DA has answers to Emalahleni’s problems, says Zille

2011-04-23 17:11

The Democratic Alliance will turn service-deprived Emalahleni into the best-governed municipality in Mpumalanga within five years if it wins power in the May 18 local government elections, party leader Helen Zille said today.

“Here in Emalahleni only two-thirds of people have access to basic services,” Zille said at a public meeting in Witbank.

“Power failures happen because the infrastructure is not maintained. Some people have to go without water even though the rainfall here is one of the highest in the country because water pumps and dams are neglected.

“If we were given the chance we would turn things around in this municipality by applying our simple formula. Within five years this could be the best-governed municipality in Mpumalanga.”

Zille said the formula included appointing “the right people in the right places”, opening up government processes to get rid of corruption and stopping wasteful expenditure on items such as “luxury cars for mayors”.

“Wasteful expenditure on items such as luxury cars for mayors are not a priority and could be cut as they don’t benefit the people,” she said.

Financial management systems also had to be improved to ensure that revenue was collected and debt reduced while the development and maintenance of bulk infrastructure such as power stations, sewerage plants and water pipes had to be prioritised.

“When these are neglected the taps run dry, sewage spills into the streets and the lights go out and businesses move elsewhere, taking jobs with them,” Zille said.

The government should focus on improving the conditions of the poor, starting with basic services.
“Some people in government think that fighting poverty is about coming up with complex policies with important-sounding names and acronyms like RDP, Gear, Asgisa, Jipsa and the New Growth Path,” she said.

“They don’t understand that half the battle is simply getting the basics of government right. If they (the government) spent more time focusing on the basics and less time coming up with grand new schemes we could win the war against poverty.”

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