[Debate] (Fwd) Protests: Lamontville, Tzaneen, Free State, Joburg (strikers win?)
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Wed May 27 05:10:44 BST 2009
Housing row sparks protests
26 May 2009
UP IN ARMS: Residents of Lamontville protest over the lack of service
delivery in the township, and against two local politicians. PHOTO:
TARGET: John Mchunu
Call on Zuma to rein in corrupt officials
Residents of Lamontville in Durban want President Jacob Zuma and ANC
provincial chairperson Zweli Mkhize to save them from the wrath of two
vengeful local politicians.
The residents have called for the resignation of their councillor,
Nolubabalo Mthembu, and the ANC’s regional chairperson in eThekwini, MPL
Lamontville has exploded in recent weeks over the allocation of housing.
Police had to quell protests when incensed residents went on the rampage
and blockaded roads with burning tyres.
They accused Mchunu and Mthembu of giving houses only to their allies .
An ANC veteran and community representative, Fikile Luthuli, claimed
trouble started after resolutions from previous meetings that the
developmental houses would be allocated according to the number of years
a resident had been in the area and ignored.
Luthuli said residents protested when they realised that outsiders were
being given houses meant for locals.
On Sunday, a committee was holding a report-back meeting with residents
when Mthembu arrived with a van full of supporters and allegedly tried
to disrupt the meeting.
“I was addressing the meeting when a community member, Bheki Miya,
walked in bleeding. He had been shot by one of Mthembu’s cronies on her
instruction,” Luthuli said.
She said a meeting would be held on Friday where residents would demand
Mthembu and Mchunu’s immediate resignation.
Mthembu denied the allegations against her.
“Someone slapped me when I was leaving. I could not see who that was
because it was too dark.
“I only heard about the shooting when I went to the police station to
report the incident. But I want to stress that I did not instruct anyone
to shoot,” she said.
Mthembu said Lamontville was getting development projects for the first
time in 10 years. She said slums were being eradicated and houses were
Mchunu confirmed the government knew about the area’s housing problems.
“We are going to have a report-back meeting on Friday. We had to
intervene to try to resolve the situation and we hope we will have a
peaceful meeting,” he said. mdletshec at sowetan.co.za
Angry residents call on premier to get rid of ‘lazy’ councillor
26 May 2009
Alex Matlala - Matlalaa at sowetan.co.za
DISGRUNTLED: Residents of Mabapilone in Tzaneen protesting against poor
service delivery, inadequate water and electricity supply, and poor
roads. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Two days after Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale threatened to fire all
lazy ward councillors, disgruntled residents of Mabapilone in Tzaneen,
embarked on a strike over poor service delivery.
The residents marched in protest in the central business district of
Tzaneen, accusing councillor Masilu Maloko of being lazy and not having
the interests of the community at heart.
The disgruntled residents pleaded with Mathale to make Maloko the first
“lazy” councillor to be fired.
They said Maloko would rather concentrate on “jolling” than attending to
the problems of the residents, such as the supply of water, electricity
The residents’ spokesperson Jan Malatji said: “The main reason we are on
strike is because residents the had spent 15 years without a drop of water.”
He said in 2006 they sent Maloko to Mopani district municipality – the
water authority in the region – to register their plight “but Maloko
went to Mopani some three years ago and has never come back”.
“Each time we call him to a meeting, he fabricates commitment at Mopani,
but then people see him drinking at local taverns surrounded by women.
This shows that Maloko is more interested in pleasing women than his
constituency,” Malatji said.
Meanwhile, residents of Bolobedu South, which comprises Khemarela,
Relela, Jokone Khethone, Masebutja and Mphatakhidiba, want their ward
councillor, Jane Nkuna, and her proportional representative councillor,
Botha Ramphelo, to be fired.
Luis Raphotle, ANC Youth League chairperson in Desmond Mahasha, said
Nkuna and Ramphelo were “thieves who stole government money because they
are paid each month for doing nothing”.
He said they insult people and had never been to any community meeting.
May 26th, 2009
Community demands money back
BY PULE LECHESA
BLOEMFONTEIN - The Regional Land Claims Commission’s (RLCC)
Commissioner, Sidwen Hlongwane, has given assurance to Public Eye that
the families of Marobe in Odendaalsrus would each get R15 thousands back
which was deducted from their land claim compensations.
After they were forcefully evacuated from their land in 1958, the Morobe
community filed land compensation claims in the new South Africa and
some of them were compensated with R40 000 per each qualifying family.
But R15 000 was deducted with the aim of channeling it to a housing
community development project.
