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Vacuum in Ray Nkonyeni Municipality’s leadership with 'only one person holding an executive position'

Vacuum in Ray Nkonyeni Municipality’s leadership. File Picture.

Vacuum in Ray Nkonyeni Municipality’s leadership. File Picture.

Published Jan 17, 2022

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DURBAN - OPPOSITION parties have raised concern that the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast is still without leadership, including a mayor and deputy mayor.

The municipality only has elected a speaker since the local government elections last November.

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DA KZN leader Francois Rodgers said yesterday that he had written to Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka to convene an urgent meeting regarding the municipality.

He said despite the council having held three meetings, a mayor and deputy mayor had yet to be elected.

“At this stage, only a speaker has been elected, meaning that there is only one person holding an executive position in the municipality. Following the local government elections, the council was due to have met on November 16 to elect these structures. Regrettably, this has failed to take place to date, allegedly as a result of ongoing ANC factionalism.”

Rodgers added that all attempts to elect a mayor and deputy mayor had failed due to the ANC councillors’ refusal to attend a meeting, resulting in there being no quorum to continue with such.

“With committee meetings scheduled to commence shortly and the municipality’s Adjustments Budget needing to be tabled, the lack of an executive committee is set to pose a direct risk to service delivery.

“This situation cannot be allowed to continue. Those living within the municipality have already endured years of poor service delivery. They cannot be expected to put up with any more.”

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Rodgers said that the municipality’s DA caucus leader had written to the speaker to demand an urgent elective council meeting to ensure the election of an executive structure.

“When the ANC councillors failed to attend this meeting, the DA caucus – supported by other opposition parties – demanded an investigation into the violation of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, and the provision of disciplinary procedures thereof.”

Rodgers added that the DA was committed to engaging with the MEC on behalf of the municipality’s residents in order to find a constructive way forward.

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“We sincerely hope that MEC Hlomuka will see the urgency of the situation and respond accordingly. In the event that he does not, we will be forced to approach the premier for action.”

Sifundo Ngwane, an IFP councillor in the area, said that they had expected that an executive council, mayor and deputy mayor would have been elected by now. He said they were concerned with the ANC councillors’ failure to attend meetings.

“We are very confused about how the ANC is working; nobody comes to meetings. How do you have a council without a mayor, deputy mayor and a chief whip? Who do you address your grievances to without a political head? The ANC has failed the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality without reason.”

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Ngwane added that the ANC was disrespecting its voters, who elected 37 councillors, by not coming to meetings.

Cogta spokesperson Senzo Mzila said that the department was engaging with Ray Nkonyeni Municipality to resolve the situation.

“The municipality is receiving our highest attention. We are supporting the municipality to ensure that service delivery continues unaffected. We also are continuously engaging with Ray Nkonyeni Municipality to ensure that a full council is elected.”

ANC KZN spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said that the situation in Ray Nkonyeni Municipality would be resolved soon.

“The consultative process is being finalised, and there have been engagements with the highest structures in the ANC.

“I can’t confirm a date, but we expect a council meeting to be confirmed soon.”

THE MERCURY

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