KZN Cosatu leaders question Msunduzi bosses on turnaround

2011-11-08 00:00

COSATU leaders in KwaZulu-Natal held talks with Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela yesterday to get clarity about the steps being taken to turn the capital around.

Also present were administrator Sibusiso Sithole, council speaker Babu Baijoo and acting municipal manager Thokozani Maseko.

The labour federation has voiced concern about negative reports coming out of Pietermaritzburg.

Cosatu said last month that it is concerned about reports that the municipality is unable to fix street lights, trim dangerous overgrown roadside trees and carry out certain services, when councillors have voted to have a municipal newspaper costing R1,2 million.

Provincial secretary Zet Luzipo said after the meeting that Cosatu believes the municipality has covered a lot of ground, but still faces a number of challenges.

“We had to get first-hand information regarding the state of the municipality because we have seen a lot of negative reports in public about the state of Pietermaritzburg,” said Luzipo.

“One of things we discussed was the proposed newspaper, and the council leadership explained that it was budgeted for in this financial year. If the money is used for other functions then that would be irregular expenditure.”

Luzipo commended the municipality for being able to turn around the problem of revenue collection, having collecting 80% of what is due.

“This is milestone for Msunduzi because at some stage revenue collection was sitting at 50%,” said Luzipo.

“Councillors, workers and senior managers need to work together to bring back the municipality to its former glory.

“We also support initiatives that have been done by the municipality to root out corruption because we are firmly against it and we will not tolerate it.”

Luzipo said the image of Pietermaritzburg as the capital city of KwaZulu-Natal has been dented and that is why Cosatu has decided to hold its provincial executive council conference next month in the city for the first time.

He said Cosatu will arrange a follow-up meeting to address the municipality on issues it feels need urgent attention.

Attempts to get a comment from the municipality were unsuccessful at the time of going to print.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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