KZN multi-party visits reveal anger, frustration and desperation within communities

George Mari, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA)

 

Thank you Honourable Chair and staff for a very precise report that captures the rage, frustration, desperation and massive challenges facing the KZN communities that have not seen development and services that the ANC provincial government should be providing.

The anger witnessed by the committee in the Outer West area was so great, that our meeting with community members had to be abandoned.

Part of the problem lies with the fact that these visits should have been conducted long ago.  By visiting these communities in the year preceding an election we are sending out the wrong message.  Community members have also accused the committee of a lack of action over their complaints.  This came through loud and clear during the committee’s visit to Tongaat.

Issues raised during the committees visit to parts of the province include;

  • Councillors’ lack of availability to take up issues within their Wards has led to frustration by community members who, in some instances, have targeted Councillor’s homes and threatened them
  • A lack of jobs, especially for the youth is an issue raised at all the meetings.  The Youth Wage Subsidy would solve some of this problem.  KZN’s Premier indicated that he would implement the subsidy yet nothing has happened to date
  • A claim by Minority Communities that they are being sidelined when it comes to government infrastructure and capital projects
  • Inflated school fees, under-funding of schools due to quintile ranking and the lack of learner transport were all highlighted
  • Corruption in allocation of housing and the alleged involvement of Councillors is a very sore point.  At Cornubia is it indicated that 85% of the 15 000 units are reserved for Ethekwini’s slums clearance programme.  We cannot have a situation where government policy talks about integrating communities while clearly marginalizing minority communities. There must be a waiting list for beneficiaries.  It has been reported in the media that the waiting list will not be released by the Ethekwini Municipality. The MEC for Human Settlements must ensure the list is released
  • Sub-standard houses with structural defects, cracks and leaking roofs including shoddy workmanship is rife in many housing projects. Rectification is going to cost millions. The Mpisane name was mentioned in the Lamontville South Central Region in the North West RDP Housing Project in Ethekwini. I know of poorly built houses in the Umlazi B10 Projects, yet the Municipality gives more contracts to Shawn Mpisane’s company. WHY?  People are living in some of these houses under terrible conditions and their lives are at risk. Poor workmanship within the Joe Slovo Housing Project was also raised
  • Bayview Hall and Moorton Community Halls – families affected by flooding have been living in both halls since November 2012. Promises of housing by the municipality have not been kept. These are community halls, for use by the community for events and functions. This is a priority and the MEC’s for COGTA and Human Settlements must follow up with Ethekwini
  • Crime, the abuse of women and children, rape, murder and drugs are a huge problem.  Meanwhile the SAPS are battling with poor facilities.
  • The Bayview Police Station is in a deplorable state and in need of renovation. Other police stations in need of urgent attention are Tongaat, Cato Manor, Kwa Makhutha and Folweni
  • The housing project in the Masuku area of Umgababa has been in the planning phase since 2001.  This community is still waiting after 12 years and there is no work being done.

The DA proposes that the Chair’s report be sent to all portfolio committees to look at the issues raised and ensure that municipalities begin to deliver in the respective areas.

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