We’ll get the little things right, Tshwane mayor promises

2012-03-27 13:43

Tshwane Metro mayor Sputla Ramokgopa has promised his residents that his administration will ensure that they start “doing the little things right”.

Said Ramokgopa during his state of the city address at the Tshwane City Hall in Pretoria today: “Road markings must be clear, potholes must be filled and traffic lights must be working. We will start doing the little things right.”

Ramokgopa emphasised the importance of paying attention to basic services such as ensuring that all faulty traffic lights were fixed within 48 hours.

He announced a major refurbishment of the city’s infrastructure, including spending R82 million on upgrading eight libraries, recreational centres, stadiums and a skills development centre.

Ramokgopa focused on job creation, access to water and electricity as priorities for the city, adding that the new logo and slogan, which reads “Igniting Excellence”, was aimed at boosting confidence among employees of the council.

He said the decision to go ahead with 27 controversial street-name changes was aimed at uniting the different races and ensuring that those who contributed to democracy were honoured.

“We are simply completing the process which started in 2007. We have met every legal requirement for us to move forward on this and have consulted all political parties and civil society”, he said, rejecting criticism that the ANC-led council had bowed to pressure from civil rights group AfriForum.

The council would also start head-hunting a person for the new chief of the Metro police, said Ramokgopa.

He said they would look for a replacement for suspended metro police chief Ndumiso Jaca after the recent interviews for the job were unsuccessful.

“We must head-hunt someone within or outside the council,” said Ramokgopa.

He was confident that instances of corruption were a thing of the past.

“I have personally closed the taps of corruption in the city,” declared Ramokgopa at a media conference held after his address.

The city would also focus on identifying land to be used as cemeteries as the council was facing a shortage.

The council will work with Eskom to ensure that the R1.5 billion budgeted for electricity rollout would reach the poorest of the poor, he said, adding that other poverty alleviation projects would also be implemented in more communities.

Ramokgopa said the council had collected R22 billion in revenue last year.

Responding to Ramokgopa’s address, DA leader in the council Brandon Topham said he was not convinced that the mayor had instilled confidence.

“The mayor is still promising things to us instead of giving us these things. His speech left me with a feeling of déjà-vu. It’s the same thing he has said before. His speech shows that there’s no good progress that has been made. We don’t really want a new logo, we want results,” said Topham.

Cope caucus council leader Kedibine Mathebe welcomed Ramokgopa’s undertaking that the city would embark on mixed-use developments for both high income earners and the poor.

“We need economic and social transformation. We need industry, commerce, rich and poor to be able to live together in one area through mixed-house developments and that is the spirit of participatory democracy that we need in this city,” said Mathebe.

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