Councillors must be seen to deliver

A common gripe among ratepayers is that some councillors rarely service their wards properly and only become visible when the elections are around the corner.

A common gripe among ratepayers is that some councillors rarely service their wards properly and only become visible when the elections are around the corner.

Seldom do they call public meetings - especially in the townships - to update residents about projects or address their grievances.

Hence the warning issued by President Thabo Mbeki against incompetent councillors during his Gauteng Presidential Imbizo at the weekend. The tough message to ineffectual councillors illustrated the president's impatience with those who sabotage government's Batho Pele campaign to ensure efficient service delivery.

In his State of the Nation Address this year, Mbeki highlighted government's intentions to prioritise the improvement of capacity-building at local government level to ensure efficient service delivery in the period leading up to 2009.

It is an open secret that some councillors have turned into fat cats - lazing around and only attending monthly meetings without ever providing feedback to the people who voted them into power.

By urging residents to write to him regarding councillors who fail to perform, Mbeki has provided the public with a rare opportunity to hold them accountable for their election promises.

The public must promptly use this opportunity to put an end to councillors' shenanigans.

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