eThekwini Deputy Mayor resigns to pursue business interests
Durban - eThekwini Deputy Mayor Belinda Scott has thrown in the towel on her duty to bring stability in the eThekwini municipality and has settled for business interests, the ANC in the region said on Wednesday.
This was after her resignation was just a rumour on Tuesday evening, but on Wednesday, responding to questions by the opposition during the municipality’s virtual executive committee meeting, Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda confirmed her departure, but did not give reasons.
“The Deputy Mayor is deployed to this municipality by her organisation (ANC). We can confirm that she has given an indication of her desire to resign. However, we will be able to confirm her departure fully once that is communicated to us by her organisation.”
In late 2019, Scott took over as Deputy from then acting Mayor, Fawzia Peer, serving under newly-appointed Mayor Kaunda. The political leadership shake-up in eThekwini was seen as a measure to bring about stability after the then Mayor Zandile Gumede was forced to take a leave of absence after her arrest on charges of fraud and corruption in connection with the Durban Solid Waste tender.
Scott, who has been a member of a number of portfolios in the provincial legislature, said she was a committed member of the ANC and where or when she was deployed was a decision of the movement.
ANC provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said they were awaiting a report from the region detailing Scott’s reasons for resigning. “The last time I checked, the provincial secretary (Mdumiseni Ntuli) was seeking a report on this matter. It’s at the regional level currently so the Mayor and the region should give details on this matter.”
ANC eThekwini regional task team deputy coordinator Bheki Ntuli said Scott would be pursuing her business interests, but he could not confirm the exact date of her departure.
“She had already shown interest in business when we requested her and others to come and bring stability in eThekwini. She agreed to become the Deputy Mayor but recently she again highlighted her desire to move on. We are still in the engagement stage and only after this stage that a decision is made on when she will depart.” He added even though his party had capable leaders, it was still going to be a rigorous process to appoint a replacement for Scott.
The DA’s Nicole Graham said Scott’s resignation was not a surprise. “There have been lots of running battles in the ANC caucus, fictions and fractions and I certainly don’t think that she has found herself popular among many of her colleagues. From our side, I think there have been some positive aspects to Councillor Scott’s role in the city. There has been greater transparency in some respect around finances but I don’t think overall we have made huge strides.”
The IFP’s Mdu Nkosi said it did not sit well for Scott to resign after serving a short time following her deployment. “They were brought here to bring stability in the city but she resigns shortly after and the Mayor doesn’t want to come out with the reasons for her resignation,” he said.