As part of accountability to the community, Ward 9 councillor Mbuleli “Stwiga” Njibana held a meeting at Jauka Hall last Wednesday evening to update community members on what he had achieved since being elected in August 2016.
It was a well-attended meeting.
However, before turning to his achievements and challenges, Njibana clarified who was welcome at the meeting.
“This is ANC meeting, for ANC members, ANC voters and ANC supporters,” Njibana declared. He said the same way ANC members could not attend other party’s meetings, this also applied to the meeting he was holding.
The meeting was also attended by ANC MPL Vumile Lwana.
“Thabo Mbeki once said today is better than yesterday and tomorrow will even be better than today,” Njibana said.
Njibana first spoke about what he called social support, mentioning assistance provided to people whose home had burnt down.
According to Njibana, about five houses had burned down so far this year, and it had been difficult to provide relief to the families due to the municipality’s finance policy.
He said the municipality itself did not have a disaster fund, as such funding is allocated to district municipalities.
He said when things like these happen, responsible leaders contribute out of their own pockets to support affected families.
He said he and some other people had bought school uniforms for children to replace clothing lost in the fires, not waiting for any assistance from Social Development.
Njibana expressed his disappointment about community members who do not take responsibility about their personal problems.
“People have a tendency of not joining funeral plans,” he said. He said this had led to him and others assisting families with funeral expenses.
Advising other people not to find themselves in the same situation, he said with the little money they had, they must join funeral plans they could afford.
Highlighting another one of his projects, Njibana said he and others had bought sanitary pads for Mtyobo Primary School pupil girls.
“You remember the soup kitchens we proposed? We did not want to start our own and decided to support the already existing ones.”
Njibana said he and others had contributed R8,000 to the existing soup kitchens and Caleb Mvandaba’s Soup Kitchen was mentioned as evidence.
He further reminded the audience that he was the main player getting electricity installation at Esidulwini, a place he described as a squatter camp area.
Referring to what might be considered failures during his term, Njibana mentioned a time where he invited a company called Small Enterprise Development to equip Ward 9 entrepreneurs. He attributed the failure of this initiative to the apathy of the targeted audience, who did not attend the events.
Crime which emanates from the use of drugs was one of the challenges during his term, he said.
When he mentioned the indigent policy and the changes made to it, people in the audience started shouting at him. Njibana said there were some residents who had been approved to be registered as indigents before they had been given houses, but now they have houses and are currently earning more than R3,500 a month.
Such people might lose their houses due to the indigent policy which forbids them from getting houses, he said.