Newly elected executive mayor of the city of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba on Monday revealed that Gauteng government departments owe the City of Joburg R259 million in outstanding rates. Mashaba Ordered LG to return it or face the heat.
The millionaire tycoon, ideological libertarian and self-proclaimed “capitalist crusader” now turned mayor of South Africa’s biggest city, laments how previous ANC-led administration allowed the ANC-run provincial government to cart away the city’s millions and had not ordered them to return it for so long.
Mashaba Ordered LG in a statement, to pay back the R259 million in outstanding rates within 30 days
“It is disgraceful that the previous ANC-led administration allowed the ANC-run provincial government to get away with this for so long,” Mashaba said,
“The politically connected were protected while the ordinary person on the street was neglected and harassed.”
“The provincial government has effectively been robbing from the poor.”
Mashaba orders LG not to delay in paying back the money as he is ready to make them cough out the money.
The mayoral further stated that he would be writing to the Premier of Gauteng, David Makhura, asking the local government to “either pay the R259 million or enter an acceptable repayment agreement with the City, as any other defaulting resident is expected to do.”
Mashaba is determined to transform the city in his image had at his resumption last Month, promised to give the city a new look in less than a month
To achieve this, he ordered more visible policing, a clean-up campaign, repairs to roads and a dedicated civil servant to liaise with private property developers.
Recently, he diverted R70 million that was due to build more bicycle lanes in Sandton to upgrade the basic infrastructure of the community in Alexandra.
“I live in Sandton and at the same time I have neighbors of mine that I need to take care of as a matter of urgency. People in Alexandra are living across the highway… people with no toilets… no water and dignity and I have to make a decision,” Mashaba.
“I see R70 million is budgeted to build bicycle lanes for people in Sandton and now, I look at people of Alexandra
“Some of them have taken their cases to the Human Rights Commission. I cannot live in a city that deprives people of such basic services‚
“Now I have to get the budget … I am taking that R70m to give my neighbors‚ my people‚ the opportunity to have dignity.”Mashaba added.
The mayor who still considers himself a businessman, not a politician calls on business moguls to try investing in the city of Johannesburg.
“I’m saying to the investment community, ‘If you want to make money, come to the city of Johannesburg.’ I can unblock any bottlenecks.” he said as he reiterates his promise of spending people’s money wisely.