STATEMENT ON MALICIOUS AND MISLEADING REMARKS MADE BY NEWLY APPOINTED HON. MEC FOR KZN HUMAN SETTLEMENTS IN THE MEDIA BRIEFING HELD IN DURBAN, UMHLANGA ON 11 OCTOCER 2022
I have learnt with a sense of dismay that the Hon. MEC for KZN Human Settlements, Dr. Ntuthuko Mahlaba, made astonishing remarks pertinent to Rural Housing Projects that are implemented in Nongoma. The MEC based his remarks on the poster designed by Nongoma Municipality from which he inappropriately quotes the words “Siyazakha, Siyazenzela” and contest that, “you can’t be saying Siyazakha, Siyazenzela when you do not have the budget to build houses”.
It would be remiss of me, as the Mayor of Nongoma, not to respond to the spineless remarks by the Hon. MEC and also share insight about the development philosophy of Nongoma which says “Siyazakha, Siyazenzela” on the premise that he is new in his position as MEC, and his remarks were completely out of context. One would have expected the MEC to enquire about Nongoma before uttering misleading remarks.
Siyazakha, Siyazenzela – This is the development philosophy of Nongoma which implies “self-help and selfreliance”. It has nothing to do with rural housing projects. It merely encourages the people of Nongoma to rise and strive for progress on their own and to not be dependent on handouts.
The construction of houses through the rural housing programme in rural municipalities is a tripartite matter involving the Department of Human Settlement, municipalities and the Implementing Agents. Foist upon them not only by the imperatives of SPLUMA but more importantly the DDM imperatives. Nongoma is no exception. Therefore, while we accept that the Department of Human Settlement provides the budget, the Municipality among other things ensures that proper planning takes place in terms of the provisions of SPLUMA.
The construction of houses in Nongoma through this arrangement is not a new subject. It has been there for quite long and there has been good cooperation and understanding between the Municipality and former MECs. It has always been the case that the Department would fund housing projects whilst the municipality undertakes the Supply Chain Management processes such as the tendering processes and appointment of IAs. In addition, the municipality then assumes the responsibility to also monitor progress and ensure that IAs deliver according to the signed contracts to which the Municipality is the signatory.
It is on that premise that the Mayor meets with the people pre- and post the construction of houses. Therefore, it is flabbergasting that the MEC points fingers to Nongoma Municipality for doing its work in engaging the community on the completed houses in Ward 15 and the recently approved housing projects in Ward 17 and 21.
On quarterly basis, as part of its monitoring obligation the Municipality causes the Housing Forum to sit in Nongoma to establish the status on the implementation of housing projects and to address bottlenecks. The Mayor as the Chairperson of this forum is always part of these meetings, and a lot has been achieved through fruitful monitoring engagements with IAs and the officials from DoHS. One would expect the MEC to appreciate the good work that Nongoma is doing and strive to sustain the good working partnership that was established prior to his arrival in the spirit of intergovernmental relations, without a question of who provides the budget.
It is common knowledge that we have received an accolade in the form of a certificate for Best Rural Housing Project (Osuthu B) in the Govan Mbeki Awards in 2018. This certificate was awarded by former MEC for Human Settlements, Mr. Ravi Pillay with whom we had a progressive working relationship due to recognized effort sponsored by Nongoma Municipality to ensure that houses are delivered accordingly and in good quality.
Our people need quality houses now not 28 years later. It would therefore be a source of great joy if the MEC could join us in our endeavor for timeous delivery of quality housing projects and drop the stale and archaic political budget subject that won’t address any of the burning issues. We are not going to be drawn back by any kind of pessimistic remarks, nor by narrow party factional interest but continue to fight for service delivery that our people deserve against all odds.
Issued by Mr MA Mncwango
Mayor of Nongoma
Media Enquiries: Ms NP Ntuli
073 278 9483/ 035 831 7576
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