Cogta’s intervention in eThekwini welcomed, but some say more is needed

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Reverend Thulasizwe Buthelezi. Cogta has decided to intervene in eThekwini under Section 154. | Supplied

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Reverend Thulasizwe Buthelezi. Cogta has decided to intervene in eThekwini under Section 154. | Supplied

Published Jun 28, 2024


Durban — Opposition parties in eThekwini have welcomed the intervention of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) under Section 154, which calls for partial administration with eThekwini.

This was after Cogta MEC Reverend Thulasizwe Buthelezi invited the Exco members and introduced Dr Mike Sutcliffe and Dr Cassius Lubisi as the two governance experts appointed by Cogta under Section 154 to lead the intervention in eThekwini.

Addressing the executive committee, Buthelezi said: “Our aim is to restore eThekwini to its former status as the jewel in the crown of KZN.”

In a statement, Cogta said the strategic support under Section 154 would entail:

  • Building a clean, effective, efficient, responsive and accountable local government.
  • Implementation of findings of investigation reports.
  • Addressing non-compliance with terms and conditions, including poor spending on allocated grants for various projects.
  • Strengthening partnerships between communities, civil society, the business sector and other critical role-players to restore public and investor confidence.

The appointed team will provide monthly reports to the MEC and will be in operation for 12 months starting from July 1, 2024.

The exco welcomed the MEC’s intervention and committed to working together with the appointed team.

DA eThekwini caucus leader Thabani Mthethwa said his party welcomed the “long-overdue” announcement of a Section 154 intervention in the municipality by the Cogta MEC.

The City has been on a constant downward spiral, which includes sporadic services, out-of-control debt, and water supply and sewage issues which have come at the expense of frustrated citizens and ratepayers.

He said the Section 154 intervention meant that, going forward, the provincial government would have a say as well as provide assistance in the running of the once-prestigious eThekwini Municipality.

However, the DA still believed that a Section 139 intervention was required considering the extent to which eThekwini had broken down.

“We are hopeful this announced intervention will be the start of a turning point for the fate of the City,” Mthethwa said, adding that the intervention marked a promising start by the Government of Provincial Unity, with the DA playing a pivotal role.

“It has hit the ground running in efforts to turn around the eThekwini Municipality,” Mthethwa said.

IFP caucus secretary Councillor Jonathan Annipen said the IFP welcomed this action by the KZN Cogta and the provincial government.

He said: “This move is another successful accomplishment for the IFP who have long called for the municipality to be placed under administration, dating back to the administration of erstwhile mayor Zandile Gumede.”

He added: “The IFP fully endorsed this move and will be providing every support to the team from the province.”

ActionSA KZN premier candidate Zwakele Mncwango pushed for Cogta to enforce Section 139 – which would call for eThekwini to be placed under full administration instead of the partial administration that Section 154 entails.

“For us, ActionSA, we don’t believe Section 154 will help. I think eThekwini needs an administrator. Section 154 only employs two seniors, just to assist the municipality,” he said.

EFF eThekwini chair Themba Mvubu said: “If the intervention is meant to give support as it should be, as the EFF we welcome it. We appreciate that the MEC wrote and invited the exco members, unlike the last time when there was no briefing with the exco.”

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