by Melinda Hattingh – DA Constituency Head of Kalahari
Date: 15 September 2017
Type: Press Statement
The DA is outraged by Gamagara municipality’s delayed response in dealing with overflowing septic tanks in Deben that literally have the town smelling like dirty toilets.
For more than four weeks already, two “honeysucker” trucks that are meant to service the whole of Gamagara municipality have been non-operational and awaiting repairs. As a result, the tanks are visibly running over.
DA councillor, Henriette Du Plessis, questioned this critical matter at a council meeting as far back as 30 August 2017, where a commitment was subsequently made to have the situation resolved by 1 September. The plan was to use parts off both trucks to ensure that at least one of the trucks became fully operational again.
To date, however, there has been no progress. This is despite the DA actively pursuing the matter on a number of levels with the technician, the Acting Municipal Manager Moses Grond, and Mayor Edwin Hantise, on an almost daily basis.
All they have done though, in all of this time, is to send one truck, on one occasion, from Kuruman last week to empty a few tanks. Only a fraction of the septic tanks in the affected towns were attended to. Given the frequency at which septic tanks must be emptied, this intervention has also proved unsustainable.
It will cost each resident R2400 to have their septic tanks privately emptied. This is despite the fact that they still have to pay rates and taxes to Gamagara municipality for basic services.
When members of the public try to contact the Mayor to complain, they are told that he is in a meeting. Meanwhile, he is busy handing out wheelbarrows and food parcels only in a small section (one voting district) of this widespread ward ahead of next week’s by-election.
It is clear that the political leadership and management of Gamagara municipality is more intent on winning votes than they are about service delivery to the people of Gamagara. It is for this reason that the DA urges all voters to come out en masse on Wednesday to prevent the ANC from stumbling from one service delivery crisis to the next.
Where the DA governs, we have a good track record of improving service delivery. It’s high time the people of Gamagara lend their vote to the DA, so that we can increase our impact as opposition party in Gamagara and work towards flushing out the mismanagement of this ANC controlled municipality.