Michele du Plessis
Many people are dismayed with the distribution of food parcels in Sabie. In as much so that a case has been opened against the Mayor of Thaba Chweu Local Municipality.
Captain Gwilym Rees, Chairman of the Sabie Ratepayers Association (SRA) had the following to say about the alleged irregularities:
“I have recently learned that municipal officials within our municipality have been “distributing” food parcels rather discriminately (selectively) to the poor.
These food parcels were donated by the private sector (and are meant to be distributed without favour) but it appears that politics may be the driving force here. This is in contravention of very clear instructions from CoGTA at Provincial level. Even the Executive Mayor is allegedly involved.
I further understand that she was at a recent unauthorised gathering with an excessive number of people while food parcels were being distributed. This is in direct contravention of Lockdown regulations.
Despite CoGTA’s circular to all municipal officials entitled “PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES DURING LOCKDOWN” which promises strict measures against those who contravene the regulations, it appears that our municipal officials are “above the law”?
I shall be writing to the Municipal Manager about this and her letter to TCLM “consumers” within the next few days, at which time I will elaborate on the above and other issues,” Captain Rees said. (Please note that the SRA is an apolitical organisation and the wellbeing and fair treatment of all Sabie residents are a priority.)
GPS News received the following information from an anonymous source: “There are ANC members going house to house writing down the names of community members for receiving food parcels. It’s our Municipal Unit Manager and his ANC members going door to door writing down the names of people but only specific houses received sponsored food parcels for Ward 6 and 7. Some people also went to get some of the distributed food parcels in ward 6.
Specific people were called to come to collect food parcels but not tell anyone else. Between 50 to 70 food parcels were apparently donated by a businessman in Sabie and upon asking them “how did they identify the people we were told its a sponsor from an ANC member and they get to decide who receives the food parcels. The Executive Mayor came at a later stage and things started getting out of hand. The police were called and the mayor was escorted away.”
An official statement from Themba Sibiya, Communications Manager, TCLM, stated:
“A businessman from Sabie bought food parcels for the needy and vulnerable communities, the food was to be distributed to the relevant households, the Executive Mayor as the chairperson of the Local Command Council was called to ensure issues of compliance to regulations. A group of people came and threatened to report the EM and her team to the police because the gathering had now attracted a substantial number of people.
The Executive Mayor had to call off the distribution. We are not aware of any case opened for contravention of the lockdown regulations but we can confirm that the Executive Mayor spoke to the police to clarify this matter.”
Sergeant Mandy Nculu confirmed that a case was opened against the Executive Mayor of TCLM.