On Thursday, the DA Tshwane mayoral candidate Randall Williams – along with the DA national spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube, DA Gauteng leader Solly Msimanga and DA Tshwane regional chair Mpho Mehlape-Zimu – launched the DA Tshwane manifesto at the Union Buildings.
While Williams addressed his fellow democrats, it was business as usual at the Union Buildings, with tourists passing through uninterested and the Khoisan chief watering his garden.
Ironically, Tshegofatso Matome, a homeless man, was trying for something to eat from a dustbin while Williams was talking about the DA’s plans to support the vulnerable and providing social relief to the city.
Matome said he wasn’t interested in what the DA had to say because he was an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporter.
“If there is better government maybe I can get a job,” he said.
“If there is a better government, things will change. This one is not doing enough.”
France Arfevillere was one of a group of foreigners taking a tour through the buildings. “It feels safer in Tshwane than in Johannesburg,” she said via the tour guide.
Another tourist, Ann Lucas, said she was impressed with how pretty the Union Buildings were and complimented the garden. Williams said within eight months, the ANC in Tshwane had managed to end delivery of basic services.
He said during this period, the grass in public places and cemeteries was left uncut, potholes grew in size, faulty street lights were left unchanged, water and electricity cuts took days to be restored.
“In just eight months, they plunged the city finances in ruins, taking the DA’s surplus and turning it into an R4.3 billion deficit,” Williams added.
Williams said should the DA win the city, the party would focus on prioritising the city’s electricity grid and water
Other key focuses included enhancing the city’s safety and emergency services and developing road infrastructure to advance mobility.
Williams added it was important to modernise and digitise the city’s processes to advance service delivery.
King KhoiSan SA, who has been camping on the grounds of the Union Buildings for nearly three years in protest, said he wasn’t interested in politics.
“They [politicians] make too many promises and don’t deliver,” he said, adding that he has seen memorandum upon memorandum delivered to the Union Buildings with no changes whatsoever.
“Unfortunately, as a person of nature and a king, I will not be casting my vote. No thank you.” King KhoiSan SA and his group are demanding the Khoisan be recognised as first indigenous nation in South Africa.