Posts Tagged ‘community’

Open letter to the Democratic Alliance Leader – Mmusi Maimane

September 15, 2017
Open letter to the Democratic Alliance Leader – Mmusi Maimane
Response to extract in Sunday Tribune 10 September 2017
It is with interest that I took the time to read the article which is not something usually done. The idea was to try and find something new and refreshing.
Given the communities recent engagements with the DA the article was reflective of what the DA are not and will not be.
Some of the challenges and concerns is that you have all the various channels for the people to engage with you as an institution and as the leader yet we got gate-keepers. The head is not in-touch with the people and he is also blind in understanding or knowing what his sub-ordinates are doing.
Do we want or need a party and leader of such calibre? How much different will it be if at this stage they do not heed or address what their constituency are saying?
Currently the party is self-indulged and concerned about a particular status of people with society. The other is that there are people in positions without clout, while others are running their own private businesses on tax-payers money. I am sure this sounds very familiar.
The appeal is for people to become more pro-active in their communities and use the rights given to us in the constitution to hold these ‘leaders’ to account and not be fooled by their false promises and rhetoric.
As the people of South Africa we hope that you Mr Mmusi Maimane would take the time to step down from your soap-box and sit with the people and engage with them to understand who we are and what your sub-ordinates are about.


March 27, 2017

Greetings Lyndal,

Thank you finally for the response.

Firstly I would like to inform you that this is a response in my personal capacity and not the views or response of the ‘community I claim to represent’ as per your understanding.

I would like to compliment you on your or your speech writer, unless plagiarism is acceptable, on your detailed accounts of events and language use in the response; having being in your company and being addressed by you.

To put you in the picture and perspective of my involvement, I am not a resident directly affected by the construction or the soon occupants of the new housing project (as yet). I was approached by the affected residence shortly after the work on the land had started based on my experience of working with people like yourself. This is not my job neither am I being remunerated in any way for my time and effort being put into these interventions.

I will not and do not intend going through and responding to your email line-by-line which I could but do not have the time. As I close the curtain on this interaction as the ‘land-grab’ has taken place with the construction of the dwellings already, I would like to share my personal view to this.

Having interacted with counsellors previously I have always had to keep in mind the people they represent and those they claim to. There was always going to be a juggling act as to who we will be addressing. The role of the puppeteer and the puppet was always going to be blurred. My brief interaction with you has left neither you nor the party you represent favourable to me. Giving the manner in which you, your party and the media have handled this debacle has not left me with much hope. Either the party has lowered its standards from my last understanding or deliberately chosen people like yourself for certain communities for obvious reasons.

It is interesting to have heard during one of your informal discussions with community members that due to the meagre stipend your masters pay you, you are forced to subsidise your income with alternate business interests (jumping castle and security companies).

In closing, it is clear that to your party and even with the media, the community voices were never important as we were never interviewed directly regarding any of the ‘claims or accusations’ that were made verifying these. I find it amusing that you have become the centre of the matter and the real issue side-lined and as the smoke screen the dwellings were being erected. Your view and accounts of the situation have been the only ones being taken in to account.  It will not be surprising but rather confirmation when it becomes evident that the community you represent occupy the houses being built on the site in question.

The struggle to, ‘work together towards building an open opportunity society that is underpinned by Freedom, fairness and opportunity for all’, Lyndal Singh, will continue. Unless we use the following quote, Politicians tongues and toilet paper have something in common…the quality is determined by the economics.



Counsellor’s Letter to community rep…

March 27, 2017

Dear Quinton,

I trust this email finds you well. Since 29th November 2016, you have contacted me, a few journalists and other members of the Democratic Alliance in what I can only presume to be an attempt to gain further information about the housing development taking place behind your property.

In these communications you have consistently and at times indecently attempted to cast aspersions on my character as member of the Democratic Alliance and the democratically elected Ward Councillor of Ward 50. These accusations are not only speculative but have led to this exacerbated circumstances we now find ourselves in. I believe it is not only pertinent but also imperative that we set the record straight so that we can work together towards building an open opportunity society that is underpinned by Freedom, fairness and opportunity for all.

