Clean audit for Richmond, but demos want mayor out

2012-02-06 00:00

RICHMOND is expecting a clean audit award today, two days after a service delivery protest.

“It is not coincidental that in the week that we received a clean audit award people would protest rather than celebrate our achieving a unique milestone,” Mayor Andrew Ragavaloo said on Friday.

Protestors led by Nhlakanipho Sithole called for Ragavaloo to stand down.

They told him the second phase of an RDP housing scheme, promised to them five years ago, needed to be built.

Sithole said people were also concerned about the state of street lights, pavements, roads and all infrastructural services that they had voted for.

Ragavaloo said his office would arrange a meeting to discuss the issues and grievances.

He agreed that service delivery “has been slow since 1994” as funding was always an issue.

“We are satisfied that national government’s equitable share has adequately addressed development of projects in Richmond and the different departments are making funds available,” he said.

Ragavaloo added that the municipality had built over 4 000 houses since 1996 and addressed the ongoing problems of electricity, water and roads.

“Councillors and officials have met the community to report on the progress of projects that are being implemented.

“We presently have a programme to meet all ward communities to discuss integrated development programme projects for the new financial year,” said Ragavaloo.

The Auditor-General, Terence Nombembe, is scheduled to visit Richmond today to hand over a clean audit award. “It is obvious that there are elements bent on destabilising Richmond,” Ragavaloo said, and it was “disconcerting” to hear an announcment that the town would be destabilised.

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