ANC declares war on Tshwane coalition
BALDWIN NDABA firstname.lastname@example.org
African News Agency
THE ANC has asked the Hawks to probe fraud and corruption it claims was committed by Da-led coalition partners during their seven-year control of the City of Tshwane. This was among demands handed to the City of Tshwane council speaker and ATM councillor Mncedi Ndzwanana by top leadership of the ANC outside Tshwane House in Pretoria yesterday. Thousands of ANC members from across Gauteng marched to Tshwane House to demand the removal of the Da-led coalition government. The march coincidentally took place while all councillors had gathered to elect a new mayor of Tshwane following the fall of Dr Murunwa Makwarela. Makwarela was removed from office after it was found he was declared insolvent by the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria in 2016. Yesterday the ANC, led by secretarygeneral Fikile Mbalula, gave Ndzwanana a list of demands that should be prioritised and implemented by the new government in Tshwane. The ANC said the new incoming executive must stabilise municipal governance and ensure independent investigations into all corruption and maladministration that occurred over the past seven years under the Da-led administration. It called on the Special Investigating Unit and Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) to investigate and recover money lost to the people of Tshwane. It also called for the protection of all whistle-blowers. According to Mbalula, all DA MMCS councillors who benefited unduly from the municipality after the resignation of Randall Williams and collapse of the mayoral committee must pay back the money they received as salaries. Tshwane council was also asked to prioritise support to small and medium-sized businesses of previously disadvantaged communities by returning to the Employee Preparatory Programme and the Tshepo 10 000 youth opportunities, to ensure young people gain job entry-level experience. It was also to provide a conducive and safe environment where street lights work in all townships and urban areas, and fix sewerage systems to reduce health and environmental challenges. The ANC asked the council to immediately address the billing system and develop a meter-reading system not based on estimates which led to exploitation of the most vulnerable. It called for the metro to reinstate the indigent programme, and ensure the vulnerable, such as pensioners and child-headed households, benefit. The ANC also demanded the City bring back a free basic electricity programme, water, wi-fi and other basic services that poor and vulnerable households were entitled to receive. In addition, it wanted the Expanded Public Works Programme to be controlled by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, which must hire beneficiaries directly, since the City of Tshwane was incapable of spending the relevant grants amid mass unemployment and poverty. Other demands included the refurbishment of all heritage sites, museums and libraries; removal of refuse and garbage; cleaning of the townships and inner-city areas; allocation of budget for these services; paying Eskom and other contractors on time; and playing an active role in clearing all debts to ensure that the City operated smoothly on a day-to-day basis.