eThekwini mayor apologises for 'grave administrative errors' in Glebelands Hostel saga

2019-03-14 17:03
New eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

New eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede has apologised for the municipality's role in the poor management of the infamous Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi, Durban.

"I am taking full responsibility for these grave administrative errors. I am making a firm commitment [that] this will never happen again. From now on, we will communicate whatever we do on the ground," she said before a high-level meeting with Deputy Public Protector, advocate Kevin Malunga, and the SA Human Rights Commission.

Glebelands Hostel has been in the spotlight for the high number of killings there and poor living conditions. It featured prominently in the Moerane Commission on political killings.

READ: Glebelands 'kingpin' given final chance to sort out lawyer problems

Gumede and senior officials from the municipality met with Malunga and SAHRC advocate, Mahomed Ameermia, on Thursday to explain why remedial action had not been taken at the hostel.

The meeting centred around a June 2017 Public Protector report that called for intervention to hold several organs of state to account for their roles in residents' plight.

eThekwini was meant to implement its part of the plan within the 30 days after the release of the report.

'Remedial action'

But Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found evidence of widespread failure on the part of the City of eThekwini.

Malunga said these failures related to water and sanitation, payment models, access to the hostel and a host of other issues that should have been attended to.

"The mayor conceded remedial action has not been implemented the way it should have. We have accepted her road map going forward. We are also going to meet with social movements and activists at Glebelands at the end of April. There will be a mini inspection of the area."

READ: Glebelands Hostel resident linked to string of murders is arrested

According to Ameermia said also said there was a communication problem from the municipality.

"However, sanity prevailed, and we had a frank discussion about this matter. The mayor has not been defensive about the issue and agreed that a road map going forward must be settled on the council agenda."

Gumede said that the municipality had done some work, but that it was not communicated to the relevant stakeholder properly.

"I assure you, we take these issues seriously. Work was done. Communication is important. We can do good. But if we don't communicate, it seems like we are doing nothing."

Read more on:    zandile gumede  |  durban
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