The stench of municipal collapse hangs over the broken town of eKomani in the Eastern Cape. Sewage flows down roads and uncollected refuse lies rotting on street corners and open fields.
Continued electrical outages caused by dilapidated electrical infrastructure have left some communities without electricity for ten days. To add insult to injury, many residents have had to throw away rotten food from their fridges and freezers.
As if the cost of living is not already putting a strain on all communities, replacing rotting food, buying gas to cook with and having to shop for small amounts of food daily as opposed to bulk shopping is bringing families to their knees. Municipal collapse is killing the people of eKomani!
The Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality officials have used municipal funds and rates as their private cash cow for years. They do not have a plan to fix the mess, and they simply don’t care.
This municipal administration epitomises financial maladministration at its worst and if the provincial administration is serious about cleaning up governance, then firing the Municipal Manager of Enoch Mgijima would be a very good starting point.
I shall now write to the Public Protector to take steps against the administrative leadership of Enoch Mgijima Municipality for blatantly and wilfully failing to deliver on their mandate to deliver basic services to all residents.
Her office must also demand very clear steps that the Infrastructure and Technical departments will take to replace and upgrade collapsed infrastructure in the municipality, with strict time frames attached to the upgrades.
The citizens of eKomani have lost jobs, homes, food supplies and dignity. They are fast losing the one thing that has kept them buoyant through all of their challenges – they are losing hope.
If immediate action by the government to provide them with basic and regular services is not forthcoming, the residents of Enoch Mgijima will punish them harshly by voting for a clean and effective government in 2024. The only party in South Africa that has a proven track record of clean governance is the DA.