The DA is cleaning up! - Helen Zille

ANC municipalities only act when the blue wave arrives in town

Fellow South Africans,

Thank you for joining me in cleaning up Northdale.

Everybody knows how bad things have got here, how the municipality has neglected you. Nobody deserves to live in rubbish and filth. People deserve to have their rubbish collected regularly.

When the municipality heard that the DA election campaign was rolling into town, they quickly tried to clean up the mess. Miraculous things happen when the DA's Blue Wave hits. Refuse that has gone uncollected for months and months suddenly disappears.

Even the ANC still get embarrassed when evidence of their poor service delivery is aired on TV. And so they pull out all the stops to make the ANC municipalities I visit look good for the cameras.

We saw it two weeks ago in Mphophomeni where sewage floods into people's houses every time it rains. It has been happening for years and years but nothing has ever been done. The sewage plant that processes the waste has never been upgraded to cope with the growing population there.

But when the municipality heard I was campaigning there, they hired huge trucks with industrial vacuum cleaners to suck up the mess. Of course, they only cleaned up on the surface. Within a few days, the sewage had come back. The same will happen here. Your area has been cleaned up for my visit. But what will happen next week? The rubbish will start piling up again.

This is because your municipality doesn't work. It has been under administration for over a year because it cannot fulfil its basic functions and deliver essential services. The municipality has been looted by corrupt officials and politicians. The ANC has run it into the ground.

Your refuse is not removed because the municipality no longer has the capacity to do it. The municipality can't collect your rubbish because it cannot collect its own revenue. At the end of March, the municipality was owed R743 million in outstanding rates and taxes. There is no money to do even the simple things like remove people's refuse regularly.

It is a disgrace that, according to the national Department of Cooperative Governance, only 2% of households in the Msunduzi municipal area have access to refuse removal. But it is not surprising. Until recently, only two of the municipality's 16 refuse removal trucks were in working order.

Pietermaritzburg is not the only place with a refuse crisis. Rubbish is piling up on the streets of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Ekurhuleni. It is symptomatic of failed municipalities all over the country. You don't see this happening in DA municipalities.

Our municipalities are known to be the cleanest in the country. DA-governed Swartland is the only municipality to have been named South Africa's Cleanest Town twice in a row. Cape Town is a regular winner and runner-up in the Cleanest City Award.

In Cape Town, people who earn less than R3 000 per month qualify for free rubbish collection. There, 98% of residents have access to refuse removal - the highest of any metro in the country.

DA municipalities are clean municipalities because we understand the basics of local government. We put a stop to corruption. We manage our finances properly so that we have enough money for service delivery. It is because we collect our revenue that we can collect people's rubbish.

You can choose to live in a clean town. And you don't have to move to Cape Town or Swartland. You can clean up Northdale - for good. It's not a difficult or a dirty job. And it will only take five minutes.

All you need to do to clean up Northdale is to go out and vote on 18 May. And vote DA. Because the DA delivers for all!

Issued by the Democratic Alliance, April 16 2011

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