Basic service or fat-cats?

2016-02-17 06:00

WITH reference to your front page article: “Hope to avert blackout” (Express EFSZ 10/02):

Job Tsabalala’s attempts to talk away the problems facing the Dihlabeng Municipality are misleading. This mayoral committee member (MMC) failed to mention that the Dihlabeng Council adopted a payment plan with Eskom on 26 August 2014, which the municipality did not adhere too.

After Eskom had threatened to cut the municipality’s electricity during March 2015, the council adopted a new plan on 15 April 2015, which also was not adhered too.

In terms of that plan, the municipality should have paid the latest arrears amount by the end of November 2015.

Now the ANC-run municipality wants to come forward with a new plan, which it does not have the funds to adhere to.

While the MMC pleads with residents to pay municipal accounts, 43% of the ANC councillors of Dihlabeng are in arrears with their own municipal accounts. This include the mayor, the speaker and two of the MMCs. They should set the example to ratepayers. This is now the time to “pay back the money”!

Tsabalala mentions that the municipality needs R1 million per month to pay Eskom, which Dihlabeng cannot afford while the ANC spends money on non-service delivery expenditure, like blankets, shoes, food parcels, festivals, tents, sound equipment, transport, meals after council meetings and other entertainment. There is always money available for a party, but not enough money to pay the depts.

My question is: Do our taxpayers want to look at aeroplanes on an airshow, budgeted for R2 million or do they want electricity which they paid for? On the special council meeting, on 11 February, the DA proposed that the 6% increase for councillors be referred back for six months. The ANC voted for an immediate salary increase of 6% for councillors, back-dated from June 2015. Voters must decide in the municipal elections whether they want basic services of fat-cat politicians.

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