Mayor must address serious challenges affecting eThekwini
I THINK Mayor Zandile Gumede should take time out of her “busy” schedule to explain to Durban ratepayers how she had the audacity to fly to the UK and accept two international awards for service excellence when the eThekwini municipality is in such disarray.
Our once beautiful city has become a cesspit with rubbish strewn everywhere, and the streets are dirty and unkempt with weeds growing in the gutters and sidewalks which extend into most of our once pristine suburbs.
We, as concerned and disgruntled ratepayers, want to know where our hard-earned money is being spent as the rampant deterioration of our streets is totally unacceptable!
The orange recycling bag saga also rests plainly on the mayor’s shoulders – for many months no recycling collections took place as there were no bags. This was due to alleged corruption in the tender process which permitted many more millions of rand of ratepayers’ money to be squandered.
We are now informed that the head of eThekwini Parks, Recreation and Culture, Mr Thembinkosi Ngcobo, is contributing a large sum of money from his R35 million budget to help fund ex-president Jacob Zuma’s Struggle song CD.
This is a travesty of the highest order as Zuma was unceremoniously asked to resign after the multitude of allegations against him of corruption and state capture.
The damage done to our country during Zuma’s tenure was immense both nationally and internationally and we are told that the eThekwini Municipality intends to celebrate his “Struggle songs CD” with our money.
Is this some kind of joke? The mind boggles. This money would be far better spent helping revitalise our suburbs and removing rampant invasive vegetation in all our parks and protected wildlife areas.
We are also now being “blessed” with 13 statues of “Struggle heroes” along the M4 – again funded from the municipality’s coffers/ratepayers’ contributions.
Apparently another two giant statues of Struggle heroes are being made to be installed in the city.
Surely this money could be put to better use to help the poor and needy, especially when our unemployment rate is at an all-time high?
We now learn in Friday’s Mercury, January 11, that the 62 “health clinics” operated by eThekwini Municipality are in a disgusting state of disrepair with the buildings generally filthy and not having been properly maintained for years. Windows and doors are apparently broken, the toilets are not working and there is no running water in some of them.
They all require intensive renovation at great cost as they have been allowed to deteriorate.
The article stated that there is a suggestion that this be offloaded on to the provincial department. This same municipality not that long ago used to win medals for outstanding delivery of health services as these same buildings were immaculate.
Friday’s Daily News disturbingly informed us that corpses are being stacked up in offices and elsewhere at Stellawood Crematorium in unrefrigerated conditions, as the other crematoriums in the area are all out of order.
All crematoriums within the municipal boundary are licensed by the eThekwini Municipality and fall under the control of the Health Department! The municipality should have been more vigilant and fully aware of this very serious health hazard.
Ngcobo, claimed he did not know of this and said he was disgusted when he heard the news.
Consider how the poor families feel who have dead relatives lying there deteriorating rapidly for days in these appallingly hot conditions. This is indeed shocking news and the municipality should take full responsibility as this is under its control.
Our mayor should take time from her busy schedule to address these very serious issues. She should be held responsible for this blatant waste of money as the various eThekwini municipal departments all have to report to her on expenditure.
How can so much money be frivolously wasted on statues, music recordings, mayoral portraits everywhere and the seemingly total disregard for proper service delivery and health services in our once beautiful city?
This is seriously angering the majority of eThekwini ratepayers who are expected to keep funding this blatant misuse of our funds and seemingly total lack of control over the most basic of amenities.
We all look forward to her reply. “Very concerned ratepayer”
THE eThekwini Municipality is in disarray, says the writer.