Prickly and painful truths

2014-03-07 00:00

MSUNDUZI Council speaker Babu Baijoo’s attempt to justify the acceleration of drag-racing facilities on the eve of elections is downright facetious (The Witness, March 4, 2014).

The public outcry is not about the council’s initiative but in relation to ANC electioneering in the northern areas.

The sudden pseudo concern is a far cry from the ANC’s indifference echoed by the infamous past municipal manager Rob Haswell in July 2008, when a 24-year-old man was killed in a drag-racing incident in Barnsley Road, Camps Drift. Baijoo’s response to the question “Where is the ANC in the northern areas?” is again rather lame.

The majority of the Indian community in the mentioned areas voted for the DA because of the known failings of the ANC. Mismanagement, exorbitant overtime claims and an inefficient mayor and municipal manager are all still fresh in the minds of responsible citizens.

And to suggest that the ANC kept away from the northern suburbs to allow the DA councillors to interact with the people who voted for it is another insult to the thinking capacity of many!

If anything, the ANC-led council deliberately frustrated the efforts of DA councillors. This became evident when the Concerned Swimming Fraternity (CSF) was shunned after it suggested that the DA’s Rodger Ashe investigate the collapse of the now dysfunctional Parks and Recreation Department. The ANC was angered and since then it has severed ties with the CSF.

Baijoo is fully aware of the surreptitious manner in which at least one ward committee was interfered with, with the primary objective of frustrating the efforts of a hard-working DA councillor.

While it may be true that service delivery from some DA councillors is far from satisfactory, one must not exclude the possibility of the ANC punishing the northern areas for ditching it at the ballot box.

Where are Baijoo and the other self-appointed Indian leaders when we are plagued by electricity theft, regular outages, and only one working cremator, to name just a few of our grievances?

Must the responsible citizen believe that the ANC was “allowing the DA to interact” with us?

This is a load of nonsense.

The DA, on the contrary, opposed extreme tariff increases and displayed sincere care for the indigent.

Meanwhile, Haswell, who disappeared into thin air after the near collapse of our city, ironically showed up at the Mahatma Gandhi march in Newcastle recently, rubbing shoulders with Baijoo and his ilk.

Mr Speaker, I attended a very questionable ANC meeting at which you were present when uMgungundlovu District Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee brazenly stated that “Indians are too used to entitlement”, after concern was expressed about Indians being marginalised by the ANC in government at all levels.

The Indian community has a proud history of working very hard to achieve success, much to the envy of many. Indian people are fed up and have cottoned on to the sudden appearance of the ANC in the name of “caring”.

They have realised that the ANC is inherently corrupt; municipalities, including Msunduzi, are failing to deliver essential services; and minorities are being prejudiced by the quota system.

A new level of anti-Indian sentiment is reached almost weekly and as a result of all of this, the Indian community in the main supports the DA, as was shown in the recent Phoenix by-election. Not even the ANC’s ally, the Minority Front, is worthy of mention.

As City Press journalist Carien du Plessis stated (March 2), exposing prickly and painful truths should never make one a party agent.

On the contrary, it should make one a responsible South African.

My responsibility towards good governance, effective service delivery and genuine care for the poverty stricken is beyond questioning.

Likewise, I will not sit back and allow politicians to pull the wool over the eyes of an already hard hit and suffering community.

• Jay Jugwanth is a retired educationist and community activist.


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