Madame Speaker, the Inkatha Freedom Party welcomes the report following the Multiparty Oversight Delegation visit to the Zululand District. This report and its findings once again proves that the IFP was correct all along in highlighting the fact that the outcomes from these TLTP jamborees do not justify the huge amounts of money that is wasted in staging these ANC self-glorification platforms. We have always said that the millions of rand spent on these events could be put to better use in providing the much-needed services that are contained in the report.
The people of Zululand will not be satisfied that their concerns have been addressed and they will not be pacified by false promises yet again. I say this because we can see from the findings in the 2010 report and the comments in the follow-up report that was prepared five years later that not much progress has been made on crucial issues that were reported in 2010. One example is that of Wards 1 and 9 in Belgrade, uPhongolo where houses were damaged by the storm. The previous MEC for Human Settlements had approved the construction of houses but to date houses have not been delivered. So what is the point in hosting these costly events when this government knows what the issues are?
Madame Speaker, in most, if all of the communities that were visited the common concerns raised by our people came down to supply of clean water, electricity, housing, sanitation, roads, unemployment, conditions at health care facilities, poor standard of education and community safety. These are issues that plague communities across our province. This government should be aware of these issues and instead of constantly asking communities what are their concerns via these costly jamborees. If this government does not know of these concerns, then it means that this government is out of touch with its people.
One can blame the lack of water supply to the drought that we are experiencing in the KwaZulu-Natal. But we cannot blame the drought for the lack of infrastructure to supply clean water to homes, hospitals, clinics and schools. We cannot blame nature for schools not having decent toilets nor can we blame nature for having unqualified educators in our schools and we cannot blame nature for educators not being paid since 2014 as is the case at Pongola Intermediate School where there is only one toilet for the entire school.
I am not sucking this information out of my thumb, it is all there in the reports. These reports were not compiled by the IFP, lest I be accused of playing politics. These reports have been compiled by officials and approved by the multiparty delegation. Blame for these shortcomings must fall at the door of this government for failing our people.
Madame Speaker, how long must our people wait for services in the democracy that we now have in our country? I ask this question against the backdrop of eDumbe Municipality residents who have been waiting for a housing project to be completed since 2004. It is reported that this project has been stalled because of breakdown in communication between the various role-players.
The report recommends that there is need for co-operation between local municipality, the district municipality and the provincial government. Surely some government official should have been able to see that there is a problem in finalising this project and solutions should have been found. It should not take eleven years for this issue to come up again.
Abaqulusi Municipality has not had a municipal manager since 2012. How can a municipality function effectively without a municipal manager? Why was this vacancy not filled over such a long period of time? Is it that someone is having problems in identifying the right cadre to be appointed? The report tells us that the post was only advertised on 30 August 2015. I hope that this vacancy will be filled with the most competent and most qualified person and not a cadre who does not meet the required criteria.
Madame Speaker, the Department of Education prides itself on its ABET classes and yes, it has been producing some very good results but it is reported that ABET classes have been closed down at Belgrade because teachers have not been paid since 2014. The MEC must tell us why these teachers have not been paid and the matter will be rectified so that these such-needed classes can commence again. We cannot have people in these communities being disadvantaged because they are so far away from the head offices of the department.
It must be of serious concern to this government that the growth rate at uPhongolo is just 0.6% and that 35.5% of the people are unemployed. This government must tell us what plans does it have to improve the situation in this municipality. It is also contained in the report that only 17.4% of households have piped water and only 11.4% have flush toilets. These are issues that requires intervention from government.
The MEC for Health must tell this House why there are no cleaning services at clinics such as Hlopheni, Okhukho and Mashona in Ulundi. The report states that the requisition for cleaning services at these clinics was turned down by the department. I do not need to stress the importance of having our health care facilities in a clean and hygienic condition at all times.
Madame Speaker it must be of serious concern for government that the Brecher community in eDumbe is experiencing challenges with regard to strained and often tense relationships between farmers and the community. I believe that a task team needs to be put in place to address challenges such as burial rights and use of roads and bridges in the area. If this matter is not addressed and amicably resolved, it could result in increased tensions if not violence since this community also faces severe challenges with regard to a water supply and sanitation in addition to high levels of unemployment.
Far too often we hear of school children being either injured or killed whilst being transported to schools in unroadworthy vehicles. The issue of scholar transport is a huge problem for learners at Amanzashisayo Primary School as well as other rural schools in the district. We must not in all good conscience wait for more of our children to die while travelling to school in the back of bakkies before we provide appropriate and safe transport for them to access one of their basic rights.
The MECs of Education and Transport must come together and find a solution to this problem. The Department is squandering millions of rand on hiring consultants to the work of state-paid officials. Should some of that money not be channelled to providing safe transport for our children?
It is deeply concerning to note that the Ncotshane Housing Project that commenced in 2006 to provide 1 100 houses has not met its targets. It is reported that only about 250 houses have been completed and that many of those houses have defects. This situation needs to be rectified urgently and the reasons for the project being stalled must be found and sorted out. It is good to note that the doctor shortage problem at Nkonjeni Hospital and Kwa Ceza Hospital has now improved with more doctors being employed. This augurs well for the community.
Madame Speaker, since we are here in Nongoma, I need to find out why is it that there has been no progress with regard to the Nongoma Community Hall since 2012. The report states that the construction has been halted with no reasons forthcoming. This is unacceptable as we are three years down the line and we have no progress on this project and no one can give reasons. It is also sad to note that the Kwa Ndema Sports Field project has deteriorated rather than improved.
During the first visit the delegation was told that the field was too small and it was found that there was poor planning. But during the follow-up visit it was found that conditions have worsened. Someone needs to answer for such poor planning and for the project not moving ahead. We want our communities to become physical active and engage in sports but when money is allocated to provide infrastructure services, we find that officials let us down and tax payers money is wasted and our people continue to suffer.
The report also notes that there has been little progress on the Pongola-Nongoma Road project since 2012. One can understand that weather conditions and wash-aways have hindered progress, but it is important for the development of the area that the project moves ahead at greater speed as this road link will greatly improve access to these areas.
I am pleased to know that the Osuthu Social Development Offices have been completed and that it is operational.
Madame Speaker, I must commend the officials who accompanied the delegations during the various visits for the reports that they have made available to us. Their support and accurate reporting does help us in our oversight work.
I thank you
Contact: Mrs Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa, 071 884 3844/ 079 114 3015