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We the undermentioned residents and ratepayers of eThekwini Municipality, located in the Durban Metropolitan Area would like to register our concern at the removal of Cllr Fawzia Peer, former Deputy Mayor and Acting Mayor of the City. We understand that the decisions made and the actions taken by the Provincial Executive Committee of the African National Congress (ANC) was to rid the City of corruption at the executive political level, and this move has been widely applauded. It is a fact that corruption has impacted very negatively on governance of the country of late, and has the effect of negating all the positive gains made post 1994. It has been acknowledged internationally at various forums that corruption directs resources from development, particularly basic services at the local sphere of government. The provision of basic services and an improved quality of life for the majority of the populace is key to the developmental paradigm espoused by the South African Constitution. Cllr. Peer has not been charged or implicated in the corruption scandal in eThekwini City Council  and consequently her removal from the executive leadership of the Municipality is illogical, unjustified and unfair. She has also been tainted with the same brush as the other senior politicians who were removed from office after being formally charged and appearing in court for corruption charges.  

Cllr. Fawzia Peer has been a dedicated and hard – working councillor in Durban and has been accessible and responsive to local communities at all times. She has shown a visible presence at all major municipal events and activities and despite being a woman, has endeavoured to attend all civic functions, despite many of them ending  late at night. She has convened a very active social chat group on WhatsApp which has 155 members to date which has played a pivotal role in enhancing service delivery, more specifically in relation to basic services. It is imperative that Cllr. Peer remain engaged at the Municipality at a very senior level to ensure that initiatives she has taken to improve service delivery continues. The confidence of the local communities in the ability of the municipality to govern and provide basic services has to be restored as a matter of urgency.

It would be appreciated if the Provincial Executive Committee of the African National Congress would reconsider its decision to demote Cllr Peer to an ordinary member of Council of eThekwini Municipality. We are of the view that Cllr Peer should be reinstated as a member of the executive committee of the Municipality, and that she be give a special mandate to address service delivery challenges as well as tackle the issue of urban decay and crime in the City. She can continue with the good work as well as the initiatives she has started, through this special portfolio she will be managing politically, if our proposal is taken to its logical conclusion.  

We are also of the view that Cllr. Peer has created a great deal of goodwill with the local communities in Durban over the years, since she has assumed leadership positions in eThekwini Municipality. This will certainly auger well for the Ruling Party in the forthcoming local government elections. Enhanced service delivery is high on the municipal agenda in Durban and Cllr Peer would be critical to the process.