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Nothing has come of the much anticipated intervention by the EC Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) in the failing administration of the Inxuba Yethemba Muncipality (IYM). Despite the many promises made by CoGTA, the residents of IYM have once again been left to their own devices in a municipality that is unable to deliver even basic services.
Eastern Cape CoGTA MEC, Xolile Nqatha, ordered an investigation into the IYM administration in terms of section 106 of the Municipal Systems Act.
A section 106 investigation is instituted if an MEC has reason to believe that a municipality cannot or does not fulfil its binding statutory obligations or that maladministration, fraud, corruption or any other serious malpractice has occurred.
This investigation followed a series of service delivery protests by the residents of Cradock and Middelburg earlier this year that saw at least two dead.
Unfortunately for the residents of this municipality, MEC Nqatha and his department have been exposed as just wanting to appease the public, with no further action having been taken to resolve the myriad of problems the administration faces after the report that was released in March 2021.
Life in IYM remains a daily struggle. Residents have become accustomed to frequent water and electricity interruptions as a result of unmaintained, collapsing infrastructure. Sewage flows freely in our streets and into our waterways because sewerage pump stations are non-operational.
Road infrastructure has all but collapsed and all communities are engulfed by filth and garbage.
The municipality currently has more that R220 million in outstanding ESKOM debt and many other creditors have to wait months before their accounts are settled. The municipality is in fact in such a precarious financial situation that it struggles to pay staff salaries on a monthly basis.
Recently, the community of Rosmead was without electricity for more than a week because the municipality couldn’t settle the electricity bill before the staff salary run took place, for fear that it wouldn’t have enough funds.
Allegations of corruption in the administration remain rife and the Municipal Manager faces criminal charges of stock theft after he allegedly stole sheep from local farmers.
Against this bleak background, MEC Nqatha’s unwillingness to deal decisively with the collapsing state of IYM is a slap in the face of all our residents. It highlights once again that the ANC provincial administration remains unwilling to intervene and take decisive action to support collapsing municipalities.
There is hope, however. The DA is committed to fight tooth and nail to wrestle this municipality out of the hands of the ANC. The current government in IYM has proved that they do not deserve to govern this municipality as they do not care for the plight of our people.
The DA is currently taking its offer of hope and change to each and every person in Cradock and Middelburg. When we take over the administration we will:
Institute a financial turnaround strategy;
Implement an urgent maintenance plan for infrastructure;
Fast-track service delivery to all communities;
Fight to have water and sanitation competency returned to IYM.
The DA will bring change to IYM. Together we can save our municipality, so that all of us can move forward again.
Issued by DA Inxuba Yethemba Mayoral Candidate, Cllr Monde Desha