Allow me the opportunity to categorically pin down a timeline of all that I have done as the elected public representative for ward 50 so that we can clear up any misunderstandings, misinformation and misconceptions that you have. I must apologise in advance for the lengthy email however I believe it is important that the record is set straight.

On the 15/11/16 I had an onsight inspection with Woodglaze Liaison Officer Mervin Reddy to ensure that Woodglaze was in procession of the relevant required documentation in order to commence with the Housing Development. On the 21/11/16 a street meeting was then called to give feedback to the community.

On the 2/12/16 you had written an email to Max Ramnarain stating that this is not a political matter and that the community must not allow this to be hi-jacked by the Democratic Alliance or me. Let me remind you Mr Kippen that the very same community you claim you represent have mandated me as their elected Public Representative to investigate this housing development. This should come to you as no surprise as you were present at the meeting held on the 8/12/16 where these matters, amongst others, were discussed at length. The construction then ceased until further investigation could be carried out.

On the 12/01/17 I received an email from Max Ramnarain requesting an urgent community meeting. I immediately went out to the site and met with Eugene Peter from 269 Grovend Drive. After meeting with Mr Peter, I then responded to Max Ramnarain informing him that the next meeting will be set down for the 14/01/16. I would presume that since you are the spokesperson for this community that you would have attended this meeting, despite meeting notifications being distributed in the vicinity you were still not present.

On the 13/02/2017 I had met with Jay Singh, the owner of Woodglaze construction onsight to discuss the concerns of the community in respect to the housing development and to verify that all the plans have been passed and approved. He then met with me again on the 15/02/2017 at my offices with the plans and all relevant documentation. All documentation viewed was duly authorised by Municipality and Woodglaze construction for all intents and purposes were legally allowed to constinue construction.

Then over the next few emails you began to attack my character and question my integrity as the elected Public Representative of Ward 50 by going on to make inferences and accusations such as me having a bad work ethic and claiming that it is feasible and likely that I have benefitted financially from this Housing Development by somehow being in cahoots with Gralio Construction and their subsidiaries.

I have followed due process outlined within my job description as a Public Representative and have in most cases gone beyond the call of duty to assist the residents affected by the Housing Development. Furthermore the DA prides itself in working with a high level of ethical behaviour and professionalism – if you have proof to your allegations please feel free to send this to the DA leadership for them to investigate your allegations. I trust you have their contact details.

After many back and forth meetings and consultations with the community members concerned there were 3 action points which needed immediate attention viz. The driveway access to the back of the existing properties, the blockages of sewer lines and the noise levels caused by the construction company as unreasonable hours of the morning and night.

Since then, Woodglaze construction have agreed to allow the residents a 3meter driveway access to the back of the existing properties even though he is not obligated to do so. In terms of the noise levels this has been reduced and Woodglaze have been informed that they must ensure that work that involves high noise levels must be carried out during regular working hours and the residents were advised to contact me immediately should Woodglaze fail to abide by this. On the 16/03/2017 I engaged Earl Lawler and Yathien Rampaul, city officials, on site. They are currently investigating the cause of the sewer blockages and have already planned to send down cameras to ascertain the location and extend of the blockages. Please bear with them as they have indicated they would give us feedback within 2 weeks.

I have also engaged with MPL George Mari regarding this matter and have been out to sight with him on the 14/03/17 and the 16/03/17. I have met with eThekwini’s Legal Resource Team on the following dates: 02/12/2016 (at their offices), 7/12/16 (on site), 19/01/17, 14/03/17. At the recent meeting with the LRT I was accompanied by Pastor James and Theo Pillay from the ratepayers association who I am sure will be more than happy to assure you that the next step now, should you wish to stop this development, would be for your to approach the high court. Should you fail in your accusations you will liable for the associated fees which I believe is in the R30,000 region. My reason for saying “you” and not “the community” is because in many of your emails you have changed the goals posts stating first that the community is happy about the development but would want their concerns cleared up all the way to the extent of stating to Zimasa from the City Press that the community does not want the development to continue. It is my suggestion that you go back to the community who you claim have mandated you as their spokesperson with the most current information and perhaps revise your mandate.

