On the eve of Finance Minister Trevor Manuel's tabling of the national budget in parliament, his KwaZulu-Natal counterpart, Zweli Mkhize, has been taken to task by the people of Mandeni for the government's failure to deliver on its promises about service delivery.
During the provincial budget road-show presentations, which will culminate with the tabling of the provincial budget on March 1, residents took Mkhize to task for the lack of service delivery in their area.
Topping the list of concerns were underdevelopment, corruption in the departments of home affairs and social welfare, and unemployment.
Residents complained that they had seen little development since South Africa became a democracy in 1994.
They said running water, waterborne toilets and electricity were still only dreams for them.
Sizwaphi Mthethwa said tarred roads were the privilege of a few in the area.
"Our councillors are not doing enough to develop our area. If our forefathers were to return to pay us a visit they would see that nothing has changed, where they were born and died," she said.
Mthethwa also complained about councillors at the Ndwedwe municipality. He said they employed only the relatives of municipal workers, whether or not they qualified for the jobs they were given.
Another resident complained about corruption and inefficiency at the Department of Home Affairs in Mandeni.
He said the department declared him dead in January last year. As a result his pension was cancelled.
"I am unemployed. I relied on that money. What am I supposed to do? I am too old to work," he said.
Mkhize said though he was could not answer all the questions or respond to all the complaints, he would refer them to the relevant departments. But his department would deal with all the complaints relating to small businesses.
Earlier, Mkhize met local businessmen and women and urged them to invest in the local economy by employing local people.
He said they should play a role in fighting unemployment.
Mkhize also raised the issue of provincial departments that did not use all of their annual budget.
He said the provincial government was training all officials whom it believed were failing to perform their duties efficiently