Report to the Public Protector and President Mbeki

December 2, 2005

The Chief Whip of the IFP, Mr JH van der Merwe MP, has today reported the executive mayor of Pretoria to both the Public Protector and President Mbeki for what he calls "yet a further example of scandalous service delivery".

Mr Van der Merwe said he was approached as an MP by an architect who had submitted building plans for approval to the Pretoria Municipality but after waiting for almost two and a half years, and despite more than twenty phone calls and personal attendances by the architect and his staff to have the plans finalised, the plans have as yet not been approved; the architect was refused insight into the file of one of the submitted plans and the architect was told that he should communicate in English, while the architect preferred Afrikaans.

Van der Merwe said: "I wrote to the Executive Mayor on 20 September 2005 asking him to reply to the complaints of the architect that he was told to communicate in English, and, secondly, what progress has been made with the approval of the submitted building plans. I had to wait a month before I received a reply in English from the mayor's office, merely promising a 'speedy response'."

Van der Merwe said when no response was received after waiting a further week, he wrote to the mayor again on 26 October 2005, complaining that a communication was forwarded to him in English and that he has received no report on the approval of the building plans.

"I told the mayor that should he not respond to me within two weeks, explaining why there is no report on the approval of the building plans, and why communication is only in English, I would report the mayor to both the Public Protector and President Mbeki."

Van der Merwe says he did not even receive an acknowledgement of receipt from the mayor of this letter.

Van der Merwe added: "After the architect had unsuccessfully tried for almost two and a half years to have his building plans approved; and after I had tried in vain for two and a half months to get one word out of the mayor, I felt in duty bound as a Member of Parliament and a citizen of this land to expose this scandalous service delivery and bring it to the attention of the Public Protector, President Mbeki and the public."

For further information contact:
JH van der Merwe MP
Chief Whip of the IFP: 082 444-4944