||Riverlea residents to disrupt World Cup
STEVEN TAU The Citizen 10 October 2009
JOHANNESBURG - “If you don’t build us houses, there will be no 2010 Fifa
World Cup match played at the Soccer City stadium,” an angry resident of
Riverlea said yesterday.
Residents of Riverlea, Johannesburg took to the streets to protest a
lack of service delivery.
The protest saw mostly young people barricading roads with rocks and
The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) and the SA Police
Service (SAPS) were kept on their toes for the better part of yesterday.
Members of the police were later forced to fire rubber bullets at the
crowd in a bid to defuse the protest which became violent.
Despite an order from a police officer for the crowd to disperse,
residents were defiant as they kept hurling stones at police vehicles.
Residents had earlier accused the police of using excessive force and
depriving them of the right to express their dissatisfaction and
frustration over the lack of housing and sanitation.
“Government is building the Soccer City stadium, while Riverlea is being
overlooked – unless our demands are met, we will make sure that no World
Cup match takes place at the stadium next year,” said one of the residents.
Johannesburg police spokesman Superintendent Lungelo Dlamini said they
had arrested eight people for public violence.
“We are waiting for the cops to leave, then we will continue protesting
until our demands are met,” the resident added.
High ranking police official Commissioner Perumal Naidoo was on the
Twelve arrested in Riverlea protests, south of Jo'burg
Sapa 22 October 2009
Twelve people were arrested in the protests. One person was injured when
police fired rubber bullets at protesters in Riverlea, Johannesburg
The protesters are angry over the lack of service delivery in the area,
including a lack of housing.
The crowd, were protesting on Nasrec Road near Soccer City, a major 2010
football world cup venue.
The road, which was blocked with burning tyres and rocks, was reopened
in the late morning.
The protests in Riverlea are the latest in a string of violent
demonstrations against poor service delivery and corruption and nepotism
within local government.
On Wednesday, the ANC axed the mayor of the Lekwa Municipality in
Mpumalanga, after weeks of service-delivery protests in the area, as a
stern warning to other municipalities around the country.
Mayor Juliette Radebe-Khumalo and her executive councillors were fired
after meetings with an ANC delegation, including ANC Youth League
president Julius Malema and Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.
As one service delivery protest ends so another begins
Rahima Essop and Gia Nicolaides 23 October 2009
As Sakhile residents celebrate an end to their service delivery
protests, residents in Riverlea in southern Johannesburg are demonstrating.
Hundreds of people are demonstrating on Nasrec Road near Soccer City
where they have blocked roads with burning tyres, rocks and rubble.
Police are trying to divert traffic and preventing motorists from
driving through the area for their own safety as demonstrators are
stoning passing cars.
Earlier police opened fire on protestors with rubber bullets leaving
several people injured.
SAKHILE TOWNSHIP CELEBRATES
Sakhile township residents say they believe they will receive better
services now that the entire Mayoral Committee has been recalled.
African National Congress leaders Fikile Mbalula and Julius Malema
recalled the local mayor and several allegedly corrupt councillors on
It follows three weeks of violent service delivery protests in the area.
Residents started celebrating when they were told that the mayor and
several councillors were asked to step down.
Mbalula and Malema, who spent hours in a meeting with councillors, were
later hailed as heroes by thousands of residents at the local stadium.
The municipality will now be placed under provincial administration.
Why we recalled the Standerton mayor - ANC NWC
Jackson Mthembu 22 October 2009
Ruling party outlines the state of maladministration in the Lekwa
ANC NWC STATEMENT ON LEKWA MUNICIPALITY
Yesterday's (21 October 2009) implementation of the African National
Congress (ANC) National Working Committee (NWC) decision in the Lekwa
Local Municipality that led to the recall of the mayor, the speaker,
chief whip and members of the municipal mayoral committee should serve
as a reminder to all our deployed cadres of the importance of carrying
out an ANC mandate - in line with the 2009 Election Manifesto (see
The implementation of the NWC decision to place Lekwa under
administration for a year in terms of Section 139 (1) (b) of the
Constitution, should be seen as an effective and decisive act to
demonstrate zero tolerance on non-delivery, mismanagement, weak
administration, fraud and corruption.
The ANC can today (22 October 2009) reveal the magnitude of the Lekwa
Municipality's mal-administration, which necessitated the bold step we
In terms of the report submitted by ANC NEC deployees Fikile Mbalula and
Malusi Gigaba who were mandated by the NWC to go and investigate
violence in Sakhile township, at the centre of the council challenges is
the August 2008 internal audit report that was mandated by former
Mpumalanga MEC for Local Government and Housing, Candith
Mashego-Dlamini, following allegations of fraud, corruption,
mal-administration and other irregularities at the Lekwa Local
Municipality. The report identified specific problem areas and
recommended remedial actions to be taken. But these were ignored.
The report by the former Mpumalanga MEC painted a picture of an
institution with no leadership, collapsed systems and lack of internal
controls. The Section 106 report was not the first to be issued to the
Lekwa Local Municipality, without implementation of recommendations.
Before MEC Mashego-Dlamini's report, there was a similar report issued
by internal auditors mandated by another former Mpumalanga Local
Government and Housing MEC LJ Mahlangu under Section 106 (1)(b) of the
Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 3 of 2000.
Among some irregularities listed in the NWC report were that:
The Lekwa Local Council consistently appointed Section 57 managers
without qualifications and competencies. An architect was appointed
manager: technical; a nurse appointed LED manager and a chief financial
officer (CFO) was appointed on the basis of an affidavit alleging non
Councillors were given performance bonuses to the tune of R80 000
without performance evaluations being carried out.
The previous municipal manager was not expelled but rather given a
golden handshake after allegedly committing criminal acts.
The mayor arbitrarily manipulated the organogram.
The council could not produce financial statements because there was no
The council could not account for the use of public funds. A R30 million
investment inherited from the previous council could not be accounted
for. This brought divisions among councillors, some of who are in the
dark about how the money was spent.
A chicken broiler capitalised about eight years ago, built on land
donated by the Department of land Affairs is a project which to date
remains incomplete. Some company was reportedly paid in full before
commencing with the work and no recovery efforts were made to collect
the money. In fact, the company was later given additional work, which
included paving of roads.
Sahara Sands was allegedly granted a R17 million project in
contravention of policy because no 30 percent of the work went to local
Liquor and catering jobs given to the same suppliers to the exclusion of
locally based companies.
All these issues will now be investigated by the administrator who will
apply due process of the law, even if it means perpetrators go to jail.
Against the background which points to blatant disregard for Government
and proper financial management, the NWC was left with no choice other
than a decisive and swift action.
Statement issued by Jackson Mthembu, national spokesperson of the
African National Congress, October 22 2009
Standerton recall a painful decision - Shiceka
Sapa 22 October 2009
Minister says the removal of the mayoral committee had to happen
JOHANNESBURG (Sapa) - The decision to remove the Lekwa municipality
mayor and councillors was a "very painful" one, but should serve as an
example, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo
Shiceka said on Thursday.
"It is clear to us that what has happened [their removal] had to happen
and will continue to happen," Shiceka told a media briefing following a
local government indaba in Boksburg, Gauteng.
"We must make sure that the system is cleaned of everything that is not
On Wednesday the mayor, the mayoral committee, the speaker and the chief
whip were removed after community members in Sakhile township, which
falls under the Lekwa municipality in Mpumalanga, embarked on a
week-long protest which included the destruction of property.
The minister admitted that the removals may trigger further protests by
communities desiring a similar outcome.
"There is going to be definitely, in my view, some copycats," he said.
However, he added that every case would be dealt with on its own merits.
Shiceka said his department would be pushing for the elimination of
violent protests by strengthening ward councillors.
"The new ward councillors would be given a lot of power to do things in
the wards... they are going to be the face of local government," he said.
In the past government had not been responsive in terms of attending to
the concerns and frustrations of the community but this was going to change.
"We are going to see magic in South Africa... where people take charge
of their development," he said.
President Jacob Zuma has tasked the governance and traditional affairs
department with reviewing all legislative arrangements that impacted on
Shiceka said work on this would begin in the next two weeks and
necessary changes to legislation and the Constitution would be made.
"In South Africa we are arguing that changes are needed... to ensure
that we sharpen our instruments to improve service delivery," the
He told delegates that Eskom's proposed tariff hikes could harm local
government. The parastatal this month proposed tariff hikes of 45
percent each for the next three years.
"We believe the way tariffs are being proposed will undermine the work
of local government," he told the indaba. The ministry would talk to the
minerals and energy department about the proposed hikes.
Electricity backlogs were identified in a local government report,
released at the indaba, as a challenge faced by municipalities.
The indaba wrapped up on Thursday with a declaration to guide
government's turn-around strategy for local government.
The 1100 participants at the indaba thrashed out a range of
interventions to address a myriad of problems facing municipalities.
The turn-around strategy would be submitted to Cabinet by December this
year and municipalities were expected to formulate their own strategies,
within the framework of the national turn-around plan by March next year.
The indaba heard that leadership was key to improving financial
management at local government level, another challenge identified by
Accountant General Freeman Nomvula told the conference: "The key is
leadership... administratively leaders need to take these functions
seriously. Political leaders need to hold administrative leaders
accountable," he told the indaba.
The report released on Wednesday showed that 64 percent of the country's
municipalities were in financial distress.
Nomvula said a poor audit trail, the poor quality of financial
statements, officials being unavailable to answer questions by auditors
and poor internal controls were some of the problems plaguing local
"It's a tall order to talk about a turn-over by 2014 but I do think it's
possible," he told representatives from local, provincial and national
government at the two-day indaba.
Public Works Minister Geoff Doidge said municipalities were set to
contribute 176,838 job opportunities as part of the country's extended
public works programme.
This formed part of the 500,000 jobs Zuma spoke about in his state of
the nation address.
The indaba comes in the wake of service delivery protests around the
country. Communities took to the streets in various areas protesting
against corruption and lack of delivery, and calling for the removal of
councillors and mayors.
The kingdom has fallen: Residents cheer ANC's axing of top Standerton officials
By Beauregard Tromp (The Star) 22 October 2009
The battle of Standerton has ended with the mayor, Juliet Queen
Radebe-Khumalo, being deposed.
"The kingdom has fallen!" community activist Thabo Selepe declared
yesterday as he and other residents burst out of the Lekwa council
offices in Standerton to break the news to a small crowd outside, who
popped sparkling wine and toyi-toyied up and down the street in celebration.
The ANC's Luthuli House headquarters yesterday recalled the entire
mayoral executive after several weeks of battles that left Sakhile
township, 'km south-east of Joburg, in tatters.
Apart from the mayor, the speaker, chief whip and four local councillors
were also axed.
As expectant residents gathered in front of the council offices,
Radebe-Khumalo was called into the council offices to be told of the
decision. She had just returned from Cape Town, where she attended a
meeting hosted by President Jacob Zuma to address service delivery
"I am still in a meeting. I cannot comment," Radebe-Khumalo said when
contacted about her ousting.
A delegation comprising ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, Deputy
Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula and Premier David Mabuza came to
Standerton yesterday to announce the decision of the ANC national
working committee to council officials and community leaders.
They made it clear that the executive and councillors had been fired
because of a power struggle and failure to fulfil their duties.
In a thinly veiled threat to Mabuza, Malema warned that the province
should have intervened well before Luthuli House's forced involvement.
"We don't want to frequent this place. The (ANC's) provincial executive
committee must take responsibility," he said.
The three arrived to a heroes' welcome at the packed Sakhile stadium,
where residents held up cellphone cameras for a picture of the man of
the moment, Malema.
Cheers also went up for Mbalula, while Mabuza was jeered with a chorus
of "Voertsek! Voertsek!".
The boisterous crowd spared no one, though, even heckling Malema at
first for his inability to speak isiZulu. After demanding the crowd
respect all the speakers, irrespective of their lingua franca, Malema
again drove home his point about provincial leadership.
"We want a province that will act immediately. They must not wait until
we burn tyres," he said.
Earlier in the day, the three announced that an administrator would now
be installed "for no longer than six months", who would investigate the
allegations of corruption and fraud.
"The councillors are being recalled, redeployed outside the
municipality. In our view, service delivery has been compromised," said
He also announced that the council was bankrupt.
Mbalula added: "The ANC is not a holiday or a free ride for populists."
The announcement came despite a recent Empowerdex study showing that
Lekwa was the fourth-best performing municipality in terms of service
delivery in the country.
Last week, Mbalula and Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba
came to Standerton on a fact-finding mission, meeting councillors,
community members, and business and church leaders.
A decision for "an intervention" resulted in section 139 of the
constitution being invoked, allowing for the sacking of the mayor and
"In line with the ANC manifesto, with emphasis on zero tolerance for
non-delivery, we have resolved to recall the Lekwa local municipality
mayor, the speaker, chief whip and all members of the municipal mayoral
committee. Vacancies will be officially declared," Mbalula stated.
Denying the ANC had bowed to pressure from residents, Mbalula said their
action had been based on performance, and that the NWC had made a
decision based on the merits of the case.
Several municipalities in Mpumalanga have been put under administration,
a fact Mabuza put down to a situation he inherited from "the previous
administration", which had left a number of investigations incomplete.
"There may be commonalities and people who are fuelling this in the
ANC," admitted Mabuza.
The remaining councillors were also warned to toe the line when the
administrator starts next week.
"All councillors were told: 'You tamper with the administrator (sic)
will be an invitation for expulsion'," said Malema.
Malema berated those who destroyed property and burnt tyres during
riots. "It's an old style of protesting. These days you must just stand
up and protest," he said.
Malema’s dangerous message: Burn something and we’ll act
Ray Hartley ed 22 October 2009
THE suspension of the Standerton town council following violent protests
is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it is laudable that action is
being taken where there appears to be evidence of graft.
But the fact remains that a very dangerous signal has been sent: If you
don’t like your local government, start burning things down and the ANC
will boot them out.
This opens the door for those who lose the battle for nomination to
these positions in the party structures to attempt to get into office by
Political and financial motives for militancy are being multiplied.
Government leaders would do well to reconsider their approach. While it
is good that they act, they must also be seen to be acting against those
who break the law with violent actions. Where are the arrests over the
burning of municipal property? Where is the investigation and
prosecution of the perpetrators of the destruction of very precious and
limited local government resources.
The populist truimphalism of the likes of Julius Malema and Fikile
Mbalula before the celebrating mob sends the wrong signal.
Standerton protesters appear in court
Sapa 22 October 2009
JOHANNESBURG - Ninety-seven people appeared in the Standerton
Magistrate’s Court on Thursday after they were arrested during violent
protests in Sakhile township.
Control prosecutor Leana Mynhardt said all 97 people were granted bail
of R200 each and the case was postponed to December 11.
“This will allow for further investigation,” she said.
Sakhile township in Mpumalanga saw violent protests in recent weeks with
residents complaining of bad service delivery and demanding the
resignation of the mayor and councillors.
On Wednesday the mayor, the mayoral committee, the speaker and the chief
whip of Lekwa municipality, under which Sakhile township falls, were fired.
The ruling African National Congress has decided to place the
municipality under administration by the Mpumalanga provincial
government for a year to address allegations of fraud, corruption and
Shiceka: Lekwa decision 'painful'
NATASHA MARRIAN | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 22 October 2009
The decision to remove the Lekwa municipality mayor and councillors was
a "very painful" one, but should serve as an example, Cooperative
Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka said on Thursday.
"It is clear to us that what has happened has to happen and will
continue to happen," Shiceka told a media briefing following a local
government indaba in Boksburg, Gauteng.
"We must make sure that the system is cleaned of everything that is not
On Wednesday the mayor, the mayoral committee, the speaker and the chief
whip were removed after community members in Sakhile township, which
falls under the Lekwa municipality in Mpumalanga, embarked on a
week-long protest which included the destruction of property.
Shiceka said he was informed of the decision taken by the African
National Congress's national working committee on Thursday morning.
He revealed that the individuals who were removed were under
investigation by a former provincial minister.
The outcome of that investigation was given to the council, but no
action was taken.
He said "due process" had been followed before the individuals were
removed and that had taken place in consultation with the party who
deployed them, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).
Shiceka said his department would be pushing for the elimination of
violent protests by strengthening ward councils and turning them into
the face of local government.
"The new ward councillors would be given a lot of power to do things in
the wards ... they are going to be the face of local government," he said.
