Nkandla mayor says IFP has delivered

2016-08-02 11:54
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 unemployed youth.

"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."

New college (Amanda Khoza, News24)

New college

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande announced in Nkandla in December 2015 that a new college would be built in the area.

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 own businesses."

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 station.

"All of these will see new job opportunities open for our citizens."

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

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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