81 COUNCILLORS, 41 WARDS – WHO WILL WIN?

MT02With the local elections looming and parties revving it up for action, there is a lot of pressured silence in the air. Madibeng residents have been dissatisfied with service delivery, the unethical actions of municipal officials, and with government in general.

The opposition parties have used this opportunity to try and gain ground on local level – and this rightly so – if the ruling party is not progressing in terms of delivery, then let the opposition show us how it should be done. There have been numerous events that have caused public outcry, disdain and much concern. The year began with concerns of Brits and Hartbeespoort roads literally falling apart. The Madibeng Municipality has been reported to have tons of tar in storage for use, yet road workers have refused to labour without protective gear. The DA’s Eddie Barlow then and there took action and inspected the reasons for the tardy response. The municipality thereafter confirmed that protective gear was granted and business continued as usual.
Then we have the case of our very own local mayor that bought a popular Madibeng lodge and ‘rendered services to the municipality,’ and was granted hundreds of thousands of rands for a local project that did not make any sense. Was this a case of corruption and tender rigging? Why did the municipality not find it strange as this is an obvious conflict of interest and do modern employment contracts not raise the issue of restraint of trade and interest conflict? The events this year unfold further. With the municipality’s attempts to dump director Leleka for being accused of resulting the violent water protests and while the disciplinary chairman stated that he cannot be held responsible for non-payment or delivery by suppliers, the municipality also refused him access to his place of employment. This is rather alarming to the community as all seems in such disarray – one cannot help but wonder if any department within our municipality is ethically ran to its full potential. The public certainly does not think so. Opinion and fact need to be separated. Property taxes for farms have also increased and this has been petitioned against the municipality by, once again, Madibeng DA Leader Eddie Barlow. It seems apparent that the DA is always on par or a step ahead, trying to save the day. Non-service delivery was also raised as a bone of contention by the DA.

Madibeng executives ignored legislation connected with these rates and incorrectly applied rates. The municipality once again blamed the ‘system’ instead of the responsible individual. When things get hot in the kitchen and anything gets bunt, the stove is blamed instead of the cook. Excuse the pun.
The DA’s Barlow exclaimed that this is a lack of compassion from the side of the municipality on the marginalised and hoped that things would be rectified as promised. Since last year and this year again for the second time, the municipalits trucks have been listed on auction. The sheriff’s department can verify these claims. What financial woes have struck our municipality that municipal property needs to be auctioned? This is rather shocking. To place the cherry on the cake, Eskom has also threatened to cut Madibeng Municipality’s power supply due to amounting debt.

This would mean areas like the Central Business Unit (CBD), Lethlabile, Oukasie, Primindia, Brits area itself, Brits Industrial area, Elandsrand, and Damonsville. That very much barricades the entire area off from the critical power supply. This too has been promised to be fixed in due course by the municipality. When capital is on auction, how is the local municipality expected to have the funds available to pay their electricity bill with Eskom? This all seems very improbable and the light at the end of the tunnel is taking the figure of a tempered bull. On one side we have the voice of the EFF accusing the ANC locally and nationally of ‘dishonourable’ conduct. Figuratively, we have the prosecutor on board. The ANC in turn reserves its right as ‘judge’ to recall and not recognise ‘points of order and privilege.’

On the other side of the bench we have the DA that has take on the character and form of the saviour and hero that wars the oppressive ruling party – seen in a figurative sense of ‘oppression’ since the masses still suffer as they did economically under apartheid. What has recently occurred in Parliament is shadowing and is a type of what is happening in local municipalities. The same scenario plays off in our local municipality of Madibeng. The isolated local occurrences are but a shadow and type of what is happening on large scale nationally with regards to government and localities. In the mix we also have COPE and the Lekhota fraction that denies Zuma’s presidency and this is saturated within their cadres locally as well.

There are so many voices, when one takes into consideration all the minor opposition parties like the Freedom Front Plus (FFP) (which should have quite the support of the more nationalist minded Afrikaner folk within our area), and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) that has scored next in line after the DA in elections in Madibeng recently.
Each has a voice and an angle, each has majors on points that seem to the other as maybe a minor. And, each will contest that you cannot major on a minor. The EFF has the voice of radical revolution with a strong nudge to the left.

The ANC is seen to have the voice autocracy and having the ‘last say’, sort of an ‘untouchable’ indifference. The DA seem to blow the war trumpet of service delivery and transparency. COPE, on the other hand seems to unite with the ‘accuser’ having a personal vendetta against Zuma, Gupta’s and associates. The SACP seems as if they have lost their socialist voice under the ‘capitalist’ umbrella of the ANC. Anyone can be bought for the right price – money makes it all ‘go round.’ The EFF’s socialist voice is now louder than the once heralded SACP who once gave us our most revered and honoured ‘feedom fighters’ in the past.

Yet it seems in this age that the ‘Freedom Fighters’ have dislodged from the ANC and joined the Malema train and and jumped the ‘gravy train.’ The DA has the voice of the pioneering plaintiff, the whip that keeps track of undelivered promises; a golden ray of hope for a country that needs to be united in democracy.All in all, in Madibeng, we have 41 wards to be governed, 81 councillors to be elected, a municipality to that needs to be efficiently operated and a population of 477,381 to regulate and appease. Let us soon take our stand to vote so that our future leaders can take their seats to lead. Let the people govern, let the democracy take its toll to the advantage of or locality and may each individual carry the due responsibility of voting. Let the games begin…