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Mashaba denies claims timing of inner-city project aimed at boosting DA campaign

With exactly two weeks before elections, Herman Mashaba’s announcement has put the spotlight on how party politics and campaigning affects service delivery in Gauteng.

Some of the plans and buildings set to be constructed in and around the City of Johannesburg. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has dismissed suggestions that the timing of the launch of the multibillion-rand Joburg rejuvenation project is aimed at boosting the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) election campaign.

Mashaba unveiled the project on Wednesday which will see 6,500 units built at a cost of R20 billion in the next six to eight months, mainly for students.

With exactly two weeks before elections, the mayor’s announcement has put the spotlight on how party politics and campaigning affects service delivery in a province split along municipal and provincial governments.

Mashaba said the timing of the inner-city rejuvenation project launch had nothing to do with campaigning for the DA.

Mashaba said that he shared his dream with Gauteng Premier David Makhura but that he shunned his plans.

“I said: 'Premier, you worked in this city even before it started collapsing. It collapsed in front of your eyes. It is possible we can rebuild it,' and he said 'you’ve got my hundred percent support'. Unfortunately, I’ve not seen it.”

The mayor said he also tried many times to convince Human Settlements MEC Uhuru Moiloa to turn abandoned properties in the province into low-cost housing.

“I even said to Moiloa: 'These buildings, I’ll call them Uhuru Moiloa buildings instead of building RDP houses 60km away'. Unfortunately, they’re not interested.”

It’s not clear why the Gauteng government didn't or couldn't partner with the city in a province where party lines seem to play a role in how services are delivered.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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