People of Emfuleni, you have entrusted us with the authority to deliver services on your behalf. However, to deliver on this mandate, your cooperation is imperative. Without you, the change we all need, want and dream about will remain out of reach.
Last November, I responded to your clarion call for me to lead you. I raised my hand knowing very well the difficult challenges that lay ahead. As the first citizen of this municipality, the Executive Mayor is the ultimate accounting officer. Therefore, it is my duty to remind you to pay your municipal accounts for this municipality to improve the quality of services you currently receive.
I have read, listened and seen many of your complaints and compliments about the state of municipal services but very few of you have acknowledged the fact that residents have an increasingly important role to play in our municipality. Payment for municipal services has become taboo – a topic our people are not prepared to discuss.
It has become convenient for residents, the media and civil society to all complain about the poor and inconsistent services in Emfuleni without mentioning that only a small number of residents are paying for municipal services rendered. Our municipality is under great strain, we are using the least to achieve the most but even then, the situation has not improved for the better.
You, the electorate have a role which goes beyond voting in elections – you also have the power to determine how much our municipality can do for you. When payment levels are this low, municipal services are inconsistent, leaving residents with no water, electricity and heaps of waste piling up in their drive-ways. Our response to service delivery defects and the quality of services our municipality renders are all dependant on the payment of municipal accounts.
We are tightening internal controls and implementing comprehensive turn-around strategies which include improving collections, reducing expenditure, reducing losses and producing a credible indigent register – BUT all these require the active participation of our residents, without whom the change we desperately seek may not come.
Let’s make Emfuleni great again.
Let us pay for municipal services rendered.
By Councillor Jacob Khawe
The Executive Mayor
Emfuleni Local Municipality