KwaDukuza mayor plays dumb
In 2016, KwaDukuza’s Concerned Citizen’s Group (CCG) made a Promotion of Access to Information Act application for documents pertaining to the KwaDukuza local municipality’s sale of the Stanger Country Club grounds to Vivian Reddy’s Double Ring Trading 7. This was ignored by the municipality.
In January last year, the CCG launched an unsuccessful urgent interdict against the mall development and requested more information from the municipality. CCG chairperson Haroon Mahomedy said the municipality provided the organisation with “a hundred pages of irrelevant information and nothing that we requested”.
In September last year, the CCG launched their review application and again requested information about the sale. The municipality did not provide the organisation with documents within the required 15 days and, “despite subsequent letters to their attorneys this has not happened”, said Mahomedy.
Last month, the municipality was issued with a subpoena for the information, which was then withdrawn, and the group is “currently in the process of issuing a fresh notice to compel them to furnish the information”, he said.
The municipality’s refusal to hand over the documents has stalled the CCG case while the mall construction continues.
Mayor Ricardo Mthembu said people “need to follow the process” when requesting information from the municipality. When the Mail & Guardian suggested that the CCG said the correct process had been followed — and ignored — by the municipality, he maintained that “processes” needed to be followed. He did not elaborate on what “processes” had not been followed and said the question was “too administrative for me. I am a politician.”
Mthembu said he was unaware of a subpoena served on the municipality’s manager, accounting officer and chief legal officer on March 20 requesting information that included the review record of Double Ring Trading 7’s tender application, minutes from the bid specification committee meetings, and approvals and communications by the accounting officer relating to the sale of land.
He said there was nothing untoward about the sale of the land and that the project was “creating jobs”. —