The collapse of Emfuleni’s administration is evident in the vast extent of raw sewage running through the towns and suburbs that make up the Emfuleni municipality, the larger of these being Vereeniging, Vanderbijlpark, Sharpville and Bophelong, as it makes it’s way to the Vaal river. In addition, Eskom’s bills are not being paid by the municipality, giving rise to legal activity currently underway to keep the lights on, despite the residents and businesses having paid the municipality for their use of electricity. Adding to the residents woes, water pressure issues have developed as a result of poor infrastructure maintenance, electrical substations are in a poor state and overloaded, road maintenance is lacking and refuse is not being collected on time.
“Everywhere we look, gross mismanagement by the local administration suggests that there is either gross incompetence or corruption at play, or a combination of the two, leading to maladministration and wasteful expenditure,” says Makhosi Khoza, OUTA’s executive director on local governance.
OUTA is currently engaging with community stakeholders, including ratepayers’ associations, resident bodies, faith-based formations and business leaders to prioritise the issues that require attention in Emfuleni. In addition, OUTA’s leadership is urgently seeking to engage with the local, provincial and national government authorities, to propose sustainable solutions and interventions that will overcome the plight of all communities in the area.
“Making contact with the governing authorities at Local and Provincial level is proving to be rather difficult, seemingly indicating their lack of interest in wanting civil society to intervene in matters of local government,” adds Khoza. “Sadly, the communities of Emfuleni have been let down by the politicians and the problems that are mounting will soon become too big to overcome. Civil society will have to take a stronger stance and act without fear, favour or prejudice in order to hold to account all those responsible for the Emfuleni service delivery crisis.”
OUTA is a proudly South African civil action organisation, that is purely crowd funded. Our work is supported by ordinary citizens who are passionate about holding government accountable and ensuring our taxes are used to the benefit of all South Africans.