Municipality should lead by example

2016-11-24 06:01

ABOUT a year ago water was bursting from a leak beneath the tarmac surface of the car park at Margate airport with such force that I had to find a different route from my car to the airport entrance. When I returned to the South Coast about a week later, I was hardly surprised, but annoyed, to see that the water was still gushing across the car park. When again I departed from the airport about a week ago, a torrent of water once more was spewing across this stretch of car park. The same sight greeted me on my return, meaning that the major leak had not been stopped within a week. Observations like this should shock us, but they have come to be exactly what we expect from our lethargic municipalities.

Due to a crippling drought in our catchment area, residents have been implored to save water. The use of hoses has been banned, fines have been threatened to offenders, additional taxes are permanently levied on ratepayers who exceed a restricted limit of water that the municipality has decided is sufficient, and the municipality’s high water tariff is apparently about to be increased due to a shortage of funds for maintenance of the system.

Questions that arise are, what example is the municipality setting for residents whom it expects to save water, and what sort of image is the municipality conveying to tourists whose first experience upon landing on the South Coast is wading through a massive water leak?

I might add an equally hackneyed complaint by asking what tourists’ second impressions are, and the obvious answer is the pothole-ridden road leading from the airport to the first set of traffic lights where some of the worst and most familiar potholes have to be dangerously dodged.

Our bloated and overpaid local municipalities have had a long time to learn to be competent and industrious. They have not done so, and there is no sign they ever will.

Steven van Staden

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