A case of political self-interest

IT IS flabbergasting how political self-interest and comradely favours can be justified so flippantly by Ndlambe Municipality, in regards to the grading of the Trappes Valley farm road.

The municipality can make all the right noises about doing it in service of the broader community, but the timing of the funeral for the mother of former mayor Sipho Tandani is too convenient to be coincidence.

The municipality admitted their urgency in wanting to grade the road by saying they had tried to contact the provincial department of transport to get it done. They only heard back from the department last Thursday by which time the municipality had already used its grader and water tanker to do the job.

Done especially for the Tandani family

The closest the municipality came to an admission that it was done especially for the Tandani family is when municipal spokesman Cecil Mbolekwa said, “We cannot turn a blind eye when it comes to people who have made a serious contribution to the municipality and the Ndlambe community in general.”

At this point we would just like to extend our condolences to the Tandani family for the loss of their mother and matriarch. It was doubly tragic as we learned one of her sons allegedly killed another in an argument just a few days after their mother’s death. It is a time of deep grief for the family.

But this special favour for a former mayor because of political standing is a slap in the face to Ndlambe citizens, both rural and urban, who have pleaded for dirt roads in a horrible condition to be graded, only to be told the grader was unavailable or having to wait weeks and months for something to be done.

Favours for friends

A provincial rural road like the Trappes Valley road is not even Nlambe’s competency as the provincial department of transport is responsible.

Appeals by farmers to the transport department over years to attend to badly damaged rural roads elicited no response from the department.

And appeals by farmers to the department over years to attend to badly damaged rural roads elicited no response from the department. This led to Agri Eastern Cape taking the department to court and securing a court order compelling the department to attend to rural gravel roads that require repair and maintenance.

Perhaps if municipal manager Rolly Dumezweni had been able to get hold of the provincial roads engineer for our area he would have received a better response than the farmers.  We don’t know.

We just know Ndlambe showed more haste and favour in helping out a former mayor so that guests and dignitaries attending his mother’s funeral would not have to drive on a bumpy road.

– Jon Houzet

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