The belligerent attitude of eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda towards the Westville Ratepayers, (The Mercury, September 11) who have withheld funds in protest against the excessive cost increases imposed by the syndicate running the municipality, needs to be seen in the context of constitutional rights and obligations.
Section 41 of chapter 3 of the constitution on cooperative government, refers to the need for mutual trust and good faith, consultation with one another in matters of common interest and coordination of actions with one another (h – i,ii, iii, iv). In cavalier fashion, Kaunda chose to ignore the metro-wide opposition to the rates and utilities increases. He and his party failed to apply the most basic of economic considerations: to cut one’s coat according to one’s cloth.
Kaunda and his ilk have continued on their profligate spending path despite outrage regularly expressed against unnecessary expenses such as R1,7 million on a dinner function at the ICC, R52 million outstanding in unpaid services by his own people, R9 million to “consult” residents, 55% of the water being lost or stolen, crumbling infrastructure, an electricity increase above Nersa’s stipulation.
Despite all of the above, Kaunda’s syndicate continues to proclaim that by 2030, Durban will be Africa’s most liveable city. That slogan has long ceased to be credible and will never be realised under the ANC and its adherents.