Residents, DA say service delivery ground to halt in Joburg but ANC says ’Not true’

By Anna Cox Time of article published18m ago

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Johannesburg – Has service delivery in the City of Joburg ground to a halt?

Yes, say residents and the opposition DA. No, says the city.

Metrowatch has received numerous complaints from residents about potholes not being repaired for months, water leaks not fixed timeously, the billing department being in chaos and refuse not collected on schedule.

The opposition DA says many of the departments are not working, including department vehicles being left without petrol. The city’s fleet management contract with Avis has expired, with no alternative plan.

The city has denied the accusations, saying all of its departments are functioning at 100% capacity.

However, City Power, Pikitup and the Joburg Roads Agency have sent out notices to residents during the past months stating they are facing service delivery challenges due to Covid-19, in terms of staff members being infected and lack of maintenance equipment and spare parts.

Joburg DA leader Leah Knott said all departments and entities were immobile, citing its fleet contract.

“While the DA supports the removal of unnecessary middlemen in the city’s supply chain, it is the duty of the administration to ensure that it was prepared to manage the process effectively when the time came.”

She said over the past eight months since the ANC took Joburg back, no protocols had been put in place to manage vehicle trade-ins, fuel supplies and repairs, among other things.

“Residents are being subjected to severe service delivery failures, including Pikitup services operating at less than 50% vehicle capacity and Joburg Water unable to attend to logged sewage and water issues as they have no petrol for their vehicles.

“Various sections of City Power are unavailable to attend to issues and JRA is unable to attend to issues such as pothole repairs. While the ANC is moving fast to make yet another corruption scandal go away, service delivery has come to a halt,” she said.

Last week, mayor Geoff Makhubo accepted the leave of absence of MMC for Group Corporate and Shared Services Loyiso Masuku (who was responsible for the renewal of contracts) and leader of the executive business in council, following an alleged fraudulent Covid-19 tender involving her husband, Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku.

Mally Mokoena, the MMC responsible for public safety, has been appointed in the interim.

Mpho Moerane, the MMC for environment and infrastructure services has been appointed as acting leader of executive business in the council.

Makhubo said service delivery had been affected by the closure of depots due to Covid-19 infections, and that had impacted the turnaround times for queries logged. However, the city was putting in place contingency measures to deal with the backlog.

“We want to assure residents that we have an alternate fleet contract for non-specialised fleet with Afrirent which is being implemented to phase out Avis.

“Group corporate and shared services has started with the normal procurement process for the contract, which expires in April 2021. The transit solution contract, procured through national Treasury, through Transversal, is being utilised to supply fuel services for the city. Repairs and other services are being catered for by Afrirent contract.” With regard to the fleet arrangements, the city said Pikitup and Joburg water were operating 100% and that there were no reported challenges about City Power’s ability to deliver services.

@annacox

The Star

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