The Democratic Alliance (DA) in eThekwini Municipality is demanding answers from the head of housing, Lawrence Pato after the African National Congress (ANC) in the region was allegedly given leeway to “hijack” a handover of municipality-built houses to gain political mileage ahead of next year's general elections.
This comes after three houses were handed over in Ntuzuma township, Durban.
Despite being built using municipal funds, DA Councillor, Zamani Khuzwayo has produced pictures that were taken on the day. These pictures show that there was no eThekwini branding.
Instead, ANC branding, colours and regalia were used, giving the wrong impression that the houses were a donation from the governing party.
In a letter to Pato, Khuzwayo said this must be probed since his department seems to be a stomping ground for abuse for political gain by the ANC.
“On Saturday, 08 July 2023, ANC members led by Councillor Fiso (Fisokuhle) Mngadi were seen handing over RDP houses to three people in Ntuzuma. According to my understanding, your unit builds houses for government, not political parties, they were all in ANC regalia. The abuse of municipal resources seems to be spiralling out of control, more so in your department,” Khuzwayo wrote to Pato.
He added that many housing units remain unfinished and politics is now used to advance agendas.
NEWS: EThekwini municipality is under fire from the DA which is demanding answers after a mini-ceremony to hand over three houses built with public funds was "hijacked" when ANC banners, ribbons and regalia were used when they were handed over on Saturday in Ntuzuma. pic.twitter.com/oPuaFy5tQ5— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) July 12, 2023
“As the DA in eThekwini we are calling on this matter to be investigated and for the responsible to be brought to book. This unit has been failing people of eThekwini with many projects not delivered in time now we seen the politics take over handing out of houses to the beneficiary and generally, service delivery has dropped to critical levels in the metro,” he added.
Considering that the matter is urgent, Khuzwayo told Pato that the investigation should be concluded within the shortest period of time.
“The truism is that if your office fails, eThekwini fails, good governance fails, and therefore it is vital that your office does everything in its power to ensure that this matter is looked at, with findings and solutions,” Khuzwayo told Pato.
Councillor Mngadi did not respond when IOL asked him about allegations against him. He was accused of leading the abuse of municipal resources to benefit his party, the governing ANC.
The head of communication in the eThekwini municipality, Lindiwe Khzuwayo, said there was nothing wrong with the use of ANC colours during the handover.
"We can confirm that there were residents dressed in ANC regalia. This is not against any law. The handover was indeed being done by the Municipality. It was branded as such and has been communicated as such on municipal platforms. For the handover Cllr (Councillor) Mngadi was requested by officials to cover his political colours, and he duly complied,” Khzuwayo said.