Premier backs mayor

2008-04-29 00:00

KwaZulu-Natal Premier S’bu Ndebele has expressed full confidence in newly appointed uMgungundlovu district mayor Yusuf Bhamjee and deputy mayor Tu Zondi, at a media briefing held by the ANC provincial leadership to introduce the new district council.

Bhamjee, who has chaired the Local Government portfolio committee in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature and who was a member of the National Assembly, replaced Bongi Sithole as mayor after the ANC caucus tabled a motion of no confidence in her leadership on Friday. Aubrey Lukhele was replaced by Zondi after he resigned to focus his energy on his position as the ANC’s regional secretary.

"Comrade Yusuf brings with him a vast experience and it is our firm view that he will put the municipality back on track to serve the people of uMgungundlovu district," said Ndebele. He further admired Zondi’s experience as a member of the ANC, describing her as a "solid cadre who exudes dignity and confidence".

The leadership reshuffle at the district came about as the ANC felt there was a weakness in leadership that needed change in order to stabilise overall management.

Deputy chairman of the party’s provincial executive committee, Zweli Mkhize, described weaknesses at the district as emanating from financial management issues that inevitably impacted on service delivery and personnel.

"In the past five years, the municipality has had a change of municipal managers three or four times amid financial management problems, which inevitably creates instability within the municipality. In assessing the situation as the ANC, when looking at the nature of administration and financial management, we were not happy and felt that there needed to be a strengthening of the internal structure of the municipality in order to speed up service delivery and stabilise the municipality," Mkhize said.

The municipality was assisted by the provincial government which brought in a chief financial officer from Treasury as well as an acting municipal manager from the Local Government Department to assist the municipality to recover.

"uMgungundlovu is a complex municipality that requires a stable leadership," said Mkhize.

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