Ratepayers Need To Reshape Ethekwini In 2021

Service delivery from eThekwini municipality needs to be subjected to ratepayer dictates in 2021 and not by trade unions whose members’ salaries are paid by ratepayers. The failure of DSW employees to collect refuse timeously in December is a case in point.

Thanks to the disregard of these workers refuse piled up over a two week period in many Metro areas with health-threatening consequences. Then suddenly on New Year’s Day, a public holiday, DSW summoned the will to clear the self-created backlog. Their timing deceives nobody: it was to cash in on overtime pay rates for working on a public holiday.

So, not only do these employees show contempt for their municipal motto Batho Pele –We Serve, but they do so to subject ratepayers to further exploitation.  To deter this attitude, one of two actions needs to be taken.

Either affected ratepayers could withhold that part of their refuse bill for which they received no service. Or, they could contract private companies to remove their refuse, like garden services operate, and arrange to disconnect from DSW altogether.

In several respects, service delivery has been declining for years. The Metro as a concept is simply not the viable, economic and efficient entity which was promised at its inception 20 years ago. Besides, it has become unaffordable with its budget having increased 500% from 2010 to 2020.

 The only way to halt this state of affairs is to revert to smaller municipalities as was the case before 2000. That is what the Freedom Front Plus advocates. Smaller municipalities would also be able to dictate terms and conditions to trade unions instead of what is happening in eThekwini where trade unions dictate at the expense of ratepayers.

With local government elections due in September 2021 needs to be the year that eThekwini municipality is reshaped and ratepayers’ rights and demands are prioritised.

Published in The Mercury January 2021

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