Reaching point of no return, says Zille EFF, DA say infrastructure maintenance a priority

PARTY LUNCH: DA federal council chair Helen Zille, right, addresses party members and local businesspeople at a lunch at Luxe Molen Hotel in Komani recently. Harcourts’ Moira Pappas, left, and DA councillor Tokkie Deysel look on Picture: ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA

With local government elections just around the corner, the DA and EFF expressed their views on how the two parties would improve service delivery.

DA federal chairperson Helen Zille said there were places in SA in which the infrastructure had reached the point of no return.

Among those in Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM), she said, were roads, the piping system and an electricity grid which had not been looked after for years.

Zille was speaking at Luxe Molen Boutique Hotel during her recent visit to Komani.

She warned that there was a point in infrastructure decline and collapse that could not be turned around.

“What the government is supposed to do from day one is plan for new infrastructure while maintaining the existing one.

“But if you steal maintenance money and now and again construct a sports facility like the R15m Lesseyton one which costs more than it should, you will get to a point where the infrastructure has collapsed and nothing new works.

‘’Even if you spend the next 30 years husbanding resources it will not be enough to redevelop and rebuild all the places which were inherited from the past.”

She said officials did not believe in maintenance but in destroying things by enabling connected cadres to benefit.

“The DA has placed a candidate in every ward in the country because everyone deserves a real choice of progress, competence, and representatives who get things done.”

She urged DA party members to remain vigilant while striving to gain more power in the provincial, district, and local municipalities.

MEDIA BRIEFFING: Attending an EFF media briefing recently to discuss plans ahead of the local government elections in November are, from left, regional command team member Buyiswa Geld, Chris Hani regional chairperson Xhanti Kani and Enoch Mgijima chief whip Luthando Amos Picture: ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA 

The EFF is contesting all 34 wards in Enoch Mgijima. It has four PR councillors in the municipality at present.

The EFF’s EMLM chief whip, Luthando Amos, criticised cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Xolile Nqatha for saying the Lesseyton Stadium issue should be investigated. Nqatha said all the financial powers of EMLM were taken away by the provincial government.

“Not a cent of the municipality’s money is paid without the provincial government verification through the administrator it deployed.”

He said they would write to the EFF leadership in the legislature to introduce a motion of no confidence in the provincial government to dissolve Cogta.

Amos said should the EFF step into power in this election, the old infrastructure from the 1950s which had regular sewage bursts would be prioritized.

EFF chairperson Xhanti Kani said the corruption in the ruling party was reflected in mayors who had to be removed forcefully.

“Mayors had to be changed in EMLM, Sakhisizwe, Emalahleni, Ngcobo, and Intsika Yethu local municipalities.”

Kani said the Intsika Yethu taxi rank worth R4m, which was recently handed over, looked like an animal stall.

“When you evaluate the project, the amount does not correspond.

“We want people to open their eyes; they must change their votes to a party which gives them hope.”

Intsika Yethu Local Municipality spokesperson Zuko Tshangana said the taxi rank reflected its worth, which was R4m.

The ANC’s regional secretary, Lusanda Sizani, rubbished the corruption claims.





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