Durban City Hall. File Picture: Zanele Zulu African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - The battle for the eThekwini Municipality has now moved to who will control the critical five committees and make it to the eleven members executive committee (exco), with the two main factions in the region hoping to gain control.

Both factions want to snatch the committees in order to influence the direction of the municipality and who gets tenders ahead of the eThekwini ANC regional conference, where money is expected to be splashed ahead of the conference.

The five committees are: Security and Emergency Services, Community Services, Human Settlements and Infrastructure, Economic Development and Planning and Governance and Human Resources. These committees have direct access to the community which voice their issues for discussions. 

The chairs of these committees join the exco, which is the proverbial engine of the municipality. Being the majority party, the ANC have six members (including the mayor, deputy mayor and speaker) in committee and the rest comes from the Democratic Alliance and Inkatha Freedom Party. 

Political analyst, Xolani Dube of Xubera Institute said the reason why there is jostling for these positions was because the exco is like the cabinet of the municipality. 

He said unlike in Johannesburg and Cape Town where there are executive mayors who have more powers than the city manager, in eThekwini, the mayor has a ceremonial role and he or she takes decisions after they have been recommended by the powerful exco.

“If you are in charge of the exco you have captured the engine of the functioning of the municipality, these are decision makers… All the decisions are taken by that committee,” Dube said. 

He added that it is these funding for these projects that are approved by excos which are later used to fund factions. 

The provincial leadership has allegedly tried to manage the process by asking all the councillors of the ANC in the municipality to send their curriculum vitaes (CV) to the deployment committee. 

Independent Media understands that the deployment committee met on Tuesday evening to discuss the matter.

A party insider said the decision to ask for the CVs was to ensure that the process is fair and only the best are appointed.

“There will be no faction that will be able to take control of the exco because the process is being handled by the PEC which has asked all councillors to submit CVs in order to look at their qualifications,” the source said. 

The spokesperson of the ANC in KZN, Ricardo Mthembu, said the selection process which is under way would be done by Thursday when the municipality convenes a full council to elect a new mayor. 

He added that above all, party unity and talent would guide them as they select the committee and they would “select the best cadres”. 

Politics Bureau