Residents highly frustrated with the lack of law and order and potholes across the Eastern Cape could be experiencing safer streets if delinquent municipalities simply paid their debts to the Department of Roads and Transport.
The DA is calling on the new Transport MEC, Xolile Nqatha, to ensure that all outstanding monies from municipalities are paid promptly and speedily to the Department of Transport without any fear or favour.
It is about time that government at all levels adopts a culture of paying for services rendered.
In response to questions from the DA, former Transport MEC, Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe, revealed that four municipalities owe the Department more than R20-million.
These funds could pay the salaries of 85 additional traffic officers or could be allocated towards fixing thousands of potholes across the province.
While some municipalities have managed to reduce their outstanding balances in the previous financial year, four municipalities still owe huge amounts.
- Dr Beyers Naude LM owes over R9, 7 million
- Amahlati LM owes R4, 9 million
- King Sabata Dalingdyebo LM owes R3 million
- Great Kei LM owes R1, 6 million
These municipalities have cited cash problems as their reason for not paying, however, they have been given payment plans that they need to adhere to.
By not adhering to these payment plans, residents are the ones that will suffer. Additional traffic officers, for example, would provide the necessary manpower to implement the much-needed 24-hour law enforcement programme in the province.
By failing to hold these municipalities to account for their debts, The Department is missing an opportunity and is failing the residents of the Eastern Cape dismally.
Under a DA-run government, we would ensure that all municipalities in the Eastern Cape are compliant in making payments timeously. We will put our people and children first and will ensure that all road users are safer on our roads.