Years to build, moments to destroy: ANC’s mayoral proxy already jeopardising service delivery systems in Johannesburg

Issued by Cllr Belinda Echeozonjoku – Former MMC for Development Planning in City of Johannesburg
02 Feb 2023 in Press Statements

The DA in Johannesburg notes with frustration the regrettable service delivery consequences of the political circus the ANC and its opportunistic proxies are forcing Johannesburg residents to endure.

The recent destabilisation and removal of the DA-led Johannesburg government by the ANC and a ragtag gang of accomplices have already disrupted and undermined the basics of local governance. The Council Speaker, seemingly collaborating the ANC’s coalition of corruption, has refused debate and passage of important Council items – key amongst these the much-needed approval of an extension of existing Geographic Information System (GIS) contractual arrangements.

As matters stand currently, the awarding of a new GIS contract will only occur in September this year.

As GISs form an integral part of efficient service delivery and the relevant existing contractual arrangements lapsed on the 1st of February, the risk is severe that service delivery to the City’s residents will be negatively affected by this governmental oversight and procedural travesty.

GIS technical support, development, and training of City technicians and officials will, if the situation is not urgently resolved, cease for a period of at least six months. This means that critical enterprise-wide operations, straddling across value chains, will likely suffer operationally should any adverse event happen to disrupt the City’s now-unsupported GIS capacity. The direct impact on the revenue of the City may well be catastrophic as the City’s Development Planning unit and rates and billing systems rely on GIS.

Pie-in-the-sky talk by the new Executive Mayor about digitalised governance processes are, like promises made by the string-pullers of the ANC, dead on arrival. Unfortunately for the ANC and their mayoral proxy, voters will remember that it was the ANC’s coalition of corruption that allowed Johannesburg, a city that should be the economic powerhouse of the whole continent, to literally go offline.

In local government, as in life, it takes years to build, but moments to destroy. The DA in Johannesburg is proud of its sustained efforts since the 2021 Local Government Elections to provide residents of Johannesburg with stable, competent, clean, and compassionate government. The residents of Johannesburg deserve nothing less and the DA in Johannesburg will continue its fight to deliver this.

The DA in Johannesburg calls on the new Mayor to put the residents of Johannesburg first and ensure that this crucial item relating to the City’s GIS capacity is put to Council as soon as possible.