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Mayor, NGOs fail to pitch

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Matika, was also not present for the meeting and was, according to council members, attending to other matters.

NO SHOW: A scheduled meeting between the Sol Plaatje Municipality executive mayor and NGOs had to be postponed after only a handful of NGO representatives showed up.

A SCHEDULED meeting between the Sol Plaatje Municipality executive mayor and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had to be postponed after only a handful of NGO representatives arrived for yesterday’s meeting.

Only five organisations attended the meeting.

One of the NGO representatives present yesterday, blamed the municipality for not communicating and advertising the meeting effectively to all NGOs.

The city’s executive mayor, Mangaliso Matika, was also not present for the meeting and was, according to council members, attending to other matters.

“There are about 2 500 NGOs but only five are present. Not even 1% made it. When looking at how the meeting was advertised, through the newspaper, it is clear that the municipality did not consider that some NGOs may not have the money to buy the paper to see the advert. There is database in the municipality’s possession with the contact details of all NGOs. They should have made use of that database to invite all the NGOs in the city,” said the representative.

“This is a clear sign that the councillors are not doing their work. They could have contacted the NGOs and informed them. The municipality needs to go back to the drawing board as this meeting was called prematurely … the municipality is putting the cart before the horse.”

Councillor Ronnie Morwe suggested that the meeting be postponed.

“This meeting will not serve its intended purpose and the objectives we envisioned. NGOs are key stakeholders in government and will play a vital part in conveying the municipality’s message to the communities,” said Morwe.

Another councillor, who acted at the chairperson, Benjamin Plaatjie, said they had anticipated a higher attendance as the previous meetings were a success.

“We had good responses from the religious and business fraternities. We anticipated that the response from the NGOs would be the same,” said Plaatjie.

“We do have planned programmes for next week as we are planning a healing and restoration day for the city on July 29. There will be various programmes leading up to the main event. The council has also planned meetings with the community from Monday next week.

“We have to go back and face the communities after the (recent) chaos (in the city). We did not envisage that the (protest) march would end in the manner that it did. We strongly condemn what happened in the city and need to connect with the community again,” added Plaatjie.