ANC Greater Tshwane regional chairperson Kgosientso Ramokgopa and his deputy Mapiti Matsena. CREDIT: ANA

Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga was unable to take any decisive action to halt ongoing illegal invaders who were taking up different portions of land across South Africa’s capital city, African National Congress (ANC) Greater Tshwane regional chairperson Kgosientso Ramokgopa said on Tuesday.

“We know that for purposes of ensuring that they preserve their alliance with the Economic Freedom Fighters, they are not strong on addressing issues of land invasion. I invite you [media] to visit Pretoria west, closer to Atteridgeville and you will see the scale of land invasion taking place,” Ramokgopa told journalists at a media briefing.

“The only reason this current administration cannot attend to that because the EFF has made it their programme, saying people must invade land where they find it to be appropriate. The DA’s hands are tied because if they take any action to do with addressing land invasion, they will be tempering with the harmony of their alliance.”

The former mayor of Tshwane, Ramokgopa said since the Democratic Alliance administration led by Msimanga took over last year, “there had been a number of reversals of gains”.

“One of the reversals they are making is to discontinue the indigent policy. We had a dispensation in the city, where the poorest of the poor … would be given indigent burials. We purchased everything, from purchase of the grave, the coffin and catered for all the costs of the funeral. We were helped by the private sector, but that has now been discontinued. They [DA administration] are very rampant with discontinuation of services,” said Ramokgopa.

He said electricity had been cut off from numerous poor households who had been receiving it under the previous administration’s indigent policy.

“It has come to our attention that the DA/EFF led administration has indefinitely suspended projects, largely on the townships, which were aimed at addressing social and economic infrastructure deficit that still exists. We have empirical evidence that spending has been halted on key service delivery projects in the areas of road and storm water [drainage], sewer systems, and provision of water to our communities,” said Ramokgopa.

“This selfish and narrow behaviour undermines the rights of our people and robs them if their dignity.”

Ramokgopa said Tshwane had become “filthy” and neglected under Msimanga.

“The city is filthy, streets are not being cleaned, traffic lights are not working, blocked sewer pipes are not being repaired, and potholes are not being repaired. State of decay and deterioration can be seen and felt everywhere around the city. This once thriving city has been reduced to less than a shadow of previous self,” said Ramokgopa.

“Service delivery has been substituted by investigations and meaningless international trips, while three million residents bear the brunt.”

Ramokgopa vowed that in the tumultuous Tshwane council, the disposed ANC “will continue to hold this unholy coalition to account”.

Ramokgopa was dislodged by Msimanga as executive mayor of Tshwane after the tightly contested August 3 local government elections in which the DA was supported by the EFF to take over the reins of the Metro.