Cosatu, SACP vow bigger march

2011-11-23 00:00

THE Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) and SA Communist Party (SACP) in the city have vowed to hold a much bigger march to demand that the Msunduzi Municipality implement free basic electricity to households using prepaid cards.

The federation and the SACP were speaking during a march yesterday to hand over a memorandum to mayor Chris Ndlela, who was not available to accept the list of grievances.

Instead an Executive Committee, Eunice Majola was deployed to receive it on behalf of Ndlela.

But members of the PMB Electricity Action Group called for the mayor to answer why the municipality has not implemented 200kWh free basic electricity in line with the Msunduzi council’s own resolution.

They said they have given the mayor enough time to intervene on this matter, but he decided to neglect them.

It was unanimously agreed that only the mayor may receive the memorandum.

Faith Mofokeng, an elderly resident of the Crossing area near Imbali, who is a group member said, “We have applied for this service but the municipality is playing delaying tactics.

“We want the municipality to implement this to everyone who has applied because we have been waiting for a long time without getting answers from the municipality.”

Cosatu’s local secretary Zimasile Giyamu said, “Ndlela and Majola are coming from the ranks of the federation and they were not deployed in council to be swallowed by the ranks of those who refuse to uplift the standard of the poor, nor to eat sushi.”

He said Cosatu will mobilise more of their members to support the group in their fight, adding, “Langalibalele Street will be painted red when we come back to hand over the memorandum. We know that the money for free basic electricity has been given to the municipality by the national government.”

Head of research for the local SACP, Sandile Zondi, said, “About 80% of the beneficiaries of the indigent policy are Indians in this municipality but our African poor people are not getting it. This is not racial but this is the reality of Msunduzi.”

He said it is unacceptable that they still have to march before they can get their own black government to respond to the needs of the poor “because even during the days of apartheid this is the same strategy they used”.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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