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Coronavirus in SA: KZN municipality heeds 100-people call

People are encouraged to wash/sanitize their hands to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

People are encouraged to wash/sanitize their hands to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Published Mar 20, 2020

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Durban - THE Msunduzi council is heeding President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call to have

no more than 100 people in public

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gatherings in a bid to curb the spread

of Covid-19 by taking a resolution to

minimise the number of attendees at

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its monthly council meetings.

There are 78 councillors representing six parties in the council, and a number of officials and members of the public also attend meetings.

Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla said this was an interim measure as they were still waiting for a directive from the national Cooperative Governance Department on the matter.

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“The number of attendees, including members of the public, exceeds the 100 mark. What we have now is an action plan on how we’re going to work and this has been introduced in the executive committee,” Thebolla said yesterday.

He said parties with a small number of councillors, the public and certain officials would not attend council meetings during this period.

“This doesn’t mean that these councillors will not participate in the running of the municipality. Even though they are not represented in the executive committee, they will attend committee meetings, but they will not have voting powers. This will assist in keeping them abreast of municipal issues and they will be able to participate and voice their views,” he said.

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The exco comprises 10 councillors. Thebolla said this would make it easier to accommodate those who could not attend full council meetings.

“There’s no way council can be suspended, because there are certain functions like budget votes and the Integrated Development Plan that cannot be held back. We will also ensure that portfolio committees and exco agendas are distributed to all councillors, without them having to come looking for it. We have a responsibility to ensure we contribute towards curbing the spread of this virus without compromising the functioning of our municipality,” he said.

DA exco member Sibongiseni Majola and the IFP’s Dennis Ntombela said the president’s call for no more than 100 people at gatherings had been gazetted into law, and had to be adhered to. They said those who would not make it into council meetings would still be able to participate in the committees.

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