KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has today read the riot act to a full gathering of eDumbe councillors where political infighting, absenteeism from important council meetings and flouting of the code of conduct have paralysed the entire municipality and its administrative and technical capacity to deliver basic services to the local community.
Dube-Ncube today addressed a special council in eDumbe Municipality (Paulpietersburg), Northen KZN, where she announced key interventions to get the municipality back to the rails.
In response to the emerging state of paralysis, Dube-Ncube, has taken a decision to:
- Institute a partial intervention at eDumbe in terms of is section 136(2) of the MFMA to appoint a financial administrator whose role will be to introduce a financial recovery plan for the ailing municipality. The department has notified the National Minister and all relevant structures of these support measures.
- MEC Dube-Ncube also announced that Cogta will be launching a forensic investigation to get to the bottom of what is causing financial distress at eDumbe and prosecute those involved in wrongdoing. Even though the department is aware that the current council has inherited many of its financial problems from its predecessors, its lack of action and power games have worsened the situation over the past year.
“We have tolerated this behaviour from eDumbe councillors for far too long. Today we are here to remind you councillors of your oath of office and the need to prioritise the plight of their communities. From now on, we will be imposing fines and even expelling councillors found to have breached the code of conduct,” said KZN MEC for Cogta Nomusa Dube-Ncube.
KZN Cogta has noted with grave concern that the hung eDumbe municipality where no political party has a working majority has witnessed councillors walking out of the council chamber to frustrate efforts to conduct important council business such as the filling of critical vacancies, including that of Municipal Manager and several senior managers linked to key service delivery functions.
“The rules are very simple: if a councillor absents himself or herself for three consecutive meetings, the MEC is empowered to remove such a councillor. We can assure the eDumbe council that in applying the code of conduct which all of its councillors have signed up to, we will be acting without fear or favour and without any political considerations,” said Dube-Ncube.
“I already have the names of the councillors that have violated the code of conduct and as the MEC empowered by the law, I will be instituting disciplinary hearings in this regard. All implicated councillors will have to explain themselves before the disciplinary process. ” Dube-Ncube added.
“After one year in office since the 2016 municipal elections, we should be reporting back to communities and celebrating various highlights and achievements by this municipality but instead we are dealing with a breakdown in governance. While we accept that political parties are entitled to their differences, we will not allow anyone to play political football with the lives of our communities,” said Dube-Ncube.
Dube-Ncube announced that Ms Nonhlanhla Mzimela, a suitable qualified Financial Expert, with extensive experience in the Local Government Sector, is appointed as a Financial Administrator, among her responsibilities is to introduce a financial recovery plan which will encompass cost-curtailment measures. This will be critical to arrest the growing budget deficit in this municipality.
Media enquiries: KZN Cogta spokespersons Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403; or Msawakhe Mayisela, 060 966 4220