14 October 2012
OPEN LETTER TO PREMIER HELEN ZILLE, MEC ANTON BREDELL AND MAYOR NICHOLAS MYBURGH
Dear Premier, MEC and Mayor (Swellendam),
It is with anger that we have just heard the admission from MEC Bredell that the Swellendam Municipality has been subject to a hostile take-over. We have constantly warned that your inaction would have the effect of throwing us to the wolves. We cannot believe that after all our pleadings and exhortations you have allowed this to happen.
We have suffered the paralysis of our Council since the 2011 elections (and before) while you in authority have ignored our pleadings with complete indifference. The contracts of several competent managers have been allowed to lapse, causing them to accept work elsewhere and opening the way for less than competent appointees to take their place.
We have been warning all of you that this was a situation which could only deteriorate further unless drastic action was taken by you. If any action has been taken, as was sometimes claimed, it proceeded at the pace which would shame a snail. You have constantly underestimated your opponents and WE are now left to face YOUR music.
Our pleadings were met by indifference, the Premier referring us to the MEC, the MEC instructing a minion to write some anodyne meaningless words in the hope that we, and the problem, would just go away, as the Mayor just wrung his hands helplessly blaming everybody else. Now, it must be obvious, even to you, that the problems will not go away. If governance in a small municipality can be allowed to deteriorate to such an extent what can we expect on a Provincial and National level?
It has constantly appeared to us that the attitudes of the dinosaur have been employed to administer a modern municipality. Swellendam may be the third oldest town in the Cape, but you have to realise that we are now in the 21st Century.
This is the time for drastic action, and heads should roll, particularly that of the MEC and the Mayor.
Chairperson, Barrydale Rate Payers Association
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