DURBAN - OPPOSITION parties in Ndwedwe Local Municipality have again vowed not to pass the budget if outstanding issues are not resolved.
The council had met on Tuesday after it failed twice last week, but again, the meeting collapsed because councillors refused to sign the attendance register and walked out.
Councillors said they received messages on Wednesday calling them to a special sitting on Friday.
Economic Freedom Fighters councillor Sabelo Hlophe said they will not approve the budget if their outstanding issues are still not on the agenda. He said in the messages they were sent, only the budget item was on the agenda which angered them.
“If they think we will come and pass the budget on Friday, they are wasting their time because we are resolute on our demand. All we are saying was that let’s deal with outstanding issues which are linked to the passing of budget first,” said Hlophe.
He said after arriving at the meeting and seeing that the only item on the agenda was the budget on Tuesday they refused to sign the attendance register and walked out.
Hlophe said they could not pass the budget before first dealing with the suspension of about 20 workers, legal services and corporate directors who are all getting paid while sitting at home.
“Should we have allowed the budget to be passed it would mean that the money that was supposed to go to service delivery will be used to pay people sitting at home. We couldn’t allow that. Passing the budget depended on the issues we wanted to be discussed first which was why we left the meeting,” said Hlophe.
The IFP’s Mzwelanga Sishi also told Daily News that they couldn’t agree to continue with the meeting before outstanding issues have been resolved.
The municipality has been besieged by administrative problems.
Last year, workers went on a strike and four municipality cars were burnt. Early this year, employees again embarked on a strike which led to 18 of them being suspended with pay.
The opposition parties said the workers told them they have not received charges although they were suspended four months ago.
Ndwedwe municipal speaker Khonza Ngidi confirmed that the council will try and sit again on Friday and also confirmed that the only item on the agenda was budget.
Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka is expected to shed light on the problems facing municipalities in a media briefing on Thursday at Howick.