Mthatha chaos ‘mak­ing us laugh­ing stock’

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - News - Sikho Nt­shobane

Tough-talk­ing East­ern Cape fi­nance MEC Os­car Mabuyane has blasted city bosses for al­low­ing Mthatha to de­gen­er­ate into chaos.

Ad­dress­ing an East­ern Cape Cham­ber of Busi­ness gala din­ner at the Savoy Ho­tel in Mthatha on Thurs­day night, a vis­i­bly un­im­pressed Mabuyane be­moaned the fact that a city once re­garded as the eco­nomic hub of the east­ern side of the prov­ince, had been al­lowed to de­scend into dis­or­der.

Among those also in at­ten­dance were the may­ors of OR Tambo and King Sa­bata Dalindyebo (KSD) mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, No­makhosazana Meth and Du­mani Zozo.

“This [chaos] is mak­ing us a laugh­ing stock,” said Mabuyane.

“Peo­ple of Mthatha, we can­not al­low our city to de­gen­er­ate into this state.”

Mabuyane was speak­ing at a time when the city is marred by pot­holes and mu­nic­i­pal work­ers re­cently went on strike de­mand­ing to know the cri­te­ria used for what work­ers claimed was an ir­ra­tional and un­even pay­out of salaries and wages.

The pay­out, based on a stalled task grade salary sys­tem, was meant to catch up with back pay which went as far back as 2009. Mil­lions were spent on the ex­er­cise.

In stark con­rast, prior to Mabuyane’s ad­dress, Zozo had taken to the podium to wel­come guests and had de­clared KSD ready for out­side in­vest­ments.

The mayor, who said his mu­nic­i­pal­ity, the third-big­gest in the prov­ince af­ter the Nel­son Man­dela Bay and Buf­falo City met­ros, had man­aged to re­solve most of the land claims that had be­set the city in re­cent years.

“KSD is one place to in­vest in. We are invit­ing busi­nesses to come into KSD and present in­vest­ment plans,” he en­thused.

But the MEC and pro­vin­cial ANC boss said that while Mthatha catered for a pop­u­la­tion of three mil­lion, it was fast be­com­ing the crime cap­i­tal of the coun­try with some of the high­est crime statis­tics.

The Daily Dis­patch re­ported re­cently that Meth and Zozo had of­fi­cially launched the #CleanMyMthatha cam­paign which is aimed at beau­ti­fy­ing the city and restor­ing it to its for­mer glory.

The ini­tia­tive is a joint col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the twoMthatha-based mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Dur­ing the launch, Meth said 46 dis­trict mu­nic­i­pal em­ploy­ees and two trucks had joined the cam­paign to clean up Mthatha.

Mabuyane also took a swipe at dodgy busi­ness deals in Bhisho.

He told the busi­ness and po­lit­i­cal guests that he had dis­cov­ered a trend in Bhisho where some ser­vice providers do­ing busi­ness with the state had to “cough up” what was called a “re­lease fee” to be able to get paid for their work.

“In Bhisho we need to fire some­one who has not paid ser­vice providers. When you fail to pay SMMEs within 30 days, you are killing that busi­ness. Some com­pa­nies end up fold­ing.”

OS­CAR MABUYANE

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