Praise for turnaround at Msunduzi municipality
The Msunduzi Municipality has risen from the ashes of maladministration. With things improving strongly, elevation to metro status is being considered.
The MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube, told a press briefing at the provincial legislature on Wednesday that she was delighted with the positive turn of events at Msunduzi.
Dube placed the municipality under administration in March 2010 and brought in experts and a provincial task team to help turn things around.
The collapse of governance and financial management in Msunduzi led to the sacking of the mayor, Zanele Hlatshwayo, and her executive. A new executive under a new mayor was put in place. In December last year Dube officially withdrew the intervention.
She said on Wednesday that the intervention had brought financial stability, service delivery, governance and accountability to the municipality.
At the rate at which the municipality was improving, it was making a compelling case for becoming a metro, she said.
Tabling the municipal budget at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall on Wednesday, Msunduzi mayor Chris Ndlela said he did not want to see a repeat of the bad governance that had brought the city down.
“The most important thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering,” said Ndlela, quoting Nigerian poet and writer Ben Okri.
The operational budget for 2012/13, which was tabled on Wednesday, totals R3.2 billion.
Many Msunduzi residents are angry over proposals in the budget to hike tariffs, for water by 15 percent, electricity by 16 percent and sanitation by 7 percent. The Electricity Action Group and other Msunduzi residents marched to the city hall on Tuesday to raise their concerns over the increases. Spokesman Mervyn Abrahams said the increases would mean that the average municipal bill for a poor household with four members would be about R815 a month.