Councillor’s Corner: Inspecting service delivery issues

There is a shortage of manhole covers as the administration failed to renew the contract with the supplier. Photo: Soweto Urban

This week, Leana Pottas asked: 

There is about a one-by-one metre open manhole on the pavement in a street close to my home that has been vandalised, and the iron cover apparently was stolen more than a year ago.

Does council only wait for the public to report it or are council workers also required or encouraged to inspect areas from time to time or look out for and report open manholes when they do work in, or drive through, a specific area?

 

Ward 89 councillor Amelia Bester answers this week’s question.

Amelia Bester, Ward 89 councillor answered: 

The City of Johannesburg employs urban inspectors who are tasked with reporting service delivery issues.

Their findings should be taken up in regional reports, indicating full details of the issues ‘logged’. This has not happened in the past.

Two years into our term of office, and after the Governance Standing Committee passed a resolution in council to enforce this responsibility, the administration still does not comply.

The reason for non-compliance can be attributed to a skills shortage, a ‘no pride in work’ institutional culture and sabotage of the DA-led coalition government.

Whilst we await the Institutional Review, we have proposed to the Speaker of Council that our ward committees be allowed to conduct oversight visits to track the repair of issues logged by residents in the respective wards.

This effectively means that our residents have taken over the role of the urban inspector and that ward councillors function as call centres, opening us up to abuse from members of the public who do not have insight into what our roles are and how the system operates.

The process we encourage is for residents to report issues using methods stipulated in the Look and Log guide (www.lookandlog.co.za) and then forwarding the reference number to your DA ward councillor or PR councillor for escalation to management within the administration.

This is at present our only oversight mechanism. Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba, recently established a visible service delivery unit in his office to track the progress of service delivery citywide. We plan to submit our own reports to this unit to prove the true state of service delivery.

Please contact me if you wish to view the regional report or want to partake in our pilot project at [email protected]

As far as manhole covers are concerned, Johannesburg Water – situated on the road surface – and Johannesburg Roads Agency – situated on the road reserve – covers can be identified as round covers.

Whilst those of Eskom, Telkom and fibre are square in shape – and these should not be logged with the City.

There is a shortage of covers as the administration failed to renew the contract with the supplier.

Do you have a question for a ward councillor?

As a local newspaper, the Randburg Sun provides a platform for residents to learn about, understand and follow local government.

As an extension of that, there is a weekly column called Councillor’s Corner which is a platform for you, our readers, to voice your concerns or questions for ward councillors to respond to.

Different, willing, ward councillors will respond to a question each week.

E-mail your burning question to: [email protected] and let’s get the ball rolling.

  AUTHOR
Chantelle Fourie

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