Can you cope, Mr Mayor?

2015-11-11 06:00


DEAR Maluti-a-Phofung executive mayor, Vusi Tshabalala.

When you were appointed as the mayor, we celebrated the fact that for once in the history of our beloved municipality, we would be under the leadership of someone who is young; a person who will understand that he should invest more into education to assure that our country produces well-educated leaders. But that was just a dream. Since the commencement of your leadership:
Rhino Rally has left Harrismith. President Brand Park is not well maintained, even though the bikers paid a lot to book it every year, not to mention the economic benefits their stay had for local businesses. The Mamello Support Group, an organisation based in Intabazwe, and Hope House, were the biggest beneficiaries as Bikers South Africa would donate cash and toys to them. But that will no longer happen.
Tshiame A and B had been without electricity for a month over the festive season last year. This meant that families had to throw away most of their perishable groceries they bought in advance for the festive season.

There are families that are child-headed – have you ever thought of how much this has affected them? Have you even once thought of assisting them with at least soup and bread twice a day, like you did to the community that lived near Uniqwa when they were taken to a place of safety?

Did this situation even bother you? Because you seemed relaxed and made empty promises about the repairing of the power station. During your interview with Thuso Motaung on Lesedi FM on Tuesday, 30 December 2014,you said a transformer had been procured, and all that was left to do was for technicians to convert power that will be able to feed Tshiame A and B. You said that by Friday, 2 January, we would have lights again in our area.

To make matters worse, we accepted that we had to throw away our groceries and continued to show our support to you, but now with all the delays, lies and empty promises, Mr Mayor, are you aware that 70% of Tshiame B depends on factories that are situated in Tshiame A for survival? And now those factories have lost millions on procuring and maintaining generators. This has led to job losses; these are the same people who earn not more than R1 500 a month – the very same people who threw away groceries bought with their last salaries.

Did it not bother you that within these communities there were people with illnesses for which their medication had to be kept in refrigerators on a daily basis? Schools were reopening and there was no electricity. Sometimes we would go for days with dirty water or no water at all. Are you aware that this has had an impact on our health?

Dustbins are also a crisis: If a vehicle that takes away the rubbish is not in a good condition, why is it not in the municipality’s contingency budget to procure a new one? Day in and day out we pay for municipal services. Why is the municipality not asking for a grant from the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG), as the issue of dustbins poses a health threat, more specifially to our children.
Traffic lights in Qwaqwa are a nightmare, even the ones closest to you, next to the Khola Thuto Secondary School. It could be said that you are working on the basis of one thing at a time, but Mr Mayor, you can’t be this slow. Start prioritising and implementing. I will not comment about the New Year’s Eve bash that you had organised under these circumstances.
Harrismith and Kestell are also under your leadership, in case you have forgotten. Why does every activity take place only in Qwaqwa? I’m talking about a braai with the mayor; artist training held at the Phuthaditjhaba Park in partnership with the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (Pacofs); Dipontsho, a Christmas party that you organised for children of Qwaqwa and held at the Phuthaditjhaba Park, just to mention a few.

Communities are angry because they believed in you and trusted in your leadership. It is for that reason you see us partaking in toyi-toyi, disrupting public order. We are not happy. Last but not least, Mr Tshabalala, you need to know and tell this to your councillors: they should stop making us targets whenever we voice our opinions

Should we keep silent? Under your leadership one can get arrested for voicing one’s dipleasure. This has happened in Tshiame A. Six people who were part of a toyi-toyi were arrested and released on New Year’s Eve.

This is the fifth week without electricity in Tshiame and Khalanyoni.

Are you competent enough to occupy your seat?

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