Why can’t we fine the metro?

Why can the municipality give us fines for paying late or breaking the speed limit but we can’t fine the municipality for its wrong-doings?

Why is it we cannot fine them for water and sewage flowing down the road, street lights broken or the numerous potholes?

Last year, the municipality extracted about an additional R190 million in fines because we trespassed, yet when they trespass nothing is done.

Why should we phone the call centre when we pay people to check the roads, lights, water and sewage?

When we break the speed limit, we don’t get a warning: “Hey, John Smith, you travelled at 76km in a 60km zone. Please be aware that the speed limit is 60km.” No, we are fined.

Why is it, then, that the metro can employ the 150 or whatever new members for the EMPD and a couple of hundred call centre staff not too long ago?

They should rather spend the money on looking after our infrastructure. After all, we are the ones paying.

This is not brain surgery – simply decrease the number of call centre staff needed by increasing the number of active members of the municipality who fix our infrastructure.

They also get to learn a well-paying trade.

Recently, the traffic lights were out of order and flashing red at the corner of Rondebult and Main. It took me 20 minutes to go from crossing over Rietfontein Road.

I understand the EMPD is technically not responsible for traffic flow. It is the duty of traffic flow/control wardens. Where were you then, or ever when the traffic lights are out?

If we drive an unlicensed vehicle, we are fined. Why is it, then, that those small grass cutters are allowed to ride on our roads unlicensed? The EMPD would never stop a grass cutter and issue a fine.

One wonders how R250 million vanished into thin air from one of the departments. You, the municipality allowed it. You deserve a fine for your wrong-doing.

I hit potholes every day. I drive by sewage coming out of manholes at least three times a week. I see water flowing down roads almost daily.

Have you noticed how vast stretches of street lights don’t work at night? It starts to get to you. Like the frog in the pot.

We complain about the potholes and we continue to complain By the time we get to somebody who does actually do something about it, we are spitting blood and mad as hell.

We talk crudely in moments of confrontation because we as the citizens are frustrated. For this we will apologise. We are only human. We just don’t understand why our infrastructure is in such poor condition.

I am almost too scared to try and find out the true health level of our infrastructure. As it deteriorates, can we fine the metro?

The metro boasts about receiving one million callbacks in 2015. You should hang your head in shame. We don’t accept such poor behaviour.

Let us say the average call was one minute long – therefore, one million minutes of downed productivity, therefore 16 666 lost man hours. You as the metro should be fined!

The metro has said 1 583km of the road network was maintained. Please explain how many potholes do you allow in order to call a road maintained? What do you qualify as ‘maintained’?

Our roads don’t look maintained!

Oh, and thanks for the e-tolls. It’s not our fault that the government has allowed our highways to go to the dogs.

Again, please remind me why you fine us when you as the metro are the ones who should be fined due to the high levels of uselessness.

Just as you are not perfect, why are we held to standards that you don’t adhere to yourself?

Why are we fined when we cannot fine you?

Please advise on how we, your employers, can fine the metro, which is technically our employee due to our paying taxes.

We, the employers wonder why our employees are allowed to act with such impunity. Why do our employees treat us with such disdain?

All we read about is corruption, corruption and more corruption, but you insist on fining us.

To our employees who go the extra mile, who put in the extra effort and really do help us, to you, we say thank you.

We understand that you are put under tremendous strain and pressure due to budget constraints, politics within the municipality, making sure that tenders are awarded fairly, programmes and projects that constructively aim to enhance our municipality and so on. Thank you.

You are the ones who should get all the perks.

Riaan Engelbrecht

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