uMngeni mayor must vacate R1,7?mln house

2009-10-29 00:00

UMNGENI Mayor Edward Dladla must vacate the R1,7-million house bought for him by the council by the end of November, and pay back an estimated R500 000 to the municipality for rates, electricity, water, telephone bills and maintenance.

This order came from the joint provincial standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) and finance committee in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature yesterday.

The committees found that Dladl­a should not have been bought a house by the municipality. The house, which is in Hilton, was bought towards the end of 2006, despite protests from opposition parties in the council.

Although Dladla’s salary package included a housing allowance, the municipality went ahead and bought him a house and also paid the rates, electricity, water and telephone bills and maintenance costs.

Dladla now has to pay back the municipality all these bills.

John Steenhuisen, DA caucus leader in the legislature and a member of the committees, said Dladla was pocketing the taxable house allowanc­e, which was supposed to fall away when the municipality incurred costs for the house.

The mayor’s house was the centre of attention in the council in 2006. Allegations were made that the council paid R1,7 million instead of the market value of R1,25 million, and that it was bought from two contractors who do work for the municipality, and who are allegedly friends with both Dladla and municipal manager Dumisani Vilakazi.

The house was purchased for Dladla after he had to flee his Mpophomeni home following threats by a mob who stoned his house.

Finance committee chair Belinda Scott said the powers to determine which office bearers could be bought houses by government lie with the president, and such provisions have not been made for mayors. As such, the council’s purchase amounted to irregluar expenditure.

The municipality also came under fire over its nine senior managers, who still draw salaries ranging from R900 000 to R1,3 million a year.

A council sitting in July voted to cut Vilakazi’s salary from R1,3 million to R850 000 per annum. The salaries of his eight senior managers were also ordered cut by similar amounts. The managers’ total package amounts to just over R9 million a year — 14% of the municipality’s total salary package for over 400 staff members.

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.