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Residents unhappy with Pietermaritzburg’s mayoral candidate

Pietermaritzburg residents who are unhappy with the capital city’s mayoral candidate call for younger and more active candidates to serve in councils.

PIETERMARITZBURG City Hall. File Picture.

Published Nov 10, 2021

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PIETERMARITZBURG residents have taken to social media to express their disappointment at reports that Mzimkhulu Thebolla is set to return as Msunduzi Municipality mayor, with many questioning his achievements in the previous term in office.

Thebolla is featured alongside Jabu Ngubo and Rudolph Madlala for consideration for the top political post in the KZN capital in a list that has been circulating on social media since the weekend.

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A Facebook page called “Save PMB” had several messages that showed disapproval of Thebolla, with calls for younger leaders at the municipality, similar to the announcements by the DA of two young people in Chris Pappas and Sandile Mnikathi as uMngeni mayor and deputy mayor respectively.

Commenting on the page, a resident questioned whether the ANC had provided support to its mayors, suggesting that the ruling party leadership had interfered in the running of municipalities.

“None of the mayors have done anything from Zanele Hlatshwayo up until now. Is there something wrong with the mayors? The answer is no, but it is the interference of the ruling party,” he said.

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The municipality first went under administration in 2010 when it ran out of money to even pay its staff prompting changes at political and administrative levels, including the axing of then mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo and municipal manager Rob Haswell. The municipality experienced stability from 2011 to 2016 during the term of Chris Ndlela as mayor. In April 2019 the municipality was again placed under administration and this led to changes including the removal of then mayor Themba Njilo and the arrival of Thebolla as the new mayor.

“The first question before we criticise the ANC is, is there anybody amongst their deployees in Msunduzi who is better than Thebolla? I don’t think the ANC has a choice, he is the best candidate by their standard,” said another resident on the same Facebook page.

Another resident said there was very little for Thebolla to show for the more than two years in office as the mayor.

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“This is a joke now, this guy did nothing except rename Edendale hospital and let all sectors of the city deteriorate, nothing positive has been achieved unless the aim is to destabilise the city,” he said.

Many others also criticised the consideration of Thebolla.

On Wednesday the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is set to start interviews for candidates nominated for mayoral positions in municipalities won by the ANC.

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THE MERCURY

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