KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka this morning read the riot act to the eMadlangeni councillors when he visited the municipality to announce the decision by the provincial government to place this municipality under administration in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the constitution.
The decision to institute the constitutional intervention at the municipality is the culmination of Cogta’s previous efforts to address dysfunctionality at this municipality which has since March 2020 been engulfed in governance and institutional management challenges that have created instability.
The challenges faced by the municipality include:
• the failure to adopt its 2020/2021 Budget and Integrated Development Plan timeously whereby it contravened Section 52 of the Municipal Finance Management Act and the provisions of Chapter 5 of the Municipal Systems Act
• failure by the Speaker to convene council meetings when requested to do so by councillors,
• the suspension of senior managers in contravention of relevant regulations, and
• allegations of fraudulent activities by both councillors and officials.
Hlomuka's appointed administrator is VM Kubheka who had previously served as Municipal Manager at eMadlangeni and as Acting Municipal Manager at eNdumeni local municipality. The ministerial representative will be based at the municipality and will prepare and implement a comprehensive recovery plan.
The ministerial representative will also ensure the implementation of remedial action plans dealing with negative findings from the Auditor General, including consequence management against managers and officials found to have caused unauthorised and irregular expenditure.
In his address to the council, Hlomuka called upon all the councillors to work with the administrator so that this municipality can be restored to its rightful place as the epicentre for delivery of basic services to communities in this deep rural area of KZN.