Is Mangaung fit to be a metropolis?

2018-02-28 06:01
Tshegofatso Leeuw - Social Obsever

Tshegofatso Leeuw - Social Obsever

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In the year 2011, the Mangaung Municipality was classified as a category A municipality.

This means the municipality has exclusive municipal executive and legislative authority in its area.

Mangaung is a young metropolitan municipality and for a while, one could sense progress in the city.

However, currently there is a feeling of regress. Waste is not being collected on time, the quality of water is questionable, water debt is high and too many infrastructure projects are unfinished.

Residents of Mangaung used to know when the waste in their areas would be collected. But presently, garbage lies in front of our houses, businesses and street corners for days.

We as residents of Bloemfontein, Botshabelo, Thaba Nchu, Dewetsdorp, Wepener and Soutpan must learn to clean up after ourselves and take care of our environment.

The editor of Express, Teboho Setena, and I touched on the garbage problem in the issue of 14 February with the photo “Where have all the roses gone?” (p. 2) and the story “Mangaung residents must think green” (p. 9).

During the Mangaung City Council’s ordinary meeting on 31 January, an official of the Auditor General (AG) addressed them. He talked about the many challenges he faced while researching the state of the Mangaung City Council. Later this year, we shall hear what the AG says about the Mangaung City Council and the rest of municipalities in the Free State.

Prior to the term-end of former mayor Thabo Manyoni at the Mayoral Lekgotla event, he alluded to the fact that his administration inherited a municipality that was financially unstable, had heavy reliance on central government funding and a lack of revenue collection strategies.

Of course, his administration had its challenges. For example, the municipal indigent register had grown, forcing the municipality to spend approximately R290 000 million in its 2015-’16 financial year.

The investment grading from Moody’s Rating Agency was great under his administration.

The incorporation of the Naledi Municipality into Mangaung was not a wise idea, either. The Naledi Municipa­lity had a backlog of infrastructure and unqualified audits.

Personally, I believe a municipality should not comprise more than three cities or towns. Let us use Newark in America as an example. It is only 15 km away from New York City, but it is not part of the New York City Council. Incorporating it into the New York City Council will burden and overwhelm New York City.

A municipality with more than three cities or towns are already creating a district municipality. The majority of municipalities in South Africa are poorly managed and political decisions fail to remedy the situation.

The mayors are overwhelmed, many municipalities – such as the Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality – are under administration, and some are yet to elect a council.

By the looks of it, the Mangaung Municipality looks like a district council.

) Express welcomes anyone to contribute to the weekly column. There is no payment for writers. Send your opinion piece (not exceeding 500 words in Sotho, Tswana or English) via email to teboho.setena@volksblad. com. Writers are welcome to send articles of a spiritual nature.

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