Blackout puts brakes on IDP meeting in KwaNobuhle

The Kwanobuhle IDP meeting was unable to continue as there was no power
IN THE DARK: The Kwanobuhle IDP meeting was unable to continue as there was no power
Image: NOMAZIMA NKOSI

A power outage in KwaNobuhle on Wednesday night stopped a scheduled integrated development plan meeting dead in its tracks.

When Nelson Mandela Bay councillors, led by human settlements political head Andile Mfunda, arrived at Babs Madlakane Community Hall, they were greeted by darkness and annoyed residents.

Ward 45 councillor Siphiwo Plaatjies told residents in the hall that the meeting could not continue because there was no electricity.

However, he added that it was up to the residents to make the final decision.

Thembelihle Madlavu from area 11 in Gunguluza told the councillors not to submit the register they had signed.

When we walked in here we signed a register. Now we don’t want that register leaving this building because we don’t want a situation where you go back to your offices and record this as a meeting that sat because you have our signatures, Madlavu said.

Luyolo Nqakula from Ward 46, who is also the ANC regional task team co-ordinator, suggested the meeting should not continue and criticised the manner in which the meeting had been communicated.

I just so happened to be driving past here when I saw cars, and decided to come and see what was happening for myself.

Let us also recognise that Covid-19 is not gone and for regulations to be put in place because there can’t be more than 200 people here.

My understanding of an IDP meeting is to get quality input from residents of their needs.

We need better communication of meetings and also a better venue, whether they can be done in voting districts, so that regulations can be adhered to, he said.

Sakhumzi Mbaduli from Ward 46 said Uitenhage had always been treated as second cousins and the way in which the meeting was communicated was evidence of this.

Let us reconvene the meeting so that the majority of residents can get an opportunity to participate, because I just so happened to see cars here as I was on my way to buy cigarettes, he said.

Mbaduli said he did not know if the power outage had been deliberate so that officials could avoid listening to the concerns of residents, but proposed the meeting be postponed.

We have at least two usable halls here in KwaNobuhle.

There used to be a meeting at Jeff Masemola Hall and one here.

Can we please go back to that, Mbaduli said.

Hector Peter from Ward 46, who is also the EFF regional secretary, questioned whether the inputs made during the IDP meeting would find space in the early adjustments budget.

Council has been debating passing the early adjustments budget.

My understanding is that whatever is being discussed here is meant to be included in that document, Peter said.

He agreed the meeting should be postponed.

Mfunda then proposed that the meeting be reconvened either on Monday or Tuesday.

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