Statement by DA MPL Jane Cowley
In Riebeek East, just outside Makhanda, four new boreholes are ready to bring much needed water to the drought-stricken town, but the Makana municipality has failed to connect the boreholes or supply a further holding tank for water, despite receiving drought relief funding to do so.
This is yet another service delivery failure by the Makana municipality because funds meant for service delivery are being used to pay salaries of a bloated and ineffective administration.
I will be writing to the MEC of COGTA, Fikile Xasa, to request that he puts pressure on the municipal structures to ringfence funds earmarked for service delivery projects, such as the augmentation of the Makana water supply, to ensure that these critical initiatives actually materialise.
Following a recent oversight inspection in Makana, it is clear the local municipality does not have money to deliver basic services to their residents. The result? A filthy town riddled with illegal dumpsites, potholes and faeces, and a water supply under severe threat of running out, with no contingency plan in place.
MEC Xasa however seems to think that all is well within local municipal structures. He needs to remove his rose-tinted spectacles and see Makhanda for what it has become – a pigsty, lorded over by the politically connected in their stiletto heels and fancy cars.
This is the inevitable result of cadre deployment. It seems clear that he is not going to take action against friends who helped him to attain his position in the ruling party.
The citizens of Makhanda are suffering. Investment in the city has dropped dramatically, and Makhanda is struggling to attract both local and foreign visitors, who previously flocked to the city.
Who would want to visit a town that has no water supply for weeks at a time, and cannot guarantee electricity supply? Who would invest money in a business here? As businesses leave for greener pastures, job opportunities dwindle even further. Municipal neglect and malfeasance have resulted in this tragic state of affairs.
In DA – led municipalities, service delivery remains a priority. Towns are clean and functional. Infrastructure is maintained. This attracts investment, which leads to job creation. This is why the DA – led Western Cape province created 75% of all new jobs in the country last year.
The Democratic Alliance remains committed to seeing effective service delivery and good corporate governance return to the city. Residents must take to the polls and let the failing ANC know their time is up.