eThekwini Municipality > City Government > Council > City Mayor > Blog > Posts > Covid-19 must not set our agenda
July 30
Covid-19 must not set our agenda

RECENTLY, one of the pillars of our revolution, isiThwalandwe, Andrew Mlangeni, was called to rest. Our country has been robbed of yet another fountain of wisdom. Mlangeni was the only surviving Rivonia Trialist who went to prison with other revolutionaries including the likes of Nelson Mandela, Water Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada and others. Mlangeni spent 26 years on Robben Island and after his release contributed tremendously to the country’s transition process.

He later served in the National Assembly and retired in 2014. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the Mlangeni family. We thank them for this giant of our movement who made an indelible mark in our struggle for freedom. Like many cities in the world, ours to continues to be affected by the coronavirus. We are continuing to provide basic services without disregarding the lockdown regulations. However, residents should be mindful that we are labouring under very abnormal circumstances which in certain instances, impedes us from discharging our responsibilities as per normal.

We therefore urge the public to bear with us. This storm will definitely pass and the situation will return to normal. Let me thank all our staff members who made the virtual Vodacom Durban July Experience a success. In as much as we may have lost R300 million in potential revenue as the City, we ensured that the event took place. As a result, several sectors benefited after enduring a long period without any income. These are eateries in townships, fashion designers, artists etc.

We will continue to market the City to ensure that it remains a popular tourist destination after the Covid-19 storm passes. I would also like to thank residents who have faithfully been paying for their services. However, our debt collection is still not what it used to be. We are cognisant that many residents have had their livelihoods affected but it is important to continue paying for services provided by the City.

The City has Covid-19 relief programmes to assist customers with outstanding Municipal debt. Failure to pay for services makes it difficult for the City to live up to its Constitutional mandate of providing basic services to all. Our electricity infrastructure continues to be threatened by illegal connections. This unlawful conduct is resulting in numerous transformers being overburdened and exploding which is plunging households into darkness. This in turn leads to violent service delivery protests. We experienced this near Lamontville recently when a Sizakala Centre was torched, depriving people of services that was brought to their doorstep.

They now have to walk long distances to access services. The City calls for land invasion and theft of electricity to stop. We are doing everything in our power to meet the needs of residents and will continue to do so. The reality however is that scores of people flock to the City daily in search of economic opportunities. It is therefore of cardinal importance that we are mindful of this reality and be patient as service delivery is rolled out.

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