KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) today announced before the councillors of the Nquthu local municipality the Provincial Government’s decision to place this municipality under administration in terms of Section 139(1)b of the Constitution.
MEC Hlomuka met with the councillors today, in the parking area of the municipality following the actions by some certain councillors who locked the chamber which was booked to be the venue for the meeting.
The actions of these rogue elements within the council did not deter the MEC, who convened the meeting which was attended by ANC, DA and NFP councillors.
Speaking to the Councillors MEC Hlomuka said “This decision is the culmination of Cogta’s previous efforts to address unresolved issues at Nquthu whose leadership and management have failed to ensure political and administrative stability for a long time which is now adversely affecting the operations of the municipality,”.
The main reason behind the intervention is the failure of governance on the part of the Nquthu council, including several irregular appointments of senior officials with financial consequences for the municipality and the failure to adequately ensure that the control environment is improved in order to prevent maladministration.
“Our disagreements with this council date back to 2017 when Nquthu irregularly appointed its Municipal Manager, Chief Financial Officer and Director: Planning and Development. These appointments were challenged in court where the municipality lost. Not only were these appointments irregular, they also resulted in irregular expenditure,” said Hlomuka.
Similarly, the Nquthu council has in other instances failed to take reasonable steps to prevent unauthorised and irregular expenditure. It has also failed to investigate such expenditure and hold management or any person accountable for causing such expenditure. Despite Cogta’s efforts, the municipality has been intransigent and uncooperative.
“In practice, this measure means that are intervening at Nquthu with the assistance of a ministerial representative who will prepare and implement a recovery plan aimed at resolving the many challenges facing this municipality and laying the foundations for a fresh start once this intervention is called off,” said Hlomuka.
The intervention at Nquthu is a measure of last resort after all previous attempts by the Provincial Government to assist this municipality failed to yield the desired results. The Nquthu council’s cooperation with the intervention is in the best interest of the municipality’s residents who deserve proper service delivery.
HARASSMENT OF COUNCILLORS BY PRIVATE SECURITY
In his address to the councillors MEC Hlomuka announced that the department will be investigation the circumstances under which Councillors were harassed and thrown out of a council meeting, which took place last week.