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'It's now time to get Johannesburg working again' - Read Herman Mashaba's first mayoral statement

Capitalist CrusaderBlack Like YouThe Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Herman Mashaba was elected as executive mayor for the City of Johannesburg on Monday night.

Mashaba is a millionaire who founded the company Black Like Me, and the author of the books Black Like You and Capitalist Crusader: Fighting Poverty Through Economic Growth. He also served as chairperson of the Free Market Foundation and is a strong believer in free enterprise and the noninvolvement of the state in the economy – views that put him at odds with the leftist EFF‚ which believes in the setting of a national minimum wage‚ among other things.

In December last year Mashaba announced that he was making himself available as Joburg’s mayoral candidate for the DA.

His first official statement as leader of the city was released on Tuesday‚ and follows below in full:

“I am honoured and deeply humbled to be elected as the new Executive Mayor of Johannesburg.

“The residents of our city called out for change that would once again get Johannesburg working again. It is a mandate we dare not fail to deliver on.

“It is important to note that no single party holds a majority in the Johannesburg City Council.

“The people have chosen a diverse group of parties to lead them. The new administration has partners and I thank them for their support. I especially thank the EFF for placing their trust in me to lead this city.

“Now is not the time for political squabbles. We face great challenges that no party can confront on its own. It is time for all of us to roll up our sleeves and get working.

“Because if Johannesburg works‚ South Africa works.

“But before we start I need to ask the people of Johannesburg for patience. The truth is that there are no short cuts.

“It is going to take time to correct the mismanagement and decay that has resulted in worsening service delivery.

“We need to start from basics and step by step build a city we can all be proud of.

“The DA has a positive vision and plan for this city.

“Our vision is centred around our promise to create jobs‚ deliver better services and eliminate corruption from this administration.

“No one can deny that the biggest challenge facing our city is the soaring unemployment confronting over 800 000 people.

“Job creation will be the number one priority of the new administration.

“We understand that the actual role of local government in job-creation‚ is to create an enabling environment for businesses to establish themselves‚ flourish‚ and thereby create permanent jobs.

“Small businesses will be my best friends. Small businesses create jobs and that is why small business development will be the focus of my term in office.

“I want Johannesburg to be a city that empowers young entrepreneurs so they are given every opportunity to succeed.

“A city that creates an environment where poor people are afforded the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty and make a success of themselves‚ as I did all those years ago.

“The days of requiring a political party’s membership card to get an EPWP job are over.

“One of our top priorities is to professionalise the public service by hiring the very best people to run a city that attracts investment and creates jobs.

“We will conduct a skills audit of the City of Joburg’s employees to ensure that all are properly qualified for the roles they are in.

“Residents have been plagued by a civil service that has offered lackluster and frankly‚ disgraceful service. Civil servants need to understand that they are there to serve the people of Johannesburg and not the other way around.

“None of us can rest while hundreds of thousands of families in Johannesburg suffer in abject poverty and without even the most basic of services.

“This administration will prioritise the upgrading of informal settlements and townships such as Zandspruit and Alexandra. We will work tirelessly to provide decent services and help lift people out of poverty.

“As of last night‚ corruption has been declared public enemy number one in the City of Johannesburg.

“We will conduct a full forensic audit of the City’s finances and administrative structures. This will include all tenders currently awarded.

“There was over R5-billion in unauthorised‚ irregular‚ fruitless and wasteful expenditure over the last administration’s term in office. This will simply not be tolerated under the new administration and any case of wrongdoing will be exposed and punished.

“It is time for all of us to put our political differences aside and work together with a shared vision for the improvement of the lives of our city’s residents‚ especially the poorest residents of our city.

“The future of our city and country depend on it.

“Because if Johannesburg works‚ South Africa works.

“Together we will bring change to the City of Johannesburg.

“Together we will bring change that creates jobs‚ delivers better services and fights corruption.

“Together we will make this a city of golden opportunities.”

TMG Digital

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