'You must make sure their rubbish is picked up' - Dlamini-Zuma lashes eThekwini municipality

2019-07-31 12:58
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has warned the eThekwini council. (Kaveel Singh, News24 via Twitter)

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has warned the eThekwini council. (Kaveel Singh, News24 via Twitter)

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has warned the eThekwini council to pull up its socks and provide better services to its people.

In her first visit as minister, Dlamini-Zuma said that she would collect information and assess the City's progress on her return visit.

"This being my first visit, I am not going to be controversial. I am collecting information. When I return the second time, I will say this is where you were, and this is where we are."

She rapped councillors over the knuckles for beginning the full council later than expected.

"You know, I was informed that the council meeting with this session that I am in would start at 09:00. That was my information. I was on my 06:30 flight because I did not want to be late. I had to sit and wait."

She added: "That is the first sign of discipline. When you set time for yourselves, you must keep it."

Rubbish in the townships

Dlamini-Zuma said the refuse collection issues that plagued the city in May and June - seeing services halted due to strike action - was unacceptable.

"We saw heaps and heaps of rubbish in the townships. We should not do that to our people. The core business of the municipality is refuse collection. That has to be strengthened, including in this city. Some of the townships have had challenges and we must ensure they are dealt with."

She added that, despite any challenges or setbacks, the City still had a mandate to deliver services.

"I know you are changing from one system to another, but whatever you are doing, you must make sure their rubbish is picked up. That is the dignity we must give our people."

Zandile Gumede and irregular expenditure

Dlamini-Zuma said that she would try to avoid placing the municipality under administration.

"We don't want to rush into [administration]. We want to decrease the need for this by coming in early and supporting and strengthening the municipalities so they improve, and not wait until they get to the point of [administration]."

She said she would not comment on the criminal matter against embattled Mayor Zandile Gumede, instead calling on acting mayor Fawzia Peer to fulfil the City mandates.

"There is an acting mayor and we expect that work should continue, that services are delivered and that at some stage that whatever issues with the mayor will be dealt with by the judiciary and the ANC. We are just here as government to look at the City and how to can strengthen it."

Commenting on the more than R500m in irregular expenditure racked up by the metro, Dlamini-Zuma said finances required better oversight.

"It is important to manage the finances of any institution in the city. We have to make sure [there is] no wasteful expenditure and irregular expenditure. I expect that the City will put a plan on how to reduce and eventually get rid of irregular expenditure."

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Read more on:    nkosazana dlamini-zuma  |  durban  |  service delivery
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