Many people living in Cape Town gloat over the rest of the country, citing the efficiency of our DA-led City Council and Province as the main non-geological, non-geographical reason for their residence in the Mother City. And yes, when you compare it with Joburg and its rates bill debacle or Limpopo and its everything debacle, we look GREAT!. But then that’s like comparing drinking a poor red wine with being repeatedly punched in the head. Given the alternative, even that “horrible overly-alcoholic fruit-bomb” is going to seem fairly decent.
And that’s what Cape Town governance has been like for the past few years – a poor red wine that seems a whole lot better than a broken jaw and possible ocular contusion. We’ve excused the bad things because it could simply be so much worse. But suddenly the cracks are beginning to show. Potholes aren’t fixed, even when they’re reported. More and more traffic lights are going “a bit Gauteng” and flashing red for hours at a time. And the city implemented their new IT system “ISIS” apparently without actually checking that it worked.
How very Eastern Cape of them.
The upshot of this is that:
…the municipality’s Rates Clearance Department continues to labour under a backlog. The issuing of Rates Clearance Certificates, which would normally take 8 to 10 working days, remains a full month behind schedule – the financial implications of which are obvious to all involved.
And it’s meant that law firm Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes has got in touch with the council (and Emperor Helen Zille, nogal) to express its displeasure and that of its clients:
The written response received from the Executive Deputy Mayor, Mr Ian Neilson, gives the assurance that the municipality is acutely aware of the problems that have occurred around Rates Clearance Certificates since the going live of the ISIS system and acknowledged the negative impact that the clearance backlog has, not only on the city’s economy, but also on the finalisation of property transactions. Mr Neilson assured us of the municipality’s determination to revert to its previous turnaround times as soon as possible.
That last line of Mr Neilson may just have well have been:
Yes, whatever. Now bugger off and stop annoying me.
But then at least he responded – probably more than you’d get from most municipalities.It’s just another indication of how the city is becoming less Capetonian and more Joburgesque every day. The DA are slipping, but they know that they can afford to, because everyone can remember and can still see just how bad the alternative is.
It’s a bit of a shoddy approach to things. Like it or not, the DA is slipping up more and more in Cape Town and it’s all rather disappointing for those of us forced to cough up rates for less and less service.