The chagrined residents brought the issue to the public domain on
Thursday May 14 when they staged a protest march under the auspices of
Kutloanong Land Affairs Claims committee to the Regional Land Claims
Commission (RLCC) offices in Bloemfontein to demand, among others,
payment to those who were left behind and the refund of R15 000 deducted
from their packages.
The claimants who were detached from their ‘forefathers land’ by the
then apartheid regime, handed-over their memorandum which also listed
grievances such as barred access to information and alleged corruption
by Marobe staff members. They also wanted to know what happened to the
R30 million that was set aside for restitution programme and R15 000
funds deducted from the claimants.
In an interview with Public Eye Hlongwane said: “We did not exceed the
time frame set for the payments of claims deliberately. There are
factors that led to this delay. One of the factors is that the people
that have not yet received their payment are those who have not yet
furnished us with their necessary documents such as; Identity Document
(ID), powers of attorney and death certificate in case of the claimant
who has passed away. We are going to pay them provided they give us all
the required documentations.”
He said that they were not going to entertain the people who have
launched their claims after the cut off date. “The Restitution of Land
Rights Act, No 22 of 1994, as amended, stipulates that the cut off date
was on December 31 in 1998. We can not change this as this is the
document that guides us. We have about 400 outstanding claims that must
be attended to.”
He refuted the allegation that communities were not being updated on the
processes of their claims saying: “We always make sure that the
community knows everything that they need to know. We had a meeting with
them recently and I gave them a list of all the people to whom payments
are still outstanding.”
Hlongwane said the R30 million that the residents were referring to was
actually R23 million and the money was not missing but was set aside and
transferred into the account of the Department of Cooperative
Governance, Traditional and Recreation, formerly department of local
government and housing. He said the total budget that the department
wanted to use for housing development was R30 million but the actual
figure in question was R23 million.
According to Hlongwane the claimants and the commission had initially
agreed on a settlement amount of R40 000 which they could choose to
receive in full or opt for a house plus financial compensation. Some
opted for a house and were given R25 000 while R15 000 was retained for
housing development. This is the money that was transferred to the
department, he explained.
Hlongwane said those who opted for part payment would be entitled to
houses that are bigger than normal Reconstruction and Development
Programme (RDP) houses. “We now understand that there are people who no
longer want houses. We have resolved to give them back their R15 000.
They will have to provide us with the affidavit that shows that all the
family members agree to this sudden change of heart,” he said.
The chairperson of the Kutloanong Land Affairs Claims committee, the
organization that represents the Marobeng claimants, Thabo Sesing,
claimed that they were being fed with false information by the commission.
The Deputy Director in Communication Services of the Department of
Co-operative Governance, Traditional and Recreation, Senne Bogatsu,
confirmed that they have received the amount of R23 million of the R30
million budget for the implementation of housing development for land
She explained that the money was used to implement a two-phase project:
“The Phase 1 commits about R16, 5 million and the remaining funds will
be spent during phase 2 of the project. This project is not just about
building houses; there are other extenuating factors that contributed to
the delays in some areas such as the state of readiness for houses to be
built - layout plan and opening of township register.”
Bogatsu said that the process of building houses has already started in
Bethany and serves as one example where 37 of 90 houses have been built
to date. “We are currently working on the allocation and appointment of
contractors in other areas. This process adds to the time required for
the project to be completed, hence what appears to be a delay,” she
Metrobus drivers reach agreement - report
26 May 2009, 23:41
* Metrobus cautioned on imminent strike
* Metrobus strike must end - Gauteng government
* Drivers earn more than industry counterparts
* Metrobus makes liquidation threat
The five-week strike by Metrobus drivers may have ended, SABC radio news
reported on Tuesday night.
President of the SA Municipal Workers Union, Petros Mashishi, told the
SABC that striking bus drivers and their management had reached an
"The Metrobus [dispute], I dont have the details, they've settled,"
Mashishi told the broadcaster.
Earlier on Tuesday, Samwu and Metrobus agreed to resume talks to end
inudstrial action, after a meeting convened by Gauteng premier Nomvula
Mokonyane last week met the leadership of the Johannesburg City Metro
and committed the Provincial Government to assisting the parties resolve
their differences and forge healthy working relationships.
On Tuesday, the two parties met and expressed their willingness and
commitment in finding a lasting solution to the issues raised.
Mokonyane said she was encouraged by the optimism displayed by both sides.
"I think the parties genuinely want to close this unfortunate chapter in
their relations and go back to what they know how to do best - providing
quality public transport for the people of this world class city."
Makonyane said she was confident that the planned municipal workers
strike scheduled to take place on Thursday could be averted. - Sapa
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