LETTER to the mayor. I refer to the report on the front page of the Herald of Friday October 19 2012.
Firstly, I concede that I read the article as seen through the eyes of a reporter who, I have no doubt, has researched the matter thoroughly.
The first question that comes to mind is whether the acting municipal manager Themba Hani is aware of the implications of the budget cuts as outlined in the article.
And this while Economic Development and Recreational Services executive director Zolile Siswana's response to DA leader councillor Leon de Villiers's suggestion, that the metro aborts the bid to host the Afcon event, is "it's not an option". He claims "it would damage the city's reputation".
From this one gathers that the two gentlemen, Hani and Siswana, have discussed this issue at length and both understand the implications. What reputation would he be referring to?
My understanding of the position of "acting municipal manager" is that "acting" suggests he was put in that position as a temporary measure while top management were in the process of recruiting a permanent candidate.
As such does he have the authority to make decisions of this magnitude which will affect every ratepayer of this city in one way or another? As such one can understand why the DA is so adamant for this event not to be hosted.
I feel Siswana is short-sighted in his thinking. He obviously understands the impact this will have on the metro's service delivery but what he fails to understand is the fact that the budget cuts will have a serious impact on the actual infrastructure of the city and as such will in fact degrade the city's image and not "damage the city's reputation" as he is quoted as saying in the article.
If the city's already crumbling infrastructure is not rescued and maintained in a proper manner, there will soon not be any reason for anybody to want to host any event in this city anyway. Is Siswana perhaps concerned about his own reputation and not that of the city?
Considering media reporting on the damage caused by the recent ongoing flooding in the metropole, has the fact that people in the townships and living in shacks are being washed away and trying to survive without help from the municipality not made any impression on him and his colleagues?
Should the NMBM not be concentrating on creating a better life for those in desperate need as is always quoted by all and sundry of the ANC when they are interviewed on television? For example: "Creating a better life for OUR people."
The two gentlemen seem to lose sight of the fact that the money they are planning to squander on an event that will benefit a select few in this city, is money paid by ratepayers who are entitled to and demand better service from this metro.
Mr Mayor, we urge you to use your position and influence and join the thousands of ratepayers of this city, who probably feel the same as I do, to not go ahead with the venture and save this city from its ultimate demise.
Let's restore the city to its former glory, assist the poor living in shacks and under dire conditions, and give us a city to be proud of.
George van der Merwe, South End, PE