Angry residents call for councillor’s head

Nkululeko Mgolombane

Residents of a Philippi informal settlement have accused their ward councillor of not doing his job, and they are calling for him to step down.

About 50 Harry Gwala residents protested outside councillor Nkululeko Mgolombane’s office two weeks ago.

They claimed he hadn’t held a community meeting since his election to office four years ago and had caused service delivery to stall in the community.

Mr Mgolombane has denied the allegations and says it’s up to his party, the ANC, to decide whether he should leave office.

Community Leader Nosakhele Zenzile said residents had last seen the councillor when he had been on the campaign trail in the area during election time.

The community had been left in the dark about job and development opportunities and had no idea what the development plan was for the area, she said.

Other councillors were helping needy constituents with food parcels, but Mr Mgolombane did not appear to have such a plan, she said.”I think he forgets that we are part of Ward 80 and that he leads us as well.

The reason why we wanted him to step down and close the office is because we do not want the residents to burn it.

“The office was burnt the last time when residents protested even though it was a different councillor. This is the worst and most incompetent ward councillor we have had.

“We don’t recognise him as our ward councillor. To us, he is useless, honestly. I mean this is his first term and we can’t even point to one thing he has done. He is leaving no legacy behind.”

Another resident, Noluseko Wayiti, said she felt she had wasted her vote by choosing Mr Mgolombane for office.

He had put his own friends first and failed the very people who had elected him, she said.

Mr Mgolombane vehemently denied the allegations, describing them as baseless.

He said he reported regularly to his superiors about his work. Food parcels, he added, were a national government initiative and out of his hands as a councillor.

It was the ANC, not the residents, who should ultimately decide whether he was fit for office or not, he said.

The allegations were the result of personal vendettas and not based on his work ethic or record, he said.