Public Protector, Human Rights Commission meet eThekwini Mayor over problems at Glebelands Hostel
Failure to implement the Public Protector’s remedial action in relation to service delivery problems at Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal and related human rights challenges concerning residents of the dwelling are set to take center stage when Deputy Public Protector Adv. Kevin Malunga and the Provincial Commissioner for South African Human Rights Commission, Mr. Mohamed Ameermia, meet with eThekwini Executive Mayor, Cllr. Zandile Gumede in Durban on Thursday.
In a June 2017 report which followed a Public Protector intervention to hold to account several organs of state for their roles in connection with the plight of residents at the hostel, Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane found evidence of widespread failures on the part of the City of eThekwini to deliver services to residents of the dwelling. To remedy the situation, the City Manager was directed to ensure that:
- A database of the evictees and displaced persons is compiled and that in the event that these people cannot be returned to their allocated rooms, that suitable alternative accommodation is provided to them;
- Access control is implemented as provided for in the Hostel Policy;
- Regularisation of residency is implemented as provided for in the Hostel Policy;
- Refuse is collected and removed at regular intervals;
- Damaged infrastructure like water and sewage pipes is repaired timeously and where necessary replaced;
- Hostel grounds are adequately maintained and grass verges and fields are trimmed on a regular basis;
- Lighting both inside and outside of the blocks is improved; and
- Collection of rental is implemented as provided for in the Hostel Policy.
In the wake of the release of the report, the City submitted a remedial action implementation plan. Regrettably, this was not followed up with the necessary action. In August 2018, a Public Protector investigation team conducted an inspection in loco at the hostel after a civil society organisation complained that the remedial action was not being implemented and that the situation at the dwelling was deteriorating. The inspection confirmed this information.
Last month, Adv. Mkhwebane released a list of organs of state that have neither implemented her directives to remedy instances of maladministration nor approached the courts to interdict the implementation thereof, review and set aside her investigation reports. The City of eThekwini made the list for its failure to attend to the problems at the hostel.
Although the meeting, which will take place on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 10:00 at the Executive Mayor’s office will be closed to the media, Adv. Malunga and Mr. Ameermia will be in position to brief journalists on the outcomes thereof.