PROJECT ERMELO - Mike Bolhuis to intervene as MLM falls apart
8 June 2021
"If a municipality fails to fulfill any of the mandates set forth by the national government, it is a crime. As simple as that."
As you sit in the dark for 20 hours a day, for the fourth consecutive day, as yourself if it is acceptable. As you watch how polluted and muddy water runs from your taps, ask yourself if it is acceptable. As you hit yet another pothole, and have to replace yet another tyre on your vehicle, ask yourself if it is acceptable. As Msukaligwa Local Municipality (MLM) simply blames your woes on the 88kVA and 11kVA being “overloaded”, the onus of appliances ruined by electrical spikes are on you as tax paying resident. As new developments are approved left and right by MLM’s apparent town planner, no foresight is given to the residents who suffer without electricity on a daily basis. While MLM claims that the electrical infrastructure is overloaded and at maximum capacity, more developments are approved by MLM on a monthly basis.
While MLM claims that non-paying residents are to blame for the lack of maintenance, the municipality has set forth a mandate that consumer debt be written off under certain conditions, to the tune of nearly R600 million. Does this make sense to you? While you have to weave and bob to miss the thousands of potholes and sinkholes on the roads in Ermelo and the surrounding areas, MLM claims to have a “shoestring budget” that they receive from government. Thousands, if not millions of Rands, are wasted on half-hearted patchwork of the roads, instead of repairing the roadway as mandated. Potholes are filled with dirt and gravel, and expand exponentially as the surface deteriorates to a state of non-existence. Are you satisfied with this? As you stand in your front yard, and take a deep whiff of rank, raw sewage flowing in the streets in front of your house... Are you satisfied?
As you have to drive through pools of sewage as you exit your yard, and your children have to tread carefully not to be contaminated with raw sewage, does it make you feel good? While you sit without street lights, and your residence is shrouded in darkness, are you complacent with the fact that you can be robbed blind without even knowing it? Are you content with the fact that hijackers and criminals can sit outside your yard and wait for you to open your gate, remaining unseen due to the street lights that have been out of commission for over ten years?
Are you content with the fact that your tax money is wasted on fruitless expenditures by Msukaligwa Local Municipality, that you are overcharged by the municipality’s archaic billing system, that you pay penalties on payments that are not logged by the municipality, and that year after year, you are done in with bogus property taxes that are thumbsucked by municipal officials? If the answer to any of the above is no, then it your time to shine. It is time for residents to stop talking and complaining, and to take action.
A group of like-minded residents, that have had it in chunks with the utter incompetence displayed by Msukaligwa Local Municipality, have approached Private Investigator, Mike Bolhuis, to assist in solving the humanitarian crisis that Ermelo is steering towards. Mr. Bolhuis has thus requested that all complaints be submitted in a categorized fashion.
Speaking to Mr. Bolhuis, residents are urged to take heed of his words. “I would like to issue a friendly but serious warning to residents of Ermelo. Project Ermelo, that we are requested to assist with, can only be a success if everyone sets their differences and varied opinions aside, and sets the issue of crime as the main focus and problem. Residents of Ermelo should look past race, politics and differences in faith. We are all just human, and God has no blue-eyed boys. We request unequivocal unity from the community, that all residents and tax payers take hands and stand together, and assist us in any way necessary with our project and investigation. With Project Ermelo, we can not afford infighting between residents, where the best apples are compared to the best oranges. The main and singular focus of the community and this project should be to identify, solve and prevent crime. This trio of goals are of utmost importance. There is no place for persons who dislike one another, and each and every community member is urged to be part of the investigation, e-mail messages and WhatsApp groups. I would like to urge the community to keep all issues that are not relevant to Project Ermelo to be set aside, and that all energy should be focused on the project goal. The fact of the matter is that a crime is being committed. If a municipality fails to fulfill any of the mandates set forth by the national government, it is a crime. As simple as that. If the municipality does not maintain the infrastructure, it is a crime. A municipality can not be called a municipality, if it does not deliver a service. The solution to this problem can only be had if the community as a whole stands together, and works together. We will be the spearhead, and in this way work for the community. We appreciate any donations, no matter how big or small. When the opportunity presents itself, we visit Ermelo, we conduct the investigation, we collect audio and video evidence, and we confront the municipality. If no heed is paid by the municipality, it is escalated to a national project, complete with audio and video, and will be presented to national government.”
If you have a complaint regarding electricity, sewage, road conditions, lack of service delivery, suspected corruption, financial mismanagement and more, please send each complaint in a separate e-mail, with the subject stating the category of the complaint. This way it will be easier to sort and compile a list of the issues that need attention. You may send your categorized complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please ensure that your e-mail body and complaints match the subject heading as described above. Residents who wish to make a donation, no matter how big or small, towards the compensation of service from Mr. Bolhuis, may do so by depositing funds into the slated trust account. Mr. Bolhuis has agreed to come to Ermelo and address the community as a whole to take note of all complaints right through the board.
Kevin Duggan on 071 476 2028, or Lynette Hattingh on 082 542 9592 with any enquiries.
The account details are as follows: PWG Attorneys, FNB Ermelo (270 344) Account Number: 52180048278. Reference: E747, please include your initials and surname afterwards. These funds will thus be regulated and tightly controlled, and will be utilized solely for the purpose of reimbursing Mr. Bolhuis and his team for their provided service.
At the time of publication, more than 150 detailed and categorized complaints have been submitted by businesses and residents. From here, what the community does as a whole will affect the future of Ermelo. All residents are urged to unite in solidarity, and to take back the power which rightly belongs to them as paying consumers.