No word on Sithole’s council exit

2011-06-28 00:00

WITH just three days to go before the Msunduzi intervention team’s contract expires on Friday, there is no word yet from the KwaZulu-Natal cabinet on whether the team stays or goes.

This emerged at yesterday’s special executive committee (Exco) meeting where administrator Sibusiso Sithole was to present an exit strategy report.

He had indicated last week that such a report was to be presented yesterday, and would give details on what would happen once the team leaves with an update on all investigations and disciplinary hearings within the municipality.

No report was presented. Sithole later told journalists that he was awaiting the cabinet’s decision on the matter. He said he was appointed in terms of a cabinet resolution and was waiting to hear from his prinicipals whether his contract and those of others on the team will be renewed.

He said that the cabinet meets on a Wednesday morning and he was hopeful that a decision will be taken then which will be in time for an announcement to be made at the full council meeting that same afternoon.

However, if the team does leave and presents an exit report, it is likely to remain confidential.

When Sithole’s slot came up on the agenda journalists were asked to leave and were told it was a confidential item. Unlike in the past when journalists waited in the corridor until discussion on the item was completed, this time a security officer was summoned to escort the journalists

During discussion on a second confidential item — the composition of the council’s audit committee — journalists were once again escorted to wait in the administrator’s office.

Many on the council staff are hopeful that the fact that there is no announcement this close to when contracts expire means Sithole will stay.

He has proved to be a popular administrator and there is also hope that he may be appointed the next municipal manager.

Others believe that it would be impossible for all members of the intervention team to leave at this stage because the municipality is far from ready to stand on its own administratively.

There is also the fact that it is without a municipal manager and key financial positions are still to be filled.

Sithole’s contract is signed with KZN MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube.

Contacted yesterday, her spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso, said the MEC has said that the municipality will remain under administration until it shows signs that it is stable and capable of sustaining a programme of grown and development.

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