BARELY

Weekend Witness - - Opinion -

a day goes by with­out a reader writ­ing to ex­pose shoddy ser­vice de­liv­ery by the Msun­duzi Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

This ranges from elec­tric­ity out­ages and un­kempt ceme­ter­ies to tele­phones not be­ing an­swered at mu­nic­i­pal of­fices.

This pa­per and our sis­ter daily have taken up sev­eral of th­ese is­sues on be­half of read­ers. In some in­stances, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity re­sponds; in oth­ers, not. A case in point was the publi­ca­tion of a page of pic­tures show­ing the piti­ful state of the Moun­tain Rise ceme­tery, where the grass has been al­lowed to grow unchecked to the ex­tent that many head­stones are now cov­ered.

This was prompted by a num­ber of let­ters from vis­i­tors to the ceme­tery ex­press­ing dis­may at hav­ing to hunt for the graves of rel­a­tives.

The ex­pected re­sponse was an ab­ject apol­ogy from the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, with a prom­ise to rec­tify the sit­u­a­tion, fol­lowed im­me­di­ately by ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion. No re­sponse has been re­ceived to date. It is with this in mind that we look with some trep­i­da­tion at this week’s an­nounce­ment that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity in­tends hir­ing 179 staff by June, and a fur­ther 160 by Septem­ber.

Re­cruit­ing more staff will help solve the city’s ills, but only if the cor­rect peo­ple are hired and if they are led well. Based on re­cent ex­pe­ri­ence, hir­ing staff is just the first step in ad­dress­ing the city’s prob­lems.

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