Mngxunyeni wants infrastructure upgrade

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, right, greets Reverend Templeton Mbekwa at the Gugulethu Sports Complex.

The ANC’s Ward 94 candidate and current councillor, Patrick Mngxunyeni, is adamant he will retain his position after the local government election and labelled efforts against him as “grandstanding”.

He said he was not shaken by the opposition parties nor those within the ANC.

Mr Mngxunyeni, 61, is eyeing a third term and is ready to deliver a knockout blow to his challengers, while improving the lives of people in Khayelitsha.

“In fact, I have already started. With the little that we are getting, we are busy with the street lights,” he said.

He dismissed as “wrong assumptions” suggestions that the DA could win the ward, saying that Khayelitsha was an ANC “stronghold” with “clear people” who knew their history. He added they would not be misled by new political parties, citing his party’s good policies. “Their (opposition parties) policies are a copy and paste of our policies,” said Mr Mngxunyeni. “Our policies are among the best in the world.”

Mr Mngxunyeni said those who believed they could score on political differences were just dreaming. “There are political differences everywhere. There is never 100 percent unity in politics,” he said.

Responding to fellow ANC member Mthwalo Ryder Mkutswana’s claims that due process hadn’t been followed when Mr Mngxunyeni was chosen as the ANC’s candidate for Ward 94, Mr Mngxunyeni accused Mr Mkutswana of deliberately slowing down the processes by lodging an appeal when he lost the vote at the branch general meeting (BGM), with 60 votes going to Mr Mngxunyeni and 42 to Mr Mkutswana. (See story on page 9)

His appeal had been unsuccessful, said Mr Mngxunyeni.

But, he said, as a disciplined member of the ANC, he had put the issue behind him and focused on the work ahead. “One of the weaknesses of the ANC is that there is no (requirements in terms of) qualification. That is why anyone, even people with Sub A, can contest these positions,” he said. “His CV cannot compete with mine.”

Commenting on the challenges facing the ward, Mr Mngxunyeni highlighted housing for backyarders and unemployment as the main challenges, pointing out that various plots had been identified for rezoning to build houses.

He also emphasised the need for skills development for youth and investment in SMMEs to capacitate young people.

He added that there had also been a collapse in the infrastructure, particularly sewerage pipes, with Khayelitsha as a whole experiencing massive drain blockages. This, he said was due to the increasing number of people living in the area. “Generally, we want to encourage education to build the second layer of generation,” he said.

Mr Mngxunyeni, who is chairman of Sub-council 10, criticised the City’s budget allocation. He said the five sub-councils in Khayelitsha received less than what Good Hope Sub-council got. “This is strange coming from a City that says it is pro-poor,” he said.

* Meanwhile, ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, visited the province for two days on Saturday and Sunday July 16 and 17, as part of his party’s election campaign.

Among other areas, he visited Khayelitsha, Samora Machel, Delft, Mitchell’s Plain, Nyanga and Gugulethu.

At the Gugulethu Sports Complex supporters waited for more than two hours before he arrived, accompanied by the party’s mayoral candidate, Xolani Sotashe and the provincial leadership.

* Democratic Alliance leader Musi Maimane and his mayoral candidate Patricia de Lille were also in Khayelitsha on Saturday July 16.

Numerous attempts by Vukani to speak to the DA’s Ward 94 candidate Shirley Nomatokazi Aba were futile. She initially requested an hour to prepare. When phoned again she referred Vukani to Desiree Visagie at the DA’s office. While Ms Visagie gave Vukani to go-ahead to talk to her, Ms Aba did not answer her mobile phone and did not respond to a voicemail message left on her phone.