DA KZN: MEC must dissolve renegade Mtubatuba municipal council

George Mari, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on COGTA:

THE DA calls on KZN COGTA MEC, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, to urgently dissolve the renegade Mtubatuba municipality and elect a new council in terms of Section 139 (1) c of the Constitution.

The request follows new information provided to the portfolio committee that the Administrator has been escorted out of the Municipality by the local SAPS.  The reasons for this are not clear.

On Friday last week, the province’s COGTA portfolio committee visited Mtubatuba municipality.

Despite the intervention of a department-appointed Administrator, this municipality remains wracked by poor leadership and political instability, resulting in a weakening of oversight, governance and compliance.

The municipal budget is in tatters as it verges on bankruptcy. Meanwhile political wrangling shows no sign of coming to an end under the acting Municipal Manager with threats to remove the Mayor ongoing.

Recent findings within the municipality include;

–          The use of financial consultants to achieve a clean audit

–          Council’s disregard for departmental recommendations

–          Corruption with no evidence of three quotes for procurement

–          80% of staff being paid salaries above their Levels.  The former municipal manager was appointed on a Grade 12 level but was being paid a Grade 15 salary. His secretary was parachuted from Level 6 to 12 and paid accordingly.

The Administrator’s term was due to end on 15 March 2015.   The visit revealed that there are about 40% of matters still be dealt with. Meanwhile, the municipal Speaker is allegedly being uncooperative in dealing with these issues.

The possibility of a political task team being brought in to resolve the numerous problems was proposed by some members of the portfolio committee.  The DA believes that the situation has gone beyond this and that ongoing internal strife between the ANC, NFP and IFP must be stopped.

While municipal officials are playing politics, the community is suffering.  Records show that 95% of the population still need houses, water and sanitation and electricity.  Housing backlogs are off the chart while raw sewerage runs into some houses.

It is on this basis that the DA calls for the implementation of Section 139 (1) c by MEC Dube-Ncube.  This municipality must be dissolved in the interests of the community who cannot be expected to endure more of the same shocking service delivery.