Creche kicked out of hall by com­mu­nity

The Rep - - NEWS - SIMTEMBILE MGIDI

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.

Pic­ture: SIMTEMBILE MGIDI

BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS: The new build­ing for the creche in Mlungisi which is un­der con­struc­tion

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