Political parties slam eThekwini mayor’s ‘empty promises’

ActionSA’s Zwakele Mncwango. Picture: DOCTOR NGCOBO

ActionSA’s Zwakele Mncwango. Picture: DOCTOR NGCOBO

Published Feb 1, 2024


Durban — Political parties are dismayed by the “manipulated” 2022-2023 clean audit report bagged by the eThekwini Municipality.

The audit was presented at an eThekwini full council meeting in Durban on Wednesday. Political parties have accused the City of boasting about the municipal’s audit report while it has dismally failed to provide services to the public and paying the existing debts.

EFF councillor Themba Mvubu said eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda’s empty promises had worsened the situation in the city and he expressed his concern about Kaunda’s behaviour, which he said clearly showed that he was sweeping the alarming issues under the rug.

“You keep on attending these meetings singing the same thing, but there is no improvement. We are now sitting in 58.2% of water loss and we are heading to 80% or 100%, while there is nothing done to fix the problem,” said Mvubu.

Over the past months, residents in Phoenix have been without reliable water, while low water pressure or complete cut-offs have become commonplace for many residents in the northern areas of Durban.

Last week Verulam and Phoenix residents took to the street and blocked the R102 route to Durban in protest over persistent water shortages.

KZN ActionSA leader Zwakele Mncwango also lashed the municipality for the weak presentation of financial costs by the chief financial officer (CFO). He said the report showed the poor financial management in the municipality and the lack of consistency in management.

“The CFO needs to focus on how bad the situation is. We can’t really sit here and talk about more than R2 billion spent on expenditure or the write-off of R3.4bn and clap our hands, and pretend everything is okay in the municipality.

“Now, we sit here and talk of water loss of 80% and again we will clap hands and not talk about the serious issues. Community members are complaining about the service delivery ... This just says there is no direction,” said Mncwango.

The ActionSA leader also slammed Kaunda for blocking councillors performing oversight functions at municipal infrastructure sites. He said the decision would destroy the City’s image.

In August, the City ordered councillors to stop performing oversight functions at municipal infrastructure sites without the approval of the city manager.

At Wednesday’s full council meeting, Kaunda told the councillors that the unqualified audit report indicated that the municipality had performed well.

“We received this opinion of the good audit while we were under difficult conditions, after the country had experienced the lockdown in 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak. In 2021 we faced looting riots, while in 2022 and 2023 we experienced severe floods.

“Now, this shows that this municipality, against all odds, is resilient and implementing what the residents of the city expect,” he said.

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