umgungundlovu: office bearers installed despite pickets

2011-06-10 00:00

DESPITE recent opposition from the ANC alliance partners about the choice of office bearers in Msunduzi and uMgungundlovu district, the inauguration of the district’s municipal councillors proceeded without hindrance at the Royal Showgrounds yesterday. Former uMngeni Mayor Edward Dladla was inaugurated as the uMgungundlovu municipal speaker. Yusuf Bhamjee was retained as the mayor and his deputy is Rosemary “Fucwana” Zungu, who served as a councillor in the district’s previous council.

While the inauguration proceeded inside the showgrounds hall, about 40 of those opposing the deployment of Msunduzi Deputy Mayor Alpha Shelembe and speaker Zonke Mbatha picketed outside the showgrounds. Some of the picketers opposed the appointment of Dladla.

The pickets were part of planned rolling mass actions that will apparently culminate in a march on Thursday next week aimed at crippling service delivery in the city.

In his inaugural speech, Bhamjee said the the new council will be led by the vision and the mandate of the district to serve all the citizens within its jurisdiction, irrespective of political affiliation, race, gender, colour or religious belief.

“It is an undeniable truth that the district municipality veered away from its vision and mandate in 2007 … Three years later our turnaround story is nothing short of remarkable, with a foundation of clean audits to back it up.

“We can safely say that we are on a sustainable path to full recovery,” said Bhamjee.

He said his appointment and those of his fellow councillors will advance this difficult journey to full recovery and systematic attainment of the district’s vision. “This cannot be done alone, but by the unconditional support that one enjoys from all municipalities within the district.”

Bhamjee said the achievements attained by the district would have not been possible without the dedication, professionalism and a sense of purpose on the part of the management and staff, so ably led by the municipal manager, Sbu Khuzwayo. “I wish to dedicate this term to the unfinished business of the turnaround project. In this regard, we want to ensure 100% reliable access to water and sanitation to all the communities that we proudly serve,” he said.

Dladla reminded councillors in his inauguration speech that local government is the sphere closest to the people and that residents have voted for councillors in order for them to deliver.

Deputy Mayor Zungu said that her aim is to advance issues of women and that she plans to work hand in hand with women of different political parties.

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