Ricochet News

DA accuses Buffalo City Metro of 'knowingly' endangering residents' lives

Oct 25, 2017
DA accuses Buffalo City Metro of 'knowingly' endangering residents' lives

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Buffalo City Municipality on Wednesday said that it is greatly concerned that the ANC-led administration "is knowingly putting the health and wellbeing of its residents at risk", due to their compromised ability to administer vector control across the Metro.

"The Vector Control section of BCMM is responsible for ensuring pest-free living environments which includes the monitoring and treatment of rodents, cockroaches, fleas, mosquitos, flies and bird lice," said Sue Bentley - a DA Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality PR Councillor.

"Though the Metro has grown both in population and area, with the density of some areas such as Southernwood, Quigney, and Duncan Village, as well as the number of informal settlements having increased dramatically, there has been no increase to the Vector Control budget since 2011."

Bentley said that this has resulted in staff shortages and the ability of the Metro to purchase adequate pesticides.

"Another real concern is their resultant inability to provide services to indigent citizens, high density areas and informal settlements."

She said that the Metro is also unable to:

• Do seriological testing;
• Do vector-borne disease surveillance;
• Do vector and vector-borne disease awareness; and
• Cover all wards in the Metro.

"This unacceptable situation is further aggravated by unreliable refuse collection across the Metro, especially in the informal settlements where residents are forced to live alongside mountains of fetid decomposing rubbish, as well as the uncontrolled increase in the number of illegal dumps across all wards of the Metro, for which the authorities have seemingly no solution," described Bentley.

"This situation is highlighted in an agenda item for today’s Council meeting and the ANC-led administration has reported that there are no challenges, no staff implications and no financial implications being experienced.

"The DA caucus in the Metro will continue to do oversight into this matter and will insist that the budgetary constraints experienced by this critical section are addressed in the 2018/19 Intergrated Development Plan (IDP) discussions and subsequent budget in order for residents of BCMM to receive an adequate minimum level of service delivery in this regard."