With a month to go before the local government elections, residents of Monwabisi Park are threatening to withhold their votes as the ANC aligned South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in the area is embroiled in a fight over power and money.Residents are furious after finding out that former Sanco members charged them for services which they later found out were free.
From October 2009 until they were found out in June last year, three former Sanco members told residents that each household needed to pay R25 in order to be allocated a house number.
But in June last year residents discovered that number allocation was a free service offered by the municipality.
As a result, the three members, which included the secretary Thembela Rhoji, Thembile Ntshewu and Eliot Feni were voted off the committee.
But they set up a parallel Sanco structure and refused to hand over the money or the books.
And residents are not happy.
“The old committee doesn’t want to step down. They had their time last year and stole people’s money,” said residents committee member Michael October.
“They refused to give us back our money and are still keeping Sanco resources and using them for their parallel structure.”
October said the parallel Sanco was confusing people.
He said the residents committee had reported the matter to the police but they were advised not to open a case because the matter involved Sanco and community. They then took the matter to the ANC branch task team but were told they could not help, the matter needed to be sorted out within Sanco.
Sanco Parallel Structure Chairperson, Thembile Ntshewu, said: “These are accusations from certain people. We are not the first people to ask R25. It all started in 1997. That R25 was not for house numbers, we asked them for fundraising because we were not working.
“We needed money to attend their meetings. This is a law that every community member must pay R25 and they all agreed.”
He said he was “waiting for a right time” to report back to the community.
“For now we will still continue to work for people.”
ANC branch task team spokeperson Wandisile Selmani said the matter did not concern them.
He said the task team told the residents committee to report the matter to the local or regional Sanco office.
“Pity that both local and regional Sanco does not exist anymore.” – Nombulelo Damba, West Cape News