Stern warning for KZN municipalities
Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal local government MEC warned newly elected municipal leaders on Thursday that her department would not tolerate corruption and maladministration.
“We are going to investigate corruption and maladministration in any municipality. We will take action because we don’t want to be your friends. We want you to do your work efficiently,” said Nomusa Dube.
She was addressing mayors, deputy mayors and municipal managers from the province’s 61 municipalities at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli ICC. Dube said new municipal leadership would be judged on whether their municipalities took stern action to root out corruption, fraud, laziness and lack of oversight.
The May 18 local government elections resulted in major leadership changes in the majority of KwaZulu-Natal municipalities.
Improving service delivery
The department had developed a plan to improve service delivery in all the municipalities and how to deal with corruption and maladministration which led to service delivery protests, Dube said.
“Emanating from the service delivery protests, we have developed with all municipalities a turnaround strategy, which in simple terms, tells us that we should do things differently,” she said.
The strategy was aimed at eliminating a variety of ills that led to KwaZulu-Natal municipalities reaching a chaotic state of affairs, she said.
The May 18 local government elections had been characterised by a series of public service delivery demonstration as people vented their anger on poor work by municipalities, she said.
“We have committed ourselves to ensuring improved access to essential services. We also want to strengthen the administrative and financial capability of our municipality,” said Dube.
The department would also help municipalities form ward committees to improve public participation.
“Through enhanced participation of our people in governance, this emerging culture of public protests against our democratically elected leaders will be eliminated,” she said.
The municipalities would not improve services if they did not handle their books properly. “We want to have clean audits. We can no longer justify disclaimers and adverse audit opinions,” she said.