22 Aug 2019

RESPONDING TO DAN PLATO’S MYCITI AND HOUSING LIES

 

 

STATEMENT BY BRETT HERRON, MEMBER OF THE WESTERN CAPE PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE

 

22 August 2019

 

I have invited Mayor Dan Plato to a public debate on his government’s failure to keep the MyCiTi service, from Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain, going and on his government’s cancellation of 5 affordable housing projects planned for Salt River, Woodstock and the Inner City.

 

Today, he chose to use a speech to Council to debate me when I am not even there!  

 

I think we deserve a Mayor who has more courage.

    

Comments on MyCiTi

 

The MyCiTi N2 Express operated for 5 years, from 2014 to May 2019.  Successive contracts have run back to back to ensure this uninterrupted service.  Prior to the last contract expiring on 31 May 2019, the new leaders in the City were required to ensure that a new contract was in place. 

 

They did not do that work.  One of the parties in the negotiations confirmed in a media statement several weeks after the service was discontinued that neither Felicity Purchase nor the Mayor had even been in touch with them.  

 

Here, clear as day, is the evidence that this National Party cabal does not care about commuters in the townships. 

 

The status of the previous contracts is not relevant.  They are using allegations of contract irregularity as a smokescreen to hide that they are incompetent and never did the work.

 

If the MyCiTi contracts were so flawed, then those legal advisors to the City, who advise all departments, must answer for any legal flaws in the contracts that they have endorsed.  

 

The Mayor must know that politicians don’t sign contracts – so what actions have been taken against the City Manager, the legal advisors and the private law firm that drafted the agreements?

 

Mr Craig Kesson, husband of the DA’s Provincial Chief Whip, is the City’s Executive Director responsible for this function.  If the Mayor’s statements on the flawed legal contracts are true, the husband of the DA’s provincial chief whip has much to answer for.

 

Comments on housing projects

 

As the Mayor said in his speech, “no amount of propaganda can hide your failures”.   Not one single affordable home has been built in any well-located area of Cape Town under either the DA nor ANC governments. The facts speak for themselves.

 

The DA has and continues to cancel well-located affordable housing projects.  

 

They cancelled the Foreshore project which similarly included affordable housing and they sold Tafelberg, a site long earmarked for affordable housing, to a developer, to prevent it from being used for housing. 

 

Now they have cancelled five sites that would have yielded thousands of housing opportunities for policemen, teachers and other middle and lower income workers in our city.  

 

The five sites the Mayor cancelled are: Pickwick Street, New Market Street, Roeland Street, Woodstock Hospital and Woodstock Hospital Park.

 

Comments on resignation of Melissa Whitehead

 

I am also pleased to read that Melissa Whitehead was cleared of all charges of corruption and financial mismanagement.  

 

I am in agreement with Ms Whitehead that it appears that the city’s leaders are no longer interested in apartheid redress and can understand the reason for her resignation.  

 

I am disappointed that her expertise have been lost to the City.  

 

The Transit-Oriented Development Strategy that we were driving was recognised as the best in the world.  

 

This strategy was the plan to undo apartheid’s spatial apartheid legacy that was put in place by the National Party – the political party that Mayor Plato and most of his MAYCO arose from.

 

Ends

 



Cameron Arendse