Last September mayor Mxolisi Kaunda wanted to place a gag order on councillors who spoke negatively about the ANC’s running of eThekwini (The Mercury, September 21). But thanks to the images of the trashed streets and garbage piled up around eThekwini, an appropriate election manifesto for the ANC has been provided, which Kaunda is powerless to gag – especially concerning the smell.

In the past 20 years, there is nothing the ANC has not managed to cripple, corrupt or break. A once debt-free city has become bankrupt. Nothing gets resolved as the bus service, Moses Mabhida stadium and uShaka Seaworld lurch mired in debt.

Last September, R2 billion was written off as ‘irregular, unauthorised, fruitless, and wasteful expenditure’ (The Mercury, September 14). While ratepayers pay more for private security because of increasing crime, R27 million was spent on security for ANC councillors.

Dysfunctionalism is the norm as the water loss has progressed from 40% to 56%, yet R71 million was found for ‘performance bonuses’ last February. Last August, while ratepayers protested against steep tariff increases, city manager, Musa Mbhele, received a 66% salary increase, lifting his pay package to R3,9m – just R275,000 less than President Ramaphosa’s salary.

Now the ANC finds itself hoist with its own petard. Their comrades in the SA Municipal Workers Union are out of control. The 16-day-old strike for more money that the city has not got grinds on.  Trashed by his own comrades, there is nothing Mayor Kaunda can do about the negative image of the city they have produced.

Which is why the lesson that should be drawn from this mess is that one needs to fight fire with fire. There should be no question about instantly dismissing these trash artists and ensuring that the main culprits are fast-tracked into jail. Anarchy is not far off given the effete, ineffective state of the SAP and Metro police.

For too long the interests of ‘we the people’ who pay for services have been disregarded in favour of cadre-loaded, communist-oriented so-called worker unions. In future, only in-house trade union membership should be allowed. In that way, those who pay to run the city can exercise control over service delivery.

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