Home Opinion & Features Councillors, stop bickering and start providing services

Councillors, stop bickering and start providing services

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One must ask if service delivery is a priority for politicians

MUNICIPALITIES remain in limbo. Over the past few months, we have been privy to intense internal municipal battles, mainly in the metros.

The relentless back-and-forth skirmishes between the ruling party and its opposition, the DA, have presented an unfavourable disposition for residents in the municipalities where these two parties hold seats.

One must ask if service delivery is a priority for politicians.

Yesterday, the impasse between the DA and ANC intensified as former Joburg speaker Vasco da Gama and City of Tshwane speaker Katlego Mathebe, both DA members, were suspended by MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Lebogang Maile for allegedly breaking the code of conduct at their respective council.

Governance has been a burning issue.

This particularly comes as municipal workers in the eastern Free State yesterday protested outside the Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality offices, demanding that they be paid their salaries.

This also happened during a visit by Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to the same municipality over a water crisis in the region – another failure to deliver essential services, like water, which resulted in the death of an eight-year-old girl after she and another child went to fetch water from a nearby river.

The heightened challenges in municipalities ironically come a few months before the 2021 local government elections, which will see residents flock to the polls to vote for the political party of their choice to represent their needs.

It is said that by 2050 more than two-thirds of the global population will live in urban areas.

Recent reports have warned that rapid urbanisation has necessitated much focus and funding be allocated to urban centres to enable them to cope with the increased demand for essential services such as piped water, provision of sanitation, solid waste management and drainage services.

This then means that it is time political parties stop dilly-dallying.

They should focus on respecting and upholding the rights of every citizen by providing them with essential services, as noted in the Constitution, instead of engaging in long, drawn-out battles about who gains or retains power in our municipalities.