'Dysfunctional' KZN municipality placed under administration
Allegations of fraudulent activities by councillors and municipal officials, and the failure by the speaker to convene council meetings or to adopt its 2020/2021 budget are some of the reasons why the eMadlangeni Municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal was placed under administration on Thursday.
Co-operative governance & traditional affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka read the riot act to the eMadlangeni councillors when he visited the municipality to announce the decision to place the 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,” Cogta said in a statement.
Issues flagged 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 councillors and officials.
Hlomuka appointed VM Kubheka as the administrator of the municipality.
Kubheka had previously served as the municipal manager at the municipality and as acting municipal manager at the Endumeni local municipality.
“The ministerial representative will be based at the municipality and will prepare and implement a comprehensive recovery plan. The 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,” Cogta said.
Hlomuka called on all the councillors to work with the administrator to restore the functionality of the municipality.