate” its informal settlements.

“Let’s put it this way. We are formalising informal settlements. We will deliver services for everyone,” he said.

With the incorporation of Metsweding district municipality, Noking Tsa Taemane and Kungwini municipalities, Tshwane now covers a massive geographical area of 6 368km² and has a population of 2.5 million people, most of whom are black.

This makes the metro the third-largest in the world after New York and Tokyo.

Ramokgopa said the provincial and national governments had given Tshwane a restructuring grant to manage the transition.

DA caucus leader Brandon Topham committed his party to working with the ANC in delivering services to the people.

“Let’s see if they can deliver this time.

They have not delivered for the past 17 years,” said Topham. He said although the DA was disappointed at not winning the metro, the party was happy with its “tremendous growth”.

Going into the elections on Wednesday, DA pollsters predicted that Tshwane would be a close contest between the ANC and the DA.

But it did not turn out that way.

The ANC comfortably retained control, maintaining its dominance in Tshwane by winning 56.19% of the vote.

This translates to 118 seats in the 210-seat metro.

The governing party will experience a slight drop of 0.25 percentage points compared with the 56.44% it got in the 2006 local government elections.

The DA came second with 39.05% (82 seats).

This is a rise of 8.43 percentage points. It scored 30.62% in 2006.

Topham said the other problems facing the metro were refuse removal and an inadequate transport system.

He said the National Treasury had withdrawn more than R700?million earmarked for the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit System in Tshwane.

But Ramokgopa said the money would be given back because it had been taken away as a result of a disagreement over engineering issues.

Topham said the metro needed to focus on being a catalyst for business growth in the city and Ramokgopa promised that his administration would make doing business in Tshwane significantly cheaper.

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