Good and bad

2009-04-02 00:00

The Msunduzi Council has approved a draft budget which is likely to please residents and businesses alike. There are inevitable increases, the biggest being the electricity tariff but this is dictated by Eskom. Eskom’s increase of 25% nationally is to be softened by the municipality’s decision to absorb part of the cost: three percent for residents and five percents for industry. Here is an attempt to cushion the effects of the current downturn in the economy as a whole.

Water is to cost five percent more, while sewage and refuse removal will go up by seven percent, both below the current inflation rate. There has been a certain amount of alarm about the implementation of the new Property Rates Act. The details are not yet available because objections to the latest property valuations are still being processed, but it has been agreed to put a ceiling of R400 million on the rates yield, this being only a 7,5% increase on the previous year.

The budget has been put before the public for comment on the eve of the April 22 general election. It can therefore be justifiably described as an election-friendly budget. Nevertheless, credit should be given for the realism and common sense it contains in difficult economic times.

Into this welcome setting of good governance comes the unsettling news of yet another “blue light” convoy incident on the N3, this time involving bodyguards of the Msunduzi mayor, Zanele Hlatswayo. A motorist who dutifully changed lanes when she was free to do so in heavy traffic was forcibly stopped and subjected to verbal abuse and being spat in the eye by one of the bodyguards. The woman concerned has been put on to antiretrovirals, at her doctor’s advice, as a result of this incident.

It is high time that this swaggering abuse of power be brought to an end by those, including the mayor of Msunduzi, who have the authority to insist on it. The municipality’s draft budget shows a commendable respect for people and their dignity in testing times. Intemperate bullying by VIP bodyguards shows none.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Africa
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.