RECENT Herald headlines highlight the ANC’s budget for the metro and the mayor waxing lyrically about his achievements to date. However, it would appear in presenting the council’s budget that nothing was said about the horrendous billions wasted, squandered, lost to corruption and pillaged by this municipality on expenditure in the past few years, nor would it appear it reported on how it fared against the budgets and objectives it set five years ago.
Let us just remind ourselves that this ANC council, according to the recent newspaper reports, recorded the worst financial disaster by any municipality in South Africa for the period up to 2014! A whopping R1.77-billion out of R8.4-billion South African aggregate is unaccounted for, wasted, squandered, lost to corruption and pillaged in this municipality on expenditure which was not approved!
And the carnage continued: the latest figures just released from the auditor-general shows a further R2.2-billion of fruitless and wasteful expenditure for the last financial year (2014-2015) in three major ANC-run metros, Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay. What an indictment given the abject poverty of our local people who are crying out for jobs, housing and basic living services.
One can only postulate with anger (sadness) the wasted opportunities and relief these billions could have brought to alleviate the sad plight of our people! Do we just forget and forgive, just wipe this horrendous track record under the carpet?
The mayor’s attempts to resurrect matters are laudable if one were not so cynical about everything ANC. Is there a genuine concern to improve our metro or is all this posturing to regain lost ground, in fear of losing the next municipal election?
The lack of any repentance or acceptance of blame for its abysmal performance speaks to a lack of moral fibre! In the light of this how can any rational human being not be cynical about anything this regime now does or says?
That it wants one to vote for it in the upcoming municipal elections so that it may continue with the mayhem stretches one’s credulity to the full. Any human being with the slightest shred of intelligence will surely not vote for more of the same – broken promises, jobs for pals, ignoring criminal records and pending charges when appointing senior managers, letting off guilty parties of corruption with golden handshakes (no criminal charges laid, etc).
All this begs the question – how is it possible that this ANC-led municipality can continue to convince its inhabitants to vote for it? It does not take an Einstein to find the answer – keep your electorate in an uneducated and impoverished state!
Illiterate people are easily manipulated and are sacrificial lambs on the altar of corruption and greed. When you and your family are starving you will sell your soul for a food parcel or a free T-shirt!
Our local education is a disaster. If recent newspaper reports about the abysmal educational standards are to be believed, the majority of our teenagers and young people, never mind their parents, cannot read. They are consequently incapable of making informed judgments.
What a Machiavellian scenario – keep the electorate illiterate and impoverished to facilitate the raping and pillaging of their birthright! Every Youth Day celebration we hear the assurances – in honour of the class of ’76 – to improve the lot of our young people, and every year we look back on broken promises and gross ineptitude!
Once again this regime relies on the hackneyed, racial diatribe to sweep up the emotions of vulnerable, uneducated people to vote for it, playing the man and not the ball as the recent personal attacks on Athol Trollip clearly show! It dare not face any debate on the real issues that matter.
The ANC is a party which prides itself on a collective management style. In doing so it lowers its standards to the lowest common denominator.
Consequently, its electorate demands the appointment of unqualified, unskilled councillors and municipal appointees who do not have the ability to perform. The appointments of councillors and officials are lucrative job opportunities, for families and cronies as well.
Levels of education, organisational skills and ethics are not a priority. Hence the abysmal lack of management skills in ANC councils throughout the country.
The Nelson Mandela metro has so much potential if only it were given the opportunity to develop in an atmosphere of integrity where people of all races and persuasions can hold hands and, together, make it happen!
Talbot Cox, Schoenmakerskop, Port Elizabeth