Local, central government has abandoned concept of maintenance

EDITOR – A recent photograph showing Councillor Chris Pappas and a group of concerned ratepayers outside Excelsior Court in Peter Mokaba Road gave us a sense of deja vu.

We had seen it all before with the previous ward councillor who had made Excelsior Court a priority. Despite promises from the powers that be, that it would be sorted out, nothing happened. We were even told that a budget had been allocated. The question that begs an answer, is what happened to that money?

Please be assured that we are not decrying the efforts of this group. We desperately need activists to stand up and say, enough is enough. The problem is that those that make the decisions continue to treat the people of this country, of this city, with utter contempt. They do not listen. So concerned citizens need to continue the fight until they do listen.

The problem is that local, provincial and central government seem to have abandoned the concept of ongoing maintenance. Excelsior Court is not a one off. It is amazing that the very people who are entrusted with upholding the laws of the land and enforcing bylaws are the very people breaking those laws. How do you deal with a municipality, and a government department like Public Works, who are themselves guilty of being slum landlords?

Excelsior Court is unsafe and inhabitable. The municipality’s real estate department had to recently move from a City owned building because it was deemed unsafe for normal use. It is small wonder then that there are electricity failures and major water leaks across this city, every day of the week. It is not uncommon on the Berea to have sewage bubbling up from manholes.

But there is another aspect of Excelsior Court that really saddens us. This is an SAPS residential block. Regardless of the moans and groans about lack of policing service, the SAPS and the Metro Police members put their lives on the line every day that they go on duty. South Africa has an unacceptably high level of police officers killed on duty. How do we as citizens expect to get the service we deserve when those in power treat our police officers with such disdain, and contempt? Most police stations are a disgrace, the equipment and training are below standard and then on top of that we expect them to live in a slum.

Are we surprised that there is a lack of motivation?

We have a new Minister of Police, Bheki Cele. We know that he is concerned with the lack of support for our police. He has the power to do something about the situation. Now is the time for him to act.

Kevin Dunkley

Cheryl Johnson

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