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Former Tshwane mayor Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa has appealed to all political parties in the Tshwane council to ensure that the outcomes of the special meeting on Thursday will be in the best interest of the residents.

Mkhatshwa along with struggle veterans Tlou Cholo, Jerry Thibedi and Prince George Mahlangu, who are all Tshwane residents, held a briefing on Wednesday to express their concern over “deteriorating governance and leadership” in the capital city.

According to the elders, because there was no outright winner in the 2016 local government elections, a coalition government was formed which affected the municipality in a negative manner.

“Having observed the situation in other municipalities affected by coalition partnerships and voting arrangements, we as elders in Tshwane came together and decided to take immediate action,” Mkhatshwa said.

“The objective intent is an inclusive and constructive process of dialogue that would bring about lasting solutions to the governance and leadership problems.”

Mkhatshwa said they would be handing over a memorandum to the Tshwane council on Thursday, calling for stability and the normalisation of governance and leadership.

“Today’s [yesterday’s] press briefing is therefore an urgent appeal to all political parties and leaders represented in council to ensure that the outcome of tomorrow’s [today’s] engagement in council leads to good governance and is in the best interest of the people.”

The elders’ memorandum entails a list of concerns.

“At the top of the list is corruption within the city administration and across the political divide,” Mkhatshwa explained.

“The desire to loot public resources seems to be the main reason for political infighting among leaders and officials.”

The elders have called for the acceleration of investigations into corruption and say decisions and actions should be taken immediately to normalise the situation.

The stalwarts have also called for the immediate provision of basic services, including fixing the water crisis, fixing the sewage and drainage systems, fixing street and traffic lights, cutting grass, maintaining and securing public buildings, working with the security cluster to stop the hijacking of construction projects and the illegal occupation of land, maintaining roads, collecting waste and safeguarding the environment.

“We can no longer sit and wait. We will definitely take action to protect our hard-earned constitutional democracy and our capital city. We are non-partisan, we account to the Constitution of the republic.”

A special council meeting has been called for Thursday, where a number of motions of no confidence are on the agenda.

The ANC and EFF have tabled motions against the mayor, speaker, acting speaker and the chair of chairs.

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