Former mayor took our business — taxi owners

2011-08-17 00:00

THE Mooi River Taxi Association and local residents are fuming at the former mayor of Mpofana Municipality, Mncedisi Mthethwa, and the municipal manager, Muzi Madlala, for what they call “abusing their powers and undermining their community”.

The pair have formed a partnership to provide a lucrative transport service for Group Five employees working at the construction site of the Spring Grove Dam at Rosetta village in Mooi River.

Said Lucky Sithole, chairperson of the association, “We were not consulted about this project when we are the people who are dealing with public transport, and any opportunity for us to benefit from the project was not given to us.

“Instead Mthethwa and Madlala bought themselves two taxis and they are now running this project. They are abusing their powers instead of allowing us to operate these routes as is the norm.”

The project has caused an uproar in the Mpofana Municipality. Recently the community marched to hand over a memorandum to the Mayor of uMgungundlovu District Municipality, Yusuf Bhamjee, and local Mayor Ntombi Mpangase. They demanded that local sub-contractors be given first preference.

Mpofana Community Development leader Bheki Dlamini said, “The former mayor and the MM were asked by Group Five to tell the community that this project needed transport for the workers, but they decided to hide this information and went on to buy their own two 30-seat taxis and took the business into their own hands.”

Dlamini said the community of Mpofana sees this as corruption. Residents are also calling for the removal of the community liaison officer of the project, saying his position was never advertised and that he is a brother of the former mayor.

Madlala said, “This issue has been politicised for no reason.”

“This is an above-board business transaction because Group Five wanted a legal entity to provide service and this is legitimate business with a private company.”

Madlala added that they had met the taxi association to get it on board and that one of its members is already operating on the same contract. Attempts to reach Mthethwa were unsuccessful.

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