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Msunduzi ratepayers want Cogta to take over the municipality

Pietermaritzburg City Hall. File Picture

Pietermaritzburg City Hall. File Picture

Published May 3, 2022

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DURBAN - RATEPAYERS in Pietermaritzburg want the national Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) to take over the running of the Msunduzi Municipality.

Msunduzi Association of Residents, Ratepayers and Civics (MARRC) wrote to the Presidency asking for the national Cogta to take over as it believed the intervention by the provincial Cogta had failed. The municipality has been under administration for several years.

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This came a few days after the administrator Scelo Duma, deployed by the provincial Cogta, resigned.

Anthony Waldhausen, the chairperson of the association, said since the municipality was placed under administration for the second time three years ago, there had been no improvement.

“There are now daily water and electricity outages in Pietermaritzburg, the area of Lincoln Meade was left without water for the past 10 days and it is now suspected that the infrastructure that supplies water might have been sabotaged.”

The Mercury has seen a video of deputy mayor Mxolisi Mkhize as he addressed the water crises in Lincoln Meade where he alluded to the possible sabotage of infrastructure.

IFP councillor Thinasonke Ntombela said provincial Cogta should explain the state of the municipality to the councillors and inform them if the issues they had raised before had been addressed. “We have been under administration for three years, and if the situation has not improved, we as the opposition would also be calling for the intervention by the national government,” he said.

ACDP councillor Rienus Niemand asked: “Have you seen any change in Pietermaritzburg?

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“The potholes are more. The city is still dirty and there is no water or electricity.

“Our financial situation is worse than before we were placed under administration, the debtors book has grown from R5 billion to around R7bn. Theft of water and electricity has grown dramatically and now contributes 50% of our material losses.”

Msunduzi mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla dismissed the ratepayers’ letter as a political stunt.

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“Only a blind person cannot see that there is change in the performance of the municipality; today is better than yesterday.”

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