OUTA sets its sights on Cape Town metro as it launches local government branch
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) presented its OUTA Local strategy in Milnerton, Cape Town.
Various leaders of Residents Associations, Businesses and concerned residents attended the event which captured the organisations objectives in addressing maladministration and corruption in local government.
“We were encouraged to see so many residents and business owners support the launch of OUTA Local. The overwhelming attendance demonstrated to us, the need that exists in the community and the urgency in which poor governance must be addressed,” explained Wayne Duvenage, CEO at OUTA.
OUTA in its presentation indicated that the root cause of the status quo in their municipality is the lack of accountability. The organisation stipulated that it is not the job of residents and business to fix and provide service delivery but rather to hold to account those who are paid to do the work, which is the Municipality and its officials.
“It is important for everyone residing in the City of Cape Town to support the model through participation and sustained funding. The funds generated by the community of Cape Town will be used to ensure our operations address the direct mismanagement, tax abuse and corruption in the town and to crowdfund the legal costs when necessary,” said Duvenage.
According to Julius Kleynhans, Operations Executive for the OUTA Local Division, part of the problem regarding the decay in local government is because of unorganised civil society. “If civil society was organised and equipped with the needed experts, legal capacity and funds to monitor municipal performance and scrutinise or take action against irregularities, the decay may have been proactively prevented.”
In December 2017, OUTA wrote to the City of Cape Town to oppose the controversial “drought levy” and demanded that the metro push the national Department of Water and Sanitation to fulfil its obligations and deal with the water crisis.
“Our engagement on the Cape Town drought levy matter has always been to ensure the Constitution and other due processes have been followed, and to ensure that national government is held accountable and is made responsible for taking the urgent and necessary steps to resolve and fund the critical situation Capetonians found themselves in during the drought. This could have been prevented if civil society was better organised,” added Kleynhans.
Business owners also raised their concerns around protection from intimidation, an issue which OUTA is sensitive to. “We are familiar with the intimidation tactics of desperate individuals and we have taken every precaution to ensure the safety of whistleblowers and to protect the identity of our supporters”.
OUTA has opened its office in the City and are in the process of appointing a full time Branch Manager, Branch Administrator and a Community Engagement Officer to its Cape Town team which will be supported by its Provincial and National teams.
To support OUTA Local’s operations in Cape Town SMS “Cape Town” to 35005 and our team will phone you back or signup by clicking on the "JOIN NOW" button below.