South Africa

Mbalula says Johannesburg is a collapsed municipality, but ANC not to blame

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula on Thursday described the City of Johannesburg as a collapsed municipality but he said it was not the ANC’s fault.

‘Johannesburg run by people that sleep on the street’

Mbalula said the City of Johannesburg was once a world class city which had proper governance. But he said today the city has deteriorated to the point of having homeless people directing traffic because the traffic lights were not working.

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Mbalula said Johannesburg used to have a well-functioning Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) when the ANC was in charge. He said crime in Johannesburg was so bad that not even the cemeteries were spared from theft and vandalism.

“Here in Johannesburg, because there is load shedding, the robots are controlled by these chaps who sleep on the street and then they control robots and they are not trained. This showcases a state that is in a state of disaster and collapse [and] Johannesburg was never like that,” Mbalula said.

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Mbalula said the City of Johannesburg should have contingency measures to ensure that there are adequate measures to control traffic during load shedding.

“Government of Johannesburg has just collapsed – you leave something like that to chance and you think that is normal,” he said.

Mbalula blames coalitions

Mbalula said the ANC is not to blame for the current state of affairs in Johannesburg. He said this was a problem caused by the coalitions.

“The ANC in this coalition does not control anything. We do not have a mayor, the only thing that we control is the disbursement of funds and money. Transport is controlled by the PA [Patriotic Alliance],” he said.

Mbalula made these statements despite the ANC being part of the coalition governing the City of Johannesburg. Mbalula himself was part of the discussions the ANC had with Al Jama-ah and the EFF to take control of the city.

Mbalula also took a jab at the City of Johannesburg’s leaders for squabbling with Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi when the explosion occurred in Bree Street (Lilian Ngoyi Street). At the time, they said the squabble was over jurisdiction issues, but it also seemed to be about who was receiving media attention.

“They have to fight with Panyaza [saying] ‘why did you come here before us?’. They had to fight for terrain. People are dying in the meantime,” he said.

Mbalula also said the EFF was not an official coalition partner of the ANC. He said the ANC would announce its stance on coalitions at a later stage.

However, Mbalula did indicate that the merry go round of mayors in Johannesburg has caused instability.

“It’s instability. Coalitions are not working for us,” Mbalula said.