IFP council accused of nurturing own needs

2010-09-29 00:00

THE Democratic Alliance has accused the Inkatha Freedom Party-led uMtshezi Municipality of prioritising the needs of the municipality’s councillors rather than granting financial aid to a local school.

DA constituency leader in uMtshezi Tom Stokes said yesterday his party has taken senior municipal officials to task over the council’s refusal to grant financial aid to a local school.

Stokes said the municipality is instead about to approve a R220 000 grant for councillors and officials to attend the KwaZulu-Natal Local Government Association Games (KwaNaloga).

“The school approached the municipality for financial assis­tance of some R20 000. Their application was flatly refused on the basis that there were no municipal funds available …” said Stokes.

He said the municipality’s mayor, Lymon Shelembe, has in the past been criticised for wasteful expenditure. “The most obvious of this is the huge billboard at the various entrances to the town which bear his image. It is clear that the municipal council is paying far more attention to enhancing the welfare of their own councillors, rather than attending to the real needs of the residents of uMtshezi,” added Stokes.

Shelembe dismissed Stokes’s comments as attempts at political point scoring ahead of next year’s local government elections.

In the last council meeting, said Shelembe, management was tasked to investigate whether the municipality has the money for the games. If the funding is available, said Shelembe, it will hugely assist in ensuring that the youth from poor communities showcase their talents at the games. It will also pay for transport, food and sporting kits, he added.

The mayor said the billboard was erected in May last year and that the DA ignored the important message on the billboards that reads “uMtshezi Ulithemba lethu” [uMtshezi is our hope].

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