DA shuns council event at resort

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CHRIS DE WET
CHRIS DE WET

THE DA has instructed the party’s councillors not to attend a three-day Enoch Mgijima Municipality strategic plannin event at the Fish River Sun luxury resort, as it was considered to be wasteful expenditure.
DA caucus leader Chris de Wet said councillors were sent messages on Friday last week informing them about the event which started on Wednesday and ends today.
He said while the DA supported efforts towards proper planning regarding activities and service delivery of the municipality, “the sad state of affairs in our town and the operations of the municipality are all clear signs of a lack of planning and execution of those plans”.
De Wet said the DA had, however, indicated to acting municipal manager Nolwandle Gqiba that the DA would not take part in a session where “hundreds of thousands of rands of ratepayers’ money will be wasted on holding this planning session at a luxury golf resort such as the Fish River Sun, at a distance of over 200km from our town”.
The municipality could have used a local venue, including the town hall or community halls at no cost to residents and ratepayers.
He said the DA was “shocked by the ANC’s total disregard for the dire financial and economic situation of our municipality. It is also saddened by the fact that the ANC shows such little respect to the poorest of the poor, the unemployed, and the destitute, by holding such an extravagant event at huge cost to the municipality, instead of spending this money on alleviating the poverty and despair experienced by so many of our residents”.
He said the fact that taxpayers’ money was being wasted on luxury vehicles for the mayor and speaker, a mayoral residence and the planning session, was indicative that the ANC did not care about issues like poverty, unemployment, lack of service delivery, spiralling debt, crumbling infrastructure and undercollection of revenue.
“The DA remains committed to effective and corruption-free local government, with strict control over taxpayers’ money, and therefore condemns and rejects wasteful expenditure. This will never take place under a DA government.”
When contacted for comment on Wednesday, municipal spokesman Fundile Feketshane refused to respond. “Why do you want to write about this? Chris [De Wet] is complaining to you and you are entertaining it – so that is his baby. We have no comment and I am not going to answer to that. The council is going ahead with the strategic planning.”

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