KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has travelled to the crisis-ridden uMkhanyakude district municipality today where he called on its councillors to rise above their narrow self-interest and place the needs of their communities first. 

Hlomuka today met with the councillors and management of the municipality in Mkhuze following a series of protests which saw angry community members blockading the district’s headquarters. Their main complaint has been about the municipality’s inability to provide critical services, such as water provision. 

In his address to the council, Hlomuka expressed his concerns and disappointment about the councillors’ apparent failure to provide solid leadership and stability to the municipality that has been plagued by infighting which is now seriously compromising service delivery. 

“As councillors, although you are at the end of your term, you still have the responsibility to ensure that your successors inherit a functional municipality. You have clearly not been equal to the task the people of uMkhanyakude bestowed on you. The remaining days of your term are an opportunity to address issues raised by your communities. I, as MEC for Cogta, cannot take your place as elected representatives of the people of uMkhanyakude,” said Hlomuka.

During the meeting, Hlomuka urged the management of the municipality to ensure that their workers do their jobs to advance the municipality. The MEC also demanded an explanation from the council and management regarding the role played by uMkhanyakude staff in the blockading of the municipality’s headquarters with municipal water tankers. 

During today’s special council sitting, uMkhanyakude’s Mayor Cllr Tim Moodley offered his perspective on the challenges that are faced by his municipality. In his response, Administrator Bamba Ndwandwe tabled a report on the status of the Provincial Government’s intervention in the municipality so far. 

Hlomuka has vowed that his department would not allow the municipality to descend further into chaos but would continue to provide wide-ranging support to the municipality. 

Issued by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs