DA Gauteng candidate premier embarks on listening tour in Heidelberg

DA Gauteng candidate premier and executive mayor of Tshwane Local Municipality Solly Msimanga visited the Obed Nkosi and Nkandla settlements in Ratanda on November 1, where he engaged with residents to listen to their issues.

The tour started at Heidelberg Post Office where Msimanga engaged with several pensioners and social grant beneficiaries, and it ended with a door-to-door visit at the Obed Nkosi and Nkandla settlements in Ratanda.

 
Focused on taking service delivery to the communities, Msimanga said it is important to listen to members of the community, because their input is a necessary tool for the country to move forward.

 
When asked what he has learned from his engagement with residents from Heidelberg and Ratanda and how their complaints will be dealt with, Msimanga told HERAUT that whereas change will take time, he is fully committed to helping the people.

 

“What we as the Democratic Alliance (DA) have learned throughout the listening tour this year, is that many areas suffer the exact same fate and that local municipalities are doing very little to alleviate their plight to better service delivery,” Msimanga said.

 
He added that the DA in Gauteng intends to produce a manifesto based on what they have heard and experienced with the listening tour.

 
“We will be guided by the people and we will address their needs. People are constantly raising issues such as crime, the lack of service delivery, corruption within local municipalities, beneficiaries not receiving their houses where they have a legal document to prove that they have been allocated a house and also poor workmanship when it comes to RDP houses that were built – these are some of the issues that urgently need to be resolved,” Msimanga explained.

 
HERAUT also asked the candidate Premier when his plan to rectify and resolve the issues that were raised, will be implemented. He confirmed that most of the issues will be addressed over a period of time.

 

“When I took over as mayor of Tshwane in 2016, we picked up that there is this juncture or disconnect between what we are doing as a municipality and what province is doing and I am of the opinion that there should be a better communication between the two.”

 
He also referred to national grant funding which is paid by government to local municipalities and said wasteful expenditure and mismanagement of funds are two of the greatest sins committed by incompetent or corrupt municipal officials.

 
“In many instances we discovered half built houses, half built roads and half built storm water drainage systems, while the contractors were paid in full. Nobody really seems to be taking responsibility for it and this has to change.”

 
On the topics of crime and unemployment, Msimanga said the DA continuously strive to move the economy of Gauteng forward again so that more people can find jobs and live productive lives.

 
After his visit, Msimanga left Heidelberg to return to his office where he hopes to set into motion a plan of action to address most of the issues that were raised during his listening tour.

 

Zelda Fritz was pleased to meet the DA Gauteng candidate Premier during his visit to Heidelberg on November 1 and highlighted a number of service delivery issues, especially within Kaydale and Jamespark.

 

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Heidelberg Nigel Heraut

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