THIS month’s Umdoni council meeting, was not as in depth as the public would have liked it to be, but was certainly more on the entertaining side.
After spending quite some time on topics such as budgets and report-backs on service delivery, councillors, the mayor, speaker and acting municipal manager were disrupted by a youth group known as the Anti Deployment Association (ADA).
The group walked into the hall as normal members of the public ready to observe the meeting.
It didn’t take too long for their leader to stand up and start protesting with the members behind.
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The group walked to the front of the hall and demanded that the mayor and councillors hear what they had to say.
The purpose of this ‘disturbance’ was to question the municipality as to why the posts advertised in a local paper not too long ago had been frozen.
People had applied but heard nothing further. Whether this was because of financial constraints at the municipality or other reasons is unknown. The ADA members wanted their voices heard after this ‘unfair treatment’, but did not choose the right time do it, as councillors simply adjourned their meeting and broke for tea.
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Protection services and the guards at the Scottburgh Town Hall intervened and escorted the members out.
Councillor Roy Bhoola, who was the only councillor to call a point of order on the matter, said: “Yes, I agree that the youth faces employment challenges, but they need to raise it on the correct platform and at the right time.”
After the scene was over, councillors went back to their meeting, at which matters weren’t addressed in detail, but the mayor and councillors agreed that it’s high time they appoint a permanent municipal manager, so the public has one specific person to hold accountable for things.
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The mayor, Councillor Thabani Dube, also agreed that that the politics needed to be set aside to get things done.
“We don’t want to keep asking councillors for solutions to matters all the time, we need to start taking action,” he said, “Senior management needs to stop fighting over power and start working together for the community.”
Hopefully the right changes and right appointments are brought about by the next council meeting towards the end of November.
Also, there will now be protection services officers at future council meetings to prevent a repeat disturbance.
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