Picking up the pieces left by a corrupt councillor

| Nokubonga Yawa
Blocked drain next to the public library. Photo by Nokubonga Yawa.

Umrhabulo Triangle is the name of ward 96 in Makhaza Khayelitsha. Former ward councilor, Thabile Maxon Ludidi, had to step down when he faced corruption charges. Now 34-year old Councillor, Danile Khatshwa, is having to pick up the pieces.

This article is part of our focus on wards.

Both Ludidi and Dayimani were found guilty of corruption and are currently serving prison sentences. There were several accusations levelled against them including selling plots of land and houses and retaining the money for themselves as well enriching family members. Both accused are still appearing in court in further cases pending against them.

Danile Khatshwa is now the ward councilor of ward 96. It is his first time serving as a councillor. “I have to sort out the problems that were caused by the previous councilor. There are still people today who can’t claim their subsidies because they are not recorded as staying in the houses they are living in. Others don’t have houses, but they appear in the system as if they do. I have to deal with them everyday because I made a promise that I would work for people,” Khatshwa explained.

Ludidi, Dayimani and Khatshwa were all elected on ANC tickets.

Ward 96 is one of several areas in which street lights are not working. Earlier this year GroundUp published a story about the street lights on Lansdowne road. Khatshwa has to deal with the this problem of street lights not working along with other issues such as drains that get blocked often and that take time to be fixed.

Khatshwa says he used some of his budget to empower young people in his ward. This was done by providing a leadership skills course to 25 youths, a computer literacy course to another 25 youths as well as a class on women and teenage pregnancy which was attended by 15 people.

Khatshwa also says he intends to fix the soccer field behind Umrhabulo Triangle’s shopping centre with money from his budget. He has allocated R190 000 for this. “The way it looks now, not even horses could run there.” Khatshwa explained. He said as councillors they work on a budget and as such they have to make priorities. He said his budget is R500.000.

A community member, Nomathemba Dlakavu, says that she campaigned for councillor Khatshwa. “I would not lie and say Khatshwa has done something. Since he started serving as a councilor there is nothing impressive that he has done for this community. The very same issues we had before still exist. Young people are still not employed. He only gives jobs to those who are close to him. We live in the dark. There are no lights. They are all broken or not working and all our votes went straight to the dustbin because he is failing us.” She also said Khatshwa is never at the office. “When people need him he is nowhere to be found.”

TOPICS:  Government Local government

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