Your city needs YOU

2010-05-14 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG businesses and residents alike have been asked to roll up their sleeves and help revive the embattled Msunduzi Municipality.

The call was made by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize during the official launch of the “Friends of our City” initiative, held at the city hall yesterday.

The initiative aims to promote good governance in the municipality, enhance service delivery and promote development in a campaign to make Pietermaritzburg a prosperous capital city.

The provincial government initiative, the first of its kind in the province, is headed by Mkhize and the MECs for Co-operative Governance and Finance, Nomusa Dube and Ina Cronje.

It is undertaken in partnership with the municipality and aims to get commitments from businesses and the religious, sporting, traditional, media and academic communities to put the city back on its feet, making it a model of private-public partnership for growth and development in South Africa.

Mkhize said that while the task team is continuing with its internal investigations, it is important for residents to help guide the city and contribute to rebuilding it. He encouraged residents to make comments about how service delivery should be undertaken.

He said the provincial government believes an intervention was needed given the negative developments in the municipality.

The premier acknowledged the municipality’s wrongdoings and apologised to all residents for this.

He said that as the provincial leader of government and the ANC, he had to intervene and bring in an administrator.

“As the provincial government, we want to clean this city, clean the administration and the systems within the municipality. But most importantly, we want to see all city role players rallying behind the city management and the provincial government to help not only to turn around things within the municipality, but also to ensure development and growth of this city.”

Mkhize reiterated the call he made when he asked the senior managers to resign last month, saying the unprecedented appeal was for the responsible officials to fall on their swords.

Although no formal charges have been laid against the managers, said Mkhize, there needs to be a sense of justice. “We could not allow a disregard of good governance to degenerate the city into a state of anarchy.”

He said the interventions have been received well, and rates payments have increased.

Mayor Mike Tarr committed the municipality to fighting fraud and corruption in the council.

“From now on, this city will be no place for corrupt people. They must go. We further want to ensure effective and efficient governance.”

MEC Dube outlined the interventions made to get the municipality back on track.

“This is the city for our children. This is the city for our future and the place where we live. Let us rally behind the new leadership of Msunduzi Municipality, who are working hard to turn around the situation for us all,” she said.

The city received prayers from various religious leaders. Those in attendance were asked to pledge their assistance to the city in skills and expertise.

The president of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, Tinus Havinga, said that as businesspeople they welcome the intervention and fully support the initiative.

“We will give the task team our full support … [The initiative] is a fresh approach and we think it is sustainable. We also urge our members to assist wherever they can.”

Chairperson of the Msunduzi Rates Forum, Babs Sithapersad, said ratepayers support the initiative. He said it is what they have wanted all along.

You can help by:

n Cutting verges

n Collecting rubbish and delivering it to the landfill site

n Dumping garden refuse in skips at designated sites, not outside

n If you have expertise, making an input on how to fix broken street lights and water leaks

n Paying your rates

n Not littering

Do you have any other ideas? Please let us know, and alert us when you take action to assist. Phone 033 355 1111, or e-mail us at newsed@witness.co.za

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