Withhold your rates until NMB ends corruption: AfriForum PE and NMBRA

OCTOBER 27, 2015

Taking a leaf from the success of the #feesmustfall student protests that resulted in government's announcement of a 0% university fee increase for 2016, AfriForum Port Elizabeth and the Nelson Mandela Bay Ratepayers Association (NMBRA) on Tuesday appealed to residents to join their own "peaceful protest" against proposed rate increases for 2016 in the Nelson Mandela Bay.

"One billion Rand from our ratepayers monies disappears annually due to theft, corruption and mismanagement from the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and to compensate for this, the following year, we, as ratepayers, are faced with the highly inflated increases from the Metro in order to recover and survive," said AfriForum Port Elizabeth Vice Chairperson, Kobus Gerber, who is also the chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Bay Ratepayers Association.

"We have  no option to utilise the services of another competitive service provider, we just have to pay."

Gerber said that over the last week, "we have seen how students protested not to pay the 6 % increase and caused millions of rands of damages throughout the country and what punishment do they get for doing that, 0 % increase and once again we the rate and taxpayers are paying to repair and recover from the damages caused by students".

"Now, I ask myself how will South Africa ever recover from the financial mess we as rate and taxpayers find ourselves in. Seemingly we also have to start protesting before the Metro announces next year’s budget.

"I know what you are thinking, that it is not in our nature to protest and that we will at the end of the day give in and just pay and sink ourselves or business deeper into debt," Gerber said.

"We are paying for the corrupt politicians and officials, who have created the reason why everything in our city and country are becoming more and more unaffordable.

"Well, I am no longer willing to do that and am ready to protest but not in a hostile manner by  burning tyres and throwing dirt drums at cars. I am now withholding my rates  until I see the end of corruption in our Metro.

"Man up and do the same or just follow the crowd and pay so the corrupt politicians and officials can live a luxury life with your money."