Charred hall stifles ward work

2017-04-13 06:00

Mfuleni’s Ward 108 Councillor, Thembisile Bathembu, says he struggles to perform his duties because he has no offices.

His office is officially located at Bardale Multipurpose Centre, but protesters, upset with the way houses were being allocated, burned it down in April last year, rendering it unusable. Presently, Bathembu- who started work as a councillor in November last year- is working from an office that belongs to taxi drivers at Bardale Taxi Rank.

“I can’t print documents because there is no space for a printer here,” he says. “Me and my personal assistant can’t make or receive calls because we can’t install a landline.” He said his arrangement with the taxi operators expired on 7 April, last Friday.

“Residents will struggle to reach me because the office is outside my ward boundaries.”

Bardale Multipurpose Centre remains in bad shape. The paint has come off the charred walls. Winds blows through broken windows, and there is a faint but lingering smell of smoke permeating the building.

“Because the hall is damaged, I can’t convene community meetings and discuss social issues with residents(here)” he offered.

“I tried to get City officials to fix the hall, but they say an insurance company is still busy with the quotation.”

Councillor Anda Ntsodo, Mayoral Committee Member for Area East told GroundUp: “The City’s Recreation and Parks Department has appointed a consulting team who will compile a report, including costs and implementation time-frames for remedial work.”

Ntsodo said: “The community is encouraged to use the nearby Mfuleni Hall, Chris Hani Hall and Zolile Malindi Community Centre until the repairs have been completed.”

Despite its bad shape, youths continue to use the gym equipment. Chris Mbotshwa, 32, said: “The hall is convenient for me, although rains and wind make the hall unsuitable for use.” - GROUND UP

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