By: Collen T Ndobo
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Free State has filed a letter of demand for basic service delivery in the Mangaung Metro Municipality (MMM) with specific reference to waste removal. The letter was addresses to the speaker, city manager, executive mayor, waste management HOD and the provincial intervention team of the Metro Municipality.
The DA said that basic services needs to be rendered to residents and ratepayers in the municipality on a continuous and sustainable manner, including but not limited to the removal of waste on a weekly basis according to the official roster of Mangaung Metro Municipality for waste removal.
“The failure of MMM to properly attend to its constitutional duty to remove and manage waste, as well as the failure to attend to and fix sewerage spillages caused by blockages and breaks in the pipeline system are exposing residents to major health risks – especially amidst the escalating Covid-19 pandemic,” it said.
In a statement, the party said it “placed on record that in certain suburbs, wards and streets in the municipality, household waste has not been removed in any way or form for weeks.”
“We are aware that service delivery has been hampered by the impact of the COVID-19 Disaster and Lockdown Regulations as well as apparent labour action by waste removal employees related to an ongoing dispute about overtime payment.”
According to the opposition party, there is a growing and very serious feeling that if services are not going to be delivered by the municipality in a sustainable and proper manner, residents should not be expected to pay for services not delivered.
The DA mentioned that while they can obviously not advocate this type of ‘tax revolt’ as councilors in MMM, they deem it their duty to place on record that the already depressing collection rate in MMM will come under severe pressure if residents start withholding payment because services are not rendered.
“We place it on record that your options and duties in this regard are not binary in nature. Your duty and obligation to ensure that basic services are rendered to residents cannot be suspended or performed in a partial or on an ad hoc basis for any reason whatsoever,” the statement continued.
The party demanded a formal basic service delivery plan to be developed and implemented to ensure that waste is removed. In a letter to the speaker, the party said, “while it should not be necessary to place on record that such a plan is to be reported to Council as the legislative and oversight structure in MMM, we nonetheless do so”.
“Please also take note that in the event that you neglect and or fail to develop, report on and implement same within seven (7) days from receipt of this letter we reserve our right to, without further notice or demand, approach the High Court to obtain a Mandamus (Imperative Interdict) to ensure proper basic service delivery,” they concluded.