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'Jobs for pals' claim

Posted : 14 March 2013


MORE than 80 residents of Ekuphumleni in Kenton protested alleged political favouritism in the allocation of jobs by the ANC-led Ndlambe municipality on Monday.

"The municipality is prejudicing Kenton by not giving us a fair shake of the budget with respect to certain projects,” said independent councillor for Ward 4, Zache Ngxingo.

"We have three projects that are supposed to be running here: the roads project, the bulk water project and the housing project. But there seems to be an effort to destabilise Kenton, and the influence seems to be coming from prominent ANC people outside the area.”

Ngxingo went on to say the bulk water project, funded by a municipal infrastructure grant (MIG), should have already started and, if not completed before June, the money would be taken away.

"It was only when (community development official) Tobie, (PR councillor Jocelyn) Guest and I went to see the mayor that he ‘found’ the funds for Kenton,” said Ngxingo.

Some of the Ekuphumleni residents were even more vocal.

"It is not fair,” said Nolubabalo Charlie. "We are sick and tired of these officials. They are awarding jobs to people who are already employed and not based on qualifications and abilities.”

Charlie was referring to Anelisa Glass, who is already employed on the Kenton roads project as community liaison officer (CLO) and, despite numerous applications submitted by residents, has been appointed as CLO of the bulk water project.

Luvo Kani, another resident, reported he had attempted to speak to the project chairman, XXX Mbilili, to clarify the situation.

"Mrs Mbilili said that she had no time for this,” he said. "She said she was not going to talk to unemployed people or even the ward councillor, as she reported directly to the mayor in such matters.”

One resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said if the municipality did not listen to them they were likely to take matters into their own hands.

"This situation has become a political one, although it is clearly a community issue. The housing project is also running behind schedule, and the mayor seems to be side-stepping me as the councillor for the area,” said Ngxingo.

"We are being influenced by outsiders who seem to have a political agenda. We have a very serious problem with sewage, and the bulk water project must take care of that too. I was not even invited to the land handover two weeks back, and I am the ward councillor for the area and thus the only elected politician.”

Municipal spokesman Cecil Mbolekwa responded that all the necessary processes had been followed when recruiting a new CLO for the project.

"It is the responsibility of the municipality to ensure the work is done, and done properly,” said Mbolekwa.

"Everyone had an opportunity to apply for the position, and we chose to interview several of the applicants before we appointed someone. Unfortunately, some people are bound to be disappointed but all the correct procedures were followed.”

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