Municipal failures mean hard choices at the polls

27 June 2021 - 00:00 By Sunday Times Editorial

With a R69bn budget in 2021/2022, the City of Joburg is the biggest and richest of SA's municipalities. On paper, it should be a cosmopolitan utopia providing reliable and decent services to its almost 6-million inhabitants. These include a reliable electricity supply (outside of Eskom load-shedding), constant water provision, refuse removal, efficient public transport, smooth roads, traffic lights that work, safe streets, effective use of all spaces - including green spaces - and continuous urban development that attracts investment and creates jobs.

Instead, the city is slowly falling apart. Electricity interruptions have become a common occurrence; residents are lucky to enjoy an entire week's uninterrupted water supply; piles of rubbish lie uncollected in the inner city and adjoining areas; public transport is often unreliable and unsafe; the roads are full of potholes; traffic lights hardly ever work; the streets of the city and its suburbs are not safe; open spaces get hijacked by those who profit from creating illegal informal settlements; and the city's poor investment in urban development is chasing away investors...

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