The Democratic Alliance (DA) has uncovered a scheme in the City of Johannesburg where the Patriotic Alliance (PA) is abusing its slim hold on power by guaranteeing itself and certain alliance partners control over key City entities, including the Joburg Market, and the Joburg Property Company (JPC).
In 2019 the African National Congress (ANC) seized control of the City through an awkward alliance of single-councillor parties, who were promised lucrative positions of power when the former DA Mayor handed control over to the ANC through his resignation.
The PA, headed by former convicted gangster Gayton McKenzie, secured the Economic Development portfolio through this alliance, which has a combined budget of R1,2 billion for the 2020/21 financial year and includes:
- The Department of Economic Development;
- The Joburg Market which is South Africa’s largest fresh produce market and the City’s most profitable entity; and
- The Johannesburg Property Company which manages the City’s entire property portfolio of more than 30,000 properties.
The Joburg Market has already been captured through the appointment of Leanne Williams, McKenzie’s second in command in the party and its former councillor in the City of Johannesburg.
Williams then went straight from being an official in the political office of the MMC for Economic Development to the position of CEO of Joburg Market while the City was under lockdown.
It has now come to light that the PA is intent on offering control of the Johannesburg Property Company to another alliance partner, which also holds only 1 seat in Council, in order to maintain their position of political power.
This is an indication that there is more to the current CEO of the Joburg Property Company being placed on ‘special leave’ than just a routine investigation.
The DA will submit formal questions to the executive, to uncover further details of what appears to be blatant City of Joburg capture, and will report this matter to the Public Protector in order to obtain answers for the residents of Johannesburg.
The DA stands for clean, honest governance that puts our residents first and we will not allow such corruption to go unanswered.