Bushbuckridge Residents Association: ‘You have to give people a reason to pay rates’

MBOMBELA – The Bushbuckridge Residents Association (BRA) has one aim regarding the local government elections in a month’s time. It is to win the local municipality to develop its economy.

BRA MPL Mr Cleopas Maunye said the party will only be contesting Bushbuckridge Local Municpality on August 3 where the mayor-elect will be the controversial party leader Mr Delta Mokoena.

Maunye told Lowvelder that the party was aiming for better local economic development through agriculture and its processing.

“Whatever is planted in Bushbuckridge must be processed and sold in Bushbuckridge,” he said. “There is nothing other than agriculture we can to to grow the economy. We will revitalise three saw mills. We will fund active maize farmers and produce mieliemeel.

He added that they needed to collect revenue. “You have to give people a reason to pay rates and taxes. At the moment they are not getting services.”

To deliver better services to the people, Maunye is of the opinion that politicians must be removed from the municipality’s administration.

“We have to appoint the right people. We have to cut on consultants. We want people with a track record. We don’t want Rand Water, we will appoint our own engineers.”

Local people of Bushbuckridge, which is home to about two million people, would also be preferred when lower-skilled jobs are on offer at the municipality, he said.

The party wants to get the youth working. “We will offer incentives to local businesses who employ youths. Your daughter helping out in your store is technically unemployed. We need to employ those youths.”

BRA would formalise informal businesses and provide training and assistance to entrepreneurs starting out. “We will train them in how a business is run and funded.”

BRA has a number of other development concepts, but first the official opposition is working to mobilise people to vote on election day.

In 2011 they won only one ward out of the 37 with the ANC controlling 35. Maunye points to the six representatives from their PR list which they won against the ANC’s as an illustration of the depth of their support.

He said they might fall a seat or two short of winning at outright majority but if it needed to form a coalition it would be in name only. “We want the authority to run the municipality.”

Mireille de Villiers

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