eThekwini manager appointed

2011-12-10 00:00

MSUNDUZI administrator Sibusiso Sithole will take over from Mike Sutcliffe as the city manager of the eThekwini Municipality.

The announcement of the appointment was made in the absence of the administrator.

The final decision was made at yesterday’s full council while the 44-year-old Sithole was away on family business.

The job carries a salary of R2,1 million a year, and Sithole will handle a budget of nearly R30 billion.

Durban Mayor James Nxumalo said the process of filling the post of city manager began in June when Sutcliffe’s contract came to an end.

“We believe we have gone through a vigorous process and I am happy to announce that Mr Sithole was unanimously recommended for appointment,” said Nxumalo.

He congratulated Sithole on his appointment and said the council looks forward to welcoming him to the city hall on January 3.

Nxumalo thanked Sutcliffe, saying he had done excellent work for the municipality in the past decade and wishing him well in the future.

However, the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) has objected to the appointment process. Provincial secretary Jacee Ncanana said: “We still stand by our earlier statement that the entire process needed to be restarted because it was unfairly conducted.

“We are still going to go back to the drawing board regarding this matter.”

One of the matters that worries Samwu is that a candidate for the administrator’s job withdrew, allegedly as a result of threats.

“The ANC Youth League also publicly named its candidate of choice. That again was not corrected and there was an issue of the leaking of confidential information to the media, which was unfair to other candidates,” said Ncanana.

The provincial secretary of the South African Communist Party, Themba Mthembu, said: “We respect the decision by the ANC and council on this matter and wish eThekwini all the best.

“However, we still strongly believe that the entire process should have been handled better than the way it was conducted.”

KZN Democratic Alliance leader Sizwe Mchunu also welcomed the decision.

“We have been told of [Sithole’s] great performance during his interview … he was better than other candidates.”

Sithole was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

Attempts to get comments from the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party were unsuccessful at the time of going to print.

• thobani.ngqulunga

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