Business welcomes mass axing

2014-09-04 00:00

THE Mooi Mpofana Municipality has become the second council to be dissolved in the history of KwaZulu-Natal.

The last time was in 2005, when the entire Abaqulusi Municipality council in Vryheid was sacked.

Seven ANC councillors, including the Mayor Janet Mpangase-Mchunu, were given until September 16 to clear out their offices.

Yesterday, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube announced the decision to place the municipality under administration during a closed full council meeting.

“Our decision is based on the outcome of the special Cabinet sitting on Tuesday when the provincial executive, after analysing the state of the municipality, resolved to dissolve it,” she told a media briefing later.

“For some time now Mooi Mpofana Municipality has been mired in controversy, with allegations of internal bickering, maladministration and poor financial management.”

She said councillors and municipal staff members also participated in service delivery protests.

“This promoted a culture of impunity and lawlessness.”

Dube-Ncube said the municipality has been plagued by a continuous series of labour unrest incidents, including unprotected strikes, community protests and serious financial difficulties.

She said the municipality scored 47,54% for its Integrated Development Plan (IDP) in the 2013/14 financial year, “which is well below provincial average”.

“The IDP was not credible in that it omitted critical aspects such as a workable HR strategy, workplace skills plan, integrated waste management plan, status of road networks, human settlements, associated levels of services and backlogs, consumer debt, borrowing and a spatial ­development network,” said Dube-Ncube.

She said the outgoing councillors were pleased with the work done by senior managers.

Councillors were blamed for being embroiled in in-fighting which led to council not taking executive decisions.

The municipality was placed under the administrator Buhle Ally, who will be working with municipal manager Max Moyo.

Dube-Ncube said the elections of new councillors will take place after four months.

Councillors were told to report to their communities about their fate and inform them of the new changes in council.

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BUSINESS owners were happy that underperforming councillors have been given the boot.

They said businesses were suffering there because of poor service delivery as community members put a stop to services if they were unhappy with delivery.

“Two weeks ago, no taxis were operating and most businesses were closed on Monday,” said a businessman who did not want to be named.

He asked, “Will the new elected councillors be ready for the task of serving the community or they will forget about them as soon as they are elected?”

Mooi River Spar shareholder Lincoln Wait said during the protests they lost R600 000 in turnover. “We were threatened and told to close shop but I could not because we have salaries to pay at the end of the month,” he said.

Wait attributed Mooi River’s problems to high unemployment levels due to the fact that the council fails to attract investors.

Wait said many businesses would rather invest elsewhere, “because it is too expensive to do business here.”

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