‘Build­ing ban not good for res­i­dents’

Swazi Observer - - NATIONAL NEWS -

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.

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