Object to the KwaDukuza Municipality's 2020 Budget

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The KwaDukuza Municipality is proposing to increase municipal rates and service charges as follows:  
• Rates up 6 percent
• Sewer and refuse up 4 percent
• Electricity up 6.9 percent
• Water up 9 percent

These increases add up to an average increase of around 6.5% which is significantly higher than South Africa's current CPI rate, almost double the country's repo rate and completely out of touch with the economic realities faced by the average KwaDukuza rate payer suffering the deep economic consequences brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and the national government's ongoing lockdown. 

In addition to a rate and service fees increase that does not take into account of the hardships faced by ratepayers, both the residents and ratepayers of Stanger, Ballito, Sheffield and Salt Rock get little to no service delivery in return for ever increasing rates and fees they pay the KwaDukuza Municipality. A few examples of this municipality's flagrant disregard of its service delivery obligations to the people who pay for these services (but who then do not receive them), can be listed as follows: 

1. Little to nothing is done by the municipality to uplift the poor and marginalised communities of Shakaskraal, Groutville, Shakashead and other informal settlements in the area. If anything is being done, there seems to be very little to show for it. Multi-million Rand concerts and cultural festivals do not employ people, nor do they house, clothe or feed them. 

2. The majority of street lights in Ballito, Salt Rock, Sheffield and Stanger do not work – this has been the case for between two to three years and, despite all sorts of promises and undertakings, there is just no sign as to whether or when there will be any effort to repair these lights. The lack of street lighting is a primary and proven enabler for crime in these neighbourhoods;

3. The roads infrastructure in, especially Salt Rock and Sheffield, is appalling - very little ever happens in the way of road maintenance and huge potholes are left open for months, damaging vehicles and endangering the safety and lives of road users, including pedestrians; 

 4. Poor service delivery in general from many KwaDukuza municipal departments, including the inability to get employees of the municipality to pick up a phone or to respond to emails, letters or messages.  I think it is safe to say that most people who engage certain of the departments at the municipality just give up trying to contact anyone at those departments as it is difficult to impossible to resolve anything without getting into a car, taxi or Uber and driving the 30kms from Ballito to Stanger to hopefully sort things out;

5. The crumbling infrastructure within our neighbourhoods, from unkempt parks, to overgrown verges, to a number of “abandoned building sites” which are nothing but old rotting masonry carcasses providing refuge for criminals and vagrants – many of these have been around for more than 18 years; and

6. Municipal law enforcement by KwaDukuza has become a sham with very little focus being given on preventing real crime in KwaDukuza, focusing instead on the  arrest and detention of people for crimes such as "beach walking". Law abiding Ballito residents often get pulled over at roadblocks for “licence and registration” inspections to be done, often resulting in minor infringements to be vigorously fined, at exactly the same time chaos and criminality (leading to property damage and stabbings) ensue on beaches over December/January and no points-men can be found at busy morning intersections where they are crucial, speaks book volumes of the scant regard the KwaDukuza Municipality has for residents and ratepayers in the area.

In conclusion, while the KwaDukuza Municipality is an organisation accountable to the residents it is supposed to serve, it appears to have an intense disregard for the voice of those that have to just keep on coughing up for rates, fees and taxes to pay for the salaries of the officials an councilors who couldn't be bothered to be accountable. The KwaDakuza Municipality should understand that the people of Salt Rock, Stanger, Ballito and Sheffhield are fed up with this, will no longer stand for it and vehemently object to its budget for the 2020 / 2021 on the grounds that the proposed increases in rates and service fees are unwarranted, undeserved, unaffordable and unfair.