VERY often lately we have learnt of the extravagant and excessive spending taking place in our metro, perpetrated by senior ruling party political figures in charge of the metro.
We have learnt with shock of the R45000 per month spent on hiring a Mercedes by the deputy mayor.
Currently NMBM is searching for a car hire business prepared to hire vehicles to us at all, as unpaid accounts are running into six figures.
Our residents were also subjected to an attempt to raise a 20-year democracy celebration budget from R1.4-million to R5-million, in the process depleting all departments of much-needed funds to deliver services to all.
Our residents are also aware of three former “political advisers” who, after losing favour, have had to be placed in various departments at roughly R1-million per annum salaries each to perform duties unknown to us.
We as councillors continually get told that there are no funds available if we want improvements done in our wards.
The latest and very serious scenario that has come to my notice is really unacceptable in light of the impact that it will have on our city.
After requesting that a process be instituted to eradicate dense alien trees that are now becoming an absolutely dangerous fire hazard in the Baakens Valley, I was told the department involved had only received a budget of R74000 for the financial year.
This has to cover bush clearing in this department’s section, which is half of the metro, extending all the way to Sundays River and the Addo Elephant National Park borders, also to service the farming communities and keep fire breaks in place.
Contractors charge between R7000 and R21000/ha to clear. With about 500ha to clear, this means that less than 10ha can be cleared.
Our metro is sitting on a tinderbox!
The national Working for Water Project, which is aimed at invasive alien bush clearing has also come to a standstill.
Two months of Mercedes hire costs more than the funds available to this vital departments for the entire year!
Nothing illustrates more graphically the poor planning, disregard for residents’ needs and pure greed than the above scenario.
Can the metro’s residents continue to live with this?
Chris Roberts, DA councillor, Ward 7, Port Elizabeth