Mtubatuba admin starts

2012-09-28 00:00

MTUBATUBA Municipality would be administered by the province from today, said the Department of Co-operative Affairs (Cogta).

This is in terms of the provincial cabinet’s decision to take over the administrative and governance powers of the council, which was announced by Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube last week.

Cogta said in a statement yesterday that the intervention follows a series of attempts by Cogta to assist the municipality to recover from its “dire financial woes that have compromised service delivery”.

By the end of today, Mayor Mavis Davis, municipal manager Siya Ntuli, the chief financial officer and councillors will no longer be able to take decisions, but will instead be advised by the provincial administrator.

Neither Davis nor Ntuli could be reached for comment.

“This intervention will still require councillors to provide our administrator with due co-operation. We expect the senior political leadership to communicate with their deployed councillors there, to ensure that they understand that any lack of co-operation with the province will be to the detriment of improved living conditions for our people. Councillors should refrain from putting politics ahead of service delivery,” said Dube.

The Witness reported on Monday that Cogta was planning to take immediate action after announcing last week that Mtubatuba would be placed under administration after failing to meet turnaround targets set by the department in 2011.

KwaZulu-Natal ANC regional secretary Sihle Zikalala told The Witness that he “welcomes Cogta’s decision” and believed that it would “bring stability to the municipality”.

Over the past three months, two units have been working within the council in order to help turn around the financially embattled municipality.

Johannesburg auditor Tumelo Ratau has been leading the finance section of the municipality, while Francois Potgieter, a Western Cape-based engineer, has headed up the infrastructure department.

The council is run by a coalition between the NFP and ANC, with the ANC holding the positions of mayor and speaker.

It is the first time since 1994 that the ANC has been in control of the municipality. Over the last decade the council has been fraught with mismanagement and has had more than half-a-dozen municipal managers.

St Lucia Ratepayers’ Association chairperson Rudi Redinger said they have “been expecting” the council to be placed under administration.

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