South Coast communities to initiate rates boycott due to poor service delivery

The municipality had since drawn up an action plan for matters raised by Umtentweni ratepayers. Image: Seeff website/area profiles

Ray Nkonyeni Municipality service delivery departments will be monitored from December 1 until February 28.

All ratepayers’ and residents’ associations from Hibberdene to Port Edward will embark on a “go-slow” rates boycott, as of February 28 2020, reports South Coast Herald.

“The ratepayers are very unhappy with the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality (RNM) because of poor service delivery,” said Derrick Morris, chairperson of the Umtentweni /Port Shepstone Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association.

Morris was speaking at a packed ratepayers meeting – the last of the year – at the Tweni library on Wednesday last week, at which details of the boycott were given.

He said all RNM service delivery departments were to be monitored from December 1 until February 28, and depending on service delivery, the boycott would be implemented at that time.

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Should the departments not perform satisfactorily by February 28, ratepayers were urged to support the boycott by paying only 50% of their rates.

According to Mr Morris, the service delivery saga dated back to April 2013 when the KZN South Coast Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association presented RNM mayor Cynthia Mqwebu with a memorandum of grievances.

On April 19 2018, a petition from the Umtentweni Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association was again presented to the mayor.

The municipality had since drawn up an action plan for matters raised by Umtentweni ratepayers.

It was resolved that meetings will take place between the municipality and two groups of ratepayers.

Piet Breedt will lead the southern group of ratepayers, those from Port Edward to St Mike’s, while Derrick Morris will head the northern group, from St Mike’s to Hibberdene.

The RNM team will be led by head of community services Mthandeni Bright Ndwalane.

Meetings will be held monthly and updates on all matters raised in the previous meeting will be provided.

RNM municipal manager Max Mbili said the chairpersons of all associations should make a point of attending these meetings in order to present their problems and get feedback from managers.

The following issues will be on the agenda:

  • refuse collection
  • verge maintenance
  • plot clearing
  • the cleaning of beach ablution blocks
  • management of transfer stations and recycling
  • technical services
  • street lights, roads and stormwater drains
  • beach infrastructure maintenance
  • public safety, enforcement of bylaws and visibility of police

The two major bugbears for Tweni ratepayers are the New Bolton Transfer Station and the biometric scanning system.

RNM’s action plan outlines plans to improve and revamp the New Bolton site by March 2020.

The upgrade includes proper fencing that will help curb illegal dumping, proper signage indicating operational hours, dedicated staff for the daily cleaning of the site, and the installation of CCTV cameras.

So far, six additional skips have been delivered, with upliftment taking place twice a week.

With regards to the biometric scanning system, the action plan reported a meeting was held with staff on October 23 to discuss working hours.

At this meeting, it was resolved that working hours would be from 7.30am to 4pm and that workers would be transported to working areas by 8am and would be collected and returned to the depot by 3.30pm.

Mbili added that the action plan had already been rolled out in the south, and he intended to do the same in the north.

“I strongly believe that this approach will create a rapport between ratepayers and the municipality,” he said.

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