Street people moved to new ‘home’

2015-11-04 06:00

THE Msunduzi Municipality and Business Fighting Crime removed people who have lived on the street by Upper Crust and Jonathan Spar for years and moved them to Havelock Road.

The municipality started removing the street children and adults in April after a call from the Office of the Premier and the ANC national office.

Councillor Judith Lawrence said that funds needed to be released quickly and caution must be taken to ensure that there will be no disturbance­ of the children housed next to the shelter, and that the community­ is not threatened by this.

The property in Havelock Road has no stove, furniture, fridge or crockery. Balancing the cost of these items and their urgency brought a heated debate among the Executive committee (Exco) members.

Councillor Eunice Majola said the report, with an estimated total cost of R66 358, should be replaced with a report with proper figures, who also said that costs had been inflated.

“We know the cost of these items. These papers are kept as records. Finding yourself as a member of Exco approving these documents, I don’t think we will be be serving justice to people,” she said.

The list includes a gas stove that costs R11 000, a microwave that costs R1 200, four pots for R1 200, 30 mugs for R300, a washing machine for R7 000, a fridge for R16 000 and monthly grocery and cleaning material for R12 000, to mention a few items.

Exco member Jabu Ngubo said she was not pleased about how people­ manipulate prices when dealing with the municipality.

“I’m looking at how people manipulate prices when they deal with the municipality.

“You look at the gas stove which costs R11 000. Four jugs for R100, 30 cereal bowls for R450.

“When people deal with the municipality they inflate prices,” said Ngubo.

The deputy municipal manager for economic development Dr Ray Ngcobo said that providing a shelter is not a permanent solution for people living on the streets.

“It is just a matter of dealing with the catastrophe that is on the streets,” he said.

Councillor Inderjit Manilal said that the list provided was not final.

“I am sure you can trust our finance­ department to make sure we get value for money.

“We promised them a better life by removing them from the streets.

“If we don’t do anything they will go back to the streets,” he said.

Municipal CFO Nelisiwe Ngcobo said the listed items will be procured­ following supply chain-management procedures.

“It’s not that we will stick with any price, quotations will be procured,” she told Exco members.

Ngubo added that council needs to find a way to equip the people who have been removed from the streets with skills so they become employable.

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