‘Gazette’ not welcome at Exco meeting

2015-09-23 06:00

IT was a well-run Executive committee meeting with perhaps the most controversial item being the request from municipal staff to close at 3pm on a Friday to give them time and#034;to prepare for their weekend” (they were turned down).

Deputy Mayor Shange was a very competent chair with Exco members and experienced Councillors Maharaj and Ngubane, present. However, for some unknown reason the Municipality had decided that it was not in its best interest to have the Greytown Gazette attend this meeting.

Since its first issue in 1903 (that is 112 years ago) the newspaper has reported on Council and Executive meetings, but has now suddenly been removed from the list to receive agendas without any valid reason given.

In the interests of keeping Umvoti ratepayers and residents informed, the Municipality and Counciland#039;s commitment to transparency and serving the public, the Editor went to the meeting anyway.

In reply to Exco queries on a financial statement, Municipal Manager Bongani Xulu­ assured them that such a statement would be produced by the end of the first quarter (end of September). Newly appointed acting CFO, Sphindile Ngiba, has quite a task on her hands - on 26 August Greytown Gazette reported “Umvoti running out of moneyand#034; according to a circular to municipal employees - this was denied the following week by the then acting deputy CFO who had issued the first circular anyway.

A second one was issued to Management last week instructing all to tighten their belts real tight and rather to focus on service delivery and ratepayers’ rather than paying for and#034;nice to have”.

Stop press: The unveiling of Inkosi Bhambathaand#039;s statue on Tuesday 22 September had to be postponed at the last hour due to reasons beyond the control of the Department of Arts and Culture and the Presidency. Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced on Friday afternoon that this function had to be postponed until other domestic issues are resolved. Oscar Zondi, on behalf of the organisers, apologised to all role players who had been looking forward to this historic occasion­

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