Creche kicked out of hall by community
KHANYISA Educare Centre in Enkululekweni has been closed after the Mlungisi community on Friday refused them access to the Enkululekweni Support Centre hall which has been the base of the care centre since 2010.
Community members, attending a ceremony hosted by the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality to celebrate the handing over of the title deeds for RDP homes to beneficiaries, protested against the continued use of the hall by the care centre.
The creche was started in 2007 at the home of Mlungisi resident Nombulelo Litye with access to the hall given in 2008, allegedly by the former Lukhanji Municipality director for human settlement Lungile Nomeva.
Between 2009 and 2010, there was a disaster which led to the renovation of the hall. The creche operated in the hall from 2010 onwards, according to co-founders Litye, 56, and Somkazi Seyisi, 62.
They had started building their own school at the beginning of this year after municipal land was secured via a lease.
By Friday, however, their building was not yet done and it will also not be completed by year-end.
“We had to tell the pupils not to come to school for the rest of the year, because we are still building our school. It does not have windows, electricity, toilets or water.”
They had applied for Lotto funding for the construction of the centre in 2015, but they were not successful.
In addition, on April 4, they received notification that they owed more than R14 000 for water used on the vacant erf although there were no taps or toilets. The matter had since been referred to the municipality, but the women said they were then told to start building as the land had been in their possession for the past 10 years and would be given away if not used.
The women then collected half bricks from brickmakers, using their own money to pay for transport and carrying buckets of water on their heads to and from the site.
“Our arms, legs, backs and heads are so painful. We are too old to be doing this kind of manual labour, but because the government said, ‘ Vuka
Uzenzele’ (Arise and do it yourself), we did that.
“We get no help financially. The pupils pay school fees of R60 per month but even that is difficult to collect from parents.”
Ward 16 councillor Bulelwa Rani said the creche had been given permission to use the hall by Nomeva before her election as a councillor.
“The letter permitted the creche to use the hall until they had finished building their school. I do not think they can be removed from the hall without an official letter from the municipality.”
She had been informed of the situation and would check with the municipality if anything had been submitted requesting the removal of the creche from the hall.
Rani said she would also assist the creche to get electricity, water and toilets and that the pupils should not be “put out in the street” as the creche was of benefit to the community, although some believed it was benefitting the owners.
BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS: The new building for the creche in Mlungisi which is under construction