KwaZulu-Natal Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube has declined the request for Msunduzi Municipality councillors to get salary increases. Picture: Mandla Mkhize

Pietermaritzburg - KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube has declined the request for Msunduzi Municipality councillors to get salary increases, saying the municipality was in a difficult financial position.

In a letter presented to a full council sitting on Tuesday, Dube- Ncube cited the recent negative opinion from the Auditor General. “After due consideration of the council’s application for the councillors' remuneration increases, and considering that the municipality received a disclaimer audit opinion for 2016/2017, I have resolved not to approve the increase of the level of payment for the Msunduzi Municipality’s councillors’ remuneration packages,” read the letter presented by City Manager Sizwe Hadebe.  

Meanwhile, opposition parties once again appealed for the municipality to be placed under administration, expressing reservations about Hadebe’s ability to lead the council. They cited reports that are presented six months late as an illustration of failed leadership. “The report we have today is dated July 2017 and we are three months away from the end of the financial year. How are we supposed to carry out our oversight role when reports are this late?” asked DA leader Sibongiseni Majola. 

He added that the late submission of reports had been one of the reasons that the municipality got a disclaimer. “From the way things are going we are looking at a prospect of another disclaimer and that is why Cogta should take over the running of the municipality.

ANC senior councillor Eunice Majola Zondi ridiculed calls for the municipality to be placed under administration as this would amount to defeat from councillors. “Seeing that DA councillors are for the city to be put under administration they should just leave council because they are saying they have failed to exercise oversight, we have not failed,” said the ANC councillor. 

The municipality was the only one out of 53 in KZN to receive a disclaimer for 2016/17 financial year.

African News Agency/ANA