City residents are really fed up

2009-10-30 00:00

THE majority of recorded service delivery complaints with President Jacob Zuma’s hotline from KwaZulu-Natal municipalities are from Msunduzi Municipality, a provincial newspaper reported earlier this week.

According to the report, presidency spokesman, Vusi Mona, said that 58% of complaints regarding service delivery are from Msunduzi.

Mona said that the common complaints include a lack of water for household use, electricity, housing, social grants, construction, maintenance of roads and employment.

The council’s opposition parties say they are not surprised that more than half of the service delivery complaints in the province are from Msunduzi.

They attribute this to political infighting in the council.

However, Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo downplayed the claims, saying that the municipality has been praised in the Empowerdex study for spending all its government municipal infrastructure grant, and by members of the national council of provinces in their recent visit to the provincial legislature.

“It is not about the amount of phone calls being made [to the hotline], but about whether the issues phoned about are substantial,” said Hlatshwayo.

DA caucus leader in the council, Bill Lambert, said that there are so many things wrong in the municipality.

“The faction fighting in the ANC is bringing service delivery to a standstill. There are continuous outages due to aging infrastructure and now there is a battle over the Metro [status] in this sorry saga of a capital,” said Lambert.

IFP leader in the council, Dolo Zondi, said that as a ward councillor, he experiences the lack of prioritising service delivery by the council.

“Service delivery will remain a problem until the matter of [ANC] infighting is resolved,” Zondi said.

Council spokeswoman, Ntobeko Ngcobo, who handles complaints referred to the council by the Zuma Hotline, said that due to a small number of complaints received by the municipality from the hotline personnel so far, the council cannot confirm that the majority of complaints in the province are from Msunduzi residents.

Ngcobo confirmed that the complaints received have to do with basic services such as water, electricity and housing adding that the council has been effective in implementing these deliverables.

In a report tabled to the provincial finance committee last week outlining the council’s service delivery backlogs, the municipality stated that it has, as of June this year, a backlog of 10 461 on low-cost housing; 4 841 on electricity provisions; 1 029 on street lights and has 912 km of roads all to be cleared by 2014.

Other service delivery backlogs include 17 151 water connections to houses.

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