Premier reads riot act to ANC mayor and deputies

2011-10-24 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL Premier and ANC provincial chairperson Zweli Mkhize has read the riot act to ANC mayors and deputy mayors across the province, saying the provincial government will intervene in their municipalities in case of mismanagement, regardless of whether they are controlled by the ruling party.

Mkhize was addressing the three-day ANC provincial local government summit taking place at Durban’s Coastlands, which ends today.

The summit, the first of its kind in the province, saw mayors, deputy mayors, chief whips, speakers, politically deployed municipal managers and chief financial officers exchanging views on how to make local government work.

This gathering came in the wake of the ANC’s victory in the May 18 local government elections, which resulted in the party controlling or influencing the running of at least 58 municipalities across the province, including all district municipalities and the eThekwini metro.

In his opening speech, Mkhize said the provincial government will not “close one eye” when dealing with collapsing ANC-led municipalities, but will intervene decisively.

He said the extent of votes and support received by the ANC in the past local government elections indicate the level of confidence people have in the ANC, “and this must not be taken for granted as people expect changes in their lives and to see democracy delivering”.

Amidst reports that the ANC and National Freedom Party (NFP) coalition agreement to co-govern 19 hung municipalities was a failure, partly because arrogance on the part of ANC councillors, Mkhize urged them to work with the NFP members not as junior partners, but as equals.

He criticised the tendency of some councillors to disappear from their communities after they have been elected.

“ANC leaders must be there when people face paradoxes of life; during times of joy and also of pains and tribulations,” Mkhize said.

Today the summit, which will be attended by all ANC councillors across the province, will be addressed by the ANC’s secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe.

• skhumbuzo.miya@witness.co.za

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