South Africa News

Municipalities in the spotlight as parties launch election manifestos

Dysfunctional municipalities and little-to-no service delivery fell under the spotlight again this weekend during the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) election manifesto launch ahead of the November local government elections.

DA leader John Steenhuisen said there were too many municipalities under administration and bragged about the DA-run municipalities in the top five best-run municipalities in the country.

Things in Tshwane, however, painted a different picture.

Virginia Keppler, spokesperson for the Patriotic Alliance in Tshwane, said service delivery in Tshwane was non-existent, especially in poor areas such as the townships.

“Water outages experienced in Hammanskraal, Eersterust, Ga-Rankuwa, Mabopane, Winterveld, Mamelodi and Olievenhoutbosch have left citizens in terrible conditions and the current administration lacks ubuntu and the political will do better service delivery,” Keppler said.

She said the grass was uncut and streetlights burn the entire day or simply don’t work.

“I have reported over 30 street lights just in the area of Eersterust in one week, a badly damaged light pole which can collapse on someone at any time, and the inconsistent removal of waste,” she said.

DA ward councillor in Wonderboom Lenise Breytenbach said when Tshwane was placed under administration last year, it left them in chaos.

“We had no council meetings or section 39 meetings to upkeep with the projects.

“We were fired for those eight months. There was nothing, and that was chaotic,” she said.

“During this period, working together between the parties was not a standard.”

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said the local government needed to be upskilled and professionalized to improve the state of municipalities.

“Everyone knows if you put a municipality through strict assessments, they will not do well.

“They must keep politics out of it,” he said.

Piet Croucamp, a political analyst, said although the DA managed the municipalities and the province well, they struggled with coalitions.

“They could not do it in Johannesburg or Tshwane because coalitions were difficult to manage,” he said, adding that in this election there are going to be a lot of coalitions.

He said he doubted the DA would enter into a coalition with the Economic Freedom Fighters anytime soon again.

“One must remember that DA middle and upper-middle-class areas are very good, but they do not manage the poor areas better than the ANC,” Croucamp said.

-The Citizen

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