Avatar photo

By Martin Williams

Councillor at City

Hope rises as political thieves fall out

In Joburg, spats among doomsday ANC/ EFF/ PA coalition members offer glimmers of hope for an end to their leeching off ratepayers.

Watching political parties in power in Joburg squabble brings to mind the idiom, “When thieves fall out, honest men come by their own”.

It means dissension among villains benefits victims because bad guys are too busy fighting among themselves. In theory.

In Joburg, spats among doomsday ANC/ EFF/ Patriotic Alliance (PA) coalition members offer glimmers of hope for an end to their leeching off ratepayers.

ALSO READ: Kunene and Lesufi in spat over repairing Johannesburg’s roads

So, it was heartening to read in the weekend press about “turf wars” between two members of the mayoral committee, finance MMC Dada Morero of the ANC, and transport MMC Kenny Kunene of the PA.

Let’s see them slug it out and hopefully depart.

Kunene has lodged a formal complaint against Morero with the Joburg speaker’s office. He alleges Morero acted unethically by threatening officials and trying to interfere in budget allocations to portfolios held by the PA – transport and human settlements.

This dispute has been going on since September. Kunene says Morero’s actions in restricting budgets are affecting service delivery.

“I can’t fix potholes, rebuild roads, nor can I resurface them”, and so on. Another I-specialist.

For neglected ratepayers, Kunene’s is a flimsy excuse based on half-truths.

Daily there are Joburg Roads Agency social media posts showing work they are doing, fixing potholes and resurfacing roads. But not in our areas.

Funds may or may not be restricted through Morero’s machinations, but a disproportionally minuscule amount of what is being spent goes to the main ratepaying areas.

Analysis of the recent draft budget shows that once again Region B receives by far the lowest budget allocations of all seven Joburg regions.

ALSO READ: PA open to coalition arrangement with the DA and ANC, says McKenzie

And city leadership plans to cut Region B’s share further in the three-year budget cycle.

My Ward 90 is in Region B. Suburbs in the ward include Clinton, Craighall, Craighall Park, Dunkeld, Dunkeld West, Glenadrienne, Hurlingham, Hyde Park, Illovo, Parkmore, New Brighton, Riepen Park and Sandhurst.

No wonder our roads are in such shocking condition and getting worse. We have road repairs that should have been done last year or the year before, and roads that should have been resurfaced long, long ago. Plus countless potholes and reinstatements.

While the city visibly crumbles, chauffeur-driven MMCs are happy to spend millions of our money on themselves.

Morero has five bodyguards, costing us over R3 million a year. Kunene has four costing over R2 million a year.

ALSO READ: ‘ANC is lying, there’s no border patrol’: PA’s Kenny Kunene on SA-Lesotho border

Ratepayers are neglected regardless of the tussles between MMCs who tend to direct resources to their constituencies. For ratepayers, the prospects of repair don’t look good under these “leaders”.

The solution doesn’t lie in peace between MMCs, but rather their departure. They must go. What are the prospects of change, bearing in mind that the 29 May elections are not for local government?

The fate of ANC/EFF arrangements in Joburg is tied to those in Ekurhuleni, where MMCs were sworn in on Monday after the election of an ANC mayor.

The reappointment of a controversial EFF finance MMC has upset ANC supporters. So, the inter-party rumblings in Ekurhuleni will continue.

The more thieves fall out, the better chances of a break-up, dissolution, and re-elections in our metros. Hope springs.