Open letter to the Minister of Urban and Rural Development

Dear Honourable Erastus Uutoni,

After various press reports and a public statement by the CEO of Grootfontein Municipality about the chaotic and appalling state of affairs there in September 2020, you promised to find solutions to it in the press.

One of the excuses for your late promise of involvement in all the well known maladministration was a delay by the investigation team from your own Ministry in November 2018; unfortunately you and the residents are still waiting for a report and solutions.

Your two predecessors and your long-time executive director, Mr. N. Daniel, were aware that your Public Service Charter excludes MURD from any responsibility in the custodianship for local authorities.

Your ministry therefore ignored for a decade all our correspondence about the maladministration in the municipality in Grootfontein and other local authorities.  In MURD`s Public Service Charter it is written: “Local and Regional Authorities are expected to develop/ or have their own charters.” This never happened and it is the overall reason that decentralisation left a wide gap “out of order and control” and invited the chaos as described by the CEO.

On 29 January 2021 the incoming elected councillors received an invitation for an induction-training to their task – about 70 days after election! The invitation was signed by the same executive director who did not care (with his team) for years about the maladministration in the Grootfontein Municipality.

The residents in Grootfontein did not get up-to-date information from the incoming councillors. The first town council meeting was scheduled for 28 January 2021 but was cancelled at short notice similar to what has been happening in the past. Also a letter to the councillors was lost for 12 days, before it was found in the secretary’s file.

Currently, maladministration is going on the same way as many years prior. Hon. Minister, in the new administration we want Accountability + Transparency!

Uwe Rathmann