DA, IFP put pressure on mayor Mxolisi Kaunda on his mayoral lekgotla
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DURBAN - OPPOSITION parties demanded answers from eThekwini Municipal mayor Mxolisi Kaunda after no report was provided about last week’s mayoral lekgotla. This was attended by portfolio committee chairpersons who are members of the ANC.
On Tuesday, during the virtual sitting of the municipality’s executive committee (Exco), Kaunda, who is also the Exco chairperson, had to defend himself against criticism from the DA and IFP, who questioned the relevance of his mayoral lekgotla, which they said had no direct impact on the lives of the metro’s residents.
DA caucus leader and Exco member Nicole Graham questioned Kaunda’s opening statement, saying it failed to address the key issues affecting the city.
She asked why Kaunda had never reported the outcomes of his mayoral lekgotla to Exco.
“In your statement you talk about great things happening in the city. It would appear that the city you lead is not the one we all live in, because here in eThekwini communities are suffering as service delivery has collapsed. One has to ask what purpose your lekgotla serves, because no report has been given to members of Exco. It seems these are just ANC gatherings, because if it was about service delivery then all members of Exco, including the opposition, would be invited to that event,” said Graham.
IFP chief whip and Exco member Mduduzi Nkosi said such events needed to be accounted for and reports on the outcomes should be provided to members of Exco.
“You have been doing lekgotla after lekgotla, but nothing comes out from it. People are unhappy. The issue here is that people are burning tyres and blocking the streets in townships because they feel we are not doing our jobs. People are running out of patience, hence they protest every day,” said Nkosi.
In the mayor’s defence, councillor Thanduxolo Sabelo said people should appreciate that it was only portfolio committee chairpersons who were invited to the lekgotla.
“Those who are not portfolio chairpersons must know that they were well represented by their committee chairpersons,” Sabelo said.
Kaunda took issue with the opposition parties and indicated he was not surprised by the attacks because he understood that “no matter the good work done by the city, the opposition will always not appreciate the progress”.
Exco had also resolved to refer the Water and Sanitation report, which was on the meeting agenda, back to the city’s head of legal and compliance. The municipality had sought Exco approval to provide authority to appoint the University of KwaZulu-Natal to research water and sanitation service delivery. The project was aimed at ensuring that residents were sufficiently benefiting from the city’s clean water and sanitation.
Acting city manager Sipho Cele said Exco members gave authority to the city’s relevant officials to ensure that procurement processes were followed accordingly, and without involving councillors in issues of procurement.