Tshwane: Whose success is it anyway?

Dr Moeketsi Mosola.
Dr Moeketsi Mosola.

A battle for recognition is raging in Tshwane, with city manager Moeketsi Mosola claiming that he has turned the City around, while Mayor Solly Msimanga claims the metro's successes as those of the DA-led administration.

In the latest turn of events in the ongoing spat between Mosola and Msimanga, the former responded to the charges laid against him last week by the DA.

Mosola said the charges were laughable and form part of "pathetic attention-seeking media tactics, political conspiracies including daily leaks" by Msimanga.

"I am not a politician nor do I have ambitions to become one – therefore, I leave politics to the politicians. However, I will never allow myself or those that report to me to be bullied by politicians," said Mosola.

Read: DA lays criminal charges against Tshwane city manager

Mosola's statement, released by Decode Public Relations, detailed several successes in the City, which are attributed to the work that Mosola has done since being appointed as city manager 18 months ago.

In a similar statement by Msimanga last week, a number of successes are also claimed under the DA-led administration.

Below are some of the successes listed by both Msimanga and Mosola.

Mosola on jobs: 

"The economy of Tshwane is the fastest-growing in Africa and 17th fastest in the world, allowing the metro to create jobs at the rate of 7.8% according to the Brookings Institute report released in May 2018. More job opportunities are created in Tshwane than any other metro in South Africa."

Msimanga on jobs:  

"So far, we have provided the residents of this City with 16 125 job opportunities and by the end of June this year the City had registered over 120 000 people on the new fair lottery based system.

"Our efforts to attract investment have far exceeded our initial goals. TEDA (Tshwane Economic Development Agency) has an investment target of R1.5bn – the current investment pipeline amounts to R3.84bn with a potential 1 850 job opportunities."

Mosola on finances:  

"When Dr Mosola joined the City of Tshwane in March 2017 – its finances were in tatters with almost R2bn irregular expenditure, massive fruitless expenditure and was on the verge of technically insolvency.

"In 18 months mainly due to closing opportunities for corruption and stealing by City politicians and officials, Dr Mosola has turned Tshwane's finances around.

"Also, at the conclusion of the of the financial year 2017/18 – the City of Tshwane was sitting on cash surplus of approximately R2.8bn."

Msimanga on finances:  

"We inherited a R2bn deficit. We were able to correct this and show a surplus at the end of the first financial year in office in 2017.

"R1.5bn was squandered by the previous City government on fruitless and wasteful, unauthorised and irregular expenditure. We were able to reduce unauthorised expenditure by over R1bn and irregular expenditure by R100m."

In Mosola's statement, he adds that the City of Tshwane continues to satisfactorily build houses, close potholes, fix traffic lights, ensure stable electricity supply, clean cemeteries and create jobs for the citizens.

However, Msimanga claims that there are allegations that the city manager is doing his best to stall or at least slow down service delivery in the city by prioritising his own battles.

Glad Africa debacle

The issues between Msimanga and Mosola appear to have started earlier this year, with the surfacing of the GladAfrica tender debacle.

In August, allegations of tender irregularity that lead to engineering company GladAfrica securing a R12bn contract with the City of Tshwane emerged. The contract was to provide project management support to the City.

In September, Msimanga brought to council allegations of wrongdoing pertaining to the GladAfrica appointment on the city manager's part. An independent investigation was authorised, but Mosola was not suspended by the council.

A report by law firm Bowmans was due to be tabled in council, but this was stopped by the Labour Court after it granted an application, brought by Mosola, to interdict the tabling of the report. Judgment in this respect has not been delivered.

The Auditor General also investigated the tender and, according to Msimanga, has made startling preliminary findings in relation to the role that the city manager played in the appointment of GladAfrica, including that the contract is highly irregular.

Mosola has denied the allegations of wrongdoing and said that all processes had been followed in the awarding of the tender.

Mosola has also rubbished Bowmans report, saying that the DA used the same law firm to produce two contradictory reports on former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille

"A pattern is distilling itself here – DA is a party that resorts to falsehoods and dirty tricks while misusing public funds to get rid corruption busters. The truth always wins and it [will] vindicate me," said Mosola.

Tshwane council

Msimanga's second bid to have the City council issue a notice of intention to suspend the city manager failed last month during the November council sitting.

Msimanga tabled a report detailing a string of misconduct allegations against Mosola that are said to have occurred after the allegations surrounding the GladAfrica debacle surfaced.

Read: ANC, EFF vote to defer Tshwane city manager suspension to 2019

The tabling of the report, which took place behind closed doors, did not result in a vote on whether to place the city manager on a precautionary suspension after the ANC moved for an amendment to defer the matter to January's sitting of council.

This deferment was supported by the EFF and the PAC, while the DA, ACDP and FF Plus voted against deferring the matter to the new year.

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