Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie has worked hard to prove his doubters wrong. The first-time mayor of the Central Karoo District Municipality reached his 100 days in office milestone with a long list of achievements.
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First-time mayor and former convict Gayton McKenzie reached his first milestone as mayor of the Central Karoo District Municipality on Friday, 22 July, which marked 100 days in office.
The Patriotic Alliance leader made a lot of promises when he first took up office and told residents that he would ramp up service delivery, create jobs and root out the many problems the Central Karoo District faces.
Mckenzie impressed many people by stating that he would achieve his goals without receiving a salary or making use of any perks that any sitting mayor is entitled to. Briefly News takes a look at McKenzie's journey to mayorship and all the things he has achieved so far.
How Gayton Mckenzie became mayor of the Central Karoo District Municipality
The Patriotic Alliance's performance in the local government elections in 2021 earned the party seats in various municipalities across South Africa, giving the political organisation the upper hand regarding coalition government negotiations.
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According to IOL, the Patriotic Alliance has seats in 15 municipalities. McKenzie stated during the 100-day celebration speech that he specifically asked to be deployed to the worst municipality the Patriotic Alliance had seats in and was directed to the Central Karoo District Municipality.
In April 2022, McKenzie was appointed as councillor of the Laingsburg Municipality and was later seconded to the district council. His appointment as councillor put him in the running to become mayor of Central Karoo District, reports News24.
McKenzie was later elected mayor during a council meeting following the resignation of Mitchell Smith, uncontested. McKenzie's success comes after he received backing from the African National Congress and the Karoo Democratic Force (KDF), which have become the party's coalition partners, according to the Daily Maverick.
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What promises did Gayton McKenzie make when he was appointed mayor?
Following his appointment as mayor of the Central Karoo District, McKenzie made bold promises that seemed a bit too ambitious for some people; however, for his supporters, McKenzie's promises were commendable.
McKenzie first promised that as mayor, he would be essentially working for free by forgoing a mayor's salary and forfeiting any mayoral perks, such as a mayoral car, petrol allowance and bodyguards. The Patriotic Alliance leader pledged his entire salary to fix the embattled municipality.
McKenzie stated the mayoral car would be sold, and the proceeds of the sale used to buy an ambulance for the community. He promised citizens that under his leadership, swimming pools will be fixed, jobs will be created, and service delivery will be improved, according to TimesLIVE.
The Patriotic Alliance leader explained that jobs will be created by opening businesses. He also added that the municipality will replace the backdated bucket toilet system that residents have been subjected to for decades.
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McKenzie also pledged that if he was unable to change the lives of the Central Karoo District in the first 100 days, he would resign as mayor.
What has Gayton McKenzie achieved in his first 100 days as mayor?
McKenzie was able to check off a lot of the promises he made to the Central Karoo District Municipality.
His 100-day celebration was marked with the reopening of the refurbished municipal swimming pools that had reportedly been closed down for a long time. He was able to create jobs by opening up a bakery, clothing factory, paint shop and other businesses.
McKenzie was able to achieve these major milestones through the help of investors and coalition partners, according to IOL. McKenzie also stated that the municipality was able to fix potholes.
Gayton McKenzie faces criticism
While some might be impressed with all the milestones the ex-convict-turned-politician has achieved, some say that it's all a facade.
ANC and South African Communist Party member Mawonga Furmen recently stated that McKenzie did not do much when it came to reopening and fixing the municipal swimming pools.
He explained that the swimming pools were closed down because they were facing a water shortage and added that McKenzie only repainted the pools and opened them for service again, according to IOL.
Furmen stated that McKenzie is only in the Central Karoo District because he wants to launch his presidential bid, which McKenzie announced at the end of his 100-day celebration speech.
A community member, Brian Jooste, stated that outsiders have an obscured view of what McKenzie has achieved. Jooste criticised the mayor, stating that he has not fixed any potholes and did not create enough jobs.
Jooste also accused McKenzie of wanting to be in the Central Karoo because he has a vested interest in fracking, which is reportedly a R200 billion business.
What are Gayton McKenzie's future plans for the Central Karoo?
McKenzie understands that his five-year tenure as mayor means that he needs to achieve more than what he has in the first 100 days.
McKenzie stated that a private hospital is currently in the works, thanks to the municipality selling land for R5 million. He added that he wants to end loadshedding in the area by investing in solar power.
The Patriotic Alliance leader also plans to build a logistics hub as well as a new suburb for investors who want to live in the area, according to the Daily Maverick. He also added that mining and fracking in the Central Karoo District are on the cards, which are contentious issues.
Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie hopes to turn the Central Karoo into a lavish city like Dubai
Briefly News previously reported that Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton Mckenzie is on a mission to become the best mayor the municipality of the Central Karoo has ever had. The former convict made a promise that the Central Karoo will become a lavish city like Dubai in the future.
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Taking to social media, McKenzie stated that his municipality will eradicate bucket toilets, fix potholes and create jobs for all South Africans living in the district.
The PA leader went on to say that the municipality will also begin an ambitious construction project that has never been seen before after dealing with basic service issues.
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Source: Briefly News