DA rejects a political solution to criminality in Tshwane

Issued by Cllr Kwena Moloto – DA Tshwane Caucus Spokesperson
17 Sep 2023 in Press Statements

Note to editors: Please find a soundclip by Cllr Kwena Moloto here

The DA Tshwane Caucus rejects any calls for a “political solution” to address the ongoing illegal strikes that have plagued our capital city. The violence, chaos, and destructive nature of these strikes reinforce what we have been emphasising for weeks – this is not a labour dispute; it’s organised criminality. Tshwane is at war, not against workers, but against criminals and special interest groups.

This week, the situation escalated with the alarming incident of four municipal vehicles being set on fire. This followed our previous action when the DA filed criminal charges against members of SAMWU due to their involvement in a telegram group that was inciting violence. Additionally, weeks ago, the City of Tshwane submitted compelling evidence linking SAMWU members to the ongoing strikes.

This surge of criminality does not require political mediation; it demands the immediate intervention of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to apprehend those individuals committing illegal acts within our city. Numerous trucks have been torched, and one employee has suffered gunshot wounds. We question what more must occur before SAPS steps in?

The situation is further exacerbated by the ANC and EFF, who are attempting to exploit this situation as a pretext for the provincial government to take control of our city. We strongly believe that, instead, the Provincial Government should promptly collaborate with SAPS and local government to put an end to this criminal activity.

Today, the City has officially contacted the Minister of Police and the MEC of COGTA, seeking assistance in defending our city against organized criminal activity.

The stark reality is that Tshwane cannot afford to back down. Adding an extra 600 million to the wage bill, when the city’s budget is already underfunded by R3 billion, would force us to cut critical services to our residents and halt essential infrastructure projects. This is an option we simply cannot and will not entertain.

The entire country is watching Tshwane closely. With national union strikes looming due to the National Treasury’s announcement of a government spending freeze, the capital city must demonstrate that government can effectively confront violence and intimidation. If we falter, South Africa will follow suit.