Glencoe residents say ‘draft budget neglects us’ – complaint at budget roadshow meeting

Residents of Ward 7, Glencoe and Thelapi, have raised concerns that their area has been ‘largely ignored’, in the proposed 2017/18 budget.
The issue was brought up during at a well-attended community meeting in the Town Hall last Tuesday where the budget and integrated development plan, IDP, were discussed by Ward Councillor, Dr Sandy Bedassi.
Mayor Richard Mbatha, Speaker Bongiwe Mbatha-Makhathini, Ward Councillors and municipal officials attended the meeting. Similar meetings have been held in all seven wards.
Dr Bedassi said he was upset that ‘one particular member of the community kept disturbing the officials whilst they were still addressing the community’.
“It became worse to an extent that some members who were attending the meeting joined in to verbally attack the municipal leaders. It is alleged that the whole exercise was well orchestrated by some individuals to bring in people from surrounding areas to come and disrupt the meeting.
“However, the leaders were able to professionally handle the situation and maintained calm among the members while the disruptive group decided to excuse themselves from the meeting.
“The meeting continued and the speakers engaged with the people who were raising concerns,” Dr Bedassi told the Courier.
Due to the earlier disruptions by a few, the meeting was prolonged and all the questions were not addressed. To accommodate those concerns that were not captured, it was requested of them to put the issues in writing and hand these to the municipality.

While much has been done to fill potholes, more needs to be done.
Some of the issues raised: absence of Ward 7 in the draft budget:
Poor conditions of roads in some of the sections of the ward need to be graded and filled.
A budget is to be put in place for them to be tarred.
Lack of recreational facilities for the youth, eg. parks for children etc. Other wards have been given preference.
Implementation of bylaws that need to be put into effect is keeping of sheep, cattle in residential areas causing health risks and nauseating odours, flies etc.
Concerns that those who do not pay their service charges are ‘rewarded’ by having their debts written off while those who ‘faithfully pay’ are forced to face higher tariff charges.
While much has been done to fill potholes, more needs to be done.
Dr Bedassi said all these concerns had been noted and would be discussed before the final budget is approved.

T Worley

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