Amsterdam protest action. Community members of Amsterdam and surrounding areas protested on Tuesday, 7 August after they received feedback from the Mkhondo Local Municipality, regarding the memorandum delivered on Friday, 20 July 2018.
The protestors at the protest action felt that a lot of their demands stipulated in the memorandum were not met by the municipality and they require urgent action to be taken. Answers provided to them are as follows: Transparent employment systems:
When a permanent vacancy is requested to be filled, the process to follow is: (1) Publication of an advert for two weeks to give applicants the opportunity to apply. (2) Short listing is done by a panel appointed by the Municipal Manager. (3) Interviews of the short listed candidates are conducted by the Municipal Manager’s panel and (4) Appointment after successful interviews. The panel will also make recommendations.
The above is a fair process used by the municipality to fill vacant positions. Moving forward, the municipality will monitor the process and ensure that it is done in a transparent manner.
Dissolution of all Ward Committees: The Speaker will investigate and engage with Councillors and Ward Committees involved, after which assessments in relation to performance will be provided to her and Riots flared up in Amsterdam on Tuesday, 7 August as residents are not satisfied with answers given by the municipality she will report her findings to Council, if there are any. It is worth mentioning that she will conduct the report in consultation with COGTA (Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs).
EPWP Contracts: The urgency of the matter is acknowledged and it has been advertised. Capturing of applications are currently being done and the municipality confirms that they received 1 200 applications.
Establishment of an Admission Committee: The municipality discussed the matter with the Department of Education and added that a fair process must be followed. Incomplete RDP houses and electrification: This matter has been referred back to the Department of Human Settlement for further investigation.
A report will be provided timeously upon the finalisation of the investigation. Mkhondo Local Municipality is committed to universal access to electricity by 2020. Issues of Sites: Amsterdam Extension 5 – 1 000 sites of Integrated Human Settlement will be made available, with 300 sites which will be allocated for low cost housing and 700 for the Gap Market.
The Department of Human Settlement appointed Lidwala, who is currently finalising the township establishment. A Bank in Amsterdam: Mkhondo Local Municipality is currently busy negotiating with Capitec Bank but is still busy with the assessment of viability for the Bank. Sewer system issue: The municipality registered a sewer project with the Department of Water and Sanitation and COGTA and it has been approved.
Currently, the municipality is awaiting funds. Non-functioning streetlights: The municipality has since sent their team to replace all the streetlights that are not working. Prepaid electricity cards: The municipality will investigate the issue of card cloning and report back to the community.
Public facilities issue: Public facilities are regulated by Council policies and everyone is allowed to use the municipal facilities, despite their political affiliation. The response was signed by the Municipal Mananger, Mr M. Kunene, but unfortunately, the community members were not satisfied and still commenced with the protest action.
According to members involved, no public property was damaged, yet nine people were arrested. They also stated that the police vandalised the RDP houses by kicking doors. These rumours can in fact not be confirmed as response is awaited from the SAPS. The community of Amsterdam is demanding satisfactory answers to their demands and they want to see change.