By Leona Kleynhans, DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature:
The below member statement was delivered by Leona Kleynhans (MPL) during a sitting of the Free State Provincial Legislature today.
The Maluti-a-Phofung municipality is facing very serious challenges.
- There is no money for procuring critical equipment to ensure service delivery.
- Interns are being employed to fulfil critical functions.
- There are about three working streetlights in Harrismith.
- Refuse removal is non-existent and the refuse dumps are not in compliance with regulations. General cleaning has been abandoned completely and a burning heap of refuse smoulder next to the Harrismith Town Hall, a national heritage building.
- Streets are pothole ridden and unnavigable.
- Contractors are not paid and municipal staff has on occasion not received their salaries.
- ESKOM regularly threatens to cut the electricity supply due to non-payment.
- Criminal charges have been laid against the Municipal Manager for lack of basic service delivery.
- The community of Intabazwe recently went on a two week long violent protest.
- The lucrative tourism industry has long since departed for better pastures.
- A provincial task team is trying to sort out the financial mess.
The picture one gets is of that of a failed municipality and the solution to this disaster according to the Executive Mayor, Councillor Vusi Tshabalala, is to have a week-long party in both Harrismith and Phuthaditjhaba.
From 7 to 13 September the Maluti-a-Phofung was transformed into a festival carnival city of music, dancing and golf tournaments. Mr Tshabalala presided over this cynical display of arrogance, akin to the Caesar’s disporting themselves while Rome burned.
The DA will be lodging questions in the Maluti-a-Phofung Council about the costs of this debauchery, and I will be lodging questions to the MEC of COGTAH, Olly Mlamleli, and the MEC of Finance, Elzabe Rockman, about the flagrant disregard for all the tenets of good governance and financial restraint being displayed by this careless mayor.
Under a DA government service delivery always comes first and taxpayer money is used to improve people’s lives.