Stop the illegal occupation of municipal land

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Ndlambe executive committee notes

Illegal occupation of municipal land

“COMMUNITIES moving onto municipal land continues unabated,” mayor Phindile Faxi said. “We cannot carry on with this situation.”

Faxi was speaking at the Ndlambe executive committee (exco) meeting, held at the council chambers on the afternoon of April 25.

He said that a visit to Ward 9 during the mayoral imbizos highlighted there were many unoccupied municipal buildings.

“What are we doing with these buildings?” he asked. “We should be using them for special projects.”

Debt collection

Ward 10 councillor Ray Schenk congratulated the administration for completing 90% of the meter readings, but said there was still room for improvement. With respect to debt collection agency Revco, Schenk said that, although many people had made arrangements to repay debt, some were now falling behind on even that commitment.

“We should leave this for another few months and then reassess the situation,” suggested Schenk.

Lack of capital budget

Ward 8 councillor Thembani Mazana explained the problems of there being no capital budget available this year.

“We have no capital budget to rectify sanitation and water issues in the municipality,” he said. “We need to find ways to do this. For example, much of Ward 10 is still on septic tanks, and this needs to be fixed. However, we need to find a solution for all our people.”

Schenk then said that a grant from province for R300-million, promised over a year ago, to fix sewage reticulation in Ward 10 had never materialised.

“The problem is that we still need the sanitation tankers [honey suckers] to do their job until the sewage reticulation is resolved,” he said.

Stores security

Faxi voiced his concern that theft of motor parts and other items from the municipal stores was rife.

“Security is very lax and must be strengthened,” he said. According to Faxi there are openings in the fence that allow access to the stores, and that criminals are taking advantage of this and walking away with whatever they want with impunity.

Schenk added that security also needs to be beefed up at the sewerage plant as electrical equipment was being stolen, leading to power failures in parts of the municipality.

Traffic department

Schenk also mentioned that eNatis (the national traffic information system) has been down for some time, and that people visiting the traffic department have not been able to renew licences.

Faxi said that the municipality needed to make the public aware of when such problems occur and that the local media should be kept informed. Acting municipal manager Lazola Maneli informed the meeting that everything was back on-line.

War Rooms versus Ward committees

With respect to the recently established war rooms, Faxi said that the lines were blurred between them and the ward councillors.

“We need clarity of when it is a ward concern and when it is an item for the war rooms,” said Faxi.

Schenk said that councillors should also attend CPF meetings to make sure they knew what was going on in their wards.

Illegal dumping

Exco was concerned about the illegal dumping of rubbish was another issue raised at the meeting. There was also concern raised about fires on the dumps that spread toxic fumes over the area.

“We must educate our people,” said councillor Nosicelo Xhasa.

Thornhill

Xhasa pointed out that the streets in Thornhill need to be officially named. A suggestion had been made to name them after political stalwarts and heroes and heroines of the struggle against apartheid.

Schenk said although he was in favour of naming the streets, he had reservations about which names would be chosen. However, he suggested that any name changes should be carried out by the geographic name change committee which would need to be reconstituted within the new administration. Previously, then ANC Ward 9 councillor, now DA PR councillor Skura Venene was the chairman of this committee.

Schenk also said that the Titi Jonas multipurpose community centre must be self-sustaining.

“It is a problem that it is a burden to the municipality as it stands,” Schenk said.

Outdated agenda items

Looking through the meeting’s agenda Faxi said that many of the items presented were completely out of date, with some reports referring to items from November last year.

“We must keep the minutes up to date so they remain current and relevant,” he said.

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