THE IDP and budget public participation meeting, which was held on Tuesday in Ward 40, was a complete slap in the face to residents of the ward.
The meeting was very well attended. People have a real interest in what the metro is spending their money on and the level of service delivery they can expect in the new financial year.
We waited for 45 minutes after the meeting was supposed to start for the members of the mayoral committee to arrive.
Only one arrived and we had to address the meeting between the two of us.
The meeting lasted for more than two hours. Due to the fact that we started late, the 2012/ 2013 capital and operating budget, proposed tariff adjustments, inclining block tariff for 2012/13 and draft rates policy were not discussed at all.
Ward 40 is a peri-urban ward and was identified as one of the two poorest wards in the metro.
People in the ward are faced with issues such as non-delivery of housing, poor and non-existent infrastructure and some families on farms and small-holdings are without water connections.
Many families live in shacks on flood plains and are facing major health issues to mention only a few.
The ratepayers in this ward pay some of the highest rates and are repaid with no services, refuse collection or street lights.
Roads and verges are also not maintained.
There were several questions raised in the meetings for the officials to respond to as there is supposed to be an official representing each directorate.
Unfortunately, these questions could not be answered as there were no officials from human settlements, no officials from infrastructure and engineering, no officials from sports and recreation. In fact, only parks and safety and security were represented.
This meeting was a complete slap in the face for me and the residents of Ward 40.
The lack of interest shown in this meeting on behalf of officials and the mayoral committee is an indication of how important this municipality deems its residents to be.
Vicky Knoetze, DA Councillor – Ward40