KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala. Picture: Sibusiso Ndlovu/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala told a meeting of the captains of industry that the provincial government had kept its promise made at the same event last year, that it would intervene and ensure stability in local municipalities.

Zikalala, speaking on Thursday at the KZN Growth Coalition breakfast in uMhlanga, Durban, was referring to the ANC’s decision to remove mayors, deputy mayors, speakers and executive council members at Msunduzi and eThekwini municipalities.

“In Msunduzi we had a number of engagements, and together with the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Commerce we worked together to change the situation but it did not change.”

Zikalala said a task team, led by Trade and Investment KZN, was tasked to ensure there was a consolidated plan to grow business in the province.

“The new mayor, Mzi Thebolla, and the team will be equal to the task.

“They will fix the administration, ensure service delivery and ensure all areas are improving.”

Zikalala insisted that changes had to be made at the eThekwini Municipality as there was a problem with the collective leadership and the administration of the metro.

Moses Tembe, co-chair of the Growth Coalition, speaking earlier, said the economic reality currently facing the country was a harsh one.

“Last year, business confidence was on the right trajectory.

“Today, there is a pervasive sense of scepticism in the country’s politics,” Tembe said.

He said the prospect of an economic downgrade was knocking on the door.

“Unemployment levels and poor economic conditions are rampant. One does not know how much patience is out there.

“Durban’s city centre was always a place of pride but this is no longer the case. Unless something is done, we will lose the city.

“Municipalities are sliding towards ungovernability,” Tembe said.

Political Bureau