Durban – The city had failed to improve conditions at Glebelands Hostel because of corruption and maladministration.
Community and human rights activist Vanessa Burger said this after the public protector’s office questioned eThekwini Municipality’s failure to implement the recommendations of a 2017 report on living conditions at the hostel.
Deputy Public Protector, advocate Kevin Malunga, was in Durban this week to follow up on his office’s recommendations.
The hostel has been described as a hotbed of political killings and residents had complained they lacked basic services such as adequate lighting, which would make the place safer.
“The city is failing utterly to ensure the residents have decent, safe living conditions and acceptable services, not just at Glebelands. All the eThekwini hostels are an administrative mess,” said Burger.
She said the situation resulted from a combination of corruption, a failure to engage and consult residents, cadre deployment and a lack of accountability.
Mary de Haas of the KZN Violence Monitor said city officials needed to go to the hostel regularly and see first-hand what was needed.
“Simple things, like plumbing and fixing lights, can be done quite quickly. The city can upskill the people living in the hostel to carry out the work instead of employing outside contractors,” she said.