The mayor of the “City of Choice”, Mzimkhulu Thebolla, according to a recent report in The Witness, has promised the citizens of our city lots of “cookies” during his leadership. These include a clean city based on how they do it in Rwanda.
Maybe someone should whisper in the mayor’s ear that if all the broken municipal vehicles which seldom find their way out of the municipal workshops, were fixed, this would make the task of keeping the city clean a lot easier.
Before he starts to deliver on his promises, the mayor needs to look at the municipal kitchen where he will find that the stove is broken and there is no longer electricity because somebody has stolen the cables, the fridge has disappeared, and the cupboards are bare so baking the cookies is most unlikely to happen.
To dish out cookies you need cash: economics 101. For many years, cash has been a problem for our city leaders. Not even two administrators appointed by Cogta found the answer to this problem, but nowhere in the mayor’s review does he acknowledge this important fact.
Until such time as the council fixes the broken billing system, the backlog of consumers’ billing queries are sorted out, and the council enforces a proper and effective credit-control system, our council will be without money. So, Mr Mayor, your promise of lots of cookies is most unlikely to materialise.
According to Thebolla, the economic future of our city will be boosted by the building of a new provincial government building on the Town Hill Hospital site. What’s wrong with all the present government buildings? Will they be abandoned to become an eyesore in the city?
Our KZN government should surely have other priorities right now, like funding the repair to infrastructure damaged by the recent floods, and building houses for the poor.
Two months after the floods, very little government money has found its way to fixing the damage caused by the floods. Government appears to be battling to find even R1 billion when an estimated R30 billion is required. Thousands of families are waiting for assistance. KZN does not need glory projects that have only one objective: to boost the egos of politicians.
It is time to look after the needs of the people. If the proposed plan for new provincial headquarters follows the Medupi experience, it will be years late and the cost will be four times over budget. If this project goes ahead maybe the name of our city should be changed to: The Place of the Big White Elephant.
A. L. NORMAN