DA’s new mayor for Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba plans to privatize Joburg services by first dividing the city’s refuse service (Pickitup) into several pieces and handing them over to private businesses he believes would serve the city better.
The mayor, who is largely believed by political parties to be unfit to mount the mayoral seat, announced among other of his promises to make positive changes in the city, that the strike-ridden, monopolistic Pickitup will perform better if it is manned by free marketers.
Prior to his election as the mayor, Mashaba announced that he would end the Pikitup monopoly. He said the city’s refuse service”is bloated with ANC cadres, many deployed in its upper management. The company has a poisonous relationship with its employees because it is operating ade facto closed shop policy.”
“If I am elected on 3 August, I will break up Pickitup’s corrupt and ineffective monopoly once and for all. I will ensure that this City is the cleanest in Africa, giving metros like Cape Town and “Africa’s Singapore” – Kigali – a run for their money.”
The mayor said is move follows his concern about the health conditions of the homeless citizens who are forced to sleep on the filthy streets by the the Pickitup strike created a public health hazard that endangered our citizens and our economy – a repeat of what we’ve seen in past years.
He also said that his bold move was in line to his promise of bringing business into the service delivery picture, but could present him with his first serious challenge.
The mayor could face some hurdles in his plans to change the city’s services. First is his agenda followed by a budget to back it up. He could also be facing another phase of criticism from the EFF who would not give in to his privatization budge.
More to this, Mashaba could be haunted by the trade unions that are unlikely to agree to a larger role for the private sector. COSATU could also desire to set boundaries to prevent the spread of this approach to other parts of the council.
If the new mayor Mashaba set these things straight especially for pickitup, he will set the tone for a major change in the way Joburg does business.
However, this could spell a long hot summer ripe with the smell of uncollected garbage.
Mashaba said the DA is committed to real redress and to rolling back the frontiers of apartheid and giving opportunities to small businessmen and women is one of such ways to achieve this.