Hadebe poised to be permanent City manager

2017-11-23 14:23
Acting City manager Sizwe Hadebe.

Acting City manager Sizwe Hadebe. (File)

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Acting City manager Sizwe Hadebe appears to be on the verge of being appointed as the permanent Msunduzi municipal manager.

Although the ANC in the Moses Mabhida region has denied it, highly placed sources said Hadebe has received the nod from the regional leadership.

The top brass were locked in a meeting until late on Tuesday at the City Hall. It is reliably understood that they discussed the appointment of the municipal manager.

Hadebe’s appointment is expected to be on the agenda of next week’s full council meeting on Wednesday.

If it goes through as planned, it will put to rest the extended saga of appointing a replacement for former City manager Mxolisi Nkosi, whose contract ended in December 2016.

A three-member selection panel chaired by Mayor Themba Njilo, Deputy Mayor Thobani Zuma and uMshwathi municipal manager Nhlanhla Mbaso is believed to have given Hadebe their stamp of approval.

The City has repeatedly failed to meet deadlines set for the appointment of the municipal manager.

Sources said the matter was only expected to be tabled to full council next week due to a delay caused by divisions in the ANC caucus.

But ANC regional spokesperson Spha Khumalo denied the matter was discussed during the regional leadership’s meeting.

“It was not on the agenda and it was not even mentioned as a ‘by the way’. Whoever is saying the matter was discussed in the meeting is peddling lies,” said Khumalo.

He declined to comment on the delays in the selection process.

Hadebe was appointed in an acting capacity in June 2016 for a period of three months after council suspended then municipal manager Nkosi. His contract was extended repeatedly and is due to expire on November 30.

“The City has one day between Wednesday [the date of the full council meeting] and December 1 to wrap up the appointment of the permanent municipal manager,” said a source.

The insider warned the decision to appoint Hadebe would not be accepted by all ANC councillors.

Also read: City posts ‘delayed by troika’

ANC councillors ‘could reject appointment’

“Even the last extension he [Hadebe] got in September, there was a revolt in some quarters of the ANC caucus, which led to long meetings being held with the regional leadership,” said the source.

“The ANC is no longer united. Some prominent regional leaders are no longer attending the regional executive committee meetings because they feel like they are being bullied by the dominant faction.”
The DA has already hinted at a legal challenge should the appointment go through in the ANC-dominated council.

Sizwe Hadebe’s controversial past

The appointment of Hadebe as the acting City manager was mired in controversy. The first bombshell to hit his image were revelations that, having changed his name from Adolph Slindokuhle Hadebe, he appeared to have a somewhat chequered past.

The Sunday Times wrote that Hadebe was suspended while at the Ekurhuleni Municipality after a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) probe into a contract for water meter installations by Lesira-Teq.

Hadebe was also the deputy chair of the National Water Advisory Council that advised Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, and had been previously employed by the City of Johannesburg when Lesira-Teq scored a R170 million deal to install water meters there.

Hadebe allegedly adopted the new name after allegations arose over his tenure at the other municipalities, which he ended before disciplinary action could be taken against him.

His tenure at Msunduzi soon soured when it became evident that the City was not keeping a grip on administrative processes, which led to a myriad of service delivery problems, documented by this paper.

These have included crippling electricity outages, lengthy water outages, inner city decay, the explosion of the whoonga addict vagrant problem in the CBD, chaos on the city’s streets amidst the problems of a seemingly ineffectual traffic department, the numerous suspensions of senior staff, and a disillusioned and demotivated staff, denuded of priority posts. (See page 6).

The Witness also revealed there was a group of ANC councillors opposed to Hadebe being given a permanent role in the City.

A WhatsApp message that circulated among ANC councillors opposed to Hadebe being appointed permanently also emerged.

There were also rumours that Msunduzi delayed appointing a City manager to allow Hadebe to get the qualifications he needed to qualify for the job. He is widely believed to be closely linked to Deputy Mayor Thobani Zuma and Mayor Themba Njilo.

Read more on:    msunduzi municipality  |  pietermaritzburg

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