Bosses of Zululand District Municipality called to explain lack of water

2014-02-12 00:00

OFFICIALS from the Zululand District Municipality were sent packing by members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) following their bosses’ failure to appear before the committee yesterday.

District Mayor Zanele KaMagwazwa Msibi, her municipal manager and her chief financial officer snubbed the committee, in their stead a couple of members from the technical services attended. The annoyed members of the committee felt undermined and did not take kindly to the perceived snub. They called off the meeting halfway through, sending the officials back to Zululand with a message — their bosses must attend the next hearing.

The municipality had to brief the committee on its progress in service delivery, especially in terms of water and sanitation.

Scopa chairperson Sipho Nkosi said the members were justified in feeling snubbed by Msibi and her team. “I had called for this meeting some time ago and the Zululand Municipality indicated at the time they were not available …” he said.

“The mayor is not a volunteer. She gets paid a lot of money and therefore she should have been here … The CFO is not a volunteer. It’s an important function in the municipality and the municipal manager is also getting paid a lot of money,” said Nkosi.

The municipality was also criticised for its failure to deliver water to the residents. It emerged that they had under-spent on funds allocated for water and sanitation.

Nkosi listed a string of wards that were either without water or sanitation, or both. “In some areas in Zululand, you find that there is water in this section of the wards and not over in that section in the same area.”

He warned the municipality to deliver, or face the wrath of aggrieved communities. “Some people are already saying they will not be voting this coming election; people everywhere are rebelling over service delivery. Their threat that they will not vote is how it will start.”

Dr Lionel Mtshali of the IFP said it seemed the municipality delivered services along political lines.

Jo-Ann Downs of the ACDP said the municipality had failed on many fronts and suggested the committee write to the Department of Co-operative Governance and have the municipality placed under administration.

Scott said most of the information on the financial spending of the municipality was incomplete and did not make sense and needed the CFO to explain. She raised concerns the municipality was building indoor sports centres and buying tractors, things outside its mandate.

Attempts to get comment from the municipality were unsuccessful yesterday.

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