by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Provincial Leader
Date: 07 June 2018
The DA will report Sol Plaatje Municipality’s shortchanging of the Kimberley sewerage system to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), calling for an urgent intervention to prevent a situation whereby the city becomes engulfed in effluence.
This comes amidst City Mayor, Mangaliso Matika’s, ongoing endeavors to play politics with municipal funding intended for infrastructure development across the city.
Matika has seen to it that not a single cent of the R23 million Municipal Infrastructure Grant will be allocated to any area in Kimberley that falls in the CBD and DA wards. This is because Matika only cares about wooing the ANC’s traditional voter base in Galeshewe, ahead of next year’s election.
This is disturbing, but not surprising, given that Matika previously declared that you have to be a member of the ANC in order to receive good municipal services. Similarly, he has ordered municipal officials not to provide services in DA wards.
As a person who was raised in Galeshewe, I am glad for the ongoing development in Galeshewe. Galeshewe alone, however, cannot receive investment at the expense of the rest of the city because of purely political reasons. Ratepayers live in all areas of Kimberley, and all the people living within Sol Plaatje, regardless of their political affiliation, should receive fair and equal treatment.
Matika’s biased approach to service delivery is undemocratic and unacceptable. It is also increasingly proving to be a threat to economic growth in the city.
On the one hand, council has allowed rapid densification of the city, including initiatives such as the establishment of Sol Plaatje University, new hospital developments and more. At the same time, however, due to political influence, no care has been taken to ensure that the sewerage infrastructure is upgraded to handle the growth.
This is a time bomb waiting to explode and it is already resulting in increased sewage spills across the city, already affecting Greenpoint, Minerva Gardens, Monument Heights and Royldene.
To date, absolutely no plans exists to deal with this burgeoning sewage crisis. Not even a cost analysis has been conducted to upgrade the city’s sewerage infrastructure. Instead, the municipality is dealing with each sewage leak on an ad hoc basis.
This is highly unsustainable and is threatening to spill over into a full blown crisis if not urgently addressed.
I wonder what Matika will do when sewage starts spilling up from his shower drain, as it has already done in other areas, in his municipal funded house in Henry Schmidt Street, in the suburb of Labram?
Matika’s ANC is singlehandedly digging another hole for Kimberley – hopefully it will be big enough for the sewage overflow that is gearing up to engulf this city.
Only Change under a DA-led government, that has the foresight to plan ahead and prioritize critical infrastructure above politicking, will bring back the long lost sparkle to Kimberley.