Meet Mr Fix-it

2010-03-13 00:00

“THE eyes of the city and the province will be on you... We wish you well and have nothing but faith in your abilities and experience.”

With this statement, KZN Finance MEC Ina Cronjé concluded the formal introduction of Johann Mettler, as the new Msunduzi Municipality administrator, at a special sitting of the executive committee (Exco) at Harry Gwala Stadium yesterday.

In the presence of senior municipal managers, a provincial delegation, the provincial task team as well as Exco members, Cronjé said: “It is always sad when a municipality doesn’t perform to the best of its ability... [and Msunduzi has] been on the front pages of newspapers for far too long for negative reasons.”

She said the time had come for the city to regain its former glory days, in which it was dubbed the “City of Choice”. Mettler’s appointment, along with provincial and municipal support, is the next step in ensuring that municipal affairs are once again efficient, said Cronjé.

Mettler, an executive director at the SA Local Government Association (Salga), specialises in policy and legislation relating to local government and municipal restructuring, with an emphasis on institutional reform relating to water and electricity services, municipal institutional governance, strategic planning for local authorities and inter-governmental relations. He is also a qualified attorney, who obtained his Master of Laws degree at Sweden’s Lund University.

This was music to the ears of DA councillor Rodger Ashe, who said: “It’s very pleasing to have someone so well versed in the law at our helm.”

As a married resident of the Western Cape, Mettler joked that he has personal reasons for wanting the intervention to be over with as soon as possible.

Mettler said he has no reason to believe that he will not receive the full co-operation of all those concerned.

Mettler added that he is looking forward to having one-on-one sessions with senior management and Exco members.

A giant of a man, Mettler towered over every person there — but seemed bashful when Ashe asked him if he had played for the Springbok rugby team in his heydays.

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