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16/11/2016: Mayor’s response to BDS statement
16 November 2016
I note with concern the statement released by BDS yesterday, “Johannesburg Mayor threatens Palestine agreement”.

BDS has used hearsay evidence from a news article and comments made by the ANC back in August to try and give credibility to the allegations in their statement.

At the same time, BDS has made no effort whatsoever to verify these comments with me or my office. This should go a long way showing the real intentions of BDS in releasing a sensationalist article.

I met with the Mayor of Ramallah, Mr Mousa Hadid and the Palestine Minister of Local Government, Dr Hussein Alaraj on 9 November 2016, as I have done with many other mayors and ambassadors from across the world.
 
This was a courtesy visit by Mayor Hadid and afforded me an opportunity to discuss my vision for the City of Johannesburg. The meeting was both cordial and respectful, there was no hostility from either of us.

During our meeting I also informed the Mayor of Ramallah, as I have done with all other Mayors I have met, that it is the early days of our new administration and our current focus is on the addressing the domestic challenges faced in our City.
 
It was indicated that we would turn our attention in a more focused manner to international relationships in the early part of 2017. 

My priority is finding solutions to the unemployment of over 800 000 residents; the plight of our residents living in 180 informal settlements, many of whom do not have access to even the most basic of services; the over R200 billion infrastructure backlog in our City; and deep rooted corruption in government which steals from the poor and hampers our ability to deliver service to our people.
 
My approach to our international relationships will be defined by who we can work with to achieve real solutions to our very real challenges. 

This is the responsible thing to do. We must be a responsive and caring government, catering for the urgent needs of our people at home instead of grandstanding on the international arena, trying to be internationally what we are not achieving for our residents at home. 

This is the change I promised the people of our City, and it is the change I am committed to achieving.

The Ramallah Mayor and his delegation were very understanding of this position, and we shared our common challenges in local government. 

BDS South Africa is being used by the ANC to drive a political agenda, using religion as a means to divide our communities for narrow political gain. The residents of the City must reject this kind of dangerous agenda.

Our new administration will work to unite our residents from all backgrounds on the basis of building a City we can all be proud to call home.

Cllr Herman Mashaba
Executive Mayor
City of Joburg 

For further information, please contact:

Gabu Tugwana
Spokesperson
Office of the Executive Mayor
City of Johannesburg
Tel: 011 407 7040, Cellular: 082 495 5673, Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Last Updated on 16 November 2016