City under admin until June

2011-01-14 00:00

Msunduzi Municipality will remain under administration until 30 June 2011 when the new council, elected in the 2011 local government elections, takes over.

Less clear is whether Johann Mettler will remain the administrator for this period.

Mayor Mike Tarr who with senior staff and Executive Council Members (Exco) was at a five day Bosberaad at Midmar, spoke to The Witness from the Midlands.

Tarr said Mettler will be at Msunduzi Municipality until the end of January. However, at this stage it is uncertain whether his contract will be renewed. Tarr said the uncertainty is more to do with Mettler’s position as an executive director of the South African Local Government Association (Salga). “He was seconded to Msunduzi and his responsibilities at the association has suffered a bit, so it is more to do with the practicalities of the situation,” said Tarr

Cooperative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube’s spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said yesterday that Mettler remains the administrator and if the situation changes the public will be notified. Mabaso said the department was happy with the progress made by the turnaround team. He added there are challenges but these remain manageable.

Tarr was quick to clarify that the trip to Midmar by management and Exco was no holiday jaunt. He said the purpose of the getaway which involves all heads of departments and Exco members was to work on a number of areas. These included sorting out key performance areas and indicators for the new organogram and structures within the municipality and working on the adjustment budget. Also on the agenda are finalising the Annual Report, the budgets for 2011/12 and the city’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP). He said these have to be ready by the end of January so that the municipality meets the deadlines set by national government. He said time was a critical factor because officials had been sent back to the drawing board to redo the budget.

“It is a huge amount of work and we are determined to get it right,” said Tarr.

How was the municipality, emerging from a cash crisis, paying for the getaway? Tarr responded that they were mindful of costs and that is why they chose the nearest and cheapest place. They were also self-catering.

By the end of December Dube had also indicated that costs associated with the implementation of the municipality’s turnaround and recovery plan must be accommodated within the municipal budget. Tarr said that province was paying for Mettler and team member Ben Dorfling. Other costs were being paid by the municipality and these had been budgeted for.

Tarr agreed to an interview with The Witness after the Bosberaad to give city residents an update on the progress of the municipality’s turnaround plan and what’s left to be done in the next six months.

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