Municipal speaker hitch-hikes to meetings

2016-11-11 06:00
PHOTO: khaya magenu Ubuhlebezwe Municipal Speaker Zwakele Mngonyama hitch-hiking.

PHOTO: khaya magenu Ubuhlebezwe Municipal Speaker Zwakele Mngonyama hitch-hiking.

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THE Ubuhlebezwe Municipality Speaker in Ixopo, Zwakele Mngonyama, was spotted by Fever hitch-hiking on the busy R56 last Thursday.

He is unlike other municipal speakers, who drive fancy cars costing millions, while communities complain about the lack of service delivery, Mngonyama is a daily hitch-hiker.

The speaker was carrying a heavy bag while holding up his thumb pointing in the direction of Durban.

The time was 5.16pm and it was raining and misty.

“I don’t have an option because I don’t have a car. I am rushing to the provincial ANCYL meeting in Pietermaritzburg,” said Mngonyama.

Mngonyama was elected speaker after the 3 August local government elections. He is also the ANCYL regional chairperson in Harry Gwala.

“For a high-profile well-known municipal speaker and politician like Mr Mngonyama to be hitch-hiking is an embarrassment. I spotted him standing here about an hour ago and I feel sad for him,” said a hitch-hikers next to him.

Speaking to Fever at the hiking spot, Mngonyama said hitch-hiking affects his daily bread and butter.

“Sometimes I get to my organisational meetings late because I don’t have a vehicle.”

He said sometimes he is embarrassed in his position as a respected and powerful municipal speaker.

“My home is 25kms from Ixopo where the municipality office base is, but I hitch-hike from my home to work and back every day.”

He said he has raised the issue of him hitch-hiking from municipal council, but they have not given him a car.

“Being a municipal speaker, who does not have an office and a personal assistant, is also an embarrassment. I share an office with municipal executive committee members, but in other municipalities, speakers are provided with cars, an office, PA and all necessary things needed by office of the speaker,” said Mngonyama.

He said when he discusses the situation with council they always promise to allocate him a municipality vehicle when adjusting the budget, which is approved by council.

I don’t have an option because I don’t have a car. I am rushing to the provincial ANCYL meeting in Pietermaritzburg. Sometimes I get to my organisational meetings late because I don’t have a vehicle

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