Merafong - It is quite clear that the African National Congress in Gauteng do not care about the poor or the delivery of services and have chosen to put the lifestyles of politicians ahead of the dignity of the people, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

"Merafong’s ANC mayor Maphefo Letsie, who enlisted a band of 'thugs' to disrupt democratic processes in the build-up to the 2016 elections using public funds, has dipped into the public purse once again to treat herself to a new Mercedes-Benz and revamped offices, while residents watch as the municipality rapidly falls into disrepair," DA Gauteng MPL Ina Cilliers said.

While Letsie had taken delivery of the new Mercedes-Benz and upgrades to the mayoral parlour had been completed, neither of these items appeared before the council’s finance committee nor had the items appeared before the municipal public accounts committee, she said.

In contrast to the luxurious trimmings the mayor enjoyed, residents received sub-standard services and waited months on end before any effort was made to address the numerous problems plaguing the municipality.

The Carletonville Sports Complex was an example of the ANC municipality’s negligence. Over time the facility had been stripped to such an extent that the roof was missing and the brick structure was slowly being dismantled. A facility that could play a significant role in the lives of residents now stood in ruin.

"While the ANC has refused to increase the budget for maintenance and repairs of municipal facilities to improve the lives of residents, it seems quite happy to enjoy public funds at its own discretion," Cilliers said.

Similarly, a massive sinkhole in Khutsong, that already destroyed a house and was supposed to be repaired with the R118 million disaster funds received by the municipality, remained open and now had sewage water running into it. It was only a matter of time before this sinkhole widened and affected more residents.

Water leaks, potholes, and extensive periods of downtime by council staff were the order of the day under the ANC in Merafong.

"It’s abundantly clear that the ANC in Gauteng do not care about the poor or the delivery of services. They have chosen to put the lifestyles of politicians ahead of the dignity of the people. Merafong, like other DA-led municipalities deserves a new beginning and a new DA-led government.

"The DA will ensure that mayor Letsie is held accountable for ignoring Treasury regulations to curb excessive expenditure while residents continue to bear the brunt of sub-standard service delivery," Cilliers said.

African News Agency/ANA