The community of Charl Cilliers is up in arms. The Bulletin has reported on a few issues before regarding contracts that have started in Charl Cilliers. These problems just seem to be unable to be resolved.
The main issue is the involvement of the committee at large as well as the involvement of the Ward 10 councillor, Cllr SR Ntuli. It is alleged by members of the community that Ntuli appointed people as she saw fit. The problem with Ntuli is that she is and was not supposed to have appointed anybody.
The Bulletin learned of a public meeting that would address the appointment of a Community Liaison Officer (CLO) for a new pipeline project. This meeting took place on Thursday, 8 August, late afternoon. People arrived in their customary slow fashion, but the meeting started close to the advertised starting time.
Ntuli refused to speak English even though at least 4 people could not speak a native language. She continued to tell the community about the processes and employment of the CLO. The question was asked if there is a Project Steering Committee. Ntuli said: “No.”
The guidelines for the appointment of a CLO is clear. This appointment should be done through the Steering Committee and not the councillor. “This is a very good example of political interference,” said DA Cllr Mariaan Chamberlain, “there are guidelines that should be followed.”
The guidelines and regulations as per the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) is that the Project Steering Committee should be established by involving the affected communities.
Below are some of the guidelines:
5.1 Community Engagement. Prior to the appointment of the Community Liaison Officer (Section 6), the employer shall undertake a process of engagement with the targeted communities where contract participation goals are to be specified for targeted areas in terms of: a) one or more Metropolitan or District Municipalities; b) one of more Local Municipalities; or c) an area within a predefined radius of the construction activity. The employer shall facilitate the establishment of a Community Project Committee (CPC) representing the affected communities. The Community Project Committee shall include the affected Ward Councillor(s) and relevant community leaders. The employer engagement with the Community Project Committee shall seek to obtain agreement with the community on the targeting strategy, contract participation goals to be employed on the construction works and dispute resolution mechanisms (Section 5.2). The agreement reached by the employer with the Community Project Committee shall be included in the contract data.
- Community Liaison Officers. A Community Liaison Officer (CLO) shall be appointed where contract participation goals are specified for targeted areas in terms of: a) one or more Metropolitan or District Municipalities; b) one or more Local Municipalities; or c) an area within a predefined radius of the construction activity. Where the appointment of the Community Liaison Officer is the responsibility of the contractor, the requirements for the appointment and payment of the Community Liaison Officer shall be as specified in the contract data. The Community Liaison Officer should be recommended by the Community Project Committee (CPC).
6.1 Key Duties and Functions. The key duties and functions of the Community Liaison Officer should (where relevant) include: a) identifying labour available in the target community; b) identifying enterprises available in the targeted community; c) coordinating community activities with respect to construction works activities; d) arranging and attending meetings with the community; e) educating community with regard to the dispute resolution mechanism adopted by the Community Project Committee (CPC) and recorded in the agreement between the employer and the CPC; f) facilitating labour, community and contractor concerns; and g) providing daily feedback re-garding community concerns to the contractor
A DA Councillor stood up and challenged the statements of Ntuli. She first refused to speak stating that he is a colleague. The community insisted that she should allow him to speak. He addressed the crowd stating that she should not be the one appointing the CLO and that she should also wait for the appointment of the Steering Committee. The councillor also pointed out that while she is passing the blame for the removal of two members of her ward committee, she herself should be to blame as she made the recommendations and submitted the requests.
The community left the hall before she could finish addressing them. – Encee van Huyssteen