by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
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Date: 03 October 2018
The Democratic Alliance in Sol Plaatje will use every avenue available to push for a special council meeting to be convened, following the postponement of today’s scheduled meeting by acting Speaker, Ben Springbok.
A meeting must be held for a new mayor to be elected, an overdue report on the section 106 investigation to be tabled and for crucial service delivery matters to be discussed.
It is unacceptable that municipal staff were today told to go home without due consideration for residents who will now have no access to municipal services, such as proof of address and payment of municipal accounts.
The DA will not tolerate delaying tactics by the acting Speaker, whose absence is nothing more than an attempt to delay dealing with the request for a special council meeting.
While the failing ANC concerns itself with factionalism which have led to a delay in the election of a mayor, service delivery in Sol Plaatje has collapsed.
Without a mayor, council cannot proceed with the process to implement a recovery plan which will address budget shortfalls. The failure to address budget shortfalls will continue to deprive residents of much-needed services. Certain provisions of the proposed recovery plan, such as cutting the budget for the maintenance of street lights by 50%, must be rescinded as they may lead to a crime spike.
In addition, with yet another round of repairs needed on the main line from Riverton, residents are again facing nightly water shutdowns and a total water shutdown at the end of the week.
The municipality has stated that it will not provide JoJo tanks for temporary relief. This decision will leave many residents high and dry, as some simply cannot afford to buy bottled water from shops and the nightly shutdowns will make it difficult to fill up enough containers ahead of Friday’s shutdown.
As access to water is so critical and the municipality has supplied JoJo tanks during the previous water shutdowns, one has to ask if this is perhaps one of the first indications that the municipality has simply begun to run out of money.
For this reason, we again call on the MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements & Traditional Affairs not to allow for any delays in the tabling of the report on the section 106 investigation. Bentley Vass should not play politics with these reports, as his predecessor was fond of doing, but should ensure that the report be tabled so that it can be discussed and remedial actions can begin to be implemented.
Ultimately, the ANC’s behaviour at this time shows that it is only change under a DA-led administration which can bring the change necessary to deliver municipal services to all residents and to install good, clean governance.