Umlazi community frustrated over ‘lack of transparency’ in food parcel distribution

KZN Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza is urging councillors to be transparent in working with the communities they serve.

Umlazi residents in Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal, are outraged over the alleged lack of transparency in the distribution of food parcel vouchers by a local councillor. Several families, who are struggling to make ends meet during the lockdown, have been relying on donations to put food on the table.

Community members of ward 80 say their councillor, Mthokozisi Nojiyeza, has undermined them by failing to explain how the process of vouchers distribution works.

Nhlanhla Dube, who is a community leader, says many elderly and child-headed households did not benefit. Dube wants to know how it a decision on who receives help is made.

“At ward 80, we have an issue, our councillor Mthokozisi Nojiyeza. There are food parcels and vouchers showed up in our community yet not all of us who have received these vouchers and food parcels. We heard that one needs to enlist to get a voucher or food parcel yet we discover that the community doesn’t know. We went to the councillor’s office to get some answers concerning this. We found that the councillor is giving out food parcels to his family members and companions,” explains Dube.

Nojiyeza has denied the allegations, calling it character assassination.

“This is not about community, they are individuals within the organisation who are using this so hardship of lockdown to achieve their political agenda against councillors. There are no councillors who are eating food vouchers. The community must be clear that there are individuals who are using this lockdown to achieve their agenda,” says Nojiyeza.

KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza is urging councillors to be transparent in working with the communities they serve.

“As social development, we would love to attend our gratitude and our appreciation from all stakeholders especially from service providers, business people and municipalities who contributed during this time of COVID-19. As much as they contribute, we would love to urge our councillors, this COVID-19 has come and arrived, it’s doesn’t have eyes to see who falls under which political party. Let’s us comply with that,” urges Khoza.