Officials’ no-show at council meeting

2011-01-20 00:00

MSUNDUZI municipal council affairs got off to an inauspicious start when only three councillors out of a committee of 12 bothered to turn up on Tuesday for the first finance committee of the year.

This was despite dates of the meeting being given out last year and again last week reminding the councillors.

Besides officials, the only councillors present were the mayor Mike Tarr and two Democratic Alliance councillors, Dave Ryder and Rodger Ashe.

Those absent were Patrick Bhengu and Sibusiso Ntuli (both IFP), as well as councillors Doreen Buthelezi, Sbonisa Majola, Bonginkosi R. Mazibuko, Mtuza Mkhize, Sbongile Mkhize, Mazwi Msimang and Les Naidoo (all ANC).

Council Speaker Babu Baijoo phoned around after being contacted by the mayor. He said the councillors he had spoken to had told him that there were no meeting agendas and reports in their pigeonholes when they went to pick them up on Monday, so they assumed the meeting was no longer taking place.

It turned out that the agendas were placed in their pigeonholes on Tuesday morning — the day of the meeting.

Baijoo said the procedure with non-attendance of meetings is that if the committee officer records the absence of a member, and if no apology has been sent, a letter is then sent to the speaker’s office requesting an investigation.

Baijoo said so far he has not received such a letter.

He added that there may also have been some confusion as this was the first meeting under the new committee structure.

In addition, the councillors’ offices have moved and the pigeonholes been re-allocated.

Baijoo said he felt positive that the situation will improve next week when other committee meetings are scheduled to take place.




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