Marchers demand improved poor service delivery from city

Various political parties marching to Tshwane House yesterday. Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Various political parties marching to Tshwane House yesterday. Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Published Jan 25, 2024


Political parties yesterday joined forces with the Lotus Gardens, Atteridgeville and Saulsville Civic Association (Lasca), during a service delivery march to Tshwane House, where they cried foul over the poor state of service delivery.

At the centre of their complaints were inaccurate municipal billing for rates and taxes, which they claimed was often inflated.

Marchers convened in the morning at the Marabastad old bus depot before dispatching to Tshwane House with the SAPS and metro police keeping an eye on them.

Newly-formed political party called Xiluva, under its president, Bongani Baloyi, was among parties that participated in the march.

Baloyi said: “The reason why we decided to join you today is that we realised that we might be different political parties, but we are from the same communities.”

He lashed out at both the DA and ActionSA, which have the majority in the multiparty coalition government in Tshwane, saying they have forgotten about the plight of people living in the townships.

The marchers were demanding improved service delivery, writing off of billing on estimation and fixing of faulty prepaid meters. Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

“Today we have decided that we are not going to sit back and watch any longer. You, our mothers, are struggling. The government has forgotten about you. The government has forgotten that there are people living in the townships. It is only looking after the whites. These whites are funding the DA and ActionSA,”he said.

He said he had resigned from both parties because he “realised they put service delivery issues affecting black people on the back burner”.

“They are giving you rates that are inflated. They forget that they must administer indigent policy in a fair manner. Instead, they are stealing the little amount that you are paying. If you were to see the quality of life that (mayor Cilliers) Brink is living, it won’t make sense. It is more than the salary that he is earning,” he said.

The Azanian People’s Organisation’s representative, Dudu Shaba, said: “We are here to say we are tired and that enough is enough with the unscrupulous billing. They are giving people wrong readings. And they have closed accounts of other residents; in other words, they want to put them in corners to threaten them.”

She called for the City of Tshwane to scrap the debts of residents emanating from inaccurate and estimated bills.

The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) of Azania’s representative, Sello Raseroka, bemoaned the fact that the streets of Atteridgeville were littered with rubbish. He blamed the municipality for failing to collect dustbins and keeping the township entrance clean.

The march was organised by the the Lotus Gardens, Atteridgeville and Saulsville Civic Association, supported by political movements. Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

“As PAC, we have seen that Atteridgeville is dirty. We are giving them seven days to clean up,”he said.

Raseroka also expressed concerns about exorbitant monthly municipal bills to residents.

“We really have a serious problem. People are being forced to pay a lot of money and make some arrangements, and some are old people. They need them to pay R4 000 which they cannot afford,”he said.

Lasca chairperson, Tshepo Mahlangu, took a swipe at the municipality for appointing a deputy mayor, Nasiphi Moya, despite its claim that it was financially struggling.

Participants gathered at Tshwane House, where a memorandum was handed over to the metro. Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Other issues raised by marchers included corruption, maladministration and poor service delivery in general.

Mahlangu recently claimed that there is a mayoral committee report intended to scrap bills in arrears, but that it was yet to see the light of day.

“We want to make sure that during a council meeting (this week), they are going to vote for that item, to write off our estimated bills. No one is going to help us except ourselves,” he said.

The message was loud and clear from these marchers. Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Mahlangu was recently given a talking-to by the City for making “reckless and irresponsible utterances” by calling residents to boycott the payment of municipal services.

“In his spare time, Mahlangu records voice notes which he shares on social media and hops from one radio station to another to spew tirades at the City administration and advocate for lawlessness,” the City said.

The City said it has enforced credit control measures in a bid to recoup the more than R22 billion it is owed and that all residents and customers must pay for the municipal services they consume.

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