PMB Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Pic: Faceobook
PMB Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Pic: Faceobook

DA puts forward a motion to dissolve Msunduzi for its failure to deliver services to ratepayers

By Thami Magubane Time of article published Dec 14, 2020

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Durban - THE MSUNDUZI Municipality should be dissolved as it has failed in its duty to deliver services to ratepayers.

This according to a motion to dissolve the troubled municipality that is expected to be tabled by the DA at a full council meeting tomorrow (Tuesday). It was proposed by DA councillors Shawn Adkins and Johann Winterbach.

However, the motion was unlikely to succeed without the support of some ANC councillors.

Winterbach told the Mercury: “It is with a heavy heart that we do this but we have to do it.”

He said the state of the municipality was a source of frustration and absolute despondency for ratepayers. He said they did not view the motion as a political point scoring exercise in light of the local government elections next year, but a fundamental move to try to save the city.

“The elections are almost a year away, we see this as having a year to try to save this city,” he said.

The motion read, “The Msunduzi Municipality has been allowed to fall into a state of dysfunction by the current ANC-controlled council. The council’s maladministration of the municipality is no better illustrated than by its gross and proven negligence (on a number of matters).”

It highlights a number of systematic failures that include financial mismanagement, the municipality’s several negative opinions from the office of the auditor-general and the collapse of roads, electricity, water and sanitation infrastructure.

The municipality recently revealed that it would need about R2 billion in relief aid to fix its electricity infrastructure that was damaged by the storm.

The motion said inside the municipality, there was a high rate of theft, fraud and corruption among staff members, and the city was failing to collect outstanding debt to manage its billing system and provide housing.

“While these issues have been instrumental in the municipality being placed under administration, the intervention has proven to be inadequate.

“The dissolution of the council followed by the appointment of an executive administrator remains the quickest and most effective way to return Msunduzi to its status as the City of Choice,” said Winterbach.

ACDP councillor Rienus Niemand said he was aware of the motion and it was something they would support. “It is almost two years now since the city was placed under administration and nothing has improved, if fact, it is getting worse.”

He said the ANC was unwilling to tackle issues of theft of services which was costing the municipality millions each month, for fear of upsetting its support base.

Msunduzi Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla challenged the DA to withdraw their councillors “if they really believed that the council should be dissolved.”

He disputed the statements that there had been no improvement, “when we took over, the municipality had received a disclaimer audit opinion from the AG and we have since moved to a qualified audit opinion, ideally, we want an unqualified or clean audit opinion.”

He said while the city continued to face challenges, it was unfair to blame only the ANC for it. “We are facing a challenge without infrastructure and we have not done well in maintenance, but let’s not forget that this infrastructure was built for a small population.”

The Mercury

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