By Joe McGluwa, DA North West Provincial Leader:
It is now widely known that the Tlokwe Municipality will be hotly contested in next year’s election, with the DA clearly setting our sights on winning, and restoring Potchefstroom to a glorious city with delivery for all.
The ANC knows that its failures in Tlokwe, and its political instability, mean that it is fast losing its grip on power. That must be an uncomfortable truth for the ANC, and their desperation is starting to play out through dodgy tactics and dirty tricks.
The DA is set on winning Tlokwe because we see the potential of this municipality and we see that change is possible. We foresee a growing municipality that is creating jobs, delivering excellent services and that is safer so that families make Potchefstroom their home where families can be brought up and we have stable communities.
On the other hand, the ANC is intent on clinging onto power for power’s sake. It is clear that they have given up on delivering any progress or betterment for our City.
They lurch from scandal to scandal and can show no progress in the things municipal governance should do. Housing delivery is down, water losses are up, street lights don’t work, potholes grow bigger without being filled, our local economy has no stimulus and above all, our municipality enters into multi-million rand contracts, without following the correct procurement procedures. These contracts are not to the benefit of the community or to better their living standards, but rather to score political points and enriching ANC connected entrepreneurs.
But we also know that the ANC itself is in an absolute mess in the North West. It can’t convene a meeting of a Regional Executive or Regional Council without chairs being thrown and parallel meetings calling each other illegitimate.
The party that used to stand for the ideals of Nelson Mandela is now in a race to the bottom and the factions are squabbling for the crumbs at the bottom.
As Tlokwe slips out of their grasp, the ANC is now on a campaign to buy over DA members with ludicrous promises of jobs and positions. But like always, these will never materialise. The ANC has a history of buying DA members over when elections approach, and make lofty promises that never come true. Last weekend DA members were lured to a hotel and an ANC MEC talked them through what the ANC could give them. But these members would not be duped, and they had already told the DA of their intentions to attend and gather information.
It seems today that the only members other parties can buy over from the DA are those who face disciplinary or other punitive hearings within our party.
We are also in Court right now challenging the ludicrous plan to amalgamate Tlokwe into Ventersdorp. This is the ultimate ANC tactic of “if you can’t win the game, change the rules.” There is no rational argument to incorporate the two municipalities, and we will fight this all the way.
The DA has already served in government in Tlokwe, for seven months in 2013, and in that time we made great progress. The DA proved we can deliver a stable, reliable and trustworthy government. In this time we filled key positions in the municipality and ensured the appointment of crucial staff in the Traffic Department.
Immediate attention was given to ensure that life-saving equipment was available at the Sarafina Fire Brigade.
We also embarked on an intensive clean-up project in Ikageng to better the environment for the residents. We also returned the luxury Mayoral Mercedes and saved the municipality R736 000.
We used our time in office to ensure that available, vacant housing was utilized and made available to the poor in Ikageng.
Imagine what we could do with five years in government! In Election 2016 the DA is set on winning Tlokwe. We want to install a government of accountability, that delivers, that creates a safe, prosperous and united Potchefstroom. We want people to have opportunities, government support and futures that are promising.
We will repair the roads, improve the water infrastructure, and repair the sewage system. We will fill critical vacancies and we will rid the municipality of underperforming officials.
It will be a hard task, but we will give it our everything. To get there we need to keep resisting the ANC attempts to cling onto power in Tlokwe. Then we must campaign our hearts out, and must take our message far and wide.
Come election 2016, Tlokwe and must have a new government. The DA is committed to this cause.