KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) insists upon full municipal accountability for all actions and decisions taken by municipal councils and officials even if this, on occasion, leads to the department taking legal action against municipalities as has recently been the case with Mthonjaneni, Nquthu, Msinga and Nkandla municipalities.
“Our record in enforcing accountability from municipal councils and officials demonstrates that we will do whatever it takes to hold people and institutions to account. Sometimes this means resorting to court action. It is, of course, not a preferred course of action but rather a measure of last resort when all other avenues have been exhausted,” said KZN MEC for Cogta Nomusa Dube-Ncube.
KZN Cogta has recently resorted to courts to enforce various employment regulations in municipalities. Mthonjaneni and Nkandla, for instance, have been taken to court to challenge the appointments of municipal managers on the basis of insufficient qualifications. Similarly, Nquthu and Msinga have been sued for illegal renewals of contracts of senior managers.
“It must be pointed out that all our court cases against municipalities are in defence of regulations by which all municipalities are expected to abide, such as minimum qualifications requirements for municipal managers. We always try to reason with municipalities before we resort to courts. Sometimes the latter is the only option,” said Dube-Ncube.