DA calls on MEC to intervene as Kwadukuza ECD facility remains closed amid scandal

Democratic Alliance media statement by Sharon Hoosen, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Social Development

DA calls on MEC to intervene as Kwadukuza ECD facility remains closed amid scandal
The Democratic Alliance has written to KZN Social Development MEC, Weziwe Thusi, (view here) to request that she urgently intervene at the Driefontein Early Childhood Development Centre in Kwadukuza, after an oversight inspection which has revealed that despite the facility having been officially opened seven months ago it remains empty (view here).
The situation exists while another Centre – operating from a community centre in the same neighbourhood – is struggling to cope with 83 children ranging in age from new-born to one year old. The DA’s oversight comes after a tip-off from community members, who say they are tired of watching blatant corruption from the side-lines and want the culprits to be brought to book.
During the site inspection, the DA saw a plaque at the entrance to the Centre which confirmed that the facility was officially opened by KwaDukuza Mayor, Ricardo Mthembu on 1 February 2018 (view here).
Our sources also told us that a suitable candidate to manage the facility was found during March but that the problems began when a former ANC councillor for the area in Ward 21, a Mr Mduli, meddled with the process. This after allegedly promising the job to a woman who had not even applied for the position originally.
The result of this interference by Mr Mduli is that the municipality was forced to stop the entire recruitment process after an uproar by stakeholders involved in the selection panel process. The matter has also caused a major rift between the community and the Mayor, particularly after they raised their concerns with him, to no avail.
The DA is extremely concerned by this situation. The upshot of this entire debacle is that the Driefontein community has been left without a vital service. It is unacceptable that this community should suffer as a result of some ‘jobs for pals’ scheme and we expect the MEC to act.
The DA’s inspection has also revealed that despite a more than R1million price tag, the Centre still has insufficient toilet facilities and play equipment.
We also found that that there was a full-time time security guard on the property, again leaving ratepayers to cover the cost of a facility not in use.
The DA has submitted a written request to the MEC Thusi for urgent intervention and investigation in order to establish the reasons for the delay in opening the Driefontein Centre. Local DA Councillor, Thomas Du Toit will also seek answers from the Mayor in this regard. There is a dire need for Early Childhood Development Centres and other such facilities in our province and the MEC must act to ensure that this facility is opened.
The DA will not turn its back on the many vulnerable citizens in our province who rely on this Department. We will continue to visit DSD facilities and expose our findings – good and bad – whether the MEC likes it or not.

 

DA calls on MEC to intervene as Kwadukuza ECD facility remains closed amid scandal
by Sharon Hoosen, MPL - DA KZN Spokesperson on Social Development
Date: 14 September 2018
Release: Immediate
 

Note to Editors: Find attached a soundbite here.

The Democratic Alliance has written to KZN Social Development MEC, Weziwe Thusi, (view here) to request that she urgently intervene at the Driefontein Early Childhood Development Centre in Kwadukuza, after an oversight inspection which has revealed that despite the facility having been officially opened seven months ago it remains empty (view here).

The situation exists while another Centre – operating from a community centre in the same neighbourhood – is struggling to cope with 83 children ranging in age from new-born to one year old. The DA’s oversight comes after a tip-off from community members, who say they are tired of watching blatant corruption from the side-lines and want the culprits to be brought to book.

During the site inspection, the DA saw a plaque at the entrance to the Centre which confirmed that the facility was officially opened by KwaDukuza Mayor, Ricardo Mthembu on 1 February 2018 (view here).

Our sources also told us that a suitable candidate to manage the facility was found during March but that the problems began when a former ANC councillor for the area in Ward 21, a Mr Mduli, meddled with the process. This after allegedly promising the job to a woman who had not even applied for the position originally.

The result of this interference by Mr Mduli is that the municipality was forced to stop the entire recruitment process after an uproar by stakeholders involved in the selection panel process. The matter has also caused a major rift between the community and the Mayor, particularly after they raised their concerns with him, to no avail.

The DA is extremely concerned by this situation. The upshot of this entire debacle is that the Driefontein community has been left without a vital service. It is unacceptable that this community should suffer as a result of some ‘jobs for pals’ scheme and we expect the MEC to act.

The DA’s inspection has also revealed that despite a more than R1million price tag, the Centre still has insufficient toilet facilities and play equipment.

We also found that that there was a full-time time security guard on the property, again leaving ratepayers to cover the cost of a facility not in use.

The DA has submitted a written request to the MEC Thusi for urgent intervention and investigation in order to establish the reasons for the delay in opening the Driefontein Centre. Local DA Councillor, Thomas Du Toit will also seek answers from the Mayor in this regard. There is a dire need for Early Childhood Development Centres and other such facilities in our province and the MEC must act to ensure that this facility is opened.

The DA will not turn its back on the many vulnerable citizens in our province who rely on this Department. We will continue to visit DSD facilities and expose our findings – good and bad – whether the MEC likes it or not.
Leave A Comment

*