Re­ports sin­gle out the DA

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Dr Kevin P Wax

I RE­FER to the ed­i­to­rial com­ment, “Pay up, DA coun­cil­lors”, in The Star, Jan­uary 12.You cor­rectly point out that some City of Jo­han­nes­burg coun­cil­lors are in ar­rears with their pay­ments to the city.

How­ever, your re­portage and com­ments are slanted against the DA.

For ex­am­ple, 24 ANC coun­cil­lors were in ar­rears in Novem­ber, as were six from the DA and four from other parties.

Your bi­ased re­port­ing ap­pears to have sin­gled out only the DA coun­cil­lors and has failed to ac­knowl­edge that coun­cil­lors ei­ther have ar­range­ments in place to set­tle their ar­rears or that they may have de­clared a dis­pute with the city over the issue. Balanced me­dia cov­er­age should re­flect this sit­u­a­tion.

The coun­cil and the var­i­ous parties have sys­tems in place to deal with these mat­ters. We need to be fair to ev­ery coun­cil­lor ac­cused of an of­fence.

Be­ing in ar­rears is not nec­es­sar­ily a sign of delin­quency. The new DA ad­min­is­tra­tion in­her­ited a his­tor­i­cally dys­func­tional billing sys­tem, which is well known for pro­duc­ing faulty ac­counts.

The ef­fec­tive res­o­lu­tion of billing is­sues with a fully func­tional billing sys­tem is a pri­or­ity for this ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Coun­cil­lors are not im­mune to these er­rors. Other fac­tors may also be in­volved.

As chief whip, I as­sure your read­ers that each case will be in­ves­ti­gated and dealt with fairly and firmly.

Nei­ther the city nor the DA will tol­er­ate fi­nan­cial delin­quency from elected pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives. City of Jo­han­nes­burg Chief Whip of Coun­cil

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