Media Release by:
Vasco da Gama
DA City of Johannesburg Caucus Leader
Good morning Madam Speaker, Executive Mayor, Members of the Mayoral Committee, Leaders of Opposition Parties, Distinguished Guests, Councillors, Members of the Media and residents of our great City of Johannesburg.
Mr Executive Mayor, this morning we meet to respond to your speech, themed, “Turning Challenges into Opportunities”. It is a wonderful dream with many great potential ideas for a World Class City to strive towards in the future.
I particularly want to start by re-quoting Former President Thabo Mbeki when he said, “We must ensure that today is better than yesterday and that tomorrow will be better than today”.
This quote really does describe what government should be working towards for its citizens and in our case what we as the City of Johannesburg should be aiming towards for our residents. With such a strong starting point I was optimistic about your speech and hoped that you would focus on the idea encapsulated in Ex-President Mbeki’s words.
Sadly this was not to be. You see Mr Mayor; it is all good to have dreams, looking at tomorrow, and great future visions of our City. We admire them. But as the municipal government of Johannesburg, our main job is to focus on the practical aspect of making the lives of our residents better today AND tomorrow. Not just always looking to that future tomorrow.
We need to ask ourselves, when our residents look at our City, do they see a World Class African City, or do they see a City with real problems?
Because fellow councillors, when I look at a City where traffic lights are constantly broken, buildings are illegally occupied, cable theft seems unstoppable, potholes are getting larger, yet tariffs are increasing at a rate similar to Eskom blackouts, I do not see a World Class City. I see real problems affecting our residents every day. I see a reality that does not match your vision Mr Mayor.