The unlawful administrators imposed on the City of Tshwane by Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Lebogang Maile are wreaking havoc and threatening its future economic wellbeing.
They have failed to adequately prepare the city to function in the face of Covid-19, the result being that key city offices and services are simply not functioning.
According to a letter shared with the DA by the Pretoria Institute for Architecture (PIA), developers in the city have requested guidance on what is currently happening with regards to the building control and city planning offices across the city.
Despite the country having moved to lockdown level 3, the City has not communicated to developers how these processes are going to be managed going forward.
Building control offices in the city remain closed because the administrators clearly don’t feel that they are important enough to open and have failed to appreciate the necessity of this work.
If developers cannot get their plans approved or engage with the Tshwane planners, then construction in the city will grind to a halt.
This is one of the most crucial sectors to the city’s economy and a leading driver of employment.
In order for the sector to succeed, it requires continuous interaction with the city.
No strategy has been presented for how the building plans backlog that has accrued during the lockdown will be dealt with and how it can be fast tracked to get this crucial sector of the city’s economy moving.
The ANC-imposed city administrators have had two months to ensure that they adequately prepare key city departments for re-opening so these crucial services can continue unhindered.
Yet as the first week of level 3 lockdown ends, the City of Tshwane is clearly in shambles.
Each day that the City fails to open its building control and city planning offices and facilitate development is a day lost to the construction sector which could result in businesses closing and jobs being lost.
For two months the administrators have had time to plan and strategise about this.
So what have they been doing?
First came the problem of record levels of under-collection of revenues in April, and then came the blatant inability of publishing the budget 6 weeks late, and with a R1 billion deficit in it.
It is blatantly clear that MEC Maile’s administrators are actively facilitating the economic decline of the City of Tshwane by failing to enable development processes to carry on without disruption. The construction sector supports countless small businesses, and it is imperative that the City does its utmost to ensure that it thrives.
Randall Williams – DA