Baijoo ‘is a spin doctor’

2014-03-07 00:00

THE article by Babu Baijoo on March 4 demands a response, in particular to the misperception he creates. Just as Jacob Zuma has Mac Maharaj as his “spin doctor”, the Msunduzi Municipality has Baijoo.

Regarding the ANC-hosted drag-racing event, the electorate is not fooled by Baijoo claiming that the ANC is trying to “promote social cohesion” or “give the sector the opportunity to move from the streets to a sustainable venue”.

Drag-racing enthusiasts made an application to the ANC-led municipality in 2006 for this very venture. Eight years later, this being an election year, the motivation is obvious electioneering.

The DA is on record for having been supportive of a safe venue for racing enthusiasts and supporters, with traffic, fire and SAPS presence, and away from the suburbs where illegal racing currently takes place.

The ANC municipality should follow its innovative ideas to promote drag racing with equally innovative ideas for basic service-delivery issues, viz. providing housing, electricity, water and sanitation to all, fixing potholes, cutting verges, replacing non-functioning street lights and providing land for religious purposes and pre-school/crèches, which is our mandate.

Baijoo asks: “Where is the ANC in the northern suburbs?” and refers to “the communities that gave it (DA) a mandate to deliver over the past five years”. This must be corrected. Firstly, the DA has been in control of these three wards for the past three years, not five years, as he misleadingly stated. He further misleads by failing to mention that there are seven wards in the northern areas, viz. wards 28 (DA), 29 (ANC), 30 (DA), 31 (DA), 32 (ANC), 34 (ANC) and 35 (ANC). Of these seven, three have DA ward councillors and the remaining four have ANC councillors. Is this Baijoo’s acknowledgement, as the speaker, that the complaints to his office from those ANC wards in the northern areas, that the ANC was not present in its own respective wards, are true?

More importantly, the ANC started its campaign the night the results were announced in 2011 and it has punished the northern areas for supporting the DA with poor service delivery, irregular rates valuations and tariffs, interference and undermining by ANC councillors in these DA wards, and a restriction of funding for the Easter Soccer Tournament and Diwali.

He further creates the misperception that the failed service delivery in the northern areas is the fault of the DA, while failing to recognise that this is an ANC-led municipality.

It is the DA that objected to the R1,2 billion Duzi Wired venture, the Panzascore Parking tender, the R5 million 175th year celebrations, the nepotistic employment of ANC Exco councillors’ daughters, the R90 000 Big Fish Concert and R900 000 Ukhozi FM Festival.

It was the DA that proposed that the automatic indigent rate be increased from R150 000 to R200 000, while the ANC voted for a reduction to the current R100 000. The DA also voted for a seven percent increase in the basic charges when the ANC voted for a 900% increase, which had a crippling effect on the small-business sector. It is the ANC’s deployment of cadres to be incompetent senior officials (as mentioned by the Auditor-General in the qualified report), that is at the core of the failure of service delivery, not only to the northern areas, but the entire city.

Regarding the parliamentary constituency offices, Baijoo omits to inform the public that while pre-schools, crèches, day-care centres and religious organisations are in dire need of affordable premises, the ANC occupies council premises at a paltry R1 920 per month.

If the DA had the right to use the rates base and tariff revenue of the wards it controls, it would have outsourced and ensured that they were free of the service-delivery failures they experience.

• Mergan K. Chetty is an Exco councillor and DA Budget spokesperson

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