Ladysmith – On Tuesday, 20th June 2023 we met with the Members of the Executive Committee (Exco) and Senior Officials from uThukela District Municipality to discuss issues related to the functioning of the municipality.

This meeting is in keeping with the commitments we made when we were given the responsibility of being the Executive Authority for the Department. We have been unambiguous about our desire and commitment to support municipalities that are under intervention to the point that they are graduated out of intervention. Our main objective is to see service delivery to our people and we will work every day to ensure that this is realised.

After receiving a concerning letter from the municipality which stated that the municipality rejects the Municipal Representative (MR) that has been deployed to the municipality, it became apparent that there are urgent matters that need to be addressed. It is for this reason that we convened the meeting so that we could give the municipality an opportunity to outline their challenges where after we would work together to find a way forward. What was also important was for us to understand the plans put in place by the municipality to ensure that the municipality becomes stable and is able to run its own affairs so that it moves out of intervention going forward.

What remains key for us as a department is to ensure that all municipalities conduct their business in accordance with the applicable legal prescripts. This was also made clear to all who attended the meeting.

We can confirm that there are a number of challenges that the municipality is facing which hinder its ability to provide services to the community. During the meeting we reaffirmed our commitment to work with the municipality to resolve these challenges in the most amicable manner and within the confines of the law.

This is the approach that the department is employing to assist all municipalities, particularly those that are under intervention. As mandated by the constitution, the department’s role is to offer support and capacity-building to municipalities in accordance with the law.

What is encouraging is that all Exco members led by His Worship the Mayor, Inkosi Ntandoyenkosi Shabalala, indicated that they are in support of the intervention and appreciate the guidance, but also raised concerns they have with the MR. However, despite the challenges encountered with MR we have taken the initiative to clarify the MR’s role and assure the management that he remains an integral part of the municipality. While we acknowledge the issues raised by the Exco, it is important to note that the municipality neither has the right nor the authority to choose the MR.

Therefore, we appeal to all parties involved to cooperate in the best interest of the community and prioritize efficient service delivery. Nonetheless, we are committed to addressing the concerns raised by the Exco and recognize the urgent need for cooperation. Rest assured, we will thoroughly look into the matters brought to our attention.

We believe that the meeting was a fruitful one paving the way for future amicable engagements that will see us all pulling together to better the lives of our communities. We do hope that the same spirit will prevail across all municipalities especially those under intervention. It is only through collaboration that we can be able to better the lives of our people.

We will continue to support our municipalities by engaging in constructive dialogue with municipal executives and addressing their concerns, the department aims to facilitate effective service delivery and uplift the lives of the residents within the Uthukela District and beyond.


Issued by the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal, Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi.