It's time to cut the Pat, new mayor Dan Plato tells councillors

Dan Plato was voted in as the new mayor of Cape Town on November 6, 2018.
Dan Plato was voted in as the new mayor of Cape Town on November 6, 2018.
Image: Esa Alexander

Five weeks into his job, Cape Town mayor Dan Plato announced on Thursday that he was setting about undoing part of predecessor Patricia de Lille’s legacy.

Addressing the year’s final council meeting, Plato said he was tabling a review of De Lille’s centrepiece organisational development and transformation plan.

It involved restructuring city council directorates "to ensure our commitment to redressing apartheid spatial design and to promoting transit-oriented development".

Plato said: "These are priority areas for this administration and I want to see results. There has been enough time for planning. I want to see implementation, and I know the officials are capable of delivering on this mandate."

Some old directorates had been unwieldy, he said, referring specifically to the transport and urban development authority previously run by De Lille loyalist Brett Herron.

"One just needs to look at the lack of delivery here to understand why we are splitting the portfolio," he said.

"Even the unions have shown their support for this restructuring, and the senior managers have breathed a sigh of relief as they will have more clarity and direction."

Plato aimed jibes at De Lille’s administration, accusing it of "delaying tactics" in giving the Bo-Kaap heritage protection and "lying to themselves" about a delayed social housing project in Salt River, which had now been given the go-ahead.

"I want to see the full housing budget used to build houses, and I call on all community organisations to assist us here and not block us from housing delivery. The more that you illegally occupy property, the less time we can spend on delivering houses," he said.

Plato said his tours of the city had made it clear there was work to do. "Potholes, blocked drains, uncut grass, leaking water management devices, and grime on our streets and sidewalks – these are just some of the basics that we need to get right," he said.

"Housing needs, street lighting in certain areas, congestion on our roads, a faltering rail service and crime – there is no point in sugar-coating this.

"I want to see these issues addressed, and with urgency, because we are going to continue having honest conversations about these challenges until they are resolved."


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