At least 21 registered Plett residents missed the vote in August 2016, while there was no reason for them to stay away from the ballot box. The result, seven months later, is that the Bitou municipal management skills cupboard lays stripped bare.
For a long time we had no Municipal Manager (MM) and we still have no Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Head of Corporate Services, or Head of Community Services - you know, those guys who were chiefly responsible for winning Bitou an unprecedented three consecutive clean audits, plus a healthy cash surplus in the bank.
That was quite an achievement after a R30-million deficit got carried forward after the 2011 election.
Folks, we might not be voting for or against Brexit or the building of a wall along the Mexican border, but we are voting AGAINST corruption and mismanagement.
After our skills drain, the Bitou table is now neatly set. The newly appointed Bitou MM was a colleague and friend of former Bitou MM George Seitisho at another municipality. Many in Bitou will remember George for the credit card fraud charges against him and our current deputy mayor.
So, one might ask, what about a new CFO for Bitou? We do not know who is waiting in the wings, but it would be a safe bet that he/she will be a cadre of similar ilk.
Forgive and forget is the way in Plett, but to those 21 people: we know who you are and we will be watching the voters roll.
To the hundred or more others who felt that a holiday in the Kruger or a European tour was a much cooler thing to be doing than voting in Bitou… grrrr.
Just don’t go missing the vote boat again. The Ward 2 by-election is on Wednesday April 5.
Bill Nel, Plett