By Zukile Majova
Political Editor

If the DA truly believes it is the better option to the ANC, its claim of good and accountable governance must be felt everywhere that it governs.

And where its councillors and mayor fall short of meeting its exerting standards, the top leadership must step in and clean up.

Failure to do this, shows the party is not so different than the ANC.

Take the City of Tshwane for instance. The City has been in the hands of the DA since 2016 with Cilliers Brink being the fourth DA mayor in seven years.

But ever since they took power the city has been limping from one disaster to another. John Steenhuisen, the leader of the DA, is nowhere to account to the voters who entrusted his party with this R47 billion municipality.

Although the National Treasury is controlled by the ANC, it has opened its taps over the past seven years if one considers that the first DA mayor Solly Msimanga presented a R4.5 billion budget in 2016.

Today the party has R46.9 billion to prove to Tshwane residents that it can do better than the ANC.

Unfortunately it has not done well so far and the auditor-general flagged R10 billion irregular expenditure by the city.

So it is not the shortage of money in Tshwane that has led to poor service delivery, but poor political governance of the city.

As the death toll stemming from the cholera outbreak reached 20 on Thursday, it became clear that the degeneration of the governance of the city had little to do with money.

In the wake of this outbreak, Mayor Brink immediately announced plans to throw R450 million at the problem with R150 million immediately available.

He does this as another R295 million meant for the upgrading of the Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant remains unaccounted for and is the subject of an investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

The contract was awarded to the colourful and controversial local tycoon Edwin Sodi who abandoned the project in 2020.

Sodi has been charged alongside former ANC secretary Ace Magashule for the R250 billion asbestos roof tender issued by the Free State government when Magashule was still premier. 

The final report of the Zondo Commission refers to Sodi as having made various payments to “obtain access, secure influence, and retain connections with a number of individuals at provincial and national government”.

Sodi’s contract was for phase one of a R2 billion financial injection announced by the city in 2019 to refurbish the plant and replace the ageing water pipe network.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago confirmed this week that the preliminary investigation into the Sodi contract shows there was enough evidence to warrant an official criminal investigation into the entire process of awarding the contract.

The DA big wigs are still digging in their heels and see no reason to go speak to their constituency in Hammanskraal.

Pictured above: DA leader John Steenhuisen campaigning in Durban ahead of a by-election in Chatsworth


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