In the past government had not been responsive in terms of attending to
the concerns and frustrations of the community but this was going to change.
"We are going to see magic in South Africa ... where people take charge
of their development," he said.
President Jacob Zuma has tasked the Governance and Traditional Affairs
Department with reviewing all legislative arrangements that impact on
Shiceka said in the next two weeks work would begin and necessary
changes to legislation and the Constitution would be made.
"In South Africa we are arguing that changes are needed ... to ensure
that we sharpen our instruments to improve service delivery," the
Deputy Minister Yunis Carrim said the department would start with policy
changes and the possible legislative and constitutional amendments would
flow from these policy changes.
He expressed confidence that these changes would receive support from
other political parties and they would be effected only after engagement
with civil society and other interested groups.
A turnaround strategy to improve the functioning of local government
would go before Parliament by December.
A declaration on this strategy's framework was thrashed out at the
two-day indaba. -- Sapa
Pavement dwellers grudgingly agree to relocation
Malungelo Booi 22 October 2009
A community task team for Symphony Way pavement dwellers in Delft says
they will start relocating to Blikkiesdorp next week.
The team met with City of Cape Town officials on Wednesday and they
agreed to move.On Monday, the Western Cape High Court granted the
council an eviction order to move the families to Blikkiesdorp, despite
The pavement dwellers have been living on the side of the road in Delft
for over a year after they were evicted from homes they had illegally
“What we agreed upon, is we will move on Monday morning, first thing.
That is when we will start moving. They will assist in moving people and
their goods to Blikkiesdorp or those who are going somewhere else they
will also assist,” said task team member Ashraf Cassiem.
SACP rejects Empowerdex claims on Cape Town Metro
Benson Ngqentsu, SACP’s District Secretary, 21 October 2009
The SACP in the Brian Bunting District (Cape Metro) has rejected claims
made by the economic empowerment rating agency Empowerdex that the City
of Cape and the Province offers one of the best levels of service
delivery in the country as fallacious and insulting to the working class
and the poor.
Also we are deeply interested to know exactly as to what informed this
rating agency to come up with such a misleading and baseless survey that
undermines the working class and the poor.
This agency therefore deliberately ignores the fact that in the working
class areas such as Phillipi, Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain,
Kraaifontein, Nyanga etc are still using bucket system or field, no
drinkable water, no houses and many other basic services.
Secondly, on what basis can this agency make these assertions whilst the
same City of Cape Town was reported that they failed to use about R447
million which should have been used for infrastructure development,
provision of water for all, building of houses, road maintenance etc.
It is clear that this agency has an agenda to portray the DA led City of
Cape Town and Province as capable of delivering services to our people
and masquerade the fact that DA is a racist party aiming at servicing
the rich White people.
We would like to challenge this Empowerdex to go to areas such as
Phillipi, Khayelitsha, Delft and Mitchells Plain and see the conditions
in which our people are living under.
Where was this agency in March 2009 where the SACP marched to the
offices of the Mayor demanding service delivery? Where was this agency
last month where the SACP was marching to the Council’s offices at
Fezeka and Khayelitsha Police station? We doubt that this survey was
conducted by people who live in this country and this Province.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Under the scalpel
Carol Paton 23 October 2009
A shake-up of local government is on the cards, with indications that
municipalities that are not financially viable could be axed or will
have their functions drastically reduced and that the country's
"wall-to-wall" model of local government will be changed.
These are the municipalities where service backlogs are greatest and
which are potential hotspots for violent protests.
Service delivery protest - Sakhile residents take to the streets
The state of local government report, published by the department of
co-operative governance & traditional affairs this week, says 57 of the
283 municipalities "cannot be regarded as financially viable".
These municipalities - found mostly in former homeland areas in KwaZulu
Natal and the Eastern Cape - receive at least 75% of their income as
grants from national government. Some are 100% grant dependent,
indicating that they have no base at all from which to raise revenue
through property rates or charges for services.
Speaking at a national gathering of mayors in Cape Town, President Jacob
Zuma said government was considering abandoning a "one size fits all"
approach to local government in favour of a "differentiated approach".
"There is a fundamental question we need to ask ourselves: can
municipalities with vastly different capacities be asked to perform the
same functions? It may be that we have entrusted responsibilities to
certain municipalities that they will never be able to fulfil. It is
equally possible that some municipalities, especially metros, can
perform more functions than we have given them."
WHAT IT MEANS
57 municipalities are financially unviable
Weakest ones can't deliver services
The call to rethink local government comes at a time when a policy
review of provincial government, initiated by former local government
minister Sydney Mufamadi, is poised to enter the government process. The
report, which has been kept under wraps, explores the idea of whether
the number of provinces should be reduced and whether the two-tier
system of local government (which includes local and district councils)
is optimal. The report is being processed by the ANC, after which it
will enter the government process.
Acting director-general of co-operative governance & traditional affairs
Elroy Africa says the report shows that the institutionally weakest
municipalities have some of the highest service backlogs. The report
* 56 municipalities are on the national treasury's "financial
distress list" due to poor debtor control, and many more are in
* R53bn is owed to municipalities in uncollected rates and service
* 85 municipalities have debtor levels higher than 50% of their
* Uncollected debt threatens the financial health of the majority
of local municipalities, making them unable to upgrade and maintain
NUMSA STATEMENT ON TITO MBOWENI’S DEPLORABLE COMMENTS
NUMSA 22 October 2009
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) notes and
deplores the comments attributed to the out-going Reserve Bank Governor
Tito Mboweni, in the media today.
He remarks, in relation to the global crisis which our country is not
insulated from, ‘"We are experiencing a mild recession, it is not
severe. If it was severe we wouldn't have so many cars on the roads and
people buying these large houses," he said. "Though spending patterns
have come down ... [they did not fall to levels] of a severe recession."
Contrary to Mboweni’s misleading views, on a daily basis the workers and
the poor are feeling the pinch and effects of the recession in South Africa.
If truth be told, massive retrenchments in major industries are taking
place every day, houses and cars are being repossessed by major
capitalists’ banks, we are experiencing escalating food prices, there
are still-excessive interest rates, inequalities are deepening, and mass
poverty is an accepted fact of life in this country as a direct result
of the recession and the failed neoliberal and reactionary inflation
targeting policies championed by Mboweni.
In fact Mboweni’s world-view is consistent with the 1996 Class Project:
co-option by White monopoly capital to weaken the National Democratic
Revolution (NDR) and reverse the gains of the 1994 democratic breakthrough.
As Numsa, we are eagerly awaiting Mboweni’s departure at the helm of the
Reserve Bank. His long overdue departure provides the ANC Alliance an
opportunity to review the role and mandate of the Reserve Bank.
We strongly believe that the role of the Reserve Bank towards job
creation, poverty eradication and mitigating the impacts and effects of
global crisis must now be enhanced. This should be understood and
located within the context of the ANC Alliance championing a
revolutionary agenda that transfers the wealth of our country to the
people as a whole, informed by the 1955 Freedom Charter and the aborted
1994 Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) which was displaced
by the now infamous Growth, Employment and Redistribution strategy
(GEAR) in 1996, that was imposed on the country by the 1996 Class Project.
We call on Mboweni to start packing his bags, and to vacate the Bank, as
opposed to his nauseous public ranting. We hope that his absence from
public office will accord him time to rethink his role in the Alliance
and our revolution, and hopefully, fix his head.
At one point, his fabled intellectual status and ideological orientation
had earned him admiration amongst the workers given the progressive
legislation he introduced as Minister of Labour. It is that status and
admiration – as a deployed cadre to advance the revolutionary agenda of
the movement, not for capitalists – that he should aspire to in future!
Numsa hopes that it will have comradely and fruitful engagements with
the incoming and new Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus. Her presence at
the Reserve Bank should signal a rethink and a progressive shift in sync
with the Polokwane resolutions and Alliance Summits declarations in
advancing a developmental state.
Issued by Numsa Head Office
National Spokesperson – 083 979 5266
ANC fires Standerton council
Sapa JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 21 October 2009
The mayor of Mpumalanga's Lekwa municipality, the mayoral committee, the
speaker and the chief whip were fired on Wednesday, the African National
Congress (ANC) said.
This was done in accordance with its "zero-tolerance" policy for
officials who did not deliver services, the party said in a statement.
"The ANC is committed to bring a lasting stability in Lekwa and firmly
believes that the culmination of the unrest we have seen in the past
weeks can be traced to the scramble for power and state resources in the
"The ANC subscribes to the principle that people come first."
Lekwe municipality incorporates both the town of Standerton and
neighbouring Sakhile township, which had seen service delivery protests
in the past few weeks.
The municipality will be put under administration by the Mpumalanga
provincial government for a year "to address concerns of mismanagement,
weak administrative systems, charges of fraud and corruption".
This came after ANC national executive committee member Fikile Mbalula,
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema and Mpumalanga Premier David
Mabuza met the leadership of Standerton on Wednesday following recent
service delivery protests.
However, all councillors including the two that resigned last week would
resume with their duties, despite calls for their resignation by
Community activist Phanuel Manana said: "The NWC did not recommend that
councillors resign. But we are happy because they will not enjoy the
powers that they used to have as they will be reporting to province."
Residents of Sakhile in Standerton broke out in song celebrating the
decision by the ANC NWC.
"We are now going to the [Sakhile] stadium to report back to the
masses," said Manana.
In recent weeks the Sakhile township saw violent protests over
complaints of corruption and bad service delivery. Residents demanded
the resignation of the mayor and councillors. -- Sapa
Delivery protests are our right
Ella Smook (Metro Writer) 21 October 2009
Groups representing impoverished Cape Town communities have lashed out
at President Jacob Zuma's warning that the government will not tolerate
violent service delivery protests, and the accompanying destruction of
Representatives of the Joe Slovo task team, the Landless People's
Movement and Abahlali baseMjondolo defended these protests, saying they
were the only way to get the government to pay attention.
"So-called democratic grievance routes," failed to get answers, they said.
Zuma's comments came yesterday during his address to most of South
Africa's 283 mayors and all its premiers. He told them there was "no
cause in a democratic and free society, however legitimate, that
justifies the wanton destruction of property and violence" that had been
witnessed in the country.
"South Africa has a proud history of protest against wrong-doing and
injustice," Zuma said.
"There is no institution or individual that our people cannot stand up
to and challenge if they think an injustice has been committed."
But the three organisations, which form part of the national Poor
People's Alliance, said Zuma's words were nothing new.
"We are not surprised by what he is saying. We have heard these
statements in the past that government will not tolerate these
protests," said Mzwanele Zulu of the Joe Slovo task team.
He accused the ANC government of forever "duplicating and assimilating"
practices of the apartheid government.
"What is happening is our leaders are turning against us when they are
in power. We are becoming foreigners in our land of birth," he said.
Zulu argued that burning tyres as a sign of dissatisfaction was not a
violent means of expression, and said the only reason it was done was in
an attempt to engage government authorities, something which did not
happen when they tried the legitimate channels.
Maureen Mnisi of the Landless People's Movement, said government
departments had done "a lot of ignoring".
"People submit memoranda over a lack of service delivery, but there is
no reply. People don't deliver," she said.
"To demonstrate on the street is part of the process. The government has
to recognise that. If they can't tolerate (such) actions, they have to
provide services," Mnisi said.
Mzonke Poni of Abahlali said that if South Africa were a democracy,
"then democracy was supposed to have been able to improve these
appalling conditions people are living under".
He said the inability to access essential services was also a form of
"It is reactionary of him (Zuma) to say this. The ANC government has
failed to deliver services to the poorest of the poor, and they have
tried in the past to shift the blame for service delivery failures."
Poni said people viewed taking to the streets as legitimately exercising
their right to freedom of expression.
Meanwhile, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said yesterday
that the face of local government was set to change, in an effort to
improve service delivery at municipal level.
He said there was a need for reform in the local government regulatory
framework, and that the relationships between the spheres of government
needed to be optimised to speed up delivery and ensure efficiency.
Chabane, speaking after Zuma's indaba yesterday, said several processes
aimed at local government reform would start from today.
o This article was originally published on page 4 of Cape Argus on
October 21, 2009
No service delivery protests by 2014?
Sapa 21 October 2009
Service delivery protests must be completely eliminated by 2014, says
Co-operative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka.
Residents of the township Sakhile near Standerton inMpumalanga protest
over a poor service delivery and corruption in their city council
Residents of the township Sakhile near Standerton inMpumalanga protest
over a poor service delivery and corruption in their city council
"We must respond to issues before people go to the streets," Shiceka
told a local government indaba in Boksburg, which included municipal and
provincial government representatives.
He wanted a "responsive, efficient, effective and accountable" local
"We must be able to say by 2014 we are committed... to a clean audit by
all municipalities. We must reduce infrastructure backlogs by 2014."
The indaba followed a wave of service delivery protests around the
country, many of which turned violent. Communities largely called for
the removal of councillors due to a track record of poor service delivery.
On Tuesday President Jacob Zuma, speaking at a meeting in Khayelitsha,
condemned the violent nature of protests.
In his address Shiceka said politicians must ensure municipal managers
accounted for their performances. A turn-around strategy for local
government would be formulated by December, and from January to March
next year, it must be discussed and implemented at municipal level.
Shiceka was releasing a report on the state of local government which
highlighted a number of challenges, including electricity backlogs and
According to the report 30 percent of the service delivery protests
between January to July this year occurred in Gauteng, followed by 17
percent in the North West and 15 percent in the Free State.
The report also indicates an "escalating loss of confidence in
governance", with protests increasing considerably in 2009 when compared
to the last six years.
"Relationships at the local level are tainted by... contestation among
the elite of local areas.
"A culture of patronage and nepotism is now so widespread in many
municipalities that the formal municipal accountability system is
ineffective and unacceptable to many citizens," the report read.
KZN's service problems: Our worst municipalities
WENDY JASSON DA COSTA & GUGU MBONAMBI (The Mercury) 21 October 2009
MSINGA in KwaZulu-Natal has been rated South Africa's worst local
municipality in which to live while the eThekwini Municipality was last
in terms of actual service provision for the six metropolitan
A study released by independent research group Empowerdex yesterday
showed that KZN ranked seventh out of the nine provinces overall but was
fifth in terms of improvement in service provision.
The countrywide assessment included all 231 local municipalities, 46
district municipalities and six metropolitan municipalities, which were
scored on the provision of housing, water, electricity, waste removal
The release of the findings coincided with President Jacob Zuma's
meeting with mayors and municipal managers in Cape Town, and agreement
that a national effort was required to improve local government, amid
service protests in several centres around the country.
Nama khoi in the Northern Cape was the highest ranking municipality,
where 94 percent of the population had basic services, whereas Nkandla,
in rural KZN, only provides basic services to 32 percent of its
population but its improvement index is higher than the national average.
Project developer Suhail Mohamed said they had used the census results
of 2001 and a community survey of 2007 to reach their findings.
Msinga was rated the worst performing local municipality because only
18.6 percent of its households received basic services. KZN
municipalities Ingwe and Impendle were in the bottom three for housing
provision, with less than 15 percent of residents living in formal
Msinga had the fewest households with piped water (2.2 percent) but
Nkandla, Zuma's birthplace, had the biggest increase (51.6 percent) in
the number of households with potable water.
KZN municipalities Ndwedwe, Mandeni and Umdoni fared badly for
households with formal sanitation, with less than 3 percent of residents
using formal toilets.
Overall, the Eastern Cape and KZN accounted for eight of the 10 lowest
scoring municipalities with Vulamehlo and KwaMaphumulo the lowest
scorers. Like Msinga they are rural and made up of tribal areas with no
KZN district municipalities also made up three of the bottom five in
The Empowerdex report says that the eThekwini Municipality is ranked
last overall out of the six metro municipalities, but is fifth in terms
of improvement of service provision.
KZN ranked seventh overall and in terms of service provision across the
The head of research at Empowerdex, Steven Hawes, said an understanding
of the weaknesses in local government came with many benefits.
"It provides insight into whether recent protests reflect genuine
community concerns of manipulation of information by community and
He said of particular concern was the low level of service provision to
communities within former homelands in the Eastern Cape, North West and
Limpopo, and rural areas of KZN.
"Basic services are the fundamental building blocks to economic
empowerment in South Africa. In addition to providing municipal insights
for government structures, we hope that political parties, ratepayers'
associations and community action groups will find the report valuable
as a benchmark to assess their current situation and determine a
forward-looking plan to further empower themselves," said Hawes.
