Opinionista Lebogang Maile 25 February 2019

Democratic Alliance governance in shambles

One of the unintended consequences of the outcomes of the 2016 local government elections has been the debunking of the myth (lie) that the Democratic Alliance is innately more competent and clean than the African National Congress when it comes to issues of governance.

As the Democratic Alliance-led municipalities in Johannesburg and Tshwane have shifted from one controversy to another and basic services within these two municipalities have been collapsing at an alarming rate, the oft-repeated lie that the Democratic Alliance is the paragon of good governance and ethical leadership has been exposed as our citizens have begun to see for themselves that “the grass is not always greener on the other side”, as the popular cliché goes.

The Democratic Alliance has quickly discovered that it is much easier to shout from the opposition benches and claim a false sense of superiority than it is to be entrusted with improving the lot of our people as a party that is in governance. Irregular appointments within the City of Tshwane, as well as tender irregularities, as exposed by the Auditor General’s report on the appointment of Glad Africa, have shown former Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimang, who incidentally is the Democratic Alliance’s candidate for Premier of Gauteng, and the Democratic Alliance to be highly incompetent and corrupt and shattered the Democratic Alliance’s ambitions of presenting itself as a viable alternative to the governance of the African National Congress.

The less said about Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba and his fledgling administration the better. Apart from mastering the art of making headlines through his uninformed tweets and his unfactual statements and allegations, he has shown himself to be highly incapacitated and incompetent at governance-related matters. Astoundingly, Mashaba has himself even admitted to the citizens of Johannesburg that he would not be able to fully deliver on his five-year mandate, instead asking them for more time, even before his term has officially ended. Talk about overpromising and underdelivering. Mashaba’s tenure as the first citizen of Johannesburg can best be described as inept and underwhelming.

The Democratic Alliance’s mismanagement of the Cape Town water crisis, as most experts have openly acknowledged, has hammered further nails into this lie that they are experts at governance and are capable of showcasing Cape Town as an example of how life would be much better under a Democratic Alliance-led government. If this sounds too harsh, take a walk around the townships of Nyanga, Langa, Khayelitsha, Manenberg and Mitchells Plain (just to mention a few) and ask the people there if their lives have indeed improved under the Democratic Alliance administration.

In comparison to that, a recent report released by the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, the Quality of Life report, has shown that Gautengers have been progressively experiencing a better quality of life under Premier David Makhura and ANC-led fifth administration. The survey shows that the mantra “Together, Moving Gauteng City region forward” is not just mere rhetoric, but rather an accurate reflection of the positive steps forward that we have made since coming into office in 2014.

The survey highlights not just the improved living conditions of Gautengers, but also the greater confidence that our citizens have in the political leadership to deliver on their mandate to bring about a better life for all. This is in contrast to the shambles and chaos that we are currently witnessing in Democratic Alliance-led Tshwane and Johannesburg. DM

Lebogang Maile is Head of Elections for the ANC in Gauteng. He writes here in his personal capacity.

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