Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The State of Our Municipalities

David Blood's article is spot on...You know what I hate about the "Rainbow" apologists? They keep yak yak yakking on about how the standards in the NSA have actually been improved for the "previously disadvantaged" but they neglect to factor in the previously normal country that SA used to be, and how dramatically those standards have declined...It goes like this:

"Ignore the declining standards in your particular area/ zone/ town/ municipality and try to remember that millions have had an improvement in their life by a nominal percentage point since 1994 because of the socio-economic changes brought about by the ANC...The available pie is being re-distributed and all you are experiencing is that more people have to eat from the same pie now, than prior to 1994."

Crazy shit and fucking bollocks mate!

Throwing out the baby with the bath water is what it is... Has "dumbing down to the lowest common denominator" lost all relevance in SA?

Crazy shit and bollocks mate!

I saw it in SA myself last year in November when I was there for a week.

my personal post about declining standards in a small town that has cost ALL races a privilege and a right they previously used to enjoy (even after 1994) and never will again! ANC greed and corruption STOLE it from the average Joe or Sipho...It makes you sick...In the end this locust feeding frenzy of the ANC will leave everybody with nothing...

Go on Dave, tell 'em (you verkrampte old ballie)

Remember the days when Sandton and Randburg were municipal areas, they even had their own vehicle registration plates, like Kempton Park, Benoni, Germiston and Edenvale? Some of them were cities in their own right – using the internationally recognised definition of a city – and some were towns. They had mayors and they ran their own affairs.

Today we have huge unmanageable metros, teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and in some cases already over that edge. Corruption, incompetence and lawlessness, most of which is ignored by those in charge.

During the past month, my local weekly rag has had a front-page story each week of a house burning down or a business fire that destroyed the premises, and in each case the fire department had failed to respond timeously or had responded with inadequate equipment, leaky hoses, waterless trucks or not enough or inadequately trained personnel – three on a unit instead of five.

God forbid you should be involved in a serious motor vehicle accident and require paramedic treatment or rescue. There are very few working ambulances and those that are working do not have the required medical supplies on board for life support.

Driving home the other night down the N1 between Fourways and Rivonia, the traffic came to a grinding halt just before the Rivonia offramp. There had been a serious multi-vehicle pile up. I had been passed by two private medical rescue vehicles after Fourways, there were three private ambulances heading up the hill towards Fourways. These would have to turn and go back down the hill to get to the casualties, there were two private ambulances on the scene of the accident and a paramedic crew, plus I saw two more medical rescue vehicles and another two ambulances heading in that direction as I continued up the hill away from the crash site, having cleverly skirted around it via the Rivonia offramp. Not a single municipal ambulance or rescue vehicle was to be seen.

What do they do with the rates and taxes that we pay every month? I have it on good authority that some 80% on ANC run municipal metros spend +/- 75% of their income on salaries and other expendables compared with the recommended 25% of income, so no wonder there is nothing left for service delivery and they are obviously not paying the 75% to the union workers as we have had strike after strike by municipal workers for more pay.

Another interesting fact is that the old Krugersdorp municipality had a bank balance of R750 million in 1994 when they handed it over – 18 months later they were asking Trevor Manuel for a grant as it had all gone.

Well, the ANC – which runs most of the metros – said it would clean up municipalities and ensure that they were properly audited in 2010.
The reality:

• 20% of municipalities failed to submit proper audit reports
• 50% of audit reports submitted were found to be “not trustworthy”
• 70% of those reports submitted had financial data that was unusable
• 25% of municipalities cannot produce supporting documentation to substantiate their spending

The situation in most municipal metros is so bad due to non payment of rates, taxes and services, including electricity and water, that the Metro police have been given budgets to be achieved through speed trapping and other forms of ticketing – mainly cellphone abuse – in order to keep them afloat. In a 2005 report Gauteng had over R900 million in unpaid fines outstanding – that’s probably two weeks’ fines today.

That explains why you see dozens of motorists drive through stop streets without any fear; they know the cops are hiding under trees or behind walls with laser cameras stuck to their faces. Prosecution is far easier than crime prevention especially if you don’t actually have to stop a reckless driver or get off your arse.

And while this is happening, millions of rand are wasted annually on huge parties, overseas trips, hotel accommodation, flash cars and other non-essential functions, while ambulances and fire trucks go without maintenance – not to mention the state of hospitals and traffic lights, which often stay inoperative for months on end.

Have you ever counted how many missing stop signs there are, or missing street signs on your way home? Where are they? All in scrap yards, sold to some unscrupulous metal dealers for a few rand. Is that all your life is worth? The Metro police drive past them every day but do they do anything about getting the missing signs replaced?

Why do we have municipal bylaws? In most cases, they were instituted prior to 1994 and are still in effect. Some have been revised but they are never enforced. You will find an intersection with “No Hawking” signs on the traffic lights and on the verges while there are 20 or 30 guys trying to flog pirate DVDs, flash drives, sunglasses, cell phone paraphernalia and dozens of other items, while directly under the “No Hawking” sign on the roadside a guy has set up a pile of tyres and furniture to sell.

I pulled up next to a Metro police car at one of these intersections and asked the occupant why they didn’t arrest these law breakers and she just laughed at me and said: “what must we do?”– so much for law enforcement!

There are hundreds of bylaws for each metro. These are available either online or from their offices and they make very interesting reading – if you want a good laugh! – “No washing may be hung from windows or on balconies of any building in the municipal area”. Now there’s a joke!

“No cooked food may be sold in a public place without a licence and then only in a designated area.” Oh yeah! What about the ladies who cook their mielies over coal fires on every open corner, belching acrid smoke and polluting the air? Have you ever seen one being carted away?

You may not wash a car in the street or undertake repairs to a motor vehicle in a public place – ja well no fine!

Your neighbour is too lazy to buy black plastic bags and place his garbage out for collection but rather burns it in his garden – which by the way breaks another of these byelaws - with styrofoam, plastic, rotting meat and other disgusting smells producing a cloud of smoke that comes straight into your house – not back into his – straight into your house. You phone the fire department – they are not interested. You phone the Metro police; they don’t respond to domestic fires. You go to the SAPS to lay a charge and they laugh at you and tell you to go to the Metro police, which is where you started, and then they wonder why neighbours get into domestic disputes!

People who live in Cape Town advise they don’t have these problems … I wonder why?

3 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...


Two legs bad.
Four legs good.
All Animals are equal.
Some animals are more equal.

You figure it out.

Mix a full measure of animal farm with a pint of 1984 and you have an Orwellian nightmare even that prescient genius could not have foreseen...

Azania Delenda Est.

Anonymous said...

There's one common factor here that, without fail, ruins it for everyone else as per usual. I wonder what it could be?

Anonymous said...

To this article and all the many to still to come! I have only this to say, "We are going up the creek without a paddle "in other words we are truly literally and figuratively fucked in the black infested shithole,. there are no other words to describe it.