‘Building ban not good for residents’
MBABANE businessman Walter Bennett says the building ban, which was imposed by the Council 15 years ago, has a negative effect on the Mbabane residents.
He said the residents who khontaed to get land around Mangwaneni years ago would have been build appropriate houses as building material was cheaper then.
“14 years later, they are still not allowed to build any infrastructure under the guise that the land they are occupying belongs to the government. A man died in Mangwaneni because of that ban,” he said.
He questioned as to why the Council used the same auditors when there were many others in the country.
He said the Council should consider putting the auditing exercise out for tendering. “Is the Council retaining PWC because they are getting favours,” he said.
Bennett further questioned why the travel and entertainment expenses were not included in the financial statement.
Replying to Bennett’s’ barrage, CEO Gideon Mhlongo said the land occupied by informal settlers belonged to government and must be developed. He stated that government intended developing the settlements 15 years ago. He said the ministry started with Msunduza and Zone Two but the development was still on progress.
Some plots had been sold for E9 000 upwards in areas like Mangwaneni and Malagwane. “Some people have not been able to pay up in the areas, hence the delay in other settlements. The major problem here is funding. To fast track the process, the Members of Parliament need to be lobbied on this issue,” he said.
Concerning the annual report financial statements, Mhlongo said the Council made the report digital hence it was scarce.
He said the council formulated an indigenous policy to look into the issue of plots that are occupied by the elderly and child headed households, who could not fend for themselves.
On another note, Mayor Thulani Mkhontfo assured those present at the AGM that all trips undertaken by the himself and the executive were reported and approved by the ministry. He highlighted that sometimes sister towns to the city of Mbabane would fund trips which were beneficial to the people of Mbabane.
FOCUSED: Part of the stakeholders who attended the AGM.