PIETERMARITZBURG - Parties across the political spectrum have welcomed the decision by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube to place Msunduzi Municipality under administration.
The decision was announced by Dube-Ncube at a closed council sitting on Tuesday and follows an outcry over the standard of governance and near collapse of service delivery at the municipality.
ANC Moses Mabhida regional task team convenor Thulani Xulu said they welcomed the decision and expressed confidence the intervention would yield the desired results. "What is important is that the MEC is bringing a team of officials including an administrator and this we hope will bring much needed stability and capacity which is needed at the municipality," said Xulu.
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Zwakele Mncwango questioned the timing of the move, saying they had long called for decisive action on the ANC-led municipality. "Today’s briefing by Cogta, before an emergency special full council meeting, has vindicated the DA. It is now beyond doubt the DA was correct [when it last week stated] that Msunduzi had been placed under administration by the KZN cabinet," said Mncwango.
It was disappointing, however, said Mncwango, that the MEC had opted against dissolving the council.
IFP councillor Dennis Ntombela said they were pleased with the MEC’s move, but added that it was long overdue.
“We have long called for the MEC to shake-up our council. In fact we were always puzzled as to why the MEC was quick to intervene in other distressed councils and yet she made no moves on Msunduzi,” said Ntombela.
He said the IFP hoped that the filling of critical posts and collection of revenue would be high on the intervention team's agenda.
Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB) CEO Melanie Veness welcomed the intervention and said there had been no other alternative but for provincial government to intervene.
"The municipality is completely dysfunctional. In fact, it is long overdue and the ratepayers of Msunduzi have had to bear the consequences of the gross mismanagement of our resources for far too long now. This is the second time in the last ten years that we’ve faced administration," said Veness.
She said that organised business was waiting for officials responsible for the decline to be held accountable.
"There must be consequences. The long-suffering people of Msunduzi deserve at least that. Over the last few years we have, in desperate response to irrational and irresponsible decision-making, submitted a submission to the public protector, petitioned the national treasury for intervention and we have written several letters directly to the MEC for Cogta," said Veness.
African News Agency (ANA)