Tshwane head administrator Mpho Nawa yesterday restated that he was still on course to achieve the mandate set out by the provincial government to improve service delivery in the metro.
He was marking 60 days in office since he was appointed as the head of a team of 10 administrators in March following the dissolution of council by the provincial government.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Pretoria News, Nawa said the administrators had to rise to the occasion to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic despite the fact that it was not part of their terms of reference.
He said enough groundwork had been done so far to implement the de-densification programme, which would see some people living in densely populated areas being resettled on land identified by the municipality.
The rationale behind the resettlement is to contain the spread of coronavirus infections in highly populated places like hostels.
Recently the City, in conjunction with the national Department of Human Settlements and the Housing Development Agency, announced plans to relocate 1000 hostel dwellers in Mamelodi in a phased approach, starting from July 31.
Nawa said: “We are targeting almost all informal settlements. We have signed an implementation protocol plan with the Housing Development Agency to procure land for us. At the core of procuring land is to really work on the de-densification. We have identified four pieces of land so far.”
Two pieces of land would be earmarked for the Mamelodi flood victims and hostels dwellers.
“Our attitude is that we should not be giving attention to Mamelodi alone. We are negotiating with Human Settlements that some grants must be forwarded in advance to us so that we can procure land,” Nawa said.
Regarding the impression the community has of his work, he said: “With the ones I connected with I don’t think there have been major issues.”
He was reluctant to say whether people were happy with his work. “Someone might ask me what determines happiness. So far I think there is calmness,” he said.
“Since we came here we have not stopped the water supply. We have listened to different people.”
The recruitment process for a new City manager started with the post being advertised last week.
The acting city manager, Mavela Dlamini, would, however, not contend for the position because he was one of the administrators.
Nawa said: “Ethically, I don’t think he would apply. Remember, he is acting (in the post) and he is part of the administrators. So you can’t hire yourself. There is an independent process that is on course.”
Nawa patted himself on the back for hiring 169 metro police trainees on May 18. “It was initially 171 but we picked up that it is now 169.”
Another feather in his cap, he said, would be the passing of an adjustment budget, the establishment of a Covid-19 command council, and the commissioning of work to upgrade the Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant.
During his tenure, at least 1278333 residents have been screened and tested for Covid-19 and 412 people arrested for flouting the lockdown regulations.
He took pride in having started work to build a sound governance culture and systems in the municipality.
Nawa thanked the 3.3 million Tshwane residents for not holding back “in expressing their concerns”.