Shoulder the burdens of office

Municipalities are supposed to deliver essential services to residents according to mandates from both government and respective communities.

Municipalities are supposed to deliver essential services to residents according to mandates from both government and respective communities.

This is the burning issue raised by President Thabo Mbeki in his State of the Nation Address a fortnight ago, when he reiterated government's commitment to strengthening the capacities of municipalities to improve service delivery.

Last week protests in several North West townships signalled those communities' impatience with poor service delivery.

Angry residents took to the streets in the East Rand and at Ikageleng township in Zeerust last week in protest against lack of delivery, as did their counterparts at Barcelona informal settlement near Daveyton. The latter complained about continued use of pit toilets since 1989.

Numerous pleas to the council for better facilities have fallen on deaf ears. This is unacceptable.

At Ikageleng, residents have also voiced their dissatisfaction over slow delivery.

Councillors from both municipalities confirmed there were problems in their areas. They again promised to deliver.

Similar outcries have sparked protests in Boitumelong and Boikutsong in North West.

Government reaction to the public outrage previously was to blame agents provocateurs for the protests. Yet blame should be laid at the door of inept councillors elected to serve their respective communities.

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