KAROO NEWS - Deon de Vos, Mayor of the Dr Beyers Naudé Local Municipality (BNLM), is yet to acknowledge a petition against tariff and salary increases, despite numerous attempts by the organisers to hand the petition over to him.
Over 3 600 residents across the municipal district signed the petition, which expressed their unhappiness about lack of services, that BNLM employees must not receive the 6,25% salary increases and that the 6% tariff increase must be lowered to 4%, in line with inflation.
Organisers of the petition, which include the Umasizakhe Water Crisis Committee, Graaff-Reinet Action Committee and the Graaff-Reinet Residents' & Ratepayers' Association (GRRPA), first wrote to De Vos on 27 July. Although the Mayor said on 28 July that he would arrange for the Municipal Mayor to receive the petition, this has not been forthcoming.
By 17 August, at least 10 attempts were made by the organisers to set a date for the handover of the petition. On 18 August, a response was received via the Mayor's assistant, which states that De Vos has "other commitments." Organisers were advised to email the petition to him.
"The mayor has time and again invited us, the residents of BNLM, to keep the municipality accountable," said Michelle Erasmus, Chairperson of GRRPA. "His refusal to meet us is a great disappointment and shows how important residents and the healthy state of the municipality are to him."
Sias Smith of the Graaff-Reinet Action Committee said they regard De Vos as ignorant towards the views of residents. "This has a negative effect on the 2021 local elections to the ruling party."
Melvis Pietersen, on behalf of the Umasizakhe Water Crisis Committee, said that the BNLM has no regard for the law. "Their attitude and actions are in direct contrast with the principles of the Constitution and their own values," he said, adding that the implemented increases by the municipality will have negative socio-economic consequences.
The BNLM has been contacted for comment but did not respond in time for print.
- Petition put on back burner
- DBNLM unable to receive petition
- Over 3600 residents oppose municipal increases
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