Mr Blessed Gwala, MPL
IFP Chief Whip in the KZN Legislature


The lack of consequences for bad management is the main reason for the service delivery to collapse in the Magabheni area.

The IFP make its remarks in reference to an incident where a truck was allegedly petrol-bombed during a service delivery protest on the N2 near Magabheni, south of Durban, on Wednesday.

The extent to which incompetence is affecting the delivery of services to our communities and creating an atmosphere for corruption to thrive needs to be promptly addressed if confidence in public institutions is to be restored. Such situations can only occur when the eyes of those who are supposed to hold municipalities accountable are off the ball. To them our communities and their needs don’t matter.

The South African Constitution states that one of the objectives of local governments or municipalities is to create a secure and healthy environment for citizens. In addition, municipalities have an obligation to give priority to the basic needs of the community in their administration, budgets and planning and to foster social and economic development.

The Batho Pele principles commit all state officials to quality service delivery, to setting of and striving for internationally recognised service standards and to honest and transparent communication with the country’s citizens. In fact, however, dozens of municipalities are disregarding these noble ideals as a result of incompetence and deficient professionalism. Some municipalities are practically speaking dysfunctional, particularly in rural areas.

Municipal incompetence compromises the people, especially the poor. Government, for a majority of citizens, evokes two strong responses. One, disgust at the widespread corruption among public servants; and two, frustration due to very poor delivery of services. Without undermining the enormity of the harm caused by corruption among public servants, it is too simplistic to believe that corruption is the sole, or even major, cause of poor governance. Much more ails the government than corruption. It is the spectre of incompetence that haunts it most. In a system full of incompetent people, delivery of service is the first casualty and, hence, it has a premium.

Our people do not deserve anything less than the very best. There is no room for inferior services, complacency, incompetence, indolence, dishonesty or mediocrity.

The IFP recognises the legitimate concerns of the citizens of this country as their right to protest as enshrined in South African Bill of Rights of the Constitution. However, the IFP emphasises that the right to protest does not extend to the burning of people’s private property or government property. Such acts of violence negatively impact on our economy and scare off businesses and potential investors. I believe we need much harsher punishment against hooligans that destroy property and loot.

The IFP calls on the eThekwini Municipality to urgently address the service delivery concerns raised by the Magabheni community.

Mr Blessed Gwala, MPL
IFP Chief Whip in the KZN Legislature
078 290 5842