KZN Local Government Department spokesman Vernon Mchunu said the lack of
capacity in human resources, skills and income was the cause of poor
service provision in most municipalities, according to the department's
recent assessment of municipalities in the province.
"Financial mismanagement will always adversely affect the coffers of
municipalities, and a lack of technical skills also affects their
ability to deliver," he said.
According to Mchunu, some municipalities did not have staff capable of
producing proper integrated development plans (frameworks for
development) while others failed to obey the Municipal Finance
Management Act because they lacked people who could interpret the law
Press Release: Our Worst Municipalities
This press release was emailed out at : 21 October, 2009 18:15
This is in response to an article in The Mercury dated 21 October 2009
titled "Our Worst Municipalities" The eThekwini Municipality is very
disappointed with the above article which conveys the incorrect
impression that the eThekwini Municipality is the worst performing Metro
in terms of a municipal service delivery index (MUNIDEX) arrived at
through a study undertaken by Empowerdex. Firstly, to calculate the
overall index, municipalities that experienced an increase in households
greater than the national average of 11.56% received bonus points,
whilst those that experienced lower increases were penalized. The
increase or decrease was up to 20 points. In this regard, the percentage
increase in households in eThekwini was the lowest amongst Metros with
5.99%. Accordingly, in terms of the calculation of the overall index,
the eThekwini Municipality was penalized for being below the national
average. We consider this to be unfair and cannot fully appreciate why
an arbitrary factor such as the increase in households was used to
influence and weight scores in the calculation of this index. Basically,
half the overall score is dependent on the improvement index.
Accordingly, the index has a bias for improvement. Hence, as the
eThekwini base is already high due to excellent work done in the recent
past, we believe we have been prejudiced. Municipalities with a lower
base would have had more room for improvement. MUNIDEX compares the 2001
Census with the 2007 Community Survey, which are out of date. The 2007
Community Survey has a lower level of statistical reliability than the
2001 Census, which besides being out of date, calls into question the
degree of accuracy in comparing the two sets of data. The MUNIDEX report
does not take into account the scale of basic service delivery but
reports on percentage change within each Municipality. This type of
reporting could result in one Municipality delivering more basic
services between 2001 and 2007 than another but getting a lower
percentage improvement score than a second municipality which has in
fact delivered fewer basic service units. MUNIDEX is a composite index
comprising a status index, an improvement index and an overall score
adjustment based on household increases. The improvement index is
problematic as it compares the increase in service delivery of a
municipality against the national average, rather than comparing the
service delivery levels in each municipality between 2001 and 2007.
Being able to reach the same results is a basic tenant of scientific
work and unfortunately the calculation of the overall final score is not
replicable, given the information provided in the report. Accordingly,
more current and reliable information would certainly have been from
documentation from National Treasury and the Office of the
Auditor-General on the performance of municipalities. As you would
undoubtedly appreciate, both are independent and reliable sources. In
this regard, the eThekwini Municipality has always received a clean,
unqualified audit report from the Auditor-General. Further, National
Treasury as part of the assessment of the Municipality's budget
commended the Municipality on its "impressive and significant growth in
the capital budget, 50 percent, between
2007/08 and 2008/09 and annual growth at an average of 4.7% over the
MTREF (Medium Term Revenue & Expenditure Framework), reflects an attempt
by the municipality to accelerate service delivery and address
backlogs." In addition, amongst several awards won by the Municipality
in recent years is the Govan Mbeki Award for the best housing delivery
in the country where we are producing 16 000 new houses per annum on
fully serviced sites. The study must also be read within the context of
the huge rural challenge in the eThekwini Municipality. In this regard,
throughout the world there are different levels of services for urban
and rural areas which has been accepted politically. However, services
in rural areas do meet basic health standards. In addition, neither the
report on the study nor the newspaper article have been contextualized
in terms of the following key issues that emanate in the main from the
credit rating report of the Municipality which is another independent
and reliable source that the study omitted to refer to :- The eThekwini
Municipality has the highest capital spend in the country due the
rollout of the biggest infrastructural programme. Lastly, the
Municipality has the highest maintenance spend in the country The
eThekwini municipal region recorded a GDP of R137.6bn in 2008, or
6.7% of national GDP, and has witnessed an average GDP growth rate of
5.2% over the period 2004 to 2008, above the national average of 4.6%.
In addition, an expectation of continued above average growth is
It must also be stated that at no stage did Empowerdex liaise with us
regarding their study to validate any information or conclusions they
had reached. Accordingly, we question the objectivity and validity of
this study. Further, it is also disappointing to note that the reporters
in question, namely Wendy Jasson Da Costa and Gugu Mbonambi, made no
attempt to elicit a response from the eThekwini Municipality regarding
this study which would have ensured a far more balanced view in their
article. In view of the above, we certainly do not believe that the
study undertaken by Empowerdex is reflective of the level of service
delivery by the eThekwini Municipality. Issued by eThekwini
Municipality, Communications Unit., Contact Themba Nyathikazi on 031-
311 2286 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
City accused of buying off traders
SIPHILILE SHELEMBE (The Mercury) 21 October 2009
THE chairman of the Early Morning Market Association has accused the
eThekwini Municipality of buying off certain traders who are part of the
Unicity Informal Sector Forum to support the development of a mall in
Durban's Warwick precinct.
Harry Ramlal claimed that the municipality had manipulated certain
people so that the development would appear to be of benefit to all traders.
The association's members are opposed to the construction of the mall,
saying it would destroy their livelihoods.
"The municipality is not concerned about poor people and is undermining
informal traders. None of the informal traders in the precinct support
the development, which will benefit large businesses and not the
informal traders," he said.
Ramlal said the association would pursue its court applications against
the mall development.
A spokesman for the forum's working committee said that all monies used
to sustain the forum were raised from its members and businessmen.
Philip Sithole, head of the eThekwini Municipality's business support
and markets unit, said: "The sooner the association accepts that not
everyone is against the mall development, the better. It's an insult to
think that the municipality would do something corrupt."
Sithole questioned whether Ramlal represented the poor at all times in
conversations with the city.
Time is perfect for rethink on housing policy
Imraan Buccus (The Mercury) 21 October 2009
THE Constitutional Court has ruled in favour of the application brought
by Abahlali baseMjondolo (ABM) and declared a section of the
KwaZulu-Natal Slums Act, introduced with much fanfare in 2007, to be
The judgment means the Act will now not be reproduced in the other
provinces, as mandated by the Polokwane resolutions. And, perhaps more
importantly, the whole policy of eradicating slums by forcibly removing
shack dwellers to peripheral transit camps lies in tatters.
In 2004 the government introduced the Breaking New Ground (BNG) housing
policy in the wake of a widespread realisation that post-apartheid
housing policy was replicating apartheid social planning.
The new policy allowed for shack settlements to be upgraded on site via
participatory development techniques. It was a major break with the
tendency to seek the eradication of shack settlements via forced removal
to the urban periphery. The policy was welcomed across civil society as
a major advance over the first decade of post-apartheid housing planning.
However, with the exception of the innovative deal signed between ABM
and the eThekwini Municipality in early 2009, the new policy was never
The state ignored its progressive new policy and instead returned to the
apartheid language of "slum eradication" and the apartheid strategy of
forcibly removing shack dwellers to peripheral transit camps.
This was often undertaken with considerable violence on the part of the
Shack dwellers' organisations across the country have opposed the return
to apartheid-style urban planning and have often successfully appealed
to the courts to stop evictions.
The KZN Slums Act was an attempt by the state to legalise its return to
repressive urban planning practices.
The Constitutional Court has now ruled that the act is illegal and made
it impossible for the state to legitimate its turn to repressive practices.
The government now has to rethink its housing policy. The obvious
solution would be to actually implement the BNG policy.
The deal negotiated between the eThekwini Municipality and ABM between
September, 2007 and February 2009 shows that it can be made to work if
there is enough political will.
This deal provides for services to be provided to 14 settlements and for
the upgrade of three, including the Kennedy Road settlement, via BNG.
ABM's achievement in stopping the Slums Act in the Constitutional Court
and, simultaneously, working out viable alternatives in negotiations
with the eThekwini Municipality is a remarkable achievement.
The movement has, like the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), achieved a
fundamental challenge to bad policy and practice.
It has also, again like the TAC, found and perhaps even developed
progressive forces within the state to realise its objectives.
Organisations such as the TAC and ABM are precious resources for our
democracy. They are both, in different ways, able to speak and act with
great effect for groups of people marginalised from mainstream society.
They have, justly, both been celebrated here and around the world for
their contribution to human rights. We should all, therefore, be deeply
concerned about those who think that the ABM had no right to question
authority and to take the government to court.
As the many democrats within the ANC will certainly agree, the kind of
engagement that ABM has engaged in is the very stuff of democracy and is
the right of any citizen, organisation or movement.
Open debate and judicial overview of key decisions enrich our democracy
and are always to be welcomed.
There was also a time when the TAC was under attack from the state. TAC
protests were violently attacked by the police in Queenstown and here in
Durban and all kinds of slander was circulated about the movement -
including the bizarre allegation that a movement that began its work by
campaigning against the drug companies was being funded by the same drug
But there is now a broad recognition that the TAC's challenge to the ANC
has resulted in a deep improvement in the ANC's response to the Aids
As the government, hopefully in partnership with civil society,
reconsiders its housing policy in the wake of the judgment against the
Slums Act, there needs to be a similar recognition of the enormous
social value of the work undertaken by ABM.
In recent weeks there has been an incredible outpouring of civil support
for ABM across South Africa and around the world.
No doubt this support will step up in the wake of the organisation's
achievement in the Constitutional Court.
Democrats in the ANC need to affirm the right of civil society
organisations to freely advance the interests of their members even when
this brings them into disagreement with the government of the day.
# Imraan Buccus is attached to the School of Politics at UKZN and to
Nijmegen University in the Netherlands.
South Africa: Residents destroy RDP houses
By Michelle Cahill Staff Reporter 20 October 2009
Hundreds of Barkly West residents in the Northern Cape have taken to the
streets, venting their anger on schools and shops belonging to
foreigners in the town.
Apart from destroying several RDP houses yesterday, protesters from the
Matelang community also disrupted classes at the local high school.
Police were forced to use rubber bullets to disperse the protesters, who
went on a rampage, looting and vandalising five foreign-owned shops.
Residents vowed not to let up with their protests until the Dikgatlong
mayor, Martha Louw, stepped down.
"We have planned an entire week of action and we will not let up until
she is gone and we receive feedback from the (ANC's) provincial
executive committee(PEC) on all the issues raised in the memorandum we
handed to them more than a month ago," the community leadership said.
Residents started their protest action early yesterday morning by
barricading roads with rocks and burning tyres at intersections in the
About 20 youngsters destroyed several RDP houses being built in the area.
"These (houses) are not what we want as they are being built by a
corrupt municipality, which has to go," one said.
Police were forced to open fire on pupils at Boresetse Secondary School
after they were pelted with rocks.
Pupils echoed the call for the mayor's head.
"It is because of her that we are poor... that our parents can't afford
to feed us. We are hungry and, while she is in power, we will always be
hungry. She has made... promises... yet we still have outside toilets
and no proper housing."
Nothing remained in the looted shops and police escorted the owners out
of the township for their own safety.
A mass meeting was scheduled for yesterday at which the PEC had to
"If this feedback is not favourable, we will continue protesting and we
will ensure that Barkly burns," community leaders said on condition of
anonymity, because they are out on bail after their arrest for previous
Police spokesman Captain Tony Modise said: "We will maintain a strong
police presence in the township, as the situation remains volatile."
Residents divided over forced move
Cape Argus 20 October 2009
Pavement dwellers in Symphony Way, Delft, started preparing to leave
their makeshift homes today after the Cape High Court ordered them to
move immediately to temporary accommodation in nearby Blikkiesdorp.
Emotions ran high at a community meeting last night, where several
residents said they were ready to leave Symphony Way, while others vowed
At about 8am today, residents and city council representatives met to
discuss the relocation. The parties were still in the meeting at the
time of going to press.
Yesterday Roshana Nefdt said she, her husband and two boys, aged eight
and three, would leave "as soon as the trucks come". Fellow resident
Evelyn Mcquena said: "I'm not going to Blikkiesdorp. There is no future
there for our children."
Some Symphony Way dwellers burned tyres and rubbish in protest against
the court order last night, but this morning calm had returned to the area.
- Cape Argus
Protest over clinic and bridge
Riot Hlatshwayo 20 October 2009
THE community of Goromane near Hazyview has marched peacefully to the
local police station to demand service delivery that includes the
erection of a bridge and a clinic in the area.
Unlike other areas that saw violent protests in the province, the
Goromane community marched without any incidents and handed over a
memorandum to MEC for public works, roads and transport Clifford Mkansi
In the memorandum, the community demand a bridge to help them cross over
the Sabie River using vehicles when going to Hazyview, which is the
closest town to them.
The community are also demanding a clinic and want the government to
install water taps in all the houses.
After Mkansi received the memorandum, he promised he would interact with
the relevant government structures to find a solution .
The community told Mkansi that they wanted a response to their demands
before November 16.
It is the second time Mkansi has addressed an unhappy community . About
three weeks ago, the Daanjtie community near Nelspruit took to the
streets over lack of delivery. They burnt tyres along the streets and
threw stones at the police who retaliated with rubber bullets.
The violence only stopped after Mkansi arrived to negotiate with the
Ten arrested in ongoing violent protests
SAPA 20 October 2009
Police have arrested ten people during violent protests in the Mataleng
township in Barkly West in the Northern Cape.
Police spokesman, Captain Tony Modise said protesters burned two shops
owned by foreigners on Tuesday. Yesterday five shops were gutted.
“The situation is quite tense as all roads in the township had been
barricaded and the only way to move around is in police Nyalas [a police
armoured vehicle].” Roads in the township were blocked with stones,
burning tyres, stop signs and other objects.
“There is a high presence of police in the area,” Modise said.
Three schools in the township did not open on Tuesday due to the protest
Residents are apparently unhappy with service delivery at the Dikgatlong
local municipality and want the executive mayor Martha Louw to step down.
Northern Cape ANC leaders were apparently in discussions with regional
and local party officials and with leaders of the concerned resident
groups in an effort to resolve the issue.
It was reported that the protesters had planned a week of protest action
until they received feedback from the provincial ANC executive committee
on issues contained in a memorandum handed over about a month ago.
Provincial ANC spokesman Monwabisi Nkompela said he was shocked to see
the rampage in the community which started on Monday, because “processes
were ongoing” to address residents’ concerns.
“The issues are receiving the highest attention by the leadership.” He
said party leaders were trying to intervene on Tuesday in an effort to
settle the issues in the quickest possible time.
Zuma calls for rethink on municipalities
Sapa 20 October 2009
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma today condemned the violence of recent service
delivery protests, but also called for a major rethink on the role and
functions of municipalities.
“It is clear that we need to do more, and that we need to do things
differently,” he told some 280 mayors and municipal managers from across
the country in Cape Town.
He said it was possible some municipalities had been given functions
they would never be able to fulfil, and that there was a need for
“fundamental changes” in the way municipalities were governed.
The meeting, at a community hall in Khayelitsha, was also attended by 15
Cabinet ministers, their directors-general and the nine provincial premiers.
Zuma said the meeting, most of which was closed to the media, was “not a
local government inquisition but a discussion amongst colleagues and
partners to find solutions”.
He said recent service delivery protests had become violent, criminal
“I wish to take this opportunity to state without any ambiguity: this
government will not tolerate the destruction of property, the violence
and the intimidation that often accompanies protests,” he said.
“There is no cause in a democratic and free society, however legitimate,
that justifies the wanton destruction of property and violence that we
have witnessed.” South Africa had a proud history of protest against
wrongdoing and injustice, which was what made it the democracy it was today.
“However burning down libraries, torching houses of people and looting
spaza shops don’t build a strong nation. It does not solve our
legitimate problems.” But while the negative elements of some of the
protests were condemned, it also had to be acknowledged that there were
challenges that needed urgent attention.
Zuma said many municipalities were bankrupt, and some were owed revenue
even by other government spheres.
National and provincial government departments currently owed
municipalities R53 million for services, something the leaders in those
departments needed to act on without delay.
