Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA).

Pietermaritzburg - Msunduzi Municipality's newly appointed administrator Sibusiso Sithole has promised to steer clear of politics and go about doing his job of improving governance and ensuring that the KwaZulu-Natal capital city is financially viable. 

He made the undertaking when he addressed a special council sitting at Pietermaritzburg city hall on Thursday. The brief address marked the first time that Sithole met with councillors since the announcement of his appointment by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube last Friday.

The former city manager of eThekwini told the council that he would be meeting with different roleplayers, including managers, political parties and the media in a bid to understand the workings of the city. 

He stressed that while he would meet with representatives of different political parties he would not be drawn into the city's political dynamics. "As an administrator, I will be as professional as possible and will be non-partisan in executing the given task," said Sithole. 

One of the reasons cited by the Cogta MEC for the municipality's near demise was failure by officials to conduct their duties and council failure to conduct oversight on management. The involvement of officials in the city's politics was said to be another problem.

The administrator stressed that he expected staff to carry out their duties as per expectation. "Where I deem it necessary, I will crack the whip on the officials that are not pulling their socks when it comes to operations in the municipality," the administrator added.  

Sithole, who recently resigned as Prasa CEO, is no stranger to Msunduzi Municipality as he held the same position when the municipality was under administration in 2010 and oversaw the arrival of Mxolisi Nkosi as the new city manager at the municipality in 2011.   

The municipality was placed under administration earlier this month through Section 139 1 (b) which allows for provincial government to take over some functions of the municipality. 

The intervention which was announced by Dube-Ncube earlier in April came after a number of problems, including lack of city by-law enforcement which led to urban decay and a near collapse of key service areas such as refuse collection.  

African News Agency (ANA)