AfriForum demands details of ANC’s planned visit to Rwanda

The civil rights watchdog AfriForum requested Olly Mlamleli, Executive Mayor of the Mangaung Metro, in a letter today to provide more information on an ANC deputation’s planned visit to Rwanda. According to media reports, the visit is planned to determine how this country keeps it parks and cities clean – this while residents of Bloemfontein have to beg the Metro to remove refuse.

According to David Pongolo, Mayoral Committee for Environmental Affairs, Mlameli will lead the deputation, which is part of a Provincial Working Committee project of the ANC. Pongolo says that the deputation will find out how the cities, towns and parks are cleaned up in Rwanda. The Mayor’s office could not confirm what the costs for this visit would be.

According to Monique Taute, Head of AfriForum’s anti-corruption unit, it is preposterous that the Provincial Working Committee wants to undertake such a visit without any sufficient planning or cost considerations. “The Mayor must remember that she works with taxpayers’ money and must be accountable for all expenses incurred by her office. AfriForum demands in its letter to Mlamleli that she has to provide the civil rights organisation with a proper project and travel plan, as well as budget.”

The Rwandese model is quite easy to understand and does not justify a whole deputation to visit the country. The Rwandese government launched an initiative according to which all citizens between the ages 18 and 65 must clean their environments every last Saturday of the month. It is not a voluntary project and citizens who do not participate in the action are heavily fined. The leaders of the country take part in the action, however, to encourage the citizenry to also participate.

“If the Mayor truly views the Rwandese model as admirable, she should rather take the lead by ensuring that the city – which she is supposed to manage – does not look like a landfill site. The money to be spent on the visit can much rather be used to make a true difference in the city,” Taute concludes.

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