Darren Bergman
1 minute read
3 May 2021
5:11 am

‘Poor residents are the biggest losers, paying rates and taxes not seeing any returns’

Darren Bergman

Communities are biggest losers.

Collecting water is a laborious process for residents in Covid. They collect water every day from a nearby community that has stand pipes. Picture; File

In response to your various articles on the Democratic Alliance and its relationship with the ratepayer association, I would like to make some input.

I always state that an advert for the job description for a competent and caring ward councillor would ask for someone willing to work 24/7; the answer to over 15 000 bosses that all have a different idea of what your job entails; could be called at any time regardless of whether on holiday or in hospital.

The best analogy I can give is that we have mules and wagons that are pushed to capacity to fetch food and commodities for the community. The quicker and the bigger the parcel fetched, the more the community is fed and better resourced. However, you often see these poor old mules getting whipped and overladen with goods and food to the extent that their backs and knees are buckling.

This is short-sighted behaviour because the communities are taking their frustration out on the mules instead of the factories. The net result is you tire out the mule, and the factory continues with its shocking service and learns nothing about the needs of the community.

The same can be said about our councillors in an environment where there is in-fighting, mismanagement and a lack of service delivery. This is causing frustration all around. Our poor residents are the biggest losers, paying rates and taxes but not seeing any returns for it. Yet the only voice they tend to get hold of is usually a diligent councillor because that person is answering the phone and giving feedback.  Bergman is DA’s shadow minister of international relations and Sandton Constituency head.