If I were mayor ...

If I become mayor, I will keep my eyes focused on the prize of turning Cape Town into Africa’s leading city. Our vision is a city that is safe, clean, efficient, economically growing and sustainable.

In order to get that right, there is a list of things I would take care not to do.

I will not undertake political purges or revenge firings.
Those officials who are doing their jobs well, earning their salaries, going beyond the call of duty when required, and implementing our policy, will be secure in their jobs.

I will not conduct meetings in secret and then try to hide important decisions from the ratepayers.

I will not reinvent the wheel. Good plans currently in progress will continue.

I will not use race as the key criterion for decision-making and resource allocation. There will be objective criteria: for filling posts, for allocating houses, and for all other important decisions.

I will not spend ratepayers’ money on parties, banquets, rock concerts and other celebrations at every available opportunity—and then abuse these occasions for party political propaganda.

And these are some of the things I will do:

I will put sound management, service delivery, economic growth and job creation, a fair housing allocation policy and strategic infrastructure development (particularly public transport) ahead of all other priorities.

I will introduce rigorous performance appraisal systems, starting with DA councillors.

I will institute a forensic audit of all tenders awarded during the past three years, and of other decisions with financial implications taken in secret by the African National Congress.

I will ensure that new appointments are made to posts that are needed for service delivery, are properly advertised, and filled by suitably qualified applicants.

I will cut red tape wherever possible, ensuring that the city serves the citizens’ needs, not its own bureaucratic rules.

I will ensure that people are able to do the jobs they were employed for, without requiring executive advisers and consultants to do their jobs for them.

I will cut the unnecessary “public relations” bureaucracy and turn it into a service delivery function.

I will work constructively with the provincial administration to ensure the alignment of our efforts to make Cape Town Africa’s leading city.

I will work to upgrade the municipal police force, focus their efforts on crime prevention and by-law enforcement, and align their efforts with the South African Police Service.

My party and I will implement a fair policy to provide free basic services and support to the indigent.

I will ensure that HIV/Aids programmes continue, with a particular emphasis on prevention.

I will turn the plans for addressing the situation of street people into action.

I will ensure that the city does everything possible to make the 2010 Soccer World Cup a spectacular success that has lasting benefits for the city, particularly in improved public transport infrastructure and world-class facilities.

I will pay attention to employment equity, emphasising training and opportunities for people of colour, women and the disabled to gain the experience they need to move up through the ranks and compete on merit for top posts.

I will listen to what our service delivery staff (nurses, fire-fighters and police officers) are saying, with a view to supporting them and improving the service they are able to deliver.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means. I have a lot to learn, and have convened a team of experienced councillors to undertake a “100-day” delivery plan.

I will also use this period to take a crash course on the state of the city. Once I have got to the heart of an accurate diagnosis of our core problems, we can begin implementing targeted plans that offer solutions.