Delay in appointing MM criticised

2017-09-13 06:01
PHOTO: SuppliedMsunduzi Acting Municipal Manager Sizwe Hadebe.

PHOTO: SuppliedMsunduzi Acting Municipal Manager Sizwe Hadebe.

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THE delay in appointing a permanent Msunduzi Municipal Manager has come under fire with opposition in council saying it goes against the rules and regulations of appointing managers within the municipality.

According to the Municipal Systems Act section 54 A, “Appointment of municipal managers and acting municipal managers. - (2A) (a) A person appointed in terms of subsection (1) (b) may not be appointed to act for a period that exceeds three months. (2A) (b) A municipal council may, in special circumstances and on good cause shown, apply in writing to the MEC for local government to extend the period of appointment contemplated in paragraph (a), for a further period that does not exceed three months.”

DA caucus leader in the Msunduzi Council, Sibongiseni Majola, said his party was against the appointment of acting municipal manager Sizwe Hadebe for reasons he described as “shocking”.

He said these include Hadebe changing his name from Adolph
Silindokuhle to Sizwe, his appointment at eThekwini Municipality being rejected and Hadebe leaving Ekurhuleni Municipality with a disciplinary process against him not
finalised.

According to a regulation for the appointment of a city manager, an applicant must declare finalised or pending disciplinary actions they are facing. Majola said the Auditor-General stated that among the other reasons the Msunduzi Municipality had received a qualified audit for the 2016/2017 financial year was that three internal investigations had not been finalised, which was the priority of the individual to take up the post of municipal manager.

Majola expressed concern over the mayor’s failure to provide monthly updates to Exco on the progress in appointing a permanent municipal manager.

He also questioned what the cause of the delay in appointing a selection panel for the appointment of a permanent municipal manager has been, adding that this is a deviation from a regulated process.

The DA’s Bongumusa Nhlabathi said this indicates that the mayor, Themba Njilo, is not taking decisions independently, but rather is influenced by those in leadership of the ANC.

“This is a clear political deployment which hampers service delivery,” Nhlabathi said.


“No one from the ANC serving at a council wants to make decisions that may need to be reversed after the party’s election conference because those decisions might not augur well with the winning faction at the conference,” he said.

The pair said the Msunduzi Municipality rents a flat for the acting municipal manager in addition to him receiving a housing allowance.

“Since his acting as the municipal manager is in breach of municipal systems act, every benefit that is paid to him can be regarded as wasteful expenditure. My question is what is he bringing to the municipality?” Majola said.

He said Hadebe’s performance as the acting municipal manager has been unsatisfactory because during this time the municipality is at risk of losing R2 billion of revenue, which, he said, is almost 50% of the total revenue for the 2017/2018 financial year, if the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa) investigation into the city’s operating licence reveals that Msunduzi is non-compliant.

“Which is possible looking at how the municipality handles the issue of power outages,” Majola said.

He said at full council on Wednesday, August 30, an item on the agenda revealed that the municipality has never complied with Sans 10090: 2003 a standard for regulating fire stations.

“In his watch, he has not addressed such issues. Residents’ properties and assets are at high risk since none of the four fire stations complies with the standard. Furthermore, we only have four fire stations when we should have nine. The man is a burden to Msunduzi,” he said.

Majola concluded by stating that 55% of the posts that make up the municipality organogram are vacant, which further hampers service delivery.

“How can the municipality keep somebody who brings this institution into such an unhealthy situation? By delaying the appointment of a permanent municipal manager we are denying the employment of a person who could show more interest into Msunduzi.”
A request for comment was sent to KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs but a response had not been received at the time of going to print.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said: “Mr Hadebe’s secondment is in terms of section 54A (6) of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000 as amended and was approved by the MEC for COGTA on 15 December 2016.”

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