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Today — May 14th 2021Your RSS feeds

Municipal Billing Woes Latest: KZN municipality in shambles

May 13th 2021 at 17:30

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) CoGTA MEC, Sipho Hlomuka to request that his Department intervene in the uMgungundlovu District municipal billing woes, with an urgent emphasis on the fair treatment of those who are paying their bills.

The move comes after an oversight inspection by the DA to the Richmond Municipality last week, during which residents and civic bodies were consulted about the challenges facing their respective communities.

DA KZN Spokesperson on CoGTA, Chris Pappas, said the visit had formed part of an ongoing probe into the real state of local government in the province and followed the recent finding that municipal billing in is in a dismal state, with many municipalities regularly providing inaccurate bills or failing to provide good customer services to residents.

“Amongst the myriad of problems found within the Richmond Municipality was the issue of water bills from the uMgungundlovu District Municipality, with many residents and civic bodies describing endless problems with the billing system,” Pappas said.

“Incorrect bills, untrained meter readers, infrequent reading of meters, over-estimations in terms of consumption and the non-delivery of bills were just some of the problems highlighted by Richmond residents. This trend is confirmed by the DA’s province-wide survey,” he said.

In addition to the billing issues, the District Municipality had closed its local customer service centre. This means that residents with issues must either call the call centre, which is a problem in itself, or travel an hour to Pietermaritzburg to get help.

“The uMgungundlovu District has been plagued by challenges for a number of years. The billing issue is just another layer added to an already struggling district and yet another challenge for already frustrated residents,” Pappas said.

“The DA is concerned that there is neither the technical expertise or the political will to get the basics right within this district. This as years of hollowing out of skilled officials and the deployment of cadres has left the district – and many of the local councils within the district – with a severe lack of capacity,” he said.

He said the party was also concerned that the ANC was determined to implement the District Development Model (DDM) which will see greater power shifted to regional bodies with power being taken away from communities.

Before yesterdayYour RSS feeds

DA wants ECD centres in Emfuleni to be urgently attended to

May 12th 2021 at 03:52

The DA has called for the speedy completion of early childhood development (ECD) centres in the Emfuleni local municipality.

The party said that four ECD centres built in Emfuleni in the past 10 years are yet to be completed and remain non-operational.

“There have been unnecessary delays in completing the following ECD centres in Boipatong, Bophelong, Evaton and Sharpeville,” the DA’s Kingsol Chabalala said.

“This greatly concerns the DA, as children in these areas are denied opportunities to learn and develop at a younger age. ECD centres, particularly in the townships, play a crucial role to serve children from families who are socially, physically and economically segregated.”

ALSO READ: Problems facing ECD centres – report

“I conducted oversight inspection to the Bophelong ECD, the Boipatong ECD and the Sharpeville ECD, where I found that these ECDs are in a terrible state and lack proper regular maintenance. The pavements are full of weeds and big trees needing urgent removal.

“The building structure is deteriorating and the ceiling is starting to fall in. The taps, geysers and electrical cables have been stolen at the Sharpeville ECD, yet there is a security company hired to safeguard the premises,” Chabalala said.

The party said that it would be putting pressure on Gauteng MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs Lebogang Maile and Gauteng MEC for social development Morakane Mosupyoe.

DA outraged at delays in payment of NGOs subsidies

May 11th 2021 at 04:43

The DA has slammed Gauteng social development MEC Morakane Mosupyoe over the delay in the payment of NGO subsidies.

The party said on Tuesday it had written to Masupyoe’s office requesting the payment process to be speeded up.

DA Gauteng shadow MEC for social development Refiloe Nt’sekhe said she had received numerous phone calls and messages from NGOs across the province complaining they have not received their first tranche of subsidy payments from the department.

“The NGOs claim they were promised the subsidy would be paid 15 days after signing their service level agreements (SLA) but to date they have not yet received anything,” Nt’sekhe said.

“They have also written to the department officials who promised them payments would be expedited. However, to date the payments have not yet been made.”

ALSO READ: DA shoots itself in the foot, again

Nt’sekhe slammed the provincial government for poor planning.

“The SLAs should have been signed a long time ago as payments can only be done two weeks after signing. Delays in processing subsidy payments has a negative impact on NGOs in terms of rendering much needed social welfare services to our people,” Nt’sekhe said.

Furthermore, NGOs are dependent on this subsidy to pay salaries of their employees.

