Marchers ridicule Durban mayor, Sutcliffe

2009-11-07 00:00

HUNDREDS of residents from various parts of south Durban yesterday marched on the eThekwini metro municipal offices to hand over demands for better service delivery and reduced electricity tariffs.

Traffic slowed as residents, from uMlazi, Wentworth, Clairwood, Bluff, Isipingo, Chatsworth, Merebank and other ­areas marched along West Street with placards bearing their grievances. Some placards ridiculed eThekwini Mayor Obed Mlaba and municipal manager Michael Sutcliffe, alleging they are liars and “fat cats” who do not care for the residents.

The marchers were made up of ratepayers’ associations, community forums, senior citizens and children.

Three memorandums from Clairwood Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association, Wentworth Development Forum and Isipingo Ratepayers’ Association were handed over to deputy city manager Derrick Naidoo.

They listed complaints about the exclusion of their associations and residents when the city’s administrators take decisions about development and electricity tariff increments.

Residents demanded the reduction of electricity tariffs, the upgrading of council-owned flats, greater visibility of traffic officers, regular refuse removals and maintenance of verges and roads, and improved service delivery provisions.

The secretary of the Wentworth Development Forum, Patrick Mkhize, said councillors are concerned only about “eating biscuits” and disregard residents’ complaints.

“We are here to tell them the increased electricity tariffs are affecting the people of these communities. Residents who previously paid R200 for electricity are now expected to pay R1 500. How are we supposed to afford this and what are we supposed to eat after paying bills?”

Rishi Singh, chairman of the Clairwood Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association, said his community fought for development in apartheid times and they find it disturbing they have to fight for similar things under a democratic dispensation.

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