Delay on eThekwini manager

2011-11-29 00:00

INTERNAL squabbles within the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal are apparently being blamed for yet another delay in the appointment of eThekwini city manager following the postponement of interviews that were scheduled for Friday this week.

Leaders of opposition parties in the metropolitan council said they are not satisfied with explanations, given during the last eThekwini executive committee (Exco) meeting, that the delay of the interviews was due to the unavailability of certain Exco members who have COP17-related commitments.

eThekwini’s city leaders have to appoint a city manager to replace Mike Sutcliffe whose contract expired after he had managed the city for the past eight years.

The only short-listed candidates for the position are Msunduzi administrator Sbusiso Sithole, the advisor to the Premier, Cyril Xaba, and the municipal manager of Amathole district municipality in the Eastern Cape, Xolela Mswelil.

The ANC chief whip in the KZN Legislature, Makhosi Khoza, withdrew from the race saying she had received death threats.

Supporters of the candidates within ANC ranks are split, with reports that the MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube, who is the ANC deputy provincial secretary, prefers Sithole for the city manager while the provincial leadership backs Xaba.

The deputy caucus leader of the Democratic Alliance in eThekwini, Zwakele Mncwango, said the ANC’s internal squabbles have escalated to the municipality; hence the delay.

“The withdrawal of another top official, Makhosi Khoza, who cited intimidation and the fact that the process was no longer considerate, are clear indications that the delay is due to internal ANC squabbles.

“This shows that the process is more politically driven than a merit appointment, whereas we need someone who will fight corruption — not someone who will cover for comrades,” Mncwango said.

Inkatha Freedom Party caucus leader Mdu Nkosi said the ANC’s failure to separate council and party issues is prejudicing eThekwini ratepayers.

However, ANC provincial Sihle Zikalala denied that the ANC is involved in the process.

“The appointment of the eThekwini manager has never been on the agenda of the ANC and we do not interfere with the administration of municipalities. As the ANC we only deal with outlining the political framework of our deployees in municipalities. We do not define the way municipalities should employ their staff,” Zikalala said.

Vernon Mchunu, spokesperson for MEC Dube, said the MEC has got nothing to do with the appointment of eThekwini manager.

“They [municipalities] are autonomous in making their appointments.

“We only interfere in the running of municipalities when there is evidence of wrongdoing which [can] impact negatively on service delivery,” Mchunu said.

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