The speech that got me physically removed by the Mayor’s bodyguards


Speech to eThekwini Council 29 May 2013

Speaker, what we have seen today in this council is an example of the general malaise affecting this City government, and in this instance specifically, the process by which we review and amend our IDP.

This council is not genuinely interested in real public participation, instead imposing its view on the residents of this city. Mr Speaker, this approach is not altogether dissimilar to your own handling of these council meetings. The rule book is merely a rough guide and you use your majority to make your own rules as you go along.

Mr Speaker, let me provide a few examples.

First, the IDP 2011/12 states the vision of this City as follows:

“By 2020, eThekwini will enjoy the reputation of being Africa’s most caring and liveable city, where all citizens live in harmony.”

However, in 2012/13 something changed, rather surreptitiously, and by its repetition in this IDP confirms it was no error. The last two IDPs reflect a changed vision for our City, and I quote:

“By 2030, eThekwini will be Africa’s most caring and liveable city.”

Now, Mr Speaker, this is interesting for two reasons. First, speaker, the extension, without discussion or motivation of the timeline in our vision by a decade from 2020 to 2030. Clearly, Speaker the ANC realizes that it’s poor track record of delivery crippled by corruption and cronyism has made the achievement of this vision by 2020 impossible.

After all, Mr Speaker, the slums we have built in the form of unserviced transit camps hardly serve as the best example of “caring and liveable”.

Second, how is it that we unilaterally discard the vision of a City “where all citizens live in harmony.” Is this not something so crucial to the spirit of our democracy that we should debate in full the change to our vision to remove this aim? Instead, is it simply edited out.

Speaker, the extra decade is not what is needed to ensure the achievement of this vision. What is required is a change in the attitude of this government. Take, for example, the poor attitude demonstrated by Cllr Nigel Gumede today through his admission of deliberate selective delivery based on political affiliation.

Speaker, the second example draws on the community of Umbilo and the state of the Umbilo Congella Sports Club. This crucial community asset, and the only public hall in the ward, has experienced near destruction as a result of inaction and failure to deliver. If the people of Umbilo were fully and genuinely consulted in the process of establishing regional priorities in the IDP, I assure you that we wouldn’t be waiting until 2014/15 for action to be take in renovating this crucial public facility.

Lastly, Speaker, p178 of this IDP reflects the obligation on this City to ensure “Traffic regulation and supervision in public roads.” As a further demonstration of what I am talking about Mr Speaker, and in spite of community protests against speeding, like the one recently in KwaMashu where school children were being killed, we still have only one mobile speed timing device. Speaker I have brought this failure to deliver to this council’s attention on a repeated basis and the attitude has been to simply ignore what, in the end, is a statutory obligation on this council.

Speaker, the ANC has a 62% majority in this council yet behaves as if it has a 100% majority. Public participation and genuine, meaningful consultation is a crucial component of our democracy. By going through public participation as a check box exercise without any meaningful consultation taking place, the ANC simply wasting the time and money of its residents in what is currently a farce.


Motion: Let’s face it, Flamingo Court was a stuff up…

The Speaker – eThekwini Council
Councillor Logie Naidoo
City Hall

26 May 2013


Dear Mr Speaker


This council noting that:

  • Flamingo Court in Umbilo used to be a council-owned building
  • eThekwini sold the flats in the building to residents
  • Individual metering per unit was not installed for water
  • The body corporate has collapsed, and water debt has crippled the building
  • eThekwini Water has previously applied to courts to cut water from the building completely

Resolves that the Executive Committee investigates and reports back on:

1. eThekwini Municipality must acknowledge that it was negligent in not installing individual metering before transferring the flats to low income owners;
2. A moratorium must be placed on disconnecting the building’s water supply;
3. Individual water meters must be installed urgently;
4. The water debt for the entire building must be written off from the date that the individual meters are installed.



Cllr Warwick Chapman



Cllr Hlanganani Gumbi

Lady Mondegreen, an eggcorn, a malapropism and mumpsimus…

A mondegreen is the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as a result of near-homophony, in a way that gives it a new meaning. (eg. “pre-Madonna” instead of “prima donna”)

The unintentionally incorrect use of similar-sounding words or phrases in speaking is a malapropism. (eg. “intensive purposes” instead of “intents and purposes”)

If there is a connection in meaning, it can be called an eggcorn. (eg. “old timers” instead of “Alzheimers”)

If a person stubbornly sticks to a mispronunciation after being corrected, that can be described as mumpsimus.

