Gauteng Premier David Makhura has warned that the ANC stands to be removed from power if it fails to punish those responsible for bad governance in the municipalities it leads.
Makhura was speaking in Boksburg on Monday where the ANC was holding a local government summit. He slammed some of the ANC-led municipalities for continuing to tarnish the ANC’s image through bad conduct by leaders, which he said could see the governing party losing power if culprits were not punished.
“We have to confront the reality that poor performance must be punishable, and corruption and mismanagement must lead to consequences.
“It’s very hard to campaign for elections, as we have seen, so we can’t allow people to mess up the image of our organization. It’s the ANC that will face the consequences because the people are very unforgiving,” he said.
The summit’s aim was to look into the state of governance and socioeconomic challenges facing municipalities in the province. Makhura took aim at Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba and his administration, accusing them of deliberately snubbing the provincial administration on issues of co-operative governance.
He highlighted that his new MECs had been visiting municipalities to assist them in boosting service delivery initiatives, but said some municipalities refused to co-operate.
“One thing we cannot have is ANC municipalities not prepared to co-operate with us because there are already municipalities not working with the provincial government simply because it’s an ANC-led government,” he said.
Makhura added that while DA-led Tshwane worked well with the provincial government, Mashaba’s administration was snubbing his MECs.
“We as the government here have a mandate on co-operative governance and we are going to ensure the co-operation as mandated by the Constitution. Joburg doesn’t have a choice. It has a duty to co-operate.”
Makhura said the increasing population size made it difficult for poor municipalities to perform their constitutional obligations of servicing people efficiently.
“We’re now 15.7 million people in the province. There’s no space in Gauteng where the number of people is growing – either two or three times what we were in 1994,” he said.
He said Sedibeng and West Rand district municipalities had been ravaged by poor delivery because of their deteriorating economic base. “In the two districts, without provincial intervention they will not pull forward on their own.
We must stimulate the economy of these districts because this is where the highest number of poor people live in Gauteng,” he said. All Gauteng’s six local municipalities are located in the two districts.
Makhura said that ANC would, however, fail to turn around the municipalities and deliver services if the party remained engulfed in factional battles at a leadership level. “If we are divided we will divide South Africa, and we are going to be sidetracked from the challenges faced by our people,” he said.