Service delivery case could start trend

2011-07-03 19:16

Nelspruit - Independent political analyst Zweli Mncube has predicated that more residents will resort to taking the government to court to get basic services.

This follows Mpumalanga businessman Abu Bakr Omar's successful court action against the Victor Khanye local municipality in Delmas that has now been ordered to repair potholes.

Omar took the municipality to court after writing letters to transport minister Sbu Ndebele and provincial public works, roads and transport MEC Clifford Mkasi about potholes on the R555 road in Delmas.

On Wednesday, the municipality dispatched municipal trucks to start filling the holes following a June 28 Johannesburg High Court order instructing the municipality to do so within 72 hours.

“In the next few years we will see a lot of cases where residents will be taking government to court because it is now becoming a trend to demand service delivery through the courts or protests," Mncube told African Eye News Service.

Mncube said people had a right to go to court if they were not happy about service delivery or any other matters.

However, Mncube warned that without money to pay lawyers, communities would find themselves in a tight corner.

"It would be helpful if lawyers in this country could assist residents in cases of this nature. In the US and Europe, young lawyers, who are still trying to penetrate the market, assist community members to launch cases of this nature.

Blow to ANC

"They offer their assistance for free of charge in order to acquire experience and to demonstrate that they can win serious cases,” said Mncube.

Mncube added that should such a trend gain quick momentum, it would be a big blow to the ruling ANC.
Provincial public works, roads and transport spokesperson David Nkambule said he was not aware of the court order or of the potholes being filled in Delmas.

“There was never any correspondence directed to the department by any lawyer or civil organisation. Nor has the department in any or other way whatsoever been brought before the court. Therefore, we cannot comment on the matter or about an order of which we are not aware,” said Nkambule.

On Friday, Victor Khanye municipal spokesperson Ronald du Toit was not available for comment as his phone was unanswered.

The national government has announced a R22bn budget that will be spent on a national pothole repair programme over the next three years. The programme is expected to create 70 000 jobs in its first year

  • Macho Mike - 2011-07-03 19:26

    Eish really. Hau, this means that the courts, she will be very very very very busy. In fact, the courts she will be busy to exploding situation all over the land because of poor service delivery. Eish, da ANC, she will be in court morning, noon and night. Hau, i look forward very much to dis.

      msendi - 2011-07-03 19:31

      If we can't finish a sentence without writing ANC, we are only making this ANC stronger… Sometimes I even forget that we have other political organisations…

      OZNOB - 2011-07-03 19:47

      HAU , this means the anc will have to do some work for a change . haibo

      Frungy - 2011-07-04 04:44

      This is the most idiotic way of solving the service delivery problem I've ever heard of. It multiplies the costs insanely: - The residents must pay their lawyer - The state must pay their lawyers (from our tax money) - The state must pay for the courts (from our tax money) These minister should be held accountable for these costs IN THEIR PRIVATE CAPACITY (i.e. they should use their salary to pay these costs rather than using tax-payers' money). It is ridiculous that the taxpayer should be made to pay taxes, then pay again to ensure that the services they bought with those taxes are actually delivered, and that the state's defense against taxpayers should be funded by taxpayer's money. It's like someone asking you to buy them a stick so they can beat you with it. It's idiotic.

      Johan van Zyl - 2011-07-04 08:26

      @msendi - The Anc is not a political organisation. It is a legalised terrorist organisation. Know the difference.

      Ou Van - 2011-07-04 12:29

      ..and the best part is, that most of the people who voted for the ANC aren't even tax payers. So in the end, it's a lot of the oppostion parties supporters having to pay for the ANC accused. Truelly and completely FUBAR.

      Shadoz - 2011-07-04 14:46

      who do they think is gonna fit these bills? us taxpayers wow i might aswell stand with a sign above my friken head saying free stuff here.

  • dassie - 2011-07-03 19:26

    Salaries :70 000 @ R3000 pm for 3 years = R7 560 000 000 ? EISH

      grant9 - 2011-07-03 20:38

      I've noticed this time and time again. ANC officials just suck figures out of their thumbs - anything that sounds good at the time - without working them out. One example that comes to mind is Zuma's promise to create 500 000 jobs a yearfor the next 10 years whereas the reality is that jobs are being lost.

      POLLENYS - 2011-07-03 23:37

      @Dassie "The national government has announced a R22bn budget that will be spent . . . over the next three years." The other R15bn will be spent on all kinds of forms of corruption.

  • thobsion.ANC - 2011-07-03 19:31

    Yha, get off your behinds morons and deliver to people who voted you in.

      Frungy - 2011-07-04 07:44

      Glad to see an ANC supporter is prepared to admit the ANC isn't doing its job. Give 'em hell!

  • Mzungu - 2011-07-03 19:54

    It is high time they take the government to task, if this is the way then so be it, the gravy train is derailing at a high speed.

  • Ho - 2011-07-03 19:57

    Thee transport spokeperson...she ees not a ware orv thee prob lem...she ees not a ware of air nee theeng!!! Lee barashun BEE four air jukashun!

  • USSA - 2011-07-03 20:28

    Class-action lawsuit on service delivery from all affected areas in South Africa? Sounds tempting...let's say R500 Billion?

  • grant9 - 2011-07-03 20:48

    Think about this : All the highways and major roads we travel on were built pre 1994. The ANC administration with ever increasing budgets cannot even repair them.

  • rimmoah - 2011-07-03 21:33

    taking municipalities to court to force them to do a job they are paid to do in the first place?

      Marcell - 2011-07-04 03:12

      That is africa for you..

      brown_bread - 2011-07-04 14:15

      do you have a better solution? if people resort to this, they have tried everything in the book, including writing letters to the minister as is they case here. It'll be costly, but as long as we dont have other alternatives (because only a handful people are willing to change their vote - unbelievable), we will have to follow this man's route.

  • Bajie - 2011-07-04 06:53

    I believe that this is the start of something that should spread rapidly and pervasively in South Africa. However, I don't think that it should stop at civil litigation. In the event that people are killed as a result of the poor road conditions, then criminal cases must be entered into and the responsible (irresponsible) provincial officials criminally charged.

      Peter - 2011-07-04 08:40

      In the mining industry, management is held responsible for fatals. Surely the head of the roads agency should be held responsible and face criminal prosecution. Watch how quickly service delivery increases.

  • Peter - 2011-07-04 08:38

    Interesting that you have to go to court to get things done. In Zandspruit they protest, then agree to vote for the same person who failed to deliver services. And now they are protesting again. I wonder if they will blame Apartheid and the dreaded white man for the lack of services. Yet they voted the non performers in. Time to vote the ANC out of office as they are non performers.

  • verstom - 2011-07-04 10:00

    Dear Bloggers Go to Youtube, search for ms ann south africa, there you will hear why we have the status quo in our country.

  • - 2011-07-04 10:44

    Why waste money to get them to deliver what they were voted in to do. does not make any sence, but then again this is Africa antother day another corruption and misabuse of power.

  • TSaR - 2011-07-04 11:00

    Johan, the costs of the law suit is normally awarded to the defendant unless otherwise stated.

  • Fanie - 2011-07-04 22:47

    How do I go about claiming for pothole damadges to my car - lost 2 tyres and damadge two rims this afternoon on Garstfontein extention

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