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Mpho Phalatse: Johannesburg mayor focuses on city dirt and crime

Mayor Mpho Phalatse knows exactly what she’s tackling first as the City of Gold’s new mayor. She DA stateswoman wants to Jozi cleaner and fully functional.

As confirmed last Monday, the Pretoria-born woman was elected to lead Johannesburg as mayor after the DA supported by the EFF and ActionSA.

Mpho Phalatse said she is concerned by the local residents’ daily uncertainty over basic service delivery.

“People in Johannesburg are never sure whether they’ll arrive home to find they have electricity and water, or whether there’ll be more potholes and sewage flowing along their streets,” said via News24.

“These are the things that make me want to work hard to restore a sense of normality and humanity in our people.

Mpho Phalatse included to state that Johannesburg’s basic littering issue simply stems from a lack of public dustbins.

“One of the things I realised when I moved to Johannesburg was that it’s dirty, especially in the inner city. But you can’t blame people for that because it’s not like Pretoria, where you don’t need to walk far along any street before you find a dustbin. I don’t see that in Johannesburg,” she says.

JOHANNESBURG’S INNER CITY ISSUES

The mayor believes that issues such as informal trading and littering would not be affecting the inner city if the required structure was in place.

“We’re going to provide supportive infrastructure for people to do the right thing. You can’t blame people for littering if you don’t provide them with dustbins,” Mpho Phalatse added.

She further revealed that she is aware of Noord Street Taxi Rank’s toilet bucket system.

“Apparently people own those buckets and make those who need to relieve themselves in them pay a lot of money for doing so. Those buckets are in plain sight of everyone, which is a disgrace. We can’t allow people to be stripped their dignity this way on a daily basis.”

In terms of criminal matters, she said her council is lining up a seamless collaboration between various law enforcement groups.

“We also want to [upgrade] surveillance to smart policing to ensure that CCTV cameras are linked to our intelligence operation centre. This will strengthen our capacity to respond to criminal acts quickly and effectively,” she added.

On the City’s power supply Mpho Phalatse said:

“We want Eskom to upgrade it first and then hand it over to us. We also don’t want to inherit the mountain of debt that Eskom’s accumulated over the years because it allowed a culture of nonpayment to grow.”

“We’ll establish a specialised unit to crack down on illegal connections of electricity. We’ve already gathered a lot of information on the ground as to who’s behind these criminal acts, and some of them are City Power contractors who’re connecting people illegally to the grid.

“With the help of our community, we’ll succeed because we want to incentivise those who come forward with the information, while also protecting their identities.

“We’ll also be investing heavily in water infrastructure, building reservoirs and replacing old pipes,” she says, adding that the city is currently losing about 44% of water because of leaks.”

ALSO READ: Who is Mpho Phalatse? Six things to know about the new Joburg Mayor