After a heated debate between Mayor Zandile Gumede and DA leader Zwakele Mancwango, the full council approved an amount of R500 000 for carpets on which the maidens would sleep for two nights during their stay in Nongoma.
However, the maidens alleged that they arrived to a bare-floored marquee at just after 9pm on that Friday night and were woken up by security guards when the carpets arrived just before 2am.
Many were also annoyed at the “doormat” quality of the carpets.
The Sunday Tribune spoke to city manager Sipho Nzuza on Friday, who was told the carpets had arrived on time. An investigation was under way.
“Deputy city manager Cele has referred the matter to the CIIU (City Integrity and Investigations Unit). I will be able to provide a concrete response once I have the report with me,” said Nzuza.
He said he did not know the name of the service provider and would only find out once he received the report.
One of the maidens from uMlazi, who did not want her name published, said they were still waiting for a formal statement from the municipality.
“This has taught us a lesson, in fact we were talking about it on our way back, from now on we are just going to do things as we previously did and not expect any grand gestures from the municipality,” she said.
Mncwango said it was surprising that the amount for the hired carpets had been reduced.
“The amount that was approved was R500 000. Even the Mayor was in support of that. The city manager is saying carpets cost R200 000. I’m surprised, when did the prices change? However this is good news, it means they have saved taxpayers money. This also shows that someone wanted to pocket the rest of the money,” said Mncwango.