The failing ANC provincial government and its absent Premier, Phumulo Masualle, have lost control of the violence, criminality and the total service delivery failure in Stutterheim in the Amahlathi Local Municipality.
The recent news that the ANC has fired the Amahtlathi Mayor Pateka Qaba and is in the process of dissolving the Mayoral Committee, is too little too late.
The town has been under siege from violent protestors for more than a month. Residents and the business sector are being held to ransom while criminals are destroying this once beautiful town.
Shots are being fired in town, buildings and vehicles set alight, roads blocked and businesses forced to lock their doors.
On Wednesday, 27 November 2018, I met with the business sector in Stutterheim and was accompanied by Bobby Stevenson MPL, EC Premier Campaign Spokesperson on Crime and Corruption, Andrew Whitfield MPL, EC Premier Campaign Spokesperson on Access to Jobs, and Kevin Mileham MP, EC Premier Campaign Spokesperson on Basic Services.
We were informed that businesses are now having to provide municipal services such as water provision and that staff fear for their lives. The business community told us that this ongoing chaos is having a negative impact on their businesses and they are worried about job losses.
There is no government leadership to be seen or felt in Stutterheim while the town burns, businesses suffer and jobs are on the line.
Residents and businesses in the past also complained that they have not received rates accounts for up to 6 months and rubbish have not been collected for at least three months.
Despite having written to Co-operative Governance and Traditional affairs MEC, Fikile Xasa, calling for the town to be placed under administration, there has been no intervention, except removing the Mayor.
The DA’s Shadow Minister of Police, Zakhele Mbhele, this week brought the chaos and lawlessness in Stutterheim up for discussion in a meeting of the parliamentary portfolio committee on police.
I will now write to President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Minster of Police, General Bheki Cele, to urgently intervene in this matter.
It is clear that ANC factionalism lies at the heart of the chaos in Stutterheim and the greater Amahlathi Local Municipality
This why the President and the Premier is giving the town a wide berth.
Only a DA government can bring the change that will create fair access to jobs, deliver better services, has a plan to keep communities safe by ensuring we have an honest a professional police service and Build One SA for All.
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