KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has issued a stern warning to the council of the troubled Mtubatuba local municipality when he met with the full council at KwaMsane today.
This council is one of nine in the province that are currently under administration. Hlomuka’s warning is in response to a number of governance-related challenges that have been plaguing this municipality, including the failure of councillors to attend council meetings.
Reports in the department’s possession indicate that several council meetings have collapsed as a result of disagreements among councillors. This has also cascaded to the Executive Committee meetings which have collapsed five times since June as a result of disagreements and lack of quorum.
Other oversight committees at Mtubatuba, such as the Audit Committee and the Municipal Public Accounts Committee have faced the same fate and this has had disastrous consequences for the provision of basic services to residents.
Hlomuka has appealed to the councillors to put their differences aside and act in the best interest of their residents by resuscitating these oversight structures and ensuring that the council performs its functions.
Hlomuka has welcomed the steps that have been taken against officials who have been fingered in a forensic report for various wrongdoings which include fraud and corruption. Criminal proceedings and civil recovery processes have been initiated against those that are implicated.
A total of 15 municipal employees were implicated in the forensic investigation. Subsequently, 10 employees have faced disciplinary tribunals and were dismissed and four employees are currently facing disciplinary processes. One employee passed away while undergoing disciplinary action.