Formation of ward committee halted

2017-03-08 06:05

“It was a meeting for the selection of the workers.”

In late October last year, Ward 1 residents handed over a memorandum of demand to KwaDukuza mayor Ricardo Mthembu during a community meeting, demanding that Ndimande be removed as the councillor of the area with immediate effect.

The memorandum levelled several allegations against Ndimande, including claims that he is corrupt and that he keeps the community in the dark about the housing project in the area.

Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of being victimised, described how people are selected to be beneficiaries of the housing project in a process that is not transparent and not in accordance with the official process.

The community member added that most of those who were awarded houses were closely linked to the councillor and that the more recent beneficiaries allegedly campaigned for Ndimande ahead of last year’s local government elections.

Zulu said applications for houses in the area were done and approved prior to the implementation of the project by the KZN Department of Human Settlements, and that a list of approved beneficiaries was compiled and is adhered to when a house is awarded to a recipient.

The community member further claimed that the current contractor was not officially introduced to the community as the previous contractor had been replaced.

“The municipality has not appointed a contractor. It appointed an Implementing Agent by the name of Ngcobo and Associates, and this agent was introduced to the community and is on site,” Zulu said.

Zulu dismissed the community’s claims that local subcontractors or contractors were overlooked for working on the project, saying that local businesses were afforded the opportunity if they met the criteria.

“The Implementing Agent is part of the Turnkey Strategy, so the same Implementing Agent is the one who is doing construction as per the council resolution,” Zulu said.

According to the source, the contract of the previous contractor was terminated and the contractor took the municipality to court.

Zulu confirmed the latter and said that the matter between that contractor and the municipality has not been finalised.

According to Zulu, this past weekend’s meeting was not the first to come to an abrupt end without the order of the day, the election of ward committee members, being achieved.

“In Ward 1 the meeting was convened in line with the adopted plan, but the community objected to the election of ward committee members citing their dissatisfaction with the ward councillor.

“The meeting convened to elect ward committees collapsed,” Zulu said.The resident further stated that the ANC in the Greater KwaDukuza Region had intervened in the matter between the displeased community and councillor Ndimande, who the community is calling to be removed.

The source claimed that the party deployed three individuals to work closely with the community on matters pertaining to the area’s development and the issue of forming a ward committee.

The party’s regional spokesperson Lucky Makhathini said several allegations levelled against Ndimande, who is an ANC councillor, were brought to the attention of the ANC’s regional leadership.

He said these allegations prompted the organisation to institute an internal investigation and the outcome will determine the party’s actions going forward.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

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