Municipality turnover

2008-12-03 00:00

Not long ago the uMgungundlovu District Municipality seemed to symbolise everything that was bad about local government in South Africa. Constantly mired in scandal, managed by officials severally revealed as corrupt, incompetent, ineffectualor totally unqualified to hold their posts (municipal manager Monica Mngadi famously held a one-day MBA degree and a bible college “doctorate”), its financial affairs were in such disarray that the Auditor-General was unable to make a proper assessment of its accounts.

Now, five months since the culprits were ousted, the A-G has given the municipality a clean audit. Those credited with the turnaround are acting municipal manager Sbu Khuzwayo (seconded from the department of local government), chief financial officer Walter Muwandi (seconded from the KwaZulu-Natal treasury) and mayor Yusuf Bhamjee (deployed from the KZN legislature). Truly remarkable was the fact that no changes were made to the staffing of the financial division, whose every member worked long hours, even over weekends, without asking for any overtime pay.

How did this apparently miraculous change come about? The answer seems to be that Khuzwayo, Muwandi and Bhamjee were the right people put in the right place at the right time. And Khuzwayo and Muwandi, praised by Bhamjee for their single-mindedness and strong work ethic, led by example to the degree that the staff were galvanised into the hard work necessary to retrieve the situation.

And so, from having stood as a byword for dysfunction, the uMgungundlovu Municipality, under efficient and committed and intelligent leadership, has become a beacon of hope. As we applaud this achievement, let us hope that it serves as an inspiration, not only to other municipalities, but to all levels of government.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.