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DA on a mission to ‘rescue’ KZN by replicating uMngeni approach – Steenhuisen

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DA on a mission to ‘rescue’ KZN by replicating uMngeni approach – Steenhuisen

DA leader John Steenhuisen
Photo by Creamer Media
DA leader John Steenhuisen

3rd November 2023

By: Thabi Shomolekae
Creamer Media Senior Research Assistant and Reporter

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Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen is confident that the “remarkable” turnaround happening in KwaZulu-Natal’s (KZN’s) uMngeni municipality could be replicated province-wide, if KZN voters install a Multi-Party Charter government in 2024.

Steenhuisen wrote in his weekly letter on Friday that having borne the brunt of the African National Congress’s “failure” during the July riots of 2021, KZN looks set to “rise from the ashes” next year.

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He highlighted that uMngeni municipality has quickly become a shining beacon of hope and success in this “deeply troubled province”.

“Its trajectory of progress began when the people of uMngeni elected KZN’s very first DA mayor in 2021 by a margin of just 46 votes, showing Springbok-style, that every point counts. uMngeni’s success is not due to one person or factor, but rather to consistent effort and commitment by a well-led group of diverse South Africans working together for the greater good,” he said.

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uMngeni Mayor Chris Pappas is the DA’s Premier candidate for KZN.

”Our ‘1+1=WIN’ campaign is targeted at getting every single DA supporter to play their part, by persuading and assisting one unregistered person they know, to register and vote DA,” Steenhuisen said.

He highlighted the service delivery pact signed by the DA and Inkatha Freedom Party earlier this year, and said the parties are the two largest in the Multi-Party Charter that has united eight political parties around a common vision and set of priorities for rescuing South Africa.

Steenhuisen explained that on taking office, uMngeni’s youthful team, led by Pappas and DA Deputy Mayor Sandile Mnikathi, rolled up their sleeves and got down to work cleaning up the streets, fixing infrastructure, and igniting the economy of the Midlands municipality.

In just two years, all uMngeni’s inherited debt had been paid off and it achieved an unqualified audit for 2022/23, by modernising the systems of the municipality to improve efficiency and limit corruption, he explained.

Steenhuisen added that this financial health had enabled the party to purchase R35-million worth of heavy equipment to fix roads and manage waste, and to triple the budget for road repairs from R11-million to R30-million.

To make communities safer, the DA opened a traffic office and vehicle pound, and purchased 6 new law enforcement vehicles.

“They understand keenly that this is the consistent, concerted action required to build people’s confidence in the future, which in turn spurs the investment and job creation needed to grow dignity and improve lives,” said Steenhuisen.

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