Land for churches
THE question of the redistribution of land, specifically to churches that have stood on stands for more than 20 years, was hotly debated in council on Tuesday.
The Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (Spluma) stipulates that the municipality must appoint an authorised official plus a tribunal to deal with all matters pertaining to land use. At present Ndlambe Municipality does not have such an official or tribunal and is committed to appointing such an individual and constituting the tribunal by September (amended from October).
Several land allocation items were on the meeting’s agenda and each was dealt with.
The selling of a portion of non-viable land in Kenton (land that can only be utilised by one or two adjoining properties, cannot be developed by itself or function as a separate entity) was approved on the stipulation that no structure (including walls) can be erected on the site.
The agenda also contained a list of churches in the area that had applied to have the land on which the church building sits reallocated to them. However, on noticing that several churches were not included on the list, and the fact that one of the churches not only wants the land on which the building is located but the two adjacent plots plus 10 plots behind the church caused some consternation among the councillors.
A general discussion ensued and the consensus was that this matter should be held in abeyance until all records were up to date. Municipal manager Rolly Dumezweni interjected and said that reverends, pastors and ministers had approached his office to request the title deeds to the properties.
“At this time these churches are not even able to erect boundary walls on the properties,” Dumezweni said. “The people are requesting a decision by the council. I will just keep on resubmitting the item to council, that’s my job. We don’t want to get into any high court actions. We need to get the churches together to present to council.”
This was agreed by the council and plans are underway to get all of the church’s representatives together to make application to the council.
Chinese in Ndlambe
Tuesday’s meeting began with a message from Ndlambe mayor Phindile Faxi, who spoke of the investment conference held at the Royal St Andrews Hotel recently with representatives from China.
Faxi told the council that the Chinese were willing to invest and wanted specific investment in establishing a business park (Faxi suggested Marselle) and in ocean farming, including abalone farming.
There was also a proposal to twin Ndlambe with an area in China, and Faxi said he needed a delegation to visit. “I will not be going,” Faxi added.
With regard to landfill sites, Faxi said he understood that the municipality had to move faster on this issue.
“We had a meeting with Kosra [Kenton-on-Sea Ratepayers Association] who have succeeded in a court judgment against the municipality and they agreed to have the terms of the court order extended.
“This matter will soon be a thing of the past,” said Faxi.
Losses at the workshop
Several councillors were irate at the fact that fuel losses, following the recent stock-take, showed a loss of R89.82 in petrol and a whopping R5,708.23 in diesel.
Ward 6 councillor Mkululi Raco was adamant that the diesel had been stolen. Ward 10 councillor Ray Schenk supported Raco in his conclusion and said that theft was theft and required more security to prevent it from occurring in the future.
Certain figures in some official tariff documents, such as the rates rebate being reduced from 14% to 12%, were not changed after the council approved them. Finance director Michael Klaas explained that this was an oversight due to the number of documents that needed to be amended during the approval process.
Ward 9 councillor Stwiga Njibana asked why this was only noticed now.