Council meetings are few and much between, noteworthy extra so throughout the past 18 months of diverse states of lockdown.
And being in a position to insist on them is extra complicated, because they’ve all been virtual, which comes with technical system faults, confusion over who’s talking –particularly in a virtual assembly with about 20 folk all having a flip to be in contact – and about a of the dialogue being inaudible.
The one assembly that councillors attended in particular person over the past 18 months changed into once the last elephantine council assembly of 2020, held in the Port Alfred Civic Centre, where councillors exchanged gifts – excluding the DA – and loved a hearty meal of chops, wors and chicken.
Have faith that in mind. The one assembly the Ndlambe council has been exciting to preserve in particular person – despite being allowed an indoor assembly of up to 50 folk below most up-to-date restrictions – changed into once once they held a celebration.
The democratic activity has been subverted by these lockdowns and our council’s additional unwillingness to satisfy in particular person. Despite the indisputable fact that few, contributors of the general public broken-down to wait on council meetings and even supposing now now not allowed to take care of shut portion, had been there to hear and take be aware of objects of pastime.
That too has been lacking. It all contributes to a lack of transparency and public participation.
The virtual council assembly that took discipline on Wednesday changed into once an example of the farce. First, it took nearly an hour for an official to take care of shut a register of the attending councillors and there had been arguments over who had called “most up-to-date” or now now not.
One amongst the true first price things the DA did changed into once elevate a motion, already submitted in June, that the month-to-month water availability price – a separate price from true water tell – be scrapped till ample quality water is truly being provided to residents. The DA reminded council that many residents had got no municipal water for additional than seven months.
The most outspoken opponent of this motion changed into once EFF councillor Xolisa Runeli, who bizarrely called the motion “unlawful” and “unconstitutional”. Worse than that, he said “white folk can possess the funds for to pay it”, implying that shaded residents of Ndlambe carry out now now not possess to pay this municipal price. This is utterly absurd and racist.
The motion went to a vote and the ANC voted it down. Some ANC councillors echoed what Runeli had said referring to the motion being “unlawful”. Runeli did now now not even desire to vote because it entertained one thing unlawful, he said.
Residents who had been without water, take be aware of how your constituency representatives are having a gaze out to your interests.
– Jon Houzet