Ethekwini Municipality Treasurer, Krish Kumar who has spent four decades working for the city is going into retirement, the municipality confirmed on Thursday night. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)
Ethekwini Municipality Treasurer, Krish Kumar who has spent four decades working for the city is going into retirement, the municipality confirmed on Thursday night. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

Ethekwini Treasurer Krish Kumar set to retire - raising ’concerns’ in city hall

By Lee Rondganger Time of article published Feb 25, 2021

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Durban - Ethekwini Municipality Treasurer, Krish Kumar who has spent four decades working for the city is going into retirement, the municipality confirmed on Thursday night.

Kumar, who has spent the past 24 years in his current position as head of finance and has overseen the eThekwini become one of South Africa’s best revenue collection metro’s submitted his retirement request to the city council this month.

His retirement became public after a full council meeting on Thursday.

In a statement late on Thursday via the city’s communications department, Kumar said he intents to leave the city with a “fulfilled legacy and a clean slate”.

“We will not stop cracking the whip. We will be moving swiftly to resolve various issues, including risk, consequence management and internal control. The brakes will not be on, I will still be putting the pedal to the metal,” Kumar said in a statement.

His request for retirement comes hot on the heels Deputy Mayor, Belinda Scott announcing her resignation from the city.

She is said to be going to work in the private sector.

To ensure a smooth transition, the city is arranging for the post to be advertised in due course.

Leader of the opposition party in the city, Nicole Graham said that Kumar’s departure was a definite loss for the city which she was concerned about.

“He has held the fort over many years and I believe he has done immense work to buffer the damage done by bad politics over the years. He is incredibly knowledgeable and the consummate professional. His early departure- although I have not discussed it with him personally- worries me. Our city is in a bad way financially and losing steady hands will only weaken us further. Whether we will find someone of his stature, who will do their best in a political mess to hold their own against the corrupt and greedy, is certainly in doubt,” she said.

Mdu Nkosi the IFP leader in the eThekwini Municipality said that Kumar’s resignation had come as a shock.

“I find it very surprising that the chairperson of the finance committee, Belinda Scott and Krish Kumar the CFO are leaving at the same time. We as the IFP find this too coincidental. One has to wonder what tempted him to leave now because there are many things like the Revenue Management System and the Covid-19 expenditure that we as the IFP still wants answers to,” he said.

Kumar said that he will stay on until a smooth transition with the new CFO is achieved.

He has also committed to assist with issues where he has the institutional memory.

Kumar must be congratulated for this outstanding achievements and thanked for his sterling service to the city and its people, particularly, the vulnerable.

The finances of the City have been in good hands for over the past 20 years with an excellent track record in terms of audit opinions, credit rating, collection rate, cash flow management and ultimately the financial sustainability and viability of the city to maximize service delivery.

According to the city, Kumar has built a world class Treasury and has built a proud legacy and reputation locally, nationally and internationally.

“All public and financial institutions, as well as ratepayers can rest assured that the Treasury has sufficient depth to takeover and succession plans were put in place over ten years ago,” the city said in a statement.

“The Treasury has over 100 professionally qualified finance and accounting staff, as well as over 20 chartered accountants and several MBA’s to their credit. In addition, almost all managers, senior managers and executives have completed National Treasury’s minimum competency training.

“The necessary policies, structures, systems, and standard operating procedures are in place. The Finance Cluster do not foresee any challenges as the City and the CFO are committed to a smooth transition, succession planning is in place and there is a depth of talent”.

Krish Kumar commenced work as a Trainee Accountant with the Durban City Council in 1981 and progressed through the ranks to become City Treasurer of the North and South Central Local Councils in 1997.

In 1999 he was appointed City Treasurer of the Durban Metropolitan Council and was thereafter appointed CFO.

Some of the awards received under his stewardship includes, Best Integrated Development Programme (IDP), being the Best Run Metro and Best Innovative Infrastructure. In addition, the City has achieved outstanding credit ratings consecutively and has never received a qualified audit. Another major achievement is the City’s pro-poor, balanced budget. Kumar won the award for the Best CFO in the Public Sector in 2018.

He was a member of the South African Local Government Association’s (SALGA) finance working group, Fellow (and past President) of the Institute of the Charted Institute of Government Financial, Auditing & Risk Officers (CIGFARO), Chairperson of the Municipal Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Forum and has served two terms as a member of the Accounting Standards Board. He is currently a member of the C40 global board and his passion is to reduce the carbon footprint of the City and promote a green economy. He has also been a trustee of the Durban Pension Fund since 1995. He holds a Master of Administration degree and a doctorate from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

His initiative, tenacity, reputation and legacy are well known in government.

He said, “I have loyally served the eThekwini Municipality for the past 40 years, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of being at the financial helm for 24 years of one of the best run cities in Africa.”

“During my tenure I have ensured that we have remained at the cutting edge of best and best practice. We have innovated in many areas and have made changes in respect of systems, procedures, productivity enhancements and achieving best value.”

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