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Mayor Mashaba’s open letter to the residents of Johannesburg

"I am just acutely aware that I was not elected by the ANC and, by implication, cannot be unelected by them either." – Mayor Herman Mashaba

I remember my first day in office as the mayor of Johannesburg, reading in the papers quotes from the ANC stating that the multi-party government would not last three months.

What the ANC conveniently didn’t say is that they would do everything in their power to make this ‘premonition’ come true.

So when we faced another motion of no confidence from the ANC, I looked forward to the opportunity to demonstrate how the ANC’s efforts were a smokescreen to get back to ‘eating’.

My enthusiasm was not born of arrogance. A multi-party minority coalition government can never afford such a thing. I am just acutely aware that I was not elected by the ANC and, by implication, cannot be unelected by them either.

So you can imagine my surprise when the ANC withdrew their motion of no confidence. They offered no reasons for the withdrawal after subjecting five million residents of Johannesburg and 35 000 employees of the City to such uncertainty for three weeks.

As recently as the day before Council, the ANC released a statement claiming certain victory in their motion of no confidence. They went as far as citing the ‘fact’ that they had 145 votes in the bag.

So why than did the ANC withdraw the motion of no confidence?

The answer is simple – they did not have the numbers to pass the motion. Their claim to have the numbers this time was nonsense.

For three weeks, five million residents of Johannesburg have had to live with the uncertainty of who would lead their City. Our economy has endured the insecurity of the economic direction of the City. People who have reported the criminal activity of the ANC had to contemplate the possibility of their return.

Consider the impact on Johannesburg when an entire city has had to endure such uncertainty only for the ANC to casually withdraw their motion and commit to bring it back in September.

The ANC has once again toyed with the lives of people. They’ve done it for decades. It has never been about the residents of our city, our economy or the employees. It was about them, and their ability to use their privileged position of leadership to access public funds.

Some of their former MMCs have been implicated in criminal wrongdoing. If we had a functional criminal justice system in South Africa, those faces would have been watching proceedings from jail.

In all of this, the views of our residents seem to be absent from processes which so profoundly impact their lives and the future of their city. The only recourse they have is to punish the ANC for playing with their lives in such a casual manner.

Perhaps it’s time that the residents of our city expressed their lack of confidence in these self-serving individuals who do not care how great the cost is in their efforts to return to the trough of public money.

Herman Mashaba

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