Oudtshoorn ratepayer ???Natalie Isaacs. (Tammy Petersen, News24)
Oudtshoorn - A popular joke among Oudtshoorn ratepayers is that
anyone found driving straight on the local roads will be arrested for drunken
“Everyone who lives here knows to swerve for the potholes,”
homeowner Natalie Isaacs, 40, pointed out.
She has been living in the Little Karoo town all her life. After
growing up in Bridgton, she moved to Oudtshoorn North three years ago.
“Potholes here are a nightmare. They range in size from 20cm to
massive gashes in the road. The damages caused to our vehicles are enormous.”
While regular repairs are carried out, the quality of the work
leaves much to be desired, the mother of two said.
“Even I know that you need to properly fill the hole. My uncle was
an engineer and he told me you first need to fill it before you cover it with
tar. Here, the work is simply cover-ups. They throw in some sand and slap it
closed. When the first rain comes, the problem returns. It’s a waste.”
Some roads are in such a bad state it’s similar to driving on a
gravel road, Isaacs, who works as an administrator, argued.
“To me, it speaks of a bigger problem. If the municipality can’t
fix such small glitches, how can they be trusted with the bigger issues?”
“Corruption is a deep concern”
The Oudtshoorn municipality was placed under administration in
According to a report the Western Cape local government department
released in March, a forensic investigation uncovered 132 contraventions.
These included two cases of corruption and eight of fraud. There
was evidence of falsification of documents. The contraventions mostly pertained
to the Municipal Finance Management Act, and municipal policies.
It frustrated her when her rates and taxes were misused, Isaacs
“I work hard for my money, just like every other taxpayer in this
country. When government takes their part of my salary, I expect it to be used
to improve my community, not to be stuffed into some dirty politician’s back
“Corruption is a deep concern. It’s a filth that needs to be
Isaacs conceded that other than the municipal mismanagement and
the state of their roads, life in Oudtshoorn was wonderful.
“Our roads are clean, our dirt is collected and I am proud of
where I live. Serious crimes are few and far between and other than the extreme
weather, this is a good place to call home.”
However, she would like to see tourist attractions like the Cango
Caves be made more affordable for locals.
“It’s sad that many of the people who live here have never been to
the places frequented by visitors to Oudtshoorn because they simply can’t
afford it. There should be a special rate so that we can also see the sites that
bring so many visitors here.”
Isaacs was still considering whether to vote in next month’s
“Politics is a dirty affair, all lies and empty promises. I will
think about whether I will trust anyone enough to vote for them.”