Metro, pay attention to our town

ANOTHER PROTEST: One of a number of housing protests that have taken place in Uitenhage over the past year
ANOTHER PROTEST: One of a number of housing protests that have taken place in Uitenhage over the past year

What’s happening to Uitenhage? I write this to the mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

I have a question for the council of the metropole: if we stop paying your salaries will you get angry? No need to answer the question, you can just imagine what you will do.

Now let start the discussion. This town, Uitenhage, doesn’t belong to the metro, it belongs to the people who go to work every morning to provide for their families and want the best for their children, it belongs to the men and women who sacrifice their time to help their neighbours when they are in trouble, who pay their taxes every year.

So why do I say this? Simple, you just don’t care about them so why should they care about you?

All that the metro and the government have done for them is make promises for the last 20 years. If I was you and the metro councillors, I would be worried about what’s going to happen in the local elections, because the people are not going to vote for you again, sir.

This town is bigger than you and your ego in the council meetings. If want to help us, let us run our own town and restore it to the glory this town once was, the Garden Town of the Eastern Cape. Look at our streets, our parks, our community facilities, the houses that people live in. Where are the RDP houses for them?

If you want my vote next year, come to my town and talk to us and show us what you will do for this town.

We don’t want another report about what will be done, we want action to take place now.

Who am I, you ask. Just a simple guy who pays his taxes and rates, and loves his town.

The guy who is tired of all the promises made before an election and after it you all disappear. A guy who wants to take his children to the park to swing and play ball with them, a guy who wants to be proud of his town and who wants to tell everyone that I live in this great place call Uitenhage.

So? What is the plan for Uitenhage or are we getting promises again in the next six months before the elections?

Uitenhage is small but has a huge heart of gold. Take a day off with the councillors and come to see this beautiful place, see the smiles on people’s faces when you talk to them on how this place used to be, how they would get together on a Sunday in the parks and gather as families.

All I’m asking is to give this town its glory back.

I’m tired of seeing people fighting for houses and schools, burning tyres because there is no service delivery and children staying at home as there are no schools for them to go to.

I drive around the townships and see the living condition, burst pipes, potholes, dirty streets.

It starts with us, I know, but where do they get the tools to repair? They need your help.

Last year there were people in Uitenhage who started cleaning the town. I salute them and appreciate them for all their efforts.

They can’t do it alone without the assistance from the municipality. So you have the ball in your court, Mr Mayor with your councillors.

-Stanley Arends, Uitenhage

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