Letter by Gerrit van Schalkwyk, Chairperson: Ratepayers' and Residents' Association, Kroonstad:Community has now had enough of this

2 July 2008

Gerrit van Schalkwyk
Chairperson: Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association

I am writing in reaction to the article “Withholding of tax like stone throwing” (Sake24, 26.06.08).
The withholding of tax once a dispute has been declared is the outcry of a community that, within the law, wants to create order in a structure known therefor that no action, deliberation or persuasion will be achieved without mass violence, protests, strikes, or any other form of disorder.
The entire action, therefore, should command respect and appreciation from the authorities and academics (who all too easily want to proffer opinions from their glasshouses, without finding solutions). The reason for the declaration of a dispute and withholding of tax has to be sought therein that all other orderly, reasonable and repeated attempts, right up to the provisional and higher authorities, have been unsuccessful. They were actually ignored. It further has to be stressed that when taxes are withheld and managed by ratepayers’ associations or residents’ forums, the onus continues to rest on municipalities to provide, without remuneration, services to the entire community.

By now, the authorities should be accepting their responsibility and accountability for effective management and should stop contaminating municipal government with mismanagement, corruption and nepotism. It is this of which the community has now had enough.