In addition many municipalities faced a “deep crisis of governance” due
to political power struggles.
“These battles for control over resources render the affected
municipalities effectively dysfunctional,” he said.
Some municipalities lacked basic the administrative systems necessary
for collecting the revenue to fund service delivery.
There was also weak financial management, which often resulted in
irregular spending, corruption and adverse audit reports.
Zuma said there had to be a rethink on the role that other spheres of
government played in the local government sphere.
Experience showed the role of provincial and national spheres had not
always been useful or productive.
“There are often too many administrative burdens they place on
municipalities, too many requests for reports for this or that,” he said
to applause from his audience.
Sometimes the other two spheres of government made decisions that had
serious implications for local government without consulting it.
“So if local government has to work better we have to drastically
rethink the relationship between local government and the other
spheres.” He asked whether municipalities with vastly different
capacities could be expected to perform the same functions.
“Answering this question is important because it may well be the case
that we have entrusted some responsibilities to certain municipalities
which they can never be able to fulfill.
“It is equally possible that some municipalities, especially metros, can
perform more functions than we have given them.” Zuma said it was clear
fundamental reforms were needed in the way municipalities were governed.
These should include separating executive functions from administrative
“In some municipalities councilors tend to interfere in administrative
management and operations of municipalities. They want to be mayor and
municipal manager at the same time,” he said, as Western Cape premier
and former Cape Town mayor Helen Zille, seated behind him, smiled to
After Zuma’s address the media were asked to leave the meeting.
Delegates were scheduled in closed session to hear a “presentation on
budget and economic crisis” by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, view a
video on the presidential complaints hotline, then spend an
hour-and-a-half talking about “service delivery improvement at a local
The meeting is to end at 2pm.
Opening address by President Jacob Zuma to the presidential meeting with
executive mayors and mayors to discuss improving service delivery in
municipalities; Khayelitsha, Cape Town20 October 2009
The Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Honourable Kgalema
Deputy Ministers and MECs responsible for local government
Directors-General and Municipal Managers
Ladies and gentlemen
We have come together as all three spheres of government, from the
Presidency to every municipality in the land, because we recognise the
importance of local government as the sphere that is closest to our people.
We have felt it important to confer with all 283 municipalities in the
country at once, on how we can work together to make our municipalities
The functionality and effectiveness of municipalities is of critical
This interactive session will enable us to obtain a first hand account
from Mayors, on the challenges on the ground. We want to go beyond the
written reports and the information gathered during our own visits to a
We deemed it necessary to meet you as we have not had an opportunity to
see all Mayors since the new administration came into being. As you are
aware, we moved quickly after the elections to reconfigure government to
improve service delivery. We created two Ministries in the Presidency,
one responsible for the National Planning Commission and the other for
effective performance Monitoring and Evaluation.
Some new departments have also been created, others were renamed to
indicate a policy shift while yet others were merged or split, as part
of the reconfiguration. I will discuss just a few. We established the
Human Settlements department with a mandate to go beyond housing.
It is meant to build communities that have closer access to work and
social amenities, including sports and recreational facilities. Minerals
and Energy departments were made independent entities to allow more
specific focus and impact on job creation and infrastructure
development, as well as service delivery especially in relation to energy.
We created two Education Ministries to underline the importance of this
priority. The Basic Education Ministry focuses on adult basic education
and training, as well as Primary and Secondary education. The quality of
the skills and education institutions in our country will determine the
success of the country's industrial policy.
We agreed that we needed to strengthen institutions such as the Sectoral
Education and Training Authorities (SETAs). The new Higher Education
Ministry therefore focuses on tertiary, technical and vocational
training as well as skills development which includes the SETAs. We
established a new Ministry of Rural Development and Land Affairs, to
help us change the face of rural areas through meaningful socio-economic
development initiatives. The Ministry will impact on the work of many
municipalities, rural and urban.
The new Economic Development Department is designed to have a strong
domestic focus and to address amongst others, matters of macro and
micro-economic development planning. The Ministry together with Trade
and Industry, Finance and others are working to refine their respective
mandates and how they will relate to each other and we intend to
finalise the process in the next few weeks.
Colleagues, this is a crucial interface, as the meeting takes us a step
further in the process refining how government works.
We have seen various sectors and groups in our society but this is very
important because we are meeting a critical sphere of government. The
municipalities are the first door that our people knock on when they
need assistance from government. When people are frustrated with the
slow movement of the wheel of government they engage municipalities
before other spheres.
Citizens also blame municipalities for functions that they have no
direct control over. For example, municipalities are blamed for
dysfunctional schools, poor service at hospitals and the slow pace of
These are of course responsibilities of other spheres of government. But
for our people, local government is the first door of government they
know, and sometimes the only door that they can reach. As our nation has
witnessed recently, the knocking on municipal doors by citizens is not
always pleasant. Sometimes it destroys the very public resources and
institutions that are critical for solving the problems that they
complain about. Some of the protests have tended to become violent,
criminal and destructive. They have at times been directed at our
brothers and sisters from other countries in the African continent.
Colleagues, I wish to take this opportunity to state without any
ambiguity: this government will not tolerate the destruction of
property, the violence and the intimidation that often accompanies
protests. There is no cause in a democratic and free society, however
legitimate, that justifies the wanton destruction of property and
violence that we have witnessed.
South Africa has a proud history of protest against wrong-doing and
injustice. There is no institution or individual that our people cannot
stand up to and challenge if they think an injustice has been committed.
This is who we are. This is our heritage. It is what makes South Africa
the vibrant democracy it is today, and will continue to be in the future.
However, burning down libraries, torching people's houses, and looting
spaza shops do not build a strong nation. It does not solve our
It is not a foundation upon which we can collectively build a bright
future for our children.
While condemning the negative elements of some of the protests, we also
acknowledge that there are some challenges that we need to look into
Government has over the past few months been reviewing the local
government support programmes that have been put in place in recent
years. The support initiatives included Project Consolidate and a few
others. The initiatives provided hands-on support to municipalities and
provided key performance areas for local government to work and report on.
There have been a number of other government programmes to advance
service delivery and institutional support. While saying that we have a
lot of work to do, we must also recognise that a lot of progress has
been made over the years.
We have some outstanding and successful municipalities which are very
Significant progress has been made to deliver basic services to our
people since the advent of democracy. More people have access to clean
water; more people have access to houses that are electrified; and basic
sanitation has been provided to millions of households. Municipalities
are at the forefront of providing these services. But it is also true
that significant backlogs remain. It is clear that we need to do more,
and that we need to do things differently.
Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, let me emphasise that this is not a
local government inquisition but a discussion amongst colleagues and
partners to find solutions. Let me briefly reflect on some of the
challenges to set the scene for our conversation today.
Firstly, we should be mindful of the fact that we are discussing service
delivery against a background of a global economic crisis, which means
we really do not have the type of resources we need to fulfil our goals.
Many municipalities are bankrupt, many people are unemployed and cannot
pay for services which means revenue collection is stagnant and the tax
base has shrunk. We need to bear this in mind in our deliberations.
Coupled with this is the fact that municipalities are owed revenue even
by other government spheres, for example R53 billion is due to them from
many departments which are not paying for services. The leadership of
the culprit departments need to take action without delay to rectify
Secondly, we must deal with the fact that many municipalities face a
deep crisis of governance, due to political power struggles. These
battles for control over resources render the affected municipalities
effectively dysfunctional. The gap between the governors and the
governed widens, you then get the alienation and frustration that is
often reflected in the destructive protests we have all witnessed.
Thirdly, we must seriously discuss how we can strengthen basic
administrative systems which are absent in some municipalities. We need
the capacity to collect revenues that are critical for providing basic
services. There is weak financial management, which often results to
irregular expenditure, corruption, and adverse audit outcomes by the
We must therefore creatively look into strengthening institutional
capacity through skills acquisition and development. We must find ways
of attracting the best technical, managerial and financial minds to our
municipalities even the most remote, to affect a turnaround.
At the beginning of this address I mentioned that we have convened this
meeting in order to provide an opportunity to discuss ways in which we
can make local government work better. I would like to say a few words
about the kind of local government that I think we should all build.
The best place to start in thinking about how our municipalities should
look like is perhaps the Constitution of our Republic. Section 152 of
the Constitution in particular requires municipalities to do the
* provide democratic and accountable government for local communities
* ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner
* promote social and economic development
* promote a safe and healthy environment
* encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations
in the matters of local government.
It should be our collective responsibility and resolve to work towards
the fulfilment of these constitutional obligations, as all three spheres
of government. We must rethink the role that other spheres of government
play in the local government sphere. Experience shows us that the role
of provincial and national spheres has not always been useful and
There are often too many administrative burdens they place on
municipalities; too many requests for reports for this or that. There is
also insufficient coordination across spheres of government. Sometimes
the other two spheres of government make decisions that have serious
implications for local government without consulting it.
If municipalities are ever consulted, it happens when there is a
responsibility they have to implement. So if local government has to
work better we have to drastically rethink the relationship between
local government and the other spheres. We have to think about the
funding streams between the spheres and the coordination arrangements
required especially for the exercise of concurrent functions.
There is also another fundamental question we have to ask: can every
municipality be expected to perform the same set of functions? Put
differently, can municipalities with vastly different capacities be
expected to perform the same functions?
Answering this question is important because it may well be the case
that we have entrusted some responsibilities to certain municipalities
which they can never be able to fulfil. It is equally possible that some
municipalities, especially metros, can perform more functions than we
have given them.
All I am suggesting is that we may have imposed a one-size-fits-all
arrangement when a differentiated approach is called for.
It is also clear to me that fundamental changes are needed to reform
governance in municipalities. Some of these changes should include, I
would like to suggest, separating the executive functions from the
In some municipalities councillors tend to interfere in administrative
management and operations of municipalities. They want to be mayor and
municipal manager at the same time.
We also have to strengthen oversight in municipalities. The fusion of
executive and legislative mandates creates problems. Unlike in other
spheres where there is a separation between executive and legislative
functions, in municipalities a council is both an executive body as well
as a legislative one. We have to rethink this arrangement.
Finally, let me say that I am aware that our Mayors sometimes feel that
the problems that municipalities have to deal with are too daunting. The
continuous drum of protest sometimes seems too loud to bear. You may
even think that you get blamed too easily for problems that take years
to solve. What this tells us is that, indeed we must find a correct way
to arrive at a correct diagnosis. We must start a dialogue amongst
ourselves as leaders, in the first place.
Secondly, and most critically, we must also begin an intensive dialogue
with the people who have given us the mandate to rule over them. Perhaps
we can discuss here how that dialogue can take place, to bridge the gap
and close the social distance with the governed. These were just a few
pointers to enable us to begin a discussion. We look forward to a
fruitful and frank discussion.
We should emerge here with a common understanding and commitment to do
everything we can to effect a turnaround in local government. This is
the renewal and commitment to reconstruction and progress that we spoke
about in May this year during the inauguration.
Working together we can do more to make local government work.
I thank you.
Issued by: The Presidency
20 October 2009
Source: The Presidency http://www.thepresideny.gov.za
CHABANE October 20 2009
Issued by: Office of the Presidency
Attention: News Editors
Journalist: Why did you choose to have this meeting in
Khayelitsha? It's just a hundred metres away from where you usually
have service delivery protests?
Collins Chabane: Unfortunately I was not part of those who
organise the meeting and it didn't arise at the meeting so I
wouldn't know why they decided to come here but it's a good venue
for us to have been here.
Journalist: In his address President Zuma said R53 billion is
due to many municipalities, Departments have not been paying this
and he didn't know why and he said it would possibly be discussed
in the closed meeting. Was this discussed and what was the outcome
Collins Chabane: Yes, it was discussed and it was re-emphasised
that there are a number of institutions who owes municipalities.
That money is not only from the national government, it includes
the private sector, private citizens and it includes all the
regular officials. But from the national government point of view
there is agreement that we need to take urgent steps for us to be
able to do the payments which are necessary to municipalities as
urgently as possible and as a way to encourage other stakeholders
and private citizens to contribute towards payment of services
rendered by municipalities. The details were not worked on, but if
I can give an example it's not only the presentation of the account
by the municipality its whether that account itself is legitimate,
is correct and is accurate before it makes the payment. Because if
you don't do that you are creating a problem on the other side
where you would have paid for a service you didn't receive so it's
important that the accuracy of the statements itself becomes an
issue for national Department to be able to settle the accounts but
it's going to be speeded up.
Journalist: Were any deadlines set and will your Department be
responsible for monitoring those. In terms of the targets that were
set here today in terms of improving service delivery. What targets
were set and did you put any deadlines to when exactly you want
things to have improved.
Collins Chabane: From this meeting there are several processes
which are going to take place from tomorrow there is a meeting of
the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
with local authorities and other stakeholders who are critical in
running that. So most of the issues which have been raised here
will be taken forward into that forum for discussion and resolution
and where timeframes are going to be set up. There are issues which
relate to provincial Cabinets which may need to be looked at by
those structures and from The Presidency side we will coordinate
that timelines and deadlines which are set. Once we have those
timelines and deadlines we will make sure that these things are
adhered to and make sure everyone that's suppose to play a part, is
able to play a part. So we didn't set deadlines as such in the
meeting but the next process we will be able to set the deadline
for each and every item which have been identified.
Journalist: The service delivery protests we have seen lately
you see communities calling for Mayors to be removed. Was there any
discussion in this forum about Mayors maybe having to be removed in
certain parts of the country?
Collins Chabane: Issues were raised related to service delivery
improvement and circumstances which may lead some of the
communities to raise about Mayors that should be removed but it was
never discussed as an item. As we listened to the statement by the
President it was more focussing on the positive issues the
improvements we need to make in order to make change at a local
level so we never discussed the removal of Mayors. But Mayors did
raise some of the issues which contribute towards them being
targeted its issues that doesn't relate to them, I think in the
statement we do indicate that some of the issues people complain
about are not related to local municipalities. For example people
complain about electricity most of the municipalities don't provide
electricity in the first place; if people complain about housing,
municipalities don't provide housing it's the Provincial and
National Government. So it was agreed there is a need for us to
make people understand how Government works and how it should be
done but as the President said in his opening remarks we can't
encourage. Once we encourage people to be active and to participate
in protest action against Government or any institution, we can't
allow a situation where that democratic right leads to destruction
of property, intimidation of people and so on.
Journalist: Can you give us one concrete thing or action
flowing from this meeting that you are going to do in the next
week, month or before the end of the year?
Collins Chabane: One concrete thing is that tomorrow there will
be a meeting of Local Government Departments and institutions which
is going to happen as a result of this. That meeting is going to
set time frames on issues which relate to Municipalities and
Provincial Governments. The next opportunity of Cabinet will adopt
a set of time frames with regard to issues related to National
Departments. The third one is we are confident that once that has
been done, we will then be able to make sure that those things
which have been agreed upon are implemented. As you can see most of
the issues relate to reform of local Government, Institutions,
Legislation and procedures. Those issues you can't say you will
have finished them by December. You need to give a particular
process which will outline this to get them amended or to get
changes to take place with the necessary consultations with the
Journalist: What happened to Project Consolidate?
Collins Chabane: Project Consolidate which was a project of
Local Government Department and Provincial Affairs Department to
assist Municipalities which were struggling on the technical
services. That program has since been substituted by Programme
Siyenza. Project Consolidate was a report that was provided at the
end of it there is program which has been instituted in partnership
with the DBSA which is also a technical assistance program to
municipalities and municipalities which are struggling. That one is
still on going to assist municipalities to comply or to be able to
execute their basic functions for which they have been formed.
Journalist: The President said that this dialogue was a very
important one to have, when will the dialogue begin with community
Collins Chabane: The first step which we took, the President
met representatives of principals; unfortunately we could not put
them in one room. We started with principals we went with Police
Commissioners, today we are meeting Mayors and Municipal Managers.
There will be a next phase which will identify others. But at the
end of this month there will be an Imbizo Week. It will link up
with communities across the country to conclude that.
Harold Maloka: 082 8479799
Issued by the Presidency
20 October 2009
Gauteng ANC tackles allies over protests
KARIMA BROWN Business 20 October 2009
DEVELOPING: Public sector workers block Potchefstroom Road in Soweto
last year as they march to demand a pay rise. The role of the unions in
the advancement of a developmental state is heatedly being debated in
the ruling party alliance. Picture: SIPHIWE SIBEKO/REUTERS
THE African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng has thrown down the
gauntlet to its leftist allies in the province saying their
“oppositionist” stance was derailing efforts to build a developmental state.
