“Driving and walking along the streets of this municipality is a nightmare. There are more potholes than surfaced roads here. Street lights aren’t working. Electricity supply is as consistent as regular meals are guaranteed to a pauper. Some traffic lights haven’t been working for years. Rubbish is piling up all over the place.“
“What gives political parties the audacity to undermine and lie so blatantly to the electorate? Why do politicians believe that the voters are so gullible that they’ll re-elect a political party that has clearly failed to deliver basic services to communities?”
The Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality [EMLM] in Komani/Queenstown in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, undertook a capital project about five years ago.
A contractor was appointed to rip and rebuild the street that I live on. Back then, the street had a pretty decent tarmac covering but the municipality decided that a concrete brick paved road would be a better option.
The contractor came on site, ripped the tarmac off the road and dug it out in preparation of the subsequent layer works. Pre-fabricated concrete kerbing slabs were laid out across the length of the road (approximately 2km) and some of those were put in place. About half the road was eventually paved with the envisaged concrete bricks while the other half, remained as an uncomfortable eyesore of a trench. Until this day, there is a sudden and very dangerous approximate 200mm dip where the completed part of the road meets the incomplete part. Mind you, this is a main road in our community. The busiest in our area. A major taxi route.
For the last five years or so, we’ve been enduring the hazardous rigours of this incomplete project after the contractor suddenly disappeared from site, allegedly citing non payment for work already done.
The ANC, without any hint of shame, is back campaigning for votes from the same residents who – on a daily basis – are forced to use this epitome of failed service delivery. It appears as if the ANC is oblivious to the fact that the voters have suffered at the hands of municipal misgovernance and maladministration for years now. The plight of the community seems to be totally ignored.
The very same ANC that led, for almost three decades – this municipality that has been failing to build or maintain roads, an administration that wouldn’t collect garbage/refuse for weeks on end; is currently traversing the community – promising the suffering electorate better services should it be returned to lead the dysfunctional Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality once more.
What gives political parties the audacity to undermine and lie so blatantly to the electorate? Why do politicians believe that the voters are so gullible that they’ll re-elect a political party that has clearly failed to deliver basic services to communities? When shall we – the voters – put an end to this abuse of power and betrayal of our trust?
Do we even know or care about what our vote creates? Will we ever take responsibility for the bad and irrational voting choices we continue to make?
All the communities in Komani – under the ANC led municipality – can attest to the deplorable state of the roads in the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality. Driving and walking along the streets of this municipality is a nightmare. There are more potholes than surfaced roads here. Street lights aren’t working. Electricity supply is as consistent as regular meals are guaranteed to a pauper. Some traffic lights haven’t been working for years. Rubbish is piling up all over the place. Public amenities are in the worst state of dilapidation. Inexplicable fires in municipal buildings have become the order of the day. Municipal workers are not always certain that they’ll receive their monthly salaries.
Just recently, it was revealed that the municipality has spent an amount in excess of fifteen million rands – R15 000 000 – on an eyesore that it called a “state of the art stadium”. This is but one example of how public funds are embezzled by this ANC led administration.
The public is fully aware of this disintegration of infrastructure that occurs as a direct failure of the municipality to perform as mandated by the electorate. Service delivery protests by disgruntled residents have, therefore, become the order of the day.
To make matters worse and confirm that the ANC has dismally failed to manage this municipality, the EMLM was placed under provincial administration in 2019. This was done, amongst other things, because the municipality consistently fails to collect revenue, it struggles to pay monthly salaries of its workers, cannot pay many of its service providers and generally delivers poor services.
Notwithstanding the above, the ANC continues to rake in votes. These vote, shockingly, come from the same people who – through persistent and sometimes violent service delivery protests – consistently highlight the inefficiency and incompetence of the governing party.
Why does the majority of this community keep voting for obvious failure? Do we really enjoy this suffering?
Shouldn’t we (you included) consider voting differently – wisely…rationally…courageously – this time around?