The Msunduzi municipality, where KwaZulu-Natal's capital Pietermaritzburg is located, has been placed under administration following a host of issues, including irregular expenditure, maladministration and absenteeism by councillors.The announcement came on Tuesday morning after Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube met with the ailing Msunduzi council."After a long period of instability and poor results, the people of Pietermaritzburg deserve that we give them a municipality they can be proud of through our hard work and flawless performance," she said.According to Dube-Ncube, the municipality could not hold its councillors accountable for deliberately absenting themselves from critical meetings. This resulted in a collapsing quorum, which rendered the council dysfunctional.She said unauthorised expenditure, an issue that plagues many municipalities in SA, was also a cause for concern.Service delivery "This municipality has also failed to institute consequence management measures for managers responsible for unauthorised and irregular expenditure."She added that the Msunduzi council had also failed to exercise financial oversight over management, resulting in the municipality being overdrawn."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."Dube-Ncube said the Msunduzi council also failed to resolve innumerable service delivery related challenges besetting the city."Particularly waste management, roads and street maintenance, as well as electricity services..."The council also failed to act against senior managers at the municipality, she said.Way forwardFunctions related to financial management and service delivery, including project management, would be done with the hands-on support of the provincial government, the MEC said."It has become clear to the provincial government that uMsunduzi 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 that a ministerial representative would be appointed – and based at the municipality – who would prepare and implement a comprehensive recovery plan.The plan would include the implementation of financial systems, policies and procedures. There would also be preparation and implementation of cost-cutting measures, as well as implementing governance systems and procedures.Dube-Ncube said the representative would also play an oversight role over the administration, including ratification of decisions taken by the Municipal Council, the Executive Committee, Municipal Manager and Section 56 Managers.