Mark Steele, MPP
Democratic Alliance KZN Legislature
THE Witness interview of municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma must have been as frustrating for the interviewer as it will be for the ratepayers reading the report. No matter what he was asked, Mr Zuma had his brief and he stuck to it – a number and an email address, a number and an email address. But Mr Zuma, the point is that the phone isn’t answered and the emails don’t produce a reply. Residents are left helpless and at the mercy of a non-responsive bureaucracy.
Perhaps worse is the confusion that seems to exist over the municipality’s revised indigence policy. The message given to residents by officials is not the same as that expressed by the municipal manager. Such an important position must follow public consultation, be unambiguous in formulation and be accurately communicated to all. Critically, the issue of property value and income must be resolved so that those who deserve indigence benefits receive them without unnecessary paperwork and official hurdles.