Addressing a media briefing in Johannesburg yesterday after a three-day
meeting of its extended provincial executive committee, ANC provincial
secretary David Makhura said the alliance was not responding to the
challenges of the government and called for a “fundamental” discussion
that required a “paradigm shift”.
“They share the ANC’s vision of a developmental state, yet it is the
Nehawu (National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union) member at
the Department of Home Affairs that is failing to provide proper
services to our people,” Makhura said by way of explaining how trade
unions were not coming to the party on service delivery.
He said unions in the education, health, police and municipal sector had
an obligation to help the state in its efforts to deliver on its
development objectives. The destruction of state property and violence
which sometimes accompanied strike and protest action were cited as
examples of how public sector unions were not honouring their
obligations, he said.
“When the municipal officer negotiates with unions, he/she sits there
not as a representative of capital, but representing a developmental
state,” Makhura said.
He also lambasted the South African Communist Party (SACP) in the
province saying that the recent protests in Diepsloot had less to do
with genuine grievances of the community and more with individuals who
failed to secure places on the ANC’s list of election candidates and who
had turned to the SACP in their search for leadership positions.
Alliance relations formed part of the discussions at the three-day
gathering of the ANC. A provincial alliance summit is to follow next
month’s national summit involving the ANC and its allies.
Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) president Sdumo Dlamini
said Makhura’s statement was a “misreading” of the unions’ stance in the
public service. The developmental state was a work in progress and
unions had helped in shaping it. The recent speedy public sector wage
agreement was an example of how unions had played their part.
“If you look at Cosatu’s resolutions at our recent congress, you will
note that it captures the role of these unions in service delivery. This
view of the ANC, even if it’s only in Gauteng, comes a little late,
especially since they were present at our congress,” Dlamini said. He
said Cosatu had resolved to play an active role in rooting out
corruption, and would not spare its own members.
Alliance relations in the province had been tested especially on issues
such as appointments in the metro police . The South African Municipal
Workers’ Union had gone to the streets over the return of controversial
Johannesburg metro police chief Chris Ngcobo.
Zuma warns Malema to behave in Sakhile
FIENIE GROBLER 20 October 2009
JOHANNESBURG - ANCYL leader Julius Malema is planning to visit the
volatile Sakhile township in Mpumalanga -- but has been warned by
President Jacob Zuma “to behave” himself.
Malema would travel to the Standerton township on Wednesday, he told
reporters in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
But Zuma reacted wearily when he heard of the plan, revealedMalema.
“He [Zuma] said to me, ‘I hope you are not going to fuel the fire there
because we have a problem we are dealing with’.
”So, we [the African National Congress Youth League] are called to
order,” said Malema.
According to the youth leader, Zuma warned him by saying: “If you go
there, you must behave.”
Malema also slammed violent protests, saying people burning tyres while
wearing T-shirts bearing pictures of Zuma’s face were discrediting the
“They [protesters] must barricade the roads with themselves, just
standing on the road without fire. Then the police will not do anything
“I’m going there tomorrow [Wednesday] to Sakhile. I’m going to tell them
-- you don’t have to burn, you must fight but you must not undermine the
Constitution. Why must you burn a tyre?”
Malema lamented red tape and sluggish delivery by the government,
acknowledging that the turn around time in service delivery was slow.
The Sakhile township saw violent protests in recent weeks with residents
complaining of bad service delivery and demanding the resignation of the
mayor and councillors.
On Thursday, ANC national executive committee members Fikile Mbalula and
Malusi Gigaba visited Standerton for day-long meetings with municipal
and provincial officials, church organisations,
community leaders and local party structures.
The ANC leaders promised to report back to the community soon.
Mbalula is also scheduled to visit the township on Wednesday.
Striking students return to classes today
By LULAMILE FENI Mthatha Bureau 20 October 2009
WALTER Sisulu University (WSU) students decided yesterday afternoon to
suspend their protest action and to resume academic activities with
effect from today .
This came after a marathon meeting on Sunday from 6.20pm to 12.10am in
East London between the management of WSU and the institutional student
representative council (ISRC).
The parties were trying to iron out three disputed issues which saw
students embarking on a protest march and at least 33 students being
arrested at the university’s Buffalo City campus.
The issues are student involvement in the council-approved student
representative council (SRC) constitution; non-acceptance of a proposed
2009 fee adjustment; and a review of the procurement policy.
WSU Nelson Mandela Drive campus SRC secretary Velani Hose said the
students agreed to suspend the action for a week, starting today, and
would review the matter next Monday.
Yesterday afternoon students decided to squeeze in their last toyi-toyi
session and, chanting and dancing, they prevented workers and visitors
from entering the institution.
WSU spokesperson Angela Church said that among the resolutions taken was
that students would be involved in the council-approved SRC constitution.
“Representatives from the Unit of Constituency Affairs in the Department
of Higher Education and Training and external mediators met the
vice-chancellor and some members of senior management on Saturday to map
the process of student engagement with the constitution.”
Church said it had been resolved that the mediators would meet the ISRC
today to consider proposed amendments to the SRC Constitution.
The meeting further resolved that the proposed amendments would be
tabled at a student congress, which represented the entire student body,
and which would be called on Friday for final ratification.
“Thirdly, an urgent meeting of the executive committee of the Walter
Sisulu University council would be proposed,” she said.
Over the non-acceptance of fee adjustment, Church said that the
adjustment of fees “is solely the responsibility of the WSU council and
cannot by virtue of the Higher Education Act be delegated to management.
This complex issue holds serious implications for the financial
viability and sustainability of WSU”.
She said, however, it had been noted that the standard process of
engagement on the annual fee increment between management and the ISRC
had begun , but that there had been a misunderstanding that management
had “proposed a seven percent increase, benchmarked against the annual
Church said the university management had in fact not yet determined its
position, and that the ISRC position remained that of a zero-percent fee
“Management has not as yet discussed its final position on the annual
fee increment and the matter still has to be determined in consultation
with the ISRC,” she said. - By LULAMILE FENI
Mpumalanga ANC is slated
Written by Gerhard Rheeder (HARD NEWS) 19 October 2009
NELSPRUIT - "A bitterly divided ANC is to take direct responsibility for
the violent protests, damage to property and the general chaotic state
of local government in the province," says the Democratic Alliance (DA)
Mpumalanga, following yet another weekend of violent protests in the
"There is a dual cause for the unhappiness in Mpumalanga; namely the
justified frustration of residents fed up with poor service delivery,
corruption, gross incompetence and nepotism. The other is the
externalisation of a split ANC’s desperate attempt to cause political
instability aimed at removing mayors, speakers and councillors of the
old administration," says Mpumalanga DA leader Mr Anthony Benadie.
According to him it is a known fact that the ANC in the province remains
divided between the premier, Mr David Mabuza and anyone opposed to him.
It is in Mbombela where the DA believes the war within the ANC is most
intense saying that the mayor, Cllr Lassy Chiwayo was widely considered
to be the arch-enemy of the premier.
"The battle commenced when Chiwayo contested the ANC’s provincial
chair-manship against Mabuza, losing narrowly
in the end. While council has made seven attempts to remove suspended
municipal manager Mr Jacob Dladla, it is believed that Mabuza continues
to abuse his influence to force council to withdraw any such
resolu-tions," Benadie frowned.
He sketched a similar picture of other defunct councils where flames of
unrest now rule over the ANC. The DA maintains that much of the current
unrest is caused by a third force within the ruling party attempting to
replace existing local government leaders, with those closer aligned to
Mabuza. "The new ANC is determined to lay the protest blame on the old
ANC by distancing itself from the previous 15 years of government,"
The DA says attention should be given to the possibility of a third
force mobilising within the very leadership structures now crying wolf,
in order to get rid of the "old", ahead of the 2011 elections.
In July the DA called for Thaba Chweu to be placed under administration.
The call was turned down by cooperative governance MEC, Mr Norman
Mokoena, saying the municipality had never been better managed. "The
protests in Simile prove otherwise, don’t they?" Benadie asks. "It is
clear that Mpumalanga is burning because of political reasons which
requires political correction," he said.
Meanwhile, the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA)
lambasted its Ehlanzeni regional chairman, Mr George Maile, for saying
that service delivery protests are sponsored and orchestrated by senior
leaders of the ANC.
The association also took a swing at democracy on Friday saying that,
those against the ANC were counter-revolutionary.
On the question of whether it was illogical for opposition parties in a
democracy to gain ground when the ruling party was at war with itself,
the panel of veterans said all those against the ANC were looking to
undermine the democratic order.
While agreeing on the presence of a third force, they were not prepared
to reveal the identity of the force.
Despite being hammered by the media on the issue of a split ANC, the
veterans said it was not for them to investigate whether Maile spoke the
truth - as a uniformed SAPS member and because of his alignment with
Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) he should never have spoken at all. It was
against military, police and political protocol for uniformed members to
make political statements. On the question whether MK shouldn’t follow
its own protocol, by reprimanding Maile within the structures and not
countering his statements with political statements of its own, the
association said that it had to defend the revolution. The veterans
believe that "while some protests were in good faith, they were
hijacked by those who wished to undermine the ANC". They echoed the
sentiments of ANC general secretary, Mr Gwede Man-tashe, by agreeing
that some individuals simply wanted to present themselves as better
councillors than those currently serving. They agreed that some were
promoting themselves to be better councillors than those serving, but
refused to see the benefits to the ANC, should the "old councils" make
way for the new.
• The DA’s permanent delegate to the National Council of Provinces
(NCOP) tabled a motion in Cape Town on October 16 noting friction within
the ruling party and called on the ministry to deploy immediate remedial
steps in the absence of a silent and non-responsive provincial government.
Sobantu residents blockade roads to protest new cemetery
Sandile Waka-Zamisa 20 October 2009
SOBANTU residents blockaded roads with scrap metal, rocks and burning
tyres yesterday, protesting against the development of the Hollingwood
cemetery and demanding that houses be built for them there.
The protesters barricaded the Royston and Promed roads intersection,
blocking the entrance and exit to the township between 5 am and 7 am
When Msunduzi Municipality firefighters extinguished the fires on the
road, protesters threatened to stone the fire engine and told
firefighters to “back off”.
Municipal security and traffic police and more than 40 armed police
officers kept watch as the community shouted slogans and profanities.
After the objects blocking the road were removed, the crowd continued to
sing liberation songs.
More than 200 angry residents demanded to see Msunduzi Mayor Zanele
Earlier this year, the community invaded land at the Hollingwood site,
but were removed by the municipality. “We have no houses, but the
council decides to use land for a cemetery. Hlatshwayo failed to honour
an agreement we had, that no development would continue until the
dispute was resolved,” said a residents, adding that they are fighting
for the future of their children.
Residents claim they have no space in their small houses. “We are
overcrowded; every single room is a bedroom, the kitchen, living room,
everywhere. We want to know from the mayor if dead people are more
important than the living; we sleep on verandas, while the municipality
gives our land to the dead.”
Two cemeteries, a dumping site and the sewage works are located in ward 35.
“The New England road dumping site is right across from Sobantu, the
Darville sewage works is on the other side. In this ward we have the
Mountain Rise and Thembalethu cemeteries and now they want to start
another graveyard within our community. This is a death wish and no
progress for us young people,” said a young woman.
They claimed that the township is lagging behind in development, saying
those they voted into power managed to provide them with three cemeteries.
Sobantu was in the forefront of the struggle against apartheid, but it
has not reaped the fruits of freedom, said residents.
ANC insiders in the ward claimed that an agreement was reached with the
municipality and the community not to go ahead with the cemetery, until
residents’ issues had been addressed. However, they claimed that the
municipality disregarded the agreement.
Ward councillor Ithiel Ngubane said he is aware of the problems faced by
“It is true that people are overcrow ded and they told me about their
disapproval of the use of the land as a graveyard,” he said.
When asked if there is any alternative land that could be used for an
“extension” of Sobantu, he said there is no other land available in the
ward. Ngubane and ANC branch members in Sobantu met with representatives
from the ANC region yesterday evening to discuss the matter.
Later, a public meeting was held where residents were asked to be
patient while the matter was being discussed with the municipality.
Hlatshwayo could not attend the meetings as she had left to join other
mayors from throughout the country, for the consolidated corporate gover
nance meeting with President Jacob Zuma, in Cape Town.
The protest was conducted in a peaceful manner with no incidents of
violence reported. The police left the scene before the crowd dispersed.
Civil society fights food prices
Aisha Mouneimne 20 October 2009
Trade union federation Cosatu has cautioned retailers and producers to
stop manipulating the costs of basic foods stuffs. This follows a
protest against high food prices at parliament to coincide with
International Food Day on Saturday by a number of organisations,
religious groups and farmers. According to Cosatu's provincial
secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, the poor can no longer afford their everyday
expenses and can not afford basic necessities.
"Saturday was International Food Day where across the world people made
sure that we are able to provide food security for all of the people in
the world. And in South Africa we raised the issue about food for poor
people, but also the but also the fact that there is a lot of collusion
where prices are being manipulated by big corporations, which is leading
to the impoverishment of many of our communities."
The union said International Food Day served as a reminder that the
"world can produce enough food to feed all human beings. Millions
experience regular hunger owing to profit driven food production,
processing, procurement and distribution distortions". "We believe the
way to a successful rural development strategy should be anchored in
food security at rural household level," Ehrenreich said.
The union said small scale subsistence farming was crucial to "reduce
the ration of food purchased" in impoverished communities. It also
criticised the production of food for fuel and called for food packaging
to indicate the use of genetically modified organisms. Ehrenreich said
they will continue to put pressure on retailers and producers to bring
down the costs of basic foods, or until government's steps in to remedy
"The question of food prices is an important area of concern and so
there will be an ongoing engagement with government, business and
retailer to ensure that food becomes more affordable and more accessible
to all of our people," he said. The union also called for the arrest of
chief executives of companies involved in food price fixing.
Meanwhile, speaking to VOC on Monday morning, Simon Vilakazi of the
Economic Justice Network (EJN) said besides communities needing to take
greater consumer responsibility, it was time government stepped up to
the play. "We are asking for companies and business that are involved in
selling and distributing food stuffs to look at how they can stop
charging such high prices for the services that they provide, because we
feel that there is still a lot of profiteering in the food business."
He added that various high prices watch dogs were also in need of
greater government support. "We also appeal to the government to support
those initiatives that are aimed at monitoring the prices of food."
Vilakazi said while the weekend saw many fed- up consumers come out and
support International Food Day, consumers still had a long way to go
concerning high- price activism. "In South Africa we tend to take a back
seat in dealing with things that affect our pockets. There is a tendency
to think that someone else will fight for our rights as consumers."
The UN's World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that hunger affects more
than one billion people around the world. According to the WFP, factors
such as the global economic slowdown, high food prices, increased
competition for products that produce energy, and severe droughts due to
climate change contribute to the large number of hungry people
worldwide. VOC (Aisha Mouneimne)
Five held after protest
SAPA 20 October 2009
Five people were arrested for public violence after they threw stones at
the Amaoti police station outside Durban demanding the release of a
community member, police said.
On Sunday about 500 people marched on the station. Police used rubber
bullets to disperse the crowd before arresting the five people, senior
superintendent Jay Naicker said. The accused are due to appear at
Verulam Magistrate's Court today. - Sapa
Cops, residents clash: CPF investigates
Thandiwe Mthethwa 20 October 2009
The Inanda Community Policing Forum (CPF) is investigating allegations
from Amaoti residents who claim they were attacked by police in the
township this weekend.
The clash between residents and police started at the police station on
Sunday when 500 people who were seeking vigilante justice gathered
outside the station and demanded to see a murder suspect.
Police said they did not have a murder suspect in custody at the time,
but mayhem ensued when this was conveyed to the crowd. This is when
police fired rubber bullets to disperse the mob.
Five people were arrested and were expected to appear in court today.
Residents allege that police returned later on Sunday night and
assaulted them and took their valuables.
This breaking news flash was supplied exclusively to iol.co.za by the
news desk at our sister title, the Daily News.
