Msunduzi Municipality placed under administration
DURBAN - A special sitting of the ANC-led Msunduzi Municipality council today has found that the troubled municipality will be placed under administration.
A Cogta Ministerial representative will specifically take over as chair of the Msunduzi finance committee and will approve or disapprove spending, among other roles.
The Msunduzi Municipality council will not be dissolved but a ministerial intervention team will assist and manage the current council.
KZN MEC for COGTA Nomusa Dube-Ncube said, " The people of this province look up to Pietermaritzburg as an embodiment of a well performing, well-governed municipality. It is our collective duty as National and Provincial Government to assist and ensure that it lives up to this expectation."
The MEC further said, "We have just presented before the council measures to provide hands-on support and assist, not to point fingers and penalise, because we love and respect our capital city. Pietermaritzburg is the jewel of our province and we wish it to shine again."
Normally, council sittings at Msunduzi - which encompasses the Pietermaritzburg area - are held on the last Friday of the month. Since Thursday last week, rumours have been doing the rounds that provincial government had decided to intervene at the municipality.
Dube-Ncube said, "The intervention we have announced today is due to the inability by this municipality to hold its councillors accountable for deliberately absenting themselves from critical meetings and thus collapsing the quorum and rendering the Council dysfunctional. This municipality has also failed to institute consequence management measures for managers responsible for unauthorised and irregular expenditure. The Msunduzi Council has likewise failed to exercise oversight over management, with particular reference to the management of conditional grants resulting in under expenditure, stopping or threatened stopping of funds by National Treasury."
"The Council has further failed to exercise oversight over management resulting in the cash position of the municipality being overdrawn. The Msunduzi Council has additionally failed to implement consequence management measures against persons responsible for failing to maintain proper records, resulting, for instance, in the municipality’s non-disclosure of pension and medical aid deductions."
Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube Ncube says she's very concerned about municipalities in KZN. In Msunduzi, it's a financial crisis @TheMercurySA— Kailene Pillay (@kailenepillay) April 9, 2019
Dube-Ncube went on to state, "It is against this background that we announce that with effect from today uMsunduzi is placed under intervention in terms of section 139(1)b of the Constitution, 1996. This means that the functions specified in terms of sections 51, 56 and 57 of the Municipal Systems Act as well as those related to financial management and service delivery, including project management will be done with the hands-on support of the provincial government. It has become clear to the provincial government that uMsunduzi municipality is no longer able, alone, to guarantee the provision of a sustainable services to communities without an intervention from the national and provincial government. To this end, we have appointed a ministerial representative to be based at the municipality who will prepare and implement a comprehensive recovery plan. Our ministerial representative will ensure implementation of financial systems, policies and procedures, including preparation and implementation of cost-cutting measures as well as implement governance systems and procedures, including oversight over the administration including ratification of decisions taken by the Municipal Council, the Executive Committee, Municipal Manager and Section 56 Managers."