George Mari, MPP
DA KZN Spokesperson on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA)
THIS week’s violent protest action by informal settlement community dwellers within Ethekwini and Umgungundhlovu, over a lack of service delivery, is further proof that these municipalities are failing to properly address the issue of service upgrades within informal settlements or the relocation of these residents.
The uprisings are a very clear sign that residents have been let down one time too many. In both instances, municipalities have made promises which they have failed to fulfil. In both cases, they have allowed problems to fester year after year, without failing to take proper action.
It is this failure to act that has brought things to boiling point. While the DA strongly condemns the violence of the past two days, we sympathise with these residents and the frustration they must feel after being made empty promises.
The DA expects KZN COGTA MEC, Nomusa Dube, and Ethekwini and Umgungundhlovu senior officials to act swiftly to restore calm. The problem is indicative of a lack of planning and policy implementation and begs the question whether either municipality has a proper policy in terms of the relocation of these residents? If not, is there any formal plan or policy to address their current living conditions through the upgrade of existing infrastructure? These are answers which both the MEC and senior municipal officials must be held accountable for.