The newly formed Great Khayelitsha Development Initiative (GKDI) has vowed to advance and drive the development of the area and to be the authentic voice that would lure businesses to invest in and improve people’s living conditions.
A Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF) splinter group, the GKDI comprises representatives of various political organisations, the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) and non-governmental organisations. On Sunday May 14 they gathered at Injongo Primary School, in Khayelitsha, for the official launch.
Founders have accused the KDF of corruption and rogue leadership. They claimed KDF had lost the track of its original mandate and was allegedly being used for self-enrichment.
They accused the KDF of being in bed with the ANC and refusing to work with other political parties, including the City of Cape Town.
GKDI project manager Melikhaya Yalwa said the establishment of the organisation was an important response to many socio-economic issues facing Khayelitsha residents.
He said the organisation had been launched to bring services to Khayelitsha and would lobby businesses to invest in the area.
He said the organisation would be transparent in order to eliminate corruption and called on the public to keep them accountable.
“We tried as multi-party political leaders, religious leaders, traditional leaders and academics to rescue KDF, but unfortunately, our cries fell on deaf ears.
“We call upon the people of Khayelitsha to take part in this process, make submissions and own this initiative as their own. We will be transparent so that we could be held accountable,” he said.
AmaXesibe Traditional House spokesperson, Zolile Feni, said he would assist the GKDI to prosper and advised them to guard against political inclinations.
He accused the KDF of pushing away potential investors because of corruption and dishonesty.
“During my time in KDF, after we had established the forum in 1995, we managed to lure investors to build the Site B shopping centre and service stations. (But) the forum failed to ensure that people of Khayelitsha were economically active,” he said.
“This new initiative needs to put people’s interests at heart and make them a priority.”
KDF chairman Ndithini Tyhido, however, vehemently denied any form corruption within the organisation and challenged anyone with evidence of corruption to present it.
Mr Tyhido said if the initiators of GKDI were concerned about wrongdoings in the KDF, they should have raised it instead of leaving and forming another organisation.
He hit back at the initiators of GKDI, describing them as people who were obsessed with power and emphasised that KDF remained an apolitical organisation which worked with any organisationthat extend a helping hand to Khayelitsha.
He, however, admitted that there had been a misunderstanding between the City of Cape Town and Khayelitsha Community Trust (KCT), which is a wing of KDF.
“I don’t care about anyone who screams about corruption and does not provide proof.
“People of Khayelitsha need unity and I hope my colleagues won’t divide them.
“I don’t hear them talk about how are they going to better Khayelitsha and address some of the main challenges facing the area,” he said.