Ratepayers must get full value for their rates

The local government elections scheduled for 3 August is the most significant elections since the inception of democracy. Residents throughout South Africa have been protesting against poor service delivery by the ruling party. The infighting and controversial list procedure in the ANC have left many disillusioned. At local level we have witnessed communities protest in Copesville, Woodlands, Edendale, Sobantu and Georgetown- all unhappy with the services and decisions of the ANC. The DA is the leader in the domain of governance, including local government. The ANC led government voted nine DA municipalities out of ten as the best administered in the country. It’s very simple – the DA prioritizes citizens first while the ANC puts party first.
As the DA’s mayoral candidate with twenty years’ experience in local government and serving local government in parliament, the goal is to give the ratepayers value for their rates. The DA will initiate rebuilding the municipality by prioritising back to basics; corruption will be rooted out and the tender system will be transparent.
I will listen to the people of Msunduzi. Residents are unhappy with the Panzascore parking meter system – we will ensure the first half hour is free and no paid parking will be implemented at all schools and places of worship.
Performance contracts will be another priority. Those in senior management with improper qualifications will make way for employees with the correct qualifications fit for the positions.
Water wastages resulting from poor infrastructure is also high up on my list. Currently, the ANC is battling for funds to attend to burst pipes as they had no vision to create a reserve fund for such needs. Instead they spent millions on an unnecessary red brick road outside the city hall. Investing in infrastructure led growth will provide an environment conducive to private sector investment.
During the mayoral campaign we visited all 39 wards and the people welcomed me and pleaded for jobs.
Too many in Msunduzi live without the dignity of having a job. I will be committed to creating employment in a healthy environment by effective above-board service delivery initiatives and partnering with businesses to assist alleviate unemployment and developing skills. As a capital city we will open doors to boost economic development and strive for metro status.
Too often city residents who rely on public transport are stranded when the taxi industry erupts in protests and strikes. My goal is to prioritise a reliable and safe public transport system via a consultative inclusive process.
For 22 years the ANC has failed to maintain a housing list. A proper housing list that will be tamper proof and transparent will be introduced.
This will ensure the poor get houses on merit. Many of our people are living in rented properties paying exorbitant rents while too many live in squalor in informal settlements like Jika Joe.
Residents have complained bitterly about the ANC’s failure to provide service delivery. Street lights, overgrown open spaces and verges, potholes, a lack of proper traffic signs will all be in line with the DA national manifesto where complaints will be addressed in a quick turnaround time.
DA ward candidates possess the experience to serve you and will be evaluated regularly by the party. All the candidates have signed a pledge to serve you and if they fail, they will be dismissed.
Our current municipality is on the verge of collapse, give it another year and we will be looking at the city under administration again.
The power and vote is in your hands – I encourage you not to give it back to the ANC or the independents.  Every three votes from every voter will assist transform our municipality to be a functional municipality – you deserve it because you pay exorbitant rates for poor service.
Mergan Chetty is a DA member of parliament and the party’s mayoral candidate for Msunduzi Municipality.

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