Nkandla mayor Thami Ntuli (Amanda Khoza, News24)
Nkandla – President Jacob Zuma has put Nkandla on the map for all the wrong reasons, said Nkandla Mayor Thami Ntuli on Monday.
"This is where the president of the country lives, however in terms of the development, he never had an influence. There was no value in having the president come from Nkandla in terms of development," said Ntuli.
The mayor of three years was speaking to News24 from his office at the Nkandla Municipality in the small town. The IFP governs the municipality.
Zuma was recently ordered to pay R7.8m for non-security upgrades at his Nkandla homestead.
News24 recently reported that a Constitutional Court document posted on social media read: "Having regard to paragraphs 7 and 8 of its order of 31 March 2016, this Court signifies, with effect from the date of this letter, its approval of the amount of R7, 814, 155 as at June 2009, set out in the paragraph of the Report by National Treasury submitted to the Court on 27 June 2016."
All the wrong reasons
Ntuli on Monday said it was unfortunate that the small town had become famous for the misuse of taxpayers' money and lavish spending at Zuma's homestead in kwaNxamalala village, about 50km from the Nkandla CBD.
However, he said it should have been a good thing that Zuma had come from the area.
"We believe that it [his being from Nkandla] should have had an impact in enhancing service delivery. There are backlogs in the municipality in terms of service delivery. People are still poor and unemployed and there are a lot of social ills that need to be addressed."
He said Zuma had put Nkandla on the South African map for all the wrong reasons.
"The R7.8m we are seeing is bad publicity for Nkandla, we have been in the news for all the wrong reasons. We are in the news for using taxpayers money for the president's home."
Ntuli said the homestead was a waste of taxpayers' money.
When asked about his relationship with the ANC, the IFP mayor said his party planned to retain the municipality.
He said there were no tensions between councillors in the municipalities it governs.
He added the political killings in the province were mostly of ANC councillors. "We have not had councillors killed here."
About 12 people, mostly ANC members, have been killed in the province in what were believed to be politically motivated killings.
Ntuli said the IFP was not only going to retain the municipality, but it was going to improve its performance.
"In 2011, no political party won Nkandla. Prior to that the IFP was leading the municipality and in 2011, the IFP and the National Freedom Party formed a coalition. In 2012 December, the ANC councillor died and when we went for a by-election that is when we won back the municipality.”
He said people who left the IFP for the NFP had returned.
"Right now there is no NFP in Nkandla, even the deputy mayor from the NFP, he is now back with the IFP. We have grown from strength to strength."
Ntuli said the citizens of Nkandla were confident in the IFP.
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