Former Cape Town mayor Dan Plato is back in charge and very clear about the way forward for Cape Town.
“No more nonsense! A transparent honest government, an end to corruption, and speedy service delivery,” he said as he listed his priorities during an exclusive interview with TygerBurger on Friday as he settled into the mayoral offices at the Civic Centre.
“I am ready to roll up my sleeves, get to work and see to it that high standards of service delivery be restored to the City” he said.
Plato, who handed over the reins to Patricia de Lille in 2011 to become MEC for safety and security in the province, returned to office last week to take control of an embattled administration.
“Being mayor again is a tremendous honour for me and I am humbled to once again serve the people of Cape Town,” he said.
He was sworn in as a City councillor on Thursday and inaugurated as mayor yesterday, 6 November.
Plato is well aware of the fact that much damage control needs to be done after the DA/De Lille saga, and that he is fully committed to doing his best to win back the trust of Capetonians.
“The demands are high, but this administration will be a clean government and I will focus on effective service delivery. Residents deserve that. The City streets will be clean again, grass will be cut, refuse collected on time, and clean drinking water available for all,” he said.
He added that the City cannot ignore the countless complaints received from residents in recent times. Most worrying, he said, are the terrible traffic jams on our roads and the too high water tariffs.
“I am aware or these issues and am working on it. I have already had two meetings with officials from the various departments.” Traffic relief could be centred around changes in planning policies.
“Whatever changes we bring about in our planning policies, they have to be to the benefit of residents,” he said.
During discussions with deputy mayor Ian Neilson and Mayco member Zanthea Limberg, Plato looked at ways in which to reduce the high water tariffs. “Residents need relief, and I hope the outcome of these discussions will be positive,” he said.
“But it remains imperative that everybody continue to save water. Water levels are variable and a long hot summer still awaits us.”
Another matter that Plato is looking into is the countless complaints received from residents about erroneous water meters.
“We are handling it and will divulge more information later on,” he said.
But for now, his most challenging issue is to bring an end to the infighting in the DA caucus that nearly crippled the City.
“We are 95% there. I have had several meetings with the two factions and my message to them was clear: Stop this nonsense! We have to unify. We are not here for ourselves, but for the residents of Cape Town,” he said.
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