THE construction of the new public toilets in Harry’s Farm, Tongaat resumed last Monday after a new community liaison officer (CLO) was appointed.
The project began in December 2016, however, unhappy residents accused Ward 61 councillor Dolly Munien of recruiting her friend, Siyabonga Ndabezitha, from the Democratic Alliance, as CLO.
Munien confirmed the appointment of him as CLO.
A handful of ANC supporters in the area were also unhappy about the appointment of Ndabezitha claiming he was an outsider.
Ndabezitha told Coastal Weekly he left his job for safety reasons. He said: “It was not safe for me to continue working at the site. The community was not happy with me so I decided to leave my job.”
TheWeekly learnt that residents appointed a new CLO after Ndabezitha resigned.
“The residents were informed about the new toilets project in advance and everything was done accordingly. As the ward councillor it is my responsibility to appoint a CLO irrespective of his political affiliation.
“I appointed him [Ndabezitha] because he had never worked for eThekwini Municipality before. When I appoint a member of the community to work on a community project, I do so based on their capabilities and skills and not because they are affiliated to my political party [DA]. “It is evident that the members of the ANC in Harry’s Farm are not willing to work with me as their ward councillor. This will most definitely have negative impact on service delivery.”
Coastal Weekly visited the area on 20 December, 2016 to listen to the views of the community.
A resident who identified herself as Makhosi said: “The councillor sent a team of municipal workers to demolish our old toilets without even consulting us. We opposed that and told her to consult with the residents and not make decisions on her own.
“She should communicate with the ANC PR councillor. The majority of the residents in Harry’s Farm are members of the ANC and we will not allow her to bring outsiders to take jobs of the locals.
“Harry’s Farm was won by the ANC not by DA. We suspect that the councillor only recruits members from her political party. This [Harry’s Farm] is not Tshwane Municipality where the DA won a landslide victory in the municipal elections. eThekwini Municipality is governed by the ANC and not DA.”
Tongaat SAPS were called to escort Munien to the area to address the protesting community members.
Another resident said: “Recruiting an outsider to work on a construction project that is taking place in our area is totally unacceptable.”
Munien said the CLO serves as an important link between residents and a construction company providing a service to a particular community.
Munien was elected ward councillor after the local government elections in August last year. The cracks between ANC supporters and Munien became evident at a community meeting to address the public about the housing project that was due to resume in Umbhayi Informal settlements on 9 August last year.
ANC supporters accused Munien of turning a community meeting into a rally for the DA.
Munien had come with DA councillors to address the residents at the meeting. When asked about the presence of DA councillors at the meeting, Munien shrugged it off and said they (DA councillors) were there to translate for her.
eThekwini Municipality was unable to comment at time of going to press.