We need to support efforts

Bruce Parker, Marina da Gama

“Residents stand up to high bills (Off My Trolley, May 3) refers.

I have the greatest admiration for Sandra Dickson who has taken up the cudgels on behalf of Cape Town’s residents to challenge the City’s budget proposals and the increased water and electricity charges as well as the ancillary municipal charges, exorbitant salary increases and property rates.

We citizens need to wholeheartedly support her efforts in every way possible.

Unfortunately, there are too many apathetic residents who have the attitude that someone else will do the dirty work, so why bother.

A few years ago I had the experience of mobilising residents in the area I lived, then, (not where I live now) against the City’s attempt to change the land use on municipal owned land to facilitate the erection of a cellphone tower. I was successful, thereby preventing the land use change and the cellphone tower, at the same time making new friends and some new enemies. Not everyone agreed with my stance, but I do not regret it one bit.

The problem is that city councils, municipal councillors and employees lose sight of the fact that they are “public servants” and that they are employed to serve, assist and look after the public, not to place as many obstacles in the way as they possibly can or be as obstructive as they can be.

Go For It, Sandra Dickson – Grist to your mill.

Sandra Dickson, Brackenfell (dearcapetown)

Thank you for doing a sterling job about the budget. I am receiving many phone calls from people who are being made destitute by these increases.

Your story is outstanding and very well written

Allan Moffatt, Fish Hoek

Further to the article “Residents take a stand against high bills”, I wrote a letter dated May 2 regarding the 2018/19 Draft Budget Proposals to the CoCT.

While my letter only focuses on certain aspects of the overall city budget, it nevertheless points out a number of aspects that really require a proper response from the City.

Hopefully the various ratepayers’ associations across the city, together with ‘dearcapetown’, are combining to fight the arrogant and autocratic City council with its outrageous budget proposals. Perhaps it will require those who the council is targeting with the proposed unaffordable rates and tariffs, to embark on some protest marches, to force amendments to the budget proposals.

Part of Mr Moffatt’s letter to the CoCT read: To date, more than 28 000 written comments have been submitted – considering the significant changes in procedure incorporated in the budget proposals and the extremely steep tariff increases, one may presume that 100% of the comments indicate real concern and disagreement with the budget proposals.

One wonders precisely what the council will do with these comments, and whether in the short time left before the budget is due to be implemented, the comments will have any influence in altering the proposals.

It is contended that these budget proposals are so radically different from previous years, that a proper public participation process should have been implemented at least nine months prior to the budget implementation date – thereby giving citizens an opportunity for real input into the budget parameters and principal changes proposed, and also to the extent of tariff increases proposed.