Just for the sport of it, how about “reverse Mondegreens”:

Some nonsensical lyrics can be interpreted homophonically as rational text. A prominent example is Mairzy Doats, a 1943 novelty song by Milton Drake, Al Hoffman, and Jerry Livingston. The lyrics are a mondegreen and it is up to the listener to figure out what they mean.

The refrain of the song repeats nonsensical sounding lines:
Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wooden shoe

The clue to the meaning is contained in the bridge:
If the words sound queer and funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey,
Sing “Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy.”

The listener can figure out that the last line of the refrain is “A kid’ll eat ivy, too; wouldn’t you?”, but this line is sung only as a mondegreen.

Change is the only constant…


Dear Friends (and mischievous others)

The media have cottoned onto this so it is the appropriate time for me to clarify publicly.

Effective end June 2013, I have resigned as a councillor of the eThekwini municipality and as Deputy Chairperson of the Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal. I have been given an opportunity to apply my professional skillset to a new position which has been created at the DA’s National Head Office in Cape Town, where I will be overseeing the party’s various information systems.

I have served the public in the capacity of ward councillor for nearly five years now. My introduction to elected politics as ward councillor for Pinetown, and then Glenwood / Umbilo was a baptism of fire. Both are challenging communities with difficult issues to fight, and know I am a better public representative for these experiences.

The media, egged on by the mischievous others, have cooked up another story about why I am leaving. Don’t worry about that. The truth boils down to me making a change for myself that allows me to make a more strategic and hopefully more effective contribution to the party and cause I signed up for in late 2007.

I have lived and worked in Ballito and Durban for the past 25+ years of my life and I look forward to the change of City, and the challenges of a new role.

The decision to resign and accept the position offered to me was extremely difficult to make. I have invested myself heavily in the challenges facing the Glenwood and Umbilo community, and in the political challenges facing the Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal. Also extremely important to me is the role I play at the Natal Settlers Memorial Homes as the head of a team of passionate individuals who have been setting that crucial social welfare organisation back on the right track over the past year.

I have thus negotiated to stay on in my current position for an additional two months in order to ensure those responsibilities are handed over as effectively and responsibly as possible.

I will miss the people of Glenwood and Umbilo, the wonderful Bulwer Park, the warm ocean and Goundens’ famous bunny chows.

At heart I will always be a Glenwood boy, and an ambassador of KwaZulu-Natal.

I remain committed to the Democratic Alliance as this country’s greatest hope for clean and effective government.

Yours faithfully
Warwick Chapman

Questions: H2O Networks Fibre Contracts in eThekwini

The Speaker – eThekwini Council
Councillor Logie Naidoo
City Hall

15 February 2013

Dear Mr Speaker


  1. Has H2O Networks been awarded a contract to connect around 200 council sites via fibre?
  2. What are H2O networks being paid per metre for this contract, bearing in mind traditional cost is around R150 per metre including road reinstatements?
  3. Were H2O paid around R22m for laying only 100km of fibre during 2010/11/12, ie. R220 per metre?
    1. Did H2O only use the sewer and storm water systems or did they make use of existing city-owned Metroconnect sleeves/ducts/trenches ?
    2. What percentage of traditional versus sewer/storm water system was used by H2O in this rollout?
    3. Are there sign off files for this project including full GIS data, photos and other technical details?
    4. Did H2O Networks get all the correct permissions and wayleaves to put fibre into our stormwater and sewer network?
  4. Will H2O Networks be using existing municipal infrastructure in their latest deployment and if so, has their price been reduced accordingly?
  5. According to the contract with H2O networks, only 10 cores of fibre on a cable are being paid for by eThekwini:
    1. Does eThekwini own these 10 cores; and
    2. Who owns the ducts that have been laid by H2O during this rollout?
  6. Given the above, were eThekwini to desire changing contractors in future, how would this change be effected as it would appear that H2O may have other customers using the remaining cores of the same cables as eThekwini?
  7. Do H2O networks use proprietary technology for their cable systems that will not allow anyone else to work on that cable?
    1. If yes, does the City acknowledge that this has the effect of locking eThekwini into a long-term contract with H2O that cannot be won by any other bidder in future?
  8. Is H2O networks using municipal sleeves/ducts/trenches for cables that are supplying connectivity to 3rd party customers?

Yours faithfully

Councillor Warwick Chapman