Library politics play stop and go

2015-06-25 06:00
Thandeka Gqada, Member of Parliament and constituency head (purple shirt), PR councillor Philiswa Marman, PR councillor Vuyokazi Matanzima and other residents demanded that the construction for Kuyasa Library, resumes, last Wednesday, in Khayelitsha.

Thandeka Gqada, Member of Parliament and constituency head (purple shirt), PR councillor Philiswa Marman, PR councillor Vuyokazi Matanzima and other residents demanded that the construction for Kuyasa Library, resumes, last Wednesday, in Khayelitsha.

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The stopping of the construction of the Kuyasa Library, allegedly by two councillors has raised the ire of the community in Khayelitsha.

This was revealed during a DA aligned protest led by Thandeka Gqada, Member of Parliament and constituency head, PR councillors Vuyokazi Matanzima, Philiswa Marman, Lungisa Shumane and deputy chairperson of Sanco in Makhaza, Linda Mqikela and other leaders.

The entourage had gathered at the site of the library demanding that ints construction commence with immediate effect.

According to them, stopping of the building was allegedly done at the behest of Ward 95 and 97 Councillors Mpucuko Nguzo and Mthwalo Mkutswana respectively.

The Kahyelitsha Development Forum (KDF) was also cited during the protest.

However, all them have distanced their names from the allegations.

Gqada said the councillors and the KDF stopped the construction because they were not happy about the process taken by the City of Cape Town to employ 19 workers, 15 of whom are coming from the area, to work at the new library.

“The councillors and KDF claim that they were not consulted and that they are not happy about the process of employing the workers.

(Bu)Everything was done accordingly.

The posts were advertised for everyone to apply, interviews were conducted and those who passed the interviews were chosen.

There was nothing wrong in the employment process. They are pushing their agenda and this is pure corruption. Councillors are not allowed to stop any project coming into their areas.

We say the construction must resume.”

Gqada also said the city cannot reverse the contracts of the workers.

The library, which is a donation from an international company known as Carnegie, is set to accommodate residents from Ward 95 and Ward 97.

It is about 85 percent complete and it is expected to start operating soon.

Mqikela said she the construction was stopped on 25 May and that she was not happy.

“We say the construction must continue and we will talk later about the process taken to employ the workers.

We are also not happy that the posts were not advertised in the local newspapers which residents read.

Most residents did not see the adverts for the posts.

It came to light that the councillors are pushing for the library to employ some people who do not even have matric certificate to work as librarians,” Mqikela said.

Shumane said Sanco from both wards was against the stopping of the construction.

“We say the construction must continue and we will talk later about the issue of employment. We are also not happy that the posts were not advertised on our community newspapers, but instead they were advertised in other newspapers that we do not get hold of and online.

Stopping the construction means the workers would not have food on their tables,” Shumane said.

Nguzo said he was approached by some residents from both wards to intervene after they were not happy about the process taken for employing the workers.

“We never stopped the construction and as a councillor I cannot stop any project coming in the area. My involvement was on getting clarity on how the workers were employed.

We needed the participation in a form of being informed about it. The officials employed them without consulting with anyone, they did it all by themselves,” Nguzo said.

Mkutswana also said the accusations against him were baseless.

“We would be attending a DC (disciplinary committee) had we been involved in the stopping of the construction. The DA (Democratic Alliance) is playing politics here,” Mkutswana said.

Ndithni Thyido, chairperson for KDF said his organisation is pro development in the area and that it cannot stop any development coming in the area.

“It is a disappointment that politicians can stoop so low as to get political mileage out of this.”

“We are calling for development in the area, we not here to stop the development. Politicians must move away from self promoting,” Thyido said.

The construction has since resumed

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