Let Copesville unrest serve as a wake-up call

2016-04-27 06:00

THE unrest in Copesville and surrounding areas must be comprehended, together with the years of frustration. About two years ago, the people vented their anger in a similar protest. Then, the provincial premier and political masters cajoled the protestors with empty promises.

Copesville is no doubt the forgotten community where residents trudge to other councillors for assistance. Asides from valid service delivery issues, this protesting community is exposed to crime, drugs and large scale theft; lawlessness prevails.

It is annoying when the Umgungundhlovu North Cluster Head, Brigadier Bantham conveyed to the protestors that they have a “right to be angry”, (Witness, 19 April). However, the same brigadier remains indifferent to that community’s right to live safely by the evident lassitude towards the unkempt Copesville police station which is so often closed.

This was always raised at CPF community meetings and meetings with Bantham while she was station commander at Mountain Rise. It is time the SAPS Ombudsman investigated this unacceptable situation.

Further, blame must also be apportioned to the Speaker’s Office too. If the ward committee in the unrest area was functioning, alarm bells would have been sounded via reports forwarded from the councillor. There are challenges in wards with committees as was expressed at the city hall on Sunday, 17 April.
Stakeholders need to abandon party interests and careers and step out of their comfort zones and address valid service delivery matters. From corruption to service delivery the ANC has repeatedly failed the residents of Msunduzi.

With elections looming let the Copesville unrest serve as a wake-up call to councillors and aspiring candidates that when standing to serve the community you are pledging to be their servant. Compassion, care and empathy coupled with dedication must be a priority; not, indifference, arrogance and ego.

Jay jugwanth Pietermaritzburg

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