Having engaged with businesses and residents residing in the Emfuleni Local Municipality, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has detected rising tension and frustration developing within the local communities, as a result of a collapse in the state of affairs of the municipality. Emfuleni embraces Vanderbijlpark, Vereeniging, Sharpeville and Boipatong.
The collapse of Emfuleni’s administration is evident in the vast extent of raw sewage running through the towns and suburbs that make up the Emfuleni municipality, as it makes it’s way to the Vaal river.
In addition, Eskom’s bills are not being paid by the municipality, giving rise to the legal activity currently underway to keep the lights on, despite the residents and businesses having paid the municipality for their use of electricity.
Adding to the residents’ woes, water pressure issues have developed as a result of poor infrastructure maintenance, electrical substations are in a poor state and overloaded, road maintenance is lacking and refuse is not being collected on time.
“Everywhere we look, gross mismanagement by the local administration suggests that there is either gross incompetence or corruption at play, or a combination of the two, leading to maladministration and wasteful expenditure,” says Makhosi Khoza, OUTA’s executive director on local governance.
OUTA is currently engaging with community stakeholders, including ratepayers’ associations, resident bodies, faith-based formations and business leaders to prioritise the issues that require attention in Emfuleni. In addition, OUTA’s leadership is urgently seeking to engage with the local, provincial and national government authorities, to propose sustainable solutions and interventions that will overcome the plight of all communities in the area.
“Making contact with the governing authorities at Local and Provincial level is proving to be rather difficult, seemingly indicating their lack of interest in wanting civil society to intervene in matters of local government,” adds Khoza.
“Sadly, the communities of Emfuleni have been let down by the politicians and the problems that are mounting will soon become too big to overcome. Civil society will have to take a stronger stance and act without fear, favour or prejudice in order to hold to account all those responsible for the Emfuleni service delivery crisis.”
The Messenger SA notes Emfuleni is ruled by the African National Congress. It holds an absolute majority of 50 of 90 seats on the Emfuleni municipal council.
The following table shows the results of the municipal election in 2016 in Emfuleni (Wikipedia):
|African National Congress||108,435||109,030||217,465||55.6||37||13||50|
|Economic Freedom Fighters||23,865||23,814||47,679||12.2||0||11||11|
|African Independent Congress||3,902||5,995||9,897||2.5||0||3||3|
|Freedom Front Plus||4,354||4,186||8,540||2.2||0||2||2|
|Pan Africanist Congress||1,857||1,517||3,374||0.9||0||1||1|
|Congress of the People||2,015||808||2,823||0.7||0||1||1|