Proposal took off like a ‘lead balloon’

2015-04-30 14:55

AN attempt has been made at provincial level to assist municipalities in KZN to improve service delivery. In a “back-to-basics” campaign, five municipalities, including Ugu District, have been targeted by the MEC. A circular sets out specific activities to be undertaken. A phase appropriately aimed at Ugu was headed “Water loss programme”, and the listed activities were checking meters, clearing strainers, filters, leaking valves, leaking pipe joint overflows and illegal consumption.

There further needed to be functional and responsive fault- reporting centres on a 24-hour basis, good quality water and clear effluents pumped into the receiving environment from waste water treatment plants as well as fixing sewer spillage; and planned routine and preventative maintenance was necessary.

Under the banner of the Municipal Systems Act, it was stated that the code of conduct for officials and councillors is to be enforced and that there must be harmony and a strong working relationship between leadership from different parties in municipalities between political leadership (sic), and that there must be regular meetings between party whips.

In light of the above the DA proposed that the Portfolio Committee on Sound Governance and Human Resources should recommend to the executive committee that the DA be re-admitted to the core Water and Sanitation Portfolio Committee from which is has been expelled. Despite the inept, sorry and calamitous water and sanitation situation that we are all experiencing on an on-going basis, the DA proposal took off like a lead balloon. The ANC met the proposal with scorn and labelled it “political”.

The DA’s membership of the Water and Sanitation Portfolio as well as the Finance Portfolio Committee would also strengthen the possibility of meetings being quorate. A few days after instructions from the MEC about how we can improve service delivery the Special Programmes Portfolio Committee was unable to meet, as there was no quorum. The ANC has given itself a quorum so large it can, in fact, be a quorum by itself, thought fit to send only two councillors to the meeting, wasting valuable time, money and petrol as well as hours of preparation by opposition parties.

Dave Snashall

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