Zandile Gumede. File photo: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA).
Zandile Gumede. File photo: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA).

Next big task for the ANC is to get eThekwini working again

By SIHLE MAVUSO Time of article published Sep 4, 2019

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Durban - With controversial former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede finally out of the way, the ANC - both at provincial and national level - want a political and administrative clean up of the city.

First on the list is the collection of waste, which has been a sore point for the city for the past two years.

Speaking in Durban yesterday after meeting with members of the party’s provincial executive committee (PEC) and more than 100 councillors from the municipality, to inform them that the matter of Gumede had been put to bed, Jessie Duarte, the ANC deputy secretary-general, said the next big task for the ruling party was working for the people.

“The task is to rebuild the integrity of the city, get all the sections, proper administrative sections, to work properly; get the collection system up and running, make sure that the waste management is handled properly, water provision is handled properly and deal with the issues outstanding with regard to Eskom,” she said.

Pulling no punches, the chairperson of the ANC in KZN, Sihle Zikalala, said the municipality was not doing well under Gumede, saying even giving it a 30% mark would have been an exaggeration.

He hinted that the axing of Gumede and the entire exco was the beginning of the clean up, and officials would follow shortly.

Asked about the regional task team that has been rejected as skewed by a faction supporting Gumede, Duarte said the PEC had been tasked with reviewing it and making changes in the shortest time.

She said Gumede and councillor Mondli Mthembu would return to the council as ordinary councillors.

Requiring three seats to accommodate Kaunda and Belinda Scott as deputy mayor and Weziwe Thusi as speaker, the party has asked an unnamed councillor to vacate the seat.

It’s understood that the councillor is Nonku Cele, who resigned last week. She was apparently asked to move and take up an administrative position in the provincial legislature.

The matter of filling the critical and lucrative positions of the chairs of portfolios was left to the caucus to discuss.

Asked whether the national leadership were happy with the way the Gumede issue had been handled by the provincial leadership under Zika-lala, Duarte there were concerns that there was not enough information passed down to their structures.

She said the next move, as they tried to rebuild the once-influential region of the party, would be to meet with their structures. “We will go down to brief our branches” she said.

Much against expectations that the party was going to haul Gumede over the coals over her resignation back-flip, Duarte said after listening to her, they understood her point of view and there was no need to punish her.

Political Bureau

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