A delegation from the KZN Legislature visited Okhahlamba municipality to monitor the functionality of War Rooms in Ngoba and Zwelisha areas. It was led by the MEC for EDTEA in her capacity as the Uthukela District Champion Ms Nomsa Dube-Ncube , Uthukela District Mayor Cllr AS Mazibuko, Deputy Mayor Cllr NW Mchunu, Speaker PG Strydom, Inkosi Hlongwane, Ward Cllr Msimanga, Sector Departments and officials.
Operation Sukuma Sakhe (OSS) started round about 2009 where its main focus was on bringing services closer to where the people live. The departments attending the War Rooms should thus bring practical solutions to the problems. Opening remarks by Uthukela District Mayor Cllr AS Mazibuko gave a brief on the situations in the municipalities and War Rooms. Uthukela District Task Team Chairperson made a commitment to do even better as OSS.
We as departments recommit ourselves to the livelihood of our people. We say all stakeholders will work together to achieve a common goal of service delivery, Dr Zulu said.
What appears on the Legislature's first day visit was that some departments do not attend the meetings at the War Rooms. According to the presentations by Secretary Ms T Khoza, War Room in Ward 3 started operating in 2012 as a pilot project in Mhlwazini area then later moved to Ngoba. It has official bearers and meetings are held frequently. War Room has a Phila Mntwana programme which is very much functional. It also has as NGO, FBO, Youth Sector, CPF, Okhahlamba LM and government departments. There is a mobile clinic that visit all areas to provide primary health care services. There are many activities that have been conducted in the ward including the COVID-19 awareness campaign.
Statistics from the Department of Social Development show there are many orphans and child headed households in the ward. Some of them have received houses from the municipality and Al Imdaad Foundation. SASSA assists with food parcels distribution. There is a CPF structure to assist in terms of crime prevention in the area. War Room project was established in 2016 where members contribute towards the fund. Since then they are able to do so much activities that are are assisting the community in many ways.
Social ills: HIV AIDS is very much prevalent and there are other illnesses like diabetes and TB that are also common. Alcohol abuse is rife in the area. There is also a piggery project which aims to employ people in the area to alleviate poverty. Challenges identified are none attendance from other departments. Water shortages as the area has no running taps. Responding to the issue of water Mayor Mazibuko said there's a project that is 90% complete but a few weeks ago it was vandalized which put the progress back. There's also a plan for spring protection which is going to be implemented. Again there's a water tanker which will be assisting in water distribution in the area.
The MEC appreciated the work done by the War Room in the area. She was, however, concerned about the illegal taverns operating there and said this needed urgent intervention to close them down. On the issue of water she said the district has plenty of water but people can't access it. She then encouraged people to do one home one garden programme.
The second stop was at Zwelisha Community Hall in Ward 9. War Room changed the venue in which they operate due to vandalism of property. Training on profiling has never been conducted for members. In short, it was clear that the War Room is non-existent. But that was disputed by Ward Cllr Hadebe and said that the reason why it seems like it is not existing is because members did not get required training. It last sat in February this year. In the end it was agreed that War Room will meet in November to deliberate on their action plan. Inkosi Hlongwane encouraged the community to work together and respect one another to achieve greater things in life.