Pietermaritzburg - Councillors, organised business and civic organisations have welcomed the arrival of Msunduzi Municipality administrator Sibusiso Sithole, expressing hope that he will bring the desired turnaround at the embattled municipality.
The administrator was formally introduced by Msunduzi Speaker Jabu Ngubo during a special council sitting at the council chambers on Thursday.
Msunduzi mayor Themba Njilo, who welcomed him at the sitting, committed the full support of council to the administrator, and said they were looking forward to working with him so that the city improves in all important areas, especially service delivery.
He said they expected Sithole to carry out his duties without any fear or favour, especially in dealing with management. “If there comes a point when somebody needs to be given a red card, do not hesitate to do so,” said Njilo in reference to troublesome officials.
Business lobby group, Msunduzi Economic Development Agency (MEDA), said Sithole has a huge task to perform and stressed that they were eager to work with the administrator.
"MEDA looks forward to working with the new administrator, however our concerns are that the current administration or management is still working at the municipality and they are the ones that got us in this situation in the first place, so how do we right the wrongs if the wrongdoers are still there" asked Meda chairperson Kantha Pillay.
Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Pietermaritzburg (PCB) CEO Melanie Veness said Sithole’s arrival brings hope to everyone, especially organised business.
"We have been extremely vocal about the need for good management, oversight and accountability - the citizens and businesses of this city certainly deserve better than what they’ve been getting. If Sithole is committed to sorting out the city (and brave enough to do it), then we’ll definitely support him in whatever way that we can. We look forward to working with him, because we long to be proud of our Capital City again," said the PCB CEO.
Active Citizens Movement (ACM) Pietermaritzburg chairperson Roshan Jainath said they were looking forward to working with Sithole in the bringing governance back to the KZN capital city.
"The good thing is that he is a technocrat who comes with massive experience in local government and that is what Msunduzi needs right now, somebody who can make sure that systems work properly so that things can improve in our city," said Jainath.
He echoed the sentiment that Sithole has a huge challenge before him, but stressed that his experience about the municipality would see him through and said they were encouraged by his eagerness to engage all the important roleplayers in Pietermaritzburg.
Veteran councillor Bill Lambert said he was hoping that Sithole would be given a chance to do his work without any political interference.
African News Agency/ANA