The Inkatha Freedom Party in KwaZulu-Natal is concerned by the on-going protest action at the Umlalazi Municipality which has led to widespread damage of public property and huge losses for the local economy as businesses have been forced to close doors.
“The protest action has been going on for more than three weeks and has seen the centre of the town of Eshowe resemble a war zone with burning tyres and debris strewn across many roads. We have learnt from reliable sources that the protesters are angry about the unfulfilled promises made by the mayor of Umlalazi. There are allegations of large scale corruption surrounding the R11 million road construction contract that was awarded but the contractor has since abandoned the project after being paid up front. Protesters are so angry with the state of affairs at the ANC-run municipality that they even dragged a satellite police station onto the main street and set it alight. It is clear that officials at the municipality are not listening to the grievances of the people and are failing to respond to their concerns”, said IFP National Chairperson and Leader in the KZN Legislature, Mr Blessed Gwala.
“Local government is at the coal face of service delivery and must be responsive to the needs of the people. When the IFP was in control of the Umlalazi Municipality we never experienced any form of protest action because we listened to the people and provided clean governance through honest administration. Delivering services to the citizens of Umlalazi was our priority and the IFP has a clean track record across KwaZulu-Natal municipalities that it administered.
We are sympathetic with the people of Eshowe who are facing severe hardships due to the poor administration of the municipality. It is unacceptable that schooling is disrupted and businesses are being forced to close doors during trading hours thus losing revenue. This is damaging the local economy and confidence in a town that has great potential.
We call on the MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Nomsa Dube-Ncube to urgently investigate what is going on at the Umlalazi Municipal offices and to ensure that normality is restored to this once peaceful and prosperous town”, concluded Mr Gwala.
Mr Blessed Gwala MPL
IFP National Chairperson and Leader in the KZN Legislature
078 290 5842