MK veterans chain in municipal staff and councillors

GREYTOWN Mkhonto Wesizwe veterans (MKV) targeted Umvoti Municipality last Wednesday to emphasise their demands for jobs, tenders and housing. Members, some wearing their signature camouflage uniforms, were at the premises at 8 am.

Chaining the main entrance gate, the protestors denied staff and residents access to the building without a very convincing reason. Ratepayers were also prevented from paying accounts at the Treasury.

Regional MKV secretary Menzi Mkhize told the Greytown Gazettethat the group had decided to make this move after ongoing talks with the Mayor and officials where promises had been made but no action had been taken.

He pointed out that there was a national government procurement policy stating that MKV's must benefit.

At 11am the protest was still ongoing with Mkhize stating that even if they had to sleep there, they would not move until they had spoken to the Mayor and municipal manager.

An MKV spokesperson said many of their members were destitute and struggling, living in shacks without any income to help their families. Despite their training, not one had been employed as a security guard but they said out of town non-veterans were employed.

The Greytown Gazette requested a statement from the mayor and the following was issued on his behalf of the municipality's PR and Media Department: "MVA invaded Umvoti municipal offices on Wednesday, 15 August 2018 where they chained the gates preventing anyone from entering and leaving the premises. A quick response by the Mayor, who was actually on the way to a scheduled meeting in Kranskop, led to a meeting within minutes of the supposed shutdown.

“On arrival of the Mayor, the gates were unchained, allowing municipal employees to enter and exit freely. It is of great importance that we mention that the Mayor, had of his own accord, met with members of MKMVA earlier this year, the purpose of the meeting was to ascertain the general well-being of these members.

“Several resolutions were reached between the Mayor and these members at that initial meeting which included but were not limited to: the identification of local economic development opportunities wherein the municipality has used the identity profiling exercise to identify the number of economically inactive members. To answer that particular plight, the municipality's Local Economic Development department has managed to assist three cooperative projects that are spearheaded by the MKMVA.The mayor also tasked officials to look at processing housing allocation in the current housing project to ensure that all the local MKMVA members and their families are housed."