We want housing, not a cemetery, demand residents
SHARIKA REGCHAND, Michelle Cahill & Sapa (The Mercury) 20 October 2009
FRUSTRATED residents of Sobantu, Pietermaritzburg, blockaded the main
entrance to the township yesterday, refusing to allow anybody in or out
unless the mayor addressed their grievances over the development of a
cemetery in the area.
The residents said that, instead of establishing the Hollingwood
Cemetery, the Msunduzi Municipality should build houses on the land.
The group of about 200 people burned tyres on the road and refused to
allow firemen to douse the flames. They also prevented municipal
employees from clearing the burnt tyres. Police were called to the scene
to restore calm.
Inspector Joey Jeevan said the crowd only dispersed when community
leaders had made arrangements to meet Msunduzi Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo.
Ward councillor Dumisani Ngubane said that locals wanted land and
accommodation. "The population is expanding, the people need
accommodation," he said.
Ntobeko Ngcobo, Hlatshwayo's spokeswoman, said the mayor had met Sobantu leaders yesterday but no resolutions were taken.
"The mayor is dealing with this matter," she said, adding that further
discussions on the issue would take place.
Establishment of the cemetery had been planned after it was realised in
1996 that local cemeteries would run out of space by 2002, which had
come to pass.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Barkly West residents took to the streets
yesterday to protest about service provision, taking out their anger on
schools and shops belonging to foreigners in the town.
Apart from destroying several RDP houses, protesters from the Matelang
community also disrupted classes at the local high school while the
police were called to protect and escort several shop owners out of the
area. Five businesses belonging to foreigners were looted and destroyed
during the protest. In the second spate of protests in the town in a
month, residents marched into the local high school, disrupting classes
and demanding that pupils join the protest.
Police used rubber bullets at the school to disperse the crowd, inciting
the protesters who then went on the rampage, looting and vandalising shops.
The residents vowed not to let up with their protests until the
Dikgatlong mayor, Martha Louw, stepped down.
They started their protest early yesterday by barricading roads.
They then started mobilising the community and burning tyres at
intersections in the township. About 20 youths destroyed RDP houses
being built in the area.
"These (houses) ... are being built by a corrupt municipality which has
to go," one of the protesters said.
Meanwhile, Sapa reports that the Sakhile township in Standerton, which
has seen a wave of service provision protests in recent weeks,
experienced a peaceful weekend. However, a strong police presence
remains in the area.
On Friday, residents said they were awaiting feedback from the ANC this
week. The township saw violent protests in recent weeks with residents
complaining of bad service and demanding the resignation of the mayor
Further arrests during protest action at Mataffin
Written by André Bakkes (The Lowvelder) 19 October 2009
NELSPRUIT - Another week, another protest. Once again, hundreds of
Mataffin community members blocked the road leading to the Mbombela
Stadium on Monday morning and only dispersed once police fired rubber
bullets at them. This follows on news that many of those who were
arrested during last week’s unrest were released on R300 bail.
According to SAPS spokesman, Capt Charles Bezuidenhout, nine protesters
were arrested during yesterday morning’s episode.
Early in the morning men and women of all ages gathered near the stadium
- probably knowing that police would show up soon and disperse them.
Some had placards proclaiming that they would fight for their rights and
others shouted more particular demands, such as "Let’s fight for our
Soon a police helicopter started circling the crowd and officers in
bulletproof vests marched towards them.
There was a brief exchange and then police started firing rubber
bullets, resulting in the crowd turning around and running like the wind.
Some stumbled over rocks as they made their escape, while others pleaded
with law-enforcers to stop the incessant shooting.
When everyone escaped into the nearby township, the area was littered
with shoes, placards and even cellphones that were left behind by the
The unhappiness of this community is based on the fact that they were
promised by the ANC, Mbombela Municipality and the departments of
housing, education and public works that the building of the stadium
would "change their lives".
The resulting "change" wasn’t exactly what they expected.
At the time of going to press the Nelspruit police were monitoring the
situation carefully, and according to Bezuidenhout, further protests
this week, are not an impossibility.
Mpuma protesters due in court
Sapa (The Mercury) 20 October 2009
Forty-three people will appear in the Dullstroom Magistrate's Court on
Tuesday following their participation last week in what authorities
considered an illegal protest, police said.
"They were arrested for an illegal gathering," said Captain Leonard Hlathi.
The protest took place outside the Mbombela stadium last Thursday, near
Nelspruit, which is being prepared for next year's soccer World Cup.
Parts of the province, like Standerton and Matafeni, have seen protests
flare up because of grievances over local municipal leadership and the
impact this has on the services residents expect.
Hlathi said there had been no reports of unrest in the province on
Tuesday morning, with police on standby should there be a recurrence. - Sapa
ANC in Gauteng accuses SACP of inciting service delivery protests
SABC 20 October 2009
The ANC's Gauteng leadership has accused SACP members of inciting the
service delivery protests in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg last week.
The ANC's Provincial Executive Committee says it is concerned about the
alliance members' actions, adding that they are undermining the role of
Addressing the media in Johannesburg, Gauteng ANC Provincial Secretary
David Makhura, says it was a protest organised by the SACP, and they had
many meetings with them. He says it is ANC members who lost out in
elections in that branch - they went to join the SACP and they are now
mobilising against the ANC and their Councillors in the local area.
Meanwhile, the Harrismith District Court in the Eastern Free State,
where 36 suspects arrested for public violence are expected to appear is
full to capacity. Police are trying to avoid a stampede as they control
people who are forcing their way inside the court. The suspects are part
of a group of people who embarked on service delivery protests last
week. They blockaded streets with burning tyres and rocks.
Protests could have been averted: Samwu
Sapa 19 October 2009
JOHANNESBURG - Recent protests against poor service delivery could have
been averted had there been “serious” intervention, the SA Municipal
Workers’ Union (Samwu) said on Monday.
Spokesman Tahir Sema said to achieve stability in South Africa, service
delivery needed to be improved to meet the needs of the people. Serious
intervention was needed to address the many problems facing the people,
he said in a statement.
Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, and the Mpumalanga township of Sakhile
saw violent protests in recent weeks with residents complaining of poor
service delivery and demanding the resignation of senior municipal and
The union on Monday said it had been monitoring the development and
performance of municipalities and found an increase in corruption in the
provision of basic services and the awarding of tenders.
“Based on Samwu’s analysis of the situation, municipalities have been
consistent in outsourcing and privatisation of municipal basic services
to individuals and friends.
“We have also noted the municipalities continued disregard of the voice
of the workers and that of communities,” the statement said.
Sema said municipalities needed adequate funding, which should go
directly to municipalities and not provincial government, proper and
meaningful consultation with communities, monitoring mechanisms, and
The union said municipal workers faced many difficulties and wanted them
Some of these included lack of proper water and sanitation facilities,
lack of training of ordinary workers, and the privatisation of basic
“Samwu commits itself to contribute to any proper and meaningful process
that will ensure that service delivery is improved in South Africa.”
The union said corruption was also adversely affecting service delivery.
“It is against this background that we believe that a lack of serious
intervention is the chief cause of the recent community protests which
could have been averted,” Sema said.
Miners stage dangerous protest
Camilla Bath 19 October 2009
Around 100 miners are staging a dangerous underground sit-in at the Two
Rivers Mine near Lydenberg, Mpumalanga.
They refused to surface after their night shift ended at 6am.
The workers, who are risking high temperatures as well as rock falls and
gas leaks, spent the night toyi-toying in the shaft.
They are demanding a manager be fired after he axed several of their
The National Union of Mineworkers’ Lesiba Seshoka said officials were
trying to coax the demonstrators back up.
“We have sent a team of our leadership to talk to the workers to try and
plead with them to protest outside and not in the mine because it is
dangerous,” says Seshoka.
Managers at the mine say the strike is illegal and are in discussions
Cities face ruin, warns government
By Gaye Davis Sunday Tribune 18 October 2009
South Africans are losing faith in local government, says a hard-hitting
government report that describes how political meddling and infighting
have brought many municipalities to the brink of collapse, unable to
render services and squandering funds while backlogs continue to mount.
The report also highlights "a major gap" between policy and reality -
municipalities are at the coalface of delivery but many are unable to
meet the demands on them, resulting in paralysis.
Compiled from assessments carried out in all nine provinces between
April and August at the behest of Co-operative Governance and
Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka, the report recommends a
range of interventions to halt the rot.
It proposes stripping regional and provincial ANC structures of their
powers to put people in top municipal jobs, political intervention to
deal with tensions and mistrust between officials and councillors,
pursuing fraud and corruption allegations and jacking up feedback to
Laying bare the fault lines bedevilling service delivery, the report
reveals the deep chasm that has opened in the past decade between local
government and the people it's there to serve - fuelling the flames of
It describes health-risk time bombs in parts of the country, such as the
Eastern Cape, where severe drought means that sewerage systems aren't
working and water and sanitation services can't be extended.
The Sunday Independent is in possession of a 60-page executive summary
of the report, which underpins urgent moves by the government to halt
the downward spiral of decay and mismanagement and quell rising popular
The report lays the basis for a turnaround strategy for local government
to be submitted for government approval before the end of the year, with
implementation set to begin in January.
It comes as President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by a top-level delegation
of cabinet ministers and directors-general, prepares to meet mayors and
municipal managers from across the country this week.
The summit in Khayelitsha, near Cape Town, on Tuesday will focus on the
state of local government and service delivery. All nine premiers and
MECs for local government, as well as SA Local Government Association
officials, will attend the meeting.
Zuma promised in his State of the Nation address to change the way local
"The president has decided to take a more hands-on approach in dealing
with this and all matters of service delivery,'' said Performance
Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane.
A "merciless growth" in backlogs, combined with the "enormous weight of
expectations" and service-delivery failures have "created a degree of
paralysis" in the system, the summary notes.
Fighting between factions and political meddling are mentioned as the
main threat to effective local government, with evidence in some areas
of factionalism hitting levels where it is "akin to a battle over access
to state resources, rather than ideological differences".
A "culture of patronage and nepotism is now so widespread that formal
systems of accountability are ineffective and inaccessible to most
citizens", the summary notes.
"There is now a lack of citizen confidence and trust in the system",
with protests "largely a symptom of their alienation" from local
government as funds are siphoned off through poor financial management
and corruption, service charges go uncollected and proper planning is
Also highlighted is "a major gap" between the policy demands made of
local government and the capacity of municipalities to meet them.
Many local authorities are unable to perform properly - widening the gap
between people's expectations, policy goals and delivery. A
one-size-fits-all approach is not working, the summary says
Tiny municipalities cannot cope, while bigger, more competent metros are
frustrated in efforts to deliver land and houses by complex split
authorities that take decision-making out of their hands. This should
change, the summary says.
As many as 56 local municipalities - 11 of them in the Eastern Cape -
are on a National Treasury "financial distress" list, while a "very
significant risk" in the future is that municipalities' spending plans
outstrip the revenues they can collect through service charges and rates.
Almost half of municipalities were found guilty by the auditor-general
of unauthorised or fruitless and wasteful expenditure - up from 38
percent the previous year.
A lack of financial skills, weak support from provinces and poor
controls "leave the system open to abuse and fraudulent activity", the
o This article was originally published on page 2 of Sunday Independent
on October 18, 2009
People behind service delivery protests want to destabilise govt
SABC 18 October 2009
ANC secretary in Limpopo Joe Maswanganyi says the people behind service
delivery protests have a hidden agenda of destabilising the government.
Maswanganyi says destroying properties is not the correct way of seeking
Maswanganyi suspects that service delivery protests are fuelled by some
party members who collude with some of the opposition parties. “Now we
have got a situation were those who were with us who know our tactics,
who know our secrets, have gone out there to form another animal called
COPE. So you are dealing with a very sophisticated opposition.”
Maswanganyi was speaking during the fourth provincial Umkhonto we Sizwe
Military Veterans' Association conference at Mokopane.At the same
conference, the chairperson of Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veteran
Association (MKMVA), Kebby Maphatsoe, has accused former Defence
Minister - Mosioua Lekota and his deputy Mluleki George, of failure to
take care of the welfare of soldiers in the country. He says both
Lekota and George failed to implement the 2007 Polokwane ANC conference
resolution, that of having a ministry of veterans....
Meanwhile, Congress of the People (COPE) spokesperson Phillip Dexter
says his party's president Mosiuoa Lekota and former public enterprise
minister Alec Erwin are under an opportunistic attack by Congress of the
South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).
Dexter was responding to Cosatu's call for a full investigation into
the A400M military transport plane deal, which could cost the taxpayer
an extra R30 billion. He says the suggestion that the two are
responsible for the proposed transaction to purchase the Airbus
transport aeroplanes, is just plain silly.
On Friday, Cosatu spokeperson Patrick Craven said it was outraged at
what he called "another arms deal scandal. Dexter has asked South
Africans not to make premature conclusions.- Additional reporting by Sapa
ANC blames deployment
George Matlala, Albert Pule and Loyiso Sidimba 18 October 2009
THE ANC is rethinking its deployment policy, which is a key reason for
the collapse of local government, according to a hard-hitting government
assessment of councils to be published next week.
Deployed cadres are perceived to have crippled service delivery in many
municipalities because they engage in faction fighting rather than
A high-level discussion in the ruling party’s powerful national
executive committee (NEC) is considering an end to some aspects of its
unpopular deployment policies.
The party is considering barring elected officials from holding senior
administrative office in municipalities to prevent the kind of
tensions that contributed to the factionalism linked to violent
protests over slack service delivery.
The government will propose that ANC provincial and regional executive
committees be stripped of powers to deploy party officials rather than
professionals to municipal positions.
The proposal is contained in a hard-hitting Department of Co-operative
Governance and Traditional Affairs report, which Minister Sicelo Shiceka
will present at a two-day local government indaba to be held on the East
Rand on Wednesday.
The report blames “party political factionalism” and the emergence of
new “political alliances” in the ruling party for the deterioration of
service delivery in municipalities.
It claims that a culture of “patronage and nepotism” has become so rife
in municipalities that they have become inaccessible and unaccountable
“The lack of values, principles or ethics ... indicates that there are
officials and public representatives for whom public service is not a
concern but accruing wealth at the expense of poor communities is.
“There is now a lack of citizen confidence and trust in the system. This
has been publicly evidenced in the spate of community protests during
the course of the year. This is largely a symptom of alienation of
citizens from local government,” says the report.
Protests have become endemic and this week there was violent action in
Sakhile in Mpumalanga, Palm Ridge in Gauteng and Ntabazwe in the Free State.
“The protests emanating from such areas are consistent with the
experience of indignity, growing inequality and the marginalisation of
communities,” says the report.
“We must, as the ANC, discuss whether it is appropriate for a person who
holds a senior political office in the movement to also hold senior
administrative office in government, particularly at local government
level, and what effect this has on service delivery,” said ANC
spokesperson Jackson Mthembu.
“You find instances where the mayor, who is not holding any political
office in the ANC, is unable to instruct an employee of the municipality
who is holding a senior political office in the ANC. The employee,
instead, instructs the mayor.”
The document details how local government has collapsed, most notably
in poor provinces, including Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern
Cape. Growing inequality, illegal connections and a high level of
indigents mean that local government can’t improve without grants from
“This renders the majority of local municipalities not financially
viable and unable to upgrade and maintain infrastructure,” says the report.
The majority of municipalities do not produce credible budgets.
Shiceka’s report says that 35 municipalities overspent by R2.6?billion
while 182 municipalities underspent by R19?billion. Almost one in three
municipal employees have been appointed to positions that aren’t
supposed to exist.
Shiceka’s deputy, Yunis Carrim, said: “We have found that there are
people who are appointed to positions who don’t have the necessary
experience or qualifications nor are they interested in being trained.
“The ANC needs to discuss this further and shape a more mutually
reinforcing constructive relationship between regional executives and
municipalities,” he said.
Carrim said his department was considering setting up a special
inspectorate on local government corruption. He said the service
delivery protests signalled the failure of the ward committee system
and other methods of public participation in municipalities.
“They also convey that our local government model is not working and
that we need changes to it.”
City Press reporters visited municipalities in four provinces?–
Northern Cape, North West, Free State and Eastern Cape – and found that
certain communities were not getting service because their ward
councillors were aligned with the “wrong faction” in the ruling party.
- City Press
Wake up and smell the teargas
Max du Preez 18 October 2009
What has gone so terribly wrong in our country? The scenes in Diepsloot
and Sakhile townships over the past week were virtual carbon copies of
scenes we saw on television in the late 1980s: over-aggressive police,
burning barricades, destruction of state property and stone-throwing.
