Yusuf Bhamjee returns as UMDM mayor

2011-05-30 00:00

CONSISTENCY and hard work have precipitated Yusuf Bhamjee’s return to the position of uMgungundlovu District Municipality (UMDM) Mayor, said ANC deputy provincial secretary and MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube in Durban yesterday.

She was speaking during a press conference to announce the ANC’s mayoral candidates for the 10 districts and eThekwini Metro.

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said mayoral candidates for Msunduzi, Mngeni and other local municipalities will be announced after coalition negotiations between the ANC and the National Freedom Party (NFP) are complete. They are expected to be finalised today.

Meanwhile, The Witness has reliably learnt that Cosatu provincial chairperson Chris Ndlela and Mbali Myeni will be nominated for Msunduzi and Mngeni municipalities, respectively.

Dube said, “Things were getting worse when Comrade Bhamjee took over, as the municipality was receiving disclaimer reports from the Auditor-General.

“The municipality was also under extreme pressure on services regarding roads, electricity, water and sanitation. But now there is great improvement. We really appreciate the work done by Comrade Bhamjee. His return is retainment of quality …”

Bhamjee was deployed to the UMDM position in 2008 after the ruling party recalled the incumbent, Bongi Sithole-Mlaba, following allegations of mismanagement that led to the ANC caucus passing a vote of no confidence against her.

Prior to this appointment, Bhamjee was chairperson of the local government portfolio committee in the KZN Legislature and a member of the national assembly.

Former eThekwini Metro speaker and SA Communist Party provincial chairperson James Nxumalo has been named the ANC’s mayoral candidate for the metro ahead of frontrunner and former Pietermaritzburg deputy mayor Makhosi Khoza. Because of her experience on local government issues and the ANC’s policy of encouraging deployment of women in top government positions, KZN MPL Khoza was the frontrunner to replace long-serving eThekwini mayor Obed Mlaba.

But in what is believed to be an attempt by the ANC to create harmony within the alliance partners, it opted for Nxumalo, who is favoured by the ANC’s eThekwini region, Cosatu and the SACP.

Ilembe district (Stanger) Mayor Welcome Mdabe remains in his position. Other mayoral candidates named were MPL Jeff Vilane for Umkhanyakude District (Jozini), James Mthethwa for the Umzinyathi District (Greytown) and ANC regional chairperson for the Harry Gwala region (Ixopo) for Sisonke District.

The ANC also announced five female mayoral candidates for the 10 KZN district municipalities.

They are former uMnambithi Mayor Dudu Mazibuko for uThukela District (Ladysmith), Ntombifikile Gumede for the Ugu District (Port Shepstone), Thembeka Mchunu for Uthungulu (Empangeni) District, Jabu Khumalo for AmaJuba District (Newcastle) and Esther Qwabe for the Zululand District (Ulundi).

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