Matheus Hamutenya KARASBURG - Karasburg East Constituency Councillor Dennis Coetzee said councillors are often accused of attending meeting after meeting and getting fat from government sponsored-food at workshops while delivering very little on their mandates. He made the observation last week Wednesday when he hosted the ‘Constituency Day’ at Karasburg. In his speech, Coetzee explained that many a time regional councillors are accused of not bringing development to their areas, but said these elected officials do not have a budget set aside for development such as capital projects. Projects, he said, are planned and executed at a national level with the assistance of regional councils, and councillors are just there to oversee things, but do not have funds budgeted to execute their own programmes. “The inhabitants are getting frustrated and sometimes hold regional councillors responsible and say they are doing nothing, but councillors are currently operating without any money or budget,” he said. He added that it is unfortunate that in some instances councillors are not informed about the projects in their own areas and their progress, but are only called in when things go wrong to answer questions. “Sometimes political leaders are even sidelined because we ask too many questions, but when things go wrong and projects are incomplete, then we are blamed,” he noted. Coetzee further explained to the community members in attendance that the regional councillors’ current main source of income is the five percent collected from the region’s seven local authority councils, which he said is insufficient as it is shared among seven constituencies. This, he said, leaves constituency offices with little income, and they thus have to depend on funds allocated to rural projects by ministries in order to bring such projects to the people, or they are forced to seek assistance from private business partners for any local small projects. He however stated that he is confident that this will change soon, so that constituency offices are also provided with their own budgets, to cater for their capital projects and other needs in their areas, saying the talks on the constituency development fund are ongoing. “The much needed constituency development fund is once again under discussion and this time we hope that it will be approved by the head of state, so that we are able to implement much needed small development projects in our communities,” he said. He furthermore expressed concerns over the budget cuts which are hindering progress of certain projects, while noting that teenage pregnancy, stock theft and drug abuse remain problems in the area.
2018-06-11 09:18:47 3 months ago