In the wake of damning reports of political and governance instability and financial mismanagement in most municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, the provincial ANC has embarked on a mission to assess them and come up with urgent solutions.
The assessment will see the party’s provincial working committee (PWC) visiting all the troubled municipalities where poor governance has hampered service delivery and led to sporadic and frequent violent protests by community members.
The visits by the PWC includes a recently concluded one to eThekwini metro where there is a mayoral vacuum after the extension, until August, of the suspension of Zandile Gumede. This was announced on Wednesday.
Speaking to Independent Media about the assessment during an interview at the party’s offices in Durban, provincial secretary, Mdumiseni Ntuli, said the analysis that would come of the visits would go beyond the troubled eThekwini metro where they recently met with the party’s branch leadership and councillors to put down a low intensity rebellion against the city manager, Sipho Nzuza.
The councillors wanted Nzuza out, saying they have lost confidence in his leadership ability after media reports by The Mercury newspaper revealed that he had turned a state witness against the fraud and corruption accused Gumede.
“But the PWC will also be doing an analysis of the state of municipalities not only eThekwini, in the whole province because you know that there has been difficulties with a number of our municipalities. So the PWC is not only going to be dealing with this matter, it will also be dealing with the state of municipalities,” Ntuli said.
He said during their analysis they would be assessing the role of mayors, chief whips, the all important municipal executive committees (Exco) led by the party, caucuses and other senior political deployees in municipalities.
“That assessment will not only tell us many things about the state of our municipalities, but it will also guide on the type of actions we may be required to take in order to reinforce, stabilize and reposition the municipalities,” Ntuli explained.
The ANC is governing nine of the province’s eleven district municipalities (including eThekwini metro) and thirty three of the forty three local municipalities with the remaining ten governed by the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) through a coalition with the DA and EFF.