It is the responsibility of councillors to communicate with communities, in order to address service delivery issues
THE MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Bentley Vass, yesterday cautiously spoke out against the purchase of the Sol Plaatje executive mayor’s R1 million Q7 Audi, at the expense of communities who are suffering.
The mayor’s vehicle has been the subject of residents’ anger during various protests that took place around the city this week, where the residents complained that he was driving an expensive vehicle while they could not even enjoy the luxury of a flush toilet or running water.
Vass stated that it was a “difficult matter to respond to”.
“We would have to take into account the terms of the budget and the last council decision. That is why we need to get the policy of the municipality and take it from there although we can’t drive expensive cars while communities are suffering. More needs to be done to give better services to our communities.”
Vass added that it was the responsibility of councillors to communicate with communities, in order to address service delivery issues.
“Councillors must hold community meetings every quarter and they must keep the community updated by way of social media.”
He condemned the destruction of state property during the service delivery protests that are continuing unabated.
“People can’t burn down and vandalise state infrastructure. We will not tolerate this.”
The head of department, Befedile Lenkoe, noted the debts owed by municipalities to Eskom and the Water Board.
He indicated that there was simply not enough money in the available budget to bail out municipalities that were affected by water and electricity cuts.
He stated that municipalities were encouraged to adhere to audit recovery plans in order to achieve clean audits.
Meanwhile, municipal managers from various municipalities in the Northern Cape gathered in Upington yesterday to discuss the municipal debt to Eskom and the water boards as well as municipalities identified as red zone areas based on unfavourable audit reports.