Ricochet News

DA calls on MEC Xasa to intervene and save Bedford from collapse

Aug 17, 2018
DA calls on MEC Xasa to intervene and save Bedford from collapse

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality on Friday announced that it has written to the Eastern Cape MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Fikile Xasa, as well as the national Minister for COGTA, Zweli Mkhize, to urgently intervene to save the town of Bedford from complete collapse due to poor service delivery.

See the letter HERE.

"The town of Bedford, which falls under the Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality (RMLM), has since October 2017 been subjected to  bouts of public protests by residents angry at the poor administration by the local ANC government," explained Cecilia Auld - a DA PR Councillor in the Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality.

"Residents of Bedford have taken to the streets due to the municipality’s track record of poor service delivery, corruption, nepotism and factionalism.

"They are also upset at the slow pace of housing rectification and allocation of jobs, which they feel are reserved for family and friends of their Ward Councillor."

Auld said that the failure of the Mayor of Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality, Bandile Ketelo, and the Municipal Manager, Ms Unathi Malinzi, to address these grievances, has led to anarchy.

"Week after week enraged residents are burning tyres and blocking off streets.

"Services - like refuse collection – and infrastructure maintenance have not been delivered for several months. The Municipal offices have been forcibly closed by protesters since early April and Municipal staff prevented from coming to work," she described.

"Management this week arranged for the deployment of a large South African Police Service (SAPS) contingent, but the community prevented the offices being opened for business.

"Other than a brief engagement with the protesters in January 2018, the Mayor has been noticeably absent."

Auld added that she has previously wrote to MEC Xasa on 6 September 2017 and 9 May and 11 June 2018, but received no response or acknowledgement.

"The MEC addressed the community on 1 May and several promises were made, but nothing has materialised.

"Recently several meetings were held between the Mayor, Municipal Manager, Speaker and members of the Bedford Resident’s Association in an effort to resolve the problem," she said.

"Numerous letters and e-mails have also been sent to the Mayor. These requests for his intervention have fallen on deaf ears."