Truth, communication the key to election peace – mayor

2016-07-14 14:15
Hibiscus Coastal Municipality mayor Nomusa Mqwebu. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

Durban – Keeping South Coast residents happy requires communicating with them and telling the truth, Hibiscus Coast municipality mayor Nomusa Mqwebu believes.

“We are not perfect, but the reason we have little violence is because we have to communicate with people all the time. They know what is happening. If you cannot do something you must not lie. Just tell the truth, the people deserve that,” she said on Wednesday.

Speaking to News24 ahead of the August 3 local government elections, Mqwebu said the south of KwaZulu-Natal was an example to others.

A politician since the early 2000’s, Mqwebu is passionate about her home.

“I think the reason there has been violence is because people do not know what is going on in their areas. You cannot sit in your office all day. You have to go out and do work.”

Communication was also the key to dealing with rival candidate councillors. She recalled a case where a candidate had gathered people and planned to block the N2 freeway. She called a meeting with ward committees and the individual and prevented the protest.

What does the South Coast need?

Mqwebu said the south of KwaZulu-Natal needed infrastructure development.

“Rural housing is a problem. But we understand our provincial budget was cut nationally. We are telling people about these things though.”

The drought and road rehabilitation were problems.

“The roads have not been upgraded for a while and the potholes are evident. Those roads were built in those days, in the 1980s and the 1990s. With our budget we can only do so much.”

Efforts were being made to educate people and prevent the waste of water.

“But it is quite difficult,” she said.

Electricity and sanitation for all

Mqwebu was proud of the municipality’s track record of providing electricity and sanitation to 90% of homes in the municipal area. Last year the figure was at 85%, she said.

“There has only been improvement and we know we need to be at 100%.”

Tourism was a big part of the South Coast community.

“People over here are friendly because we have always had tourism. We have events throughout the year and we want guests to feel at home and relaxed. We call on everyone to experience what we do every day.”

 - Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.

Read more on: durban  |  local elections 2016