Cilliers Brink MP, DA Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi
Cilliers Brink MP, DA Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi

DA questions KZN’s proposed 'smart' city

By Sinenhlanhla Zungu Time of article published Sep 28, 2021

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DURBAN - The Democratic Alliance has slammed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new ‘smart’ city proposal that will be situated on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.

The president reportedly outlined in Parliament that the party was considering constructing a new smart city in line with upgrading the lives of people in the province.

Ramaphosa said his idea of a smart city was fuelled by a conversation he had with several people, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, local government Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor and ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte.

"We have not built a new city in 25 years of democracy. Seventy percent of South Africans are going to be living in urban areas by 2030. The cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town and eThekwini are running out of space to accommodate all those who throng to the cities,” Ramaphosa said.

The construction of smart cities, such as ‘Lanseria Smart City’, the first new city to be built in a democratic South Africa, is beginning to take shape.

The draft master plan for this smart city – which will become home to between 350 000 to 500 000 people within the next decade – was completed in November 2020 and is out for public comment.

“The ANC proposal for the construction of a new “smart city” on the KZN South Coast shows that the party is not serious about fixing South Africa’s dysfunctional municipalities. The country does not need a new city. We need investment in service infrastructure in our existing towns and cities, where real people with real-life problems currently live,” said Cilliers Brink MP, DA Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Brink continued by stating that the proposal originated in Parliamentary speeches that were made by the president, which was worse than a flight of fancy and a mere deviation from the unpleasant reality of failed communities governed by the ANC.

According to Brink, a remarkable number of communities whose finances are mismanaged have electricity malfunctions with no reliable water supply and faulty sewage systems, are under the ANC administration.

“ANC cadre deployment, BEE procurement and outright corruption have broken hundreds of municipalities across the country, rolling back the frontiers of development.”

“The essence of the ANC’s proposal seems to be: if we break towns and cities, we’ll just build new ones, similar to the ANC strategy of renaming towns and streets where it has failed to get things done.”

Brink suggested that if the ANC should consider being part of the solution to the water crisis in the Ugu Local Municipality on the KZN south coast.

Daily News

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