I want to categorically place on record Mr Kippen, that although I appreciate your frustration on this matter. I do not approve of the  disrespectful and on most occasions inflammatory comments and statements made by you directly to me over the phone and via emails.

It is important that you bear in mind that I will no longer tolerate your abusive phone calls wherein you continue to make inflammatory remarks, unfounded accusations or raise your voice at me. Since the first interaction I have had with you I have treated you with the respect you deserve as resident of the ward and would hope that you have the decency to do the same in future.

Also, should you wish to communicate with me please remember that it is counterproductive when adults speak and treat other adults with disrespect therefore I urge to you keep your communication with me via email.

Kind regards,

Cllr.Lyndal Singh

Communities being fed to those with money by the ‘authorities’…

March 10, 2017

Having being involved with communities at various levels, with organisations and campaigns I am starting to question many things.

A most recent challenge we as a community are fighting in the Phoenix area is the blatant disregard of people with financial means to have to follow procedure and protocol. I guess this will be expected when the authorities give you unrestricted permission and then do not police the process.

How is it possible that a company and a person can be implicated in fraudulent activity, under investigation, messed up government and municipal services and on trial for poor building practice is still given permission (carte blanche) to develop properties within the same municipality?

I struggle to understand when you appeal to other forces to assist like the media they then find that the news is not public interest. Have they become community watchdogs and how do they qualify what is public interest? Unless the public have become so shallow that unless it is sensational then it is news. The other could be that the media themselves have become entangled in this web of the politicians and they then decide what public interest is.

Politicians have lost the real meaning and understanding of their role and function having been elected by the people for the people under our democratic constitution which is considered to be the best piece of progressive paper in the world of governance.

As we ‘progress’ if that is the word to use at this time it has been said by many before, ‘an elite few are being enriched at the expense of the already poverty-stricken electorate’. Before it was difficult to reconcile in my mind the behavior of others to the powers that be regarding things like service delivery, incompetence, misuse, and abuse of power. Looking back and forecasting it seems our struggle will always be. Pre and post-apartheid pictures of community engagement have not changed when we look at methods of demonstration and protest.

Viva democracy viva, or is it…does the government of today only understand their own language of where they come? Maybe as they were ‘struggle fighters’ they only understand the struggle language, when the community behaves in a particular fashion. Some called them terrorists other called them freedom fighters today you will be called barbaric and a hooligan.

If that is what it takes to get their attention then I think so should it be. Is that the language understood by government in addressing the needs of the people and the challenges we face? When we are civil in behavior we are then looked at as week and to be trampled on and like in the movie of Long walk to Freedom, when the Sharpeville massacre took place it was asked, ‘why did you shoot and who shot first’. The same was seen and heard at Marakana. We are being threatened with armed forces and intimidated into submission not to stand against ‘authority’.

Other challenges that we face is that the judge and jury are the perpetrators and the problem with this is that there is no accountability. This also leaves no channels for complaints, grievances, and recourse to be implemented. Watchdog institutions are left with a mere bark as their survival is determined by the perpetrators. How does a dog defend its masters when the masters commit crimes against each other? The same situation under different circumstances sees the dog protecting its family. Will the dog really ‘bite’ the hand that feeds it, if it knew its survival and existence depended on that hand? When the dog does, ‘do what is right’, it is then accused of being out of control and must be subdued.

If society can help me understand where do we go from here to fulfill the greater good of a better country, the land of democracy, the rainbow nation of both equality in economics, justice and education. We are seeing that for a while just voting is not enough. The people in these organisations do not show to have the country at heart. They also do not have the character to tackle, address, and admit to injustices and failures.