Standerton is a mirror to corruption

2009-10-03 12:46

THE unrest in Sakhile, near Standerton in Mpumalanga, mirrors a long-standing problem in the running of our ­municipalities: corruption.

Residents took to the streets, sparked by a lack of action against several Lekwa municipal officials implicated by a ­forensic probe into the finances of the municipality.

Corruption must be dealt with immediately to avoid citizens taking the law into their own hands. Behind most major protests lies small town corruption where the tender system has ­become synonymous with ­riches for some and ongoing grinding poverty for the majority. Sakhile protesters say corruption is rife and that officials are getting away with it.

They are. As do many corrupt councillors focused on their bank accounts rather than housing, water and sanitation.

Rubber bullets have flown, and 138 people arrested since the protects began on Sunday.

While not condoning violence, government would do well to take a close look at all protesting towns and recognise the cancer of corruption that is impacting on the ability to fight poverty.

Grand corruption at a national scale hurts our reputation. But small town corruption hurts our people. It’s time to get serious.


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