‘An­other Nkandla saga’ - IFP

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO NEWS - Muzi Zin­c­ume An­other Nkandla saga

THE uMh­lathuze IFP has urged city Mayor Mduduzi Mh­longo to pri­ori­tise ser­vice de­liv­ery in­stead of build­ing him­self a guest house at the ex­pense of tax­pay­ers.

Ad­dress­ing the me­dia at their Em­pan­geni of­fices last week, IFP Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Xolani Ng­wezi said his party was will­ing to halt con­struc­tion of the R5,5-mil­lion guest house since there was no fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

‘This money should in­stead be used to build RDP houses for the needy com­mu­ni­ties around uMh­lathuze. As the IFP we strongly ob­ject to this un­nec­es­sary ex­pen­di­ture.

‘Ac­cord­ing to the Gov­ern­ment Gazette of 2014/2015, pro­vi­sion is made for may­ors’ ac­com­mo­da­tion.

‘How­ever, fi­nan­cial avail­abil­ity is a pri­or­ity and the hous­ing back­log for com­mu­nity, wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion, roads and other ser­vices should be con­sid­ered first be­fore tak­ing such a de­ci­sion,’ said Ng­wezi.

‘Ru­mours have it that R5.5-mil­lion was bud­geted in the 2014/2015 fi­nan­cial year for the may­oral house, but we are now in the 2018/2019 fi­nan­cial year and are sad­dled with a very tight bud­get.

‘This money can build about 55 RDP houses for poor peo­ple, and we be­lieve that the mayor must lead by ex­am­ple by stay­ing in his own house and heed the call of his gov­ern­ment on cost cut­ting mea­sures.’

‘As the IFP we view this as an­other ‘Nkandla saga’ in the City of uMh­lathuze.

‘There are many peo­ple that re­ally need houses. Some are liv­ing in shacks in var­i­ous set­tle­ments around the city, yet the mu­nic­i­pal­ity is us­ing so much money to ben­e­fit only one per­son.

The party also ex­pressed its con­cern over the abuse of over­time pay to of­fi­cials.

‘The Coun­cil took a res­o­lu­tion to in­sti­tute an in­quiry into the R10,8-mil­lion paid for over­time to cer­tain em­ploy­ees. We have been in­quir­ing about the re­lease of the report, but noth­ing has been forth­com­ing. The pub­lic needs to know who these em­ploy­ees are,’ Ng­wezi said.

Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Man­ager Mdu Ncalane said the ques­tion­ing of the house was un­for­tu­nate.

‘The house be­longs to the City of uMh­lathuze and is not a pri­vate res­i­dence for the mayor. The house will be used to host po­ten­tial in­vestors and that’s why it is built in an up­mar­ket area.

‘We are work­ing ac­cord­ing to the Gov­ern­ment Gazette and are op­er­at­ing within the law. That’s why we have re­ceived clean au­dits for five con­sec­u­tive years,’ he said.

Ncalane also in­di­cated that IFP coun­cil­lors were present when a full coun­cil meet­ing took a res­o­lu­tion to in­sti­tute an in­ves­ti­ga­tion against the DA Coun­cil­lor Botha for ma­li­cious al­le­ga­tions against the city and the mayor.

‘I think politi­cians should avoid mak­ing them­selves hous­ing ex­perts and stick to pol­i­tics.’

Lead­ing the me­dia con­fer­ence are uMh­lathuze IFP lead­ers Deputy Sec­re­tary Zakhele Mthembu, NEC mem­ber Xolani Ng­wezi, Sec­re­tary Jab­u­lani Nzuza and Deputy Chair­per­son Mkhonzeni Mthethwa Muzi Zin­c­ume

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