United we conquer – Divided we fall
Reading an article in the Financial Mail published on Friday, “Bankruptcy stalks Nelson Mandela Bay” truly brings things into perspective regarding the DA’s ability to hold onto power that was hard won in the August 2016 municipal elections. That the DA faces a Catch 22 in many, if not all of the recently gained municipality’s is a reality for, as FM’s commentary so succinctly puts it, “DA and its partners must take the chance of being labelled antipoor, or see the metropole’s monetary affairs worsen even further”. Let’s rewrite that last bit “see Kouga’s, particularly St Francis’, monetary affairs worsen even further”.
There can be no doubt that to hold onto power the DA will have to pour money into the poorer communities. No matter how the wealthier “white” areas bleat how their rates and taxes should be spent in their areas, it’s not going to happen. Some will say so why keep the DA in power if it is not going to benefit us? Well the truth is that the DA will benefit us if for no other reason than keeping the ANC out and hopefully providing a corruption free municipality that will at least deliver some of the services required of them. Remember it was the ANC that created the problems the DA has to now face so best they be kept away from causing more mayhem.
This commentary is neither in support of the St Francis Property Owners Special Rates Area proposal nor any of the other initiatives which are suddenly being proposed. Whatever choices are made in the coming months, one thing is absolutely certain, if the local property owners and yes even non-property owners don’t anti-up, the future looks increasingly bleak.
It really is time for the entire community to start to pull together and forget the petty differences. Whether we live on the banks of the Kromme, the Canals, the Village, Santareme, the Port, Links, Airpark or Cape St Francis, private estates or not, it is time to find common ground. Let’s bury the petty differences and personal concerns and look at the problem as something that will influence our way of life long into the future.
Maybe it is time for elected representatives from all governing body’s / areas lock themselves in a room and not emerge until they reach consensus on what needs to be done and that is acceptable to all property owners and businesses alike.
The year is marching on and the new Kouga budget will be finalised in July so whatever needs to be done by St Francis residents (all its residents) needs to be done now so that whatever is finally decided is in place well before that then lest we have to wait another 12 months for then it could be too late.