City loses control – again

2019-04-10 15:28
“We see the vehicles being used  after hours. The officials are obviously misusing our vehicles. They are used for their families, friends and that’s not on.”

“We see the vehicles being used after hours. The officials are obviously misusing our vehicles. They are used for their families, friends and that’s not on.”

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The provincial government has taken control of the running of Msunduzi Municipality for the second time in nine years, citing a dysfunctional council, poor management, billing problems and absenteeism of councillors.

On Tuesday the MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Nomusa Dube-Ncube, placed the “ineffective” City under Section 139 (b) of the Constitution with immediate effect.

“It has become clear to the provincial government that Msunduzi Municipality is no longer able, alone, to guarantee the provision of sustainable services to communities without an intervention from the national and provincial government,” she said.

This means that the functions related to the municipality’s administration, appointment of managers, financial management and service delivery would be done with the hands-on support of the provincial government.

Dube-Ncube said the intervention was due to the inability by Msunduzi to hold its councillors accountable for deliberately absenting themselves from critical meetings and thus collapsing the quorum and rendering the council dysfunctional. “This municipality has also failed to institute consequence management measures for managers responsible for unauthorised and irregular expenditure.”

Council has likewise failed to exercise oversight over management, with particular reference to the management of conditional grants resulting in under-expenditure, stopping or threatening the stopping of funds by National Treasury. This, and the billing issue, compromised the financial position of the municipality.

“The Msunduzi council has additionally failed to implement consequence management measures against persons responsible for failing to maintain proper records, resulting, for instance, in the municipality’s non-disclosure of pension and medical aid deductions,” said Dube-Ncube.

The Witness announcing the last time Msunduzi was put under administration in March 2010.

She said council also failed to resolve innumerable service delivery-related challenges besetting the city, particularly waste, roads maintenance and electricity. “The crime and grime that we’ve seen here, the type of filth and dirtiness of this city, really is an embarrassment to say the least.

“To think that you have senior managers — who are paid very nicely to be managers — but who seem to be either failing or not willing or lack something to manage what they are supposed to manage.”

Administration to be appointed for City

The City’s leadership also did not investigate allegations of malfeasance and maladministration against senior managers and other leaders of the municipality.

Dube-Ncube said in cases where senior managers were probed, council still did not implement the recommendations. An administrator will be appointed to oversee the functioning of the municipality and implement Cogta’s turnaround strategy. This includes acting as chairperson of the interim finance committee to monitor and manage the cash flow, oversee purchase requisitions and to ensure that the municipality is not overdrawn.

Dube-Ncube said a ministerial representative together with Cogta’s team will ensure implementation of financial systems, deal with issues of governance, service delivery and human resources. They will also implement remedial action plans dealing with the negative audit — including consequence management against officials found to have caused unauthorised and irregular expenditure.

While Msunduzi might be still able meet its short-term financial obligations, she said the billing issues had compromised the City’s financial stability. As a result the municipality had a cash coverage of just over one month.

In March the City was able to meet its monthly collection target of R400 million, however, it is still owed an estimated total of R3 billion by consumers — including government departments who fail to pay for water and electricity.

“We are in a process of addressing the challenges of billing,” Dube-Ncube said.


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.

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.