The DA has urged Masupyoe to urgently investigate the cause of the delays and to provide exact dates when these payments will be made.

Man arrested for ruining Solly Msimanga’s ‘perfect day’

May 6th 2021 at 11:15

The man who assaulted Solly Msimanga in Benoni, claiming monies owed, and ruined the DA Gauteng leader’s “perfect day”, has been arrested.

The man apparently showed up with a group of people, who said they were there to collect items from the cousin’s business. Msimanga was then attacked after intervening in spat between the man and his cousin.

While on video, the man then accused Msimanga, who was on the phone to police, of owing him money.

However, he has since publicly apologised to Msimanga and confirmed that Msimanga does not owe him any money, according to the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng, in a statement.

“The assailant also offered to pay the medical expenses and other losses Mr Msimanga may have suffered in the process.

“The DA condemns this vicious and criminal attack on the provincial leader. Our country’s Constitution asserts the rule of law as a founding provision. If there is a disagreement, whether involving money or not, South Africans should commit to working through the parameters of the law to resolve their differences,” the DA said.

The DA said since this was a personal matter, they would respect Msimanga’s decision on whether to press charges or not.

Msimanga, before the assault, having a “perfect day”:

Msimanga, after the assault, on the phone with the police:

Former capital city mayor, the honourable Mr Solly Msimanga, beaten to the pulps!

— Mantikwe (@Mantikwe3) May 6, 2021

Additional reporting by Rorisang Kgosana

Addicted to Twitter outrage

April 24th 2021 at 15:00
By: Eyaaz

The Democratic Alliance is a cue for Twitter fury, but this diminishes intelligent political debate

The post Addicted to Twitter outrage appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.

Money can’t buy it all, Tokyo

April 22nd 2021 at 15:00
By: Eyaaz

As the wannabe president cuts loose, uBaba’s lawyers cut him loose, but other people’s money never dries up

The post Money can’t buy it all, Tokyo appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.

Forcing South African ISPs to have black owners will be catastrophic – DA

April 22nd 2021 at 03:30
New regulations which force South African telecommunications companies to have black ownership will be catastrophic for ISPs and their customers, the DA's Zakhele Mbhele said.

The race elephant lurking in the DA’s ‘laboratory’

April 8th 2021 at 15:00

Tony Leon’s comments calling Mmusi Maimane an ‘experiment’ have lifted the lid on what disgruntled black leaders describe as insidious racism and a refusal to hold racists to account

The post The race elephant lurking in the DA’s ‘laboratory’ appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.

DA MP gets R500 bail for attempted murder

April 6th 2021 at 13:41

A Democratic Alliance (DA) MP in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) has appeared in the Alice Magistrate’s Court for attempted murder.

Mlindi Nhanha is accused of shooting at his brother-in-law, Mxolisi Daniel, on Sunday 3am in Dyamala, after Daniel intervened when Nhanha allegedly assaulted his wife, Vatiswa.

“It is alleged that he [Nhanha] assaulted her. Vatiswa’s 40-year-old brother, Mxolisi Daniel then allegedly chased him out of the homestead.

“It is claimed that Nhanha became violent towards his brother-in-law and went to his car, took his firearm, shot at him but missed,” the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said in statement.

ALSO READ: Cop demands bribe from undercover colleague at illegal roadblock

Daniel reported the matter to police and Nhanha was arrested on Monday. His firearm was also confiscated.

However, Daniel has since withdraw his case, saying that he and Nhanha had ironed out their differences.

“The NPA will, however, study the docket and make a decision whether or not to proceed with the case.

“Nhanha was released on R500 bail and the case was postponed to 7 June 2021,” the NPA said.

Nhanha is also the DA’s spokesperson in the Eastern Cape.

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Millions paid out but Bloemfontein roads give no joy

April 1st 2021 at 16:00

The Mangaung metro has paid R2-billion to engineering companies — R524-million to GladAfrica — but has little to show for it except congested roads and broken infrastructure

The post Millions paid out but Bloemfontein roads give no joy appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.

Political parties move online but risk losing inclusivity

January 30th 2021 at 14:00
By: Eyaaz

Did the Democratic Alliance’s 2020 virtual Federal Congress achieve equal access, and what does the move to digital politics mean for the upcoming elections?

The post Political parties move online but risk losing inclusivity appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.