Khayelitsha Councillor: City ignores my community

| Mary-Jane Matsolo
Monde Nqulwana ward councillor of ward 89 in Khayelitsha

The councillor for a major ward in Khayelitsha says the city is ignoring the real needs of his community.

This article is part of our focus on wards.

“When you drive into Khayelitsha from the N2 you are welcomed by a line of blue mobile toilets and about a kilometre from there a big green dumping container with a pile of rubbish all around it and so it continues throughout Khayelitsha.” These are the words of ward councillor Monde Nqulwana, a member of the African National Congress (ANC), elected in 2011 by his community to serve ward 89, which is a large part of Khayelitsha and includes the township’s informal settlements along the N2.

“My responsibilities as the councillor are to communicate with the residents in my community about service development issues and encourage citizens to develop their areas through public meetings,” said Nqulwana.

Situated in the municipal offices in Khayelithsa, behind the Site B library, the councillor’s office was filled with community members walking in and out requesting anything from application forms for various things to his signature.

Nqulwana told GroundUp that the people in his community complain mostly about water and sanitation issues, the unavailability of electricity and the filthy conditions they live in. He explained that in winter his community is haunted by floods which are a result of there not being a proper drainage system. He said the existing drains that are there are not being well maintained and serviced on a regular basis.

“I then communicate these issues with the administration of the city and they have to provide trucks to clean up. In cases of shack fires and floods, the city’s disaster management unit also has to assist,” explained Nqulwana.

Masemkele Mkarule is a 21-year-old resident of ward 89. He says a lot of people in his community are sick from diseases due to the filthy conditions they live in and the densely clustered shacks are a breading ground for tuberculosis. He complained that while the garbage gets picked up every week, there is always a community member that just throws their garbage anywhere. Mkarule insists that the community also needs to play their part in looking after their area.

There were service delivery protests in the area recently. When asked about them, Nqulwana insists that the protests were not against him, but against the City of Cape Town. He said that service delivery is not the direct responsibility of ward councillors, but that of the city. Nqulwana explained that councillors can only engage with the administration of the city on issues that the community tells them about, and try to solve these issues before they escalate into violent protests. “Unfortunately the City of Cape Town, which is led by the Democratic Alliance, ignores the requirements of the communities and when the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) of March 2012 came out reflecting nothing about Khayelitsha, particularly the ward in which I serve, that angered the community,” Nqulwana stated.

“The draft spoke about other areas such as Tygervalley and areas outside of Cape Town. It looked at issues of backyard dwellers to whom the city plans to give services such as their own electricity box. The priority in Khayelitsha is housing for the people, but no money was allocated for this,” Nqulwana explained.

Nqulwana, who also lives in a shack in his ward and earns a monthly salary of R30,000, says that the city allocates one cleaner per 400 shacks. He said that the city administration was ignorant about the pressing issues in communities. He emphasized that the mayor needs to understand that Khayelitsha has leaders in the form of ward councillors to assist the mayor in setting up meetings with communities for the mayor to address.

In an email, Solly Malatsi, spokesperson for Mayor De Lille, stated that Khayelitsha was consulted in the IDP process. The email includes a list of the city’s expenditure items in Khayelitsha and says that housing projects in the area are provided for in the IDP. The email is copied at the end of this article.

Another ward resident, Andile Madondile, complained that the only thing delivered in the ward is endless meetings. However, he did mention one positive change, that electricity is now being installed in RR section. He did however support the councillor’s views that the City’s IDP was not prioritising houses for the ward. “[Mayor] Patricia De Lille came to give them the report on the IDP which mentioned that houses would be provided in the Nkanini area which is located at a different ward under the management of DA councillors.”

“The mayor is focusing in areas where there are DA ward councillors, where there are ANC councillors nothing is moving thus making all the ANC led wards seem useless” said Madondile.

Madondile said that money allocated to ward 89 was not enough and a majority of it goes towards cleaning services and soup kitchens that aren’t a priority. “we want toilets, water and proper sanitation,” he said. “We have given up on the possibility of getting houses in my ward because the issue of housing is never mentioned in the budget for our area” said Madondile.

Email from Solly Malatsi, spokesperson for Mayor De Lille, in response to GroundUp

Councillors have an obligation to listen to the concerns or their communities and pick up those concerns, before they even become sources of inconvenience, through the official channels of the city for a prompt resolution or detailed explanation of what the city can or cannot do depending of what those issues are.

The City is responsive to the concerns raised by community members who contact us with service delivery queries. We strive to respond to such queries as promptly as humanly possible and where we cannot do that immediately we provide an explanation.

The IDP public participation process was extensive. We reached over 2 million people through all the public forums we used to engage with the people of Cape Town so that contributions can be included in the final IDP document. The people of Khayelitsha also made their input.

We also went the extra mile by going back to the communities to report back on their input. It is unfortunate that the Mayor’s report back meeting to be people of Khayelitsha was disrupted by a minority of identifiable youngsters in ANCYL regalia. Below is list of services and projects for Khayelitsha that the Mayor would have shared with the community at that meeting. These are all in the IDP.

  • Each ward in Khayelitsha will receive R700 000 for funding of local projects such as the upgrading of community facilities
  • Wards in Khayelitsha will receive part of the R10 000 000 additional allocation as part of the mayoral redress programme
  • Indigent relief to the value of R1,2 billion, including budget provision for free water and electricity and refuse removal
  • The provision of free call lines to report service delivery complaints
  • The extensive provision of free basic services to the indigent
  • R20 million job creation project through area cleaning
  • R300 million investment in the Phase 2 rollout of the IRT N2 – express service to Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain by December 2013
  • R9 000 000 allocated to improve health facilities, including a new clinic in Town 2 and the expansion of Luvuyo clinic
  • R3 275 196 allocated to enhance the provision of ARV medication
  • R7 500 000 for an upgrade to the Vuyani Market
  • R1 000 000 for an upgrade to the Site C Meat Market
  • R2 000 000 allocation for the Monwabisi Chalet Development
  • Over R500 000 set aside for traffic calming measures
  • R8 000 000 for the revamping of Solomon Mahlangu Hall
  • R2 500 000 for an upgrade to the Khayelitsha Wetlands
  • R300 000 for a new swimming pool in Site B
  • R22 000 000 for a new regional library in Kuyasa
  • R8 818 048 for the construction of the Harare Square Business Hub
  • Upgrades of the sewer network and water supply at a cost of over R10 000 000
  • Two thousands units to upgraded at Enkanini Phase 2 as par of the Upgrading of Informal Settlement Programme
  • Housing programmes in the Khayelitsha area which will deliver over 4000 units
  • The provision of electricity to 850 informal structures in Enkanini by the end of this month.
  • A compressive update on all forms of housing projects currently under construction and being planned for Khayelitsha

Each ward in Khayelitsha will receive R700 000 for funding of local projects such as the upgrading of community facilities/li

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