Durban - The special council sitting of the eThekwini municipality collapsed on Friday when parties like the ANC, EFF and some minority parties objected to it.
The stalemate over the meeting started shortly after the meeting started around 10am when Visvin Reddy from the block of minority parties requested a five minute caucus break.
The break took longer, with the ANC being the last party to come back to take its seats inside the Durban ICC where the sitting was held.
BREAKING NEWS: Following the caucus break requested by the minority parties, there is a suggestion to suspend the special council sitting. Councillor Visvin Reddy says this should start at the exco level, then be brought to full council. ANC & EFF supports the proposal. @IOL— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) June 2, 2023
When it came back, Reddy rose and asked that the special sitting be suspended on the basis that the introduction of the Section 154 intervention team to stabilise the sinking metro should first be debated with the Executive Committee (Exco).
The team is going to include Dr Casius Lubisi, the former director-general in the Presidency, and Dr Mike Sutcliffe, the former eThekwini City Manager.
It was to be introduced by MEC Bongi Sithole-Moloi from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta).
Reddy’s proposal was supported by the EFF and the ANC who insisted that the matter should first be handled by the Exco.
However, the DA opposed this saying there should be a legal opinion on the matter.
WATCH: DA's Deputy Caucus leader in the eThekwini municipality tells IOL that the ANC in the council is against COGTA MEC, Bongi Sithole-Moloi introducing the Section 154 intervention team before presenting to the exco. @IOL pic.twitter.com/6ep6zvfVC4— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) June 2, 2023
The IFP raised concerns that it was going to be a wasteful expenditure and asked that in future, the matter should be included in other items.
There was even a proposal that the Cogta should pick up the tab for the botched special sitting.
In the end, the ANC and its backers on the matter got their way when the sitting was canned, ending the business for the day.
Speaking to IOL, the council Speaker, Thabani Nyawose, said he had registered his concerns with KZN Cogta over rushing the special council sitting but the Head of Department Thando Tubane, insisted that it goes ahead.
It was only Friday morning that Cogta came back to its senses and understood that the introduction of the Section 154 intervention team should start with the Exco.
Video: Sihle Mavuso/IOL
“Tubane said the matter is urgent, the urgent meeting should be convened before Friday this week.
“I then succumbed to their request or accepted the request, I convened the meeting today.
“I issued a notice to all councillors, councillors responded that we are all here.
“This morning the MEC arrived, when the MEC has arrived and her team we then registered our concerns formally to her to say the practice and the norm, the rules of the council does not allow us to receive report direct to council without being processed by exco.
“These reports can be challenged by political parties and also in a court of law, we might have a problem because we have not followed the rules.
“Can you please consider withdrawing your item today and we reconvene and come back to exco and then we will come to council after that.
“Then MEC and her team understood our explanation, then she said to me, Speaker the item can be withdrawn,” Nyawose said to IOL.
The EFF's caucus leader in the eThekwini municipality, Themba Mvubu, said they wanted the correct procedure to be followed regarding the matter.
WATCH: The EFF's caucus leader in the eThekwini municipality, Themba Mvubu explains why they supported that the introduction of the Section 154 intervention team by KZN COGTA MEC, Bongi Sithole-Moloi be halted. @IOL pic.twitter.com/stVXbKpj6r— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) June 2, 2023
“We can’t even say we are against or pro because we don’t even concept and the terms of reference.
“They must furnish us with those terms of reference,” Mvubu said.
Cogta is yet to respond to Nyawose’s claims that they rammed through the decision even when they were advised that the matter should start with the exco.