Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen and the party’s provincial leader Francois Rodgers lead a march on Friday to the offices of the KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance MEC Sipho Hlomuka calling for better service delivery.
The party is calling out on national government to intervene in what it terms the worsening state of the Msunduzi Municipality. The municipality has been under administration for years.
As marchers walked through Pietermaritzburg, they passed several dirty streets, others with bins filled to the brim. Addressing the media, party leaders said these scenes attest to some of the challenges raised by residents, involving lack of services.
Residents who also participated in the march say sometimes they experience water and electricity cut offs.
“Currently in our wards we have a lack of infrastructure in the city. We have a problem throughout the city of potholes, grass that is unkempt and uncut. We have no street lights, there are problems throughout! We would like a clean city in Pietermaritzburg. We are tired of empty promises. We are tired of our water being cut and our electricity getting cut,” says a disgruntled resident.
Steenhuisen has called for the intervention of national government. The DA demanded for administration interventions in Msunduzi because of the dire situation of the lack of basic services. He further adds that basic finances are in disarray and the administration is collapsing and nobody is being held accountable.
Steenhuisen explains, “The various intervention that was used in the past has not worked, we are still sitting with residents without water and electricity and the municipality is a total failed service. The Constitution makes it clear that if this happens in the province, national needs to intervene. We believe that now is the time for national to come to the party.”
KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance Head of Department Tando Tubane received the DA’s memorandum.
“I acknowledge the receipt of the memorandum that contains a number of items or demands, even the media knows that Msunduzi Municipality is under the provincial intervention in terms of section 139, 1 b of the Constitution. What that means is that there are certain powers from the municipal council had been taken over by the provincial government as I did indicate to the leader of the DA. We as provincial government and Msunduzi Municipality will jointly and comprehensively respond to their memorandum,” says Tubane.