The reasons for the termination of Ward 33 Councillor Mmabatho Tembe’s office lease agreement is questionable, as the Stella Sports Club is not responsible for its termination.
According to a source, the club also belongs to the municipality and the municipality issued them with a letter ordering them to terminate the lease as from 30 August. The source said “The letter dated 17 July read that the club has a calendar months notice to terminate the lease, with a notice period from 1 August to 30 August. No reason was given.”
The source said the offices are still vacant and no one is making use of them. A notice has been put on display at the club’s gate, notifying the community that Tembe has moved. This has raised concerns for the community and they are left with speculations of what might be going on.
Cllr Mmbabatho Tembe vacated the offices as instructed and has allegedly been working from home and from her car. Speaking to the councilor, she confirmed that she was no longer situated at Stella Club and was currently looking for new premises.
” I haven’t had an office since August, I think. The municipality didn’t renew the lease and I don’t know why they didn’t. I wasn’t informed. With regards to the old office, you would have to ask Stella Sports Club what’s going on with it. At the moment, I’m working from my car and home. I was asked to find another office which I have. I am now waiting for the lease to be signed and I don’t know when that will happen,” said Mmbatho.
Stella Sports Club management chose not to comment on the matter, however, confirmed that the councillor was no longer leasing an office in their premises. Some of the residents have even offered the councillor temporary premises for the councillor to work from in their homes and others at their private premises.
According to another source, there seems to be an ulterior motive, and it seems that the municipality is dragging its feet when it comes to finding an office for the councillor. “I heard that she found new premises and notified the municipality, however till today, no lease has been signed for her to move into the premises,” said the source.
EThekwini Municipality DA Chief Whip, Thabani Mthetha, confirmed that there was an ongoing issue with the municipality’s real estate department, especially when it comes to renewing lease agreement for offices and signing of new ones.
“I know that Cllr Tembe had identified some offices which were declined by the municipality and recently she found another office, however the lease has still not been signed. This is a problem for the councillor, it affects the progress of her work. However, on Friday, I will be meeting with the Speaker to discuss the issue, ” said Mthetha.
EThekwini Municipality has been contacted for comment, however, none had been received at the time of press.