SACP first deputy secretary Solly Mapaila has called on trade unions to play a more active role in holding municipalities accountable in delivering basic services. Mapaila was delivering a keynote address at the Boyce Melitafa memorial lecture in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape.

Melitafa was the SACP secretary in the Sikhenjana Roji district. He died in January 2017 at the age of 62.

Mapaila says a large number of municipalities are in dire financial distress.

“Because of the waste that takes place in our municipalities, that is why we need a strong SAMWU. But there is a tendency to weaken trade unions by some of the people. We will say this because most of the municipalities are under the alliance so we can self-correct. There is a tendency to outsource municipal services.”

Mapaila has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to show more leadership in addressing the challenges that country is facing such as the energy crisis. Mapaila says the President is doing things at a very slow pace.

“What we are saying is that he must not suffer from hypo-bullying, which is a disease of not acting. He started very well by acting structurally in the institutional form, but the crisis is that we need him to lead more from the front on economic recovery; for instance on interventions in Eskom or rather allow some of the ministers to steal.”

Mapaila has also lambasted last week’s Budget Speech by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. Mapaila says Mboweni’s speech lacked detail.

He says Mboweni’s speech seeks to serve capitalists.

“The minister of finance must know that we reject this budget as the communist party. This is an anti-poor budget. All he says we will not increase taxes, those earning above R10 000 this and so forth in that area. It sounds progressive, but the budget doesn’t address fundamental crisis that we face as a country.”

In the video below, Solly Mapaila lambashes the 2019 budget for being anti-poor.