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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Clown Council

Some time ago, I received the Council's monthly newsletter, confirming that they supply clean and safe tap water.

One less question to answer, I assumed, from the guests: "Is your water safe to drink?" so I made copies, and prestiked them above the taps.

From a local: "I have never seen notices like this. Are you sure, sure, the water is safe to drink? Find this hard to believe."

From an American: "I was told that African's put stuff in the water to make us foreigners ill. So, I'll just drink tea and coffee."

In February, we also receive the annual refuse removal calendar. All the areas are colour coded, apparently, for our benefit. In April, we receive another one, confirming that the previous calendar was a misprint.

As we are all aware, if a public holiday, and there are many of them, falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is also a day off.

During April and May, many of the householders do not know their arses from their elbows, especially if their calendars have been mangled in the spin cycle.

Others, are vigilant and confirm the removal days on the website, and place their refuse on the pavement the night before.

Sadly, the council workers are also confused with this turn of events, and do not arrive at all, or over the weekends.

Early, one Sunday morning, amid much hooting and hollering, the driver whistles to confirm he is on his way.

"Wait, wait, stop, stop," I bellow, flinging bags onto the pavement. "What is today? Wednesday or Thursday?"

"After numerous complaints, marram, we are now back on track. Do you have a 2litre coke for us?"

On the previous nights, the cats and dogs have had bun fights, ripping refuse, all asunder, which the frustrated residents or gardeners have to clean up, while others don't bother.

If we present a certified, signed affidavit to the Council stating that we had disposed of our own refuse at the tip and request a refund, we would be told, with rolling eyeballs, that 'things happen beyond our control.'

And, that's not all. For four months Ekurhuleni ratepayers have now been additionally debited with - Refuse: Area Cleansing Levy. R5 plus VAT of 70 cents.

DA Finance Councillor, Eddie Taylor, bless him, has tried in vain to have this reversed,
and the MMC Moses Makwakwa, indicated that this 'item had been gazetted in error,' the charges would be removed and our accounts credited, in September. Yay. But, we are now approaching December.

And, the innocent Ekurhuleni ratepayers are also liable for Robert McBride's R7 million legal fees.

We assume the Cleansing Levy will be refunded just before the next Municipal Elections.

A week before the previous elections, I noticed eight workers, in the street where I live, one filling a pothole, while the others leant on their spades and supervised.

"What's happening here?" I asked.

"We're filling the holes."


"Haven't you heard, Marram, there's a Council election next week?"

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