Solidarity: AbM march on the uGu District Mayor

27 03 2011

Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement S.A
Press Statement Saturday, 26 March 2011

March on the uGu District Mayor to Demand that Nomusa Dube Extend Her
Investigation into Corruption to the Vulamehlo Municipality

Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement S.A is a social movement that fights to protect
and promote the interests of the poor in S.A. While our movement works hard to
build and to sustain democratic structures in our communities, to organise our
own community controlled projects and to secure land and housing in our cities
we also work hard to partner with all government departments and development
agencies that are willing to help to better the lives of our communities and to
get rid of corruption wherever necessary.

We have recently welcomed the promise made by Ms. Nomusa Dube, Minister of
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal, to investigate
corruption in the eThekwini Municipality without fear or favour. We have made
it clear that we have numerous cases of corruption to report to her
investigation and that we are willing to offer our full support to her
investigation.

But the problems are not just in the eThekwini Municipality. The situation is
also very bad in Pietermaritzburg, in Howick, in Tongaat, and in many other
places. For so many years our communities who live in rural areas have not been
respected and acknowledged as South African citizens equal to all other
citizens. There are serious problems in the Vulamehlo Local Municipality which
falls under the Ugu District Municipality between Umzinto and Umkomaas on the
South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. On several times we have raised our concerns with
the Manager of the Vulamehlo Local Municipality. Our voices have not been
heard. His eyes remain closed to us. The situation in the Vulamehlo
Municipality is very bad. The poor are not recognised in this Municipality.

As a movement we have always been aware that what the poor have been promised
in terms of human rights and service delivery is not enough for a dignified
life. Of course it would be much better to live safely and freely in a well
located RDP house than to be repressed in a shack and therefore we struggle for
rights to be made real and promises to be kept. But we always remember that
these promises are only promises to help the poor to survive poverty and that
they are not promises to share the land, cities and wealth of the country and
to end poverty. We always keep a bigger vision of justice in mind as we
struggle for small victories here and there.

The government cannot deny us the right to hold it accountable to its own
promises and its own laws. They cannot say that because they are elected they
are representing the will of the people when they are breaking their own
promises and laws. We will hold them to their own promises and laws while
always being aware that the struggle for dignity – for equality, justice and
freedom – must never be reduced to a struggle for human rights and service
delivery. We will take a slice of bread but we will not forget that we deserve
the full loaf.

The dignities of the poor have not been recognised in the Vulamehlo
Municipality as demanded by the Bill of Rights in Chapter 2 of the South
African Constitution. We as Abahlali baseMjondolo feel that we are not honoured
and respected by the Vulamehlo Municipality and that it does not respect the
Constitution. This Municipality is violating our Human Rights as enshrined in
the Constitution of South Africa. Section 26 of the Constitution states that
housing is a fundamental Human Right but this municipality and its council has
not met that obligation and it has also violated section 10 of the S.A
Constitution in the Bill of rights.

We are also aware that we have been misled by the Municipality and its
councillors who have given us false information about the development that is
suppose to take place in our community. According to the IDP we have found that
development is supposed to have already taken place in Wards 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
But in fact no development has happened in these wards! This Municipality does
not even use its own drafted policy document of service delivery which is in
the IDP. So this municipality does not follow the Municipality Systems Act no
32 of 2000 Section 35 which stipulates that an IDP adopted by the council of a
Municipality is the principal strategic planning instrument which guides and
informs all planning and development as well as decision with regard to
planning management and development in the Municipality. It binds the
Municipality in the exercise of its executive authority.

When ever poor people make it clear that we will not accept oppression we are
shown to be criminals. Yet it is the Vulamehlo Municipality that does not
respect the law and the Constitution.

We have also noted that there is serious corruption that is going on,
especially in the allocation houses for the poor in Dududu. There are about 20
people that have been given houses according to the Municipality while in
reality they are still living in informal housing structures hoping that one
day they will get houses and not being aware that their houses have been
corrupted away. Housing is a dream that will never come true for them without
the intervention of the MEC of COGTA, Ms Nomusa Dube.

So therefore we call on the MEC to investigate on these matters that have been
raised by the community of Dududu. We want to know what happened to the
projects that appear in the IDP on page 116 – 118 of the SDBIP. We are also
concerned about the fact that tenders are all being given to one company used
as a service provider by this municipality. What happened to the tax payer’s
money that was allocated for Vulamehlo Projects? The budget is there on paper
but not in practice. Houses are built and delivered on paper but no on the
round.

There are not even any projects for the youth, women and other vulnerable
groups in this municipality.

So therefore we would like the MEC to intervene to this matter as a matter of
urgency. We are demanding that the uGu District Mayor must respond to us with
14 days after our protest on the 28th of March 2011

Our protest will start from Mjundwini Community Hall from 8am and proceed to
the Dududu police station where the Memorandum will be handed over at 12.

For further information please contact:

Bandile Mdlalose
Abahlali baseMjondolo (Secretary General)
071 424 2815

Sphiwe Mbhele
uMjundwini Community Committee
082 763 032

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