Dear Ratepayers, Business and Civil, Society,
Controversial NMBM spokesperson Roland Williams who was suspended, with full pay, for tender irregularities involving the World Cup gantries, called the NMBM “an Award Winning Metro” live on Algoa FM on Tuesday morning while “stuck” in PE traffic. Well now we have heard it all. Let’s start with the fact that our so-called “Award Winning” Metro received a very poor report from the Auditor General. It is also no secret the Metro has been without a permanent City Manager for the last 4 years and all 9 Directors and the CFO have been and continue to be Acting appointments.
The Metro employees 7,000 staff members and according to sources, up to 400 are currently suspended with full pay, many for over two years. Legally, any acting position can only be filled for 90 days. Many Directors have exceeded this period by far, rendering their appointments illegal. At a Council meeting in June, 2013, 208 appointments were approved by the Council when it was held hostage at the Council Chambers. These appointments were not budgeted for and in fact, the budget was for the the appointment of the Directors and a CFO. These appointments are currently costing the Ratepayers over R2m per month in salaries.
The publication of the Pikoli Report outlined the millions of Rands squandered ( & possibly stolen), yet the Executive Mayor still refuses to release the report to the Hawks in order for them to hold guilty parties accountable for being reckless with Ratepayers funds. The recently appointed City Manager was pressured to resign and is now claiming R3.2m from the Metro citing ‘illegal political interference in her duties’, reportedly by the Executive Mayor and Deputy Executive Mayor. To date, the MEC refuses to make public the letter of resignation sent to him from the outgoing City Manager. Meanwhile, the glaringly incriminating Kabuso Report fades into oblivion.
Pre-WC2010, the NMBM boasted a budget surplus of R800m. Post-WC2010, that same budget became R1.9b! The IPTS buses and infrastructure (which also forced the closure and relocation of many North End businesses) cost the Metro R105m. The IPTS buses are still running empty while 145 taxis each receive a R6500 monthly subsidy to cede the IPTS routes, yet they continue to operate on those very routes; business as usual. Lumen Technologies was awarded the IPTS contract for approximately R195m, almost R90m more than their closest competitor. The Metro awarded said contract without even following any tender process whatsoever.
Yes we receive water and electricity and other services but at what price? The General Valuation has caused many property rates to spiral more than 100%. The NMBM electricity tariffs are among the highest in the country. Businesses in the Metro are closing down and unemployment is on the rise. Potential investors no longer consider the NMBM the main investment destination it once was. With rezoning applications usually taking 24-36 months to process and approve, no wonder Investors take their business elsewhere.
So Mr. Roland Williams, should we continue with painting the real picture of your “Award winning Metro”? We will not be deterred until we do away with corruption, misappropriation of our funds and gross mismanagement of our Metro. We will be the ones who make sure we earn the accolade of “Award Winning Metro” and we shall do this SOON!!!!!!!!