KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka revealed on Wednesday that changes in dates that were set for the convening of the first council sittings in the province’s municipalities will not cause any delays as the legislated 14-day period has not lapsed.
Hlomuka said: “The 2021 local government elections were unique in that, in a number of municipalities, none of the political parties was able to secure an outright majority of votes. This has resulted in 18 of the municipalities in the province being hung.”
He added that an unintended consequence of this was a need for engagements and agreements between different political parties, which was a clear indication of the level to which democracy was maturing in the country.
“The department believes that it is critical for these processes to be given space so that when the inaugural meetings do happen, consensus can be reached promptly,” he said.
This would allow the councils to get on with the important task of delivering services to the communities, he added.
“None of the municipalities have given an indication that they will not meet the 14-day deadline and therefore there is no reason to panic at this stage,” Hlomuka said.
He called upon municipalities to ensure that they convened their first sittings within the stipulated 14 days, which end on November 23.
Once the local municipalities had convened, the district municipalities would have until December 8 to convene, he said.
“The department further urges communities to be patient during this time of transition, while the department continues to provide the necessary support to the municipal managers, who are seized with the gigantic responsibility of steering this process,” Hlomuka said.
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