AfriForum takes to task KZN five municipalities

2014-01-17 00:00

THE civil rights organisation AfriForum is making its presence felt in KwaZulu-Natal by tackling municipalities that apparently flout certain local government legislation.

AfriForum say they have formed 12 branches in the province.

The civil rights organisation has, in its low-profile crusade, tackled the municipalities of eThekwini Metro, Ugu District, eMadlangeni, Umdoni and Hibiscus Coast on issues relating to the towns of Amanzimtoti, Scottburgh and Margate.

Issues that it had pursued included water quality, burst pipes, release of forensic investigation reports, councillors who owe municipalities for rates and services, sewage spills and parking meters, among other issues.

In its latest crusade AfriForum this week instructed its legal team to prepare court applications against the eMadlangeni Municipality in Utrecht.

This happened against the backdrop of its recently launched campaign: “Away with unqualified municipal officials” where AfriForum requested proof from municipalities of compliance with the municipal regulations on managers’ minimum competency levels.

In terms of the municipal regulations, municipal managers and heads of departments must have completed a university degree and a specially designed course by National Treasury by January 2013. But if the qualification was not obtained, municipalities could apply for an extension.

André Homann, chairperson of AfriForum’s Utrecht branch, said the civil rights group had requested documents indicating compliance with the regulations from the municipality in October 2013. He claimed that the municipality had refused to make the documents available.

The eMadlangeni municipality was not immediately available for comment.

Chris Fourie, AfriForum’s community co-ordinator in KZN, said poor service delivery in the province has forced them to investigate whether the people responsible for service delivery were qualified to provide the services.

“If they are not and have not been given extension to comply with the competency regulations, we will have no choice but to have them removed,” Fourie said in a statement.

Last week it was reported that Afri­Forum gave the Hibiscus Coast Municipality seven days to supply them with a copy of the National Treasury’s response about requests for an investigation into alleged unqualified managers in their employment.

Fourie was quoted as saying nine managers in the municipality did not meet the minimum competency levels.

In his response, municipal spokesperson Simon Soboyisa said the municipality has been granted an extension to meet the minimum competency level until June 2014.

Apart from municipal-related issues, the civil rights group is also coming to the defence of farmers. It was reported on Monday that the civil rights organisation obtained a court order last week aimed at protecting Howick farmer Peter Train from harassment by the Msomi family, who he says are “land grabbers”.


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