ANC secretary-general address party members at the Mandela Stadium in Hammanskraal, Tshwane.
- ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula used his party’s manifesto review rally to attack the DA.
- Mbalula was speaking on Saturday in embattled Hammanskraal.
- Mabulala’s comments come hot on the heels of a crippling strike in Tshwane that ground services to a halt and the City called “organised crime”.
ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula used his party’s appearance in impoverished Hammanskraal to blast the DA’s seven-year governance of Tshwane, including the Auditor-General-flagged R10.4 billion irregular expenditure.
Mbalula spoke at the Mandela Stadium in Hammanskraal on Saturday during the ANC’s review of its 2019 election manifesto.
He used his keynote address to slam the DA-led coalition government in an area that experienced the country’s worst cholera outbreak in more than a decade earlier this year, killing more than 20 residents due to filthy water in Hammanskraal’s water systems.
Mbalula’s address comes in the wake of a crippling strike in Tshwane that ground services to a halt following union action that the City called “organised crime”.
The strike followed the Tshwane administration’s decision to renege on workers’ salary-increase agreements because of the City’s difficult financial position.
READ | ‘Residents are suffering’: Inside the protracted violent Tshwane salary increase ‘strike’
Mbalula did not speak much about the ANC’s implementation of its 2019 manifesto but used the City’s struggles to hit out at the national opposition party in an area that experienced recent turmoil.
He claimed the DA served its middle-class constituency in the suburbs, alleging that impoverished Tshwane townships such as Hammanskraal were ignored.
“When you go to the suburbs, things are working well. Their constituency is very happy because it is well served,” Mbalula said, speaking in a mixture of Setswana and English.
But when you come to townships – when you come here to Hammanskraal, Atteridgeville, and Shoshanguve – things that Sputla was pursuing have disappeared. We have eight years since we lost this city to the DA, and they don’t want us to say that.
“Sputla” is the nickname of Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, who was the Tshwane mayor as an ANC candidate until his party was removed in August 2016.
Mbalula, however, acknowledged that the ANC had its own problems in Tshwane, adding: “In so saying, it doesn’t mean that when we were in power, there were no challenges. We can’t claim easy victories; we speak only the truth.”
Meanwhile, the City celebrated a Labour Court decision in its favour against the Independent Municipal & Allied Trade Union (Imatu), which wanted its members to be paid total salaries despite being on strike and not working.
“The salaries of their members were recalled after the City became aware that they were not executing their duties. The union also wanted the City to reverse and pay its members’ salaries for the month of August 2023,” the City said in a statement on Saturday.
READ | ‘We have been doing nothing for 10 years’: Idle Tshwane power stations cost the City billions
It added: “At the end of July, the Labour Court granted the City of Tshwane an urgent interim interdict against its striking employees and declared the strike unlawful and unprotected. Last week, [the] court made the interim order permanent.”
Tshwane Mayor Cilliers Brink, who has faced a barrage of criticism over his running of the metropolitan, received support from his DA colleagues, including Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, who asserted: “The Tshwane mayor is standing up against criminality and trying to fix his City’s precarious finances. All strength to him; he has broad public support to do what is right! Those who want to sacrifice the rule of law before criminality are only showing their true colours.”