Residents of Hilton keen to be part of an Msunduzi metro

2008-04-21 00:00

Hilton residents are throwing their support behind Msunduzi Municipality becoming a metro. A meeting of the Hilton Residents Association (HRA) last Wednesday night voted overwhelmingly for a submission to be sent to the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) in support of changing the status of Msunduzi and for the inclusion of the greater Hilton area into the metro.

HRA chairman Rick Busa said it would be in the interest of Hilton residents to be part of a metro. “There will be one local authority, and there will also be a larger block of ratepayers to share the rates burden.”

Last month, the MDB placed an advert in The Witness informing the public that they were investigating the re-determination of the status of three municipalities, namely Msunduzi, Mangaung (Bloemfontein) and Buffalo City (East London) and they invited submissions from organised bodies on the proposal.

Retired KZN MEC for Local Government and Finance Peter Miller, the guest speaker said that given the choice, his personal view was that residents had everything to gain by becoming part of a metro.

“The first thing I want to get rid of is the district municipality. It is a drain on the fiscus and on ratepayers. Changing to a metro has this one huge advantage.”

He said he believes that, in the long-term, district municipalities are in danger of being phased out. “I never really understood what they were created for in the first place.”

He added that in the advent of a metro, “uMngeni Municipality vanishes down the tubes”. He said he leaves this for residents to decide, but judging from what he has read, a lot of residents will not be unhappy at this prospect.

Miller pointed to the recent controversy surrounding the uMgungundlovu District Municipality, currently the subject of a Scorpions probe for corruption and money laundering and in which councillors have been charged for allegedly receiving kickbacks on a property deal. The municipality has also been under the scrutiny of a forensic audit that found its finances in shambles.

For a summary of the HRA submission in support of Msunduzi becoming a metro, go to

www.witness.co.za

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