ANC councillors are on tenterhooks as they wait to hear the result of a rumoured Msunduzi council reshuffle.
The reshuffle is reportedly part of an ANC plan to stabilise the troubled municipality.
The Witness, Echo’s sister publication, previously reported how in-fighting within the ANC caucus had resulted in the collapse of meetings due to a failure to meet the quorum.
Sources within the ANC said the reshuffle was imminent and that some of the councillors would not be returning after next month’s two-week recess.
“The ANC is tired of constantly having to tell its councillors to behave because they are refusing to listen.
“What they are doing is bringing the party into disrepute and the state of the capital city of the province has become a huge embarrassment to the ANC,” said one. A staunch Cyril Ramaphosa supporter said the reshuffle was long overdue and that he believed Mayor Themba Njilo and his executive committee should be sent packing.
“I believe a reshuffle is urgently required. I don’t care if I don’t come back after the reshuffle but the ANC needs to do whatever it takes to get this City back on its feet,” he said.
The councillor said the recent protests around Msunduzi, as well as the lawlessness and grime, were an indication of how bad things had got.
“This is our home town, it breaks our heart to see it looking like this,” he added. He said even the administrator, Sibusiso Sithole, would not be able to do his job in peace if he still had to work with the existing council.
“Council has failed the people of Msunduzi. What we’ve done is driving investment away from the City … I would be sad if I’m kicked out of council but I will respect the ANC’s decision,” said another ANC councillor.
His colleague said the threat of a reshuffle has been hanging over their heads since last month’s elections. She said that the ANC, at both the provincial and national level, was concerned about how the local Jacob Zuma and Ramaphosa factions were constantly trying to sabotage each other. She added that the regional task team (RTT) had tried to get the factions to unite but it was difficult as each side wanted to dominate at the elective conference, which is expected to take place later this year.
Asked why the factions were fighting over the City of Choice she said: “Msunduzi’s budget is the second biggest in the province, after eThekwini, so whoever controls the Moses Mabhida region controls the City.”
Attempts to get comment from the RTT were unsuccessful but last month its convener, Thulani “Two Ways” Xulu, denied there was a looming purge. He did, however, concede that the provincial executive committee had powers to recall or re-deploy any ANC councillors.