Nkandla mayor Thami Ntuli (Amanda Khoza, News24)
Nkandla – The Inkatha Freedom Party's Thami Ntuli has been
the mayor of Nkandla, under Uthungulu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal,
for the past three years.
Under his leadership, Ntuli says the IFP has delivered and he
is confident that the party would continue to deliver for Nkandla residents.
Situated in the heart of KZN, the Nkandla CBD is located
about 50km from kwaNxamalala, where the controversial homestead of President
Jacob Zuma is located.
Nkandla is 78km from Eshowe, a town which has benefited from
Zuma becoming president.
Speaking in his office at the Nkandla Municipality, Ntuli
said the municipality had prioritised the most vulnerable group: uneducated and
"We believe that through education we can see the lives
of the people changing."
Uplifting the youth
He said the municipality established an education programme
where bursaries were issued to about 206 students to further their education at
various tertiary institutions.
He said 21 students had been supported through the India
scholarship programme, with some having already graduated.
Another programme the municipality had developed was paying
for youth to get their driver's licences.
"We have taken 100 youth and paid for both their
learner's and their driver's licences. More than 90 have obtained their
licence. I have set aside to take 50 more to do their licence."
He said he believed that young people sitting at home could
be skilled and they could use their licences to get employment.
"We are investing a lot on the youth because we believe
that education is the tool that we can use to improve the lives of the youth
and the citizens of Nkandla."
Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande
announced in Nkandla in December 2015 that a new college would be built in the
According to a statement released by the Presidency, the new
college was part of 15 technical vocational education and training (TVET)
colleges being built around the country.
The Leads2Business website reported that the campus was
being built by the Department of Higher Education and Training for the main
Umfolozi TVET College at Nkandla B, previously known as an FET College, in the
Uthungulu District Municipality of KwaZulu-Natal.
Ntuli said he had taken it upon himself to get the college
off the ground by convincing council not to sell the municipal land and rather
give it to the department for free.
Construction of the college is underway and it was expected
to be up and running by January 2017.
He said the municipality had supported about 100
co-operatives skilling people in sewing, baking, gardening, providing the youth
with tents to rent out, providing egg-laying chickens and Jojo water tanks.
More businesses in town
"We want our community and young people to run their
He said a local economic development department had been
opened to deal specifically with the co-operatives.
Ntuli said since he had come into office more businesses had
opened in the town.
"We now have KFC and Ackermans. New shops are going to
open, we are also going to be building a mall before the end of the year,"
said Ntuli, who added that the small town previously only had a Boxer store.
He said the town was also going to be building a new petrol
"All of these will see new job opportunities open for
Crime and unemployment
What gives Ntuli sleepless nights is the high level of
unemployment in the municipality.
"More than 70% of the people in Nkandla are
unemployed," he said.
Ntuli said the municipality had a budget of R181m for the
2016/17 financial year.
Of that, R35m was spent on electrifying households.
"We have electrified most of the areas of about 141 000
residents in Nkandla."
He said there were 14 wards in Nkandla and the municipality
had 27 councillors.
On crime, he said, it was minimal.
"There are business robberies in the town but it is not
high. This is threatening because we plan on bringing more stores to the town.
"The people who live here have a different mindset.
They are not into resorting to crime," said Ntuli.
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