KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka today visited several voting stations in eThekwini metro as voters in the province braved the inclement weather to cast their ballots in 12 municipal by-elections, many of which had been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“By-elections are one of the pillars of a vibrant democratic local government. Today we have visited several voting stations to monitor the progress of these by-elections which are taking place against the backdrop of Covid-19 and the rainy weather which has affected KZN in recent days,” said Hlomuka.

KZN today hosted a total of 12 municipal by-elections – in eThekwini metro (Wards 32, 36, 81 and 84), Ray Nkonyeni Ward 2), Msunduzi (Ward 25), Nquthu (Ward 15), Umvoti (Ward 7), uPhongolo (Ward 4), Mtubatuba (Ward 10), Mthonjaneni (Ward 6) and Nkandla (Ward 13). The by-elections are as a result of vacancies.

“The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has disrupted many aspects of our lives, including the filling of councillor vacancies in many KZN municipalities, and today is an important step in our efforts to return life back to normal, even though the deadly pandemic is still with us,” said Hlomuka.

KZN Cogta has commended the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for the hard work they had put into ensuring that residents in all wards where by-elections took place today were aware of what was expected of them as they came to vote. The IEC’s task was complicated by poor weather.

“We can say that we have observed general compliance with social distancing and sanitising on entry at all voting stations we visited today. We also take this opportunity to reiterate our call for socially responsible behaviour in all public spaces while the pandemic continues to affect us,” said Hlomuka.

structural collapse leaves one dead in Ethekwini

Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka has sent condolences to the Ngcongo family in eNgonyameni following the death of their daughter Zanele Ngcongo (36) when the wall of the house she was occupying in uMlazi V Section collapsed on her in the early hours of this morning.

Reports received by the department indicate that the structural collapse could have been caused by the inclement weather conditions.

MEC Hlomuka has urged residents to continue to be cautious as inclement weather conditions persist in large parts of the province. Disaster Management teams are continuing to monitor areas that are prone to flooding across the province.