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By Getrude Makhafola

Premium Journalist

You’re forgiven for praising mayors Pappas and McKenzie for just doing their jobs

South Africans are so desperate for leaders who actually do something, that they can be forgiven for praising these fish for swimming.

South Africans are desperate for politicians who can meet their KPI’s.

All we really want is proper services and efficient use of our taxes. That’s all. Just do the job that you’re heftily paid for. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

The public’s search for real leadership at our broken municipalities seems to have recently stopped after the emergence of uMngeni Local Municipality Mayor Christopher Pappas and Central Karoo District Mayor Gayton McKenzie.

The two never waste time in posting what they’re up to on social media platforms, like clockwork. They’re not the type to wait for communications units to issue statements on their behalf. That’s too slow for them.

They bare it all for the leadership-thirsty to see.

There’s never a dull moment on the duo’s Twitter and Facebook pages. Their followers sing their praises, labelling them the “best of the best” for just doing their jobs.

If there’s a road being fixed, Pappas will make sure you know about it, complete with pictures and sometimes video clips.

On Monday, he showed his audience an impressive upgrade of a road in Zenzane village, and some other roadways with potholes being patched.

“A busy Monday with parks and waste teams out cleaning dumpsites, cutting grass and picking up litter,” read his other post accompanied by images of garbage collectors and an excavator clearing grass.

It’s the kind of images that have earned the young DA leader accolades. He is lauded for being seen to be actually delivering services, after he took over the ruined council from the ANC last year.

The Zulu-fluent mayor and his team are seen to be rolling up their sleeves in the streets of Howick and surrounding areas, and that just makes people happy.

That’s the kind of excitement that was never there when the ANC was in charge in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

Hundreds of kilometres away from uMngeni is the Western Cape’s Central Karoo, now overseen by Patriotic Alliance leader McKenzie.

He is a self-styled no-nonsense mayor in this impoverished area. Reiterating his “ons baiza nie” party tagline, McKenzie has vowed to transform Central Karoo into something similar to popular destination Dubai.

A long stretch that, but at least some of the residents in Beaufort West and surrounding areas believe him.

So far, McKenzie’s picture album shows a new bakery, a clothing factory, and a solar energy farm having been established as part of his plan to build Central’s economy.

The ex-convict turned businessman and now politician has since made bold promises to local residents, including the eradication of the bucket system in his first 100 days at the helm.

Upon his swearing in in April, McKenzie promised to show fellow politicians “how to lead from the front,” and announced he was giving up mayoral perks, including his salary.

An inspiration to many? Maybe.

Social media platforms could be a blessing for the two mayors, but South Africans yearn for more of this.

Any sign of real work from a politician is welcomed with open arms by taxpayers, because such species are very rare in this country.

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