eThekwini mayor's R25m programme criticised

2017-11-22 20:29
Damage suffered during the mega Durban storm.  (Supplied)

Damage suffered during the mega Durban storm. (Supplied)

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Durban – The Democratic Alliance in eThekwini has criticised Mayor Zandile Gumede's R25m mayoral parlour programme, approved by the city's council on Tuesday.

DA leader in KwaZulu-Natal Zwakele Mncwango told News24 on Wednesday that the programme showed Gumede lacked leadership qualities.

"How can she prioritise an imbizo when the city is currently faced with so many crises?"

It has been reported that R4.8m of the money would be used for a mayoral imbizo and R1.4m for a mayoral lekgotla.

Infrastructure damaged 

More than R8m would be used for youth programmes, while more than R3m would be used on programmes aimed at vulnerable groups and R1.1m on military veterans.

The programme would be implemented in the 2017/18 financial year.

In a statement earlier on Wednesday, Gumede said the city's programmes were aimed at empowering the youth, vulnerable groups and military veterans in recognition of their sacrifices for the attainment of the country's freedom and democracy.

However, Mncwango said the mayor should have prioritised people's needs instead.

"The storms that hit Durban recently damaged the city's infrastructure and left so many people homeless. The city has not been able to raise money to fix the infrastructure that was damaged during the storm. She should have channelled the money towards fixing the damaged infrastructure," said Mncwango.

Schools, hospitals, roads and some homes were damaged during the storm that battered Durban on October 10.

READ:  Durban storm death toll now at 8, may rise

Mncwango said Gumede should have also prioritised the needs of residents of Foreman Road informal settlement. About 2 000 residents of the settlement were left homeless when a fire razed about 400 shacks on Sunday November 12.

"Those people are still struggling to build their shacks. They have no access to basic services but the mayor has prioritised an imbizo over their needs. An imbizo doesn't even change people's lives," he said.

He accused the mayor of prioritising the money to champion an ANC presidential hopeful's campaign.

READ:  IN PICTURES: Massive storm wreaks havoc in Durban

Gumede also said the repair work to infrastructural damage sustained during the storm was set to begin.

"This follows the approval of a report by the executive committee at a meeting held on November 21.

"The report requested authority from council to undertake citywide emergency repairs, resulting from a storm on October 10," she said.

The report stated that the repairs were urgent to mitigate threat to life, property and additional cost from consequential damages and to restore essential services, she said.

Continue engaging

Meanwhile, the ANCYL in the eThekwini region claims that the R8m put aside for the youth is not enough.

Regional spokesperson Thulisa Ndlela said the league would still push to get the R1bn it had demanded from the municipality at the beginning of the year for youth development.

"At this stage, we will take what is given but we will continue engaging with the leadership of the ANC because we need more. There's nothing you can do with R8m for the kind of young people we deal with," Ndlela said.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  zandile gumede  |  durban

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