Tributes for uMshwathi mayor

2019-02-20 06:00
PHOTO: suppliedThe late mayor of the uMshwathi Municipality, Sphindile Zondi-Mbhele.

PHOTO: suppliedThe late mayor of the uMshwathi Municipality, Sphindile Zondi-Mbhele.

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TRIBUTES have poured in for uMshwathi Mayor Sphindile Zondi-Mbhele who died in hospital after a short illness on Sunday night.

She was admitted to a Pietermaritzburg hospital on Friday, February 15. Staff, friends and members of the provincial government said Zondi-Mbhele was known for being a champion of service delivery and putting the lives of the people of uMshwathi first.

She was first elected as a councillor in December 2000 before she served as a deputy mayor from 2011 to 2016. After the local government elections, she was elected as an ANC PR councillor and then mayor of uMshwathi Municipality in 2016.

Spokesperson for the uMshwathi Municipality Sibusiso Mkhithi said: “It is with sadness that we convey the message of the passing away of the mayor. She was born in June 1975 at uMtulwa. She was a teacher at Nadi Primary School and served as a PR councillor in the erstwhile iNdlovu Regional Council.

“During her tenure as deputy mayor and mayor, she served diligently in ensuring the implementation of various infrastructure projects. These include the completion of the Thusong Centre, roads projects such as D1012/13, housing projects, community halls and sport facilities. Funeral arrangements and more information will be communicated in due course.”

Zondi-Mbhele also saw to the completion of several community projects.

Mkhithi said: “Some communities were travelling over 20 km to the nearest halls. Mayor Zondi-Mbhele said that each ward needed to have a hall, as in the Mbhava, Socolile and Mthizane halls. One of her other key achievements was the installation of electricity to address critical electricity backlogs within wards 3, 4 and 5.

“As a young woman, she had a passion for special programmes. She was driven to ensuring a decent standard of living was provided for the youth, elderly, people with disabilities, women, children and people with disabilities and people with HIV.”

Some of the learning programmes she implemented included industrial sewing, crocheting, ceramics, furniture making, clothing design and a safety net for maiden’s projects.

Zondi-Mbhele was also instrumental in supporting the land reform project within uMshwathi. One of the projects was the 50/50 partnership project that was implemented at Westcliff Farm at Ekhamanzi.

KZN MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube sent her condolences to the family. “KwaZulu-Natal has lost one of its honest, hardworking and loyal servant. The depth of pain we feel at the sudden news of the passing of Mayor Mbhele is unspeakable.

“As the sphere of local government in KZN, we are greatly saddened by this loss.

“Her contributions towards improving the lives of our people can never be erased.

“We take solace in having worked with her and knowing that her life inspired many,” said Dube-Ncube.


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