Mayor Herman Mashaba yesterday took the extra-ordinary step of dismissing the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) MMC for Housing in the City of Johannesburg, Councilor Mzobanzi Ntuli. Councilor Ntuli was dismissed on the grounds that the department’s performance had not improved under his leadership, despite his best efforts. The Executive Mayor further admitted that, “While this is primarily a function of the administration of the Department, it is going to require different leadership to effect the turnaround of this critical function in the City.”
According to the Executive Mayor, the primary function of the administration is to turnaround the department, so it is dubious why MMC Ntuli, who put his best efforts to “turnaround” the department would be dismissed. It is noteworthy that Mayor Mashaba also pushed through the appointment of a candidate who came in at number 5 in the interview process as the Executive Director for the Department of Housing. This appointment, like many other appointments by the DA-led coalition is directly linked to the poor performance of the department.
The Housing Department failed to perform due to funding for repairs and maintenance in hostels being taken away from the department during the adjustment budget in February 2017. Further budget cuts for housing projects such as Lufhereng Housing Project were effected in the budget adjustment of February 2018. These budget cuts hindered the performance of the MMC drastically. The appointment of the Executive Director who was ranked 5th further impeded on the MMC’s performance.
The Executive Mayor fails to address the inherent crisis of a crumbling coalition government and focuses on unfounded claims that his administration inherited a housing department that was poorly performing. The Mayor further casts aspersions on the ANC’s former MMC for Housing Councilor Dan Bovu, who was acquitted on all charges of fraud on 18 May 2018. We have always maintained that Councilor Bovu’s case was the work of political actors from the DA-led coalition hell bent on tarnishing the image of the ANC.
Under Councilor Bovu’s leadership the housing department was on course in delivering on its mandate. Several housing projects were implemented during his term as MMC for Housing and these include among others the South Hills housing project, Fleurhof housing project and Lufhereng housing project. Mayor Mashaba has not implemented a single housing project since coming into office. The 2000 title deeds issued by the mayor in his first month in office is part of the work done by Councilor Bovu as part of the ANC Joburg Government program.
The basis of IFP’s MMC Ntuli’s dismissal is that the IFP refuses to be a junior partner in the coalition government and refuses the imposition of decisions from the DA. The question to be asked is why the Annual General Meetings of City entities under the leadership of IFP MMC’s did not take place. A possibility is that the DA wanted to impose its own people as Board members in JRA, JOSHCO and Metro Bus boards.
The dismissal of MMC Ntuli should be a reminder to all coalition partners that the DA will use them to stay in power, and spew them out once it has achieved its objectives. This can be seen with the current mayor of the DA in Cape Town, Patricia De Lille.
As the ANC Caucus in Johannesburg we call on the IFP to take a look at its continued participation in the DA-led coalition government in the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality.
The DA-led coalition is crumbling because the parties do not share a similar ideological outlook and a shared vision to better the lives of the people of Johannesburg. It is premised on the hatred of the ANC and based on a common agenda to discredit it.