‘They are ignoring us’

2015-08-14 08:19
The red-brick road around the City Hall.

The red-brick road around the City Hall. (Jonathan Burton)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

FIERY questions around whether the northern suburbs are being purposely ignored by the Msunduzi Municipality were raised at a mass public meeting this week.

The meeting was called on Wednesday evening by ratepayers group Msunduzi Rates Forum (MRF), who asked the community to bring forward suggestions on how to get the municipality’s attention.

“We have been raising our issues with the municipality since 2008. We have travelled through all the legal routes and held many meetings, but we keep being ignored by the mayor, municipal manager and everyone at the municipality,” said a member of the MRF, Ronnie George.

The MRF, headed by 87-year-old Babs Sithapersad, said they have signed many petitions, drawn up countless memorandums and organised a march to the municipality however “nothing was ever tabled at full council”.

“We believe that as far as the northern suburbs are concerned, the council does not care about us. We have told them that we are not happy with what we are getting and what they are taking from us. We have invited municipal managers to our meetings, but they are discourteous and don’t even respond to say they cannot attend the meetings,” said George.

Some community members said they were “fed up” with being pushed aside when most residents in the northern areas pay exorbitant rates.

“We pay for our rates. We deserve to receive the benefits. We cannot pay such high rates continuously when development only occurs in areas such as Imbali and Edendale. We should see the change here in the northern areas too. Perhaps we should stop paying rates and dry the municipality’s income and then demand our services,” said community member Venolin Govender.

The chairperson, Sithapersad, said there is “misrule” in the management of Pietermaritzburg and the elderly residents in the city bear the brunt.

“The community is ageing. The youngsters are leaving the city to find jobs elsewhere and the old people who worked hard and built their homes are now being punished by high rates and tariffs. We sincerely hope we can free the Pietermaritzburg residents in a peaceful way like the way Gandhi freed people in a peaceful way,” said Sithapersad.

Sithapersad picked on the city’s billion rands savings saying the municipality is proud of what they have saved but questioned what the municipality is giving back to the communities “as it is ratepayers’ money being saved”.

Economic Freedom Fighters regional chairperson Dumisane Shelembe said they are “tired of the municipality running away with residents’ money”.

Ward 31 DA councillor Rooksana Ahmed echoed the sentiments of the MRF saying her questions to the municipality regarding the added MCB charge on electricity bills were also ignored

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  rates

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.