'Durban is falling'
Durban is falling under eThekwini municipality mayor Zandile Gumede.
That’s according to a group of protesters - mainly members of the Democratic Alliance and Inkatha Freedom Party - who staged a picket on the steps of the Durban City Hall on Tuesday morning.
The DA has said that the municipality is gripped by a crisis‚ citing the loss of 17 senior managers in 11 months‚ the purchase of armoured vehicles to the tune of R20-million‚ R2.2-million spent on a cancelled social cohesion conference‚ R3-million spent on metro police dogs and R68-million overspent on the Essence Festival as examples.
The party also accused the mayor of deliberately hiding internal audit reports from the executive and full council.
DA party caucus leader Zwakhele Mncwango said they would “defeat the cancer of corruption” and the ongoing “looting of public funds” in the municipality.
Mncwango said the DA is sick and tired of the looting of public funds in eThekwini.
He said the city should be boosting investment and attracting investors‚ but claimed they were not doing that.
“We are facing an arrogant mayor. The ANC leadership is mostly arrogant. They have no respect for the public and institutions.
We have audit committees who investigate these cases in the municipality and after making recommendations to this council‚ the mayor and leadership decided to hide the reports.
Since she took over‚ as councillors we have not seen a single audit report. That is why the head of audit left the municipality because he is getting frustrated.
Staff morale is down because they are asking questions and make recommendations and nothing is being done‚” said Mncwango.
IFP eThekwini spokesman Mdu Nkosi said the issue of the resignation of officials and the city's purchasing of Casspir vehicles in response to ongoing protests was a matter of concern.
“We’re not singing one song with the DA. They’re saying the mayor must go. We can’t say the mayor must go because we don’t have the information that the mayor is corrupt.
We have written to the public protector to call for an investigation into some of the units in the municipality so the truth can be unveiled.
We have information there is something going wrong whereby officials are giving relatives tenders‚ fake positions that have been given to relatives. If there is corruption we as the IFP will go deeper and investigate.”
In a statement‚ Gumede said she had addressed a number of issues‚ including staff departures‚ procurement issues and general public safety‚ especially safety concerns around the Glebelands Community Residential Unit (CRU).
She denied a staff exodus in the city.
Gumede said it was important to deal with low staff morale by ensuring that staff are motivated and paid properly if they do their job‚ adding that those who fail to comply with legislation must be dealt with according to the applicable labour laws with no political interference.
She said the city was not collapsing.
“We are shining as the city and will continue to do so. I am here to work and not play. We will continue to work for our people and lead them‚” said Gumede.