Just like it was 20 years ago, “ungovernability” is the slogan; but
there is one crucial difference: the people of Sakhile and Diepsloot
actually voted overwhelmingly for the government they are protesting
against now – and that election was just seven months ago.
In fact, one of the protest leaders in Standerton, Fanuel Manana,
declared on radio on Friday: “We are loyal members of the ANC.”
ANC NEC member Malusi Gigaba, who was dispatched by Luthuli House to
investigate, searched for the best euphemisms afterwards.
“Weak leadership” and “social distance” between rulers and ruled were to
blame, is what he came up with. I thought that was the problem under the
rule of Thabo Mbeki. Didn’t that all change almost two years ago at
Gigaba is right about weak leadership and social distance, but his
diagnosis applies to more than just these troubled townships. “Man of
the People” Jacob Zuma is just one swallow; he can’t make a summer.
If one looks at the plight of township and squatter-camp residents, and
at the way the ruling elite are behaving, it is certainly not too harsh
to declare that the ANC is demonstrating utter contempt for the poor.
And the poor are beginning to take notice.
As the tensions in many townships started simmering again, the news
broke that just a few cabinet ministers had already spent R42 million on
swanky new cars; that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga had spent
R267 000 on a party to celebrate her budget speech (!) in Parliament;
that the minister of police had cost the taxpayer R237 000 for a short
stay in an expensive hotel in Cape Town. (Motshekga also spent R1.7
million on two new cars.) If that is not contempt, then what is?
But the township unrest has another root cause that we should take
notice of and fix if we are serious about peace and prosperity for our
people. Several Sakhile residents quoted by radio, television and
newspapers made the point this week that they are sick of being governed
by “ANC deployees” who were put in their positions for reasons other
than competence and integrity.
We have been entertained by many stories over the past few years of
useless, corrupt fat-cats with good contacts in Luthuli House who were
deployed as mayors and town managers, earning more than a cabinet
minister in some instances.
This “deployment” disease is also rife in provincial and central
government as well as in the parastatal companies. It is the single most
important explanation for the weak, ineffectual and corrupt governance
of the past few years.
If we ask what has gone so terribly wrong in our country, then one of
the first answers must be: The culture of deployment of ANC cadres.
Not even socialist economic policies and nationalisation, as proposed
now by Cosatu and the SACP, can possibly alleviate poverty and lack of
service delivery. The biggest problem is not policy, but people.
This is what Sakhile resident Siphiwe Khumalo told a newspaper reporter
this week: “At that time (1994) I was taking out the apartheid regime
because it had destroyed the whole black person. Then in 1999 I voted
for a better life. In 2004 I voted for service delivery. But none of
what we have been promised has happened, except removing the white people.”
In Western Cape, people ran away from the ANC and voted for the
opposition in droves out of protest against corruption and weak government.
How long before people in other parts of the country also come to
understand that this is exactly what democracy is supposed to be about:
If a political party is not looking after your interests, you vote
If this concept does become popular in the next 18 months, the ANC could
actually lose control in most councils at the 2011 local government
elections. But don’t hold your breath hoping that Zuma or Luthuli House
will wake up and smell the teargas. They are far too occupied with
keeping the ANC proper and the SACP/Cosatu from each other’s throats.
Screw the people; the movement is more important.
- City Press
Unions cite dirty tricks
MMANALEDI MATABOGE 18 October 2009
South Africa's two military trade unions allege that the government is
manoeuvring to get rid of them after the department of defence demanded
evidence that the unions meet the minimum threshold to be part of the
Military Bargaining Council.
But in a move that could make it difficult for the defence force to
dismiss them, the South African National Defence Union (Sandu) and the
South African Security Forces Union (Sasfu) have applied to the
bargaining council to be admitted as one union. A minimum membership of
15 000 is required for participation in the council. Sandu is part of
the council, but Sasfu is not. Defence regulations and the constitution
of the council allow two unions to come together and be represented as
one at the bargaining council.
Sasfu tried to attend a meeting of the council a fortnight ago but was
ejected. "Sandu is entitled to three seats at the council, so we wanted
to give one to Sasfu," said Sandu president Mosima Mosima. But Colonel
Phillip Dlamini, a South African National Defence Force (SANDF)
representative on the council, said Sandu was trying to bring Sasfu in
through the "back door". Sasfu has failed to supply necessary documents
supporting the merger of the unions, Dlamini said.
The unions have until October 26 to present an application with evidence
of membership figures, Dlamini said. Sandu claims to have between 17 000
and 17 500 members, but the defence force says it has records showing
only 12 932 members.
Sasfu claims to have more than 16 000 members, but Dlamini contests this
figure. "What we have as an employer is the number that we pay for," he
The unions claim the SANDF has manipulated the numbers. Said Sasfu
president Bhekinkosi Mvovo: "They are always making sure that we do not
meet the threshold, either by not implementing subscriptions or by
removing some members from the database."
Sandu general secretary Pikkie Greeff accused the SANDF of refusing to
pay more than 4000 subscription fees for this union's members and said
Sandu did not rule out approaching the courts to ensure its existence.
Greeff said the defence force had already lost four legal cases
concerning Sandu's membership; and that courts have ordered the SANDF to
pay R4-million in outstanding membership fees.
"They are unable to justify why they have not been paying for some
members' subscription," Greeff said.
If the unions fail in their application to be recognised as one union at
the council, they could find themselves out in the cold.
"They don't provide their audited annual financial statements, they
don't want to tell us what they do with the money and they don’t want to
provide audited membership figures," said Minister of Defence Lindiwe
Sisulu's spokesperson, Ndivhuwo Mabaya.
"Whenever our human resources people try to speak to them about
membership, they run to the courts. Are we saying the relationship
between the military command and the unions has to be adjudicated by the
judges?" Mabaya said.
Dlamini agreed that huge damage has been done to the relationship
between the military and the trade unions, saying the "trust is gone...
The relationship has been in and out of court more than it has been in
the bargaining council."
Cut-offs spark protest in Reiger Park
By Poloko Tau (The Star) 16 October 2009
AT least four people were injured this morning when police fired rubber
bullets at residents protesting against electricity cut-offs in Reiger
Community leader Marius de Vos said Ekurhuleni metro police officers
shot at some people who were setting tyres alight. One person sustained
serious head injuries.
The residents marched on the council offices in Boksburg, where they
handed a memorandum to officials.
De Vos said that last month several people found that they could not buy
prepaid electricity from local vendors. The residents were told that
they they would be able to buy electricity only after making
arrangements for payments of their arrears.
De Vos said some residents, many of whom are either unemployed or on
pension, owed the council up to R80 000 and could not afford the
required lump sum payment of between 10 percent and 15 percent.
"As a result, three-quarters of Reiger Park is in darkness due to
electricity cut-offs," he said.
Ekurhuleni municipality spokesman Zweli Dlamini said arrears were being
collected through a strict credit control policy. "If you can't pay, we
cut off the electricity as stipulated in the policy. Residents had been
invited to engage the council over terms of payment, but... not everyone
is happy," he said.
"There's also an indigent policy through which the poor and pensioners
are assisted with payment."
By 11am the residents were returning to their homes.
Food price protest at Parly
SAPA 18 October 2009
A group of about 50 protesters gathered outside Parliament's main gate
in Plein Street, Cape Town, at noon on Sunday, calling for rising food
prices to be checked.
Among other things, the group called for the nationalisation of basic
food production, including milk and bread.
The protesters, from the Congress of SA Trade Unions, the Black Sash,
the Children's Resource Centre and the Catholic Commission for Justice
and Peace, displayed posters proclaiming: "Fight hunger - demand food
security for all".
Others read: "No child to go to bed hungry".
According to a memorandum - addressed to President Jacob Zuma and
Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Petterrson - handed to a government
representative, there is "deep concern" within communities about rising
The document calls for profiteering from basic food products to be made
It calls on government to, among other things, "nationalise basic food
products production and distribution in order to remove excess
profiteering in these sectors".
The memorandum also calls for the regulation of basic foods.
It further demands that land reform "puts the land back into the hands
of indigenous South African farming communities".
The protest comes two days after World Food Day, on October 16, which
this year adopted the theme "Achieving food security in times of
crisis". - Sapa
‘We didn’t organise protest’
Katlego Moeng and Sapa (The Sowetan) 16 October 2009
FULL FORCE : A Metro officer takes aim and then opens fires at a
Diepsloot resident during yesterday’s protests. PHOTO: AP
THE Young Communist league (YCL) has distanced itself from a violent
protest in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, that saw 13 people arrested for
public violence and 20 injured – including a police officer.
YCL spokesperson Gugu Ndima said: “Mischievous instigators that have
nothing to do with the Communist Party are abusing our good name to
She was commenting after posters carrying the SACP, YCL and Sanco logos
informed people that a “legal” service delivery protest action against
local councilors had been organised.
“We had nothing to do with that and we are still trying to find out who
is behind this,” said Ndima.
The posters also called for Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo to be
Residents were told that President Jacob Zuma would be coming to address
Word later spread that Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane would also be
coming to speak to the protesters.
Most people that Sowetan spoke to said they did not know what the
protest was all about.
They said the posters were distributed on Wednesday calling on the
community to support the protest.
Police spent the day yesterday trying to contain sporadic pockets of
young protesters in the area.
Police also arrested two men who were driving around the township in a
van and galvanising support for the illegal protest using a sound system.
They claimed to be organisers of Sanco.
# Diepsloot residents last night were throwing stones at vehicles using
the R511 and R512 roads, Johannesburg Metro police spokesperson Edna
Cops open fire as residents run amok
Graeme Hosken 16 October 2009
Violent service protests erupted outside Pretoria where police and
Diepsloot residents clashed in street battles.
Neither side would accept responsibility for the clashes and violence
which left 19 people, including a policeman, injured. Police arrested 13
demonstrators for public violence.
The violence began when police opened fire on protesters after they
refused to disperse when law enforcement officers from the Joburg metro
police and various Pretoria police stations told them their march was
Taunting police with protest songs, chanting demonstrators, who demanded
that they hand over their memorandum to President Jacob Zuma, repeatedly
clashed with officers throughout the day, blocking roads with large
metal rubbish bins, rubble, refuse and burning tyres.
The violence spread throughout the township
Police, on foot and in armoured vehicles, repeatedly chased residents
off the streets as they tried to enforce a "curfew" in the area in an
effort to contain the violence.
The violence spread throughout the township, with plumes of black smoke
signalling the burning tyre roadblocks set up by the protesters.
Stone throwers set alight European Press Photo Agency photographer Kim
Ludbrook's motorcycle. Those who refused to obey police orders to remain
indoors were shot at with rubber bullets.
Many business owners and residents claimed they were forced to shut
their shops and join the protest by instigators, who they say were not
"Many of these people causing this violence are not from Diepsloot.
While we are not happy with the speed of service delivery in Diepsloot,
we can at least see that services are coming to our area," said a
businesswoman, who said she was told that if she did not shut her shop
for the day it would be looted and burnt.
'We told organisers that the protest was illegal and that they should
She said she feared what would have happened to her if she had kept it open.
"If I do not do what these people say they will kill me. I do not like
what they are doing, but I do not want to die," she said, before she ran
to her home in Extension One.
Another businessman said that while he supported the community's calls
on the government to address the service provision problems in the area,
he did not like the violent manner in which this was being done.
"This is not the way to get our services. These people, such as the
Young Communist League, who claim they have residents' interests at
heart, are going to cause more trouble than good," he said soon after he
was forced to shut his tuck shop.
Johannes Lemao, Diepsloot's Young Communist League branch chairman,
dismissed the authorities' claims that the march was illegal.
"There are third forces at work here who are using the police to do
their dirty work," he said, adding that they had received permission to
He said the third forces' tactics could be seen through the political
tactics used to prevent Zuma from going to Diepsloot to accept their
Lemao said the police's use of violence prevented them from addressing
their members and was the "catalyst" for the street battles.
"There was no need to shoot at us. All we were doing was chanting and
singing songs. We would not have resorted to burning tyres if the police
did not shoot at us," he said.
Responding to residents and business owners' allegations that the Young
Communist League and its alliance partners had deliberately started the
violence and that its members were not from Diepsloot, Lemao said that
"These claims are ridiculous. Those who say these things are only with
us when it suits them and when they see we are not winning they are
"We are trying to fight for their rights and now these people are
abandoning us and the cause, which is to stamp out the ward councillors'
Asked what irregularities had been committed, Lemao said he was not at
liberty to say.
"I cannot answer that question. All I can say is that these councillors
Lemao said they would continue with their action until they had achieved
"The struggle will continue."
Police spokeswoman Inspector Wanda Olivier, who confirmed that the march
was illegal, said the arrested protesters would appear in court today on
charges of public violence.
She said no one, not even the policeman who was hit by a stone, had been
Olivier said allegations that police started the violence were laughable.
"We told organisers that the protest was illegal and that they should
disperse, but when they refused and started stoning police and
barricading roads, we opened fire with rubber bullets.
"This was to keep the crowds at bay and stop the violence," she said.
Olivier said last night police were maintaining a visible presence in
the area and were monitoring the situation.
o This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on
October 16, 2009
Protest over 2010 stadium turns ugly
Riot Hlatshwayo The Sowetan 16 October 2009
A PROTEST by pupils and community members of Neslpruit turned ugly when
a policewoman’s rifle was wrestled from her while she lay injured after
being hit in the face with a stone.
The protest took place yesterday near the 2010 Mbombela Stadium in
The pupils were from Cyril Clerk High and John Mdluli Primary, which
were demolished to make way for the stadium.
The protesters demanded that the government provide them quickly with
new schools as promised when construction on the stadium started.
At the moment pupils are attend classes in makeshift classrooms near the
stadium, which has been constructed on land where the fully fledged
A BMW belonging to the Mpumalanga police’s flying squad was also torched.
The community and pupils had blocked the road leading to the stadium,
preventing workers from entering the site.
The protest, which started on Monday, saw armed police shooting at
pupils with rubber bullets.
At yesterday’s protest, held after a community meeting, police again
used rubber bullets. A number of people were injured and arresting than
30 arrested for public violence.
Members of the community were throwing stones at the police and some
used catapults to fight back. This resulted in the policewoman being hit
on the face.
She fell to the ground and during the commotion her pump-action rifle
was wrested from her.
“It is true that a pump- action gun is gone, a BMW belonging to our
flying squad was torched and more than 30 people were arrested.
“One of our members and other community members sustained injuries,”
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Superintendent Malcolm Mokomene said
Ironically, a teenaged schoolgirl, who was seriously injured when she
was hit by a number of rubber bullets, was arrested and taken to the
Nelspruit police station instead of hospital.
Mokomene said she was left behind by the ambulances that fetched the
injured policewoman and a few others.
Asked why police transported the injured girl to the police station
instead of hospital, Mokomene said it was because she was a suspect.
“Some of the injured were suspects so they were taken to the police
station but after it was established that they were injured they were
taken to hospital,” Mokomene said.
But it was only after Sowetan stormed the police station and challenged
cops about the fact that the injured girl was not taken to hospital that
the police called an ambulance to take her from the police charge office.
Education spokesperson Jasper Zwane pleaded with all concerned not to
resort to violence because their concerns were being addressed.
Riot Hlatshwayo - email@example.com
Protesters set building alight
SAPA 16 October 2009
Johannesburg - Protesters in Intabazwe township near Harrismith have
damaged a municipal building, Free State police said on Friday.
The protests began on Thursday night after 19:00 when residents
gathered, said Sergeant Mmako Mophiring.
"They barricaded the roads, then they attacked a building where they
believe councillors come and have meetings," he said.
The protesters started a tyre fire in the building but it was put out by
police before major damage could be done. The windows of the building
were destroyed by thrown rocks.
Mophiring said police arrested 13 men and one woman for public violence
and malicious damage to property.
Police were in Intabazwe on Friday and were monitoring the nearby N3 and
N5 in case those roads were blockaded by protesters.
"The situation is a little tense but still we are here," said Mophiring.
Damage control - weak, aloof leadership style blamed for protests
Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi (The Sowetan) 16 October 2009
UP IN ARMS: Sakhile residents in Mpumalanga burn car tyres in protest
against poor service delivery. PHOTOs: VATHISWA RUSELO
AFTERMATH : Standerton community members walk in a street littered with
RUNNING FOR DEAR LIFE : A Diepsloot resident runs away from a police
Casspir during the riots in the area .
