ANC reins in unruly MK vets
All provincial government departments and councils have been ordered to stop entertaining mafia-style business forums who have disrupted several projects with demands for stakes in government tenders.
Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC, Sihle Zikalala, said harsh action will be taken against the disruptive business forums whose actions Zikalala said had cost the province investment potential and caused panic in the industry.
Zikalala was speaking at the KZN Growth Coalition breakfast, a gathering of captains of the industry, held in Durban on Thursday.
“The ruling party, the ANC, has resolved that no sphere of government should continue to engage with formations that are hell-bent in pursuing criminal activities under the guise of economic transformation.
“As the provincial government and the ruling party, we have reached a conclusion that the state of illegality will not be tolerated. We have activated law enforcement agencies not to tolerate disruption, extortion and violence to disrupt business,” he said.
Zikalala said government would engage citizens and forums who have interest in the transformation of the economy. “All legitimate concerns will be addressed but no act of criminality will ever be allowed. There are many instances of communities and groupings violently stopping business operations and infrastructure projects in KwaZulu-Natal.
“Some cases relating to these disturbances are already before the courts for adjudication,” he said.
Zikalala said business forums should not disrupt projects under disguise of government policy.
“Radical Economic Transformation is implemented within the proper framework and prescripts. The allocation of set-aside and the 30% for localisation is accessible through proper procurement process, not through individuals beseeching allocations from investors,” he said.
Provincial government also used the opportunity to draw the line against ex-combats, Mkhonto weSizwe veterans who have stormed several Midlands councils demanding jobs, tenders and housing. “That will not be tolerated,” Zikalala said.
“We are engaging with the leadership of MK Vets. MK members are ANC members before they are MK members. We will use ANC channels to deal with them if they continue with their actions,” he said.
Meanwhile, the DA spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison, Rishigen Viranna, called for the removal of Themba Mavundla as the head of the KZN department of Community Safety following his utterances that no action should be taken against MK Vets who have disrupted services in four Midlands councils. Mavundla is also the provincial chairperson of MK Vets.
“It is clear that Mavundla has grossly abused his authority as HOD. This is further evidenced by the allegations that SAPS members on site treated these invaders with kid gloves. This is not the first time that Mavundla has shown his true colours. In 2017 he was also involved in the closure of the N3 Mariannhill toll plaza,” said Viranna.