The United Democratic Movement (UDM) is disappointed by how the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality is out of touch with the realities and plight of marginalised people in disadvantaged communities.
The BCMM together with the Department of Human Settlements saw a dire need to spend a 10M rand on community hall at Reeston Community, East London without taking into consideration what the people at area want as their priority. Residents at Reeston are strongly resistant toward this initiative. Not only do people at Reeston just resist an empty community hall, they prefer that such a huge amount of money could have been used to provide the most important basic services. Like many other townships in South Africa, Reeston is severely affected by lack of service delivery such as access to clean running water and sanitation, poor infrastructure, long distances to Clinic and Police Station.
For building such a facility within the community that still need basic needs, indicates that the priorities of the ANC Governments and its departments are skewed. How can one expect that such a huge facility will not end up not being utilised since residents are not supporting the building of it?
This continuous culture of Top-Down approach is very detrimental to development of our societies. Municipalities and Departments need to halt deciding what is best for people without engagement with them first. This also an indication that the IDP Public Hearings are just talk shows since voters and communities are given a chance to decide on any community development initiatives. Government officials are meant to represent the interests of people on the ground not to make decisions on their behalf
The ANC government does not respect nor do they give any credit to the electorate. It is with this view that the UDM calls on the people of Reeston and every other marginalised community that has been left to languish in poverty for good twenty- seven years of democracy to reject this government at the polls in October 2021.
Voters must exercise the power of their vote to effect change they want to see.
Mr Bongani Msomi
UDM Secretary General