Mayor says Umvoti operations won't be affected by expulsion of nine councillors

Umvoti Mayor, Philani Mavundla. Picture: Tumi Pakkies/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Umvoti Mayor, Philani Mavundla. Picture: Tumi Pakkies/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Jul 29, 2023


The Mayor of Umvoti (Greytown) local municipality in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands has assured ratepayers of the municipality that Wednesday's expulsion of eight councillors of the IFP and one from the ABC, won't affect service delivery.

Mayor Philani Mavundla said all is in place to ensure that the wards represented by some of the expelled councillors are serviced, even if the councillors eventually go.

His assurance comes after the ethics committee of the municipality last week recommended that these councillors should be expelled for absenteeism and walking out of council meetings held last month.

The committee decided to eject them after listening to submissions from the councillors, since most of them gave fabricated responses.

Among those who are facing the axe is Petros Ngubane, the IFP Mayor of Umzinyathi district municipality, Gabriel Malembe, the former IFP mayor of Umvoti who was ousted last month, and former Speaker, Thando Dlamini.

Also in the firing is a popular IFP councillor in the municipality, Siybonga Bhojas Dlamini.

The final decision regarding the fate of these councillors now lies with the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) in the province, Bongi Sithole-Moloi, who has to either okay or decline the recommendations of the committee.

Ngubane has already hinted that he may challenge the recommendations of the committee in court.

Despite all this shocking decision, Mavundla said residents should be at ease.

"We hereby affirm that Umvoti will remain steadfast in its commitment to the community, despite the removal of these councillors who consistently failed to attend meetings.

"Our dedication to serving the municipality remains unwavering, regardless of the circumstances," Mavundla said.

He added that they are also eagerly awaiting the final decision of the MEC regarding the matter.

"To the members of the affected parties, being the ABC (Abantu Batho Congress) and the IFP, we urge them to make sure that in future they elect representatives who are people-centred, not self-centred.

"We are still shocked by their actions of abstaining for over four consecutive meetings," he said.

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