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The constant power cuts in eThekwini have reached an unprecedented level, crippling our economy and forcing investors to look elsewhere.
At least 20 areas in eThekwini are affected by unexplained power cuts daily, lasting for hours with some lasting days. This has become a common trend that residents and businesses have had to accept.
In seeking answers on this issue, the DA found that the electricity unit lacks backup equipment and funds to purchase replacement parts and other supplies. During a committee meeting, Maxwell Mthembu, the head of power, revealed that his department required R200 million for repairs and upkeep. Residents are now left in the dark on a regular basis, while the country's second largest revenue-generating basin is being choked by being powerless.
The city has a GDP growth rate of 1.3 percent which is far lower than what such a metro should achieve. With regular power cuts affecting large corporations situated in strategic economic zones such as Prospecton, it begs the question who will want to invest in a municipality that lacks the capacity or political will to provide basic service delivery?
The crisis we find ourselves in will lead to massive job losses, leaving thousands of people destitute as we are on a collision course for disinvestment.
During a recent Economic Development and Planning Committee meeting, it was revealed that the city is struggling to attract new investors, with some of the main deterrents being a lack of service delivery and rampant crime.
Every service delivery unit in the city, whether it is parks and recreation, water and sanitation, or safety and emergency services, is on the verge of collapsing and not functioning properly.
Millions of people come through King Shaka International Airport but choose to spend their money in safer and cleaner neighbouring municipalities. Hotel rooms lay empty, theme parks become ghost towns while restaurants and entertainment centres see less and less foot traffic.
Which industry is flourishing under the current Mayor of eThekwini?
The ANC can be in denial all they want but the problem is the leadership paralysing this city. Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda is incapable of dropping his mic and fixing the city, management and officials only dance to the tune of corruption and allegedly putting political pressure on employees to award tenders and make payments to undeserving companies.
Report after report, the Mayor survives and lives another day, despite the fact that ratepayers around the city are dissatisfied with the lack of services they are receiving.
The DA in eThekwini will intensify its efforts of having the provincial government implement Section 139 of the Constitution to place the eThekwini metro under provincial administration and use the upcoming adjustment budget, to fight for the reallocation of funds to address critical infrastructure breakdowns and repairs.
Issued by Councillor Thabani Mthethwa - DA eThekwini Caucus Leader
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