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South Africa: Residents Withhold R1.2 Million in Rates From eThekwini metro – South African News Briefs – September 5, 2023

Cape Town —  

Tax Boycott Gains Steam in Ailing eThekwini Metro

Ratepayers in the dysfunctional eThekwini metro are withholding R1.2 million in rates and taxes in a pushback against high tariff hikes, News24 reports. The Westville Ratepayers’ Association (WRA) is withholding rates and taxes, and depositing the money into a holding bank account. Other ratepayers associations have asked to join the protest, according to leaders of the campaign. At least 20 other local organisations have since joined the boycott, now known as the eThekwini Rate Protest Movement. The WRA lodged a dispute with the metro over tariff hikes which residents said in court had a “non-compliant” public participation process. The dispute was lodged against the backdrop of the municipality’s failure to recover unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, worth R427 million, in the 2021/2022 financial year, and a R50 billion loss over five years. The spokesperson for the KwaZulu-Natal ANC, Mafika Mndebele, told News24 the boycotts were “illegal” and would “have consequences”.

Prasa Boss Vows to Safeguard Revamped Commuter Rail Network

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) CEO Hishaam Emeran says criminality will not be allowed to derail the multibillion-rand revival of the commuter rail network. Prasa is pulling out the stops after years of neglect, theft and vandalism to restore train services. But the programme is threatened by challenges, including extortionists and the “construction mafia”, disrupting construction sites and demanding work or a share of infrastructure projects, Emeran told TimesLIVE Premium in an interview on the sidelines of a visit to assess progress restoring the northern rail corridor in Cape Town. Prasa was addressing these issues, he said. “We are not going to allow criminality in our rail reserves. That’s why we have beefed up our security within these corridors,” he said.

Team SA Hoping to Shine at Inaugural Africa Para Games in Accra

Team South Africa is at the inaugural Africa Para Games in Accra, Ghana from September 3 to 12 , 2023, EyeWitness News reports. The squad of 25 athletes will participate in the wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis sporting codes. The first African Para Games are an initiative of the International Paralympic Committee and the African Paralympic Committee. This event will serve as a last-chance qualifier for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, offering the winning teams a golden ticket to represent Africa on the world stage.

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