Ndlela to ANC: Time to clean up

2018-02-05 13:48
Former Msunduzi Municipality mayor, Chris Ndlela.

Former Msunduzi Municipality mayor, Chris Ndlela. (FIle)

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The ANC has to stop embracing mediocrity and corruption so that it can improve on the current disappointing level of service delivery in Msunduzi and KZN.

This is according to former Msunduzi mayor Chris Ndlela, who said in a wide-ranging exclusive interview with The Witness, that it was up to the governing party to turn things around at Msunduzi.

Ndlela is now the principal of the Mnambithi TVET College in Ladysmith.

“The people in government are deployed by the ANC and they get the directive of what and when it must be done from the party’s mandating structure. So it’s not fair to just say the mayor and the municipal manager must account when they don’t make the decisions by themselves,” he said.

Ndlela took over the reins of Msunduzi in 2011 when the City was under administration following numerous allegations of corruption and maladministration. He said he was not happy about the deployment but as a disciplined member of the ANC he had to do what he was told. Under his leadership, Msunduzi achieved a clean audit for the 2014/2015 financial year.

Msunduzi has since regressed to a qualified audit opinion then a disclaimer for the 2016/2017 financial year with some predicting it could be placed under administration soon.

“A clean audit is not a one-man show. It takes a team of not just councillors but the administration led by the municipal manager plays a very crucial role.

“The ANC in the region also assists by providing support and guidance but most of all making sure that its deployees are always held accountable for their actions, not only to the ratepayers but also to the organisation in order to protect its integrity,” said Ndlela.

Ndlela believes Msunduzi has the potential to be one of the best cities in the country so people should not give up on it just yet. He said as the capital of the province, the ANC needed to always be on its toes to ensure that Msunduzi was running smoothly.

He said the current financial constraints will eventually pass but not without political will and an end to “reckless cadre deployment”, where “people who have no clue what they are doing are given jobs in government”.

Ndlela said if there are allegations of corruption they must be investigated and poor performance should never be tolerated because it tainted everyone that is associated with the municipality and the ANC.

“You cannot hug, kiss and embrace corruption. Mediocrity should be the last thing that is tolerated in a democracy. It cripples the ambitions of those who want to work hard.

“Quite frankly I believe it is also corruption when you are rewarded for poor performance, because you have not earned that reward,” he said.

He said many will accuse him of being bitter because he is speaking out against the injustices faced by the Msunduzi community, which he said was undermined because most did not complain about the bad service they were receiving.

“Ratepayers should get the services they are paying for and if not then they should get an explanation. They are paying a fortune to keep the City running.

“So yes I am bitter, not about not being mayor. I am bitter that as a ratepayer and a resident I can see that things are falling apart but I don’t see heads rolling,” he said.

Ndlela said he was actually relieved when he was not given a second term as mayor. He said being the first citizen of the City is like being always in the hot seat because everyone blames you for everything that goes wrong.

“It was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders when I did not become the regional chairperson. My tenure as mayor took a toll on my family. I was not always around to spend time with them and there were reports of a hit list with my name on it. It was a really difficult time,” he said.

Speaking about factionalism in the ANC, Ndlela said the divisions in the ANC are the consequence and corruption is the root cause.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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