Metro wants to work together, says Brink after the pitfall argument

Henry

The incident earlier this week when members of the community who jumped in to repair a pothole themselves were stopped by the metro police, creates the impression that the Tshwane metro and its coalition partners do not want to cooperate with civil organisations.

However, according to Cilliers Brink, executive mayor of the Tshwane metro, the opposite is true and the metro is getting processes ready to be able to join hands with private companies and civil society “to do what we know the metro cannot do alone cannot do – at least not to the standard that should be the case, given our circumstances”.

This includes cutting grass, fixing potholes and a new initiative where private companies can “adopt” a traffic light by placing it on a private power line so that it works during load shedding and hopefully there are fewer traffic problems.

“We have to take all these initiatives to protect communities from the decline of the state and where we can build the state’s capacity through these types of partnerships, this is a positive thing.”

Members of the civil rights organization AfriForum were stopped on Monday and prevented from continuing to work in the capital on a pothole they were filling.

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According to Brink, the irony of the matter is that the Tshwane metro’s mayoral committee approved a cooperation agreement with AfriForum two weeks ago.

“The details of this agreement were carefully negotiated between the two parties, but before we could introduce it and communicate to our respective members and staff what this new set of arrangements are, this incident occurred and it now colors the whole relationship.”

Brink said, however, that he was already in contact with Kallie Kriel, head of AfriForum, about the matter. “I told Kallie that I am very positive about the potential of this collaboration agreement and that it will lead to a better understanding between city staff and members of AfriForum.”

According to Brink, the agreement requires that a few rules be followed, which include that if you want to fix a pothole, the metro must be notified and it must be made sure that the correct specifications are followed.

“However, these are the smaller details – they are not the main issue and they do not at all affect the positive mood that exists between the leadership of the city and the leaders of community organizations. I told Kallie that the next report was going to be about me and him fixing potholes and cutting grass and doing whatever – to release the positive attitude and the positive spirit that already exists in our communities for the benefit of the city as a whole.”