The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu Natal is happy to see Msunduzi Municipality and it’s Mayor, Mzo Thebolla finally came to their senses with regards to our request for an automatic renewal for the existing indigent applicants.
We are in possession of documents which now proposes recommendations for the Council to automatically renew the current indigent 2019/2020 beneficiaries for the upcoming 2020/2021 financial year.
Whilst we welcome this proposal, it is frustrating to see that it had to take the DA to put pressure on the municipality to pay attention to the most vulnerable people in the city. For the past three weeks, the DA has made numerous requests to the municipality on behalf of indigent applicants to have their status renewed automatically.
We expressed concern regarding the fact that the majority of the applicants are elderly and are more vulnerable to the deadly Coronavirus. Also, the gathering of large numbers at Councillors’ offices was going to be violating the lockdown rules. Rather than placing the interest of indigent residents first, Council chose to hide behind the ridiculous legislation and Auditor General’s report as reasons not to renew the applications automatically.
The DA’s threat to report the municipality to the COGTA MEC and Minister has resulted in the Council rethinking their initial arrogant stance.
Their overnight change of heart is in direct contrast to their statement by the Council’s spokesperson who was quoted in media reports this past Friday insisting that they will be no extension for the Indigent applicants.
The DA is pleased that this automatic renewal and deadline extension would be of great comfort and relieve a lot of stress that the indigent beneficiaries had to endure over the past few weeks.
The DA will continue to monitor the implementation of the recommendations. We are committed to fighting on behalf of the residents of Msunduzi and the whole of KwaZulu Natal