THE unrest in Sakhile, Mpumalanga, is due to a weak and aloof leadership
style, says the ANC task team.
The sentiment was expressed by Deputy Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula
and Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba, who were part of a
government delegation that visited the troubled Lekwa municipality in
“It’s quite clear that some of the challenges in the council are due to
weaknesses in the leadership and social distance between the leaders and
the community,” said Gigaba.
He urged residents to explain the issues they had with each councillor
instead of blaming all of them.
Mbalula criticised the leaders for not acting quickly to abate the
situation. He said the other problem was that some of the leaders were
not recognised by the community.
His spokesperson Paena Galane said: “He wanted to know why people were
rioting, and why it took so long to act on some issues.”
The task team promised to investigate and compile a report on how the
councillors were running the municipality.
Spokesperson for the Department of Cooperative Governance and
Traditional Affairs Simphiwe Kunene said a recovery plan has been
developed for the municipality.
“The plan responds to the findings and recommendations of the
investigations conducted in the municipality in terms of section 106(1)
(b) of the Local Government Systems Act.”
Kunene said disciplinary action would be instituted against all
officials implicated .
“A cost recovery programme against all officials who have received
monies irregularly and managers who were illegally paid bonuses is being
instituted, and they will be expected to pay back the money,” Kunene said.
He said the department would also lay criminal charges against all
officials and service providers who have defrauded the municipality.
The report was expected to be completed by the end of the month, he said.
ANC to visit Sakhile township
Posted by Lwandi Genu 15 October 2009
Members of the ANC National Executive Committee will visit the troubled
township of Sakhile, near Standerton today. Sakhile township has for the
past weeks been rocked by service delivery protests that have seen
blockaded roads, burnt municipal buildings and massive damage to
property. ANC spokesman Ishmael Mnisi cautioned that while the ANC
delegation would give the community an opportunity to speak, it was only
a fact-finding mission. The delegation would comprise NEC members Fikile
Mbalula and Malusi Gigaba. At a rally held at Sakhile stadium yesterday,
community leader Phanuel Manana told the crowd ANC secretary general
Gwede Mantashe would be visiting the township. But this was denied by
the ANC. Soweto Electricity Crisis's Trevor Ngwane says he's not sure if
the task team will find nothing new: Click here to listen to audioclip.
Gigaba, Mbalula arrive in Sakhile
Lwandi Genu 15 October 2009
A convoy of eight police cars with sirens blazing has announced the
arrival of African National Congress National Executive Committee
members in Standerton this morning. Malusi Gigaba and Fikile Mbalula
arrived for discussions with provincial and municipal officials. Soweto
Electricity Crisis Committee's Trevor Ngwane blames the ANC led
government for service delivery protests: Click here to audioclip. Among
those Gigaba greeted was Lekwa municipality mayor Juliet Queeneth
Radebe-Khumalo. Radebe-Khumalo is one of the officials whom protesting
Sakhile township members have demanded resign. Also present to meet
Gigaba and Mbalula was Mpumalanga MEC for safety and security Sibongile
Manana. Sakhile township has for the past few weeks been rocked by
service delivery protests that have seen blockaded roads, burnt
municipal buildings and massive damage to property. The ANC members are
visiting the area on a fact-finding mission.
ANC statement on the Sakhile service delivery protest
Jackson Mthembu (ANC National Spokesperson) 16 October 2009
The African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC)
delegation, led by Malusi Gigaba and Fikile Mbalula concluded their
visit to the Sakhile Township in Standerton - Mpumalanga, yesterday the
15 October 2009.
The task team is finalising its report which will be presented to the
ANC National Working Committee (NWC) this coming Monday, the 19th
October 2009. The NWC will then interact with the report accordingly. We
call upon the Sakhile community to give the ANC time to consider their
service and other concerns as raised with the task team yesterday and
furthermore, to stop disturbing learners and workers from going to
school and work respectively. The ANC has a deep understanding of the
seriousness and the impact that lack of service delivery has in the
lives of our people.
The ANC, however, strongly condemns all criminal acts in the form of
violence, destruction of State and private property, and looting of
shops in some parts of the country under the guise of "service delivery
protests". We call on our branches to work with all organs of civil
society in ensuring that any service delivery issues are properly raise
with either government or the ANC.
We are very concerned with the issues raised around service delivery and
we commit ourselves to leave no stone unturned to address such
grievances. It is in this context that our President, Jacob Zuma will on
20 October 2009, meet with more than 283 Executive Mayors and Mayors
accompanied by their Municipal Managers, to discuss the state of local
government and service delivery improvement in the local government sphere.
"We want them to know that the people come first in everything we do,
and we want excellence. There is no place for complacency, cynicism, or
excuses" the President said in the ANC today, dated 16 October 2009.
Mindful of the importance of face-to-face communication, we appreciate
the commitment made by the Co-operative Governance and Traditional
Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka to visit affected areas to listen and
find solutions to the people's concerns.
The Alliance Summit scheduled for mid November will also discuss at
great length the reasons and solutions for service delivery protests in
The NEC in its end of November meeting will also dedicate a better part
of the meeting to find ways and means of improving service delivery. All
the above activities and commitments by the ANC, clearly indicates that
the ANC would like and will find lasting solutions to legitimate service
delivery challenges in all our municipalities.
We again reiterate that any legitimate concern that our people might
have in the country around service delivery should be raised in a
non-violent manner. We have always listened to our people and we will
always respond in a manner that continues to better the lives of our people.
ANC National Spokesperson
Ishmael Mnisi 0823335550
Mpumalanga are protests having negative impact on economy: Premier
Mail & Guardian 16 October 2009
Mpumalanga Premier, David Mabuza, says service delivery protests in
Mpumalanga are having a negative impact on the province's economy.
Mabuza disclosed this at the province's economic summit in Nelspruit.
The purpose of the two day summit was to ascertain the impact of the
global economic meltdown on the province and to the poor. A range of
stakeholders such as organised business, organised labour, financial
institutions and civil society were the main participants.
Mabuza also said the climate of instability is hampering investor
confidence and having a negative impact on job creation. He took the
opportunity to mention that the ongoing protest action is not
essentially about the non delivery of services. He says in the 15 years
of ANC rule, a lot has been done to improve the livelihood of the
majority of South African people. Mabuza believes that the problem lies
with the ANC at branch level.
Similar sentiments have also been expressed by members of the Umkhonto
we Sizwe Military Veterans Association in Mpumalanga.
The association this morning distance itself from remarks made by the
Regional Secretary of Enhlanzeni George Maile, who earlier said that the
service delivery protests in the province are orchestrated by senior ANC
Party, State relationship must be managed
Sapa 16th October 2009
State legitimacy may be undermined if the relationship between the party
and government was not managed, African National Congress (ANC) National
Executive Committee (NEC) member Joel Netshitenzhe said on Thursday.
"The ANC is the strategic centre of power and should not micromanage the
State," he told the ANC Gauteng's extended provincial executive
committee (PEC) meeting in Benoni.
Netshitenzhe was participating in a political discussion entitled "The
State and revolution in our times".
He criticised those who "held onto power", despite being subjected to
disciplinary hearings or even to court processes, saying this too eroded
"...the conduct of people in positions of power does not show respect
for the masses of South Africans," he said, adding that while a lot of
progress had been made, this remained a challenge.
Netshitenzhe condemned the violent nature of service delivery protests
around the country.
"If this happens consistently... what is an exception then becomes a
rule in society...and this undermines the legitimacy and authority of
the State," he said.
He said firm law enforcement was needed and better communication between
the State and communities.
Standerton in Mpumalanga province and Diepsloot in Gauteng province
remained engulfed in protest action on Thursday - with two senior ANC
NEC members, Fikile Mbalula and Malusi Gigaba opting not to venture into
the troubled Sakhile township in Standerton.
Netshitenzhe described the protests as one of many challenges the State
faced. Some of these communities engaged in the protests had real
grievances and the ruling party also had some responsibility to bear.
"The demonstrations [are] derived from actions of leaders of either the
ANC or its allies," he said.
Destruction of property during the protests had become the norm, he said.
This, through time, ate away at the State's legitimacy.
"Everyone starts to believe that to be listened to, you must destroy
State property and break the law," he said.
The protest in Diepsloot was organised by members of the ANC's allies,
the South African Communist Party, the South African National Civic
Organisation and the Young Communist League. They were calling for the
immediate removal of Johannesburg Mayor Amos Masondo.
"It is a sad day for alliance structures to organise a march against the
ward councillors and the executive mayor. We had several meetings with
the alliance structures in our effort to discuss and determine the
rationale for raising such demands," said ANC Gauteng spokesperson
Netshitenzhe told PEC members the ruling party had performed better in
each election it participated in, but its "ability to engender a
revolutionary value system in society was moving in the opposite direction".
Corruption within State institutions bore testament to this, he said.
"[The] approach that the individual matters and that everyone can serve
themselves... is getting more and more entrenched in society.
"... we might have been regressing as a society," he added.
Senior members of the Gauteng legislature were present, including
Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and economic development MEC Firoz Cachalia,
as was Masondo.
NEC member Pallo Jordan discussed liberation movements and State power.
Edited by: Sapa
16 October 2009
An important lesson President Jacob Zuma is learning during the
resurgence of service delivery protests is that a charm offensive can go
only so far. At some point, you have to sit down and find ways to
address the pressing grievances of people on the ground effectively.
Zuma has been in office for only five months, but the incidents of anger
and destruction in the Standerton township of Sakhile, in Katlehong,
east of Johannesburg and in Diepsloot, in the north of Johannesburg,
this week have to be seen as a protest against 15 years of ANC rule.
Between burning tyres and shouting slogans, the township residents were
adamant that they want to see the chief himself and show him how the
ANC's local leaders persist in defying the party's official objectives
and raiding the local government treasure chest to enrich themselves.
Zuma had just returned from a visit to North and South America, but
Sakhile should have reminded him just how much he is needed at home.
He set an unfortunate precedent when he travelled to Balfour after
service protests there, paying an unannounced visit to the unsuspecting
mayor and township residents.
Being a man of the people has its price -- he clearly will not be able
to visit every township in every corner of South Africa where service
delivery frustration has exploded on to the streets.
If he can't be in many places at once, what should he do?
Take a long, hard look at the effect that the deployment policy of the
ANC has had on standards of service delivery.
The people of Sakhile say their councillors are guilty of corruption and
insist they want to be able to choose their own candidates for 2011's
local government elections, rather than being forced to vote for
representatives chosen by party gatekeepers.
Zuma must face the fact that many leaders are part of the ANC because of
the party's mysterious deployment policy, which provides them with jobs.
Little thought goes into what the job entails and whether they fit the bill.
In an Afrikaans poem in his new book, Ek Stoot die Trollies vir die
Miesies, ANC treasurer general and former Mpumalanga premier Mathews
Phosa is blunt about the expectations of ANC members who came from exile
after apartheid: "Julle belowe/ons sal leiers wees/ons sal lekker lewe"
(You promised/we will be leaders/we will live the good life).
These expectations were dealt with by dishing out government jobs to
those who fought the good fight. Many of those who were rewarded in this
way failed to deliver on township residents' expectations, driving them
on to the streets in protest.
Zuma created more job expectations when he gratefully accepted the
support given by Cosatu and the South African Communist Party in his
battle for the ANC's top position. Now the left also wants a piece of
the pie and is demanding seats on the national and provincial deployment
committees which allocate posts. ANC nationalists are fighting a
rearguard battle to keep the party for themselves.
Zuma cannot rush to every township riot to show that he is serious about
service delivery and, in any event, schmoozing township residents will
not cure the deep underlying ills in riot-torn areas.
But what he can do is rethink the policy of deployment, starting a new
culture which rewards hard work and makes it clear that an ANC
membership card is not an automatic ticket to the good life.
Is the ANC losing control of its alliance partners?
David Blood 16 October 2009
Watching the TV news last night with scenes of police firing shotguns at
fleeing protesters, burning tyres, Nyalas bouncing over piles of rocks
and rubble, I thought that I was back in those violent days of Apartheid
The difference was, the police firing the guns were Black and the
protesters weren’t protesting against Apartheid but against the ANC
government which they had just voted in for another term of office, a
mere 6 months earlier.
So what has gone wrong? We had a president who was completely removed
from his electorate, who appointed equally removed Ministers who adopted
an attitude similar to that of Marie Antoinette of “let them eat cake”
or to use Transactional Analysis “I’m Okay You’re Okay”.
Then in Polokwane last year, the old guard was brushed aside and a new
broom swept in with Jacob Zuma at the helm promising a new approach to
matters of public concern.
Under the spotlight was the Economic Policy, Home Affairs, Safety and
Security, Health, Defence and National Intelligence, the Criminal
Justice System and Local Government with specific attention to Service
In the past six months we have had more unrest through service delivery
protests, wage demands from all and sundry including the SABC, Post
Office, Municipal Workers, Metro Cops and most disturbing of all the
National Defence Force, than in the 6 months prior to the April elections.
Where is all of this coming from? COSATU, ANCYL, YCL and the SACP, all
alliance partners to the ANC government! President Zuma recently
condemned the use of violence by various organisations in pursuit of its
goals but this seems to have fallen on deaf ears as the recent events in
Sakhile Township Standerton and in Diepsloot north of Johannesburg,
where people went on the rampage yesterday.
What really burns me is that these protesters have to take out their
frustrations on passing motorists as they stone their cars – FOR WHAT!
Every motorist who was a victim of stoning should get together and
engage a lawyer to make a civil claim against the organisations
responsible for encouraging the protest. They must learn that civil
disobedience is not part of the new dispensation!
President Zuma needs to urgently address the electorate on TV – not 30
seconds in the NEWS but a proper address to the nation - PW style – in
which he calls for restraint, tells the people that the promises made
prior to the election cannot happen overnight, that it took his
predecessor 10 years to achieve nothing and that he must be given a
reasonable period of time for his newly appointed ministers and Premiers
to plan and effect change.
If he doesn’t do this and do it very quickly he will lose control of the
masses to the loud mouths who make even more obscure promises, but do so
with passion and commitment, enough to rally them to their cause. The
result of which will be nothing short of anarchy.
HUNGER PROTEST COALITION DISCOURAGES MAAKE KA NCUBE's VOW
Johannesburg 16 October 2009
Actor and hunger protester Sello Maake kaNcube has entered his 11th day
of fasting as part of the Hunger Protest.
Yesterday he stated in a series of tweets on Twitter:
"I'm all jacked up to fight for the levelling of the cultural playing
fields in my country; as I'm losing my weight, it feels I'm shedding off
the many many times of procrastination to take on the battle to fight
for what i strongly believe in. And at long last I'm feeling very strong
in my stance, in my conviction, that the corruption that is happening in
the country is very very very very very very very very very very very
very very very very very very very very very very very very very very
very very very very very very COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY.”
So far Michael Lee and Zamambo Tshabalala have each gone 30 days without
food, one after the next, and Sello followed, stating he would also go
until 30. This week, Maake kaNcube was quoted in the Times as saying he
will go beyond 30 days if need be.
Lee admits, "To be honest that statement worries me. But keep in mind,
no matter what Sello says, it's written in our founding statement right
up front - 'This protest is not designed to injure its participants. It
is designed to demand an end to a situation of injustice and inhumanity,
in a tradition similar to that going back in many cultures for more than
"When I went past 21 days," Lee continued, "the TVIEC and SASFED felt it
necessary to issue a statement disagreeing with my decision. Behind the
scenes, we agreed I had to stop at 30 and hand over. I'm sure Sello will
hand over when the time comes."
Lee noted for the record that the Hunger Protest is NOT a TVIEC
initiative as the Times article stated. It is rather a private but
aligned campaign in support of the TVIEC's aims.
"I'm feeling fired-up,” Sello added. “I feel like I'm finally awake,
more every day. The clarity is what is amazing. I can either be angry
about the past, or deal with what's going on now to make the future. My
kaNcube has announced that he will be taking the protest international
when he travels to the Phillipines for a theatre festival on October 21
– projected to be his 16th day without food. He will be there for a
week, returning on his 23rd day of fasting.
FOLLOW MAAKE KA NCUBE ON TWITTER @ hungerprotest
FOR FURTHER INFO CONTACT