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Public opinion is divided on the exposé in The Witness on Monday as to amounts were paid by the Umvoti Municipality for Umvoti Mayor Thami Ngubane’s accommodation, bodyguards and transport since his election on 20 February. Invoices, signed off by the MM, that have been made available to the newspaper, reveal that over R350 000 has been spent on these three categories from February­ to April. Councillor Thami Ngubane was elected Mayor in February and last month was elected the...
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The Gauteng Department of Human Settlements has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the community of Winnie Mandela informal settlement to work jointly to find a lasting solution to the housing problems there. The agreement was signed on Monday, when Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Jacob Mamabolo met with the Ekurhuleni Concerned Residents Association (ECRA) and their legal representative, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) to broker a deal for the parties to...
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Councillors in the Oudtshoorn municipality are once again voting on their R500-million budget, which has already been tabled three times before and blocked each time by the DA-led coalition, said municipal spokesperson Ntobeko Mangqwengqwe. Mangqwengqwe confirmed to eNCA on Thursday: “We will be voting again – all 25 councillors and wards will be at the meeting to vote on the budget." According to media reports, the trouble started two years ago when the DA and its coalition...
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eThekwini councillors and staff, collectively owing the city R11 million over three months, are to have their water and electricity connections cut. This was contained in a report presented to the city’s finance and procurement committee last month. Government departments, parastatals, businesses and residents were some of the culprits that had failed to settle utility bills and other debts contributing to an outstanding amount of R2 billion. A breakdown of the report indicated 18...
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The majority of News24 readers, who answered an online questionnaire, do not know who their ward councillor is, nor do they think they are doing a good job. This followed a series of articles published by News24 on what a typical day looks like in the life of a ward councillor. We randomly picked five councillors from different political parties and followed them around in five different cities - Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein and Pietermaritzburg. This is ahead of next year'...
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"I just want to make a change." This is Soweto ward councillor Themba Msibi's mission. Msibi has been the councillor in Ward 39 in Orlando West for four years - an area plagued by, among other things, electricity issues. I arrange to meet 41-year-old Msibi in the township's renowned Vilikazi Street on Tuesday. My task was to find a ward councillor in Johannesburg and shadow him for the day. I found a list of the 130 ward councillors in the City of Johannesburg and picked one....
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After parking my car outside a community hall in Pietermaritzburg’s busy East Street, I cross the road to meet African National Congress (ANC) councillor Eunice Majola. My question on whether the councillor was there only elicited the response: "No, no one is here" from an elderly man dressed in blue municipal gear. Realising I was lost and already 15 minutes late for our 8am meeting, I called Majola again and, on getting directions to Eastwood community hall, finally came face-...
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About R184 million in consumer debt under the uMgungundlovu Municipality will be written off as part of its amnesty programme, the municipality announced yesterday. The amount forms part of the R439 million debt from its indebted household and business customers. The decision was taken as the municipality held imbizos for the 2015/16 budget and Integrated Development Plan. “The public pleaded with the municipality to consider an amnesty period to eliminate old debts, illegal...
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Opposition parties this week warned that amalgamating struggling municipalities with other municipalities would lead to bigger problems and would not necessarily be a solution to deal with financially non-viable municipalities.  Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Pravin Gordhan said a third of all municipalities were not financially viable and another third was at risk, hence his proposals for redetermining municipal boundaries – which would possibly see some...
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Inkatha Freedom Party councillor Bongumusa Zondo arrives with two men flanking him. My first thought is that a few more councillors want me to meet them. It is only when we arrive at the offices that I realise these are not fellow councillors or party members seeking publicity. They are his bodyguards. It all falls into place. I better than anyone should know why he needs bodyguards. He is the councillor for Ward 39, located in the hostels of Durban’s KwaMashu township. Not only have I...
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