JON HOUZET and ROB KNOWLES
NEARLY four years after the 2012 floods that caused devastation in the Medolino valley, Medolino Caravan Park owner Derek Victor has purchased two pumps out of his own pocket for R400 000.
This is after flood relief funding requested by the municipality and intended for the area was instead spent on a portable pump that has never been used in the valley in subsequent flooding events.
The municipality owns the dam in the caravan park and is responsible for the pumphouse with two older pumps which were placed there around 2007. The pumps failed in the 2012 floods and one of them did not operate for 14 months thereafter.
Victor bought two new pumps as an additional safety precaution in future flooding. He said the entire valley was affected during flooding and many homeowners could no longer get insurance.
He asked the municipality to provide an electrical connection for the pumps. After waiting several weeks for a response, Victor was relieved when mayor Sipho Tandani eventually brought the matter to council.
Tandani explained in last week’s council meeting that Victor would donate the pumps to the municipality.
In return Tandani said that the municipality would lay power lines to the pumps and provide electricity to run them.
DA caucus leader Ray Schenk asked about the number of casuals employed by the municipality, and why these posts have not been filled by permanent employees.
Finance director Howard Dredge replied that such things occurred when a post had been advertised but that a suitably-qualified candidate had not been found.
“We therefore cannot employ the person in that exact position, so we employ them casually until we find the right person or we change the job post requirements,” he said.
The latest version of the municipal organogram was issued to those present at the meeting. However, DA councillor Jane Cowley was quickly on her feet pointing out that the organogram was incorrect.
“There are a number of names on the list that should not be there,” she said.
“For example, Richard Pote is still at Kenton according to the chart, but he left last year. Also, Mluleki Matiwane, who died tragically last year, is also on the chart.”