Change must come to Pearston and Grahamstown

Below is an extract of a speech delivered by DA Eastern Cape Provincial Leader, Athol Trollip, in Pearston today as part of his provincial campaign road show. Please click here to view a picture.

A responsive and caring local government does not allow its towns to wither away.  Change must come.

Despite numerous complaints by the DA over the years, including letters to two ANC MECs for Cooperative Governance, the Blue Crane Route Municipality (BCRM) is yet to collect an estimated amount of R114 000 from the ANC for eight years of rental fees for the lease of municipal premises for their constituency office in Pearston.

It is unacceptable that the mainly poor and jobless residents of Pearston are being forced to subsidise the ANC.  This is a gross misuse of municipal revenue.  Service charges and rates are there for the benefit of everyone and cannot be misused in this fashion.  This corruption needs to be stopped and good governance introduced so that BCRM can move forward again.  This is what should occur in a fair society.

In Grahamstown, the city’s failing water infrastructure again reared its ugly head, two days before the National Arts Festival.  Responsible local governments would never allow poor management to jeopardise the welfare of a city and its residents.

The appointment of Pam Yako as administrator of Makana, yielded no result, except for a whopping R3-million in her pocket, for nine months work.  A recent oversight visit by the DA to Grahamstown revealed that water leaks, potholes, illegal dumping and water shedding remain the order of the day.

The DA wants to make local government more responsive by attracting the next generation of fit-for-purpose municipal officials through graduate recruitment programmes.  You must vote in councillors who will hold regular meetings where residents can raise concerns and ideas on municipal issues.
A well-run municipality attracts the investment we need to create jobs in our towns and cities.

South Africans face a choice.  We can either choose the status quo of corruption, empty promises, poor service delivery and high unemployment or we can choose the change that a DA-run local government can bring.

We offer change that will stop corruption, create jobs and deliver better services for all.