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Will Karoo be the next Dubai? Mayor Gayton McKenzie promises to turn municipality into a lavish city

22 June 2022 - 09:00
PA leader Gayton McKenzie has vowed to turn the Central Karoo district municipality into Dubai. File photo.
PA leader Gayton McKenzie has vowed to turn the Central Karoo district municipality into Dubai. File photo.
Image: SUPPLIED

It seems mayor Gayton McKenzie may have taken a chapter out of transport minister Fikile Mbalula’s Dubai vision, vowing to turn the Central Karoo district municipality into a luxurious city.

The Patriotic Alliance leader and mayor vowed to revamp living conditions in the municipality by eradicating the bucket system and fixing potholes, among other developments. 

“We will turn this place into Dubai. We are fixing the basics like bucket toilets, potholes and jobs for all. We will start an ambitious construction project like never seen before after my 100 day mark. Our people are cynical because of past heartaches by politicians.  I’m different,” said McKenzie.

McKenzie was elected unopposed in April and told residents his services would not cost them or the municipality. He pledged 100% of his salary towards fixing the municipality.

Earlier this week, among other things, he opened a protective clothing factory, a bakery, and a tar plant in the municipality.

He also refurbished a local swimming pool, which residents have complained they have been waiting years to have fixed.

“I have not used any finances from the municipality, not a single cent. I don’t intend to use any money until I have helped stabilise the finances of the whole district,” said McKenzie.

He said mayors should be salespeople of their respective areas.

“Show investors how much money they will make, give them incentives, stay within the law but remove the red tape and help to speed up applications. We are opening factories without it costing us a cent in Central Karoo,” he said. 

McKenzie said as mayor, he is not in competition with anyone and vowed to publish the names of workers in every factory for transparency. 

“I am not in competition with anyone. I'm merely trying to do the things I promised the people who were ridiculed when they took a leap of faith and voted for a guy who was once in jail. We will publish the names of workers in every factory for transparency.”

He hit back at criticism, saying:  “Some of you don’t even try to change the circumstances of the people who voted for you. Let me at least try. Park your hate. This is not the time. We are dealing with the futures of people. Even if I fail, at least I tried.”

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