Ntambanana community project falling apart committee claims

The irate Luwamba Project Committee members - Deputy Chairman Zanele Shandu, facilitator S'busiso Dludla, coordinator Mondli Phungula, Deputy Secretary Zamani Ndaba and Chairperson Thokozani Nzuza PHOTO: Steven Makhanya

LUWAMBA Project Committee members allege their gardening, dairy, chicken and goat project established by the former Ntambanana Municipality is fast becoming a white elephant.

The 350 project participants from wards 1 to 8 complain the initiative intended to empower and improve their lives, has been allowed to deteriorate, yet some people still benefit from it.

The members are adamant that when the project was established in 2012, the Department of Agriculture promised it would receive monthly funding of R350 000.

The money was earmarked for operational expenses and stipends until the cooperative became self-sustainable.

They blame the former project manager of helping himself to the money meant to uplift the rural community.

Equipment disappearance

‘One of the two tractors was stolen in February owing to lack of security and the fence has been vandalized,’ said facilitator S’busiso Dludla.

‘The chicken project has also collapsed, some of the jojo tanks are gone, one generator for pumping irrigation water was stolen and of the 10 dairy cows purchased in 2013, only one is left.

‘We blame the Premier’s office official deployed to oversee the project, who only comes to Luwamba and take pictures whenever there is a problem, but never returns.’

The members claim the former project manager paid himself a huge salary while the stipends for the participants were reduced to only R500.

‘We never knew how much was spent on what. We had no access to the books, only the former manager,’ said committee Deputy Chairman Zanele Shandu.

Apparently the project has since been handed over to the Ubuka Trust, whose Chairperson Mr Ntenga denied having any knowledge of the claimed problems.

‘I don’t know who those people calling themselves the Luwamba Committee are,’ Ntenga said.

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